Beastie Fest 2024

You will know from my previous posts and many of you of course were also acquainted with Beastie, and I have previously hinted that we were looking to hold a gig in his memory. Well I am pleased to say that this has now been finalized and the date set for 23rd March 2024.

When Steve was diagnosed with cancer last summer, we had a conversation about arranging a gig to help raise some money for charity. I asked Steve for a wish list of bands that he would like to perform on the bill and set about checking their availability and willingness to play. The response from the bands was overwhelming to be honest with every band that was approached saying that they would appear if they hadn’t already been committed to other gigs, tours etc. The words ‘anything for Beastie’ and ‘we owe him so much’ were banded about so that part was easy. The challenge was a venue. Although we love the Cross Keys it was never going to big enough to cope with the anticipated demand for this gig, so we had to find somewhere bigger that was going to be available and accommodating to our requirements. Step forward Boom in Leeds. Not a venue I was previously familiar with to be honest and better known as a heavy rock and punk venue, but the owner Chris was more than happy to accommodate our needs, so we are all set.

To fit in 6 quality bands, we needed to make it an all day affair so will be starting at 3 in the afternoon and to make it extra special it is kicking off with Big Wolf Band – a big name in the blues rock scene and who are already playing at the Cross Keys on the Friday night 22nd March and have agreed to stay over and open up on Saturday afternoon. They will be followed by the Terraplanes Blues Band. Nick and Eduardo were great friends of Beastie and in turn he loved their music – Eduardo’s gob iron in particular. They will be followed by Pearl Handled Revolver. As many of you know Beastie loved many different genres of music and although you probably wouldn’t class PHR as a blues band they have a unique style incorporating prog, rock, blues and jazz and are tremendous musicians.

Coming in then to change the style we are delighted to get Emma Wilson again with her brilliant band. Emma went down a storm at the Cross Keys in November, so much so that we immediately booked her for a return next November and her appearance at Bestie Fest will give us some fabulous RnB and soul vibes before handing over to Hard Stairs. These guys were a huge Beastie favourite announcing their debut album ‘Bigger Blues’ as his favourite album of 2023. They will be making a quick return to Leeds as they are already appearing at the Cross Keys on 1st March. To finish off we have got the terrific McHale’s Permanent Brew who are sure to end the evening on a high. It was great to meet bass player Ste at Beastie’s quiz this weekend and he told me how much they owed to Beastie and how much they were looking forward to playing.

In addition to the live performances, a few of the artists who were unable to commit to play have indicated that they are willing to record a video which we intend to have playing in the bar to watch during change over on the stage. We are also hoping that there may be a few special guests too.

It is set to be a great and memorable day. It is also the biggest event that we have done so far and really hope that all Leeds Blues Club members will come out and help to create a great atmosphere for these wonderful bands who are giving up their time to support a great charity, support Leeds Blues Club and to show their appreciation for a brilliant guy who was dedicated to supporting and promoting live music and who has sadly left us way before his time. Because this is a charity event and an addition to our programme, unfortunately we are not offering the normal member discount on this one, however you can still pre-order your ticket via email in the usual way and avoid the booking fee.

I hope to see you there.