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Crawdaddy cool adding spice to food festival
The Crawdaddy Club was a household name in the 60s, best known for the first residency of the Rolling Stones.
Today, many of the musicians who played with the likes of Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton and Brian May have returned to the venue steeped in history, after it was revived by music enthusiast Mike Rivers.
The 69-year-old has been booking world class rhythm and blues musicians since he reopened the venue in 2011 .
The club, which was housed in the Station Hotel before it moved to the Richmond Athletic Ground, where it resides today, was opened in 1963 by Giorgio Gomelsky – a pioneer ofthe rhythm and blues scene who was the first manager of the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds.
Picked to provide the entertainment for Richmond’s Fine Food and Real Ale Festival, Mike is like an excited child at Christmas and is counting down the days until he can wow crowds with his eclectic mix of new talent and distinguished artists.
The festival, shortened to Food and Beer (Fab), held in Old Deer Park, will see food, beer and music come together for a three-day bonanza filled with mouth-watering treats, local brewers and jazz extraordinaires.
It will give small-time producers the perfect showcase and gives locals the unique chance to taste brews and grub produced in their area all in the same venue.
Headlining the Crawdaddy stages are Wishbone Ash’s Martin Turner, British 70s soul band Kokomo and songstress Jo Harman.
Crawdaddy promoter Mike, who holds shows at the club every month, says: “Jo Harman is going to be the highlight – she is just phenomenal and has built up a really good fan base.”
The last day of the festival will see the ladies show off their stuff, with Jo Harman leading a stage of stunning female acts including Goldie Reed, Katie Bradley and Midnight Train.
“We should have called it ladies’ day,” jokes Mike, who says he is proud of the big names booked to play the festival. “I am really excited about it and we have got so many great bands and musicians to play. It is going to be a really good party to be honest.
“I know a lot of the musicians personally because they have played at the Crawdaddy and, as well as being absolutely fantastic musicians, they are also really nice people.”
Leading up to the festival, the Richmond and Twickenham Times will feature interviews with the various acts playing and find out about their love of food and beer, as well as music.
Check out Fab Fridays next week for a recipe and giveaway from food and beer writer Melissa Cole, who will give a beer matching masterclass at the festival.
Richmond Fab Festival; Old Deer Park; August 23 to 25; £12 to £40; richmondfoodandale.co.uk.
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