The Sixth Band to play the Flame Festival at the Queen’s Hall in Nuneaton was the Birmingham Legends Quartz.

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Review by Brian Mear

I’ve spoken warmly and often about this band and we have hosted them before at Mearfest back in 2019.

They are without doubt one of my favourite bands and along with one or two others the reason I first got into rock music.

This first ” FLAME ” gig under a new banner and a new name was immensely important.

I based the whole lineup on the friendship and trust we have both built up with each and every band.

For me, the link and bond I have with Quartz is all built on my great friendship with their manager Tim Perry.

We talk nearly every day and we have discussed at length about Quartz being involved in this new project. Next year Quartz will be celebrating 50 years in the music industry.

With respect, they are elder Statesmen and I proposed they have an hour set around 6 pm.

The Queens Hall isn’t far away from Birmingham where the band is based

Having a set at that time halfway through the bill placed no pressure on them and I hoped they could relax enjoy the gig and then have some time after to mix and meet people at a reasonable time.

I have to say it seemed to work brilliantly well.

The lighting and sound were astounding

Geoff Bate the Vocalist shone and I’ve rarely seen someone look so happy during a performance

Mick Hopkins’s guitar work was as ever outstanding.

The bass of Derek Arnold and the superb drumming of Malcolm Cope blended together and was quite formidable.

Some newer material was played from their latest album and of course, the classics were aired again

Stand up and Fight, Wildfire and the Sabbath classic Heaven and Hell, highlighting the strong links and friendship between Quartz and Sabbath through the late and great Geoff Nichols.

For me, it was a fantastic display and the photos of the band all seem to have my arms in as I held them high in appreciation.

I was totally lost in the music and for nearly an hour in seventh heaven with each and every track.

Since I first hosted Mearfest just after my Mum’s death in July 2010 there have been some wonderful moments and incredible times.

This though for me was the finest

The hall filled up nicely

Everything looked and sounded perfect

(Everything including the kick drum pedal for Malcolm was in place ) and the magic happened once again.

For those of you who have ever attended one of our shows, you will fully understand and remember what that feeling of warmth connection and love is like.

It embraces you and I feel as the years go by that all those that we have lost in this most special Mearfest family are once again with us.

Quartz Rock Band (Official) were amazing, relaxed and took complete control of that stage.

They were given a small homemade ” lifetime achievement ” award afterwards made by my Wife and the tiny fingers of my living daughter Amelie

50 years of incredible majestic, original and dynamic music.

What an achievement, what a band and oh my what a night !!!


Claire Mear

Photography Jim Donnelly

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