This year’s Hanwell Hootie looks set to eclipse last years
While a one day music festival in Hanwell in West London might not appear to make much sense at first, if you do a little digging, it makes perfect sense. Hanwell might not be as pretty as other parts of West London and Ealing, it is actually rich with culture and history. Led Zeppelin used to practice in Hanwell, as did Deep Purple and the Who. Jimi Hendrix owned a house there. Jay Kay, of Jamiroquai fame, and the Magic Numbers both hailed from Hanwell. However the most important resident of Hanwell was on Jim Marshall. Marshall created a unique amplifier for guitars and his original shop was in Hanwell.
The first Hanwell Hootie took place in 2013. The main event was the unveiling of a blue plaque on the clock tower, to honour Marshall and cement his place not only in musical history, but in local folklore too. 2013’s Hootie had thirteen bands in three pubs. Last year there were thirty bands in six pubs and 3 ‘Hootie Fringe’ venues. This year there are forty five bands in eleven venues. What’s more this year’s line-up looks even better than last year. Established bands are rubbing shoulders with new up and coming bands. It is this mix that make this year’s line-up exciting.
The four bands that stand out are Francis Gahan Band, Two Hands, Du Bellows, Jacob and Goliath and Ella and the Blisters. Each of these bands typifies the quality and depth of the current West London scene. The Francis Gahan Band give the blues a folk rock twist, not unlike like Gomez, but they enthuse their sets with pop hooks. Two Hands make a loud noise and play rhythmic hard rock. Du Bellows channel the spirit of classic Fleetwood Mac, but at folk flourishes, lyrically, to create something that is not easily forgotten. Jacob and Goliath effortlessly mix pop and good old fashioned song writing to create a Mumford-esque sound. Ella and the Blisters are a rag tag band of gypsy swing folk rock misfits. Their songs are filled with the sounds of the past, but with contemporary social commentary and stories of now.
So what else have you go to do this weekend, then come on down to Hanwell and pay your tribute, not just to a slew of great bands, but to the Father of Loud!