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October 2023 Swanage Blues Festival
ALEX VOYSEY BAND
Sun 8.30pm The Legion
Whatever you love most – Delta, Chicago, Texas, British or American, you’ll find it all here, performed by four outstanding musicians with breathtaking virtuosity and fun! A huge Bonamassa fan, Alex formed the band in 2021 and is joined by bass playing force of nature Ben Hands on his incredible Dingwall 6 string, drummer Paul Arthurs who is currently enjoying huge success with the touring Kate Bush show ‘Moments of Pleasure’, and Bristol keys player and musical theatre director, Andy Alpass. Together, they bring diverse musical backgrounds to the table, a huge breadth of experience, and revel in their shared love of blues. Whatever your passion, look no further for consummate musicianship and a show not to be missed.
WOW! What a Show! What Musicianship! Alex Voysey is not only a superb musician but plays with a feeling and a passion that is true to the meaning of the blues.
Fri 2pm The Legion, Fri 9pm Herston C&C, Sat 4pm The Showbar, Sun 1pm ConClub
With their foot-stomping, danceable rhythms and a lot of fun, Back Porch will make you laugh, cry and tap your feet! It’s a stripped-down line-up of harp, washboard and guitars – just some mates sitting on a back porch, playing the blues.
BEN WHITE & THOMAS LUCAS
Fri 8.30pm Greyhound, Sun 1pm The Centre
Ben White and Thomas Lucas are two young blues musicians who have a deep passion for early electric blues, particularly from Chicago in the 1950s. Playing original material in the styles of Sonny Boy Williamson I, Muddy Waters and Little Walter, these two gentleman combine humour and energy, with material about all things from gaining one's driving license, to being a baking man (with a big book of recipes).
BIG NOSE THOMAS
Sat 1pm The Centre
A singer and multi-instrumentalist hailing from the kingdom of Fife, inspired by vaudeville blues. See him, you will be happy!
Sat 9pm Herston C&C
Blue Touch delivers heavy duty blues rock with a blend of original and re-worked classic blues songs in an entertaining stage show with Andrea Maria on vocals and the guitar and vocal talents of Dave White and Paul Tottman. Andy Aust and Merv provide the rhythm section for an entertaining show that will have you dancing along!
Sat 2.50pm Grand Hotel, Sun 4pm The Centre
Featuring Divyanand Caird - Saraswati Veena, Manjeet Rasiya - Tabla and Robert Hokum - guitar/vocals. Continuing to explore the synergies of the Blues in World Music. Blues Dharma is probably the only band that can incorporate Delta Blues and Indian Folk Song into the same set. 'Is it Blues? 'Yes'', Is it Raga? 'Yes'.
CHICAGO 9 RHYTHM & BLUES BAND
Fri 9pm White Swan, Sat 5.30pm ConClub
Formed in 2002 by friends with a shared love of music, Chicago 9 has quickly become a favourite wherever they play. Led by skilled guitar and saxophone interplay, the band delivers a mix of their own material, blues classics & less obvious covers, all with a solid backbeat & superb vocals, so come ready to dance and cry, as Chicago 9 will take you on a journey through the blues, from the early days of Muddy Waters to the modern era.
DAVE FERRA & KATIE BRADLEY
Sat 4pm The Centre
Katie Bradley is UK blues awards winner and a must-see act on the UK blues scene. She has played extensively in the UK and Europe, headlining festivals and stunning crowds with her voice and harmonica playing.
Dave is a twice UK blues awards nominee. A "bluesman with a positive flair and grasp of the tradition" - Iain Patience, Blues Matters.
Together they have entertained and delighted audiences throughout the UK and Europe.
Fri 7pm Tawny’s
A Swanage First! Tawny’s is proud to host Dos Pablos, an exciting new, acoustic duo combination of blues festival regulars, Paul Stewart and Paul White, performing for the first time ever. Paul Stewart, one half of Staffell and Stewart, stars of blues clubs and festivals around the world, is on acoustic guitar and blues harp; Paul White, as well, as performing with legions such as Ray Davies and Robert Hokum, is an accomplished guitarist and singer. Check them out!
Please note that Tawny’s can admit only diners on show nights, and tables must be booked in advance on 01929 422781. Thank you.
FABULOUS DUCK BROTHERS
Sat 2pm Isle of Purbeck Golf Club
The Fabulous Duck Bros are a collection of professional and experienced musicians that wish to pay tribute to their love and appreciation of the solo career of Eric Clapton. Fronted by long term Clapton fan Phil Astles, the band concentrate on the songs produced by Eric throughout his long career including his hits from the 80’s, 90’s and modern era.
