Review by Alison Slack, Photos by Russ Tierney
The inaugural Call of The Wild Festival made a terrific first impression. The Lincolnshire Showground site is fantastic – everything is a short walk away and there were even blocks of flushing toilets which were a godsend. No portaloos here! Looking around the site it was obvious that the team involved had planned this to be easily accessible for all and for the fans to have everything they wanted.
Saturday began with glorious sunshine and the arrival of more people who were either camping or staying in nearby hotels as the site is quite close to Lincoln. Arriving early meant I was able to check out quite a few of the bands on the two indoor stages which I must say was a stroke of genius setting stages up either side of the building.
First off on the Badlands stage was The Spangles playing powerful catchy anthems that most of the crowd sang along with. I love these guys they have to be one of my favourite bands and they didn’t clash with Hands off Gretel which was a bonus for them. Hands off Gretel have got to be one of the coolest bands you will ever see. Front woman Lauren Tate commands the stage and the crowd love her. Bewitching the audience with songs that have a powerful message and the band weaving their spell over a captivated crowd.
The Finest Hour were next up and what a surprise these were I was only going to watch three songs but actually stayed for the whole set. A sharp contrast for the rock crowd but I really liked these guys. A cross between folk rock and indie pop with a touch of the Mumfords very catchy and very entertaining to watch. Fire Red Empress deliver In your face Rock with absolute powerful vocals from Jennifer Diehl the riffs punch you in the gut and keep coming. I’d heard of these guys but never seen them live and was really glad I did.
Scottish Rockers Tantrum gave us a slice of power metal harking back to the NWOBHM that I grew up with. Off the scale vocals and powerful guitar riffs with lots of spandex made these guys entertaining to watch. I’d heard good things about Everyday Heroes from friends at the festival so went to check them out after a much needed tea break. Southern toned bluesy rock with vocals that washed over you from frontman Luke Phillips. This band were another favourite and seeing that they will be playing at Rock N Blues this year made my day as I will get to see them again.
I’d missed Trucker Diablo on Friday night, so was glad they stood in and did an acoustic set after another band had dropped out. I’ve seen this band numerous times over the years but having the opportunity to see some of the songs stripped back and played this way was one of the best ways to spend a Saturday afternoon. Another band I was told to check out were Harker playing pop punk tunes that were catchy and their stage energy was infectious.
Psychobabylon took to the stage and really blew the afternoon slumber cobwebs away; loud in your face pure rock n roll with a touch of the theatrics. Hailing from South Wales, Those Damn Crows were a real crowd pleaser for the day, entertaining with killer riffs and with charismatic frontman Shane Greenhall engaging with the crowd they really kicked off the evening proceedings.
I love The Wildhearts and when they announced that they would be playing the inner fan girl came out. I’d seen them numerous times before but the last few times I’d seen them they were on fire and the happiest on stage I’d seen them for a while. Now we all know that there have been dramas over the past few years, but this band, through all their troubles, always give their fans a fantastic show. Watching this band with close friends and fellow Wildhearts fans has to be the best medicine anyone can receive. They are tight, fun and absolutely fantastic playing all their hits and starting off with new track ‘Dislocated’ which had the crowd screaming for more. I didn’t want it to end it was over far too quickly and I wanted the ability to rewind and watch them all over again.