Yet another trip to Swanage (my tenth and with accommodation already booked for March and Oct next year).
Reading through the feedback, it is obvious that I am not alone in my love of this twice yearly party. You cant please all of the people all of the time, but Steve, this comes pretty close I would say. There is so much going on at any time, and where else can you flit between venues to suit mood and energy levels in that moment, heat, hunger and if able to get in. The great photos capture not only the musicians, but the fact that this has ageless appeal. Photos of people either in their own little music ecstasy bubble, or people looking like they are at the best party are brilliant.
There are cases where the nurturing and encouraging contribution has led people to have their own slot (Paint it Blue) gorgeous. Blue Touch with their raunchy, blues/rock certainly 'refresh the parts.
I love getting on the Ferry and leaving responsibilities behind. I would make the journey for the Friday 2pm session in The Red Lion and Robin's Jam session on Sunday afternoon alone. Everything else is ladles full of icing on the cake.
There is always something extra and in my case, sitting with friends, having lunch and listening to Anita and Alice in Brook Tea rooms, sitting outside eating fish and chips while hearing The Riotous Brothers and being swept off my feet by a young man while dancing to Black Magic Woman at Robin Bibi's gig Saturday night bring a smile to my face. The chilli/hot chocolate in the chocolate shop, great food in Earthlights, not to mention red wine consumption as do not have to drive anywhere, has also added a couple of pounds - but worth every calorie!
As with some parties, there are gatecrashers who don't bring a bottle. Apologies to those who are experiencing hard times, but I hope those who could contribute to the buckets and don't will make up for it another time or we are going to lose this wonderful event.
Thank you Steve and your friends for these great six days and nights a year xx
We've just returned from our first visit to Swanage Blues and we wanted to let you know that we both had a fantastic time . Today I have booked time off work for March 2012 and we're counting the days! I will be sending a cheque to become a friend of Swanage Blues and hopefully this will help in a small way.
JD from Solihull said:
Four of us stayed at the Danefort Hotel/Guest House - smashing. We saw the Mustangs in the White Swan on Friday - superb as usual. We couldn't get in through the doors of the Black Swan for Will Killeen on Saturday so went back on Sunday lunch time - Absolutely spell binding! Terrific.
Saturday night - we went back down to the White Swan for "FREED" - Great show - really enjoyed that one too. had a stroll on Saturday afternoon myself - and caught about 20 minutes of the Riotous Brothers - Smashing.
No bad points - the whole weekend was great.
Thanks - I hope to visit again - this was our 2nd Blues Weekend but we have visited a few other times and caught other live acts.
Keep it up!
Another great weekend! So nice to see the Worried Men play at the festival, they went down a storm and I know Jamie loved playing to an appreciative crowd
These festivals in Swanage just keep getting better and better (if that’s possible!)
We had a great weekend at the “Blues Party” in October, staying at The White Horse for bed and breakfast, and must just put in a mention of the lovely staff and super breakfasts!!
Where can I start to say how much we enjoyed the many fantastic bands and musicians?
All were great, but I have to make special mention of the following :-
Pete Harris Band were truly entertaining as always. We saw them at the British Legion, where we were fortunate to have Steve (Darrington) add his keyboard talent too. The British Legion is a really spacious venue, with a good stage, great if you want to watch the band in comfort. Food is available, and room on a dance floor too.
The Mustangs – a really amazing band with absolute true feeling for the music, Adam is so energetic on stage it’s contagious! Great to dance to and to sit and listen to, in fact this band has something for everyone no matter how you like your Blues music!
The Robin Bibi band – a unique sound, headed by the charismatic and versatile Robin Bibi. Absolutely great music, dynamic and exciting! The jam session held at The White Horse showed us some fantastic talent in the new young band “Blues Machine”
Will Killeen gave yet another dazzling performance at The Black Swan. Absolutely amazing guitarist!
Freed – absolutely superb tribute band to Free, with their own fantastic sound.
