Blues festival is hailed as one of the best ever

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16

Crowds watch buskers perform

Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne
Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16 Crowds watch buskers perform Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

The 2016 Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival is being hailed as one of the best ever by gig-goers and organisers.

The four day event across the August Bank Holiday weekend brought a carnival atmosphere to Colne as Blues lovers gathered in the town for the 27th annual event.

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16

Crowds watch The Intercity Blues Band perform

Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16 Crowds watch The Intercity Blues Band perform Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Several tweaks were made to the festival format this year with the introduction of acoustic afternoons to the International Stage in the Muni on the Saturday and Sunday and a special tribute to local music star Cliff Stocker.

With acoustic sessions moving out of the Lesser Muni, it housed a real ale bar and buskers while the British stage was also on the move over to the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre, a switch which was a resounding success according to organisers.

Completing the year of change was the Jessica Foxley Unsigned stage, which moved outdoors.

But organisers say the changes worked and both the atmosphere across the weekend and the feedback show that the blend of music genres, debut acts and returning favourites made it an unforgettable weekend.

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16

Danny Boy Piper

Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16 Danny Boy Piper Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Festival spokesman Sue Madigan said: “2016 is being hailed as one of the best ever and I would agree that it is definitely one of the best we have had.

“It was just a brilliant weekend. There was such a buzzing atmosphere from the top of town right down to the Crown.

“We put on Facebook could people sum it up in three words but people were saying they couldn’t do it justice in three words it was so good.

“The afternoon acoustic stage went down really well which people were a bit dubious about at first.

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16

The Sharpees

Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16 The Sharpees Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

“But when they were there they were wowed and it was all worthwhile.

“I think the highlights were Bernie Marsden on the Saturday and The Cats on the Sunday afternoon.

“The Hippodrome was hugely popular and the Swing Commanders on the British stage there were very well received.

“With them there and the Jive Aces on the International Stage, they really got the crowds going.

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16

Mark Senior

Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16 Mark Senior Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

“Also on the International stage we had Dave Edmunds and Wilko who were fantastic.

“We decided to finish a bit earlier this year but go out with a bang with three cracking bands and that’s exactly what happened with Jordan Patterson coming from Canada, Sari Schorr flying in from New York and The Devon Allman Band from Canada, who got here 20 minutes before they were due on stage having driven up from Gatwick.

“Other than a bit of rain on the Saturday, the weather was great and the town was so busy with people singing and dancing to the buskers we had performing on the streets.

“We also had the old London double decker bus as a bar.

“The tribute to Cliff Stocker was such a fitting of lovely guy who has had a huge impact on the festival. The Hippodrome was absolutely packed to the rafters.

“Slack Alice had guest performers including Pete Barton, Elles Bailey and Connie Lush, who closed the show, who kept saying ‘this one’s for Cliff’.

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16

Bernie Marsden

Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16 Bernie Marsden Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

“It was like he was in the audience. It was emotional and I think quite a few tears were shed.”

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16

Some of the crowd at the Muni

Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16 Some of the crowd at the Muni Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16

Bryan Yeoman performs

Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16 Bryan Yeoman performs Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16

Bex Marshall performs

Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne

Picture by Julian Brown 27/08/16 Bex Marshall performs Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Colne