Cover photograph courtesy of Robert Balmer Photography
One of our favourite festivals raised awareness and an awesome £1653 for Rock Against Child Pornography and Abuse UK and once again nearly killed us with band after band of awesomeness…
We missed the opening band (as per usual!) but had it on good authority from Mr & Mrs Wilton that ‘Doomsday Outlaw’ were very good.
Unfortunately I also missed the start of ‘Psychobabylon’s’ set and flew through the doors just in time for one of my favourites ‘Trash’. The band have a fantastic new album out ‘Embrace The Strange‘ and put on a tremendous show featuring old and new choons. Another strikingly good live band full of attitude, energy and killer songs, quite possibly another ‘Roxx’ fave band in the making!!!
Next up a band we’d not seen before ‘Little Mammoth’ and they turned out to be one of the finds of the weekend. What a remarkably show stopping voice on the singer Holly Bolus and terrific tunes. I was heading for the bar, but was stopped in my tracks for 30 minutes of alluring music.
A couple of regulars up next as ‘Spill Sixteen’ put on a great melodious show, classic rock with a touch of blues done splendidly. Another band that gives off bounds of energy, with some perfect guitar solo’s and rifftastic catchy numbers.
‘Teenage Casket Company’ are a band I’ve seen on numerous occasion over the years and they have grown on me so much that I was pissed off that I missed their first song. The band have been around for years and always put on a wonderfully polished show. A touch of class I would say. Finishing with the striking ‘Don’t Look at me Like That’ and leaving me a sweaty, but happy mess!
Punking it up with dirty raw songs ‘Dirt Box Disco’ maybe didn’t quite get the crowd going as expected. I’ve seen these guys a few times and they usually have the crowd enthralled and bobbing along. Still I had a good singalong!
I was starting to flag a bit by now but still enjoyed ‘Gypsy Pistoleros’. Having seen them with two other singers it was a bit strange and different now with ex-Wrathchild front man, Gaz Wilde. Maybe a slightly different musical style than of old, with the pop rocking glorious ‘Dirty Side of Midnight’ the stand out song, helped with the captivating ‘Hell on High Heelz’.
Now at the time we didn’t know ‘Exit State’ were splitting up and in no way is thirty minutes enough for one of our favourite bands of the last 7 years. They should have been huge, musically they throw a bit of everything into the mix and are such talented musicians. On the day, as usual they were just plain old outstanding. (Mr & Mrs Roxx wipe tears from eyes and get on with review!)
Let’s get out of the way I was a huge ‘Velvet Star’ fan, but after hearing two ‘DeadAudioSaints’ songs and having now seen them live twice I’m already impressed. I didn’t know what to expect as they didn’t have a guitarist weeks before the gig, but stepping up to the mark, the remarkably impressive Cory Jones who was resplendent on guitar instead of his usual bass duties.
Riffing it up next with a slightly distorted noisyness – in a good sense – was ‘The Goddamn Electric’, as the name suggests they have an electrifyingly goddamn dirty sleazy rock’n’roll’ness about them.
I was already struggling but I managed to keep going and caught most of ‘Hellbound Hearts’ but by this stage I was spending a bit more time out in the back yard getting some fresh air. The Maze has made a gallant effort to reduce the heat but it all gets a bit too much in a very hot and sweaty environment.
I wasn’t feeling at my best by then and Mrs Rox had already left the scene! But I had to catch the last ever gig by ‘Suicide Tuesday’. I am so glad I did as it was a fabulously entertaining set and that was the best I have seen them finishing off an awesome day. Musically an updated version of Crue & Pussycat, meaning my type of ROX music.
On day 2, I was hung-over and tired, so I wasn‘t quite ready for loud music so ‘Firebomb’ didn’t quite hold my full attention, already I was wanting to be outside! (hint for future festivals!)
