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THE LAST STANLEY BLUES FESTIVAL TOOK PLACE IN 2007.

This page is left here as a record of that year's event.

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This August sees the 15th Anniversary of the Stanley Blues Festival which will be celebrated in style with an excellent line-up headlined by the veteran R & B singer Chris Farlowe and the Norman Beaker Band.

The Free festival will be held on Saturday, 4th August on the Kings Head Fields, Stanley, Co Durham from 12 noon until 6.30pm.

Chris Farlowe who is best known for his classic sixties world wide hit “Out of Time”, is a master of soulful blues, with his live act honed to perfection after 50 years in the music business.  

Sharing the bill are:

  • The British Blues Quintet – featuring Maggie Bell, former lead singer with Stone The Crows and one of the greatest blues singers of our time, together with an all star band - Zoot Money (keyboards), Miller Anderson (guitar), Colin Hodgkinson (bass) and Colin Allen (drums).
  • King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys  – who deliver a pure shot of authentic 1940s Kansas City Jazz and Blues in a truly exhilarating, swinging, non-stop stage performance.
  • Willie ‘The Touch’ Hayes – Drummer, singer and authentic bluesman from Chicago making a rare appearance in the UK.
  • Lights out By Nine – with their energetic mix of blues, soul and R& B this band is an all time favourite on the blues festival circuit.
  • Ray Stubbs R&B Allstars - a touch of the Mississippi Delta from Tyneside’s ‘King of the Blues’.
  • Compere – Mike ‘the mouth’ Elliott.

Organiser Paul Green said:  “We have another fantastic line-up to celebrate our 15th Anniversary. Looking back, it only seems like yesterday when we organised the first Stanley Blues Festival in 1993. We always hoped that this event would grow to be one of the best blues festivals in Britain and every year we continue to exceed our expectations. We are proud to have brought so many leading blues musicians to perform here over the years and they in turn always enjoy a warm North-East welcome as the crowd at Stanley Blues Festival is renowned one of the best on the circuit.

“This year, we are expecting in excess of 12,000 people and we are looking forward to meeting up with many old friends.”   

Stanley Blues Festival is a great family day out, with bar and catering facilities available on-site. Visitors are welcome to bring their own refreshments, however, in the interests of community safety, the public is requested not to bring any glass to the event. 

 

Stanley Blues Festival – Artists Biographies

The line-up to appear on Saturday, 4th August 2007 is:

Chris Farlowe and the Norman Beaker Band

Chris Farlowe has recently celebrated 50 years in the music business. His earliest hero was Lonnie Donegan and, as a teenager, he formed his own skiffle band. This band eventually became Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds and their musical direction evolved through Rock and Roll into R&B. By the early sixties they were  established favourites on the London and Hamburg club scene, and had a growing band of enthusiastic and loyal followers.

From November 1962 until 1965, Chris released 6 singles which had limited commercial success, although critical acclaim was widespread. It wasn’t until Chris signed to Andrew Loog Oldham’s new Immediate label that things finally started to happen. The summer of 1966 saw the release of Out of Time, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, which was a huge hit. The latter part of the sixties brought mixed fortune with a number of releases, none of which had any major chart success, with the exception of the classic Handbags and Gladrags, written by Mike D’arbo.

In the early 1970s, Chris played with progressive rock band Colosseum, before moving on to join Atomic Rooster for a short time. Following a serious road accident that kept him away from recording and performing for 2 years, Chris re-emerged in 1975 with a new Thunderbirds line-up to do a UK tour and live album.

Chris then went into semi-retirement for a while, until a chance meeting with Mike Vernon produced 2 albums in 1985 and 1986. Then an old friend, Jimmy Page, invited him to sing 3 tracks on his solo album ‘Outrider’.

In the nineties, Chris just went from strength to strength, recording and gigging relentlessly.  In 1999, a 40 date theatre tour of the UK with the Manfreds helped to re-establish Chris as a major talent. He supported Van Morrison on a number of dates, joining him on stage to sing a few duets. In 2004, Chris reunited with the original Colosseum line up for a short European and UK Tour, followed by an extensive UK tour with Dave Dee, Chip Hawkes and Cliff Bennett.

Recent releases have included: ‘Farlowe That’ (2003) which features a duet with Van Morrison, 46 track anthology ‘Rock n’ Roll Soldier’ (2004) which contains a selection of his work from 1970 to the present, and a long awaited live CD ‘Hungary for the Blues’ (2005).

Despite reaching 66 years of age, Chris shows no signs of slowing down and remains as fresh and enthusiastic as when he started out. With a live act honed to perfection, he holds his audiences spellbound, gripped by every gesture and each note in every song. Chris will be performing at Stanley Blues Festival with his regular tour band featuring Norman Beaker, John Price, Dave Baldwin and Paul Burgess.

The British Blues Quintet

Maggie Bell fronts an all star band who each have a wealth of experience to draw on. These artists are the best in their field and they have performed with some of the greatest names in music over the past 40 years.

Maggie Bell, the Scottish Queen of the Blues, is one of the greatest blues and soul singers of her time. Once the lead singer with ‘Stone The Crows’ she is blessed with a wonderful powerhouse voice that is as strong and dynamic as ever.

