Dereham Blues Festival, 6-9 July 2017

The 2017 Dereham Blues Festival Is Here

It’s here! The fifth annual Dereham Blues Festival starts next week on 6th July. Over 50 acts playing at 15 venues makes this year’s festival bigger and better than ever. Apart from the opening concert, the gigs are free to enter as they are sponsored by the host venues.

 

The festival kicks off in grand style with a concert at The Dereham Memorial Hall on Thursday evening 6th July featuring the international star Andy Fairweather Low and his band The Low Riders. A top musician, Andy is much in demand and has played alongside some of the rock and blues music greats over the past six decades as well as having hits in his own right as lead singer with Amen Corner and as a solo performer. Supporting Andy at the opening gig will be local favourites The Dove and Boweevil Band.

 

The opening concert is kindly organised by the Friends of the Dereham Memorial Hall and is almost sold out, but there are still a few tickets left. To get the last few tickets go to http://www.derehambluesfestival.org.uk/tickets—andy-fairweather-low.html before they all go.

 

Tim Cara, Chairman of The Friends Of Dereham Memorial Hall, says, “It is tremendous to get Andy Fairweather Low to come to play in Dereham. Equally fantastic is the response from the public coming from all over the East of England to support this event with the gig virtually selling out long before the concert”.

 

The festival starts on Thursday evening 6th July and runs through to early Sunday evening 9th July. Some 55 of the very best blues and roots acts drawn from the region and across the UK will be playing their very heart and souls out in Dereham town centre venues. So if your music tastes lie either with rocking blues to soulful or country blues or through to the sultry introspective “rootsy” end of the blues and roots music spectrum, there’s something for everyone. Truly a “whole lot more than 12 bars of blues”!

 

For the full line up of who is playing where and when, go to http://www.derehambluesfestival.org.uk/timetable-of-events.html . There will also be a festival information stand in the market square during the morning of Saturday 1st July ahead of the festival weekend and again on the Festival Saturday morning 6th July.

 

Festival Chairman John Vasco says “I am so pleased to see the festival growing year on year. The interest in coming to Dereham both by acts wanting to play and blues lovers wanting to see them is truly impressive and gratifying, and is testimony to all the hard work put in by volunteers and other organisations, including the tremendous support afforded by the sponsors, to put on the event.”.

 

So if you like blues and roots music come to Dereham from Thursday 6th July to Sunday 9th July for the fifth annual Dereham Blues Festival – this year with more free acts than ever. A hot bluesy Norfolk welcome awaits you.

 

 

 

DEREHAM BLUES FESTIVAL 2017 – OUR SPONSORS

GREENBANKS HOTEL:

One of the Headline sponsors of the 2017 Blues Festival is an independent family run business. Over the last 27 years, Greenbanks hotel has evolved and seen the introduction of a swimming pool and self-catering accommodation. The property lends its self well to those less able, with level access to most areas including the pool and makes an ideal base to explore Norfolk , being set in the heart of the county. The team at Greenbanks have successfully been awarded The Excellence Award by Trip advisor and Booking.com in the last few months. Greenbanks Hotel is pleased to announce we will be supporting the 2017 Dereham Blues Festival. The event brings together visitors to the area and the local community through the common interest of music. The Festival also highlights what is available in and around Dereham area and is fast becoming a “must attend” event.

 

BUSSEYS:

Founded in 1911, Busseys, a Main Ford and Peugeot Dealer in Norfolk, have always been keen to support local events and businesses and are Headline Sponsors of the DBF in 2017. The company has particularly close ties to Dereham, as 2016 marked 20 years since the company opened a Ford dealership in Dereham and have since then added a Peugeot dealership to the area early last year. Paul Bussey, Marketing Director at Busseys said “We are extremely proud to be a headline sponsor at this years Dereham Blues Festival and look forward to a weekend full of good music!”

 

GREENE KING:

Greene King was founded 200 years ago, in 1799, by 19 year-old Benjamin Greene. As a company, we pride ourselves on consistently offering exceptional value, service and quality to all our customers. This ethos is central to everything we do in our business. Mark Holland, sales development manager at Greene King said, “Greene King has been brewing in and serving East Anglia for over 200 years, and we have always looked to offer our support for events close to home. Our pubs are part of communities, so we are proud to once again sponsor the popular Dereham Blues festival, which is a brilliant home-grown event that goes from strength to strength every year. Many of our beers will be served at festival venues, including the Bull, Gemini, Kings Head Hotel and the Cherry Tree, so blues fans can enjoy great local ales alongside a line-up of top notch acts from around the UK.”

