BIRKENHEAD Priory provides the stunning backdrop for the opening night of Wirral's 24th International guitar festival.

Edgar Broughton will be at the historic venue on Thursday November 3.

The band was a formidable live draw, propelled by a heavy psychedelic blues sound and Edgar’s phenomenal if untutored singing.

Edgar is well known as one of the angriest of the protest singers, but at times one of the most accessible – with a surprisingly diverse repertoire of self-penned material.

With seven studio albums, two live albums and many compilations under his belt he has toured extensively since 1968.

Also lined up for the festival, which ends on November 30, are ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Ultravox and Live Aid co-founder Midge Ure, Albert Lee and Spanish guitar virtuoso Juan Martin.

There will also be performances from Bellowhead, Phil Manzanera, Martin Taylor's Gypsy Journey, Tony Remy & The Blues Experience and classical guitarist Xuefei Yang as well as the Katona Twins and the Impossible Gentlemen featuring the incredible Mike Walker and Mercury Prize nominated pianist, Gwilym Simcock.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain joins the festival for the first time, guaranteed to cause a storm of appreciation from all you ukulele fans out there.

Looking forward to the event, Kate Carpenter who has taken over as Festival Director following the departure of its creator Rob Smith, said: "I wish to thank Rob for leaving a vibrant and musically important festival for me to explore and sustain through the stormy economic times ahead; a challenge and a pleasure that I hope to uphold for at least another 24 years! I look forward to welcoming you to this year's festival."

As well as concerts, there will be masterclasses from American blues legend Catfish Keith and bluesman Woody Mann, as well as two guitar maintenance sessions run by instrument Specialists KGB.

Industry experts will run discussions on "Doing it Yourself in the Music Industry" and "Making Money from Your Music" as part of Six String Saturday, a day of free music.

Tickets are from the Floral Pavilion box office on 0151 666 0000. Details of all the concerts and workshops can be found on