THE first Blues at Broom Hill festival took place last Saturday at an absolutely stunning location on the very top of Edge Hill between Brailes and Epwell.
Organisers Tim Porter and Sue and Oliver Carpenter had laid on a feast; both of music and food and drink.
There was locally brewed ale from the Norman Knight at Whichford, cream teas, a hog roast, and various combinations of curries and jacket potatoes.
The weather was kind and whilst the wonderful event site was breezy, the rain held off and the day enjoyed almost uninterrupted sunshine.
The fun started at 2pm with Oliver Darling, a nationally-acclaimed musician who coincidentally was born and bred in Brailes.
He was followed by local combo Hot Wired who featured Barney Porter, son of Tim, and Mark Jervis, whose land the festival was on.
They played a funky set, not quite for blues purists but nonetheless delighted the just under 300-strong crowd with oldies including Knock on Wood and even got people up and dancing to this year’s mega hit, Get Lucky.
Up next were 24 Pesos, one of the fastest rising acts on the Brisitsh Blues scene, influenced by James Brown, Ray Charles, Howlin Wolf and many more, they brewed up a cauldron of both fast and slow numbers.
The proceedings took a bit of a sundowner from half past six with L R Phoenix all the way from Finland. Despite his Nordic ancestry, L R played very much in the style of a Mississippi porch man – while his amazing voice was highly reminiscent of Howlin Wolf with hints of Son House. He didn’t appear to need to breathe as much as the rest of us!
Penultimate band was Simon “Honeyboy” Hickling. Simon was very popular at Cox’s Yard over the years and certainly he had drawn some loyal fans to the festival whilst making some new ones. A big surprise was in store for a lad whose 21st birthday it was on Saturday, his parents had bought him a shiny new Epiphone guitar and slipped it to Honeyboy to present to him on the night. It was duly plugged in and the young man very ably played along with the band on, tongues firmly in cheeks, Messin’ with the Kid!
Headline act playing a barnstorming hour and a half was the Earl Jackson Band.
Earl, born to Jamaican parents in London is the next best thing you can see and hear to Chuck Berry, so by now the throng was pretty much all fuelled up and dancing.
I don’t recall all the songs but as well as Earl’s charismatic performance, there were some amazing keyboard solos.
Talking with Oliver Carpenter on the Sunday, Soundwaves learned he is optimistic about repeating the fun next year and has already been offered the same field.
I urge you to look out for this and give it a go. Compared with many events of this nature, Broom Hill is keenly priced at just £15, this year.
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