School's Out For Summer!
Oh Yes, it's time for that institution known simply as "Rock and Blues". It has been around in a few different guises for over a quarter of a century now. Reaching it's zenith in the early part of this new millennium when numbers were around the 30,000 mark.
This years event will see only about 10% of those crowd figures, which going by last year's event makes for a nice compact site and a great friendly atmosphere. Another plus is that the Derbyshire weather looks set to make it even hotter than last year.
BB's slot is on The Platform 15 outdoor stage at 1.40pm on the Saturday afternoon and will involve dancers. Metropolis are also forming part of this Steampunk slot. Not certain what the exact plans are yet and I guess it will not unfold completely until Saturday, should be bang on though, with almost two hours allocated.
The set sits neatly in between, the stunt flying display and the parade and prize presentations to the custom scooter, bike and car entrants both again excellent in 2012.
Following on from BB on Stage 15 are a couple of West Midlands based rock bands Black Star Bullets and Mile Wide Stride and the punkier Bleeding Hearts and definitively punk The Enemy.
Overall the festival aims to cover as many musical bases as possible and over on the main indoor stage, which does not get under way until four in the afternoon, you can catch Kamakaze Hotshots a rock/punk crossover, a couple of tribute bands Fakesnake and Guns V Roses, The Ska-toons, Ulster heavy rockers Trucker Diablo. Headline act is Chris Slade's Timeline. Chris is a drummer whose career spans six decades now, having spent time with Tom Jones, Manfred Mann, The Firm, AC/DC and Asia amongst others and the show will draw on this wealth of material.
This year see's the introduction of a third stage, moving through acoustic acts in the afternoon to close with Ed Tudor Pole, for those who remember "Swords Of A Thousand Men" and "Who Killed Bambi?"
The festival is underway proper from lunchtime today with another great mix of acts with Quireboys bringing the day to it's conclusion.
Tickets are £45 on the gate for the weekend and a new £25 day ticket has been introduced for Saturday both inclusive of parking and camping.
The Coneygrey Showgrounds are close to the Derbyshire village of Pentrich, about halfway between Alfreton and Belper.
Buses get you within a mile, the 148 from Alfreton stops at Pentrich, no Sunday service though or a 140 or 150 from Alfreton or Matlock,(Matlock Train Station 140 only) and alight at Oakerthorpe.
Future show time now. Something for the August Bank Holiday weekend, in Bad Segeberg, Schleswig-Holstein. Big assumption on my part there, it may not be a Bank Holiday weekend in Germany?
The occasion is The Lindenhof Reloaded Festival on Saturday the 24th. https://www.facebook.com/events/435958946501765/, which will feature Dale in his dual role with BB and Skorbut.
May be worth consideration for UK followers, Dale is suggesting cheap flights are available from Manchester. Will check out planes and trains for next week's blog.
One last indulgence if you wouldn't mind. BB are currently in a poll with three other acts for the title "July's Weirdest band" and are slightly ahead of O Be de Vil a Spanish Punk/Polka player.
Not sure what purpose it serves, it is only one click at http://weirdestbandintheworld.com/2013/07/19/july-weird-band-poll-vote-for-bb-blackdog-ben-amy-fartbarf-o-bo-de-vil-or-peculate/ though.