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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Rhythm & Blues All Darlington Day Long

(Preview by Russell)
This year’s Darlington Rhythm and Blues Festival is as big, and arguably better, than ever before. Sunday’s day-long event takes place in the town’s Market Square and in many of the friendly pubs in the immediate vicinity. A multi-venue blues festival is a rarity and here it is in the north east of England.   
Topping the bill on the Market Square stage is the Mick Ralphs Band (4:00pm). Some will be attracted by Ralphs’ Mott the Hoople connection, others will be elsewhere. For instance, Bishop FM’s blues DJ Gary Grainger will be playing his own set at the same time around the corner at the Voodoo Café on Skinnergate. The duo of Lee Bates and Billy Newton will be well into their set (2:30pm) at the Boot ‘n’ Shoe and Leeds City Stompers stomp-off at three thirty in the Pennyweight.
The Mentulls kick-off the day’s music at one o’clock in the Market Square and it’ll be half past eight when the final sets get under way – the Andy Power Band will be in the Green Room on Tubwell Row and Kung Fu Blues will knock you for six in the Camra award-winning Quakerhouse in Mechanics’ Yard. The latter venue is certain to be full long before the Kung Fu boys hit the stage. Preceding their set will be Groove-a-matics featuring Johnny Whitehill (guitar) and Mick Cantwell (sax & vocals). You won’t hear anyone better than Groove-a-matics. They’re on at five, start queuing about now.
Regular visitor to Darlington, Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges, plays the Market Place stage at half past two and at seven Howlin’ Matt shouts at the moon in the Voodoo Café. The festival runs across ten venues including the Dolphin Centre and the Hole in the Wall. A day of rhythm ‘n’ blues from the Missisippi Delta to Chicago to Darlo. Sunday 13th.          
Russell.     

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