Ealing Blues Festival 2021

THE (mini) EALING BLUES FESTIVAL 2021 IS BACK

Sat 31st July & Sat 7th August

Walpole Park,

Ealing, London, W5

Due to Covid, there was no Ealing Blues Festival in 2020 and the 2021 Festival will be a mini-version on one stage instead of the usual 3 due to the logistics of setting up the large Ealing Summer Festival of which the Ealing Blues Festival is a part …………. but ……….. THE BLUES IS BACK IN BUSINESS IN EALING – THE HOME OF THE BRITISH ELECTRIC BLUES SCENE!

Ealing is acknowledged as the ‘birthplace of British Rock music’. Rock music is rooted in the Blues and the founding of the Ealing Blues Club as Britain’s first dedicated electric Blues Club on March 17th 1962 by Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies is recognised as the catalyst which sparked a musical revolution. The Rolling Stones, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and Marshall Amplifiers all have connections to Ealing. For the full story of The Ealing Club, check out the film ‘Suburban Steps to Rockland’.

Not forgetting that Ealing also has connections to some of the greatest female singers this country has produced, Cleo Laine, Dusty Springfield and Kirsty MacColl to name but a few.

Founded in 1987 as a ‘bit of fun’ for some local musicians, the Ealing Blues Festival became bigger and bigger and is now London’s longest running Blues Festival having presented chart names and top British and American Blues acts whilst all the time celebrating Ealing’s Blues Rock Heritage and promoting up and coming talent from the Borough and the British Blues scene. 

Here’s the 2021 line-up

SAT 31 JULY

1.00pm

THE PAUL COOK BLUES BAND feat EMMA WILSON

EMMA WILSON finalist in the 2021 UK Blues Awards for ‘Emerging Blues Artist of The Year’.

PAUL COOK – Fast becoming and important figure in the Brit Blues scene as a Record Label and Festival Promoter himself. Although Sussex based he is a great supporter of Ealing’s Blues Heritage. 

3.00pm

JADE LIKE THE STONE

From the great tradition of Welsh singers. Jade lived in Ealing for many years and fronted the very popular local band ‘Du Bellows’. Following a strong performance on ‘The Voice’ she has now gone solo. 

5.00pm

CONNOR SELBY 

The young rising guitar star of the British Blues scene, he has already supported The Who at Wembley. Winner of the 2021 UK Blues Awards ‘Young Blues Artist of The Year’. 

7.00pm 

THE ROBIN BIBI BIG BAND

A stalwart of the Brit Blues scene, it would take pages to list all the ‘names’ he’s performed with. A highly accomplished guitarist and a popular figure at gigs across the country. Appearing here with his ‘big band’ featuring a 3 piece brass section. 

9.00pm 

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED

Britain’s top Jimi Hendrix Tribute act. Performing in honour of Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell who lived in Ealing (Bordars Road, Hanwell to be precise). Mitchell gigged at The Ealing Blues Club with Terry Marshall (son of Jim) and it was through this relationship that Hendrix would take the Hanwell built Marshall Amps to America, thus launched them as a global brand. 

SAT 7 AUGUST

1.00pm

THE KAT PEARSON BAND

American singer Kat now resides in NW London and runs the very popular ‘Blues Chat Show’ – ‘Live Talking Blues’.

3.00pm

THE BOONDOCK HIPPY

Fine ‘Blues ‘n’ Roots’ band with brass and more.

5.00pm

BIG JOE LOUIS

One of the UK’s most highly regarded Blues Performers. Big Joe Louis has recorded with the likes of Van Morrison and Jools Holland. Twice winner of the British Blues Awards ‘Best Male Vocalist’. Big Joe Louis and his Blues Kings have been ‘the backing band of choice’ for a host of visiting American Blues Artists including musicians from Muddy Water’s band.

7.00pm

CATFISH

Representing the ‘Rockier’ end of The Blues Spectrum featuring young lead guitarist Matt Long – Winner of the 2021 UK Blues Awards ‘Blues Instrumentalist of The Year’. 

9.00pm

BLUES FESTIVAL CLOSING JAM with

ROBERT HOKUM & THE GREAT WEST GROOVE BIG BAND 

Robert Hokum is the Founder of The Ealing Blues Festival and an established artist on The British Blues scene. Also as a Director of The Ealing Club Community Interest Company he was involved with the Heritage Plaque at the former premises of The Ealing Blues Club and appears in the Films ‘Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of The Ealing Club’ (Now TV, Sky Arts’) and ‘Rock’n’Roll Island – the story of Eel Pie Island’ (BBC 4)

For this gig THE GREAT WEST GROOVE will feature 2 drummers, giving the Festival a ‘mega rhythmic closing set’. 

BLUES FESTIVAL COMPERES – IAN McHUGH (Blues is The Truth Podcast) and KARENA K.

