After 25 years, the very last British Rock & Blues Festival took place at Skegness Butlin’s over the weekend of 13th – 15th January for a very emotional crowd.
Rock & Blues Festival – Skegness – 13th – 16th January
Words and Photography: Sally Newhouse
Saturday, 14 January 2023
Early Saturday afternoon, beautiful blues singer Kyla Brox played with her band on Centre Stage, and with a very special guest joining them, Kyla’s father, Victor Brox, who at 82 years old can still belt out a tune with both his voice and his trumpet. He had the audience spellbound when the band left the stage, and Victor sang a cappella.
The Stumble took to the Centre Stage, also Saturday afternoon. Hypnotic blues at its best, this is a band always popular at Skeggy. With the ZZ-Top clone Colin on guitar, the mesmerising saxophonist Simon Anthony and fabulous frontman Paul Melville with his collection of hats and expressive faces, the venue was packed out, as expected.
They were kind enough to dedicate ‘My Life’ to my friend Den, a big fan of the band and that song, at my request (thank you!).
As the night continued, Full House entertained the crowd in Reds, playing the music of the revered Scottish singer-songwriter/guitarist Frankie Miller.
Sharing guitar duties were original guitarist Ray Minhinnett alongside Innes Sibun, who made his second appearance of the weekend after storming Reds on Friday evening with Marcus Malone.
Full House ended their set with Darlin’, a song that Frankie was known to hate but probably his most loved and well-known song. The crowd loved it and joined in with the chorus enthusiastically.
Rhino’s Revenge rocked Reds big time and provided a much-needed classic rock element to the weekend. Quo bassist John ‘Rhino’ Edwards clearly loves fronting his own band, and he was proud to introduce his talented son, Freddie Edwards, on guitar.
Status Quo’s drummer Leon Cave completed the line-up. They played a set of original music and had the audience singing along to songs such as You’re Never Too Old To Rock And Roll. They ended their set with a rousing rendition of Hi Ho Silver Lining, in a tribute to Jeff Beck, who died recently. Again, the audience joined in heartily.
For many, the biggest quandary was who to see at the end of Saturday evening with two top bands on the menu with one of the few tributes of the weekend, Bon UK in Reds and The Milk Men on Centre Stage. I HAD to see a bit of both.
Bon UK features the power vocals of Mark Wright. The band blitzed through the back catalogue of Bon Scott’s AC/DC era, every song a headbanger.
The Milk Men blew me away. A band I’ve seen many times, but I believe they delivered their freshest performance yet. Frontman Jamie used every inch of the huge stage for their hour-long performance.
They performed favourites such as The Operator and She Don’t Like Rock And Roll and paid tribute to two greats with a medley of Chuck Berry and Status Quo, which got the audience singing. We had a gold-top performance indeed.
To read the full weekend coverage, visit https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/rock-blues-festival.