Review and gallery: Day one at Stafford Blues Festival, Penkridge

Crowds were treated to a day of blues and rock yesterday at day one of the first-ever Stafford Blues Festival.

Review and gallery: Day one at Stafford Blues Festival, Penkridge

The Northbound Acoustic Blues Band from Shropshire

More than 150 people descended on Lower Drayton Farm in Penkridge for the event, which saw bands from across the UK perform.

Highlight of the day was Glaswegian four-piece The Brian Rawson Band, fronted by excellent Dutch vocalist Tamira Herrebrugh.

Playing the day's headline slot, The Brian Rawson Band impressed instantly with Tamira's stunning strong vocals and impressive guitar skills by Brian Rawson himself. With powerful renditions of an array of their own songs, including Think Twice and Hard to Believe, and a superb cover of Eric Clapton's Crossroads - the acts left fans beaming from the day and eager for more entertainment today.

Another top entertainer at the event was the mighty Ged Wilson from Manchester who thrilled crowds with an indoor solo performance at the beer tent with just an acoustic guitar for support. 

But with his deep, velvety vocals the singer more than held his own with toe-tapping tunes including Run with the Devil and Built for Comfort, keeping crowds amused with witty commentary between songs.

"Thank you all for coming out, I love each and every one of you," he said.

"Thank you so much for coming out and supporting live music."

The Northbound Acoustic Blues Band from Shropshire were impressive too. A four-piece with harmonica, acoustic guitars and bass, the group were perfectly in sync with high notes from the harmonica perfectly complementing the frontman's deep, gravelly vocals.

Also performing at the small but sweet festival included The Hubcaps - a female-led four piece from London whose act was up and down, but saw the band perform a great cover of The Breeze by Clapton and a thrilling rendition of Chuck Berry's Driving Along in my Automobile.

Blackfish from Derby were quick to impress, however, with their funky brass blues set. The highly-skilled band instantly had crowds tapping their feet and clapping along to their lively set, although more variety in the songs they performed would have been an improvement.

It was a wonderful day in the heart of the countryside, with a great relaxed, family atmosphere and tons of talent.

Tickets remain available for today.

By Kirsten Rawlins

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