Launch of this year’s Big Wheel Blues Festival will be marked with a fundraising concert at the Centenary Centre, Peel, on Saturday April 5, at 8pm.
The event is to raise money for the festival with blues music CDs available to buy on the night.
The headline act for the evening is ‘Manchester’s finest ethio-trad, folk-hop band’ – Honeyfeet, a five-member group, which features Rioghnach Connolly (vocals) and Ellis Davies (guitar).
‘Anyone who saw them as a duo at the centre last October will no doubt have bought their tickets already, and this time we have the whole band, adding David Schlechtriemen on percussion, Gus Fairbairn on Saxophone, and Rik Warren, vocals and harmonica,’ said a Centenary Centre spokesman.
Honeyfeet will be playing a selection of old blues (Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Elmore James), along with songs from their new album entitled It’s a Good Job I Love You!
Their sound has been described as Amy Whitehouse meets Frank Zappa. As CityLife magazine said ‘evoking the Afro-funk of Mulatu Astake, the exuberant folk of Flook, the Blues of Junior Wells without ever sounding contrived or unoriginal, Honeyfeet have in Rioghnach Connolly one of the most striking frontwomen of the moment’.
Support will be provided by some of the island’s Blues stalwarts, Loose Crew, along with guests.
Festival sponsors were thanked – including Domicilium, Peter Norris Music, Event Services Ltd, the IoM Arts Council and Manx Radio – but eveyone is encouraged to do their bit to support the festival to help make it the best one yet.
Tickets for the April 5 concert are £10 and available online from www.centenarycentre.com or from Celtic Gold in Peel, Peter Norris Music in Douglas, Shakti Man in Ramsey and Thompson Travel in Port Erin.
The Big Wheel Blues Festival will take place at the Villa Marina in Douglas June 20-22.
There are ticketed concerts on the Friday and Saturday evenings as well as two free stages of local musicians from 12.30pm to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, with family entertainment courtesy of The Children’s Centre.
For the first time, there will also be a free afternoon stage outside the Strand Centre, in Strand Street, Douglas, to spread the music a little wider.
Tickets cost £22.50 per night and are on sale from the villagaiety box office, call 600555 or online at villagaiety.com
The Friday night (June 20) performing are duo Leonie Evans and Ben Sayers, Jo Harman and Company and blues rock band King King.
On Saturday night bill includes The Red Wine Serenaders from Italy, Rob Heron and the Teapad Orchestra, and Steve Roux and the Brass Knuckle Blues Band.