 

STEPHENSON SMART:

We are a firm of chartered accountants with offices in King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Fakenham, Downham Market, Wisbech and March. For over 100 years we have provided expert, tailored advice to our clients, working together to deliver the very best for them. We are delighted to support the Dereham Blues Festival in their efforts to organise such quality entertainment in the community.

 

ORCHARD CARAVANS:

Based in Wells-next-the-sea, Orchard Caravans has been a family business since 1967, starting with a small caravan park in Wells-next-the-sea that it still operates today, it is a very much loved Orchard Holiday Park and run to a very high standard. Caravan sales was introduced back in the mid-70s and has grown into one of the biggest new and used static caravan distributors to trade and retail in East Anglia. Offering the full service from supply, transportation, siting and commissioning with a full after sales service, park owners and their customers can rely on a company that is an NCC approved Holiday Caravan distributor. Orchard Caravans is delighted to support the Dereham Blues Festival in 2017

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Yassassin + GRACELAND + Vaudevue + Sadie Nencini + Peach Club dj set, for Pony Up, BBC Music Day @ NAC 22 June 2017

 Over the past few weeks I have seen some superb gigs at Norwich Arts Centre and this latest offering from Pony Up was another to add to that list.

 

yassassin

 

For a few pounds plonked into the donation box in this “pay what you can” gig we had three live acts in the main auditorium, another in the Adnams Mission Hall Bar – Sadie Nencini – and some dj sets from Peach Club … I caught them enthusiastically playing the likes of Blondie, The Ting Tings, Abba, and The Sugababes!

 

peach club

 

 

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The headliners were of course London-based Yassassin, who played a storming set in the same venue recently, supporting the excellent PINS. I was chuffed to be remembered by bassist Raissa from last time and to hear how glad they were to be back in Norwich, and at the end of the night she praised the other acts, NAC, and made some complimentary comments from the stage on her observations of the city and in particular the strength of the music and the supportive togetherness of the Norwich musical community.

 

yassassin

 

First act of the night though was Vaudevue who recently impressed me at Old School Studios and they did again tonight.  Young (16), confident, wonderfully spiky attitude and huge power. They made a big sound and a big impression … super drumming from Ben (the only boy on stage all night) and a fantastic voice owned by Kate who has great stage presence too (and a Labour sticker on her guitar … )

vaudevue

 

 

 

vaudevue

vaudevue

 

 

In the bar it was my first chance to catch Sadie Nencini, known to many through Annie’s Sonic Youths.  She held the crowd captive and silent with her short but stunning set. Another special Norwich talent, again, she is apparently just sixteen too.

 

sadie nencini

 

It’s always a great occasion when GRACELAND play the Arts Centre and this was no exception, tight and in great form, Rosie leading some fun between song jokes and conversation with the audience and they also showed off a few new songs which sounded superb.

 

graceland

 

 

There is such an infectious spirit about Yassassin and the way they play, their personalities and the bloody good fun they have onstage, they play with joy and passion and just ooze rock n roll spirit, bouncing around in wild abandon.  The room seemed to have really filled up when they started and the atmosphere was good.  They were also completely on the same wavelength as their audience by dedicating a song to Jeremy Corbyn and leading the crowd with some chants of “Jez We Can” … which I forgot to mention to them afterwards was precisely the caption on a window opposite!

 

yassassin

 

 

 

#jezwecan #jc4pm #jeremycorbyn #labour #instamood #norwich

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Anna, Joanna, Moa, Raissa & Ruth are a super band and great to hang out with, I love their onstage energy and also admire the energy to get back to London after the gig for work in the morning!

 

Big thanks to PONY UP, all the artists and NAC for another absolutely cracking night.  Once again there was loads going on in the city but there was still a healthy turnout for this gem. It is a slight curiosity that there were not more young Riot Grrrls in the audience but after two storming Norwich gigs now, word will get out about the brilliant Yassassin.

