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WINTER'S END FESTIVAL, Stroud, Gloucestershire
13/14 March 2010

Day 2: Sunday 14 March

Early 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.

Sanguine Hum, photo by Andrew Lock


Opening 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.


Time to 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 family.

The band 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.

Crimson Sky, photo by Andrew Lock

Lead 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.

Rockers 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 version.

A band I will definitely keep an eye on.


For some 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.

Hard to 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.

I O Earth, photo by Andrew Lock

Several tracks featured the vocal talents of Claire Malin and the saxophone playing of Luke Shingler adding a completely different sound to the mix.

Dave has 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 Rider.

One of 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.


This is 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.

After 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.

Touchstone, photo by Andrew Lock

l love 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.

The set was split fairly evenly between the latest album and its predecessor Discordant Dreams with a surprise for the last encore.

The other 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.

From the 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 Dignity.

A real 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.

Now completely hooked on this great British rock band.


As 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.

The bands roots for me lie in the Genesis/early Marillion type of rock mixed with a symphonic/heavy metal/industrial metal approach.

They 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 performance.

Galahad, photo by Andrew Lock

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.

In a 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.

A powerful colourful set to mark 25 years in the music business.

What a fantastic weekend of live music thanks so much to everyone involved.

Review and photos by Andrew Lock

Part 1

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