REVIEW: Cromer Pier - Rock and Blues on the Pier

A blast of blues and rock woke Cromer Pier from its short winter hibernation.

By the end of the opening day the high energy headliners Dr Feelgood had the venue jumping.

Their blend of slick musicianship and the charismatic, strutting, clapping front man Robert Kane delivered the pounding anthems of Roxette, Milk and Alcohol, Down at the Doctors and She Does it Right.

But it was the stunning guitar solo of the superb Steve Walwyn during Down at the Jetty Blues that stole the show, as the band melted off stage to leave him captivate the crowd on his own.

They bowed out with a couple of full on rock and roll encores and a shot of singalong tequila.

The evening's aperitifs were of a different flavour. Cromer-based Rade Stamatov's band Grom, featuring his Macedonian family, provided excellent musicianship with a hint of Eurovision.

The madcap antics of aging punkster John Otway provided the comedy, with a mix of slapstick and self-mocking irony enjoyed by his cult followers, but which for newcomers to his wavelength teetered along a tightrope of being amusing and annoying.

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The afternoon was kicked off by the enjoyable Cambridge blues band Split Whiskers, followed by the country rock story songs of the Steve Gibbons and rounded off by the ever-accomplished roots music of the Spikedrivers, augmented into a six-piece by guests Mike and Fran McGilivray and Sam Hare, with blues and gospel songs drawing inspiration from the Mississippi delta and Suffolk marshes.

An ecletic mix of a day, but an electric start to the pier season, which was just what the doctor ordered.

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