Diggle Blues Festival Weekend

IMG_3888
The Lewis Hamilton Band @DiggleBandClub

The Rolling Stones have been in Manchester this week and according to the local press tickets were changing hands at £400.00 a pop. So as much I would have loved to have seen them I will be giving that a wide berth then. 

The other big music event this week is the Diggle Blues festival and very good it is to. What makes it better is that it is free, all the organisers want from the audience is to turn up and throw a quid in a bucket if you liked what you saw. I have been known to throw a tenner in when the group has been fantastic.

What I like is the diversity of the bands and the venues. We have the local pub (The Gate), a coffee shop (The Woolyknit Cafe), A band Club (Diggle Band Club), an Ice-cream Parlour (Grandpa Greens), A Church Hall (Kilngreen) and a Cookery School (Saddleworth Cookery School).

The Sessions are arranged so that you have 30 minutes to get to the next venue so you don’t miss anything.

What people of my generation want is to be transported back to a time when almost every pub in the town had a live band playing and the atmosphere was fantastic. There is nothing quite like listening to live music for raising your spirits and in this day and age we could do with quite a lot of live music working its magic.

These bands and performers are fantastic at what they do and mostly they do it because they love performing and they get paid for doing what they love.

So back to my opening paragraph, do you think Messers Jagger and Richards when they started out playing in pubs would have dreamt they would still be filling stadiums some 56 years later. I very much doubt it. 

Advertisements

I Have Discovered Time Travel

Caravan

Anyone who knows me will know of my passion for live music. I find it amazing that a group of people can create something far more than the individual component parts. I have been to two concerts this week and even by my standards thats fairly rare.

The first one was on Thursday at the Arena in Manchester, watching Michael Buble with Ann, we booked the tickets before Christmas and she had been getting more and more excited the nearer to the concert it got. Now I have to say that I am indifferent to Mr Buble and I can take him or leave him, to Ann however I can make my mind up weather Its him or the music she is crazy about, but I went to make sure she didn’t get lost or end up stalking him on his way to the tour bus.

I was however pleasantly surprised to see that the guy is just as good live as he is on his albums. The show was nothing short of brilliant, with at least £2m worth of stage, screen an PA. His band were as you would expect fantastic. It made the £120 for tickets, £12.00 parking and £20.00 for a programme seem almost worth it.

On Saturday came the second of my concerts, this one was for me. Caravan a Prog Rock outfit from the early Seventies were playing at the Picturedrome in Holmfirth, not quite an Arena gig but its a great place to watch live music. When I booked the tickets I asked Ann if she wanted a ticket, to which the reply was “is it that strange stuff you listen too when you are in the car”, Cheeky sod.

So I phoned my brother who decided it might be fun to go back and spend a couple of hours back in 1972 and listen to the Band. So for a quarter of the price of Mr Buble we journeyed over the moors, traveled back in time and started reminiscing about Trench Coats and taking Your Latest Album under your arm just in case someone needed to listen to some music.

It also got us talking about communication and how we all kept in touch without mobile phones, that seems an awful long time ago, in fact to be precise 40 years ago.

So we arrived in Holmfirth and Immediately it felt like we had travelled back in time, We had no phone signal let alone wireless and somehow according to the sat nav the place doesn’t exist. I thought that it was a touch of marketing genius to make it just like the seventies, but on asking the bartender at the venue he said its always like that. So we ordered a couple of beers and sat down for a quick catch up.

Looking at the table next to us was a guy with grey hair and his wife having a drink. When I glanced over i thought I recognised him nodded and he nodded back and we carried on chatting. Then it was time to hit the venue next door. The Picturedrome is a fantastic music venue, all sorts of people play the venue just because of its atmosphere.

So the time had come, we were about to see a Band who at the hight of there popularity had a Sixty Piece orchestra backing them. Can I say that they were fantastic, they played all my old favourites and some new stuff thrown in for good measure. I even saw a guy with an Album under his arm, but we were to polite to point and laugh.

Now all I can say is that these guys are now well into the sixties and can still perform a two hour set without breaking sweat. (apart from the young drummer who was very ambitious). It was great to see heroes from your teenage years still performing and having a go.

So if I can just take you back to the guy in the Bar, It was a surprise to me that when the band came on the stage I discovered it was the Keyboard Player. I can remember him when he had long dark hair and an Afghan coat. Thats probably why I only half recognised him and he obviously did the same comparison with me.

So the point of this ramble is If you are lucky enough you should always try to check out the Bands from your youth, they have the ability to transport you through time in the blink of an eye. It is the music you listened to then that has made you the person you are today which according to my wife is miserable and grumpy!