There's a great acoustic / un-plugged bill on the cards once again for this year at Uttoxeter Racecourse which is hosting The Acoustic Festival of Britain.
The Uttoxeter based spring event appeals to the more mature music lovers and brings you 3 huge marquees, an outside Dome stage and posh flushing loos and hot showers, electric hook ups for caravans and several seated food tents. It all goes towards the laid back feel-good factor that typifies what this festival is all about.
Three times Grammy nominated, Brit award nominee and Ivor Novella winner singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading MBE, will be playing this year and receiving her lifetime achievement award at the concert on the Saturday evening 26th May.
Joan will give a rare "best of 40 years songs performance", together with her un-plugged band on the Saturday evening, following Mike Peters, the founder frontman of the internationally acclaimed Welsh band The Alarm. Mike is now also the singer of Big Country. An inspirational solo acoustic performer and (as a two times cancer survivor), founder of what is now regarded as the world's leading rock and roll cancer charity 'Love Hope Strength Foundation'. Achieving over 15 Top 40 UK singles and over 5 million album sales worldwide along the way, Mike Peters’ musical journey has seen him sing with some of history's greatest performers such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young & Bono. Mike has also taken his trusty acoustic guitar to some of the world's highest elevations performing at 'The Highest Ever Concert On Land' at 18,500 feet on Mt. Everest (2007), and more recently at 19,380 Mount Fuji (2010). Mike is a rare breed of British artists that has conquered the American charts and live tours, with 10 billboard top 50 singles.
A great friend of the Acoustic Festival of Britain, this is Mike’s second appearance in recent years as is Squeeze front man `Glenn Tilbrook , who is recognized as an acoustic master of the solo performance, with his stripped down back catalogue and crowd interaction making him an obvious festival favorite.
The line up attracts the cream of musicians , rock, folk, blues and punk un-plugged and clean, even the most discerning raggy jumper folksters are raving over the heaviest rock anthems and punk tunes acoustically they can hear and understand lyrics. Where else would you have Thunder and Gordon Giltrap, the angst of New Model Army and The Move on the same bill ??
John Cooper Clarke proletariat of anarchy heads the poet’s corner and comic tipi tent sitting curiously inviting amongst the craft market stalls. There will also be Folk, Morris. roots, blues, spoken word & dance in the Top Hat tent with 9 dance troupes & childrens activities.
And with the average age of 45 and a 50/50 gendre split, it tells you it’s a feelgood safe weekend for all. And its clean, very clean, with posh loos caravan site, camping, crafts and foods of the world.
There's to be a wonderful acoustic guitar feast featuring 14 guitarists in concerts and workshops within the festival itself. The legendary Uli Jon Roth of The Scorpions brings his 7 stringed talents to the festival unplugging his "rock – axe" - performing classical Vivaldi amongst his set whilst fellow rockers Thunder will also wind down their set with songs and stories.
American axe wizard Rodney Brannigan and Aussie blues man Gwyn Ashton is amongst 14 top guitar players involved in workshops and concerts. Glenn Tilbrook ( Squeeze ) and Ian McNabb ( Icicle Works ) return playing their familiar tunes.
The folksters will welcome Celtic giants from a bygone age Tir Na Nog back to the festival stage after 4 decades away. As is Stackridge and the inspirational genius of Robin Williamson of Incredible String band, both former original Glastonbury bands.
Seven little Sisters, Pig Earth and Pressgang provide a bouncy full on explosion of instrumental genius to the dome sunshine stage, whilst the intimate subtle folk tunes of Patsy Matheson and Becky Mills of Waking The Witch play out Friday evening in the folk dome tent.
The weekend comes to a conclusion on Sunday evening with the athems of " House Of The Rising Sun", "Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood" from The Animals and "Walking On Sunshine" from Katrina.
A good weekend is to be expected for all at this must go to festival, well away from multi national and grant aided events, this is a not for profit event run by and for the musos of the world.
Joan ArmatradingJohn Cooper Clarke The Animals Glenn Tilbrook Katrina (Ex & The Waves) Danny and Ben from THUNDER Uli Jon Roth The Move Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams (U.S.A.) Ian McNabb (Icicle Works) Gordon Giltrap Stackridge Justin Sullivan & Dean White (New Model Army) Tir Na Nog Quill Mike Peters (The Alarm & Big Country) Robin & Bina Williamson (Incredible String Band) T.Rextasy Joe O'Donnells' Shkyla (East of Eden) Rusty Shackle The Outcast Band Wee Bag Band The Re-Entrants Swans in Flight Pig Earth Patsy Matheson & Becky Mills (Waking the Witch) Freds House Rodney Branigan The Celturian Steve Hicks Afternoon in Paris Jack Blackman Maniere des Bohemiens 7 Little Sisters Shamus O'Blivion & the Megadeath Morrismen PressGang Cole Stacey Slow Burn Fake Thackery TJ & Murphy Chris Woods Stewart Garry Simon Kempston Richard Cash Gwyn Ashton Ferral Mouth Wildfire Folk Grassoline Radio Mary Contortionist & Comedian Chris Cross Hamana West African Drum & Dance Company