Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Frome Blues Festival 2013

Well that's North Dorset Folk Festival 2013 reviewed but I'm quite sure that you haven't heard the last of it. 

There is no rest for the wicked and so the following day it was all change. I was closer to home, less then a fifteen minute walk, at Frome Blues Festival 2013. I have to say I wondered how it, and the change of genre, would fare with me in comparison to the previous day. My stamina was one thing I was pretty confident about - this was no test like End of The Road Festival in that respect!

The good news is, that at least from my point of view, it was all good and I have now had ten days to think about it. What I haven't done much of is working through the pictures that I took that day...
It was opened byAlbany Down that I first experienced live saw live at Rook Lane Arts in Frome earlier in the year as support for Chantel McGregor; a few months after she had played Frome Blues Festival 2012 as first support.

Here is my first take on Albany Down at Frome Blues Festival 2013 and, no doubt about it, they were very impressive.
That isn't the quite the term that I would have chosen six months ago.
I couldn't have taken this then either but it was, in all probability, not there to be taken.
To be quite honest Ron Sayer Jr. had no intent to be taken lightly, and with some reason, if not always exactly perhaps the one that he had in mind. 
He was good but his band kept him on tip-toes all the time and that is well worth seeing.
Innes Sibun was new to me but blues-rock of some impact. Indeed I thought in the moment that it might even become the highlight of the day but, while that ultimately was not to be so, it says a great deal about Frome Blues Festival. 
Innes Sibun on lead guitar.
With album 'Lost In The Wilderness' to trial. It is released 18 November 2013 in the UK.
Jo Harman and Company became the first and only act to play both editions of Frome Blues Festival. Last year I noted that I was impressed and this year was a step change.
Here, during an instrumental interlude, is the eponymous vocalist with a quite different take on blues-rock. Jo Harman is one-to-watch in 2014, there is no doubt about that.
First support was Nimmo Brothers and kicked some ass... as well as it falling to them by fâte to announce the sad demise of of Lou Reed. Their response was anything but a sombre set but then again I don't think that is what he would have wanted. As live performances go this could truly be described as visceral.
This was at the start of the set and shows all of the band. While clearly committed it gave little hint of the intensity that was to follow. Not least the brothers' dual lead guitar work and certainly not that it would become quite as complicated as this. I took this next picture on a hope and a prayer, whilst simultaneously trying to believe in that which I was watching.
It would be a good trick if...    and they certainly could.
In some ways this repeated last year's festival when the first support act, Chantel McGregor, pitched the headline act into what proved to be an impossible situation. The Climax Blues band headlined this year, and it was excellent too. It was made quite clear however that it was fully aware of what it had to follow. On any other occasion either could have been the highlight of a marvellous day for the pleasingly large audience. It just so happened that Frome Blues Festival came with more than one highlight... and I for one can't help but look forward to the next edition.
Here are a few pictures of Climax Blues Band and, I have to say, I must start with their astonishing saxophonist.

Some slide guitar to die for...

...and a lead singer for whom the epithet 'craggy' is something of an understatement.  
What a wonderful day that was. See you next year!

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