Walter Ego play an excellent set to a tiny crowd on the Bandstand
Stage - click
Jim Houghton of Walter Ego at The Bandstand Sessions 2004 - click
Derek Baldwin on Bass with Walter Ego at the Bandstand Sessions - 2004 - click
Steamroller on stage at the 2004 Bandstand Sessions - click
JR Vocals and Harp with Steamroller at the 2004 Bandstand - click
Phil Jennings and Gibson with Steamroller - Riverside Bandstand Stage - 2004 -
Molly Brown - click
Paddy Kirkman: nimble fingers, talent, and lots and lots of practice=great
guitar player - click
Mark Steads at the keyboard with Molly Brown - 2004 - click
Jimmy Tinkler played an excellent set of songs at The Bandstand Sessions 2004
Anglin wrestles with the controls at the Bandstand Sound desk - 2004!
Mark takes over engineering duties at the Bandstand Sound desk - 2004!
Stewie of the Shedmen at The Bnadstand Sessions - 2004 - Click to ENLARGE
Sean of the Shedmen at The Bandstand Sessions - 2004 - Click to ENLARGE
Barry & Mick (on the bass) of the Shedmen at The Bandstand Sessions - 2004 -
Click to ENLARGE
The Riverside Music Room
Saturday 15th May 2004
12 - Noon
The weather was just the most sensational; warm, sunny, windless, quite the
It was a day to be outside, sitting in the sun, taking a cool drink, possibly
an ice cream or a BB King Burger (followed by a Blind Lemon er... Meringue -
well, possibly but let's not get carried away here) down at The Mines tavern .
It was a weekend to remember. It was also a weekend to
be wandering around town with a few friends, taking in the vibe at The Queens or
maybe The Shore or possibly just lying in the sun outside the Mines - enjoying
the sounds and the atmosphere. Let's face it, being inside just wasn't the best
plan. But this was the finest weekend of May weather that I have seen in the 6
years of being involved with the Big Wheel Blues Festival and in the past,
being inside out of the wind and rain has seemed like a pretty cool idea. Not
so this weekend. Hey ho.
Steamroller and friends taking in some rays outiosde the Bandstand 2004 - click
OK, so we were inside at The Riverside Music Room for The Bandstand Sessions
big audience we didn't have. People came and sat for a while, maybe had a drink
in the Laxey Glen Gardens but it was pretty much a coming and going thing.
Having said that there was some great music too.
Outward Signs at the Bandstand Session Sunday 16th May 2004
First up was
who play, amongst other stuff, a lot of the old Led Zeppelin repertoire -
really rather well. They did not let the fact that the room was not exactly
heaving put them off one little bit. They got on with it and quite frankly they
rocked. Good on 'em.
strolled up the hill with wandering guitar pal
. John Barker was still wondering
(wandering and wondering?) if the printed programme was right and Bartoads
would be playing next. But no, all was as it should be according to the website
and they were due to follow Outward Signs and I must say played a set of blues
"standards" that was more or less the ticket for me. I saw the various members
of Walter Ego playing here and there all over the Fest weekend and never mind
the music - that speaks for itself - their sheer stamina impressed the hell out
Walter Ego contribute to the Bandstand Sessions - 2004 - click
First time on the Bandstand for
and the crowd was a disappointment - nothing to do whatsoever with the
excellent and uncomplaining Cahonies it was just the weather (everyone was
outside in the sunshine) - but they played
to the standard that we have come to expect of them with all the passion and
enthusiasm that a packed out auditorium might have deserved - nice one lads.
A bit of a crowd started to appear and the excellent and mob handed (there are
seven in the band)
started to assemble in the sunshine - see pic at top of page. Rollcall
being complete and all present and correct the band hit their stride straight
with the now familiar Duke,
harmonica sounding particularly sweet I
thought. Taking vocals on the Etta James classic,
Steamroller take to the Riverside Bandstand Stage - 2004 - click
"Sunday Kind of Love", was
- a very,
musically, attractive counterpoint to JR. Keyboard player
it with his solo on Muddy Waters' "Caldonia" and
rather beautiful Gibson 335(6?) shows what a strong player he is particularly
on "Worried Life Blues" and "Watch Out". Of course the rhythm section of
Steamroller are at the heart of the matter and the driven shuffle groove of
"Watch Yourself" with
Steve Turner in the engine room for Steamroller - 2004 - click
(picture left) on bass and
on Drums was great.
Bass player Dave Quayle with Steamroller at the Bandstand Sessions 2004
Let me tell you too that the Sax player,
,is some player - which particular bushell has his light been hiding under?
