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Rambling on at blues festival's musical tour

Reporter: Jacob Metcalf
Date online: 14 June 2017

IF you're down in the dumps why not chase the blues away with a musical tour of Diggle this weekend.

A host of artists will be on hand to entertain revellers during the Diggle Blues Festival which runs from Thursday to Sunday.

The festival is designed as a musical tour of Diggle so people can watch the first band or artist at the first venue, then have a half an hour to walk to the next venue, buy a drink, find a seat, watch the next band and so on.

Now in its eighth year, the festival will feature Howlin' Mat, the Melvin Hancox Band, Betroot Jam, Mighty Revelators, Mississippi Malc, Mike Whellans, Ramshackle, Idol Frets, Kent Duchaine, Franny Eubank Band and the Band of Gypsies.

Entry is free and thanks to the structure of the festival, happy blues enthusiasts will be able to watch all acts over the weekend if they choose to.

Due to the amount of work involved the festival is now run by five people. David Wood continues but the future of the festival has been secured thanks to the addition of Jim Gradwell, Stuart Coleman, Gill Pearce and Les Pearce.

While it is a free event, voluntary donations would not be turned down and those concerned about the weather need not worry as it is an indoor event.

Dave Wood, speaking via the Diggle Blues Festival website, said: "Diggle Blues Festival is designed so that you can watch the first band or artist at the first venue, have half an hour walk to the next venue, buy a drink, find a seat, watch the next band, and so on.

"It's a sort of musical tour of Diggle. You don't have to choose between one band and another. You can watch all ten or 11 acts over the weekend - and all for free - although a voluntary donation of, say £1 per head per band wouldn't be turned down.

"The festival is an indoor event so you don't have to worry about the weather. Just turn up and enjoy some really good 'jeans-in-the-fridge' live blues music."

The first act features Howlin' Mat at The Gate Inn on Thursday from 7.30 to 8.30pm before the Melvin Hancox Band play at Diggle Band Club from 9 to 11pm.

Friday sees Beetroot Jam at The Gate Inn from 7.30 to 8.30pm with the Mighty Revelators from 9 to 11pm at Diggle Band Club.

Saturday features Mississippi Malc at Grandpa Greene's Parlour from 3 to 4.15pm, Mick Whellans at Woolyknit Café from 4.45 to 6pm, Ramshackle at Kilngreen Hall from 6.30 to 8.30pm and Idol Frets at Diggle Band Club from 9 to 11pm.

Sunday will see Kent Duchaine at Sub Pressure Studios from 1.30 to 3pm, the Franny Eubank Blues Band at Diggle Band Club from 3.30 to 5.30pm and the Band of Gypsies at Kilngreen Hall from 6 to 8pm.


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