Review by Alison Slack, Photos by Russ Tierney
Sunday began with Silk Road on the Cloven Hoof Stage. Discovering new bands for me is like an archaeologist opening a tomb to find it full of jewels and this was the case for me with Silk Road. They were a delight to watch; smooth as silk vocals and blues guitar, they were the perfect opener. False Flags are a relatively new band formed in 2018 from Carlisle. They played moody guitar riffs that washed over you like a wave of syrup; reminiscent of Radiohead with a smattering of indie pop, these were a pleasure to watch.
I’ve seen Theia numerous times and they never fail to deliver a crowd pleasing performance with the ever smiling stand in drummer Dave Sanders filling in these guys deliver a powerhouse set. They gained a few new fans today with this performance a great band to watch. All the way from Sweden Bai Bang hit the stage running blasting out pure rock anthems with vocalist Didi engaging with the crowd. I’ve seen this band before and they always play to the crowd they are consistent at what they do and the crowd seemed to love them.
Due to another band dropping out we were blessed with a reunion of Knock Out Kaine and I was really looking forward to this. Having known the boys for years and it also being Dean’s birthday I knew we were in for a treat. As usual they delivered and with the onset of Raz invading the stage to sing Happy Birthday to Dean it was a great sight to see even if everyone now thinks he’s 50!!! Knock Out Kaine really should be in the stratosphere; their songs make us feel part of a bigger thing they make us laugh and they make us cry but most of all they make us feel like family.
When Bigfoot announced that they would be splitting up and this was going to be their last tour I know I was gutted like many other fans. A band that have also made us feel part of a family, their antics offstage are epic but when they are onstage they play their little hearts out. This band do play to their fans and they delivered a great show.
I’d been told by friends that I really needed to see Kickin Velentina. Well today I got to do that and they didn’t disappoint. All the way from Atlanta Georgia they play in your face down and dirty sleazy rock n Roll. Vocalist DK Revelle has a voice that is powerful and punches you in the gut. There epic anthems kick your ass and keep on doing it fantastic band.
I read the bio of Borders and seeing that they’d supported Martyr Defiled on their farewell tour I decided to check them out. By mentioning Martyr Defiled that pricked my ears up as I’m quite partial to this type of music by promoting it in the early evolution of the genre. I must have been the oldest person in the room at the time but they were fantastic brutal beats with melodic tones actually brought in a good sized crowd.
Having seen Bullets and Octane on Thursday at Rock City I knew they were going to be fabulous and had spent most of the day telling people to watch them. They hit the stage and gave 150% as always with humour and a cheeky smile from vocalist Gene Louis. Along with guitarist Felipe Rodrigo, Zachary Kibbee on bass and drummer Jonny Udell, they played a set peppered with stories from home and interacted with the audience as they only do. The kids in the crowd lapped it up when the guys came down into the crowd – a fun band to hang out with and a great band to watch. I shall miss them when they go back home but I know that when they return with a new album I shall be there.
Since 2008 I’ve followed The Treatment and even with line-up changes they have stayed consistent. They deliver one hell of a show and with the power of the drums from stalwart Dhanni Mansworth the heartbeat of the band rolls on. A firm favourite again with the crowd and a fantastic performance. By now I was getting a wee bit tired and after grabbing a quick coffee I headed over to watch great mates Witch Tripper, aka Witchtits to their friends. There will always be banter with these guys, peppered with in your face rock and face melting guitar solos from Ritchie Barlow held back by The Stoff and his stomping bass lines all kept together by drummer Gary Eric Evans. After heading back over to the outdoor stage I was told that they had lost all power to the stage and were trying to rectify it. There will always be gremlins at gigs and this one seemed to have taken a bit out of the proceedings. Eventually all was well and Hardcore Superstar hit the stage a little later than billed. This band as ever gave it their all and the crowd lapped it up their set was peppered with songs from the new album as well as firm favourites.
A mention must go to Falling Red who unfortunately had to pull out of their festival appearances including this one due to Mikey’s health issues. Pete K Mally took to the stage and made a short speech and asked that people give generously to Mikey’s Bucket List. They then played Falling Red’s music for their slot which was a great gesture. If you haven’t donated yet then please visit The Go Fund Me Page from the link below.
Overall this festival was a huge success and the team involved should be really proud of their hard work. Tickets are already on sale for next year with rumours already circulating about future headliners. I, for one, can’t wait to go next year.