A rather fab hour of Blues all 'round and with Steamroller due to support
The Centenary Arts Centre
Peel the following night, the band was sounding on really top form.
Stephen Hind blows a very cool sax with Steamroller at the Bandstand Sessions
And so it was
turn to come in out of the beautiful afternoon sunshine still warming the
umbrellas around the
. We have come to expect an ever more interesting repertoire of music from
and in my opinion they get better each time I see them.
double bass playing (how does she do that?) speaks for itself. For such a
consummate performer Kelly can sometimes get a touch of stage fright (and
nothing wrong in that) but who would ever guess?
on percussion is
an original and talented character and although often (but not always) tucked
away behind his kit he never fails to make his presence felt and is as rock
solid as any rythm section could want.
Boogie-woogie can trip up the best
keyboards players but never
. It was great to see him playing
accordion elsewhere at this year's Festival too.
The hands of Mark Steads tickling the ivories - 2004 - click
is a guitarist that many of the guitar players that I have spoken
to at the Fest this year pick out for particular praise and admiration. You
don't get this good by being lucky - it takes a lot of serious, hard work and
practice, practice and yet more practice. He has an "effortless" style that
doesn't kid anybody who knows a bit about guitar. Whether he is playing jazz or
full-on rock Paddy kicks some serious arse let me tell you. Oh, and did I
mention that they sing four part harmony? No? Well they do. Makes me green, green, green...
Paddy Kirkman in full flow with Molly Brown - 2004 - click
Sunday Hangover session 16 May 2004
Well the weather ,in all its glory, was actually detrimental to the support for
this the first additional day of music for the Festival. The scorching weather
of the last 2 days kept people outdoors whilst the bands plugged and strummed
their wares indoors.
At midday we were treated to a wonderful set by
who was no stranger to the festival this year having already played several
gigs both solo and with
around the joints before the Riverside Music Room. He gave us some wonderful
rousing and soulful numbers, all self penned which were appreciated by the
handful of early birds to arrive at the venue.
Next up were
who formed just prior to the weekend and consisted of Sophie Scott, Charlotte
Healy and Richard Crellin who between them knocked out a great array of covers
Joan Armatrading (playing the Villa this July)
to Stereophonics . A little shaky to begin with first-ever gig nerves but with
some professional tweaking from Mark and Jonathan behind the desk the band
were back on form and delivered a delightful 40min set culminating in their
first ever encore which was again from Ms Armatrading.
have taken many forms in the past and todays duo were Amy Scanlon and Cheryl
Molyneux both on acoustic guitars and vocals. This was hailed as one of the
last ever performances for the pair as Malaka disband when Amy leaves for
London in the coming months. The girls had no problem performing their own
songs as well as the odd classic by PJ Harvey. Again appreciated by the few
that dared to come in from the heat.
confidentally stepped things up a gear with a 3 piece group etching a strong
blues edge with classic Hendrix and likes. Richard had earlier in the week
played a great spot at the
before embarking on a stronger electric set for the Riverside Music Room.
These guys, along with Jimmy's band, will also be performing for Triskel and
Bushys at the Infamous Rhythm and Brews week on the beach in Port Erin TT2004.
They were followed by popular South-African singer/songwriter
who has made a huge impression on the local scene in the few short months
since he arrived. He played several original songs including his
debut single "Running"
as well as some generous nods to the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls and Shawn
Mullins. He was lucky enough to have his own fans rousing him along!
neither needed an introduction or to be asked to wack up the volume to 11 and
deliver a blistering set of class punk covers featuring everything from The
Buzzcocks to Green Day and even managed along the way, to take requests from
every single one of the audience. Loud but incredibly tight, the band drew to a
close what was a most enjoyable weekend of musical bliss. Whilst it was nice to
have such fab weather, it is hoped the additional day will prove a popular
choice to showcase the more mainstream local bands who get a chance to play at
the now firmly established Big Wheel Blues Festival.
The Shedmen in action on the Bandstand Stage 2004
Big thanks as ever to Mark, Anglin and Jonathan for the sound, to all the bands
and supporters and Noreen and Mathew at the Riverside Music Room.
See you all next year.
Triskel Promotions Ltd
who volunteered Lenny's time and er... expertise to
this year's Festival for free gratis and for nothing, wer busy postfestival
Bushys Rhythm and Brews gigs on the beach (4-10 June 2004 in Port Erin) and also
announced a coup; hosting the one and only
who will play at the
Royal Hall, Villa Marina 28 August Bank Holiday 2004