HRH Blues VI – Preview
April 9th – 10th, 2022
Reviewer: Stephen Brophy
Here’s a quick preview of next weekends HRH Blues VI Festival which once again will be taking place at the O2 Academy in Sheffield over the weekend of 9th & 10th of April 2022. As the Pandemic wiped out the last the last couple of years Festivals, this is sure to be a lot of fun and a welcome return to the live circuit. With circumstances as they are the linup is a little reduced from what it would normally be, but still a good mix of different types of bands across the Blues spectrum. There are still two stages, with the 2nd Stage hosting 3 bands each evening it will be the Main Stage that gets most of the attention from attendees.
So let’s start with the with the Day 1 lineup –
This year Royalty/Media will be treated again to some Acoustic taking place on the 2nd Stage and this year it looks like there will be one set on Day 1 with the Lol Goodman Band getting 30 minutes to showcase their songs in a different way. But lets get onto the bands playing this weekend..
What a cracking way to open the main stage, with the Midlands based 4 piece stepping up to the Main stage after a terrific couple of sets a few years back on the 2nd Stage. They provide a different proposition to most of the straight forward Blues artists on the bill this year, their mix of Blues/Soul/Rock is engaging, and very much worth checking out. Hoping that a good size crowd on Saturday afternoon..
Californian Blues Rockers Porcelain Hill may not be one of the biggest names on the lineup at the Festival, but don’t miss their set, these guys have a great sound and could be one of the performances of the weekend, really looking forward to this one. They start their UK Tour on Thursday 7th with their new EP ‘Good Time Not A Long Time‘ being released on Monday 4th of April.
Doesn’t take long for the first big personal clash of the weekend to occur, with the Bluesy Rock juggernaught of Samarakind opening Stage 2 being put on at the same time as the wonderful Rebecca Downes over on the Main stage, honestly I don’t know why the stage times aren’t staggered, makes it much easier for people to check out all the bands. Samarakind are a sledgehammer of Blues Rock. Even if you only catch a song or two do it.
A classy performer that has been on top form for as long as I can remember. Rebecca has a wonderful voice, that little bit smoky and sultry and with a fine catalog of great tunes. Certainly one of the sets I’m most looking forward to.
Really looking forward to some good rockin’ blues from Gerry and his band, this one should certainly get the crowd up and moving. Looking forward to this one and hopefully some cracking Harmonica work to boot.
Making another return to HRH Blues following very impressive previous sets, Danny has released some excellent albums in recent years as well, hell of a guitar player and always puts on a great show..
Billy Walton Band
Love this band, they are one of the few bands these days that you see with a horn section and it adds so much to the live experience, Billy and his guitar playing are awesome as it is but the added dimension always makes it a special occasion. Have been lucky enough to catch the band a few times and will not be missing this one either.
Pot Kettle Black
Will be my first time catching these guys and at least with regards to time slots they have a full 10 minutes before Billy Walton starts over on the Main stage. Certainly not a traditional Blues outfit but another band to check out and go into with an open mind.. One of the things I most enjoy at a Festival is to discover bands or artists that I knew nothing about previously or had missed out on over the years.
Well this one will be interesting. Not only a Blues set from the guys, but also one of the first official shows without founding frontman Spike. We probably all know the songs but lets see how it all works out, not the first time the guys have played a show/shows without Spike on vocals, but if the dynamics don’t work on a permanent basis who knows..
Well don’t really need to say much about the Saturday Headliner do I, Bernie Marsden is a legend, always great to catch him performing live and no doubt that this will be a cracking set too, this slot always runs the risk of people running out of steam and the audience numbers being a bit lower than expected or a lot of people leaving before the end of the set, but that’s the risk, I’ll certainly be trying to applaud him off the stage.
Day 2 –
With no Acoustic Sets on Stage 2 to kick off the day the start times have been pushed back to late afternoon.
Opening up affairs on the main stage for the second day will be the excellent Catfish, who are just brilliant live. Talented group of musicians with a catalog of great songs, frontman Matt Long will no doubt take center stage in this one.
Over on Stage 2 it will be Snakewater opening things up while Catfish are still on the Main stage, but their set runs an extra 20 minutes so you can always head up the stairs and catch them as well. More Blues Rock with some nice keyboard action in the mix, a fresh listen for these ears.
Lol Goodman Band
Returning after their acoustic set the previous day the Lol Goodman Band bring that different dimension of a full Electric set to the Main stage.
The Black Hands
A powerful band, this Chesterfield 4 piece really do rip things up, on the 2nd Stage this time out, but I’m sure they’ll be back on the larger stage soon. If you can spare a few minutes to catch them, well worth the effort and I’d expect a stomping set from them.
Crow Black Chicken
There are some bands you should just never miss out on and this is one of them, always put on a great show, they may only be a 3 piece band, but there’s no shortage of power out of these lads, having built up a good fanase over a number of years, it will be nice to see them taking on the Main stage slot. Not only a cracking band but a good bunch of guys who I’m sure will be as engaging as always. Mark as not to skip even if the hunger pangs are hitting.
John Angus Blues Band
Closing out Stage 2 for the weekend will be the Blues Rock of the John Angus Blues Band, expect some screaming guitar, keyboards and should be a good way to round off the Stage 2 proceedings for the weekend.
Another artist who has graced this stage before and that I’m sure will draw a big crowd on the closing night, should be a cracking set with some terrific guitar playing on show. Ben always seems to be as comfortable playing Blues or Rock songs
Well, what a way to round things off. I’m sure it will be one of the most eagerly sets of the weekend. The former Dr. Feelgood man is still going strong and I’m sure the set will consist of music spanning his career.
As per usual a really good mix of different styles within the Blues/Blues Rock genre, it is a shame that the 2nd Stage Acts overlap so much but it is always well worth checking out if you get a chance.
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