Mungo Jerry @ Darlington Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival 14th Sep 2014

Darlington Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival, Mungo Jerry 14th Sep 2014
imageRay Dorset is Mr Boogie; a one man rhythm machine who has been rockin’ and rollin’ for over 40 years. Yesterday he brought his brand of rhythm ‘n’ blues to Darlington, where his band Mungo Jerry headlined the Darlington Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival.
The annual Darlo event takes place in venues across the town, with a main stage in the market square. Previous headliners have included The Pretty Things and Andy Fairweather-Low. The music runs from 1pm until 11pm and is organised in by Darlington Borough Council, Darlington Rhythm n Blues Club and Gasto Promotions.
I arrived in time to catch the Marcus Malone band who were playing some fine blues rock, and warmed the crowd up for the main event. The square was packed; everyone was in good spirits and enjoying the music on a chilly, but dry Sunday afternoon.
Just after 5 o’clock Ray Dorset walked on stage, strapped on his guitar, stamped his foot, and showed us all how he can still command a big crowd at an open air show, 44 years after he stole the show at the Hollywood music festival.
imageIt’s 42 years since I saw Mungo Jerry rock the Friday night of the Reading festival, and I was looking forward to reliving some of the memories of that event and of Mungo gigs in the mid 70s at Sunderland Locarno. Today Mungo Jerry is Ray Dorset (of course, and as it always has been) on guitar, mouth harp and vocals, Jon Playle (bass), Mark David (drums) and Toby Hounsham (keyboards).
The set was a mix of blues, Mungo Jerry hits, and “Feels like I’m in love”, which was written by Ray Dorset and a big hit for Kelly Marie in 1980 (I’d forgotten that he’d written that one).They went down well with the audience in the market square; Ray was as energetic and funny as ever, getting the crowd to join in and sing along, which everyone did, particularly during “In the Summertime”. Great stuff. A good show from a real trouper, and it was great to see that him still rocking.
Setlist: Rock Me Baby, Rolling and Tumbling, Long Legged Woman Dressed in Black, You Don’t Have to be in the Army to Fight in the War, Lady Rose, The blues has got you?, Open up, Feels like I’m in love, In the Summertime.

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