The Marrs Bar
12 Pierpoint street
Abdoujaparov live at The Marrs Bar
With support from Skewwhiff
Friday 22nd August 2014
£6 in advance £7 on the door
Doors 8:00pm, tickets available from The Marrs Bar, Music City and
Ex Carter USM man Les Carter’s ‘new’ band Abdoujaparov have been touring worldwide for the past 12 years, making friends, breaking stuff and generally rockin’ people’s socks.
The band is named after disgraced professional cyclist Djamolidine Abdoujaparov. famous for running over a police officer on the Champs Elysees during the Tour De France and allegedly taking too many drugs.
Abdou have made 3 albums and numerous singles and EPs.
Our fourth album, Seaside Arcade Bingo Patrol is produced by Micky Strickson, who is quite frankly a bit of a genius. It was released in May 2014 to a fabulous reaction.
2014 is already shaping up to be a good year for us with festival season booking up quite nicely.
Skewwhiff have recently released their debut album on Wholehog recordings. Although it’s been five years in the making, Skewwhiff are certainly not slackers. This female fronted four piece have played festivals and gigs extensively, honing the songs and the set in preparation ‘for Nice Little Upper’.
Genre is always a poser when faced with such variety of sound, so the fact that Skewwhiff have not been out of place supporting bass legend Mike Watt’s brand of jazz/punk and Brit-pop pioneers Dodgy, demonstrates the difficulty in pinning a pithy label to this bunch of misfits.
The majority of the album was recorded at Tower Studios with Dave Draper (Kerbdog, [spunge], Merrymouth) at the helm, with three tracks having been previously recorded with Nigel Clark, and is due to be released via The Whole Hog Recordings in April. The Whole Hog are also responsible for Slap Magazine (Supporting Local Artists and Performers), which further shows that Skewwhiff are fully ensconced in a thriving local music scene.
For a chance to win 2 free tickets email email@example.com with the subject
Last year Upton Blues Festival became, officially the largest completely free blues festival in the UK, the event was heavily supported, by bands and punters alike, the nearby fields were near full of campers, the various stages and pubs were rammed with revellers, the sun beat down throughout and from every corner of the town musicians plied their wares, showcasing the rich variety of the blues genre.
Surely with the threat of storms 2014 wouldn’t be able to compete with the previous year’s event, surely people would stay at home, the atmosphere would suffer, etc…. Well not so, the drive in on the Friday soon relieved any fears, 2000 plus people camping out supporting the festival, a figure that topped even last’s years figure and as we hit the riverside of Upton you could feel that air of excitement and expectation in the air, as the crowds gathered in their masses.
Of course you need a band that can channel that energy from the off, a band that would grab the crowd by the scruff of their collective necks and set the mood for the weekend. That band would be The Laurence Jones Band, a group that, in the space of a year have gone from playing the pubs of Upton (last year they played the festival in the courtyard of The Plough) to performing across the world with some of the biggest names in blues. Laurence and his band delivered a stunning opening set of blues rock at it’s best, drawing from the recent Temptation album as well as a few choice covers (the likes of All Along The Watchtower, Bullfrog Blues) to rapturous applause as Laurence proved again why he’s one of the most talked about young blues guitarists (and vocalists for that matter) out there.
Soon Upton was ablaze with the sounds of blues of every variety as the various pubs began their weekend’s festivities. We stuck to the Riverside stage for American rootsy blues man Charlie Morris and his Blues Group, as he delivered a glorious set of laidback blues that took in all the important blues subject matters of drinking, women and gambling, as he channeled the ghosts of the likes of Jimmy Reed and the alike during his infectious set, inciting an outbreak of dancing down towards the front, bringing the first evening’s entertainment to a frenzied close.
Over night the heavens opened, the rain came down and this fair county was lashed with a tasty storm, threatening the festivals schedule and indeed the attendance. The organisers quickly leapt into action as the rains continued to fall, decided to move the main stage from the rain battered riverside to the Memorial Hall (normally the home of the acoustic stage, which in turn was moved across to one of the accommodating pubs), enabling the show to go on. We took to a rather full and sweaty hall to catch a few numbers by Souled Out To Funk, the hall was awash with flailing limbs as the crowd lapped up a set of Soul (and disco) classics, including the likes of Car Wash, Disco Inferno and oddly enough Get Lucky (Daft Punk).
Over on the newly relocated acoustic stage nineteen year jack Blackman mesmerized a large gathering with a stunning set of originals, ragtime blues and the odd Robert Johnson cover. A quick return to the Memorial Hall in time for the New Orleans’s inspired, local heroes, Stomp & Holler, who blended sax, keys, guitar, occasional accordion and a groove-laden rhythm section creating a contagious mix of jazzy horn breaks, Latin bursts and a foot tapping, hip shaking take on the blues. The masses welcomed fan favourite renditions of St James Infirmary Blues and Web Top Checker and as the band raised the halls temperature, the weather responded accordingly as the sun made its presence felt.
