Festival: Z Records Festival 

Artist:  Contagious

Venue: Maximes, Wigan

Date: 26 August 2001  

The second band on the bill today were the one's that really pulled us back down to the festival today. We'd gone from knowing absolutely nothing about them at all at the last one; to being well and truly in awe of them in one fell swoop.

There's nothing worse than seeing a band that make such a big impression on your senses, only to have to wait what seems like ages before you get the chance to see them perform again.

Contagious is indeed one of those bands and their music is so terribly addictive that it should come with a health warning.

'Beware! Listen to this band and you will indeed be asked to sign not only your soul over to them, but also your granny's knickers too!' It's like making a pact with the devil once their infectious grooves get under your skin you just can't get them out of your head.

The band came onstage shortly before 5 o' clock which is generally a bit of a bad time, as people tend to start getting a bit cranky and wander off for food. Not with this band, oh no. They managed to draw their ever-growing legion of fans to the front of the stage and held them firmly there as they launched into the new song 'Hear it Calling'. A track taken from their forthcoming album due out in October.

Whoah! Have these boys been practicing hard or what? If we thought they were good in May then nothing could have prepared us for this huge leap forward they made with their set today.

The songs came thick and fast and it really sounds like they have finally found their niche with these new ones. The whole band gave a magnificent performance here today. All you could do was stand there and be mesmerized by them.

The biggest surprise when you watch this band is lead singer Glenn. Have you ever seen a man stand on stage and look so calm, then open his mouth and just flood the room with such golden sounds? He makes it look as easy as breathing!

He's got that pure classic rock sound to his voice that has sadly been largely lost over the years. It's like listening to one of the greats such as Robert Plant or David Coverdale perform.

Although the songs are largely guitar driven they aren't smothered by them, instead they are rather taken gently by the hand and taken for a good night out. Stormin' Norman provided us with the pulse like back beat that kept our feet tapping and our heads bobbing along to all the songs.

The band is full of characters, it really is. Who could fail to be captivated by the ever-happy John on keyboards and his wondrous new additions to the songs?

Beside him we saw guitarist Pete who has really come on leaps and bounds with this new material and gave us a blinding performance. Good to see him being given the opportunity to show us what he's really made of.

At the other side of the stage we had the infamous Mr. Tony Marshall. Dare I say it; we had a bit of a Tom Jones thing going on here today with this lad. I kid you not! About half way through the set he was smothered by a deluge of women's knickers that had been thrown on mass at him from his girlie fans in the audience.

Contagious and big pants!At first I'm not sure he knew what they were until he picked up one rather huge pair of white Bridget Jones which had 'Tony - We love you!' scrawled across the front in thick black marker.

His face was an absolute picture and the rest of the band just burst into hysterics at it all. I wonder if he'll do a David Lee Roth and make a pair of trousers out of them? They were certainly big enough!

Standing beside Tony and probably wishing he had chosen somewhere safer to stand was the mystery new bass player who had taken over the duty after the loss of the very popular Paul from the band. Not sure whether this is a permanent fixture in the band or not, but you have to admit he did a good job at short notice. Somehow I doubt he quite realized just what he'd let himself in for mind you!

The whole set was stuffed full of fantastic rock songs that grabbed you from the start and gave you a good shaking. They have so much energy and are so vibrant and alive that they couldn't fail to lift even the heaviest of moods. Who could fail to notice the crowd going absolutely mental when they launched into everybody's favourite 'Muscle'?

It's a good job the floor was solid otherwise the crowd would have gone through it. A lot of the new songs were in the same vein with their big chorus's and addictive beat.

We have been told that when the new album is released in October, the band will be touring the butt off it. Let's hope so because the scene needs bands like Contagious to give them a good time.

Hear It Calling, Time and Again, Lady, Suzi Ann, Fantasy, Find a Way, Flying High, Muscle, Lost & Lonely


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