Saturday, 31 January 2015


I cannot believe that I’m sitting here writing this a whole week since the Great British Rock and Blues festival at Butlins, Skegness, 2015, just where doe the time go?This was so very much a Fellowship of the Stick / Coronas event if ever there was.

What makes any festival more fun, sometimes even really great, a stand out above the rest experience, is not always the music that’s on offer, it’s very often the people, either the people you go with, the friends you meet up with when you are there and those wonderful new friends and acquaintances you meet while away.

The Great British Rock and Blues Festival at Skegness Butlins 23rd, 24th and 25th January 2015 was one of those amazing, forever burnt into the memory (Surprising due to the amount of beer we consumed) happy and fun experiences and most of it was indeed down to the people.
I’m not for one moment saying there was anything wrong with the music on offer, although it was fairly heavy on the Blues / Blues Rock and less pure Rock this year but myself and my friends did get to see some amazing performances, discover great new bands and all in all we had a rocking good time.

Friday saw us setting off from our Hobbit Holes and heading north eastwards stopping off in Peterborough to pick up one of our erstwhile crew and then stopping for lunch in Crowland, this time back to the George and Angel as ‘The Bridge’ appeared to be closed. After a few ales and a fine lunch we carried on to Skegness to check in, locate our chalet, dump our stuff and get ready for a night of music (After first filling up on the remarkably good food in the canteen).

Kicking off the evening in Jaks (The home of Blues / Blues Rock) was one of our favourite bands ‘Split Whiskers’ and a damn fine job they did too.

Split Whiskers debut on Jaks stage
Next it was off to one of the larger venues, Reds, to see Caravan, one of my all time favourite bands ever and they did not disappoint a truly awesome set worthy of any headline act, straight off, one of the performances of the festival for me.

Caravan, an awesome set
We scooted back to Jaks in time to catch one of the new discoveries of the Festival, Red Butler, a splendid combo from the south coast, their album Freedom Bound is excellent, this was followed by continuing the night’s drinking and bluesing in Jaks until the wee small hours!

Red Butler rocking Jaks to its foundations
Saturday morning saw the ‘traditional’ Onesies wearing for breakfast and a series of hilarious photo shoots around the site before chilling out ready for the day’s music.

Saturday Onesies on display

Wear your onesie with pride
It matters not what’s outside
If you front it out just right
It’s like hiding in plain sight
Wearing a onesie was somewhat harsh
For a certain Mr Roger Marsh
Because on one hand, while it had to be done
He had to borrow one from his son!
So for breakfast on the Saturday
We seven onesies in tow that day
Making the most of every photo opportunity
With aplomb, panache and impunity
And as one wag shouted out
“That’s the album cover done no doubt”
Not ‘No Doubt’ the band you understand
Would they be seen in onesies?
Never, but a band who are today
Somewhat all the rage
The one and only, Metal Sausage!

Saturday afternoon was spend in Jaks with the Roadhouse jam session where any musician can put their name down and Gary Boner from Roadhouse sorts out scratch bands who get 2 minutes to sort themselves out then a ten minute set, as always it was outstanding.

Roadhouse during the Saturday set
The evening saw us off to see one of the other discoveries of the festival, Babajak who have the extremely rare accolade of having one of their albums in the top 40 of the Blues, Folk & Classic Rock charts all at the same time!

Trevor Steger of Babajack

Becky Tate of Babajack
Check out the album 'Running Man' it really is rather good.

Ex Status Quo member John Coghlan has his own Quo (Tribute) band, they turned in a pretty good rocking set with all the old Quo classics but were followed by one of the performances of the weekend, a truly awesome set from Skinny Molly, I heard someone say “I never did get to see Lynyrd Skynyrd, but now I think I have!”, they were flipping awesome.

Skinny Molly in full flow (Thanks to Punkrocksal for taking this for me)
Another late night in Jaks saw us bopping away to the Jed Thomas Band who managed to jazz up the blues rock in a Gong style, with ‘Egyptian Disco’ even melding into ‘Master builder / Glorious Om riff! Which had the blues purists somewhat in a state of confusion but a hardcore of Gong fans and us whirling along like dervishes and working ourselves up a thirst!

Sunday and we were off to see a great set by Nine Below Zero and back in Onesies again as several friends had decided to join in the fun!

The massed Onesies of Skeggy!
Later afternoon was spent in the company of Del Bromham’s Blues Devils with Cherry Lee Mewis guesting on vocals, absolutely knockout.

Del & Cherry
The evening for me was given over to Roadhouse’s proper full set, I just love this band so much, they put so much energy into their set and they really are that good, after Roadhouse I was completely done in so didn’t get to see Lez Zeppelin who I’m told were also excellent, oh well, maybe next time.

Sunday was of course Burn’s Night so the obligatory kilts were worn and nice to see a few more than just ours!
One of the Burn’s night traditions is that a verse be spoken to honour the ladies, so I wrote the following;

(It Burns, it Burns)

On Burn’s night we may not have had a haggis
Nor any pipes to lead him in
But to have ignored all of tradition
Would surely have been a sin?
There may have been no wee timorous beastie
Nor was it a bright moonlit night
But resplendent in our kilts
We did get something right
And so to honour all our womenfolk
God bless them every one
Without our lovely wives and friends
We men would have far less fun
So we raised a glass or two to our ladies
Whether there or back at home
And as gentlemen we ignored that old adage
‘Remember when in Rome’
So here’s to Mandie & Sarah
Alice, Val, Debs & Jo
Sally, Pam, Kate and Amanda
And all the others that we know
Once more to our dear ladies
Especially those so far away
Whatever we get up to
They’ll find out anyway
From bloody Facebook!

Over the weekend we caught a lot of great acts on the various stages, especially Reds, Jaks and the Skyline Introducing Stage but didn’t venture into Centre Stage much at all this year as even the headliner’s tended to be bands we’ve seen umpteen times before but never mind, we feel that we missed nothing, we had a full and fun filled weekend.

The Coronas one and all, cheers!
Cheers me dears, until the next time round the plastic spiral as the great Daevid Allen says.

Grant Meaby


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