Just witnessed your
best live gig?.. send us a review!
Sunday 14 August at 21:00 Keith Thompson will be playing music and
interviews from bands appearing at this year's event.
CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL
7 August 2011
Photo Gallery 7 August
- Photo: Noel Buckley
The final day of another outstanding Cambridge Rock Festival was
full of the usual diverse selection of rock acts from different genres
which is of course one of the trade marks of this the friendliest of
British rock gatherings writes Andrew Lock.
For me it
was a bright and early start to the day to catch the opening act on the
main stage Empire of Fools at the Godly hour (well it was Sunday)
of 11.00am, hailing from Cornwall and Devon this youthful rock band hope
to release their debut album in 2012.
an early start and considering the relatively small audience the band
were full of energy and enthusiasm delivering a powerful mixed set of
original material and classic rock covers.
on the original side the riff laden 'All Night Long' and fellow rocker
'Down to Earth', while on the cover side they did real justice to Velvet
Revolver's 'Slither', excellent power packed start to the day by this
promising new young rock outfit.
the main stage next with my second look at rock/metal band Crimes of
Passion, fresh from their trek around the UK and Europe supporting
the mighty Saxon (very impressed with their set at the Leamington
Assembly on this tour in March), they are another young rock band with
hopefully a big future and are about to release a new album To Die For
which includes a contribution from Saxon iconic figurehead Biff.
produced a set full of head banging feel good rock music and led by
charismatic and energetic vocalist Dale (who to some of the other
members great amusement I have christened the band's Dave Lee Roth) the
crowd lapped up the bands high octane set which included 'Hell and Back'
and the first single from the album 'Blown Away'.
set ended with a nice touch, a performance of 'Holy Diver' in tribute to
the dearly missed Ronnie James Dio (well done lads), this track was also
included in a free EP the band gave out after the show.
to the second stage for a couple of acts of the blues variety, firstly
the quality blues/rock and roll trio Blackwebb with a set that
included spirited renditions of classics 'These Boots Are Made For
Walkin', and 'Baby Please Don't Go' and secondly my first look at Ben
Poole yet another hot young blues artist joining the ranks of Oli
Brown, Chantal McCgregor and many more in the current explosion of blues
talent we have in this country. I caught his explosive act halfway
through a stunning version of Jimi Hendrix's 'Hey Joe' and sat pretty
much mesmerised by his guitar pyrotechnics for the rest of his set.
playing really has to be seen to be believed and he has also mastered
the showmanship side perfectly especially during the set closer, playing
his guitar while walking through the crowd and then finishing the number
stood on the bar at the end of the marquee, this guy will be huge.
the main stage for an impressive set by Credo full of intelligent
progressive rock numbers for me along the line of early Genesis and
Marillion, particularly impressed with the epic 'Staring at the Sun'
with its outstanding guitar work and I thought I could make out great
use of a You Really Got Me style riff during the number, I also loved
the gentle flowing 'From the Cradle to the Grave'.
demand vocalist/keyboardist John Young and his high quality band
also played an excellent set on the main stage and John's recent vocal
problems did nothing to spoil his highly polished and in his own words
"progressive" set which included the quite excellent 'Unknown Soldier'.
One of the
stand out fun bands of the festival was Mr So & So with a set
that mixed progressive rock, classic rock and at times folk rock,
favourite track of this high quality set with its Celtic touches at the
start, the magnificent grandiose 'Coup De Grace', and I also loved their
use of atmospheric sound effects including rain (had to look outside to
see if Thursday's down pour had returned).
the bands graceful vocalist Charlotte Evans was having a great time
bouncing and dancing front of stage adding to the fun, but apart from
the fun side they are also musically a superbly talented band.
highlight from Sunday and this year sharing my award for set of the
festival with the sensational performance by Larry Miller on the main
stage on Saturday a band with a very special place in my heart and
always a favourite at Cambridge and in my opinion one of this country's
best rock bands Mostly Autumn. As with last year the band was
introduced on stage by seriously injured soldier and Mostly Autumn fan
Ben Parkinson this year also promoting the excellent care for amputees
charity The Pilgrim Bandits -
started minus lead vocalist Olivia with a blast from the past, the
atmospheric and haunting instrumental 'Distant Train' leading straight
into (and without a pause as on the Passengers album) one of the bands
greatest rockers 'Answer the Question' during which Olivia took to the
have such a strong back catalogue that they could afford to throw in
possibly their greatest number the epic sublime 'Evergreen' third number
in and as always this gem worked its magic with Bryan's soaring guitar
work and Olivia's awesome vocal delivery and for this show it was
dedicated to ex vocalist Heather Findlay and her family.
course made several visits to their excellent latest album 'Go Well
Diamond Heart', the full on rocker 'Deep in Borrowdale', my personal
favourite from the album the heartbreaking 'Ice' and the moving 'Hold
the Sun' introduced by Olivia as a story about the beautiful memories of
people we love. On the oldie front we had another of the bands top
rockers 'Dark Before the Dawn' and a simply beautiful and heartfelt
performance of 'The Last Climb'.
crackers to finish the set and so good to have a Breathing Space track
regularly included in MA sets after that band's sad demise, and what a
song the award winning 'Questioning Eyes' followed by the only number
that can really finish a Mostly Autumn show the Tour de force of power
and emotion that is 'Heroes Never Die'.
excellent Mostly Autumn Cambridge Rock Festival set and this one on the
release day of the bands latest live album 'Still Beautiful' recorded on
the band's spring tour this year.
all on top form, Bryan Josh simply as good as a guitarist as you will
ever see, Olivia perfectly settled in to her lead vocalist role and what
a voice and stage presence she has, Anne-Marie as always doing about
four jobs including excellent flute work and Liam a guitarist of such
skill most bands would jump at the chance for him to be their lead
guitarist. Andy on bass moved around the stage more than I have ever
seen him keeping the rhythm engine room rocking along with the ever
enthusiastic Gavin on drums and last but not least Iain adding his usual
layers of keyboard magic.
the band will return again in 2012 as Cambridge would not be the same
and The Enid finished the festival proceedings on the main stage
with two very different sets, Caravan uptempo folksy progressive rock
which gained fantastic audience support, and The Enid playing a
theatrical, orchestral ambient, chill out set as only they can.
Enid the stage was taken over with a large number of musicians and
vocalists and for a while at the start of the set it looked it like band
leader Robert John Godfrey was staging a stripped down version of Pink
Floyd/Roger Waters The Wall shows with him seated at his keyboards
hidden behind a youthful vocal group. The light show was excellent for
this set and with the experimental music made quite a surreal end to
another fantastic Cambridge Rock Festival.
and photos by Andrew Lock
by Noel Buckley
4-6 August and Photo Gallery
Keith Thompson presents Rockwaves on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sunday 21:00 GMT+1
|Print this page in printer-friendly format
|Tell a friend about this page