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Updated Jan 2013

Bank Holiday Bluesology Festival.

Chateau Impney grounds.

Nr Droitwich.


September 1-2nd 1968

Peter Green onstage, Chateau Impney 1968

The Move

Fleetwood Mac

Duster Bennett

The Freddie Mac Show

Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds

Wynder K Frog

Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band


Cliff Bennett

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers

Joe Cocker and the Grease Band

Jasper Stubbs

The Passion Forest

The Breakthru'

Skip Bifferty.

DJ John Peel


Program items courtesy Graham Ellis


    One that the weather gods did NOT smile upon, it rained heavily for much of the weekend and the exercise was not repeated. A pity, as there was an excellent lineup of bands , the Chateau looks impressive and its very pretty country around that area.

Hi there.... I was there!!!, a 22 year old, right at the front, and soaking wet....

My memories.....

I can remember ending up on the stage that was a mud bank, standing behind John Mayall as he played piano, when it was pouring with rain...

Being well impressed with Duster Bennett and being right below Chris Farlowe, virtually at his feet being sprayed with his spit....
and almost being hit by Roger Chapman's mic' stand, during Family's stunning set, when it crashed off the stage....

Wasn't Joe Cocker there??? I seem to remember him...
I will have to start trying to get my poor old addled brain working on more memories...
but I used to go to many festivals and gigs in those days...

Dave Balcombe

As a local guy living in Redditch about 8 miles from the Château Impney I used to go with a bunch of workmates on Friday nights to the all-nighters which looking back was a bit weird because we were into Rock,Psychedelic and Blues music but to meet the girls we had to go to the soul and dance music nights,we stood no chance really, hair too long and the wrong clothes- we wore jeans not smart trousers.As apprentices at the time aged 18yrs we had to work Saturday overtime so that meant going to work straight after a night at the Château (how did we do it).

I can remember one Friday/Saturday morning as we were leaving the Châteaux I saw a poster in the entrance as we left advertising the Bluesology Festival on the wall (just remembered that the all-nighters were in the basement,great place) and if my memory is correct it was for that same weekend that meant we could not go on the Saturday (straight to work at 8.30am to 12.30pm) but ok for Sunday.

Now the memory gets a little faded but a seem to remember arriving and it was raining and walking thro loads of sheep s**t, the stage was in two sections the main to the left and a little one to the right but may be wrong.

The band that was on at the time was Geno Washington and his Ram Jam Band playing soul and dance music (strange to have that mix of bands, rock and soul music.....hey that's a track by Country Joe and the Fish.

The Move played but cannot remember what but can remember that they had some old TV sets on the small stage to the right that they later smashed up.

The weather was fine as the crowds arrived

But it rained like hell during Joe Cocker's set !

Next the Band that totally blew me away came on Family from the start they were awesome (it was the first time we had seen them live) I remember Roger Chapman swinging the mike stand around and also swirling round his head the microphone and he let out the lead till it was touching the sides of the tent,he would also throw it out into the crowd and pull it back at the last moment before it hit someone.I think also he hit one of the overhead lights with the mike stand and it came down.The most vivid recollection I have of the whole event was when Charlie Whitney started See Through Windows I remember he went to the back of the stage in front of his speaker and got his guitar to feedback he then walked about the stage in a circle changing the pitch as he moved, at the time never seen anything like it,been a big fan ever since and still go to see him today what a voice.Well that's my memory of the event but if I get the wife to hit me on the head with a plank I might remember more (or less) !.

PS Just heard that the Châteaux is up for sale for £17.5 million, where is my wallet !!

Ian Hill (Redditch)

Program items courtesy Graham Ellis

Its interesting to see that the bands were scheduled to play several sets separated by a break of an hour or so, I wonder if this was adhered to , it would have meant setting up the stage gear twice for each band , which seems a needless task.....

Crowd before the rain

Gosh I remember that one - first festival I ever went to!
A friend and I went on the second day, it took us quite a while to get there on the Midland Red bus from Birmingham and it was a bit of a walk from the main road to the festival site which was in front of the Chateau. It was even worse walking back when we left as it was pouring with rain by then (typical British Bank holiday?!).

