Internationally-renowned blues singer and guitarist Jon Amor returned to his ‘spiritual home’ at the weekend – headlining Pewsey Music Festival in a field behind the Coopers Arms pub.
And following an hour-long set, the musician discovered escaping his spiritual home was no easy task, as he and his band exited the stage, returned for a one-song encore which became two songs, then came back for a grand finale after making their second exit from the stage.
Drawing on a back catalogue that spans more than 20 years, Amor told the crowd that he considered the village – and more specifically the Coopers – ‘my spiritual home.'
“My old man, who is looking down on me, telling me it’s too loud, was born and raised in the Coopers,” he reminded an audience that was more than familiar with his backstory.
He recalled that some of his earliest gigs with The Hoax, the Devizes-based blues band that has found itself a contender in the category of Best Band at the 2015 British Blues Awards, took place at the pub, in front of an audience of 30 or so. These days, they play gigs and festivals across Europe.
Amor promised a set of ‘feel good blues’, and his four-piece band delivered an hour of foot-stomping R&B, with Amor sharing singing duties with gravelly-voiced keyboardist Pete Gage.
Earlier in the evening, the crowds were treated to sets from Invisible Vegas, a young Oxford four-piece dressed in heavy metal sleeveless t-shirts, but who delivered a melodic set of blues and rock covers alongside their own compositions.
Vocalist Alex Colman endeared himself to the Pewsey crowd by telling his audience “You guys are so much better than [local festival rival] Faringdon.” Later, they wrote on their Facebook page “Great show, great crowd!” and “Bring on the next one!”
Meanwhile, a reggae ska set from the Swindon-based Erin Bardwell Collective accompanied the setting of a sun which had blessed the audience – and no doubt contributed to the sale of real ale and cider – throughout the day.
Organiser Liz Boden said: "It was an amazing day with a fantastic crowd. Everyone seemed to have a great time and those I chatted to from further afield said they'd be bringing their families and friends next year."
Next year's Pewsey Music Festival will be on Saturday, August 6.
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