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MOSTLY AUTUMN Cambridge Rock Festival
8 August 2010
Photos by Andrew Lock
Last band of
the festival and a band I truly adore, and with long standing vocalist
Heather departing, Mostly Autumn now have a new leading lady with the
talented Olivia Sparnenn stepping up from backing vocals to lead singer.
This was not
Olivia's first performance up front as she had already played a few
dates in this role and the reports I had read were very positive. While
she has a completely different singing style to Heather, Olivia is a
fantastic singer and performer as she has proven countless times in her
backing singer duties with Mostly Autumn, as lead vocalist with
Breathing Space and with her work on the Josh and Co album and tour.
As usual the
powerful stirring intro tape to 'Fading Colours' heralded the arrival of
the band to the stage with Olivia looking surprisingly cool and relaxed.
Breathing Space earlier in the day the set was on the rocking, up-tempo
side and the opening number was followed by 'Caught in a Fold', old
favourite 'Nowhere to Hide', 'The Dark Before the Dawn' and 'Answer the
were obviously loving the freedom of the large stage and making full use
of it, with lead guitarist Bryan Josh and Andy Smith on bass rocking out
on the left hand side sometimes in tandem, Olivia commanding centre
stage in front of 2nd guitarist Liam and Gavin on drums (but often
sweeping all over the stage) with the keyboard set ups of Anne-Marie and
Iian to the right.
in the set and not played all that often the powerful title track from
'The Last Bright Light' album followed by fan favourite and set constant
'Spirit of Autumn Past' (part II) complete with Liam's impressive lead
guitar intro which always adds a new dimension to the number.
addition to the Mostly Autumn live set followed with Olivia's Breathing
Space show piece and award winning 'Questioning Eyes' from Olivia's
final album with the band the awesome 'Below the Radar'. A literally
stunning number and a complete showcase for Olivia's powerful vocals,
just a breathtaking piece of music .
welcome addition to the set followed with the track that in my opinion
is the standout cut on Bryan's solo (Josh and Co) album 'Through These
Eyes', the brooding blues work out that is 'Slow Down' with its massive
riff, and as with the previous track a showcase but this time for the
guitar prowess of Mr Josh.
missing from the MA set for what seems like ages up next the haunting
and lyrically strong 'Dreaming' from the 'Heart Full of Sky' album based
on the tragic events of 9/11, another out and out rocker and a very
welcome return to the set.
of the main set and I am sure one of the tracks first put down on paper
when the touring set is put together, 'Evergreen', as I have mentioned
before surely the bands Stairway to Heaven.
moving interlude before the encore with seriously injured soldier Ben
Parkinson introduced on stage with his girlfriend who made a
presentation of gifts to the band including teddy bears in battalion
colours to the girls (the band have helped raise money for the Help For
Heroes Fund) Bryan then dedicated the last number of the evening 'Heroes
Never Die' to Ben and his comrades that had fallen in Afghanistan.
I had to run
for my taxi just before 'Heroes' finished and as I opened the cab door
the last note of the number faded away into the night sky followed by
tremendous applause and cheers closing my third Cambridge Rock Festival
Hats off to
Olivia for a fabulous performance in front of a large crowd with only a
few shows as lead vocalist behind her and hats off also to the rest of
Mostly Autumn, outstanding musicians one and all and as always one of
the best rock bands out there.
photos by Andrew Lock
Cambridge Rock Festival
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