My feeling lousy didn’t last long with the help of the impressive ‘Heartbreak Remedy’, one of the few bands I was seeing for the first time and they really entertained and woke me up. They played one of the songs of the weekend, captivating the audience with ‘Life’. Speaking to the other members of the crowd it was obvious that they had gone down a storm.
Follow that we thought, and the remarkably young and talented threesome that is ‘Theia’ did just that, with a thunderously rocking display of musicianship. I can see these boyz going along way, along the line of ‘The VirginMarys’
Another band we were seeing for the first time was ‘The Black Hands’, agh, I thought, a good chance of a break and some fresh air? Not a chance, as I was enthralled by this bluesy rocking band. Impressive groovy music to chill out the early afternoon. It even brought out the ‘air harmonica’ in me!
I was lagging a bit by now, so was a bit slow getting into the punky rawness of ‘Steriod Freak Pussy’ but it wasn’t long before I was back rocking, singing along and loving some pussy! Dirty Scuzzy, guitarz strung low, sleazy rock & roll played just the I like it.
Next up was the excellent ‘Fallen Mafia’ – perfect timing really as it was a shift away from the 100 miles punkyness into more of a classic rock/glam metal sound. Having liked this band the few times I have witnessed them, I’ve got to say this was the best I’ve seen them, cranking out some great tunes and looking like a ‘proper rock band’! As always my favourite ‘how the story ends’ was still in the set and I had an 80’s moment, the difference being I never had a song dedicated to me during that great era.
With so many bands I wanted to see and with such a quick organised change over by the excellent Kieran Tonge it hardly left time to speak to friends or even go to the bar and toilet!
Something had to give, especially as we needed to be rested ready for the last few bands and so unfortunately I didn’t see much of ‘Eva Plays Dead’, but they did sound good from the back yard of the venue.
Looking at the next four bands I wondered how I was going to survive! So, Bombs Bombs, Bombs Away! The Roxx’s had their shots at the ready for the anthemic ‘Nothing Quite Like This’ by ‘The Senton Bombs’. A band that have been around for years, but in the last couple that we have known them, they have grown into one of our favourite bands. Musically, effortlessly crossing the line with their punk attitude into classic rock epic-ness, with more than a hint of Scandinavian sleazyness. We are ’hooked’ on these ’jackals’. From the crowd reaction it looked like they gained a few new fans and one of the loudest cheers of the weekend came after the sensational country tinged ‘Darkest Horse’.
Agh those charming ‘Silverjet’ boys were up next minus one lovely guitarist, but still able to put on one of the best shows of the weekend. Always a joy for Mr & Mrs Roxx to see and hear this majestic band, mixing the older bluesier tunes with harder rocking newer stuff, t’was a treat. Had me singing along throughout the set anf it’s pretty much where I stayed and did the same again to the rowdier overblown apocalyptic grandiose sing along nonsense that is ‘JD and the FDCs’. All festivals should book this band! ‘Eva plays dead’ singer Tiggy Dockerty was invited onto the stage to join them in a tremendous cover of ‘Joan Jett‘s‘ ‘I hate myself for loving you’ which had us bouncing and singing,
Holy shit next up it’s ‘The Idol Dead’ one of the Roxx fave live bands ever! Did they perform? Hell yeah! Fuck yea… A monstrously spectacular show, even more entertaining than usual, with Guitarist KC accidentally knocking out bassist Dan’s tooth and doing an ‘Angus’ around the crowd on Mr Grainger’s shoulders. Also busting my lip but that was my fault for getting too close during one of our guitar moments! And yes musically they were on top form as well with a couple of new songs integrating well with the classic older ones.
With Mrs Rox skulking off early yet again and me, with my decrepit old body wilting under the strains of joy I missed the start of ‘Knock Out Kane’. I found just enough energy to go back inside to finish off the weekend watching yet another superb band.
Massive congratulations to Big D and his fabulous family and friends!!! An amazing festival for an excellent cause and back next year by popular demand! Rightly so too!!!!
Rock Against Child Pornography And Abuse UK