Blues Hall of Fame® British Legend Norman Beaker & The Norman Beaker Band at Old Fire Station
June 2, 2018 Blues Hall of Fame® British Legend Norman Beaker and The Norman Beaker Band will be commencing the summer's celebration of Northern art and music at The Old Fire Station, Carlisle.
None are better suited to headline the opening event. In January 2017 Manchester native Norman Beaker became only one of eight 21st-century British artists to be officially recognised and inducted as a Legend in the American Heritage Society's Blues Hall of Fame®, alongside his colleagues Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John Mayall, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton.
It was a long-overdue honour not only to a man who's loyally served the genre for several decades, but to the land and town of his birth as well, and never more honestly earned.
His legendary status should come as no surprise; Norman is one of those very first artists who with such iconic colleagues as Chris Barber, Alexis Korner, and Graham Bond helped to create the unique British Blues, R&B and Rock sound that captivated the world.
Norman kept its classic ageless signature sound alive throughout his distinguished career, whether playing solo or with a Who's Who of blues, soul and rock from both sides of the Atlantic, including Chuck Berry, Jack Bruce, Van Morrison, Peter Green, Buddy Guy, Ruby Turner, and B.B. King, who stated, "Norman is like a white Freddie King", testimony to Norman's merits as a superior guitarist, vocalist and frontman.
Staying true to those genuine, innovative roots that made British Blues a major musical force--regardless of changing trends--have only served to keep him cutting-edge and contemporary. In 2015 he wrote the hit that took UK and Continental charts by storm and became an Independent Blues Broadcasting Association Choice of the month:
"Only I Got What The Other Guys Want".
"The best rhythm and blues band in the country."--Jack Bruce
Though known primarily as a bluesman, Norman seamlessly moves among the genres of jazz, rock, pop and R&B with the grace and ease that characterise his performances and original songs. The band released an internationally critically acclaimed album, We See US Later, which covers genres as diverse as blues, rock, pop, gospel and country, and featured very special guests: American Louisiana Hall of Famer Larry Garner and Sony-represented soul legend Steve Ellis (original voice of The Love Affair).
The Beaker Band's unique combination of uncompromising reliability, professionalism, friendliness and humour have made them one of the best-loved acts from the UK to Scandinavia to the Continent to the Balkans. They treat every show as the performance of their lives, whether at a small venue to The Royal Albert Hall.
Norman has had a long history playing the venues of Cumbria, having played the iconic Front Page, and performing the Tithe Barn with Jack Bruce, who performed one of the finest bass solos of his career.
There weren't many of these gifted first and finest who defined the British Blues genre...and now sadly there are even fewer still.
Of these rare national treasures who still remain, none serve the music more faithfully than Norman Beaker, whose guitar, voice and original songs are as fresh and powerful as when he first began in the Northern clubs of the '60's...and continue as ageless, resilient and enduring as his home city itself.
YouTube Playlist: Norman Beaker
The Norman Beaker Band won't be the only respected Northern band performing at OFS 2 June.
Many are already familiar with esteemed Manchester guitarist Paul Gilchrist, who now resides in Penrith. His native talent and hard work secured him an honoured place in Northern musical heritage with his previous band, Bare Wires.
On hearing that Norman Beaker would be playing OFS, he requested to play support to his great friend and mentor with his present cutting-edge band BluesTown, already celebrated on the Blues Festival and venue circuit.
Norman's influence led to Paul and Bare Wires being featured on Granada TV and performing with Norman's colleagues Robert Cray, Ronnie Earl, Chris Farlowe and Norman himself, who penned many of the band's songs. Building on this experience, Paul and Bare Wires became sought after as rhythm section for visiting American bluesmen Walter Trout, Phil Guy, Lowell Fulson, and many others.
When the band was filmed at iconic Band On The Wall for a live CD and DVD their guest was Norman Beaker.
Now with his new powerhouse band BluesTown, featuring the very finest Northern musicians from Manchester and Newcastle, Paul Gilchrist will be honouring his longtime colleague with a collection of songs specially written by Norman Beaker, combined with their own originals and some old favourites.
About The Old Fire Station and a Summer of Northern Arts:
This summer Carlisle will be celebrating Cumbria's long history of both producing celebrated artists and musicians and welcoming those from outside the region at Old Fire Station, which has a remarkable history of its own. Carlisle’s Fire Station was based at Spring Gardens Lane. This building was demolished in the early 1960s to make way for Eden Bridge House. It’s been less than a year since the Old Fire Station opened its doors as an arts centre. The building has fell victim to the floods which ravaged Cumbria in 2015. Thanks to the efforts of many, including the dynamic Arts Director Stephen Dunn and Gavin Capstick, contract and community services manager for the city council, the venue was reopened nine months after the flood and has since hosted many top musicians, artists and comedians each month. June alone features Ian Hunter, Martha Reeves and Hugh Cornwell. Stephen Dunn, whose tireless efforts have been invaluable to the arts community and The Old Fire Station, says "People very often passed Carlisle by, and didn’t see it as a destination, either as somewhere to come and stay or a place to come and play. It’s brilliant that people are now really taking notice of the city and seeing that we’re beautifully positioned as a gateway to so many places. So from a touring point of view is a brilliant musical stepping stone".
This July OFS will have the largest art exhibition it's had in "Northern Song", a five-year project by brilliant in-house artist Marcer Campbell. A one-time member of local celebrated band The Twiggs, it will be an experience of sight and sound portraying Marcer's experiences in music as well as the local bands who made their mark on the music scene. A preview of Northern Song can be seen on June 2, with a special rendition of Norman Beaker.
The Old Fire Station
Rickergate, Carlisle, England, United Kingdom