With the return of the sun the festival returned to it’s scheduled line-up with the various stages returning to their original locations. I took to investigating a few of the pub stages, taking in the likes of Two Dollar Salad and Nice & Sleazy dishing out well received rock covers to over crowded rooms before wandering down to the Sports Field for a little of skiffle from Warren James, followed by a couple of impressive tracks by hot up and comer Mitch Laddie, back on the Riverside, as he nodded to his heroes Johnny Winters, Walter Trout and Stevie Ray Vaughan among others. By now the festivities and drinks were in full flow with every lick of guitar being lapped up by the hungry crowd.
David Midgen & The Twisted Roots delivered a thrilling genre blending set taking in catchy twisted blues, a touch of a jazz, a thimble of rootsy avant-garde folk and a trumpet assisted jam on something that resembles Mexican borderline Latin rock, their set was enthralling from start to finish with the slide assisted Desert Inside and the blackened lament Rev. Jack Crow proving to be set highlights among others.
The evenings entertainment included inspiring sets by new harmonica king Will Wilde and band (including a glorious rendition of Johnny “Guitar” Watsons’s” 3 Hours Past Midnight), a deft solo acoustic set by Adam Sweet (his solo album is a must buy for fans of rootsy blues), the Gambian Blues fusion of Baku Dan and the upfront, sultry Bradley’s Circus, a Dutch combo that provoked dancing, hollering and bra throwing (after a plea for panties by lead singer Lidewij Veenhuis) with a set of raw and lusty blues rock, bringing the second day to a mesmeric close.
The third and final day of Upton Blues Festival began basked in Sunshine, music poured from every corner with The Hereford Soul Choir opening proceedings on the riverside whilst I headed down to the sports field to take in a somewhat surreal yet vastly entertaining set by Stompin’ Dave, a one man, tap dancing, banjo wielding, piano bashing, guitar strumming maverick who blended bluegrass, country blues, boogie woogie and good time rock n roll to a captivated packed early afternoon crowd. Stompin’ Dave is pure entertainment, a comedic yet musically able frontman that provided tap dancing rhythm’s to the likes of House Of The Rising Sun and Minnie The Moocher, he juggled a violin on Keep My Skillet Good & Greasy and attacked a banjo on a BB King number to provide one of the most entertaining sets of the entire weekend.
A quick cider on the way back to the riverside and perhaps the most impressive band of the festival, the raw, powerful, garage blues two-piece, Henry’s Funeral Shoe, a feral combo, that combined a ton of attitude primal drums and down-tuned, low and dirty blues riffs. The brothers bashed out three-minute infectious blasts, to two thousand plus, bewitched blues aficionados, all embracing the storm the duo created on the likes of Gimme back My Morphine, Dog Scratched Ear and the edgy Janis The Stripper.
The Spikedrivers, back over on the sports field mixed a rootsy folk feel with stripped down acoustic blues, kitchen instruments collided with the more standard guitars, bass and drums set up, offering the festival something a little different, at times almost tribal and often haunting as the band proved why they’re one of the must see acoustic blues bands on the circuit right now.
In the memorial hall the likes of The Real Raj, Louise Latham and The Terry White Band plied their trade to a more than appreciative audience and whilst in the various pubs the music and beer kept flowing with the likes of Forty Blues Toes, Gwyn Ashton and Groovy Head provided the soundtrack.
To finish the weekend off, Zoe Schwarz Blues Commotion offered up a light and airy take on the blues, that ranged from jazzy ballads to a fuller blues rock sound, whilst over on the riverside the wiry Larry Miller pulled no punches as he wrestled with his guitar delivering a mesmeric masterclass of blues rock (in the style of Trout, Hendrix, Bonamassa and Moore) whilst his band ably backing him by forming a tight groove-laden platform.
As always Upton Blues Festival delivered, the organisers somehow managed to top the previous years line-up and the rising attendance levels attest to just how popular both the festival and the various formats of the blues is right now. I’ll be booking time off work around next year’s event; I highly recommend that you do the same!!!
Words Will Munn
Photos Graham Munn
Entitled ‘Between Wine and Blood”, New Model Army will release this new album on September 8th.
The album is both a brand new studio mini-album of 6 new songs and an 11 track live album recorded on the band’s current “Between Dog and Wolf” tour.
“Between Dog and Wolf”, released last September, received some of New Model Army’s best ever reviews in their 34 year career and was certainly their fastest selling album in 20 years, charting top 30 in UK and Germany and the major European tour through the end of last year reflected this success. The live album features songs recorded at London, Nottingham, Cambridge, Cologne and Amsterdam.
“Between Wine and Blood” will be available as a limited edition double CD hardback book pack, a double vinyl gatefold album and digitally. It will be available to pre-order from Tuesday 15th July. Initial quantities of CD and LP will be signed by the band and available individually, together or as a bundle with a brand new t-shirt featuring Joolz Denby’s album artwork. Pre-Orders are from: http://newmodelarmy.tmstor.es/
The band will be playing new songs on the forthcoming Between Dog and Wolf European tour part 2 in October and on the already announced special double set “Between Wine And Blood” shows in selected European cities in December. The UK dates are:
The Forum, Kentish Town
Rock City, Nottingham
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