IT’S ALWAYS good to see a festival start off small and expand into a must-go-to event, particularly when it’s raising money for well-deserved and local causes.

Take Teddy Rocks at Blandford, which topped £100,000 earlier this month and Chesil Rocks, fr’instance, which over the past few years has raised scores of thousands of pounds for the Dorset Samaritans and this year’s event is looming; Saturday, June 22, okay?

And another festival which started very small but is developing into a very fine occasion is the Gimme Shelter bash, which takes place next Saturday, June 8, at the Wyke Smugglers in Weymouth.

This is the fifth edition of an event which so far has raised more than £5,000 to help the vulnerable and homeless in Weymouth and Portland.

But as Martin Bauer Saint, one of the two co-founders of this now-registered charity along with Paul Sharod of Surfing Birds fame, tells me, it doesn’t just happen.

“Paul and I wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of Tom Walker and Chrissie Hatcher, plus Rhos and Anna at the Smugglers and all the bands and musicians and DJs who get together every time to help us.

“A lot of the money we’ve raised has gone to the Lantern Trust which does so much excellent work locally.

“We’ve now managed to help fund a chiropodist who treats the homeless, which is a huge help.”

Next Saturday’s event has a terrific line-up of bands, with Bristol’s cider-fuelled gypsy-punk-folk enthusiasts The Imprints headlining.

Martin himself will be giving his drums a right ol’ seeing-to with The rip-roarin’  Riffs, while support comes from Meat Sweats, Amy Brown and Between Bars.

Out front on the acoustic stage there’s top tunage from Kipper, Amy Hopwood, Slick Grief and Radioplay among many others.

And the festival is expanding throughout the year with dates at the Bredy Farm in Burton Bradstock on August 3, at Chaplins in Bournemouth on October 26 and back at the Smugglers on December 7.

It’s just £6 admission on the door from 1pm next Saturday at the Smugglers and donations for the food and clothing bank are more than welcome.

Moving on,  and there’s a rare chance to witness one the greatest guitarist this country has ever produced when the legend that is Albert Lee appears at Dorchester Arts Centre next Sunday, June 9.

Hailed by many as ‘the guitar player’s guitar player’, he’s won the prestigious Guitar Player magazine’ Best Country Guitarist award a mere five times.

He’s the sort of fretboard worrier that such icons as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore look up to, and he’s worked with so many artists over his years in the business, including The Everly Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds to name but a few.

It’ll be well worth checking him out at the Corn Exchange and tickets at £25 are available from the box office on 01305 266926.

Till next time…


Wessex Folk Festival (Boot, Kings Arms, Sailors Return, Weymouth)

Regulation 9 (Finn’s, Weymouth)

Inner City Smugglers (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Ben Lambert (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Rock Apes (John Gregory, Weymouth)

Danny Adams (Gloucester, Weymouth)

The Shakespearos (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

Chloe, Tom and Jack on the Box (1652, St Alban St, Weymouth)

Alisha Tried (Waterloo, Weymouth)

Tripod (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Sunjay (Convivial Rabbit, Dorchester)

Jimmy Hillbillies (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Martin Freed (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Finn (Royal Oak, Weymouth)



The BeauBowBelles, Doc Clarke’s Remedy, Annie Dressner, Glymjack, Harbottle & Jonas, The Kilpecks, Sharon Lazibyrd, Mitchell and Vincent, Barney Newman and Tom Leary, Oka Vanga, Alex Roberts, The Rumblestrutters and the Stomping Boondocks (Wessex Folk Festival, Weymouth harbourside)

Tom Hastie, Chloe, Tom and Jack on the Box, Modern Disciples, Under The Carousel, Blazing Strings (Spirit of Chickerell, Willowbed Hall, Chickerell, Weymouth) From midday.

Fayrewood (Finn’s, Weymouth)

Aaron and Karina (Little Ship, Portland)

Dakota (Wyke Smugglers, Weymouth)

New Era (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Stacey Lou (Stable, Weymouth)

The Katz (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

Revolution (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Richard Cooper (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth) 2pm.

Chris Woodchuck (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Sinful Maggie (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Moondog (Centenary Club, Weymouth)

John’s Open Mic (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Barney Newman (Royal Oak, Weymouth)

Monkey Jump (Bradpole Social Club, Bridport)



Dorset Wrecks, Gadarene, Hickman and Cassidy, Mad Magdalen, No Direction, Ant Noel and the Peabody Drakes, Dom Prag, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, Roswell, Sherborne Folk Band, Vicky Swan & Jonny Dyer, Tin Angel, Wareham Whalers and the Wild Rover Set (Wessex Folk Festival, Weymouth harbourside)

Sunjay (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Roger’s Singalong (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Ricky Solo (Sailor’s Return, Weymouth)  From 3pm.

Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth) 3pm.

Richard Cooper (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth) 8pm.

Reefs of Moonshine (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Sunday Blues Jam (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth) 4-7pm.

Rob Davis (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth) 8pm.

Di’s Open Mic Night (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)

Farrago (Greenhill Gardens, Weymouth) 2pm.



Slow Americana Jam (Drax Arms, Bere Regis)

Acoustic session (Belvedere, Weymouth)

Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)



Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Open Mic Night (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)




Dave Bowen and Jazz Friends (Three Compasses, Charminster)

Wessex Folk Night (Sailors Return,  Weymouth) Acoustic folk, here every Wednesday.

Open Mic Night (Rock, Weymouth)

Tim Andrews (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Open Mic Night (Ropemakers, Bridport)

Di’s Open Mic (Duke of Albany, Weymouth)



Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Traditional Tune Session (Cove House Inn, ChiswelI, Portland

Ukulele Sessions (Sailors Return,  Weymouth) Strum on down from 8pm.



The Wild Murphys (Weymouth Pavilion)

Omega Project (Finn’s, Weymouth)

Stomping Dave (Royal Portland Arms, Portland)

Showcase (Gloucester, Weymouth)

Glass Spiders (Duke of Cornwall, Weymouth)

The Cubes (Wyke Regis Working Mens Club, Weymouth)

Alexis (Weymouth Working Mens Club)

4 Go Mad (Golden Lion, Weymouth)

Ricky Solo (Edinburgh House of Sounds, Weymouth)

Thin Wire Fence (Ropemakers, Bridport)