‘Superlative start’ to the Dereham Blues Festival after Georgie Fame gig
- Credit: Colin Collis
An annual music festival held in a mid Norfolk town has had a 'superlative start', say organisers.
The sixth Dereham Blues Festival got underway with a full house at the memorial hall for iconic blues musicians Georgie Fame and The Family Trio, on Thursday, July 12.
The trio of Fame and his sons, Tristan on guitar, and James playing drums, put on a show spanning Fame's 60 year career, with tunes from every decade and all his much loved hits, including Yeh Yeh and Bonnie and Clyde
The music was set in context by Fame, with anecdotes between the songs interspersed with covers.
Richard Nelson, chairman of the Dereham Jazz Society, said: 'The festival was propelled to a superlative start.
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'Tales of rock 'n' roll, and of touring with Eddie Cochrane and Billy Fury, were underpinned with a list of names reading like a Who's Who of rhythm and blues.
'A lovely twist was Georgie's recollection of playing the end of the pier show at Great Yarmouth in the early 60s and catching some sleep under the pier with his Blue Flames band after travelling all night from a gig at the other end of the country.'
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Mr Nelson added: 'The Hammond organ is an extraordinarily expressive instrument and Georgie knows exactly how to handle it.
'He just touches the keyboard and the stage infuses with blues.
'His still-strong voice is instantly recognisable too and his songs were delivered with a deeply imbedded blues tonality.
'The brothers are musicians with a stature matching their dad's and, in the second set, Tristan's rendering of Hendrix's Red House was a tour de force, totally fitting to the opening gig of the Dereham Blues Festival.'
Fame, who's real name is Clive Powell, said: 'Put me near a B3 Hammond organ, in my view, an invention to rank with printing and penicillin in the history of western civilisation, and I'm not going to stop smiling all night.'
Mr Nelson added the show ended with a 'spontaneous standing ovation' followed by an 'upbeat encore guaranteed to send us home happy'.
He said: 'It was all grand stuff and delivered with an engagingly intimate narrative and great musical finesse.
'And if there's a cooler 70-something musician anywhere in the world I'd be amazed.
'Thanks to the Blues Festival Committee and the Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall.'