The Swanage Blues Festival got off to a rip-roaring start on Thursday with a brilliant evening of entertainment at The Legion in the High Street. Opening the show was one of the festival’s most loyal supporters and musician, Hugh Budden, accompanied by Andy Stone.
With Hugh on harmonica and Andy on guitar, the duo covered songs including ‘Going up the Country’ and ‘Riders on the Storm’. Following their classic and accomplished Blues performance, was a newcomer to the Swanage Blues Festival, Marky Dawson, a talented pianist and singer songwriter.
‘Whisky and Women’
Marky Dawson, who grew up in Poole, performed his own songs ‘Whiskey n Women’ and ‘I Hear You Knocking’ to a very appreciative audience. He also covered ‘ Ain’t No Sunshine’ and a fantastic rendition of Jerry Lee Lewis’ ‘Great Balls of Fire’. Marky is well known for his incredible energy when he plays the piano and his version of this top tune saw his fingers moving at breakneck speed across the keyboard!
The festival continues over the weekend with over 70 gigs from 40 bands including the hugely talented Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion, established Blues musician and founder of the Ealing Blues Festival, Robert Hokum, the powerful five piece Blues unit, Backwater Roll Blues Band and also Eric Ranzoni, the entertaining pianist who’s played all the major Blues festivals in Europe and appeared on the BBC2’s ‘Later with Jools Holland’.
Venues in Swanage include the Grand Hotel, The Legion, the White Horse, the Waterfront, the Black Swan, The Centre and the Red Lion.
This is all for the price of a £10 wristband to cover the costs of organising the festival, which is run as a not-for-profit venture.