Audlem packed by day of wonderful music

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Ian Haughey reports on a fabulous Festival Sunday: "Punk, Funk, Folk and Jazz was the mainstay of Audlem's Music Festival. Sunday morning, and after the Church services, Mike Vaughan started Festival Sunday morning off performing to a packed Coffee Lounge, playing a virtuoso set, along with guests from the Vaughan household.

"Classix with Alix took place at the Scout Hall. Outside, the rain did not respect Blues Alley's reputation as a venue or local legend Jim Kirkpatrick — and I say 'legendary', as Alg pointed out that somebody had nicked the Blues Alley signage! Still, despite the rain, Jim and Kegsy gave a great performance in the Lord Combermere, really setting the tone for the day, with a taste of North Carolina Blues.

"The Defense, now an established band with their roots firmly in Audlem, produced a performance that clearly exemplified their talents, fantastic lyrics, tight playing and musicianship. Pointed and with humour, they clearly entertained the audience at the open air venue of the Combermere.

"So we had some punk routes followed by the Irish rooted sound of Murphy's Marbles. This band has to be seen and heard, what a fantastic performance these guys put in, and what great guys they were. The crowd warmed to their Irish folk influenced set, topped with the first rendition of a Christmas song in Audlem in 2008 — the Pogues' Fairy Tale of New York fetched the audience to their feet — a great sight to be sure!

Punk, Folk then pure full on Funk from the Funk School — what a sound and what an atmosphere it created, the music just went on and on, and the audience loved every minute of it. By this time the rain had stopped and the weather behaved itself! What an afternoon of music.

Before the Jazz hit, Audlem Voices produced an excellent performance under the direction of Jenny Collis-Smith in St James Church. As Bill Baileys All Star Celebrity Jazz Band took to the stage at the Lord Combermere with their superb Traditional Jazz, at the White Lion Flight 505 took off and Twin Frets kicked off their session at the Bridge to another packed house.

"Sunday provided a lot of people with a great mix of musical tastes that from all accounts received, went down well!"

Audlem Webteam correspondent adds: "Heavy Weather simply packed the Shroppie Fly last night with music that had their fans, and many Festival newcomers, standing up and roaring their appreciation after every number. This was bluesy rock at its finest, with Jim Kirkpatrick on the top of his form. He was joined by bass player Neil Simpson from the Climax Blues Band with bass solos that simply stunned with their virtuosity. We heard from Jim that Neil was well used to venues like the Albert Hall: by his smile it was clear that playing Audlem was giving him as much pleasure as he gave the hundreds of us.

"Jim is now making his rendition of the George Harrison classic While My Guitar Gently Weeps a Festival highlight. Add in some great guest appearances on sax and from local favourite Johnny Miller and this was a night to remember. The great mystery was how the Heavy Weather team, who had been playing around the village all day, could summon the energy to produce a gig this good. Bravo!"