Just witnessed your
best live gig?..send us a review!
GUILFEST (Katie Melua,Rolf Harris,Simple Minds)
17 July 2004
Guilfest has to be, along with Cropredy, the most family friendly
festival and one for music fans who want to enjoy the music and atmosphere
rather then be showered in bottles of piss and accosted by drunken yobs. The
line-up on Saturday mixed many old favourates like Rolf Harris with one of
the ‘names of the moment’ Katie Melua. This year I went along with my family
and so it marked the festival debut of my five-year-old daughter - she had a
ball! More interested in the kids tent than the music but then that’s the
point of festivals something for all ages and tastes.
Mohair were the first band I caught on the main stage and they showed
lots of promise. Good, solid catchy melodic rock tunes - ideal for radio -
and hotly tipped as a band to watch. Didn’t catch all their set as the food
stalls beckoned! The Alarm was the band of the day no contest. From the off
they played a hit laden set including a storming ‘Where Were You Hiding?’
(which had food stall holder nearby us pogoing like a good ‘un!), the
anthemic ’68 Guns’, ‘Rain In The Summertime’ and the recent hit single ‘45
RPM’. Of the new songs ‘Drunk and Disorderly’ could easily have come off
their classic albums of the late 80’s/early 90’s complete with a chiming
guitar riff. Second time I’ve seen them this year and they really seem to be
back to their glory days again.
Rolf Harris may seem a strange choice but no one works a crowd better
then he does. Very relaxed, dressed in a loud shirt and waistcoat he
performed the expected songs like ‘Two Little Boys’, ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down’
and the reggae meets country version of Led Zep’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’.
Caught a snippet of Tim Booth (ex-James singer) who seemed in fine form
vocally, but it was the kids’ tent calling for us now. The entertainment for
children was well planned and we watched the clown duo Big Foot & Furry
Foot. It’s all very staged but like pantomime good fun to watch and join in
Back to the main stage for Katie Melua, who is under the guidance of Mike
Batt (he of the Wombles fame) and she has had massive sales success with her
debut album ‘Call Of The Search’. Pleasant listening and she proved a hit
with the crowd but not really my listening preference.
Closing the Saturday show were Simple Minds who were the stadium giants
in the 80’s along with U2. Vocalist Jim Kerr doesn’t seemed to have aged and
has kept his vocal power down the years. A hit filled set including ‘Don’t
You Forget About Me’, Promised You A Miracle’ and ‘Belfast Child’. They
benefited most form the light show as of course it was nearly dark (never
seems the same a light show in daylight!). Well played and professional
throughout and a great way to close another fine day at the Guilfest.
If you’ve yet to get to Guilfest get along next year as there is bound to
be something musically you will like plus you get a very lively stalls and
food area. Roll on next year!
Review: Jason Ritchie
Guilfest, 16 July 2004