Thanks so much to all the people who give their time and energy to make this event such a success.....and looking forward to the next one.
I came over on Saturday and stayed for a good few hours in the British Legion, where I thought both the music and the venue were excellent. I shall certainly be attending in March! Congratulations - you obviously do a brilliant job of organising this
Better than ever. ! Thanks so much for all your hard work organising the Swanage Blues Festival.
Hi Steve .......first time for us and thoroughly enjoyed 3 days of blues and rock. Have already booked hotel for next October. Can’t do the first one. Keep up the good work.
I know a little about organising music events having run a one off concert with only five bands on, so I dread to think what you must go through, and twice a year !! - all I can say is well done.
We attended a couple of gigs on Friday in Swanage and then on Sunday we saw the blues duo Tommy Allen & Johnny Hewitt at the Bankes Arms in Corfe. They were brilliant, real authentic Chicago Maxell Street Blues, close your eyes and your back in the mid fifties, particularly when they appeared outside with steam trains in the rolling hills beyond, excellent!
A special word about your Lady Helper in Corfe, she was also a real star and a real credit to your festival, getting the band set up and chatting to us all when they arrived a trifle late, (delayed from Detroit?) she handled it splendidly. I really hope you can book Tommy and Johnny again for next year.
Once again a big thank you.
I am lost for words I know we say it each year what a great week-end you give us. This year you surpassed yourself, every Band needs a mention they were unbelievable. What a brilliant Festival. Any chance you can get Back Porch and Kris Dollimore back in March?
Firstly - another brilliant and enjoyable festival. I'm already looking forward to March and have been coming for about 7 years now. Certainly pre the start of the October extra festivals - a very welcome addition.
My best bands were The Riotous Brothers, Back Porch Band, (ubiquitous) Riverside Blues Band although of course enjoyed Robin Bibi hugely. We really MISSED Coalhouse Walker.
Anita Jardine said:
Def the Best Blues Party in the South East! I think I probably had the best time ever this October too and not only because I was playing 'officially" : )
Thanks to you Steve, Swanage Blues is such a wonderful combination of musicians and audiences that encourage artists to develop and progress. I count it as one of my fave influences as well as being rocking good fun. All credit and power to you for getting it together!
It's such a triumph what you've achieved and great that you keep on in these, as you say, difficult times. I love the way you have listened to what people say and manage to keep the true blues spirit alive and indubitably kicking!
The Jawbreakers said:
I think the festival this time round was the best yet. We’re really looking forward to March if we’re lucky enough to play. There’s something about Swanage that brings out the best in the band, the guys really played their socks off and such great venues – I can’t praise the management and staff at the Crow’s Nest , the RBL and the Ship highly enough, nothing was too much trouble. The Bucketeers also did a fantastic job over the weekend.
The Crow's Nest management and staff were fantastic and made us really welcome - we had a great night. Saturday at the British Legion, same again. By the way - Tim Harrison - what a talent!
Rhythm Zoo said:
We had a brilliant time and love Swanage, hope you'll have us back again.
Blue Touch said:
Congratulations on pulling off another marvellous weekend! I hope you are getting some chance to chill out after what must be a frantic run up to the event.
All of us would like to thank you for having us on the bill. We certainly had a great time, meeting up with old and new friends, and of course if there's a chance to play at the March event, please bear us in mind, we'd love to be there!
Let's hope if there's another 'British Blues Awards' next year, that Swanage will get the full recognition it deserves!
Sonny Black said:
Hi Steve, thanks for a crackin' festival (again!). All three venues were brilliant and we were looked after really well. The Grand is the perfect gig to end the weekend and the Ship at Langton was a real treat (if there was ever a chance of doing two nights there I'd grab it!). Went back there Sat afternoon for some lunch, great food as well. Hope your gigs were as enjoyable as ours and I wish you well with your new solo/duo career!
