Despite the weatherman forcasting rain, it turned out to be a gloriously sunny day on the 18th July 2010 at Hilly Fields Park and the locals took full advantage of the sunshine to flock down to the bandstand with their families and friends. RoXi & the Blue Cats provided the days live blues music concert to help raise awareness and funds for the Scratching Post Cat Rescue Centre who were in attendance with their stall. Please try and support this group who are currently flooded with unwanted cats and kittens needing good homes. They also welcome donations of cat food and need voluteers. If you have a new cat, please be a responsible owner and get it neutered!

The day started off on a sad note with Dickey announcing that Enfield Council had informed the Friends of Hilly Fields that the funding for their annual live music bandstand events were under threat. We were stunned that such a shining example of well run and attended events that encouraged local people to the park may be cut! We urge everyone who would like to see these events continue to show your support by writing to Doug Taylor, London Borough of Enfield, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, Middx EN3 3XY.

Once the announcements were over we settled in to watch and listen to the band who we first saw on the bandstand in 2008. The band were in true blue mode, each wearing something blue, including a rather neat new blue T-Shirt worn by Rick that was designed for their appearance at the Lotus Festival plus a glam and somewhat cat like RoXi in a blue leopard print outfit, sporting a blue hat and dick turpin like boots complete with little tails at the back ... snazzy! Whilst we were sad to hear that drummer Jim and lead guitarist Steve who had appeared with them in 2008 had moved on to other things, we were pleased to find that their new band members Brian Johnson (drums) and Martin Ellins (lead guitar) were excellent replacements. Their lighter touch and feel complements the bands music and with a track record of teaching and working with some of the biggest names in the business, just goes to show what a quality band they are!

Their first number was an original song with catchy lyrics and guitar riffs, aptly named Blue Cats Strut.... if cats could dance I'm sure they would have joined us! Swiftly following came a selection of blues covers ranging from the rock n roll feel of No Particular Place To Go, to the rhumba/swing styling of BB King's Woke Up This Morning and hypnotic beat of Built For Comfort, ending their first set with a double barrelled whammy of Joplin's Ball & Chain, swiftly followed by Fleetwood Mac's The Chain which were great examples of their excellent musicianship and highlighted the versitility, range and power of RoXi's voice with some amazing high notes... awesome!

We were delighted to see that the band had brought along friend and fellow musician Jim Dawson to provide support during their break. There were a few sound issues at the start that were swiftly fixed by sound engineer Tom (who works for the BBC!) after which Jim got into his stride. The strains of his acoustic guitar and harmonica filled the area as he accompanied himself keeping the audience entertained with a variety of popular songs ranging from the Beatles to Pink Floyd, interspersed with some of his own original tracks. Lovely stuff!

During the second set we were up dancing with the first song, another original number called Lotus Elise Blues and were delighted when they changed the words from Sweet Home Chicago to Hilly Fields! I particularly enjoyed Mustang Sally with Martin's daughter Jade on backing vocals in which and there were also some excellent solo's from all the band members, whose sound and style have diversified into a more authentic blues feel with shades of jazz and country! It was unusual and refreshing to hear each member of the band show their stuff and with such excellent musicians we were not disappointed! Martin's lead guitar solo's are both delicate and electric but he switches easily into the heavier mode required of their rockier material. Newcomer Brian on drums has an interesting skill with his great timing, solid feel and syncopations during the day and particularly on his solo at the beginning of Mercury Blues! Bassist Phil is a foot tappingly good player whose solo's are as interesting and melodic as any lead guitarist which showed on his solo during Gimme Some Loving and and even rhythm guitarist Rick gave us an authentic and solid solo during Rock Me Right. Another guest artist Chris Boon gave us some energetic harmonica playing during I Got My Mojo Working and the dancers bopping! The band ended the afternoon's entertainment with their rendering of Etta James's At Last which their sound combined with RoXi's mellow smooth voice was a real treat.

We would like to extend our thanks to Tony Claydon, the Friends Of Hilly Fields and to everyone who attended, all of whom diligently took their rubbish with them and left the area spotless! The next, and possibly the last ever live music concert will be held on 22nd August 2010 with the lively rock n roll band The Roosters.

Browse photos from the day below - thanks to Mike Barratt for the good ones!


Visit the Friends of Hilly Fields website to read more about the music concerts


Sponsors & Charity Supported

Friends of Hilly Fields Enfield Council Scratching Post


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