Saturday, November 01, 2014

Bluesfest in London

After a couple of weeks in the States overdosing on the blues, including the King Biscuit Festival and the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, the line up for London's own Bluesfest at the Royal Albert Hall looked rather synthetic. Leading names taking part in the five day event included Georgie Fame, Gregory Porter, Van Morrison, Andy Fairweather Low, Dr Feelgood, Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crow - all excellent acts but not exactly down home blues, although there was some of the authentic stuff on show in the form of Robert Cray at one of the evening concerts.
I attended on Friday, the final day and there were some interesting acts performing during the afternoon. These included some genuine Chicago blues in the form of Mud Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters, who proved well able to continue his dad's legacy, with a selection of his own songs, including the amusing Catfishing, and one or two of Muddy's. There was a good band playing with him and he was worth the admission price (£20) alone.
Most visual act of the day were the Excitements, an old school soul band, whose lead singer Koko-Jean Davis lived up to the band name's promise and looks great as well. I saw them at the Jazz Cafe a few months ago and this Spanish band, with a singer originally from Mozambique, made an excellent impression then, and did so again at the ROH.
Another excellent performer, and one who is popular on the rock and roll scene, was Si Cranstoun, who mixes a bit of Jackie Wilson with Louis Jordan. Worth seeing again.
Also worth a look were the Cadillac Kings, who played a varied set ranging from Bo Diddley to a Charleston number.
Playing solo in a small room in the depths of the Royal Albert Hall was Mike Sanchez, always a solid performer.
Finally, another photo of Koko-Jean Davis and the Excitements. Wearing a shocking pink mini dress, she's always worth a second look.


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