Paint It Blue said:
We had a great time at Bar Se7en on Saturday, the venue was full and the audience were involved and happy to dance and sing and clap along with us. A Bucketeering friend has said that there were generous donations made during the gig, which we are very pleased to hear. Lots of people said that they had heard us last March and had come back to see us, and we had been recommended to others.
Our album sold very well at the gig, as well as on the Sunday where I was approached around the town by people who'd heard us at the gig and the jams and wanted to buy one!
All in all, a very positive weekend. Thanks again for having us, and as I'm sure you'd expect, we would love to have the opportunity to play at Swanage again. Kind regards and thanks!
Riverside Blues Band said:
Our congratulations on another great festival. Both the Riverside Blues Bands gigs (The Anchor and Grand Hotel) and the Steamer gig (The Anchor) went off with no problems at all.
Pete Harris Blues Band said:
Once again thanks for having us. We had a really good time, as always. Well done and thanks for all your hard work.
Robin Bibi said:
We had a great time!! This was probably one of the most relaxed festivals yet for us...
Tommy Allen said:
Johnny and I had a great time - thanks again.
N & J W said:
First and foremost THANK YOU we do appreciate your hard work.
Our BEST BANDS Robin Bibi – EXCELLENT David Raphael band – EXCELLENT Lewis Cohen – EXCELLENT
All bands that we saw were just the best. All venues are awesome and again THANK YOU.
We camped at HERSTON campsite - again EXCELLENT and lucky to have kind weather on our side. And COUNTRY FOODS KITCHEN just the best grub going.
Thanks Steve and Co. and see you in March.
N from Dorset said:
My Highlights were Paint it Blue, especially Pete on lead guitar, Steve Brooks Band, sounding good in White Swan, and Jawbreakers, in Ship. Other bands were good but 20% too loud for my ears, i.e. Blue Touch, C Sharp , Freezer and Pete H's vocals. Freed was disappointing, with the bassist sounding out of tune.
My partner and I really enjoyed the blues week-end, witnessing some great bands. Just one comment, we couldn't find one particular venue in the town as there wasn't a map printed on our programme, that would be really helpful please for next time, Thanks. Keep up the good work!
Firstly again thank you for your unstinting work and organisation of the festival.
There are 5 of us who regularly attend and meet up and each time come away with thanks for a great time of good music in a great place.
We enjoy listening and participating in the open mike sessions. Johnny and Martin marvellous. Variety of artists every 15 mins. Band of the weekend was Paint It Blue. Deserve an evening spot. Two of us 50 year olds queued to buy a CD from Hannah.
The worried men next. Great personality. Motel 6 missed the second guitarist.
Blue touch almost ok. Bar 7 is a poor venue for watching and no real ale.
Back porch enjoyable. Always enjoy Steve Brookes but prefer as soloist.
Bibi is an excellent musician but personality not for us.
Crows Nest most welcoming pub. Staff appreciative of bands and punters.
BK from London said:
Thanks for all your hard work keeping this going.
I was quite happy strolling down from London and seeing as much as possible having booked 3 bed flat with friends thru Wyke properties.
Lucky with weather this time & enjoyed sunny early morning strolls along length of bay.
Best gig was your one at Swanage Bay Holiday Camp. Volume was acceptable & seating was good. This holiday camp had the best beer for the whole festival,-Green King IPA straight from the barrel,at an excellent room temperature. The Camp excelled themselves.
Pubs had very disappointing beer, even Red Lion. Even the Square & Compass had poor beer , 4 on which included 1 sour one sent back.
Bar 7 had some reasonable beer that disappeared next night. Bibi band played far too loud, as always....!!!, they could be enjoyable if they turned down 'drastically'
Most of the other bands were much too loud, - as a musician I should be used to loud music !!! Jawbreakers were ok volume -wise
Maybe I'm getting 'olde' too quick, but I'm in a quandary whether to come to more festivals, - but I probably will.