The story of the blues

Dorset Echo: KEEPING IT CLEAN: Surfing Birds’ Penny ‘Sonic’ Paige KEEPING IT CLEAN: Surfing Birds’ Penny ‘Sonic’ Paige

WELL, I woke up this morning, my woman gone told me it was the weekend of the Swanage Blues Festival.

I said, I woke up this morning and was amazed at the prospect of more than 70 acoustic and electric gigs across 20 venues in his charming seaside town.

And once again organiser Steve Darrington and his team have put together an impressive line-up of artists covering a wide spectrum of the genre.

Music starts from 2pm this afternoon and continues from 11am on the Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4.

You can walk into virtually any pub, hotel bar, restaurant or café in the town and be assured of some quality music and it’s all free, although you will be asked for a contribution by The Bucketeers to help keep this popular festival going.

Organiser Steve said: “The 2012 Swanage Blues Festival will be the biggest yet, with 70 gigs.

“That’s a far cry from the first night of the first festival when it was just me playing piano in a pub.”

Local favourites C Sharp Blues Band, Motel 6, and Jack Daniels and Benny Wain all have slots over the weekend and the honour rounding it all off with the closing party at The Anchor on Sunday night falls to The Tin Cats.

For a full list of bands, timings and venues, go to www.swanage-blues.org Now then, we love a bit of culture on the Live! desk. In fact, I’ve got some growing in this abandoned tea cup right here. Look...

Next Friday, March 9, jazz pianist Philip Clouts will bring his quartet to the Bridport Arts Centre and will be featuring music from his new CD Sennen Cove.

South African Philip has been inspired by the sights and sounds of the South West coastline (hence the title), so much so that he moved to Charmouth from London a few years ago.

He’s the driving force behind the monthly jazz café at the arts centre which is so popular it regularly sells out.

And finally, it’s congratulations to Surfing Birds’ singer/dancer Penny ‘Sonic’ Paige, who has made the final 12 of the national Retro Festival pin-up competition.

The winner will be representing this huge festival at all its events throughout the summer as well as being photographed for hundreds of different publications. You can get details at www.retrofestival.co.uk Judging takes place next Saturday, March 10, in Windsor and Penny is still in a state of shock.

“I only started modelling in January and I just wasn’t expecting this,” she said.

You can catch Penny performing with the Surfing Birds tomorrow night at The Sun Inn in Weymouth.

Right, that’s it for this week. I’m off down the launderette.

Till next time...

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