"Light and shade throughout every number and the volume just about as perfect as possible" "Close your eyes and it's like Eric and his band are in the room"
Sat 2pm Herston C&C, Sat 9pm Red Lion
Under the watchful eye of Father Ken, the Fabulous Fezheads blend a mixture of Dance, Danger and Music that will Astound, Astonish and Amuse.
GEOFF GARBOW BAND
Sun 8pm White Swan
A regular fixture on the West London circuit, the GGB are much loved for their unpretentious, good time attitude. Band members have played with Billy Bragg and members of Deep Purple, Bad Company, Gary Moore Band and the Strawbs amongst many others. The band have been regulars at the Ealing Blues Festival, The Ealing Club and the Crawdaddy and many hostelries across London. “…energetic and eclectic, mixing straight blues with dirty southern rock, funk and a splash of AOR“ - Blues in Britain Magazine
Thu 4pm Globe
Open Mic Blues Jam. Great fun and all blues standards very welcome.
GREAT WEST GROOVE
Fri 3pm White Swan, Sat 4.10pm Grand Hotel, Sat 8.30pm Grand Hotel
Around the basic line-up of Robert Hokum - guitar, Steve King - bass & Paul White, they perform in two formats. One, a stripped-down approach to the Blues at its most minimalist. Two, with the addition of Ross Gordon on drums, a rhythmic extravaganza that encompasses the swing and shuffles of the blues plus funk and latin grooves. Has to be heard to be believed.
Fri 6 Oct - White Swan 3.00pm, Sat 7 Oct - Grand Hotel 4.00pm & 8.30pm
HUGH BUDDEN AND THE BLUE CHORDS
Sun 2.30pm Grand Hotel, Sun 8.30pm Grand Hotel
The hardest working harmonica and vocals man I know, no doubt due to his style, showmanship and sheer professionalism! Blues, Rock 'n' Roll, Jazz, Country, Indie… Hugh can play ‘em all – and he does! Make sure you catch him at least once! Hugh will also be MC, Host, Guest Artist and Sound, Lighting & Stage Manager at the Grand Hotel all weekend
JOHN McCLEAN & THE CLAN
Sat 2pm YHA, Sun 2pm The Globe
John McClean & the Clan play blistering Gospel Blues Rock, featuring John's gritty and unforgettable vocals, original songs and well chosen covers. Bring your dancing shoes!
Sun 12pm The Centre
Jonathan’s performance of acoustic blues styles last festival rightly drew rapturous applause from the discerning audience. Expect early blues to Rory Gallagher and his own compositions.
Thu 8.30pm The Legion
One of the HOTTEST bands in the South of England right now with every booking agent and festival organiser clambering over each other to book them! Continuing to blow every audience away with their incredibly catchy rockin’ skiffle, rhythm & blues sound, dynamic harmonies and phenomenal musicianship. They are the tightest, most professional outfit on the block who are ON FIRE right now! Come and get caught in their momentum. Come and experience Junco Shakers.
MARTIN WARMAN BAND
Sat 3pm White Swan
A Power Trio that stays true to the music but includes other influences such as jazz, rock, funk and improvisation. Always a lively show, not to be missed! Featuring Martin Warman guitar/vocals, Joe Limburn bass and Jan Evans drums.
OPEN MIC SESSIONS WITH ANDY BRADSHAW
Fri 2-5pm, Sat 2-5pm, Sun 1-4pm all at the Red Lion
Andy writes: Are you ready to be part of making music at the Swanage Blues Festival? You are? Fabulous! Some of my happiest memories of Swanage Blues have been at the Open Mic sessions. The audiences, the variety of acts and the sheer amount of talent every year, make it an exciting part of the festival experience. There are new surprises, acts which leave you speechless and many laughs and cheers along the way. I will be there at least an hour before the start time with the sign-in book, previous years’ experience tells me the slots fill up quickly so bear that in mind! I will be providing a cajon for accompaniment if you need a back beat. Out of a courtesy to our neighbours this will be un-mic'd. If it's your first time playing at an Open Mic, that's great, we welcome everyone. To help you get the most out of the experience, here are a few pointers to smooth you through the experience.
Make sure you are tuned up and ready to go in time for your slot. Time is limited and the audience want to hear you play!
If you are using any battery powered equipment, make sure your batteries are fresh - you don't want an electro acoustic giving up on you half way through your set!
If you have any special requirements, let the host know beforehand so they can be ready to say, mic up a purely acoustic guitar, or you want to use a different mic set up.
