Music and ale festival hits all the right notes

By Mark Pritchett in Local People

A REAL party atmosphere was had by all who flocked to this year’s Uffculme Music & Real Ale Festival.

Some 21 ales and 12 ciders were on offer, including some with quirky names such as Sheep Dip, Old Charlie, Crocod’ale, Indiana’s Bones and Navelgazer. The best-selling ale was GT Ales’ Lazy 8, while Sandford Orchards Devon Red claimed this accolade on the cider front.

Kicking off proceedings on the Friday were Sweet Black Angels from Honiton. They oozed quality during their two-hour set and it soon became evident just why the likes of The Specials, The Pogues, The Levellers, The Bluetones and Wishbone Ash all chose them as a support act on past tours.

The Voice star Adam Isaac is always sure of a big welcome in Uffculme, the village in which he lived and was schooled as a youngster. Terrific as a solo artist, he performed with his excellent band Bloc Off The Wall. Their two hours of exciting non-stop music captivated and thrilled the audience.

Culm Valley Music & Performance Club always organises the music on Saturday afternoons at the festival and always shows the sort of quality that’s open to all and being enjoyed by many every last Wednesday of each month at Uffculme village hall.

First on the bill Eleanor Jacobs is getting noticed for her ‘English Country’ singing. The 23-year-old rising star from Exmouth delivered on stage and it’s little wonder she even excited audiences recently in the capital of country music, Nashville.

Martin Baxter and Kevin Spiers are a fine guitar duo and what a lovely acoustic set they produced with their original songs and Kevin’s fine vocals.

Verity Greenaway is a talented singer-songwriter and guitarist with a great voice. A big favourite in Uffculme, she appeared with the quality accompaniment of guitarist Phil Bowler. She sang a mixture of covers and her own songs, which fell mostly into the blues, pop and folk genre.

Solo guitarist Jerry Cahill played a cross between ambient guitar music and jazz folk. His quality has seen him play at all the major festivals. The Bradninch-based maestro’s mind-blowing guitar skills always thrills the crowd in Uffculme.

Caddick and Parkes combine the dexterous skills of pianist Paul Caddick and the vocals of Nicky Parkes. With songs spanning 75 years of popular music, they produced a truly vintage vibe. They completed the Culm Valley Music and Performance Club’s afternoon’s entertainment in fine style.

Vivid Vague kicked off the evening proceedings with their alternative sound. Formed in 2015 as a grunge rock outfit, they have honed their sound into the more subtle and delicate tones heard today but still with some dark edges! Fronted by Michelle Dilling on vocals the band have drawn likenesses to Laura Marling, Amy Winehouse, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Daughter and Lana Del Rey.

Anything But That are a new four-piece blues/Americana band. They have developed an interesting collection of songs, some well known, in order to present something a little different to festival audiences. The said: “We take blues and Country and Western songs with a great story and lyrics, strip out the banjos, slide guitars and western ‘twang’, and play them in a rocky, toe-tapping style.” They certainly proved that in Uffculme.

Saturday’s headliners Blue Room Baboons are an exciting six-piece funk/rock/pop band. They performed a combination of covers and original songs that had the audience getting down and dancing. Their deft mix of funk, rock, pop, soul and blues certainly produced a unique and captivating sound for the audience. On this evidence it’s little wonder they reached the area final of Live and Unsigned in 2011. CONTRIBUTED

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