Thomas Tripp, Christchurch

Blues Machine

Tonight is the opening night of the Thomas Tripp annual Belgium Beer Festival. There are 15 different types of bottled Belgium Beer to try as well as four different drafts on offer. Couple this with live music from Dorset’s very own “The Blues Machine” is the reason why the venue is absolutely packed to the rafters. The Blues Machine have recently released a new album called “Strange Dance” which features a new line up of Andy Diplock on bass/vocals and Josh Askew on drums who join founder member Ash Gannicott on guitar. They have invited a whole host of their friends along to join them on stage as well a guest interval support set from local troubadour Jack Grace.

The stage has specially been adapted for this weekend and now features a high drum riser and a wall of amplification. It is clear from the start that this band are in fine form and the three piece expertly deliver a couple of covers as well as the title track from the new album. Ash effortlessly moves his fingers over the strings of his guitar delivering note perfect solos thrilling all watching. Nick Strackx from Belgium band “Flying Shoe” joins in on a second guitar on “Sweet Home” breaking a string in the process. Four members of Bournemouth band “Details Below” are invited to the stage for a version of “House of the Rising Sun” which features the delightful vocals of Maria Green.

Jack Grace
Jack Grace 

The interval arrives and Mr Jack Grace bravely steps up to the stage for a short set while The Blues Machine takes a well-earned break. The loud noise in the venue from the crowd is a difficult obstacle for Jack to overcome. With just his acoustic guitar and few great original songs he wins over many new fans. He delivers songs like “Self Destruction” with depth and passion unlike no other. The set ends with a crowd pleasing acapella version of Sun House’s “Grinning” as played on Vinyl by Jack White in the movie “It Might Get Loud” . Jack leaves the stage with lots of positive loud applause.

The Blues Machine
The Blues Machine 1234

The Blues Machine return after a few pints of Belgium’s finest and just carry on where they left off. The first few tracks the band show everyone what they are really capable of. The rejuvenated band deliver stunning guitar riffs from Ash, orotund vocals from Andy and solid rhythmic drumming from Josh. More friends are invited up to perform, we are treated to a stunning version of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Loveî with the powerful vocals of Tracey Redding. The young Joe Curtis impresses with his skilful guitar skills on “St Peter and Ben Jenkins adds some stirring guitar to “Hard Hearted”

The evening ends as most blues gigs do with a jam, sadly due to the veune’s live music curfew it ends after only a short time. The audience I’m sure would have loved the band to carry on playing all night. It ended a great evening of thuroughly fantastic music with a host of musicians who absolutely love what they do.

Set List
Little Red Rooster
Strange Dance
Hey Joe
Sweet Home (with Nick Strackx)
House Of The Rising Sun (With Details Below)
Three Time Loser

Locomotive Breath
Russian Queen
Shotgun Blues
Whole Lotta Love (With Tracey Redding)
St Peter (With Joe Curtis)
Champagne & Reefer
Hard Hearted Woman (With Ben Jenkins)
Blue Suede Shoes/Johnny Be Goode (Medley)



Words, Pictures & Video by Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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