Festival: Z Records Festival

Artist: Vaughn

Venue: Maximes, Wigan

Date: 26 August 2001  

By the time Vaughn took the stage it was late and my feet were hurting like hell. Sadly I had to sit down to enjoy this last band.

As it was the rest of the room were crowded at the front heaving against the stage so I wouldn't have seen much anyway from up there.

I probably saw a lot more from the rear of the room as I could still see over their heads. It looked very much from where I was sitting as if the whole room had descended on mass to the front of the stage and were going mental as the band came on.

Vaughn are truly great performers, there's no other way to describe them. I have never seen them do a bad show yet. Tonight saw the end to what's been an extremely successful UK tour for the band.

Danny himself admitted onstage that this had been the best selling tour they had ever done. He thanked the fans for making it so and thanked Z for not pulling today's show even though things had not looked good at all for it.

It was indeed very touch and go as to whether today would go ahead or not, but I'm sure everyone who turned up would agree with me when I saw that we are so pleased it wasn't because the majority of the bands that came and performed for us today did a magnificent job and a great time was had by all.

Danny promised the band would be back in February to gig us another fabulous tour and from the crowd's response to this news, it will be an even bigger seller yet again.

Rumours that Jamie was leaving the band after tonight's gig were going around but I can't remember the band mentioning it during their set. Maybe it was touch and go and he might have changed his mind after tonight? Who knows? It would be a great shame if he were to leave, as he is a much-loved character and a brilliant musician.

In fact did anyone notice that he was looking a good 5-10 years younger on this tour? Was it only me who thought that or has he found the fountain of youth?

Opening with the atmospheric and moody 'Black Water' the band saw the crowd cheer in delight. What a difference between the response to this band and the one on before them. It was like the sun had come out and brought back everyone's smiles again.

That's what this band does; they make you feel really good about yourself. You take them to your heart and cherish their performances as something special.  They are like long lost friends that come over to visit you once a year and you have so much fun when they are around.

The whole band looked so relaxed and seemed to be totally enjoying themselves so much that it was hard to see what they do as work. How many people can say they are lucky enough to not only do a job they enjoy so much, but also get paid for it as well?

The band wasn't the only one's that were having a whale of a time. The fans were really jumping about and getting totally into each and every song the band did.  If Danny had told them to jump they would have shouted back ... how high?

At one point during 'Forever Young' we noticed the lighting rig was swaying dangerously as the crowd danced back and forth. It got up quite a rhythm and one light actually detached itself and hung precariously by one wire for the rest of the set.

Strangely enough it hadn't moved the rest of the day so why was it moving so much now? I'll tell you why, because the fans and the band were having one big party and everyone here today was invited! There were even people standing on the tabletops at the opposite side of the room and dancing!

Just before the band launched into 'Standing Alone' Danny opened up his heart to us and told us this song meant a lot to him for so many different reasons. Not only is it a beautiful and moving song that the fans have taken under their wings, but also it was one that he wrote while feeling at an all time low.

He thought nobody cared about him and was feeling really down and sorry for himself.  Just how wrong could one person be? You could feel the warmth and brotherly love in the room during their set.  They really are not only respected as great musicians, but also loved for being themselves and not selling out.

The set was bursting at the seams with the fans favourites both old and new. The songs from the new album sounded great and I have no doubt in my mind that it large numbers will be cleared off the shelves of Z records after this tour.

 One song that really took my fancy was 'Fly Away' which reminded me a lot of Roachford for some strange reason.

The guitars gently strumming at the beginning while Danny takes a slow relaxed approach to the start of the first few lines.

I could almost imagine this being on 'A Permanent Shade Of Blue'. This has got to be my favourite track out of all the new ones. It's gorgeous. It fills your head full of images and dreams and paints a vivid picture in your head. It's quite a moving song if you take the time to listen to the story behind the words.

Die-hard Vaughn fans will confirm that the new songs are as good as anything the band have ever done before if not better.

Vaughn have always given us their best and in return we have stayed faithful to them at each and every one of their shows. It is any the wonder that the crowd really did not want tonight to end? Role on February and thanks for coming over to visit us lads.

Setlist: Black Water, Rescue Me, A million miles of Road, Is that all there Is?, Fly Away, Shadowlands, Burning down Inside, Just like That, Soldiers & Sailors, Haunted, Standing Alone, Was there a Moment, Forever Young, Wings, Fish Food (?), Last Sunset, Sail Away
Blow Up coined it perfectly when they said that we were lucky to have this festival here today because there 'ain't no rock n' roll in the states on a Sunday'.

We were lucky and not just because today's festival was on a Sunday. A lot of hard work had gone in making sure everything was just right for all the fans who had turned up.

I very much doubt whether many people would fully appreciate the colossal efforts made by everyone behind the scenes. We just had to turn up and enjoy it, but appreciation must be shown to the many hours spent by all the bands, the technicians, the merchandise girls (who raided the local supermarket for the carrier bags for us to put our CD's in!), and last but not least not forgetting Z records themselves, who made sure today not only went ahead but that we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think you have to show the utmost respect to all these people because at the end of the day everything went according to plan and everyone who went seemed to enjoy it as much as we did. It was tremendous fun; the bands put on some blinding performances and were good sports in between the sets.

Surely that's what it's all about? Great rock, good company, plenty of drink and a day that will stay etched in our heads for a long time.

Happy memories are now added of this mighty Festival. I for one can't wait until the next one


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