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and photos by Ian Pollard
CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL
Barton, Cambridgeshire 6-9 August
Thursday, 6th August
managed to see four bands on Wet Thursday (as it will surely become
known) starting with the main stage opener Led Zep Too with
their spot-on re-enactment of a classic period Zeppelin show.
clothes, hair styles, mannerisms and most importantly of course the
music were a dead ringer for the real thing (as in Led Zeppelin not
the disco band!!!) and they ran through classic after classic
including 'Since I've Been Loving You', 'No Quarter', 'Whole Lotta
Love' and a blistering 'Rock and Roll'.
rocking start to the festival which continued on the alternative
stage with the excellent and energetic local rock covers band
Gypsy Ink, who looked great and played a strong set, with
amongst others excellent versions of 'Sweet Child of Mine' and 'Livin
On a Prayer.'
to the main stage with another local band, this time the blues rock
of Split Whiskers who had the crowd dancing with a set full
of smoking blues. I enjoyed the set so much I completely forgot to
jot a few titles down but if memory serves me they included a
storming 'Gimme Some Lovin'
Pure Floyd show were next up on the main stage playing a huge
range of Floyd tracks, covering material from their first albums
right up to the The Division Bell. A great lighting display only
added to the effect of classics including 'Money', ' Wish You Were
Here', 'Take it Back' and 'Comfortably Numb.'
Despite the weather, I think the festival musically got off to a
Review and photos by
Friday,7 August 2009 (Day 2)
With a new venue featuring 3 large marquee stages, this year's
Cambridge Rock Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever. Dave
Roberts and his team of volunteers have worked wonders again in putting
this festival on, and provided a line-up of bands sure to spark the
interest of many.
We arrived on the Friday - fortunately missing the monsoon that had come
close to ruining the entire festival the day before. The flood was, by all
accounts, somewhat akin to biblical in it's proportions, and only hard
work and dedication from all involved ensured the show would go on.
done to the electrics and PA would have ramifications throughout the
weekend though, with scheduled timings not even being a close
approximation for the most part.
musical entertainment is provided by brothers Alex and Rolf Tinlin.
An unplugged set featuring acoustic guitar, mandolin and percussion, along
with beautiful vocal harmonies. They cite a whole range of influences,
from Bach to Zeppelin, by way of Dylan, Neil Young, and various soul
artists. The end result is a very distinctive sound, with the bold
harmonies to the forefront. Currently recording their second album, the
brothers Tinlin will hopefully have a long successful career.
start to proceedings is brought to a crashing end with the arrival of
Kyrb Grinder. The alternative vehicle of Threshold's brilliant
drummer, Johanne James, deliver heavy progressive metal with precision.
Johanne also handles vocal duties, and with his kit set up centre stage,
he has a presence second to none.
gaze and flashing smile are accompanied by a wicked sense of humour. Songs
from the album "Defiance" are all quality offerings, until power problems
bring an unfortunate premature end to the set.
With the 2nd
stage now running close to 2 hours behind schedule, we only get to see
part of the Lost Weekend set, which is a real shame. The Halifax
outfit, now back to a 6-piece line up with the addition of Gary "Tiny"
Ives (all 6ft 7" of him) on keyboards, continue to excel.
"Fear and Innocence" has seen a move away from the heavily keyboard
oriented AOR, and back to a classic twin-lead sound in the vein of UFO /
Thin Lizzy. They recently added the former to the list of great bands they
have toured with.
performances are always highly energetic (Dave Thompson couldn't put
possibly more effort in) and superb. They are on top form again tonight,
with Paul Uttley proving again what a great frontman he is.
rockers Leaf Hound on the main stage were my first band of
the day. Despite only making two LP's in 36 years Leaf Hound
won over many new fans with their style of Cream meets Bad Company
rock, fronted by original singer Peter French who has a fine set of
pipes, and deserved a much higher billing.
Getting into the festival spirit I missed a few bands, Praying
Mantis who are getting lots of critical acclaim for their latest
CD 'Sanctuary' played a fine set and won themselves an encore.
John Lees' Barclay James Harvest ended Friday night coming late
on stage at the stroke of midnight (a common occurence as the
with original member Woolly Wolstenholme the Harvest performed a two
hour set. My interest started to wane a little after standing all
day, but they did dig out 'Summer Soldier' for the first time in 35
years and it started to liven up with the likes of familiar hits
such as 'Child Of The Universe' 'Medicine Man'& 'Mockingbird'.
Yorkshire connection continues on the main stage now, with Mostly
Autumn. Now with a fairly settled line up again following the return
of Liam Davison and Iain Jennings, and the apparent full-time recruitment
of Anne Marie Helder, the band are back to their best in the live arena.
year's criminally short set at this same festival, they are given plenty
of time this year to show what they are capable of. From the all out rock
of "Answer The Question", the epic "Evergreen", the sublime "Above The
Blue" (best vocal performance of the weekend), to the ever-present "Heroes
Never Die"... I doubt anyone could have been disappointed. I wasn't, and
the inclusion of "Carpe Diem" in the set just crowned it!
for the day are one I am not particularly familiar with - John Lees'
Barclay James Harvest. Featuring founding members John Lees and
'Woolly' Wolstenholme, they run through a full 2-hour set (despite the
delayed start) of their classically influenced prog.
gremlins were in full mischief mode early in the set, but the
front-of-house sound improved quite quickly. Apparently, the mix sent to
Radio Caroline for their live broadcast did not improve though. Likewise,
the on stage monitors were ropey at best - but the band did a great job
with barely a bum note to be heard. Woolly's banter between songs was
particularly enlightening and entertaining.
A trudge through the mud back to the campsite follows (highly treacherous
in the dark). Fortunately, no further rain fell to worsen the situation
and much of the mud had dried up by the following morning.
Day 3 (Saturday 8 August)
Day 4 (Sunday 9 August)
and photos by Ian Pollard
Additional reporting: Mark Taylor, Andrew Lock
Cambridge Rock Festival
Mostly Autumn alternate view
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