 

yassassin

 

 

 

yassassin

 

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Ryley Walker + Health & Beauty @ NAC 20 June 2017

On the eve of the summer solstice during one of the hottest Junes I can recall I headed once again to the wonderful Norwich Arts Centre for the latest in a string of great gigs.  This was one of the very best of all.  I am not entirely sure what I expected but it wasn’t quite this and Ryley Walker and his band totally exceeded all of my expectations.

ryley walkerryley walker

 

 

Shortly after 8pm the support took to the stage, Health and Beauty, who are of course the band who will later play alongside Ryley Walker.  It’s hot and the room isn’t yet too full as many don’t want to be inside before they have to but the band are certainly interesting and I’d like to listen to their recordings properly at home, there are a lot of influences going on in there.

health and beauty

 

When Ryley Walker and the band come on the room has filled considerably and the band are locked into some epic sounds. Any preconceptions of folky blues are immediately banished as we have some full on rock jam sounds and some brilliant playing to an asbolutely adoring audience.  There was a welcome feel of 70s rock and psychedia which was utterly mesmerising throughout.  All four of them are compelling musicians to watch and listen to, the drummer producing some incredible and inventive sounds.  Towards the close of the set Ryley opens up about depression and says “All I have is the music. Music is all I can give” at which point the drummer leaps from his kit to hug him. A beautiful moment.  They are tight as a musical unit and as a group of friends. There was an inclusiveness about their personas onstage, even inviting a “guitar doctor” to re-string a guitar.  Being Norwich, there was of course someone happy to oblige.

 

 

The evening didn’t end there though, Ryley invited us to join him at the Ten Bells where it was a real privilege to hang out and talk music with these really lovely people.  The gig had a similar feel to the Rainbow Girls/Marty O’Reilly visits, fantastic music played by truly warm and open, friendly people. This was one of my favourite gigs of the year so far, without a doubt. Next stop for them is Glastonbury, on Sunday.

 

ryley walker

 

 

ryley walker

 

ryley walker

 

The Eaton Park Cafe, run by the Bicycle Shop, has resumed its live music nights for the summer and on Friday I went there for the ever-lovely Phoebe Troup who played a couple of sets. Mainly her own beautifully expressive compositions but with a few well-chosen covers that she put her own take on, including a completely re-arranged Wicked Game.

 

 

On Saturday I headed to The Owl Sanctuary for the Painted Heathers album launch which included Blank Lines, Aseasita, and the excellent Blisster on the bill for an Off With Their Records night that also featured a dj set from Sink Ya Teeth.

 

aseasitablisster

blank linesblank linespainted heatherspainted heathers 5

 

Last week at NAC Georgia Shackleton dedicated a song to David and The Stanford Arms in Lowestoft, which thanks to Hot Raisin was my destination on Sunday.  They were three very hot Raisins indeed with Tory, Mary and Luke playing their hearts out on an incredibly hot afternoon.  They had one or two new songs which sounded great, plus a couple of new covers, including Miss Ohio by the amazing Gillian Welch, for which Mary used a shot glass as a slide.  I love Hot Raisin and their company … they are my anti-depressant 🙂

 

hot raisinhot raisinhot raisin

 

#hotraisin #stanfordarms #lowestoft #instamood #livemusicphotography #livemusic #guitar #guitarsofinstagram @hotraisinmusic

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The weekend’s music closed in balmy, relaxed style back in Norwich at Platform Twelve with some incredible guitar work from Peter, Chester, Anoush, a set from French Dog and some piano from Robin.

 

#sundayacousticsession #platform12 #platformtwelve #norwich #norwichmusiccityuk

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The Georgia Shackleton Trio + Alden, Patterson & Dashwood + Hen’s Teeth @ NAC 15 June 2017

gst

 

Some out and out traditional folk was hosted at Norwich Arts Centre, put on and introduced by Georgia Shackleton herself, already established as a folk legend in Norwich.  Fittingly, it tied in with the unveiling of a blue plaque for NAC itself to recognise its invaluable services to local music.

 

georgia shackleton

 

Pint in hand, she introduced the opening act, Norwich supergroup trio Alden, Patterson and Dashwood.  I’ve already seen this amazing outfit a number of times, as for Noel, I would not be surprised if he is the musician I have seen most of all over the years, performing as he does with The Vagaband, Lisa Redford, Dumbfoundus, Feral Mouth, Jess Morgan Trio … et al.  He is also great at the introductions to the songs, even down to the details of his flip-flops but anything is forgiven when Ferryman’s Court is one of those songs, this charming song is always one of the many highlights of an AP&D set.

 

alden, patterson and dashwood

 

alden, patterson and dashwood

 

alden, patterson and dashwood

 

A very short turnaround for Hen’s Teeth who entertained the nearly full auditorium in some balmy June heat before making way to The Georgia Shackleton Trio for an incredibly well and lovingly received set, which in turn evolved into a full on all-bands-on-stage-finale that brought the house down.  During the GST set though, they included a magnificent and well-deserved tribute to the best pub in the east, David Burd’s Stanford Arms in Lowestoft, a pub I have happily and enthusiastically championed since my first visit and meetings with David himself and his wonderful regulars, some of whom have become really good friends through musical meetings both in Norwich and Lowestoft. David himself is such a positive presence and promoter of local music and musicians, realising and rewarding their importance, worth and value, just as NAC does.

