Event: S.O.S. XII Festival 2019 (Day Three)

Bands: Massive, Skam, Tequila Mockingbyrd, Black Whiskey, Kane'd, Ward XVI, Gang, Scarlet Rebels

Venue: Longfield Suite, Prestwich, Manchester

Date: 14 July 2019


Well another morning after the night before and again we were reveling in the spectacle of Day 2 of this year’s S.O.S. Festival, so after another late breakfast, we headed out to Prestwich Civic Hall for the final day of S.O.S. XII.

Having yet again missing the opening act Atlas, we again apologize to the guys from the band, but last night took it's toll, as did the heat.

So first band of the day for us was Welsh Classic Rockers Scarlet Rebels. Last year CJ and Wayne played an acoustic set on the Friday night of S.O.S. Festival, returning this year they brought the rest of the band with them.  

The band kicked things off with the current single 'Let Me In', taken from their forth-coming album 'Show Me Your Colours', which is out in August on Rock Of Angel Records.

The band kept the fires going with tracks like 'Say My Name' and 'Zero', a track from the bands former incarnation Void.  With tracks from the new album rocking like 'Save Me' and 'You Take My Breath Away' really showing the band have the licks.  I can't wait to hear the full album on the strength of today's set. 

Another band making a welcome return to SOS this year are French Heavy Metallers Gang, the band of Steve (guitars), Philty (bass), Biggy (guitars), Bill (lead vocals) and Malo (drums), brought their classic Heavy Metal sound to today’s proceedings and set about rocking the hell out of the place.

With a set dominated by tracks from the new album 'All for One', the old school metal rolled out with the likes of 'The Devil In Me', 'All for One', the storming 'Save Me' and 'Follow the Sign', with only a slight costume change from frontman Bill, as he donned a bright orange Hawaiian shirt.  A tradition first brought about following  bet with festival head honcho Mark Appleton, by wearing a Hawaiian shirt for the show back in 2016.  The tradition was up held as Mark also donned an equally bright orange Hawaiian shirt today also, especially for the bands performance. 

The band rocked out the set with a raucous cover of the UFO classic 'Doctor Doctor', which once again gave the S.O.S. Choir a chance to join in.  As old school goes, Gang stick to their guns and continue to ROCK big style. 

When it comes to S.O.S. Festival, you always expect the unexpected, over the years we’ve been exposed to some truly great acts and this year was no exception, as next up on stage were Theatrical Rockers Ward XVI.

The band had some of their props stolen on the morning of the show due to some scum bag, but as the old adage goes ... “the show must go on!” ... and boy did these guys put on a show!

The band of Psychoberrie (Vocals), Lex Whittingham (Guitar), Dr Stott (Guitar), Jake (Drums), Beardy McStumble (Bass) and Min (Keys/Accordion), complete with cadaver as they brought us the Art of Manipulation.

The theatrics of the cadaver being mutilated by an axe and its intestines devoured were interwoven with some hard ass metal, with the likes of 'Toy Box', 'Crystal Ball', the electro metal of 'Cry of the Siren' and the dark 'Ward XVI', where Psychoberrie was encased in a straight jacket for the bands finale.

I would have liked to have seen her escape from the straight jacket as the final song came to a close and tear through the crowd, but maybe this could be added next time.

I also would also have liked to see the full show props included, as the band have a very unique stage show.  If you mix the likes of Lordi with 'Welcome to My Nightmare' era Alice Cooper, then you get where Ward XVI are coming from.  Perhaps nothing new visually to us rock veteran rockers, but highly entertaining all the same and certainly providing the younger ones in the crowd with something they don't normally see at a rock or metal concert. 

After the extremes of Ward XVI it was time for a little normality, as we got the triple thread from the might Kane’d.

This is a band that I have seen on numerous occasions and each and every time they have impressed, with tonight's performance being no exception. Anyone unfamiliar with the band will notice instantly they are led on their sonic attack by the three vocalist sisters Steph Kane, Stacey Kane and Chez Kane, who along with the rest of the band being Harry Scott Elliott, Jack Davies, Josh Raw, George Elliott, deliver hard rock of the highest calibre.

The band opened up with 'Wasted' and instantly the trio were firing on all six.  That top notch Hard Rock continued with the excellent 'Show Me Your Skeletons', with the harmonies of the trio sounding as superb as always.  These really shone out on the riff spewn '3-2-1' from the bands 'Rise' album.

It was time to really bring the hard edged side of the band with the stunning 'Guilty Of Nothing', another great track taken from the excellent 'Rise'.  It was back the more sedate side of the band as we returned to the 'Show Me Your Skeletons' album for the excellent AOR infused tones of 'Hey, Hello'.

With a quick announcement from the band confirming that Steph was expecting a baby, which went down a storm and even brought a flush to her cheeks, the band launched straight into the rocking 'I Won’t Bite'..

It was time for a little audience participation as the S.O.S. Choir got behind the band for the set closer 'La Di Da', which rounded off another great set from one of hottest bands of the weekend. 

Yesterday we saw Luke Appleton take to the acoustic stage, so today it was time for brother Chris Appleton to take his place on the Wizz Beauprez stage for the first of three sets.  Forstly joined by brother Luke for a set with songs from Chris’s solo album 'Restless', some Absolva songs and even some Fury UK tracks.