As a courtesy to other performers, please try and work within your time slot.
Once you have finished to rapturous applause, please leave the performance area to allow the next act to get ready to play.
Other than that, enjoy what promises to be a great Festival!
Thanks as ever to Steve Darrington and all the venues for making this all possible!
Sat 8.30pm Grand Hotel
Virtuoso guitarist and leader of The Paul Cook Blues Band who feature some of East Sussex / Kent's finest Blues players. Also, the main man behind UBAS records whose artists include several top Blues acts. Appearing Sat 7th Oct as guest of The Great West Groove at The Grand Hotel.
PETE HARRIS BLUES BAND
Fri 8.30pm The Legion
Chicago-style Blues from this top bluesman - great voice, great guitar, great band leader!
PETE HARRIS & JON VAUGHAN
Sat 2pm The Centre, Sat 7pm Tawny’s, Sun 8pm Red Lion
Acoustic goodtime Blues and Ragtime with a hint of Gospel and Americana by a great guitar and harmonica duo.
Please note that Tawny’s can admit only diners on show nights, and tables must be booked in advance on 01929 422781. Thank you.
RAY DRURY AND JON WALSH
Thu 9pm Red Lion
Ray is a fine keyboards man with an amazing range of styles and moods whatever he touches. Soul, blues, jazz, funk… you name it! Highly recommended. Jon is a fine blues/jazz singer/songwriter/guitarist and guitar tutor.
Sat 1.30pm Grand Hotel, Sun 12.00 The Centre
Julie and Bob are joined by blues master Bob Hokum playing an eclectic repertoire of musical styles. You will enjoy responsive and adaptive performances presenting Blues, Roots Americana and original material, featuring material recently recorded by Julie and Bob Hokum for future release. Their music will take you where your heart wants to go.
Sat 12am The Centre, Sun 2pm Greyhound
Rich is a powerful performer who delivers songs with a true passion and raw edge that will leave you spellbound and wanting more. He regularly appears at the Bletchley Blues Club and has become a firm favourite, always captivating the audience with the depth of feeling in his playing and singing.
Fri 3pm White Swan – an informal but 'up-tempo, goodtime, foot tappin’ acoustic Blues session with the Great West Groove to kick off the weekend!
Sat 1.30pm Grand Hotel with Rhythm Travellers, 2.50pm with Blues Dharma, 4.10pm acoustic session with Great West Groove, 8.30pm electric session with the Great West Groove!
An established figure on the Brit Blues scene and a genuine 'Swanage Blues Veteran'. His recently released retrospective album 'Personal Experience & Downright Lies' is receiving great reviews, August Blues In Britain quoted '...impressive songcraft, great guitarwork.. ' He will be performing with his regular band 'The Great West Groove' as well as Blues Dharma who explore the synergies of the Blues in World Music, probably the only band that can incorporate Delta Blues and Indian Folk Song into the same set. Is it Blues? 'Yes', Is it Raga? 'Yes'. He will also be acting as a backing musician for Rhythm Travellers.
ROBIN BIBI BAND
Fri 5.30pm ConClub, Sat 8.30pm Legion
Explosive, passionate, dynamic and entertaining blues, funk, soul, rock, reggae and jazz on guitar, bass, drums and harmonica! Stalwart of UK Blues Rock, award winning singer guitarist Robin Bibi is an amazing crowd puller who has played every Swanage Blues Festival since 2007.
ROBIN BIBI BAND JAM SESSIONS
Sat 1.00-3.30pm ConClub, Sun 2pm The Legion
Some of the finest impromptu music of the weekend with one of the best ‘Jam Masters’ I’ve ever seen. Check in with Robin at the Jam Sessions, drummers bring own sticks.
Sat 3pm The Legion
Steeped in blues and tempered in rock and roll, The Scoundrels are a punchy, raw six-piece R&B band.
Sat 6pm The Centre
One of the most original, innovative and exciting bands around, their combination of gutsy slide guitar, rock-solid bass, infectious grooves and highly distinctive vocals, creates a sound that is uniquely their own. They take you on a journey, from southern juke-joints and lazy front porches to the huge open spaces of dust bowls and railroad tracks disappearing into the distance...
