OLD stagers and future legends summed up why Colne remains Britain’s capital of the blues this holiday weekend.

Ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce and guitar hero Steve Cropper ensured it was standing-room only at The Muni on successive nights.

Crowd-pleasing turns by the amiable Scot and former Booker T and The MGs guitarist are what Colne has cemented its reputation on for the past 20-plus years.

But there was ample evidence that the future of R&B and soul was in safe hands with the performances of starlets from both sides of the Atlantic.

Festival opener Hamilton Loomis lingers long in the memory of festival aficionados after he took a flying leap from the Muni’s balcony during his 2005 slot.

His advanced years may have forestalled similar acrobatics this time around but he still provided the perfect foil for the bank holiday weekend’s festivities.

Think of a famous soul song ... In The Midnight Hour, Soul Man, Knock On Wood, 634-5789, Time Is Tight, Green Onions etc and Steve Cropper’s name is on the credit.

Even Otis’s posthumous hit Sitting On The Dock Of A Bay was co-penned by the mighty man from Memphis.

And Steve Cropper's set at Colne with the Animals and Friends was sensational.

Singer Paul Barton, Animals' oldtimers John Steel and Mickey Gallagher and guitarist John Williamson were also flawless in their performance with Barton starting to sound eerily like the the mystical Eric Burden.

On Saturday night another Stax legend, Mavis Staples, stormed the stage for possibly the most memorable day in Colne’s Blues Festival history.

And Burnley’s own Lucy Zirins did her burgeoning reputation no harm with two slots on the British and acoustic stages on different nights.

The 19-year-old even survived a mini-blackout during her Pendle Leisure gig to earn the favourable comparisons she has received with the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Jo Anne Kelly.

Elsewhere the roadhouses, including the Admiral Lord Rodney, Colne British Legion and The Dressers, held their own.

Click on the link below for our photo gallery of the festival.