Wednesday, October 05, 2011

still hot from Boxstock

Yes I'm still coming down from the event. The evening gig exceeded all our expectations with an international line-up. Set in the theatre of The Public, the gig kicked off with a guitarist (Andy Bole aka The Interplanetary Music Collective) and the Khalgani Dancers (turkish belly dancers). CB John had pursuaded the lady who runs the dance troupe, who had been at the fest last year, to perform for free. Andy set the atmosphere fantastically with his guitar and turkish lute-type instrument with the use of looping pedal and an Ebow (if you don't know what that is, check it out. I want one now). The girls performed two mesmerising dances, all in sequence with each other and very tastefully done. What a cracking start to the evening.

Second on was Tinqui8 who had come all the way from France for the weekend. We were treated to an excellent performance from him last year and he was back for another. Hard to describe his particular blend of music, definitely has a bluesy feel but his slightly unusual open tunings have a sound that seems to be his. Check out his album - Old Riders Blues. He played cigar box guitar, a vintage Weissenborn, and on loan from one of our gang - a beautiful plastic bodied guitar reminiscent of the old Airline electric guitars. The guy that made it is called Sam North. He's made several now and they are amazing.

Next up, our very own Hollowbelly with his distinctive blend of music, he describes as punk-blues. Thrashing away at his cbg, kick drum, low-boy hi hat and singing, he's a veritable one-man powerhouse. Bluesbeaten Redshaw, who collaborated on HB's latest album, Punk Northern and Blue, accompanied him on washboard for one number. HB is our UK flagship for cbg performance and if you want to see him playing, he will be in the Manchester area in November. I'll be announcing the details nearer the time.

Finally our headline act was none other than Ben Prestage from the USA. Ben had been performing at the Tangiers Jazz festival and we managed to divert him to the UK for our gig. Looking like a true hillbilly he stunned us with his performance. Another one-man band, he played various guitars, foot operated drums and hi-hat, harmonica, cigar box fiddle, cigar box banjo and sang. He did an amusing job of introducing his "band" - playing each instrument in turn. This guy is one helluva talent and worth checking out if you don't know of him. His latest album is One Crow Murder.

And that about wraps it up. We managed to drink the bar dry out of draught beer by the end of the night. There is a buzz on Cigar Box Nation about the event, as you might expect. Already plans are being made for next year which hopefully, will be even bigger and better. Things have come a long way in the UK since I discovered the cbg movemnet and started this blog a few years ago. There were literally a handful of UK guys posting on the old Yahoo forum and it was just a pipe dream that we could ever have something like this going in our country. I am truly proud of our guys for pulling all this together and want to give a big thanks to Chickenbone John and Roosterman for all the work they put into organising it.

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