Top acts to perform at Colne’s Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival

Steve Cropper is performing at Colne Blues Festival 2011. (s)

Steve Cropper is performing at Colne Blues Festival 2011. (s)

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The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival is only weeks away with Pendle Leisure Trust celebrating 22 years of bringing the Blues to Colne.

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the crème-de-la-crème of the Blues world will be gracing the Muni stage, playing to thousands of fans who travel from throughout the UK and Europe.

More than 600 musicians will perform at eight venues over the four days and with authentic electric blues, rock, jazz and acoustic sets, there is something for everyone.

Kicking off the festival on the main stage will be Jack Bruce with the Norman Beaker Band and the Wilko Johnson Band. Radio Lancashire will again be broadcasting live from the British Stage on the opening night – Friday, August 26th.

The Animals and Friends, featuring Steve Cropper, will start proceedings on the International Stage on the Saturday. Highlights later in the day will include Grammy Award Winner Mavis Staples and Sherman Robertson.

The Joni Fuller Band, the Dale Storr Band and Cherry Lee Mewis will keep the crowds entertained on the British Stage.

On Sunday, The Steve Gibbons Band, Giles Robson and The Dirty Aces, Lisa Mills and Muddy Waters’ eldest son Mud Morganfield take to the International Stage.

The Bare Bones Boogie Band will have the crowds dancing as they open the British Stage and The Cats – who took the Acoustic Stage by storm last year – are one to watch later that evening.

The Alex McKown Band, the Trevor Burton Blues Band and the Tommy Allen Band, featuring John Hewitt, will be the highlights of the Jessica Foxley Stage at Pendle Leisure Centre on the Monday.

And popular, young musician Oli Brown – who wowed the crowds on the International Stage last year - returns to kick off the music on Monday. He will be joined by Gospel singer Sharrie Williams, the Robin Trower Band and the Buddy Whittington Band will bring the festival to a rousing close.

We will be welcoming to the Acoustic Stage, among others, The Ginjammers, Tom Attah – who entertained passengers on The Music Train last year, Tom Doughty and old favourites Lucy Zirins, Graham Robinson and compere and musician Mal Gibson – aka Charlie White.

Barnfield Construction sponsors the roadhouses for another year. Colne and Nelson Rugby Club, The Admiral Lord Rodney, The Crown Hotel, The Dressers and The Royal British Legion will all host chilled-out Blues tunes.

Tim Webber, Managing Director of Barnfield Construction, the festival’s main sponsor, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this fantastic event again this year.

“It does a terrific job of bringing friends of the festival from all over the world and the local community together over the Bank Holiday weekend, which in turn is excellent for the local economy.”

Festival organiser Alison Goode added: “Again we have some fantastic acts lined-up - some old, some new and some back by popular demand!

“Year on year we aim to get bigger and better and this year – our 22nd – I don’t think we will disappoint.”