 

hen's teeth

Hen’s Teeth

 

georgia shackleton triogeorgia shackleton trio

 

georgia shackleton trio

 

Earlier in the day, Norwich Arts Centre unveiled the incredibly well-deserved blue plaque in recognition of its sterling services to music in the region.

 

norwich arts centre

 

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BBC Music Day @ Norfolk & Norwich Millennium Library, 15 June 2017

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BBC Music Day was celebrated at the Norfolk & Norwich Millenium Library courtesy of Norfolk Music Library with three lovely short lunchtime sets from Andrea King, Georgia King (no relation), and folk duo Of the Clay.

 

andrea king

Andrea King

 

It’s always a pleasure to hear Andrea perform and around a cover of Jolene she played some of her absolutely gorgeous originals.

 

georgia king

Georgia King

 

Georgia King, known to many as one of The Piratones, was playing her impressive debut solo gig here. Just her and an electric guitar we heard the power of her special voice and her own songs.  Hopefully she will have some more solo gigs coming up very soon.

 

of the clay

Of the Clay

 

Of the Clay are one of my favourite discoveries of the year and their three song set showcased their differing styles which featured the vocals and guitar of both Niamh and Joe, as well as fiddle and shruti box. Magical as always.

 

 

The next BBC Music Day event will take place next week, Thursday 22 June at NAC and featuring Yassassin (who were amazing supporting PINS there recently) along with GRACELAND, and Vaudevue. Pay what you can.

 

Many thanks to Andrea, Georgia, Niamh & Joe, and Stuart, Norfolk Music Library.

 

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Vieux Farka Touré + Ida Mae @ NAC 13 June 2017

Once again Norwich Arts Centre bring us some world class music with Ida Mae – recently signed to Decca playing a rare home-town gig, and Vieux Farka Touré – son of Malian desert blues legend Ali and a genius guitarist in his own right, so it felt fitting the following morning to learn that the NAC will deservedly be awarded a blue plaque by BBC Music in recognition of its contribution to musical heritage.

vieux farka toure

It’s always a treat to see Chris and Steph onstage together and after a long spell not playing while they record their debut album with Ethan Johns they looked fresh and hungry, eager to play. They opened with an unexpected but brilliant, powerful cover of Neil Young’s Ohio.  Great dynamics in their voices, playing and presence these two have when they are onstage and they sounded just fantastic at NAC. During the final song Chris detuned his steel resonator to create something really low and grungey, a great way to close the set. Exciting times for Ida Mae, I think we are going to be seeing a lot more from them, both locally and beyond.

ida mae

 

ida maeida mae

 

Vieux Farka Touré was also here early last year in a tremendous sellout gig and although there were not quite as many here this time it was still a very healthy sized crowd who were appreciative and involved. Lots of dancing down the front and a bit of singing along – not always totally successfully – with Vieux covering his ears between a wide smile and one particular voice, quoting his Father: “He always said, if you rely on your music and you sound like that … you’re in trouble!”  It was very good natured and a lot of fun, super guitar and bass and I also loved the songs that featured the impressive sound of the calabash drum at the front.  Playing flawlessly as a three-piece they are touring the album “Samba”.

vieux farka toure

 

vieux farka tourevieux farka tourevieux farka tourevieux farka tourevieux farka tourevieux farka toure

vieux farka toure

chris and steph

VIEUX FARKA TOURE

Return of the Second-Born – “The Hendrix of the Sahara” Vieux Farka Touré sings of family, nature, and struggle on his newest album Samba.

When the producers of the Woodstock Sessions, a hybrid/live recording series in Saugerties, NY, asked Malian guitarist and vocalist Vieux Farka Touré to stop by in 2015, he didn’t have enough time to make it happen. Intrigued, he promised to return the following year. Making good on his word, the result of that incredible session is now Touré’s newest album, Samba (Six Degrees Records).

Instead of reinvigorated takes on old material, the ten songs on Samba are all brand new. Given Touré’s natural musical curiosity, the far-reaching blend of Malian blues and praise song, funk, reggae, and rock make this his most mature, well-rounded effort to date. The live element, where Touré excels as a performer, shines through on every track, even though the band stopped whenever they wanted to change something up. This was not your average performance.

