Review and photographs by Linda McDermott
It’s the morning after the night before and the night before that and the consumption of alcohol is taking its toll on some. However, not deterred, they tread a well-worn path to the main area, for bacon rolls and coffee and preparation for another full day of music and discovery.
The Golden Leaves
Opening the proceedings for the final day on the Trooper stage was The Golden Leaves, who are a 6-piece modern rock band from Norway.
I particularly liked ‘Higher Than Ever’ which was the first song they wrote together, but to be honest they didn’t have a bad song, and I was hooked. Then out of the blue, they started singing ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ followed by ‘Johnny Be Good’ they had me singing ‘Hey ho let’s go’ back to them with a smile before they slipped back into their own material.
With one album under their belts in 2019 called ‘City of Lights’ and with the title track having a bit of a U2-ish sound to it I think they are a band worth a listen to.
Next, it was down to the big red tent for a 4 piece band that woke up every man and his dog with a heavy metal bonanza of self-penned songs enticing the crowd to sing along.
With an album out in 2020 called ‘Home Coming’ and a recent single release called ‘Neophobia’ Kyle, Paddy, Joe and Jess have carved themselves a nice niche in the festival scene and are evolving into a heavier rock band.
This band takes you back to some great bluesy rock music and considering this is only their third gig together as a group they sounded like they’d been together for years. Kieth Atack put the band together and chose well with frontman Dan Byrne, formerly of Revival Black as he brings his distinctive bluesy voice to the mix, which the crowd loved. Two stand-out songs for me were Poison Water and Seven Seas and with an album planned for the end of the year, they are definitely worth watching out for.
Jack J Hutchinson
Yet another great bluesy rock sound filled the air, with lots of foot tapping to be seen around the tent. Jack is no newcomer to the blues scene as he has albums going back as far as 2013 with the latest album ‘Hammer To Fall’ released last year. His latest single ‘Constellations’ was released in July and if you want to see him he has three more dates in the diary for this year.
It’s been a while since I last saw Gin Annie so I was really pleased to see them on the bill. A 5 piece rock band from Wolverhampton who have some great hooks in their songs that get me and the crowd singing back to them. Their debut album ‘100% Proof’ was released in 2019 and is one I’ve played endlessly, favourites include ‘Love Ain’t Here’ and ‘Chains’. I am pleased to say they have a new single out called ‘Perfect Nightmare’ which is a great head-nodding track and available on all the usual online streaming platforms. They only have one gig date in the diary for now and that’s at The Junction, Plymouth, so if you’re in the area………
I’ve seen the Black Spiders a few times now and I love them! They always look like they are having the best time on stage and today was no exception. With the weather nice and sunny and some people sitting outside the tent listening, they made sure that those outside were involved in one way or another.
At every show I’ve seen them, they taunt the audience to saying, ” F*** you Black Spiders, but on this occasion, it was replaced with F*** you outsiders!!! It was hilarious, and the crowd loved it!
The guys have a new album which was released in May called ‘Can’t Die, Won’t Die’ and it’s a cracker! They are touring all of September as well as playing at Winter Rocks in Sheffield at the beginning of December where I will certainly be looking forward to hearing them again.
Before the guys entered the stage there was a warning over the loudspeaker to avoid them, obviously, no one heeded this and they bounced onto the stage full of life and proceeded to belt out a brilliant set.
Having just finished their second album, it was great to hear a selection of the new songs from it including an acoustic number which went down well.
I loved how they got the crowd singing to the chorus of ‘No Place For Love’, this is always a good sign with a new song and might be a contender for a single going by the reaction of the fans. Check collateralofficial.com for tour dates.
This band have been around for a good few years and has albums going as far back as the late eighties. They had everyone in the tent foot tapping along and they certainly have the rock anthem sussed with lots of energy and guitar riffs. With the latest album ‘Road to Eden’ released last year and a tour of Spain in October, there is no stopping them.
Opening their set with ‘Hail Mary’ is always a winner to get the audience’s attention, who doesn’t like a great chorus to sing back to the band?
This band always have a great stage presence and are on an upward path with ‘Death Valley Paradise’ being their fourth album release and it making the official UK chart proves it. My favourites from the album are ‘Dead Horses’ and ‘Hostage’ but the whole album is great. If they’re not on your radar yet, maybe they should be.
This brings the festival to a close. I love this festival and will 100% be back next year. I can’t criticise one single thing about it. There was a great variety of bands, something to suit everyone, from heavy rock to bluesy rock and everything in between. There were no clashes so you didn’t have to choose between two of your favourites. I loved the fact that the bands mingled with the punters, happy to chat and have photos taken, it was just so relaxed.
There was a great variety of food vendors, so everyone was catered for, the toilets were clean and kept topped up with loo roll (thank you Martin!) what more could you want? Organising a festival can’t be easy and I take my hat off to Stret, Bev and their team and anyone else who does it because they are giving old and new rock musicians the chance to be seen and heard and that’s what it’s all about. I have discovered some amazing new bands at this festival, bands I would never have found otherwise. I will now listen to their music, follow them and buy their merchandise and hope they go further in their musical careers and that’s what it’s all about for me.