Leek, you can’t beat it!- John Crimes

John writes…. Just under eight days to go now before Leek once again celebrates with some of the best Blues and Americana music to be heard in pubs, clubs, bars and even Sparrow Park! A few years ago I was quoted as saying that the town “literally breathed music” during the Festival. Well, that was how it seemed to me on a blustery Saturday afternoon as I wandered down Derby Street with the sound of bands coming at you from the Cock Inn and the Roebuck and a guy (sorry can’t recall who but probably Steve Giddings!) busking. I wandered down to the road and met and listened to a dear old mate from Stoke playing in the Quiet Woman and I remember him telling me how he was astounded by the quality and quantity of music on offer in the town.

The Festival has grown year by year and now offers even more choice of venues and artists… this year will be incredible with the likes of Kirk Fletcher from Los Angeles (with brilliant support on the night by Chris Bevington Organisation), Slaid Cleaves from Austin, Texas, even more international & national artists and a selection of acts from Leek and the surrounding area’s own incredible pool of great musicians.

Myself, I’m back living and working in the town again this year after 14 years and can’t wait to immerse myself in the Festival.  I’ll be making a noise at the Acoustic Session at the Cock Inn (where else!) on Thursday the 28th September and with the Bluesmakers (34 years of great R&B!!) again at the Cock Inn on Saturday the 30th.

If you don’t live in Leek, come and visit – if you do, come out and support the Festival – you won’t be disappointed!


John Crimes (Drummer – The Bluesmakers)