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WINTER'S END FESTIVAL, Stroud, Gloucestershire
13/14 March 2010
Sunday 14 March
start for me with a walk in to town and then around the outside of venue
itself including the church and grounds, with camera in hand of course,
before making my way to the venue.
Sunday a young indie/funky/experimental style band Sanguine Hum with a
set of humorously titled numbers such as Cat Factory, It's Pissing Don
and Ointment for Flies. One of the highlights in the set was the very
different Dead Cheese introduced as "Heavy Metal Samba" which did
exactly what it said on the tin, a samba beat mixed with rock style
guitar. A very enthusiastic band and by the sound of their next single
Diving Bell performed in the set they may have a bright future.
rock again with Crimson Sky, today playing without Keyboards as Chris
Cadey is about to or has just become a father, best wishes to the
played tracks from their impressive debut album Misunderstood and their
set was another of the highlights of the weekend for me (old rocker!)
they are obviously influenced by the best british rock and prog rock
bands, I also see in them a touch of European gothic metal bands like
Lacuna Coil and Nightwish.
vocalist Holly Thody has a strong stage presence, great style and
rocking vocals, whilst Martin Leamon on guitar, riffs and solos with the
best of them.
Turn it up and Season's End (not a Marillion cover!) had the hall
rocking and real highlights were 3 pieces of the mammoth/complex
Misunderstood Suite from the debut album, these being The Sea and
Misunderstood parts 2 and 3 which the band performed magnificently
especially considering the number of keyboard parts on the album
A band I
will definitely keep an eye on.
I O EARTH
reason (maybe pieces they played in the warm up and all the wind
instruments on stage!) I had the impression that Birmingham based I O
EARTH were a prog/jazz band and while their were elements of jazz in the
sound they really rocked.
pigeon hole their sound, very guitar oriented with Dave Cureton pulling
off all the guitar hero tricks and striking all the poses in a set
including plenty of rocking instrumentals and they really have a sound
of their own.
tracks featured the vocal talents of Claire Malin and the saxophone
playing of Luke Shingler adding a completely different sound to the mix.
a superb wit, and between songs shared anecdotes on topics including
Mother's Day and Elvis, as an Elvis fan I particularly enjoyed the
latter especially when Dave started the band playing the opening riff of
Elvis's Las Vegas style version of the American blues classic See See
the standouts in the set for me, if I remember correctly introduced as a
heavy metal song, the rocking Light & Shade, not the set I expected but
one I ended up really enjoying.
the only band I had seen from the bill prior to the festival, at one of
the excellent Cambridge Rock Festivals, and again my cup of tea with the
emphasis on the rock side of the progressive spectrum.
Touchstone were tonight's co-headliners with Galahad and the band did a
really generous thing, originally booked to close Sunday night they
allowed Galahad to close the show as their set was to celebrate their
25th anniversary - a lovely gesture from one band to another.
dramatic intro music it was straight into the opening number and the
first of many from their highly rated latest album Wintercoast with
Strange Days full of classic rock riffing.
everything about this band, Kim Seviour's powerful vocals, Adam
Hodgson's guitar work, the fantastic funky fretless bass work of Paul
Moorghen, the keyboard magic of Rob Cottingham and the rock solid drums
of Al Melville.
was split fairly evenly between the latest album and its predecessor
Discordant Dreams with a surprise for the last encore.
stand out tracks from current album Wintercoast the gentle/delicate
Original Sin a real showcase for Kim's vocals, the funky (thanks to
Paul) rock of Zinomorph and with Kim spookily lip synching the eerie
spoken intro (with a real War of the Worlds feel) performed by the great
actor Jeremy Irons, the awesome Wintercoast itself, a monster of a track
including a killer riff at the start of the number.
previous album Discordant Dreams the tracks that stood out for me, the
epic title track, the pop rock gem Shadow and the moving lyrics of
surprise for the last track of the set with a full on rock version of
the Tears for Fears track Mad World, which worked really well.
completely hooked on this great British rock band.
mentioned, to close the festival we had the 25th Anniversary gig of
English prog rockers Galahad a band formed in Dorset in 1985 and who
have just released the critically acclaimed Empires Never Last album.
roots for me lie in the Genesis/early Marillion type of rock mixed with
a symphonic/heavy metal/industrial metal approach.
certainly took the prize in the visual and theatrics sense over the
weekend, with a back screen showing album artwork and photographs
spanning their career on a repeating cycle, both before and during the
To add to
the theatrics we had lead singer Stuart Nicholson making his stage
entrance in bright pink ladies wig and when this was removed stylised
face make up was revealed.
clever trick vocalist Stuart left the stage and seemed to return in
military get up and gas mask however during the number on walked the
singer and the gas mask wearer was revealed as one of the CRS guys.
On to the
music and two real stand outs from the cracking latest album were
Termination and the magnificent This Life Could be my Last...and as this
was an Anniversary show they of course visited their back catalogue,
including the track Bug Eye from the Following Ghosts album and included
in the encores was a version of the Faithless dance classic Insomnia.
powerful colourful set to mark 25 years in the music business.
What a fantastic weekend of live music thanks so much to everyone
photos by Andrew Lock
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