Nantwich Jazz & Blues Festival

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Over the easter weekend, music filled the streets of the historic town of Nantwich for the annual Jazz & Blues Festival. Held in a wide array of bars, clubs and other venues the renowned festival brought a vast selection of local and out-of-town musicians to the thriving town centre.

The market square was where you could find the FatPigeonLive stage, which recorded and live-streamed sessions from a multitude of different acts.

Opening up the stage on the Sunday was Celine Dommart, a Parisian singer who performed a small selection of her French Chanson songs, alongside trusty guitarist Cris Tolley.

Tracks such as 'La Cigarette' and 'Je Me Suis Fait Tout Petit', both in her delicious Parisian tongue, as well as an English cover of Fred Fisher's 'Ain't No Sweet Man Worth The Salt Of My Tears' and a Spanish cover of Dean Martin's 'Sway' brought a splash of sunshine to the relatively wet weekend making passers-by feel they were walking through the streets of Paris.

Keeping the sunshine feel, multi-instrumentalist Marc Gallagher was on hand with his ukulele and original pop music to help battle the grey skies. Gallagher performed songs 'Brew In The Morning', a lighthearted number about the struggles of student life, the bittersweet 'Down The Toilet' detailing a recent breakup and 'Grow On Me', amongst others, entertaining the crowds and brightening up everyone's day.

As did none other than FatPigeonLive's very own Heidi Browne and her band. A talented musician in her own right, the Heidi Browne trio delivered a smooth performance of tracks from her current album 'Holiday For The Heart', as well as newer material from her upcoming (as yet untitled) fifth album. Her velvety vocals reverberated off the walls of the old town and her set of easy listening originals was strong and entertaining.

The penultimate act of the Sunday, on the FPL stage, were blues-rock four-piece Rainbreakers. Nominated for Best Emerging Artist in the 2016 British Blues Awards, Rainbreakers played a set so good the pigeons at FatPigeonLive were still talking about their performance 24 hours later.

It's easy to understand why the band are causing such a stir on the blues scene. Performing songs such as 'Need My Love' and 'Waiting On You', both taken from their brand new release, Rainbreakers cranked up the volume and set the stage alight with their modern take on a classic blues sound.

Rounding off the Sunday of Nantwich Jazz & Blues Festival in the square were Nixon Tate & The Honey Club, an Americana/rock outfit from Stoke-on-Trent. One of the most exciting bands to appear from the talented Stoke music scene, Nixon Tate & The Honey Club played a tremendous closing set with tracks from their current release 'Roses & Bones', including 'Dancehall Blues' and 'Wolf and Crane' as well as newer songs 'Porch Light' and 'Never Be A Boy'. Their final track 'Honeytrap' brought proceedings on the FPL stage, to a spectacular close.

FatPigeonLive had organised a real treat of a lineup for the final day of Nantwich Jazz & Blues Festival. Beginning the day were The Taskers, a rock three-piece in a laid back acoustic format. They played beautifully crafted, real life, honest music from their back catalogue of seven albums, such as 'The Wolf', 'Litas', 'Trials', and 'Misery and Me', which saw Sophie Bret Tasker and Laura Ellement vocally intertwine to harmonise all over the track.

They were the perfect openers for the day, which would see three other acts take to the stage to showcase their talent. Next up was Alana Rose, with her combination of pop, soul and jazz songs. Her set, which included covers of Madeleine Peyroux's 'Don't Wait Too Long' and Estelle's 'American Boy', as well as original tracks such as 'The Only Thing', written when she was 16, was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Alana Rose was soft and silky and everything that the people of Nantwich needed on their Bank Holiday Monday.

A little later in the afternoon saw an appearance from Sam Lyon, a smiley acoustic singer/songwriter, who braved the cold to perform her set. Crowds gathered near the stage to watch Lyon perform her debut single from 2014 titled 'Anchors', 'What I Really Think' and 'Constellations', as well as other newer tracks from her next release.

Her delicate vocals danced around the streets of Nantwich and warmed everyone's souls, making them forget, even if just for a moment, about their soggy surroundings.

The final performance of the festival came from Two Faced Tom & The Bootleg Boys, a country/bluegrass trio from Shrewsbury. Their set included popular covers 'That's Alright Momma' by Elvis and 'Folsom Prison Blues' by Johnny Cash, alongside 'Pills I Took' and 'Salty Dog Blues'. Two Faced Tom & The Bootleg Boys were the ideal festival closers, drawing a crowd of all ages and bringing the day to a glorious end.

Although cold and relatively wet, Nantwich Jazz & Blues Festival 2017 was a memorable and entertaining weekend, showcasing some of the finest talents from across the country and beyond.

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