Well it was the 5th year of Rocksector Records SOS Festival and for me, my first time going, although I was only going for the one day.
Year on year, more and more events and festivals are being set up all over the place, bringing us rockers and metalheads even more choice. For this reason, smaller less reputable ones do not seem to get the crowds they deserve. This can be down to being a brand new event, over priced, not the right names or even the location.
Fortunately, this was a weekend of the UK’s number one Independent Record Label which almost their full roster playing the event right on their doorstep in Manchester.
So the scene was set for a TBFM invasion with Stevi and Katie Roxx also going, as veterans of this event! There was a few bands I was really looking forward to seeing for the first time as well as some regular faces so this event had everything I needed (cider & music).
Radcliffe Hall was a great place, well set up and a great size. As the heatwave was still upon us, there was a lot more people outside before the first band, Spill Sixteen hit the stage. This was just my second time seeing the band and they were fantastic. Not easy to kick off a festival as first band on, specially middle of the day while everyone was still arriving and saying all their hello’s to the faithful followers of underground rock and metal but they certainly pulled it off.
A great way to kick off SOS 2013 for sure! The next band was Afterdown, one I had not seen before but really enjoyed and will have to get music from them for airplay soon. This is where SOS made the festival their own. I saw there was to be 2 stages, the main stage dedicated to the memory of Dean Hocking of Nightvision who sadly passed away last year but as you turned to leave the venue after the band finished, there was the acoustic stage. So for the next 10 hours it was wall to wall music with no gaps at all, an amazing feature I hadn’t seen work anywhere else.
One of my favourite bands of the year came on stage at 3.30pm and myself, DJ Scarlett and both Mr and Mrs Rox were ready for another Massive Wagons party. Did they impress… well, check out this video of Stevi Rox as the band dedicated ‘Heavy Metal Man’ to the one known as the biggest rock star never to be in a band.
I have even seen a message from Barry Mills of the band stating that as long as Stevi Rox is at a gig… its a good gig!
We went through a full eray of amazing bands, great dancing and lots of drinking. I had to miss a couple of bands while taking part in interviews outside and due to that I missed the awesome Exit State. I am sure I will catch them again soon but I was told they played one hell of a set and some said they were easily the band of the day.
I got to catch the last part of X-UFO which was amazing. Some great sounds from them and I am really looking forward to getting to see them again soon as they have just been added to the TBFM sponsored Rock/Metal Circus on 20th September!
Last band of the night, my 4th time in 2 years seeing Dave Evans and second time in a week. I was really looking forward to this and it looked as though the crowd were ready. Everyone packed into the 500 capacity venue and made it a real good atmosphere for Dave’s 60th Birthday, AC/DC’s 40th Birthday and SOS’s 6th event.
Well, if there is ever a band who can perform it is Dave Evans and his UK Badasses. They were immense once again destroying the stage with hit after hit. We sang, we danced, we head-banged… it was amazing and easily one of the best performances I had seen this year (which I did say last week after seeing them in Nuneaton!).
I have to take my hat off to Mark, Chris, Lynne and everyone else behind this event. It truly shows the pure passion of music and has to be one of the future highlights of my events calendar. In fact, Absolva are playing next year so just try and stop me going back.
My only regret was not staying for Sunday. 22 bands, more than 20 hours of non stop music and for just £15, its quite crazy but Rocksector Records really showed how to make a party.
Tickets are already on sales for next year so get yourselves booked in to the local cheap hotels and get to this event if you are a lover of rock and metal underground music. I guarantee you will enjoy it! Website http://www.sosfestival.net