The Best Of BluesFest

The organisers of the 2015 Prudential BluesFest have filled us in on the artists set to play London’s O2 on November 7 and 8. “The line-up is looking really good,” says director Leo Green. “I’m looking forward to seeing Dave Matthews Band, as they’re amazing live, and I’m very excited about the double bill with Van Morrison and Tom Jones. They’ve recorded a few times, but I don’t think they’ve ever actually performed together on stage in London. I’m hoping we might witness some very special duets.

“On the Saturday night,” continues Green, “Tedeschi Trucks Band will be incredible. We had them at the 2013 BluesFest and they’ve been one of our most requested acts from the fans. About 15 minutes after their set finishes, Jo Harman will be taking to the stage at the Brooklyn Bowl, so it’s a pretty perfect Saturday night out. Then, on the Sunday night, we get a chance to enjoy the mastery of Matt Schofield. I love his playing, his songwriting and his voice: it’ll be a masterclass in 21st century blues.”

It’s a perfect Saturday night out.

The backing of Prudential, explains Green, has changed the pricing policy. “We’re now able to present around 30 daytime acts, absolutely free, to anyone who wants to come down. We have some amazing acts: Georgie Fame, Ian Siegal, Bernie Marsden, Big Boy Bloater, Laurence Jones, Aaron Keylock, Paul Jones, Matt Taylor’s Boom Band, Darrel Higham, Big Joe Louis and others – as well as Lauren Housley headlining our acoustic stage.

There’ll be the Q&A sessions again, plus exhibitions and all kinds of things. It’s perfect when you’re wondering what to do on a dreary Saturday or Sunday, and it’s all free – thanks to Prudential!”

Green is in no doubt that today’s curious punter is tomorrow’s hardcore blues fan. “To ensure the future of the festival,” he says, “it’s vital that we attract new fans, and I’m convinced that even if you don’t know much about blues, if you come down and check out some daytime acts, you’ll love them. It’s all about making blues and blues-related music accessible to people.”

See for details.

Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.