Ealing Blues Festival 2013

The Ealing Blues Festival, previously only lasting one day (Sunday), was extended to the whole penultimate weekend of July for the first time this year, and looked like being a great success on both days.

Ealing Blues Festival 2013 - the Bar
This was still early in the day

Basschat may not have had its own table or corner at the event, but there were many Basschatters both in the audience and on stage on both days.

Throughout the weekend we were treated to many excellent, established acts and collaborations on all stages. On the main stage, the festival was opened on Saturday by Robert Hokum Blues Band, with Basschatter Jim Reece on bass.

Robert Hokum Blues Band @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013
Robert Hokum Blues Band on the main stage
The Proof on the main stage
The Proof on the main stage

Besides its newly extended length, the festival saw another first this year: the presence of a small but perfectly functional stage in the left-hand corner of the beer tent. Due to its proximity to the main stage and the noise coming from it, the bar stage was used by performers only during the intervals between main stage acts. A sizeable audience gathered, drink in hand, every time the music was on.

In some cases, such as that of Jump 66 with Basschatter Paul King on double bass and walkabouts, the bopping along and the amused gawping far exceeded the drinking.

Jump 66 @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (1)
Jump 66 on the bar stage
Jump 66 @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (2)
Jump 66
Jump 66 @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (3)
Paul of Jump 66
Jump 66 @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (4)
Jump 66 – the gran finale

Karen Byrne and the Mobile Clones had them dancing and singing along to the classics.

Karen Byrne @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (1)
Karen Byrne and the Mobile Clones
Karen Byrne @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (2)
Tim, Karen and Ralph
Karen Byrne @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (3)
Everybody knows “Mustang Sally”

Some acts were a little quieter but still intriguing.

Mark Harrison @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013
Mark Harrison on the bar stage

The other two stages at the festival – the main stage, near the entrance, and the South stage, farther away – were also as busy as ever.

Ealing Blues Festival 2013 - Main Stage
The main stage
Ealing Blues Festival 2013 - South Stage
The south stage

Along the walk between the stages there were refreshments sellers and arts and crafts tents. There was also a tent for the Ealing Club, a venue and a project “dedicated to promoting, preserving and furthering Ealing’s Blues and Rock Heritage”, whose owner is the festival organiser and headline performer Rober Hokum.

At the Ealing Club tent I talked to Alistair and to Giorgio, the director of the “SUBURBAN STEPS TO ROCKLAND” – The Story of The Ealing Club documentary about West London’s Rhythm and Blues scene. I am now intrigued and keen to know more about it!

Ealing Club - Marshall Tee
Jim “Father of Loud” Marshall was a West Londoner born and bred
Ealing Club - Giorgio
Director Giorgio Guernier

Another incarnation of Robert Hokum’s band, the Devil Drives (still with Jim Reece on bass), closed the proceedings on the main stage at the end of Saturday.

The Devil Drives @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (1)
The Devil Drives
The Devil Drives @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (2)
The Devil Drives
The Devil Drives @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (3)
Jim Reece and Robert Hokum of The Devil Drives

Sunday’s proceedings were again opened on the main stage by the Robert Hokum Blues Band, and then the punters were treated to many more high quality bands (see link to the lineup flyer below), and the two spectacular closing acts – Sam Kelly and Friends on the South stage, and headliners Dr Feelgood on the main stage.

Gary Fletcher Band @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013
Gary Fletcher Band on the south stage
The Spikedrivers on the main stage
The Spikedrivers on the main stage
Sam Kelly and Friends @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (1)
Sam and Friends on the south stage: Jerome Marcus, Tony Qunta and Sam Kelly
Sam Kelly and Friends @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (2)
Sam and Friends on the south stage: Jerome Marcus, Tony Qunta, Sam Kelly, Lisa Marini, Rowena Poole, Spy Austin and Paul Jobson
Sam Kelly and Friends @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (3)
Sam and Friends on the south stage: Sam Kelly, Lisa Marini, Rowena Poole and Spy Austin
Sam Kelly and Friends @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (4)
Sam and Friends on the south stage: Frankie Connolly and Lisa Marini
Dr Feelgood @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (1)
Dr Feelgood on the main stage
Dr Feelgood @ the Ealing Blues Festival 2013 (2)
Steve Walwyn and P H Mitchell of Dr Feelgood

It was a fantastic weekend of music basking in glorious weather, and I’m sure I’m not the only one in the audience who hopes that the festival’s new two-day format becomes permanent.

Links

http://basschat.co.uk/

http://www.ealing-club.com/

http://www.ealingsummerfestivals.com/wp-content/uploads/Ealing-Blues-Festival-2013-line-up.pdf

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