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Festival underdogs Options
Space5279
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 9:22:21 AM
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Every year at festivals around the world, there are bands who jump out of their time slot and steal the day...and quite often it's the springboard to bigger and better things. Franti, Kasey Chambers and JBT all made their mark on Bluesfest as minnows and grew because of it. Like wise, there are the underdog tales, of bands out of their league, but somehow stealing the limelight from the supposed headliners. Here is one of my fave festival tales....

In 1980, the New Wave Of Heavy Metal was in full swing. Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Def Leppard, Saxon, Judas Priest, Whitesnake were becoming massive. Ozzy was being reborn. Motley Crue was on the rise....it was a headbangers environment, particularly for the major rock festivals in the UK. And so it was to Reading 1980. The aforementioned new guard of Metal Merchants were assembled over 3 days. The headliners being UFO, Rory Gallagher and Whitesnake with Ozzy as a special guest. But the kids were really there to see Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Krokus, Samson et al. Ozzy, on his Blizzard of Oz tour, and Gary Moore, cancelled at the very last minute and organisers had to find a replacement for the late afternoon Sunday slot. Enter a very reluctant Slade.

Slade were in a serious period of decline, so much so, that guitarist Dave Hill had effectively left the band. Gone were the days of massive chart toppers and glam rock. They were unwanted and considered the a relic of the past. Slade's days were over. However, they were eventually convinced to help out the festival and play in front of 65,000 half baked heavy metal pissheads at a prime spot in between Budgie and Def Leppard. To say that the fans were disappointed at the no show of Ozzy, was an understatement. So Slade were dropped into this cauldron.....like lambs to the slaughter!!

Well, as they say, the rest is history. Slade decided to turn everything up to 11, play at a frenetic pace and not give the masses enough time to hurl abuse. The thing was, they killed it!! By the last 2 singalongs of 'Okey Cokey' and 'Get Down And Get With It', the crowd were in the palm of their hands. They stole the show and taught a lot of the younger bands how to really rock out and have fun at the same time. Def Leppard followed like a bowl of wet luttuce in comparison. And Slade's career was rejuvinated for the next 5 years or so in both the UK and also the US, who had ignored Slade first time around.

Anyone got any other fesival stories where the David's took on the Goliath's and won?

Nb - you can hear Slade's Reading set on the Slade Alive Anthology from a few years ago.



"...wild Jamaican's from Kingston drinking Irish Moss
Listening to Peter Winston Macintosh..."
bucetti1
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 10:26:47 AM
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I seem to remember Max Merritt and the Meteors being almost universally booed before their set but by the end of it they had won everybody over.I remember feeling happy for Max.Great musicianship won the day.


When they go low-we go high.
mpember
Posted: Saturday, February 16, 2013 5:32:22 PM

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I remember when Ben Harper closed Mojo a while ago and Taj Mahal was on before him.

I was down the front and surrounded by people who had camped out all day just to see Ben and had no idea who Taj was. At the beginning of the set, most were just talking. By the end, the whole tent was singing "The blues is alright" even after Taj had left the stage.
bambambam
Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013 9:28:58 PM
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Not a good idea to go on after the Paladins had played a set,
I can remember seeing some amazing stuff from them in the first ten years of Bluesfest,,,

Write a wise saying and your name will live on forever,,, Anonymous
TheLoneRanger
Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013 10:39:49 PM
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I raised the Taj before Ben issue at the time,and noted that it was a clever ploy by the Bluesfest team to get the Ben crowd into some older blues.
I had to leave the Paladins/Bill KIrchen show early on 9/04/04,thus mised Bill to catch the last half hour of Max Merritt and get a good spot for James Brown,so misssed the booing,but was impressed with Max & co.

It is all a matter of perception in regard to who are underdogs.
By 2004,I would say the The Paladins/Bill/Kenny Neal were underdogs,playing what I thought were two of the best three sets at that Festival,to small audiences.

All the metal artists listed are reasonably well known by the general public,but most of the artists at Bluesfest are not.
Anyone playing in the smaller tents at a time-slot where there are two or three strong acts in the larger tents,is potentially an underdog.




"An artist never really chooses when and where they will play.It is for promoters to make offers.It comes down as to whether tours are financially viable." Quote John Mayall.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbEHzqildp8
waffles
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 7:30:54 AM
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e.g. kenny wayne shephard at the same time as john fogerty twice last year.d'oh!

I don't want to hang up my rock n roll shoes
I get a good time feeling every time I hear those blues.
Dan...
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 12:05:59 PM
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mpember wrote:
I remember when Ben Harper closed Mojo a while ago and Taj Mahal was on before him.

I was down the front and surrounded by people who had camped out all day just to see Ben and had no idea who Taj was. At the beginning of the set, most were just talking. By the end, the whole tent was singing "The blues is alright" even after Taj had left the stage.


don't want to sound like a jerk but i'm fairly sure you have a couple of different stories mashed together here.

back in 2001 (?) little milton played before ben harper (and jack johnson), crowd was a bit douchey at first but ended up singing along to milton's 'the blues is alright' because he just slayed.

don't get me wrong, i recall taj being on before ben harper as well one year so maybe it's just the song you have wrong. or maybe i just need a couple more coffees.

The poster formerly known as Dan
skot20_58
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 6:13:46 PM
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Dan... wrote:
mpember wrote:
I remember when Ben Harper closed Mojo a while ago and Taj Mahal was on before him.

