Festival 2014 (Day Two)
Fahran, Twelve Gauge, Bigfoot, Skam, Black Star Bullet
Fahran, Twelve Gauge, Bigfoot, Skam, Black Star Bullet
Venue: Radcliffe Civic Hall, Radcliffe, ManchesterDate: 20 July 2014
an extremely hot and humid Day One I was hoping the weather
would be a little cooler, however the Rock was once again at
Day One angled more as a Metal day, then Day Two definitely
was more Hard Rock orientated and got under way early with
Coventry’s Black Star Bullet, as Trev, Andy, Martin
and Gav got the day underway with their infectious groove
filled Hard Rock.
The set was filled with good old fashioned hard hitting rock n' roll, with definite highlights being ‘In My Blood’ and 'Take it Back', as well as the stonking '8.50'. The band even managed to squeeze in a new song ‘Catch The Bus' resulting in a real ballsy set that got Day Two off to a great start.
was to the acoustic stage for what was billed as The Glass
Guns, but because they were a no show, it was up to the
sound and lighting guys to step up to the plate and give us
a few acoustic AC/DC classics including ‘You Shook Me All
Night Long’, 'Highway To Hell’ and 'Whole Lotta
Rosie’. A cracking job they did too. With a
change in opening replacing chants of "ANGUS" with
"SOS FEST", they paved the way for the next band
on the Dean Hocking Stage, the excellent Skam.
from Leicester, Skam took up where The Black Star Bullet’s
left off, with their own brand of grooved filled rock as
Steve Hill, Matt Gilmore and filling in on drums brother
Neil. The band's usual drummer was absent due to
having an X-ray after damaging his hand while playing
cricket (not very rock n' roll). With their new album
'Peacemaker' currently getting rave reviews, the guys showed
that they can deliver on stage as well as in the studio.
With a corking non-stop rock n' roll bonanza, with great songs like 'Rivers', 'Dead From The Waist Down' and of course the new albums title track 'Peacemaker', the trio delivered on so many levels. Notably the antics of bassist Gilmore who pounded the stage like a man possessed and even had his eyes rolling back into his head at times, as the groove took over his body, alongside replacement drummer Neil really setting the skins alight. Which left Hill to lead the charge both vocally and on the six string. A really powerhouse trio that could go a long way.
the bar set so high by the opening two bands, it was going
to take something extra special to really take things to the
next level and boy did we get just that from the next band Bigfoot.
band that has only been together for a matter on months, but
it was a chance encounter with organiser Mark that the band
were set to conquer the S.O.S. Stage. Mark was so
impressed with these guys at a recent show in Manchester,
that he knew straight away that these guy would be perfect
band led by the exuberant frontman Anthony Ellis, aided and
abetted by Sam Millar and Mick McCullagh on guitars, Matt
Avery on bass and last by no means least Tom Aspinall on
drums, hit the stage running with the opener ‘Tie Me
Down’ and from this point on never looked back.
dominated the stage prowling round like Michael McIntyre on
acid, but boy can
this guy sing. The band's sound had a definite old
school vibe about it, but with enough of a punch to appeal
to a younger crowd. The twin guitarists were just superb
bouncing off each others riffs like two kids on trampoline,
all the while the powerhouse rhythm section kept it hard and
The set continued with the excellent ‘In The Gutter’ before the slow burner ‘Come Down My Way’. The band brought back the heat once more with the stunning ‘Bitch Killer’, but if I had to pick one stand out song of the set, then it would have to be the set closer ‘The Other Side of Paradise’. This song encapsulated what Bigfoot are all about, big licks, a big chorus and hard hitting rhythms. A real barnstorming set. It's hard to believe a band this tight has only been together such a short time. This is a band that REALLY got me excited and I for one can't wait to see what a few more months together produces. This definitely one band to look out for.
Day Two was turning out to be a corker, but I’m afraid due
to work commitments our day was to be cut short.
However before we had to hit the road we still had time to
catch two more bands perform, the first of those bands being
hard rocking quintet led by J M Ward on vocals, with Ian
Johnson and Mike Pilat on guitars, Andy White on bass and
Graham Bennett on drums, kept the good rock going with their
heavy, melodic and infectious sound, mixing the influences
of Metallica, Aerosmith, Velvet Revolver and Soundgarden, to
bring it all together and producing their own unique sound.
off the set off with ‘Sins of the Flesh’, it was over to
the bass laden ‘Tomorrow Comes Your Way’, before
bringing the heavier tones of ‘Touch Me’.
Wasting no time at all it was straight into the rocking ‘All My Love’, before it was time to slow things down a touch with ‘Take Me Back’. This was just a short reprise as it was back to those hard hitters with excellent ‘Hell To The Morning’, before rounding off the set in style with ‘Lose Control’. A song that shows that Velvet Revolver styling to great effect and rounded off what was a great set.
final band of the day for us was Fahran, a band that
we were no strangers too, having see the band on a number of
occasions over the past couple of years.
recently have the band replaced their singer Nick Whitcroft
and bass player Alex Stroud and in steps ex Serpentine’s
Matt Black on vocals and Joshua Ballantyne on bass, together
with Jake Graham, Chris Byrne on guitars and JR Windsor on
drums, combined they're set to take the band ever forward.
a new album ‘Chasing Hours’ due for release in early
August, this was the perfect chance to showcase what the
band are all about.
Black’s having a sore throat, the band set out their case
for edgy melodic hard with ‘Silver Scene’, taken from
the bands self debut, before the first of the songs from the
new album, the storming ‘Take This City Alive’.
Which gave a real taste of what the new Fahran is all
about. This is pure modern, edgy, melodic hard rock
with soaring licks and a monster rhythm section.
was back to the debut for ‘Serenade’, before returning
to the new material for the excellent riff infused ‘I
Heard A Joke Once’, a real ballsy rocker that just
exploded from the off. That same hard rocking
continued with another superb song ‘Caged In Steel’.
this time the crowd were right behind the band who were
undoubtedly winning new fans hand over fist. The band
continued their set by showing their heavier side with the
thumping ‘Long Gone’.
title track off the new album was next ‘Chasing Hours’,
again a hard hitter that still kept that melodic edge.
A real slow burner.
if I had to pick one song from the set that really stood out
from the rest, then it would have to be the next one ‘A
Thousand Nights’. This without a doubt the finest
Fahran song from both albums. To be honest I’m
surprised this one wasn’t the first single off the new
album, it's gritty, ballsy rock of the highest order.
set was rounded off with a return to the debut album for
‘Ashes’, which rounded off a great set and rounded off
our S.O.S. Fest 2014 weekend in great style.
Review by: Barry McMinn & Little Linda
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