Another year on my way home with the Blues from missing the Blues ;-)

This weekend it was the turn of the Blues, with me shooting and working on some Reviews of HRH Blues 4 at the O2 Academy in Sheffield, as it has been the last couple of years. The lineup this year was once again a mix of really well known and loved Blues/Blues Rock legends alongside some of the cream of the UK’s up and coming Artists, and as always with Festivals it was some of these that will now live long in the memory.

 

Headlining each night this year we had the legendary Bernie Marsden and the blinding King King, both were fantastic and among the top sets of the weekend, but where do we start when assessing a weekend like this, wonderful music, great friends and like minded music fans, what more can you ask for…….well a new pair of feet would come in handy right now, it was a hard working weekend at the end of it I’d photographed all of the Sets on both stages and have reviews to get written too, could do with a couple of days off, but that’s not very likely is it 😉

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Matt Long – Catfish – HRH Blues 4 – 2018

 

Of the acts I was seeing for the first time there is something a bit magical about the delivery of frontman Matt Long, you can see he puts everything into his playing, there was more than a few that mentioned being close to tears during the haunting “Make It Rain”. To watch any artist dig so deep into themselves to deliver their music is truly a pleasure to be present to see.

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Pontun Snibb;s Wreck Of Blues – HRH Blues 4 – 2018

 

There was a wide range of artists and styles, be it Blues/Americana, Rock, straight out Blues and some bands that probably don’t fit into the genre too well. Was great to see Pontus Snibb (Bonafide) with his alter ego and the Wreck Of Blues and although didn’t get he chance to see their full set they sounded great. It was a shame that with only a few acts on each day that the sets on the 2nd stage overlapped their mainstage counterpart so closely, made it very difficult for people to see both.  But it’s always difficult to co-ordinate these things.

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Danny Giles Band – HRH Blues 4 – 2018

 

On both days there were some bands that really did blow me away, absolutely loved Danny Giles Band, superb guitar player, Rocking band with a great groove, damn I enjoyed these guys, and how I’ve missed out on them up to now is beyond me.

Closing out the evening after Bernie Marsdens set was the amazing Pat McManus Band, not only did they play a blinding set but they also managed to keep a large, and tired crowd up dancing and awake for that little bit longer, great set and as usual Pat was on fire.

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Pat McManus Band – HRH Blues 4 – 2018

Pontus wasn’t the only one stepping over from their more familiar roles with Rock bands, we also had FM’s Jim Kirkpatrick with his Blues band Heavy Weather.

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Jim Kirkpatrick Heavy Weather – HRH Blues 4 – 2018

And we also had my friend Peter Scallan (Moritz) playing his first gigs with Brian Rawson Band, and they sounded great in both their Acoustic and Full Electric sets.

 

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Brian Rawson Band – HRH Blues 4 – 2018

 

There are tonnes of other highlights, photos and ramblings to come from me on the whole weekend. Will leave this post with a quick shot of another massive highlight for me, the excellent Stevie Nimmo playing guitar again and sounding amazing on the big stage Sunday.

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Stevie Nimmo – HRH Blues 4 -2018

Wonderful rewarding weekend, but also very tiring, very little sleep (and not from partying may I add) will have to catch up on some sleep for sure, but was never going to happen tonight. Back to work in the morning, and a quiet night tomorrow is the plan………….

 

Where does the time go ?

The more you do the more there seems to be to do, and it never seems to end. But hey most of the time it’s just good fun so you have to go with it. The trials and tribulations of March are now becoming a distant memory, and although it was wonderful to catch some bands from my bucketlist it was so tiring, I need to get into better shape for shooting Festivals I think.

And so we approach mid April rapidly, there’s a lot of work to get through, many album reviews, a couple of gigs to shoot and review, this weekend starts it off again with the second Semi Final of Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland with some awesome local talent including Black Svan and AeSect, each year I think the bands are producing higher quality sets and the competition is getting more difficult, hopefully there will be some decent shots from the night appearing here soon. Following that on Sunday we’ve got the return of the mighty Overkill, who first visited Ireland only two years ago, I will be Reviewing that one.

Currently working on some slightly older photos from 2014/2015 and some of the first shows that I shot properly, just some of my favorite photos from those shows and will create a Gallery or two.

Below is a favorite so far from any of the shows I’ve shot Pat McManus in, this was The Pat McManus Band at one of the Christmas shows in The Diamond Rock Club in Ahoghill, Ballymena. This is a shot that I love to look back on and brings the night back into the memory vividly. A lot of the shots won’t be technically great, but I feel they are an important part of where I have come from and will include artists such as Rage Of Angels, The Answer, Screaming Eagles, Maverick, Tyketto and many more.

The Pat McManus Band - DRC - 26-09-2014
Pat McManus – DRC – 26-09-2014