Before the end of the set Chris Appleton made a special announcement where he thanked all the back room staff, the bar staff (which included a former dinner lady of Chris’s), all the sound guys and everybody who made this one of the best SOS Festivals to date.  

Next up on the main stage were Black Whiskey, another band making their return to S.O.S. Festival.  Fronted by former Xentrix and Hellfighter vocalist Simon Gordon, the band raised their Hard Rock horns from the off with tracks from their new album album 'Dry Bones', as well as tracks from their 'Heavy Train' album.

Opening up with the title track off the new album 'Dry Bones', Gordon and the boys showed no signs of letting up, as the brought in the big guns with the likes of 'King of the Blind' and 'Bitter Pill', both taken from the new album, before bringing the heat with the excellent 'Baptise Me' and the massive 'Mirror Lies'.

It was to the excellent 'Heavy Train' album, which I highly recommend you check out if you haven't already got a copy, for the thumping 'Stone Cold Comfort', before wrapping up the set with the title track itself 'Heavy Train'.  From start to finish the band simply rocked big style.  No egos, just great hard rocking. Great stuff! 

  It was back to the acoustic stage for the second of Chris Appleton's set for the likes of 'I See Red' and 'Never a Good Day to Die'. There'd be more from Chris later, but it was soon back to the main stage for Tequila Mockingbyrd”.

We first caught Tequila Mockingbyrd as a trio, but where missing a singer/guitarist at precisely the same time that The Amorettes find themselves missing a drummer and bassist. When the universe sends a sign like that, you simply can’t ignore it. So absolutely the two band joined forces! So today we saw Gill Montgomery on guitar and vocals and the band have expanded to a quartet.

The band simply just rocked with the likes of 'Never Go Home', 'Somebody Put Something in My Drink' and the funky 'Jagerbomb', before rocking out with the anthemic 'I Smell Rock n' Roll'.  This incarnation of Tequila Mockingbyrd is great example of no nonsense rock n' roll at its hard rocking best.  

The third of the acoustic sets from Chris Appleton was next on the Wizz Beauprez stage, kicking off with a little Absolva with 'Who Dares Wins' from the fantastic 'Defiance' album .

It was then that Chris remembered he'd forget to mention the boss man himself Mark Appleton in his thank yous, so a quick shout was given to Mr A before unleashing a great cover of 'Children of the Sea'.  The set waswrapped up perfectly with some Ozzy and a great cover of 'Mama I’m Coming Home', which was accompanied by some impromptu backing vocals from the main stage by the sound guys. 

It was all heads to the main stage for the power trio Skam.  This hard rocking trio from Leicester really got off to a fantastic start with 'Bring The Rain', a groove filled rocker that had the crowd rocking along from note one.

The rocking continued with 'Iron Cross', before announcing an impending new album due out next year.  So we got a taster of what to expect with 'Green Eyes', before returning to their 2014 album 'Peacemaker' for the slow burner 'The Wire'.

The tempo was brought back up in spades as they rocked out with 'Take It Or Leave It', from their most recent album 'The Amazing Memories of Geoffrey Goddard'.

The band rocked out in style with the excellent 'No Lies'.  This one really set us up for the headliners and festival closers Massive.

Now Massive have been described as a volatile macho-rock engine fuelled on adrenaline, lager and a determination to party hard, and that’s just what they brought to this year’s S.O.S. Festival.

Brad and the boy’s kicked into high gear from the off with their own brand of kick-ass rock n' roll, bellowed out of the speakers with 'Generation Riot'.  It was all systems go as the rocked into 'What You Gonna Do', a blistering slice of no holds barred rock n' roll Aussie style.

It was to the first album 'Full Throttle' for the ball busting 'Hollywood', before it was time for quick Birthday Wish for Lynne, a young rocker of only 14, who was rocking her heart out down the front like a seasoned pro.  With the crowd well and truly behind the Aussie rockers, the band kept the good times rocking with a touch of the blues with 'Blood Money Blues', before unleashing the funk filled rocker 'One By One'.

Brad then invited a young fan on stage for a selfie, but this was just seemed like an invite to all the young fans to invade the stage, who all seemed more interested to take photos with the guitarist Ben Laguda, instead of Brad.

The hard hitting rock continued with the superb 'Bullet' and 'Roses' from the bands new album 'Rebuild Destroy', before the band left the stage to rapturous applause.  They soon returned to the stage to rock the night away as they put their spin on AC/DC’s 'If You Want Blood (You Got It)' from their 'Highway to Hell' album.  It was time to get our dance groove on next as they unleashed the tongue and cheek groove monster 'Dancefloor'.

After the obligatory band intros, it was all rock to the end with 'Long Time Coming', before closing not just a great set, but also a great weekend with the excellent 'Ghost'. 

What can I say, this marked the end of another excellent S.O.S. festival which just gets better and better each year.  I'd like to give a big thank you to Lynne and Mark for being such great hosts and to all the crew both front and back stage, who kept this whole weekend running smoothly.  A big thank you also to all the staff at the venue, who kept the beers flowing.

Review by: Barry McMinn, Photo's by: Little Linda




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