It’s here! It’s finally here! Yup, we’re excited and of course there are plenty of reasons why you should be too. With Christmas out of the way, this weekend we have some of the best British blues artists on their annual pilgrimage to Lincolnshire. Just in case you have been living under a rock, or in a nuclear bunker, The Great British Rock & Blues Festival is upon us.
The Great British Rock & Blues Festival
Hosted entirely within the Butlins resort in Skegness, the festival boasts 50 established and emerging acts, spread across four ‘stages’. The reason I use inverted commas is because this isn’t exactly Glastonbury, and not in a bad way. With indoor venues, a range of facilities available across the resort and fantastic accommodation – this is right up our street. However, it is almost certainly still going to rain.
The great acts are spread across a Rock stage, a Blues stage, an Introducing stage and the Blues Matters! stage, all just a short walk from each other. As the full lineup has been announced for a while now, we have had plenty of time to get excited. With all the bloggers making lists these days, we have decided to get in on the act. We present to you The 5 Acts Getting Us Excited For The Great British Rock & Blues Festival. This hasn’t been easy…
Okay sorry, this one was easy. Very easy in fact if you’ve been lucky enough to hear her debut album Wildfire. With excellent track such as Barrel Of Your Gun, Howlin’ Wolf and a bluesy cover of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, Bailey has set the bar high. Fortunately she can more than deliver on the stage, we were fortunate enough to catch her at the New Crawdaddy Club in Billericay shortly before it’s closure.
We see Elles Bailey as the British response to similar rootsy but contemporary stateside acts like ZZ Ward and Fantastic Negrito. For those that know what is good for us can catch Elles late on Sunday evening on the Blues Matters! stage.
Jack J Hutchinson
Another straightforward choice for us, mainly because he is such a nice guy! Jack has been known to the Blue Cafe for a while since we caught him playing some acoustic blues on a pallet in a muddy field at Blues On The Farm in 2016. Since then, well he has played a gig everywhere, he has properly put in the hard yards for success. And yet when you meet him he’s not the sort of melt trying too hard to get noticed. He’s just a regular bloke with some insane songwriting ability.
Okay, so regular bloke is a bit unfair but you get my drift. Just listen to his new album Paint No Fiction and the whole regular-guy thing goes out the window. We are pumped to see Jack again, and this time with more than a soggy-pallet. You can check out Jack and his Boom Boom Brotherhood long after dark on Friday evening on also on the Blues Matters! stage. In the meantime check out the video for his track Deal With The Devil below.
This whole exercise is actually easier than I made out, we love Rebecca. We also love her band. You can read our review of one of Rebecca’s gigs by clicking here, and after reading that you will find we have very little left to say that hasn’t already been said.
Rebecca and the band keep themselves busy on the road, and you can keep track of them on Rebecca’s Instagram. Be warned, she loves a selfie. Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, pick your poison, just make sure you listen to her album Believe. Unless your nursing a hangover, you can check out Rebecca and her band Saturday lunchtime on the Blues stage.
You like Roots?
You’ll like Mike Ross. You’ll love Mike Ross. I won’t wax lyrical about Mike Ross, I don’t need to. You just need to make sure you get to the Introducing stage at 5pm on Friday evening. Yup, he’s been crowbarred in early in proceedings but that’s no excuse to miss him, with a proper roots sound you’ll be surprised at how well the man with the beard and the hat can push your buttons before the beers have started flowing.
You can find Mike’s album Spindrift anywhere with an internet connection, get a small hit of that before the weekend and you will know what you’re in for. There’s a reason why he has beat 45 others to our hotlist, its buried somewhere in that album and it’ll be there Friday evening.
This man is a Saint, I do not need to introduce him, and I will not need to spoon-feed you the rock legend story. UFO, Babe Ruth, Paice Ashton Lord, Whitesnake, The Moody Marsden Band, need I carry on? Bernie lands on the Rock stage at 7:45 on Saturday night and he is not be missed. If you miss any act this weekend, and it is this one, have a word with yourself.
So those are the 5, with another 45 great acts hitting the stage throughout the weekend. If you want to send us a review of any of the 50 acts this weekend, please send your words and a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get on as many as we can. Now there’s not long to go, but to tide you over until Friday here are the top five tracks from our top five acts.
Photo Credit Bernie Marsden: Jan Slob
Photo Credit Jack J Hutchinson & Mike Ross: Rob Blackham
Photo Credit Elles Bailey: Eric Hobson
Photo Credit Rebecca Downes: Jason Eastope