It has been quite a while since I'd seen Joathan Roberts and the band (Beau Jangles), in fact not since they appeared on our Arcadeclectic Stage at Rhythms of the World a few years back, so with their very catchy and politically astute and very English folk they set the evening off to an excellent start. I must mention that Jonathan has a 'concept' album out at the moment, Decades, a reflection on the decades in his (& my) lifetime, all proceeds are for charity and it's well worth getting at a mere fiver!
Next along were The Blues Blaggers, fresh from their debut gig during the Sounds of Baldock weekend and this time on a proper stage with excellent sound engineering they were absolutely stunning, blues, jazz, rock fusion, every member a consummate musician and with a simply stunning singer they played a real barnstormer of a set, even the sound engineer remarked that they were the best band he'd had to do sound for this year, in fact for a very long time, he thought they were "Phenomenal" and so did I and many who were there.
OK so I am somewhat biased, lead singer Fran is one of my daughters but they were the band that everyone was talking about and certainly drew a significant number of the audience this night.
|The Blues Blaggers|
|Fran from The Blues Blaggers|
Next to grace the stage was Emily Slade, now many of you will know that Emily is quite "A Name" in the world of folk music, given that she is a 'Local Lass' it was quite a surprise to learn that she'd never played Club-85 before, was she good? You bet, excellent intricate guitar work with beautiful clear vocals and poignant songs, a real treat.
A nice surprise for me was that I actually know Advian (Guitars) and Chris (Cajun) and didn't know, or certainly didn't remember that they were part of Honeywitch! Honeywitch are a real festival folk band, it would have been nice to have had a roaring log fire on the go, somewhat impractical for Club-85, just had to make do with the candles!
So, all in all, a fine eclectic evening, long live Roots 'n Roll.