IDA MAE

“It’s quite some transformation from their grunge-blues band Kill It Kid, but former members, and now husband and wife, Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean are opening up a whole new musical world. The duo are now emerging from a period of self-discovery and mutual creative power to create the rawboned and stripped back musical romance that is, Ida Mae.

Like previous generations of suburban kids growing up under heavy English skies burdened with rain, Chris and Stephanie became spellbound by the warm, sorrowful sounds of the Mississippi Delta. The working class songs of the South blew into Britain during the 1960’s like a hot storm and still held influence long after The Rolling Stones left Muscle Shoals. Following suit from other artists like Buckingham Nicks, John Martyn or Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Chris and Stephanie combine a fresh breath of British Blues with the honest songcraft of the Ryan Adams’ & Ray LaMontagnes’ of the world.

Ida Mae’s magic lies in the sensuous dovetailing of two voices and the intimacy of their songs. Their chemistry on stage isn’t just a dramatic pose and is a truly captivating sight to behold. Chris’ vocals are reminiscent of a Face’s era Rod Stewart or Steve Marriott, while Stephanie combines the delicacy of Patty Griffin with the effortless rock-chic of Alison Mosshart. Singing together, the couple have an unusual ‘which-is- which’ dynamic.

After finding critical acclaim with Kill it Kid, spending years touring various parts of the world, and working closely with legendary A&R man Seymour Stein, Chris and Stephanie felt drawn to a more honest sound, a simpler expression of song where all you need is a guitar and a voice to accompany it. Currently working on their debut album with acclaimed producer and friend Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams / Ray Lamontagne / Kings Of Leon / Laura Marling) their partnership with Decca Records is set to be the most exciting adventure they’ve ever embarked on together.”

Big thanks and congratulations to NAC for this richly deserved recognition of a fantastic venue.

 

At the weekend I was fortunate enough to catch two of Anoush Saadat’s three Sunday gigs, this video taken at Frank’s; where I am not altogether sure some of those drinking and chatting realised quite what they were missing with this exceptional flamenco guitar from the chap in the corner.  Their loss, this was incredible!

 

 

 

#openyoureyestotorylies #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #instamood #norwich #jc4pm

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Gossamer Thread’s Curious Cabaret @ Norwich Playhouse 10 June 2017

Daisy and Alex of Gossamer Thread Circus brought us another first-rate evening of varied cabaret entertainment and escapism. As well as some brilliant new routines of their own they held a night at Norwich Playhouse which was compered by Joe Black and featured visits from burlesque artist Betsy Rose who performed two excellent acts, and the quite astonishing Rod Laver who did the most incredible things with playing cards and ping pong balls!  Truly had to be seen to be believed.

 

gossamer thread

Joe Black

gossamer thread

Betsy Rose

gossamer thread

Rod Laver

gossamer thread

Rod Laver

gossamer thread

Betsy Rose

gossamer thread

Betsy Rose

gossamer thread

Betsy Rose

gossamer thread

Rod Laver

gossamer thread

Alex the Mind Reader

gossamer thread

Alex the Mind Reader

gossamer thread

Daisy Black

gossamer thread

Daisy Black

 

Fresh from a recent appearance at the Spiegeltent for the NNF17 Daisy had an amusing and inventive new routine with the hoops and a breathtaking finale on aerial chains.  Alex, as ever, was mind-bogglingly brilliant mind-reading, and most amusing with it too.

 

gossamer thread

Betsy Rose

 

 

GOSSAMER THREAD’S CURIOUS CABARET

“Quite simply the best show in town.” – Future Radio

“Stunning” – NorwichBlog.com

“This show was the living, breathing, twirling, sparkling embodiment of entertainment… Gossamer Thread bring the art of cabaret and variety show back with a vengeance from 1816 to 2016. 10/10” – OutlineOnline Magazine

Gossamer Thread’s Vaudeville Co. return to the Norwich Playhouse joined by a stellar line-up of first-class international circus, cabaret and burlesque performers!

Hosted by the ‘King of cabaret noir’ (Metro) JOE BLACK.
‘Amazing’ – Jonathan Ross.

Featuring word-record-holding, multi-award-winning ROD LAVER (‘Bizarre, breath-taking, truly unique’ – Derren Brown), the UK’s #1 burlesque artist BETSY ROSE (21st Century Burlesque Magazine’s Top 50 2017), plus Gossamer Thread’s circus artist and producer DAISY BLACK, and fresh from performing his cabaret-award nominated show in Australia, mind reader ALEX McALEER.

 

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