Running from Wednesday 2nd to Sunday 6th October, the Leek Blues & Americana Festival was a nice way to end festival season for us.
A few of our British country artists were playing this festival. Our first was Kezia Gill who played on the Thursday evening. Unfortunately due to work commitments weeknight gigs are an impossibility for us. Kezia has had an amazing 18 months though where she has been nominated for countless awards and has toured Australia. She always delivers a stunning performance.
We could only manage one day at this festival so we made it count and we managed to see 5 of our artists. Starting off our entertainment for the day were Jaywalkers who played to a packed audience at The Old Mill pub. So packed in fact that we couldn't actually move and we were wedged in a corner. The audience unfortunately was not there for the music, and continually chatted and laughed throughout Jaywalkers performance. We could not see them and we could not hear them which was a real shame because this trio has a lovely sound. We left before their set had quite finished as we were worried we wouldn't get to see the next artists that we wanted to see who were playing at a pub just up the road.
We made our way to The Roebuck and there were no seats available. We had about 15 minutes so when a table became available we sat down and were joined by Gareth Nugent. Always lovely to have a chat with him. He joined Tommy Taylor on stage and again we couldn't see them or hear them but luckily for us the table right opposite them became vacant and we managed to get it.
Tommy and Gareth were amazing. They took it in turns to sing a song and it ended up being a bit of a competition between the two of them as to what they would play to top the last ones performance. They played to the crowd choosing some amazing covers like Hotel California interspersed with original songs from both of them. Gareth's last song was American Pie and he had the whole pub singing it with him. It was a hairs stand up on the back of your neck moment. Just amazing. These two artists just completely worked being together on the stage. They even did an encore which unless you are a headliner at a festival it just doesn't happen.
We spent the rest of the evening with Gareth and Tommy and we all walked up to the Leek Bar & Grill together so that we could catch our next performers. This was by far the best venue of the evening as the artists performed in an undercover courtyard that was set out with big potted plants and tables and lit with fairy lights.
We were treated to a lovely performance from Mike Ross. I had literally reviewed his album the day before so was familiar with his songs. Having met him a couple of weeks earlier at The British Country Music Festival in Blackpool, and not managing to see his set because we were interviewing, it was great to finally see him in action and I thoroughly enjoyed his set.
Our final artist of the day was Kerry Fearon. I have been looking forward to meeting this lady for a long time and I have to say it was worth the wait. She was accompanied on guitar by Mike Ross. They had had a run through of her songs earlier in the day as they had never met before Saturday. I really enjoyed this set. You would never have known that they had only just met if you had seen them performing. Kerry was totally at ease and she is a fabulous singer. Mike also sang backing vocals and they even did a duet together.
Just one final thing to do. We filmed an interview with Kerry. It was an opportunity not to be missed.
Emily Lockett played on the Sunday afternoon. This young lady is proving very popular. I see her name on so many line-ups. She too has had an incredible year and I always enjoy watching her perform so I was sad that we would not be able to catch a performance on this occasion.