I was down the front and surrounded by people who had camped out all day just to see Ben and had no idea who Taj was. At the beginning of the set, most were just talking. By the end, the whole tent was singing "The blues is alright" even after Taj had left the stage.


don't want to sound like a jerk but i'm fairly sure you have a couple of different stories mashed together here.

back in 2001 (?) little milton played before ben harper (and jack johnson), crowd was a bit douchey at first but ended up singing along to milton's 'the blues is alright' because he just slayed.

don't get me wrong, i recall taj being on before ben harper as well one year so maybe it's just the song you have wrong. or maybe i just need a couple more coffees.




I remember that! Ben played a great set that night voodoo child!!! Very cool. Wasn't john butler trio on before little Milton?


Dear Skot,
Are you going to be a goose all your life?
ScottM
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 7:34:40 PM
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Dan... wrote:
mpember wrote:
I remember when Ben Harper closed Mojo a while ago and Taj Mahal was on before him.

I was down the front and surrounded by people who had camped out all day just to see Ben and had no idea who Taj was. At the beginning of the set, most were just talking. By the end, the whole tent was singing "The blues is alright" even after Taj had left the stage.


don't want to sound like a jerk but i'm fairly sure you have a couple of different stories mashed together here.

back in 2001 (?) little milton played before ben harper (and jack johnson), crowd was a bit douchey at first but ended up singing along to milton's 'the blues is alright' because he just slayed.

don't get me wrong, i recall taj being on before ben harper as well one year so maybe it's just the song you have wrong. or maybe i just need a couple more coffees.


I didn't see Taj's set before Ben that year, but he did play that song in his other set for the weekend, complete with faux-Australian accent on a couple "the blues are alright"....
mpember
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 7:47:37 PM

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Dan... wrote:
mpember wrote:
I remember when Ben Harper closed Mojo a while ago and Taj Mahal was on before him.

I was down the front and surrounded by people who had camped out all day just to see Ben and had no idea who Taj was. At the beginning of the set, most were just talking. By the end, the whole tent was singing "The blues is alright" even after Taj had left the stage.


don't want to sound like a jerk but i'm fairly sure you have a couple of different stories mashed together here.

back in 2001 (?) little milton played before ben harper (and jack johnson), crowd was a bit douchey at first but ended up singing along to milton's 'the blues is alright' because he just slayed.

don't get me wrong, i recall taj being on before ben harper as well one year so maybe it's just the song you have wrong. or maybe i just need a couple more coffees.


2002 was my first BF, so I can't attest to what happened in 2001.
repete
Posted: Monday, February 18, 2013 7:56:46 PM
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Dan... wrote:
don't want to sound like a jerk but i'm fairly sure you have a couple of different stories mashed together here.

back in 2001 (?) little milton played before ben harper (and jack johnson), crowd was a bit douchey at first but ended up singing along to milton's 'the blues is alright' because he just slayed.

don't get me wrong, i recall taj being on before ben harper as well one year so maybe it's just the song you have wrong. or maybe i just need a couple more coffees.


Wasn't that a great gig...?? Little Milton with Duke Robillard and Charlie Musselwhite...one of the sublime performances of bluesfest.


Hangin' out on Frenchmen
johnnymac
Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 4:09:50 PM
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Agree, agree, agree...........it is in my top twenty moments.
greybeard
Posted: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 5:31:55 PM

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Byron Bay,

The Delta Singer
Not Just Another Festival. (Australian Byron Bay Festival)

Another year but not just another festival. It has been ten years since this event began and it has got some mileage on it now. One thing I have learnt - in this year that sees my fiftieth summer on the plant, God willing - is that nothing good happens if you don't stick to it. As one sticks to something one learns a thing or two - mainly better ways to go about doing something. By that, I am making a definitive statement, which is that things improve with age.

They say as you grow older you grow into your face, meaning that no matter what god (or genes) may have blessed you with, ultimately you resemble who you really are. And that, my friends, is what I believe this Festival is beginning to resemble.

With one foot firmly planted in the past we have the knowledge and awareness of music's timelessness passed down to us by all those who have gone before so that we can stride confidently into the future, knowing that the music is in safe hands. This precious responsibility is not something that we will ever take lightly. For, in being a part of the music, we are part of timeless infinity.

Music was never meant to have barriers or walls put up around it and this is what you get at this festival. Don't ask me for the blues tent ar country tent or whatever. It all goes together if it's great. And this is Australia's festival of great music. I don't believe that any other festival in Australia comes near us for sheer quality music, although I would never say there are not other great Australian festivals. If you have been to Woodford or Port Fairy, The Laura Festival or the Gympie Muster, then truly you haven't been to all of Australia's great music festivals. All of these festivals have very special reasons for what makes them so good. The East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival is about one thing: Music. And on music we will stand and grow.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart every one who has anything to do with this event on any level, for giving me the opportunity to continue to present the very best in music that I possibly can. I salute you and toast - the future.

I would like to especially thank Taj Mahal for putting the Hula Blues band together to tour Ausralia exclusively. Your dedication to music is an inspiration. Also thank you to Ben Harper for being who you are and remembering this festival as being there for you on your way up - and returning the favour.

A special thanks to Tony Joe White for writing and recording the first song about the Festival.
(Listen to the Delta Singer on One Hot July; Leo.) May there be many more.


Welcome to the tenth one. May it be everything you ever musically wished for (and more).
Peter Noble, Co-Producer
The East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival.

Festival Underdog

Heading out for the East Coast / Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through, / Tangled up in blues.
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