Call Of The Wild Day 1 – Friday 24th May 2024

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Lincolnshire Showground, Lincoln.

Review By Smudge Photos By Paul McWilliams

Summer’s here. It’s official! Call Of The Wild for me is the start of summer and here I am wondering what the three days will give us other than rain.

On entering the site, I was welcomed by the dulcet tones of Loz Campbell who were halfway through their set opening the Southall Lawless stage. They were making one glorious racket and I noticed they were pulling double duty with a second set on the Trailblazer stage later, so I made a not to catch them later for a full set. Next up on the same stage were We Three Kings who are actually a duo, just guitar and drums with the bass being fed from somewhere else.

Not my cup of tea at all. The Heat Inc came on with some punchy rock n roll before I headed to the Trailblazer stage and caught Archy And The Astronauts. I first saw them at the Lincoln Tattoo convention last year where they were taking part in a ‘battle of the bands’ – which they subsequently won! It was good to see them play a longer set. They started with their brand of heavy alt rock and included a love song. We got a special guest in the young teenage Chloe (surname unknown) who showed her considerable chops on a cover of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name’ and boy did it go down well. It was a quick step over to the Southall Lawless stage to catch Muddibrooke who I had the pleasure of seeing as support to Wayward Sons.

In my review I happened to liken singer/guitarist Harriet McDonnell as ‘a less scabby Courtney Love’. I got a fair amount of abuse on the bands social media accounts, but I have explained myself to Harriett and she is fine with it. Today they stormed the stage with their heavy, dark angst rock and being a trio there was nowhere to hide. Bearing in mind the time of the day they pulled a respectable sized crowd and went down a storm with highlights being set opener ‘ADHD’, ‘Liverpool Guy’ and the song from that advert ‘You Don’t Own Me’ which they have made their own.

McDonnell has some voice which is complemented by bass player Anna Melidone. Later I managed to speak with Harriet, and she told me of the bands future plans which, if they come off will see the band going to the next level. Good luck to them. It was time to get heavy with Lavire on the main stage. I’ve seen these guys several times and they always impress. Halfway through their set the renowned guitarist (now photographer) Myke Gray gave them his seal of approval even though guitarist Aaron doesn’t actually play solo’s. Lavire owned this stage and sounded huge.

As I’ve said before I’ve never heard a Telecaster sound like that. I got talking to a couple from Barnsley (Hi -Ruth and Steve) who recommended Until 9. They also mentioned that the band had recently been reduced to a trio but that didn’t seem to bother them in any way. They ploughed out an impressive set of alt metal, not everyone’s cup of tea, but they certainly didn’t do their reputation any harm. I then hot footed it over to the Trailblazer stage and caught the superb Loz Campbell. I wrongly assumed that she was one of the blues mongers. How wrong I was! This chick ROCKS! It was hard, snot nosed, attitudy rock n roll all the way. The way she sang ‘Bad Girl’ made you believe it and ‘Beautiful Liar’ was proper heavy – add to that a bass player who threw shapes and pulled faces they were the real deal. It was back outside for Dobermann and what a surprise.

Now, Dobermann are a trio of good looking young Italian fella’s. I looked into the crowd which had become mostly female and overhearing some of the comments regarding the lads on stage made me blush. Lee, Moggs, Claire and Hanneka you all should be ashamed of yourselves. The band were red hot with their power trio blend of heavy melodic rock.

It got down n dirty on ‘Summer Devil’ and ‘I Need A Holiday’ before their genius move of the Motorhead/Girlschool classic ‘Please Don’t Touch’ which got the crowd proper revved up. ‘Rock Steady’ came from the groin and kept the crowd moving then their second genius move was ‘Hot For Teacher’ which sent everyone over the edge. A fantastic festival set from a superb band.

It was time to eat so I missed Absolva then went straight back to catch She Burns Red. Much has been written about this band in recent weeks but I’m not going to go into the reasons why, suffice to say that they brought their ‘A’ game and knocked it out of the park. Judging by the amount of t-shirts bearing their name they had the crowd on their side with ‘Cross Hairs’ being a major highlight of a fantastic set. Surprise guest Beth Blade came out for the last song – a raucous cover of Don Henley’s ‘The Boys Of Summer’ (and no Beth I won’t mention how obviously cold it was!).

Now, I wasn’t too sure if Scarlet Rebels had the weight to headline a main stage at a festival – how wrong I was! They were another who brought their ‘A’ game despite not playing too many shows recently. They rocked they rolled, and they proved they have some seriously great songs like ‘I Can Sleep Now’, ‘Take My Breath Away’, ‘Will You Let Me In’ and the massive final number ‘Heal’ which gave me goosebumps. Guitarist Chris Jones was the focal point peeling off solo’s and fills whilst throwing shapes and jumping off the small ego stages at the front.

Now to the headliners, I have never had much affection for The Quireboys I’ve seen them a few times and I found them sloppy, unprofessional and often drunk. Tonight, however Spike has opened his contact list and brought together a red-hot band with original Q’boy Nigel Mogg, Thunder’s guitarist Luke Morley and Willie Dowling (remember The Grip, anyone?) tinkling the ivories. The band were tight, and Spike seemed to have a shed load of energy. They pushed out their Faces/Stones style piss up rock n roll which got everybody moving.

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