February is a great month for Broadstairs, marking the start of our annual festivals’ calendar. The town plays host to the fabulous Broadstairs Blues Bash, now in it’s tenth year!
In 2018 the Bash runs from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th February with headline act Nine Below Zero supported by Catfish playing the Pavillion in Viking Bay on the Saturday night. During the weekend more than 50 different acts will perform around town in more than fourteen different venues.
Organiser and local Blues legend, Nigel Feist, as ever, has managed to attract some of the country’s foremost blues talent to help make this weekend the bluesiest of the year. BBB is sure to blow away those winter cobwebs and get everyone fired up for some good times ahead.
Broadstairs music scene is always pretty good. Live music can regularly be found at The Pavillion, The Wrotham Arms, the Neptune, the Chapel and Harpers Bar as well as at our retro outdoor bandstand overlooking Viking Bay. But if you thought the town was more Folkie-focussed, because of the long established Folk Week festival in August, you are in for a surprise. This town can do the Blues and it can do it old style, new style, young and old style, rough and ready, or as gentle as you like. With the big ticketed gig at the 500 capacity Pavillion on the Saturday, right down to tiny intimate events in pubs and winebars, which are all free, you can catch as much of the action as you fancy catching. Move on to the next one whenever you are ready for a change.
tickets for broadstairs blues bash on Sat
Tickets for the Pavilion on Saturday night cost £17. Get them via the Blues Bash website here.
Nine below zero
Nine Below Zero go right back to the late ’70s but have lost none of their energy or edge.
Dennis Greaves and Mark Feltham founded the band and came up with the name, Nine Below Zero, under management with Mickey Modern, in 1979.
Their first album, Live at the Marquee was followed by, Don’t Point Your Finger then Third Degree and they performed their hit 11+11 on The Young Ones, the anarchic ’80s BBC sitcom, in 1982.
They have played with The Who and The Kinks, and made early TV appearances on The Old Grey Whistle Test as well as The Southbank Show. Ever since, the band have continued to perform sell out gigs including guest and support slots with some massive names including Eric Clapton, Sting, Ray Davies, Chuck Berry, Jools Holland, Brian May and The Stranglers.
In 2015 Drummer Mickey Burkey re-joined the band on a permanent basis to once again play with Brian Bethell, Mark Feltham and Dennis Greaves as, “the classic Young Ones line up”.
Their most recent album 13 Shades of Blue was released in 2016 with more musicians and a female vocalist, Charlie Austen, added to the line up for a unique NBZ big band treatment of classic blues tracks. On tour since, they went down a storm on the acoustic stage at Glastonbury in 2016.
The new line-up is Dennis Greaves (Guitar and Vocals), Mark Feltham (Harmonica and Vocals), MIckey Burkey (Drums), Ben Willis (Bass), Charlie Austen (Vocals), Andrew Noble (Keyboards), Chris Rand (Saxophone) and Paul Jordanous (Trumpet).
check out this video for a recent taste of Nine Below Zero:
On Sunday afternoon there’s a free jam session event at the Pavilion so bring your instrument if you’re a musician and hope to perform.
Other gigs of note include:
Friday 16th Feb: Big Joe Bone, Detente, Greg Coulson and Pocket Blues Bank
Saturday17th Feb: the Chris Corcoran Trio, Coldharbour Blues, Deep Blue Sea, Native Oyster Band, Robin Bibi and Rosco Levee and Marcus Bonfanti
Sunday 18th Feb: John Doe Trio, King Biscuit Boys, Miles Cookman Band, King Size Slim, Voodoo Sheiks and Richard Rozze.
Find the whole line up here.
navigation aid! (Really just a bit of fun)
If navigating your way round so many gigs feels like it might be daunting we commend to you an excellent tube style map of the venues. This has been drawn up by the Blues Bash organisers. The artist has perhaps consumed a few Kentish ales before dreaming up what they’ve chosen to call the Broadstairs Blues Line. It’s an imaginary tube line with a gig venue at each imaginary stop!
The map is a fun way of seeing roughly where places are in relation to each other but honestly, most are not more than about a ten minute stroll from any of the others so you really don’t need a ‘Blues Train’ to get from A-B, or if you’re going from The Little Albion, on the fringes of Broadstairs and St Peter’s Village, to the Tartar Frigate, on Viking Bay. Those two are the furthest apart and we would estimate are not more than about a fifteen minutes walk between them.
All credit to the artist (sorry we don’t know their name) who has come up with this great concept.
Lay your head at Beeches
Our comfortable well equipped holiday homes are the perfect place to lay your head at the end of a long and blues filled day and evening. A short cab ride from the centre of town and all the action. You’ll sleep well and wake up refreshed and ready to do it all again the next day. Check availability via the form on our home page. Group bookings are welcome.
share your experience afterwards
Let us know who your favourite venues and acts turn out to be if you come and enjoy The Broadstairs Blues Bash in 2018!Tags: bluesBlues Bashgigsnine below zerowinter broadstairs blues bash