Giles Metcalfe

Leek Blues and Americana Festival 2018 FXLW

Now in its sixth year, the expanded Leek Blues and Americana Festival 2018 was held at 20 different indoor and outdoor venues all across Leek, with more than 60 bands playing, from Wednesday the 3rd of October to Sunday the 7th of October. The Festival was a great success.

On Wednesday the 3rd of October, The Foxlowe Arts Centre hosted The Guy Tortora Band, with support from Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef.

Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

Dave Luke & Chuck Micallef

The Guy Tortora Band, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

The Guy Tortora Band

Sunday the 7th of October saw the FXLW: Americana sessions taking place all-afternoon and into the evening, featuring an eclectic lineup of six bands and artists playing from 12 noon until 7pm – Adam Coxon & Rick Ford, The Rye Sisters, Mean Mary & Frank James, Lissy Taylor, Fine Lines, and The Strange Blue Dreams.

Adam Coxon & Rick Ford, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

Adam Coxon & Rick Ford

The Rye Sisters, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

The Rye Sisters

Mean Mary & Frank James, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

Mean Mary & Frank James

Lissy Taylor, at the Foxlowe Arts Centre

Lissy Taylor

Fine Lines, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

Fine Lines

The Strange Blue Dreams, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre

The Strange Blue Dreams

A big thank you to everyone involved – the artists who played on Wednesday night and on the Sunday, the sponsors, the Foxlowe staff and volunteers for all their hard work in staging the events, and to all that attended.

All photography by Giles Metcalfe.

Leek goes Mad For It as Adored and Definitely Mightbe bring the sounds of Manchester

Leek went “mad for it” as Adored and Definitely Mightbe brought the anthemic sounds of Manchester to the Staffordshire Moorlands on Saturday night.

Playing to a packed, sweaty room full of ecstatic Indie Kids and Old Ravers and Madchester Baggies – advanced enough in years to have attended the Stone Roses seminal Spike Island and Blackpool Empress Ballroom events, and Oasis’ Knebworth gigs – Adored and Definitely Mightbe recreated the music of The Stone Roses and Oasis in front of an up-for-it audience happy to dance, hug and sing along with every word of every song.

The same four musicians play as Adored and Definitely Mightbe – lead singer Ian Alcock, lead guitarist Paul Mitchell, and the rhythm section of Kev Pyne on bass and Pete Coppard on drums – and Adored played the first set of the night. Following a quick change of outfits and a couple of pints, the lads returned to the stage as Definitely Mightbe.

As the bands’ website says, “as good as the real thing? Well the legendary Alan McGee thought so when he recently introduced the band live on stage!”

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Adored (Stone Roses Tribute)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

Definitely Mightbe (Oasis Tribute Band)

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

 

The Foxlowe possessed by Demon

Saturday the 2nd of June saw the Night of the Demon at The Foxlowe, as the invited guests of the Leek Arts Festival put on a fiendishly theatrical performance and took possession of the mass audience.

Demon play a mix of hard rock/heavy metal/progressive rock, and were formed in 1979 by vocalist Dave Hill and guitarist the late Mal Spooner, both hailing from here in Leek, Staffordshire.

From Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives:

“Demon started out as an occult-themed NWOBHM [New Wave of British Heavy Metal] band, but changed style to progressive/hard rock after their first two albums [Night of the Demon, and The Unexpected Guest]. Their later material varies, often even from album to album.”

Support on Saturday night came from The Blues Makers.

The Blues Makers

The Blues Makers

The Blues Makers

The Blues Makers

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

Demon

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

Climax Blues Band

Formed in Stafford in the late 1960s, Climax Blues Band have always had a unique blend of jazz and blues. After 50 years, 18 albums, the hit “Couldn’t Get It Right” the band are still touring, and they brought their brand of jazzy blues to the Foxlowe for another high octane performance to a packed room.

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

How many musicians can you fit on one stage

Q: How many musicians can you fit on one stage?

A: A lot, if you’re the Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble.*

*And in the wings, and in front of the stage on floor level too. 50, in fact.

From the Joe Broughton website:

“Over the last two years The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble has played major shows everywhere from The Royal Albert Hall to Fairport’s Cropredy Convention and Towersey and Shambala festivals. Their new live album was also released to great acclaim. Joe set up this incredible band 19 years ago. Long before the current trend of big folk band line-ups and crazy folk fusions this band were drawing on influences of folk, funk, classical, ska, reggae, jazz, hip-hop and everything in between. Not only is the live performance of this 50 piece band (or funky orchestra should we say?!) second to none, you will most likely see the stars of tomorrow, many leading artists on the folk scene having been students of Joe’s.

“The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble is forever changing, always unique and has an energy & power that is unrivalled; it has to be seen to be believed. Using players from the prestigious Birmingham Conservatoire ensures that the standard of musicianship is top drawer and being led by folk fiddler Joe Broughton (Urban Folk Quartet, Albion Band, Joss Stone) means the music has the feel of a spontaneous folk orchestra and a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

Joe Broughton's Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton's Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton's Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton's Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

Folk at the Foxlowe

Folk fans have been spoilt for choice recently at the Foxlowe, with a mixture of small scale, intimate performances and well-known acts playing to a packed room.

Here are some photos from recent gigs, including Keith James, TRADarrr and Fairport Convention.

Keith James

Keith James

TRADarrr

TRADarrr

TRADarrr

TRADarrr

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention

Fairport Convention

All photos by Giles Metcalfe.

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