2017 FESTIVAL REVIEW
By r4dford, Aug 21 2017 12:13PM
In 10 years time, you'll want to be able to say "I was there!"
As Saturday slowly opened, it was as though Heaven itself had blessed the Radford Mill Festival. Radiant sunshine, as only a West Country English summer can bestow, greeted the incomers and rewarded those with the diligence to have camped from the previous day.
And the Divine continued; Keith and Julie Richards opened the day with elegance, charm and an angel's own voice! Strumming and crooning never seemed so apt!
Gruff, and yet warming, Jon Walsh's voice is like a breath of cigar smoke swirling around a glass of brandy. This is the blues, right enough; urban, assertive, familiar and also refreshing.
It's a truism, and almost becoming a cliche, but everybody DOES love Ragged Union. What's not to like? Topper songs played well with a personable front man. Back in the day, Alan Scrase was lauded for his guitar playing and his fingers have lost nothing of their cunning with the passing of the years.
It's a puzzle to me how such a young stud can convey this magisterial presence, but he does. It's a bold man that can add the word "guitar" to his name but Ruzz Guitar does it with impunity. Although, so many are his talents that he could also bill himself "Ruzz, well dressed man",or "Ruzz, modest and hardworking" and there'd be no argument. Rhythm section pretty snappy too.
The First Raitt Band. There's no substitute for craftsmanship, and this combo have an embarrassment of it. Like Julie Richards, Caroline Tarbuck has the voice of an angel, but this particular angel is stopping over after an all nighter in Memphis and possesses the devil's own wit.
We were blessed with a visit from international award winners Deep Blue Sea. Sophisticated and urgent with some boss guitar and yet another beautiful woman goading and cajoling us.
That'll take some following ... luckily we had Flash Harry Band lined up. Many words have been written, attempting to evoke their friendly yet insistent vibe. Should you be one of the tiny number that have never seen them in their pomp (and it COULD be possible), then we suggest you remedy this with all speed. You don't get to be unanimously perceived as legends for so long by accident.
Local hero? Yup. International star? Yup. Lauded recording artist? That's Jon Amor, alright. Know him anywhere.
That's the thing with Jon Amor; he can make the familiar seem new, and the new seem like an old and valued friend that's been away too long.
By now a full tent were on their feet, some speaking in tongues, while others were definitely feeling no pain.
All too soon, it was over .... but only until AUGUST 11th next year!