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Dear BBC,

I would like to tell you all about the recent All Day Blues Festival held recently at The Stoker in Stoke Green, Coventry, just around the corner from where I live. Despite the terrible weather, the day was very successful and there were some good bands for us to listen to.

The day got under way at 1.00pm with an interesting set by the Travelling Riverside Blues Band, who played some good stuff, setting the trend for what was to come. They were followed by a succession of bands such as P.J. Baker, Millhouse Blues Band, Steve Hooker, The Chain Gang and then an excellent set by The Mick Pini Band. Mick played a controlled set, helped by his very good band and it was extremely enjoyable to listen to his excellent guitar playing. (For me, one of the best bands on the bill.) The next hour and a half we were entertained by Tony McPhee and The Groundhogs, certainly up to the usual high standard, playing some storming R&B, blues, etc., really warming us up for the main band of the evening, The Sensational King Bizkit Blues Band featuring Richard ‘King Bizkit’ Everitt, Dick Heckstall-Smith and Zoot Money. Playing on the main stage in the marquee, this fantastic band really played some terrific Chicago blues for over 90 minutes and although it was pouring with rain for over half their set, the whole audience stayed and enjoyed themselves watching this amazing band. Apparently, this band has only been together since last September and it is incredible how they have taken the blues fans of this country by storm in such a short space of time. After they finished playing (after THREE encores), I was talking to their guitarist and drummer and apparently they receive a tremendous reception wherever they play all over the country and cannot make out why they are so popular. (I can tell you boys, stop being so modest! You are fantastic.)

Finally, to wind things down, The D.T.s played inside, providing the punters with an excellent finish to what was a terrific day of British Blues, despite the typical English weather (pouring with rain) and I certainly went home well pleased with what I had seen and heard.

Let’s give a big thank you to all the bands and especially to Steve Ashwell and all his helpers, for all the hard work that they must have put into organising this event, because without people like him, we would not be able to enjoy these great bands.

Keep the Blues alive.

Anthea Lamb, Coventry.

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