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Boxstock 2017, the return of the UK Cigar Box Guitar Festival

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Boxstock 2017, the return of the UK Cigar Box Guitar Festival

After a break of over 3 years, I decided to revive Boxstock, the UK Cigar Box Guitar Festival. I must admit to a degree of trepidation, as I wasn't sure if there was still a demand for the event, and I had to face the prospect of filling a proper professional music venue, and trying not to loose money. As it turned out, my worries were ill-founded, and we had a great day.  The venue was The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton, and the line-up included some old favorites, new blood and international guests. During the daytime I ran one of my "Make and Play" workshops, and we also had cigar box makers showing and selling their wares, together with an open mic opportunity for people to have a go at performing.

Boxstock regulars Paul & Kevin helping out at the Dirtbox Guitars stand

Photo credit  - Dusk Brothers

 

Trying out a guitar with Treadstone & Richey Kay Guitars

Photo credit  - Dusk Brothers

 

Mud 'n' Mojo stand

Photo credit  - Dusk Brothers

 

Open mic in the bar

Photo credit  - Dusk Brothers

 

More guitars on sale

Photo credit  - www.vickiclaysonphotography.com

Make and Play workshop - machineheads being fitted

Photo credit  - www.vickiclaysonphotography.com

 

Some careful sanding of the guitar neck

Photo credit  - www.vickiclaysonphotography.com

 

Workshop guitars finished and ready to play

Photo credit  - www.vickiclaysonphotography.com

 

Hollowbelly teaching how to play cigar box guitar

Photo credit  - www.vickiclaysonphotography.com

 

We opened the doors for the evening show bang on time, and pretty soon we we all set and ready to go with an eager and expectant audience. First on were Cap't Catfish & Mrs Niki, aka Fabian Fahr organiser of the German Cigar Box Guitar Festival and Nichole Guida.

Opening the show, Capt'n Catfish and Nichole from Germany

Photo credit  - www.vickiclaysonphotography.com

I was up next, with my own band, ChickenboneBlues: Ken Stratford on double bass, Alan Nicholls on drums, and the amazing Dave Smith on harmonica.

Heads down boogie with Dave Smith on harp

Photo credit  - www.vickiclaysonphotography.com

 

For the next act, I'd booked the Dusk Brothers from Bristol, purely on the strength of seeing a couple of videos on YouTube, and what a find they turned out to be. Tight harmonies, twin guitars and twin foot percussion all blended into an "Everly Brothers on acid" vibe...very cool.

The Dusk Brothers from Bristol..we'll be seeing more of these guys I'm sure

Photo credit  - www.vickiclaysonphotography.com

To finish off the evening, we had Hollowbelly, the amazing dynamic Punk Blues one man band. I've been on the road with him many times all over Europe, and it was great to be able to able to bring his live show to a brand new audience. His after show merchandise stall seemed to be doing good business, so I think that was an indication of how well he was received.

Three Chords and the Truth from the sensational Hollowbelly

Photo credit  - www.vickiclaysonphotography.com

 

People had come from as far afield as Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Germany for the event, and I was very pleased with how generous the audience were with their praise and applause for every act who set foot on the stage. For some people this was a chance to meet up with old friends, but for many people it was their first experience of seeing cigar box guitars being played and hearing the amazing music that can be conjured out of the simplest of instruments.

Thank you to everyone who supported the event - traders, performers and audience, and to the staff of The Slade Rooms who helped make for a successful  Boxstock '17.

Photo credit  - tillbilly.de

 

 

 

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  • John Wormald
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