For details of the Blues, Jazz, Comedy and more that make up the Ealing Summer Festival go to https://www.facebook.com/ealingsummer.

Tickets for all events at https://www.ealingsummerfestivals.com/

https://www.facebook.com/EalingBluesFestival

What do you want the future to be?

British Land is one of the key landowners in central Ealing. It’s currently soliciting opinions that will shape future development plans for a site it calls The Broadway Connection — a large area of Ealing Broadway, across the road from Ealing Broadway Centre and which encompasses the location of the Ealing Club at  42a The Broadway, W5 2NP, now known as the Red Room. 

Tell them what you think here.

The site has been the subject of two previous development attempts, as Ealing Arcadia (2008) and most recently as 9-42 The Broadway (2016). This latter scheme included a 514sqm nightclub/music venue which would have made up for the loss of the original Ealing Club premises – the place that was the cradle of British rock music.

We were involved in consultations for the failed 9-42 The Broadway scheme and plan to press British Land to preserve the original Ealing Club premises and to provide a state-of-the art venue at least as good as the one included in the 2015 planning application for 9-42.

The Ealing Club was created as a community interest company (CIC) that owns no venue) by local music fans to highlight Ealing Borough’s music heritage and inspire new live music. Plaques, exhibitions, talks, leaflets and the film Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of the Ealing Club and the book The A-Z of Ealing Rock have all helped to put the music story back on the map for future generations. 

Our own Ealing Club Eclectic live music programme is funded by the Arts Council of England and brings premium live music to multiple venues. We’ve partnered with many to kickstart new events and bolster established live music festivals locally. Since 2011, the programme has included many memorable live gigs at the Red Room, a place that is still largely unrecognised for its pioneering role in 1962-65. It was THE destination for bands such as the Rolling Stones, The Who & members of Cream (amongst others) to seek out & perform a special strain of “the blues”.

West London’s music heritage can merge with contemporary music infrastructure (music colleges, venues & festivals, local talent, studios) to complement the understated but rich cultural scene that exists in the area. 

Music cities such as Liverpool, Nashville, New Orleans and Vienna already provide great templates for West London to make more of its vital music connections.  

DEVELOPMENT & RE-GENERATION IN EALING BROADWAY

Development & re-generation of Ealing Broadway seems inevitable given improved communication links with the area and the ambitions of stakeholders such as residents, councils and developers. 

Our mission is to highlight the music heritage with a view to boosting footfall, civic pride and fostering better opportunity for live music performance. The Ealing Club “name” is owned & curated by a community interest company on behalf of musicians & the local community in order to build a deserving musical legacy.

We would ask you to express your opinions about music heritage and live music to British Land: which says that it is “considering the future of several key properties and sites in Ealing Broadway, driven by a commitment to maintaining a thriving town centre now and long into its future. At this time, we are seeking views from all those who live, work and visit Ealing to ensure that we are creating the right legacy for the area.”

If you want more music in Ealing, please be sure to have your say.

Chris Barber – Farewell to The British Blues Pioneer

Very sad to hear the news about Chris Barber, pioneer of British Blues & Jazz who helped expose UK audiences to the likes of Sister Rosetta Tharpe & Muddy Waters by organising tours in the late 50’s. His band nurtured many musicians notably British skiffle legend Lonnie Donegan & Alexis Korner, the latter who is of course key to the story of the Ealing Club. 

The Chris Barber Band’s return to Ealing (Walpole Park 2018) – (Photo: R.Green)

There will be plenty of deserving homages from the world of British Music for a man who played the blues through a trombone and stand-up bass on Lonnie Donegan’s early skiffle hits Rock Island Line and Lost John.

In 1955 Rock Island Line was a top 10 hit in both the UK and US, and kickstarted the skiffle boom that inspired a generation of musicians including John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Townshend, Van Morrison, Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler and many more.

In 1958 Barber brought  Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and other US blues musicians to the UK.

Barber and his band deserve so much more credit for the millions of guitarists who still play blues guitar to this day be they, from London, Seattle or Sydney. 

His passion and that of those around him for the music helped curate & develop an awareness of the blues that has elevated the genre’s influence above other comparable world music forms. 

As side note, he was also a major contributor to the National Jazz Federation, a body directed by Harold Pendleton, the founder of the Marquee Club. Thanks to their initiatives, The Richmond Jazz Festival came into existence. In 2021 those festival roots will continue in the form of The Reading Festival where no doubt many guitarists will acknowledge the blues of Chicago & New Orleans. 

May they all remember Chris Barber’s contribution to the Blues & to the UK festival circuit. 

Chris Barber was interviewed in Suburban Steps To Rockland – The Story of The Ealing Club at Questors Theatre, Ealing. A true gent!