STAFFEL & STEWART
Sun 5pm The Centre
Paul Stewart & Tim Staffell were original contributors to the Rhythm & Blues explosion of the 60s; Stewart was lead singer and harp player with legendary R&B band ‘The Others’, while Staffell was lead singer and bass player in the pre-Queen power trio ‘Smile’ with Brian May & Roger Taylor. They can be appreciated as an acoustic/electric duo, and occasionally as a five-piece band. Together they play a selection of original material and their own freely adapted arrangements of traditional Blues tunes. From time to time, members of the band guest independently with the duo
Sun 1.30pm The Showbar
"The Terraplanes are a band at the very heart of the British blues scene! Bristol has produced another exciting and talented discovery" - Blues In Britain Magazine. “Hard hitting, stomping, in your face rhythm & blues!” - Blues Matters Magazine. "The Terraplanes absolutely tear it up with this new record! Twelve hot, original blues with the ferocity of those classic George Thorogood songs we all love. Stepping Stones is an absolutely brilliant album!" - Phil Smith, Philly Cheeze's Rock & Blues Review USA
Band - Sat 8.30pm The Showbar, Solo - Sun 3pm Black Swan
Thomas Heppell is a Berkshire based musician who performs Blues, Rock & Roll and Jazz covers, alongside his own compositions. In Jan 2023, he sold out his debut London band show at Sound Lounge Sutton and has been nominated for 3 UK Blues Awards – Young Blues Artist, Emerging Blues Artist and Acoustic Blues Artist 2023 (UK Blues Federation). The future is looking very bright for Thomas. “Energetic, engaging, modern twist on great blues and rock n roll classics” “Stunning!”
VINCE LEE & THE BIG COMBO
Sun 3pm White Swan
Vince Lee has been a mainstay on the South West's live music scene for over 35 years. An authentic, virtuoso blues musician whose band 'The Big Combo' have become almost legendary around the Devon & Cornwall area. Since forming in 1996 the band has gone through several line-up changes but has always kept it's roots as a trio focusing on Vince's considerable talents as a blues guitarist and singer. Al Wallis has been 'The Combo's bass player since day one & drummer Kevin Crowe has performed with the band since 2003. Together they toured the UK and European blues circuit for 10 years before focusing on playing closer to home. Vince has always been an active promoter of blues music in and around his home town, Plymouth. His involvement with many of the areas finest players has lead to several notable musical projects, bands & recordings.
VINCE LEE & SOPHIE LORD
Fri 9pm Red Lion, Sat 3pm The Centre, Sat 9pm White Swan
A voice, a guitar and a double bass… some of their YouTube videos have recently each achieved over 500,000 views in just a couple of days! A variety of blues-based material and all excellent.
Vintage blues and roots duo based in Plymouth UK. Vince has been playing and singing the blues in all its forms since the mid 80s and has influenced many likeminded musicians with his wide repertoire and virtuoso guitar playing. Sophie Lord was one of those people. Returning to her hometown Plymouth after 10 years working as a bass player in London, Sophie joined forces with Vince in early 2022. Whist switching from electric bass to double bass in the process. Together they have gained a huge following on social media platforms by sharing their homemade music videos which have reached millions of people around the world. Their stripped back style touches on jump blues, calypso, swing & ragtime. Vince & Sophie visited the United States in Spring 2023 performing at the world famous Topanga Blues Festival in California and Gator By The Bay Festival in San Diego. They will be returning next year after establishing themselves on the Southern California music scene.
ZOE SCHWARZ BLUE COMMOTION
Fri 8.30pm Grand Hotel
'Zoe Schwarz Bluez Party’ - 4 piece funky rocking blues with Rob Koral-guitar, Paddy Blight-bass, Dave Wallace-drums ... rootsy original songs, strong catchy riffs 'n grooves, plus a few cool covers; they mix old school tradition with a contemporary swagger and verve.
“Phenomenal singer, compelling arrangements, complex guitar work and stunning musicianship from the band, … they offer a striking contemporary slant to the blues.” - Lighthouse Poole, Live Review, Bournemouth Echo June 2019
ZOE SCHWARZ & ROB KORAL
Sat 2pm Greyhound, Sun 3pm The Centre
'Zoe Schwarz & Rob Koral - Blues, Roots & Originals’ - Zoe and Rob are well known for their established band Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion; they are equally at home in the more intimate duo setting playing a mix of their rootsy original songs with strong catchy grooves, and classic blues standards. Expect old school tradition with contemporary verve and sophistication. The communication between these two fine musicians will be evident for all to hear as one might expect after twenty years of intense gigging together.
"Eye catching vocals meet sumptuous guitar” - Guitarist Magazine "Deep in the blues, Rob’s guitar providing a cool platform for Zoe’s fine voice. From blues classics to their own material… Altogether a very classy set!" - Live Reviews, Blues Matters Magazine Apr/May 2019