She was born in Glasgow and was just 17 years old when she started singing professionally with local dance bands. In the sixties she toured German US Airforce bases before returning to Scotland to form ‘Power’ with guitarist Leslie Harvey (younger brother of Alex Harvey). In 1969 the band signed to Mark London and Peter Grant (Led Zeppelin’s manager), changed its name to Stone The Crows and brought in drummer Colin Allen. Things were looking good for international success until Leslie Harvey’s tragic death in 1972 when he was accidentally electrocuted on stage during a soundcheck.  Stone The Crows never really recovered from the blow and finally broke up in 1973.

Maggie went on to release 2 solo albums which earned rave reviews; ‘Queen of the Night’ (1973) and ‘Suicide Sal’ (1975).  During the eighties, she settled down with her family and concentrated on acting roles and writing music for films and TV. Maggie has lived in Holland for many years, where she continued singing and touring in Europe. Now she has teamed up with some of her favourite musicians to go back on the road once more. 

Zoot Money – One of the best ‘good time performers’ in the business, Zoot not only plays great keyboards but also sings with true grit and emotion. Playing with Alexis Korner, as well as his own Big Roll Band, he became a permanent fixture at The Flamingo in Wardour Street. He’s been a formidable contributor to the British music scene for four decades. He’s been a writer, musical director, producer and actor. This man is not only hugely talented, but great fun too!

Miller Anderson – The guitarist who’s played with all the top bands since the 60s. He’s been a member of Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Mountain, T-Rex and Donovan’s band. He has toured as a guest musician with Deep Purple and has been with the Spencer Davis Group for the past 15 years.

Colin Hodgkinson – A formidable bass guitarist, Colin joined Alexis Korner in the late 60s and stayed with him for almost 20 years. He’s toured extensively, spending a year with Whitesnake before joining various R&B all star line ups. During his career he has recorded with many renowned rock artists including Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, James Young, Neal Schon and Whitesnake.

Colin Allen – A founder member of Stone The Crows, Colin has also played drums with Zoot Money’s Big Roll and, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Focus, Donovan and Bob Dylan. In his long career, he’s also played with many US blues artists including John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Memphis Slim and soul singer Solomon Burke. He has played on more than 50 albums, as well as having written over 60 songs that have been recorded by a variety of artists including Paul McCartney’s ‘Wings’, Fleetwood Mac, Mick Taylor and the late Mick Ronson.   

King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys

Britain’s kings of swing, the jitterbugging, lindy hopping King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys are a force to be reckoned with. Zoot suits, two tone shoes and zany stage antics, they provide an unforgettable musical experience, delivering a shot of pure and authentic 1940s Kansas City Jazz and Blues.

The main man, King Pleasure is unique. With a huge personality and his sensational tenor sax playing, he sings, he romps, he roars and relentlessly drives the band forward. They present a truly exhilarating, swinging non stop performance which leaves the audience shouting for more.

The band have thousands of shows and numerous albums under their crown and have enjoyed huge critical acclaim from both the press and their many fans worldwide. They are making a welcome return to Stanley Blues Festival after their breathtaking, show stopping performance in 1999.

Willie ‘the Touch’ Hayes

The oldest of 10 children, Willie was born in Arkansas and moved to Chicago with his family when he was two. He began playing the drums at an early age and formed his first band ‘Little Larry and the Soulmakers at the age of 13. When he was 14 he played in Chicago blues clubs with Koko Taylor (with whom he later won a Grammy Award in 1984) and they became lifelong friends.

His first road trip was when he was on a summer break from school with Magic Sam. He went on to work with some of the greats including, Charlie Musselwhite, Ruby Andrews, Simtec Simmons & Wylie Dixon, Southside Movement, Eddie Clearwater, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Mighty Joe Young, Artie ‘Blues Boy’ White, Luther Allison (with whom he won 2 W.C. Handy Awards) and the Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings.
He has also appeared in 5 movies including ‘Ali’ with Will Smith and ‘Road to Perdition’ with Tom Hanks and is now filming ‘The Express’ with Dennis Quaid.
Willie is in the UK to record a new album and is making a special appearance at  Stanley Blues Festival, his only date outside of London.

Ray Stubbs

The ever popular Ray Stubbs is well known and respected on the local blues circuit. He is one of the most influential blues performers to emerge from the NE in the last 25 years. With his R&B Allstars, he brings a touch of the Mississippi Delta blues, with a twist of Geordie originality, to Stanley.

Lights Out By Nine

This Scottish 7 piece powerhouse R&B outfit have built up a solid reputation on the blues festival circuit. With a 3 piece brass section, driving rhythms and gritty vocals from Al Hughes, their storming live sets win over audiences wherever they play.
This hardworking band have nine releases under their belt, along with numerous live sessions for BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Blues and Soul show’ and a live session on Radio 2’s Paul Jones Show. Recently concentrating on a new album ‘Make your Own Luck’ and a robust touring schedule, they continue to build on their reputation as a great live band.

Mike Elliott

The festival will be compered, as ever, by Mike ‘the mouth’ Elliott. Mike is a standup comedian, radio talk-show host and accomplished actor.