Crowd during the rain

Fleetwood Mac were the headline band that day – the originals with Peter Green etc. when they used to play all that 12 bar blues stuff. Danny Kirwan had just joined as an extra guitarist, I think it was his first gig with them. I remember thinking how young he looked (and I was only a teenager myself then). They were brilliant and went down a storm despite everyone having to stand in the rain – we were soaked – worth it though.

Joe Cocker in full flight onstage, Chateau Impney 1968

Breakthru’ (the proper spelling of their name) were on as well and always put on a good show. We knew them a bit so were probably biased ;-D

The Move were on in the afternoon, they played well but were not so popular with the crowd as they were considered more of a pop band.

I saw all the bands featured ‘back in the day’ at various venues in Birmingham so it’s not too easy to remember now if it was at that festival or not.

Really enjoyed the day though – I think I still have the flyer for it back at my parents house – just trying to remember how much it cost for the ticket to get in - probably less that 20/- in old money (£1)


Mick Fleetwood and new recruit Danny Kirwan onstage, Chateau Impney 1968

I hitchhiked from Hailsham, my last ride was in John Mayall's band van. I stood on stage for his act and others, it was a casual event.
Fleetwood Mac were great. Joe Cocker's band played and he sang 'little help from my friends'. I forgot about the rain but remember the outstanding blues.
Graham Ellis

I went to this with a band called Rebellion who played late on the first night. They had a great guitarist from Worcester named Phil Goddard. Also there was a Karate demonstration which was quite weird.

Danny Kirwin of Fleetwood Mac played as one of his very early gigs with a very short hair cut and also a Watkins guitar and Vox amp. Family were outstanding and so was Mick Taylor with John Mayall.

On the first night a lot of people went to the Wharf Hotel nearby to listen an unknown band called Jethro Tull. The Move refused to play because the stage was wet and therefore may have been dangerous, but went on eventually.

The Chateau was not only a beautiful place but musically it was a major event for soul nights and Sunday afternoons for most mods. As was Frank Freemans in Kidderminster .

Keep the faith,


Hi....they say about my generation that “ if you were there you can’t remember it”.........well , maybe. Here’s a thing though....on your website there is no mention of Joe Cocker and the Grease Band.....I swear I saw them at the festival.......and I am certain I was there!!!


i was there ! my first festival! me keith clark , graham gilks, and pete parker ,all piled into petes van for the trip from leamington spa .I remember on arrival asking the guy on the gate, hey wheres the toilet? his reply was ,take to the trees man! graham and I were mods but we tried to hippy ourselves up with a couple of me mums chiffon didnt work! i was so impressed with duster , who also looked like a mod! i thought the move were hopelessly miscast. for me the best act of the day was joe cocker and the grease band. i rushed to retons records in high st leamington on monday and ordered joes first single ,marjorine.A great weekend despite the weather, happy days !

Nick Rowbotham

My friend and I camped for the weekend but ended up sleeping in his A30 car with two young ladies as the tent was not waterproof.
We went just to see Fleetwood Mac , the Move came on before them and they had a roady who was setting up and he managed to get Radio one on the amp ! everyone cheered and chanted for Fleetwood Mac.
The french television were filming Fleetwood mac and they were great, they also played at Droitwich winter gardens around the same time.
John Mayall had a belt with all his mouth organs in and Joe Cocker was drinking Newcastle Brown and really rocking, it was a great weekend even though it was wet. We allways went to the Impasella club on a sunday afternoon 4-7 to the soul disco and then on to the Bank House at Bransford nr Worcester for another soul disco with Muff Murfin.
Jon Hughes

( we've now added Cocker to the bill as well as stills from a TV show that has been found in 2012 , a film crew followed Fleetwood Mac to the festival and filmed them and Joe Cocker onstage, so we now have an excellent number of images of the festival at long last :Ed )

Bluesology 1968 pages

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