CROWDS gathered to hear the blues as live performers took to the streets of Darlington this weekend.

There was a buzzing atmosphere in Darlington as the town hosted its 25th Rhythm N Blues festival.

The festival was hosted across three days between Friday, September 10, and Sunday, September 12.

Many venues hosted bands and musicians from DL1 to the Market Square and various pubs.

Kicking things off on Saturday were The Swamp Hoppers performing a number of catchy tunes that got the audience tapping their feet.

Ronnie Semple of The Swamp Hoppers said: “It's great to be back, it feels like we have been away for ten years not just one.

“It's great to see people out happily tapping their feet to the beat.

“It has been a nice day, the weather has been good, the atmosphere and the crowd.

Fellow bandmate Steve Martin said: “After lockdown, this is the first time we have performed together live.

“It sounded great, and it was nice to play in front of an appreciative audience, good to see them dancing.

Bandmate Dennis Fisher added: “It’s such a relief to be out again.

“We’re not just a band, we are friends and it's good to get back together, to see each other and do what we love together.

“I think the crowd has loved it because this is the first real moment when they have been able to get out and see live music like this.

“We have opened the festival to a great crowd, and I think this represents a bit of normality for them.”

The Northern Echo: The Swamp Hoppers, Ronnie Semple, Dennis Fisher and Steve Martin

The music continued with the Theresa Watson Band and Mojo Roller.

Sunday saw acts like the Andy Taylor Group, Redfish Blues Band, AIR4CE and Erik and The Vikings.

The Northern Echo: Teresa Watson Band play on the DL1 Podium Stage during the Darlington Rhythm 'N' Blues Festival 2021. Photograph: Stuart Boulton.

Also hosting acts during the festival is The Quakerhouse pub on Mechanics Yard, Darlington.

Owner of the Quakerhouse Shelly Allan said: “It's great to be back and get some normality again. To see people enjoying themselves and of course, it is great to see live music again.

“Our last gig in this pub was in March 2020. That’s more than one year ago, and considering we were doing around five gigs a week, lockdown hit hard.

“We love the rhythm and blues festival as we always get a good following from it and people come from all over to hear it."