Stunning new performers backed by impressive regular acts delighted the crowds at Ealing Blues Festival which the organiser confidently claims is the best in the country.
The event held in Walpole Park on Saturday (19) and Sunday (20) attracted between 5,000 and 6,000 people each day. This was despite storm warnings from the Met Office which meant the crowds only really began to swell later on both days when the feared torrential rain failed to materialise.
Artistic director Bob Salmons said: “We always have the solid, reliable backbone of British Blues but it’s the acts people haven’t seen before which they tend to talk about.
“The ones who come back are important because it means there is always a benchmark of quality and all the bands always give 100 per cent. Acts like Jerimiah Marques and Connie Lush who always deliver and who people want to see again.”
He said the stand-out act on Saturday which got people talking was a band called Mack fronted by Tommy Hare.
Mr Salmons said: “He’s a young guy in his late 20s who is unfeasibly tall and unfeasibly thin and who just oozes charisma. He has already sung with members of the Rolling Stones and has a classic rock, soul, blues voice. People came and said ‘whoa, he’s a star’.”
The highlights on Sunday were an impressive duo called Hat Fitz and Cara who Mr Salmons called ‘fantastic’. As well as soul singer Earl Thomas who as a writer has had his songs recorded by ‘everybody from Tom Jones downwards’. Mr Salmons said he is the best vocalist who has ever performed at the festival.
He added: “What’s also really important is we managed to get some of the best local bands, including young musicians.
“At the risk of sounding arrogant, it’s the best blues festival. End of.”
The Jazz Festival is the next and last summer festival event to take place at Walpole Park. The five day event will be held from Wednesday (23) to Sunday (27).