Sunday, July 14, 2024

Members of Whitesnake, Thunder, FM & Little Angels to Honour Bernie Marsden at BernieFest

This year’s Steelhouse Festival takes place on 26th  – 28th  July in Ebbw Vale, Wales and the evening bill on Friday is now titled BernieFest, in honour of the late Bernie Marsden, guitarist with Whitesnake among others.

A full set of Marsden’s greatest works will be performed by a band going under heading The BernieFest All-Stars, while the Mascot Label Group is partnering with the festival to raise money for The Trussell Trust by selling limited edition signed Bernie Marsden postcards at this year’s special event.

This is taking place with the approval of the Marsden family, the cards are limited to strictly 120 and will only be sold at the festival for £15 each with all proceeds going to The Trussell Trust, a charity the family suggested. 
 
“Bernie would have been delighted that Mascot and Steelhouse Festival are raising funds this way for The Trussell Trust, a charity he thought very worthy of supporting,” declared Fran Marsden.
 
The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks and together they provide emergency food and support to people facing hardship, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.
 
Between April 2023 and March 2024, food banks in their network distributed more than 3.1 million emergency food parcels to people facing hardship, a 94% increase over the past five years. You can find out more about the charity here.

The cards were signed by Bernie during the promotional campaign for his 2014 album Shine, that was released on the Provogue/Mascot Label Group. The album featured Joe Bonamassa on the title track and also included the single ‘Trouble’ featuring David Coverdale. You can see Bernie Marsden talking about the album by clicking here.

Bernie Marsden was an icon and colossus of the music world. It was not only his incredible songwriting but his expressive playing and the warmth of his personality that connected with so many people. He was best known for his work in Whitesnake, where he appeared on the band’s first five studio albums co-writing a number of hits including ‘Fool For Your Loving’ and their biggest hit ‘Here I Go Again’. He also played in UFO, Wild Turkey, Cozy Powell’s Hammer, Babe Ruth, Alaska, Paice Ashton Lord as well as having an incredible prolific solo career spanning over 40 years. It’s said that anyone that was ever in the presence of the guitarist was always made to feel at home.

Marsden had a close bond with Steelhouse Festival, and he even named his instrumental track ‘Steelhouse Mountain’ in the event’s honour on his posthumous album, 2023’s Working Man. He played Steelhouse in 2017 where he joined Hand Of Dimes on stage and then in 2021 for a full Bernie Marsen set with former Skin/Hand Of Dimes vocalist Neville McDonald.  Steelhouse Festival 2024 has added a raft of special guests to its opening day extravaganza honouring Bernie Marsden, the evening bill on Friday 2th July is called BernieFest and will include a full set of his greatest work performed by the BernieFest All-Stars, featuring members of his final core band including FM’s Jim Kirkpatrick, Neville McDonald and Hand Of Dimes.

Special guests performing on the Friday as part of the event include his Whitesnake bandmate Neil Murray on bass and also appearances from Thunder’s Luke Morley, FM vocalist Steve Overland, Cardinal Black guitarist Chris Buck, Toby Jepson (Little Angels/Wayward Sons) and contemporary blues chanteuse, Elles Bailey. You can find out more about Steelhouse Festival here.
 
Steelhouse promoters, Max Rhead and Mikey Evans said, “Bernie Marsden wasn’t just a legendary artist who featured on Steelhouse bills throughout the years – He became a true friend and confidante. We are honoured to be celebrating his life and incredible musical legacy at Steelhouse this year and a big part of that is raising money for a charity he very much supported – The Trussell Trust. Many thanks to Mascot Records for getting involved and contributing to the cause.”
 
Talking about Bernie Marsden, Mascot Label Group owner, Ed van Zijl said; “Bernie was such a warm, honest and gentle person. Very talented too, both as a guitarist and a songwriter. He left some big hits with us on planet Earth for future generations to enjoy and to admire.”

For more about Bernie Marsden click here, for more about the Steelhouse Festival go here, The Trussell Trust here, and the Mascot Label Group here.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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