BluesFest 2016 live review
Venue: London o2 Arena
Blues explosion: a three-day celebration of soul, blues, jazz and roots
The sixth annual London BluesFest gets off to an emotional start. “This is a dream come true,” says Imelda May as she wraps up her guest appearance with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings with a storming version of the Animals hit I’m Crying. “A lot of gigs you do, people might not chat so much,” she says. “But backstage tonight it’s a great bloody party!”
She’s not joking. Wyman’s Friday night fandango at the Indigo stage is an upbeat celebration of the bass player’s 80th birthday (“I think I’ll be eighty again,” Bill tells us later, “and have another one”), a landmark that would have been barely conceivable when the Rolling Stones were laying the foundations of the British blues scene that flourishes to this day. The show is an affectionate trawl through the history of both Wyman and the blues music he’s loved all his long life.