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Thursday, 14 August 2014

CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL 2014 - A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

The first thing I have to say is a huge thank you to Dave Roberts and family and to all the volunteers, crew and everyone who played any part whatsoever in making this years Cambridge Rock Festival one of the best ever.

Secondly huge amounts of love, hugs and warmth to all my friends who were there, my closest friends, my 'Festie Friends' and the new friends I made this year for all contributing to me and us all having an absolute blast!


Now a lot of serious music critics and other bloggers will no doubt be writing up a blow by blow account of each band / artist (Some I know already have) and plastering a huge amount of excellent professional / professional standard photographs, well I won't be doing that, well not much of it anyway because, for me and many others I know, it's not just about the music, it's about being there, it's about friends, it's about being a little crazy and having a good time no matter what the elements throw at you, which this year was quite something as you'll see later.

So who played and who did I see? Who impressed me? Here is who was 'On' over the four days; the bands and artists I saw are the ones in bold text.

7-8-9-10th August


STAGE 1 THURSDAY
Pure Floyd, Who's Next, Fleetwood Bac, Ultimate Eagles                                      

STAGE 1 FRIDAY
The Detours, Raw Glory, Will Johns, Roy Mette, Serious Blues, Ben Poole, Chantel McGregor, Larry Miller, Snakecharmer

STAGE 1 SATURDAY
The Rooz, Northsyde, Split Whiskers, Walkway, Fireroad, Pearl Handled Revolver Leon Hendrix, FM

STAGE 1 SUNDAY
The Windmill, Credo, Winter In Eden, Cloud Atlas, Mr So and So, Mostly Autumn, Jorn, Wishbone Ash

STAGE 2 THURSDAY - Cambridge 105 NMG Stage
4th Labyrinth, The Abstracts, 28 Boulevard, The Simpletone, Kyrbgrinder                                            
STAGE 2 FRIDAY - Classic Rock Society
Airbridge, The Tirith, Dead At Eleven, 25 Yard Screamer, Symphony Of Pain, The Room, Comedy Of Errors, Jeff Green Project, Final Conflict

STAGE 2  SATURDAY - Rotary Rocks Blues Stage (with Blues Matters)
Blues Consortium, Blacktop Deluxe, Absolution,  The Mustangs, Bare Knuckles Blues Band, Bushman Brothers, Wheelz, Laurence Jones Band, Buster James                                        

STAGE 2 SUNDAY - Rotary Rocks Blues Stage (in association with Blues Matters)
Black Jack Blues Band, Dave Jackson Band, The Della Grants, The Blues Shift, Luke Doherty Band, Stormwarning, Roadhouse, Three Piece Suite

STAGE 3 The Acoustic Stage - Sponsored by Millers Music

Thursday 7th August
Louis Perritt, Hope Brothers Band, Blue Sky, Rod Lynton & Friends, Fred’s House
Tess of the Circle

Friday 8th August
Stella Hensley / Chris Newman, Nick Judd, Steve Pablo & Friends, Rich Somers
Tom Korni, Jon Kenzie, The Rebelles, Smoken’ Joe’s, Rich Young & Mark Gordon
Freddie Hall Band, Innes Sibun

Saturday 9th August
Steve Logan, Claudia McKenzie, Lucy Marshall, Broken Arrow, Gallows Ghost, Curran, Tobi, Haiki, Paul Cook & Jim Green, Geronimo, Rodgers

Sunday 10th August

Ellis & Connelly, Misty Jones, Heidi Browne, D’Ukes, Matt Stevens, Barney Newman and Tom Leary, Rory Evans, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Jasmine Rodgers, Bophouse Blue, The Swamptruck Goodtime Band

This event was very much a Fellowship of the Stick event and so we set off to Cambridge in the Randy Lover with Fender's Den in tow and Kaz Da Kamper, setting up our own little piece of the free world when we arrived.

Camp Fellowship with Mr. F on cooking duty
Now Thursday night at CRF is by tradition, Tribute band night on the main stage, top class ones at that but as you may know I 'Don't Do' Tribute bands, well, only now and again and I must say Who's Next were fantastic and really rocked with who songs from right through the bands history, I then sloped off to stage 2 to catch The Simpletone, an excellent 'local' rock band before we partied the night away with the ever fabulous Kyrbgrinder.
It was dry and sunny on Thursday, it was a lovely warm evening and we had a few friends back to the camp for a nightcap and chat, it was all very civilised and quite pleasant.

On Friday it rained, it rained some more and then rained even harder, but did that stop us rocking? Of course not, highlights of the day for me were The Tirith, The Room who played a stunning set, Symphony of Pain with their extremely entertaining vampiresque show, Comedy of Errors, Chantel McGregor and Larry Miller, Snakecharmer were good too and we ended up in the acoustic tent listening to Innes Sibun, it was a tad wet!

The Room on Stage 2
Good grief it had been a tad wet on Friday, so it was time to put pen to paper as they say!

Welcome to the Rainfest
 
Welcome to the Rainfest
Where the fun never ends
We’ve lots of special gusts
Just for you my friends
We can’t promise you a hurricane
But we’ll do our best and try
Was that another tent
I just saw sailing by?
If you are really lucky
Your tent may stay safe and warm
But a good few inches of water
Won’t do you any harm
Clothes don’t need to be
Clean and dry to stay looking good
They’ll look much better on you
Caked in layers of slimy mud
So welcome to the Rainfest
We hope you’ll be having fun
It’s a Great British tradition
The way camping should be done!

Saturday already and the sun was shining again, thank heavens for that, in fact it was quite a lovely day and nice and warm, just right for a few more real ales and music and the company of good friends!

It was mainly rock on stage 1 and blues on stage 2, a great day wandering around, a day for kilts to be worn and spirits to rise, you can see who I saw from the highlighted list at the beginning, special mention has to go to Split Whiskers on Stage 1 & Gallows Ghost on the acoustic stage who were refreshingly different and absolutely fabulous.

Split Whiskers in full flow


Gallows Ghost - haunting music
After a grand day of great music we ended the day in Stage 2 rocking our proverbial off to Buster James, we were indeed 'Rocking in the Free World' but strictly only until the 24:00 curfew!

One hell of a party with Buster James
Now if you know me or any of the Fellowship of the Stick, or the Corona's then all of THOSE SORT of photographs will be found on Facebook, Twitter, Flicker or whatever, this is not the place for such frivolity!

Oh maybe just a bit then.

And that is just a few of the merry crew!
Sunday was here already, it's a horrible feeling when the time passes so quickly, but it was a day I had been waiting for as it was mainly 'Prog Day' on Stage 1 but with some unmissable acts on both Stage 2 and the Acoustic stage as well.

First off was a band who were a new discovery for me, Windmill, excellent prog band who blended just about everything I love in classic rock, classic prog into almost every song, and a little later there was one of the bands that I had been waiting all weekend for, the almighty Credo who played a stunning set, possibly the band of the festival for me, I say possibly because The Room came pretty close too.

Mark Colton of Credo gives it some wellie

  Talking about wellies, you certainly needed them or something like them on Sunday, it had been a lovely-ish morning but then there was this little storm, Bertha or rather the remnants of hurricane Bertha, she sort of picked up again after hitting hitting England and got fiercer as she moved up country and we were right in her path!

Bertha

She may have been downgraded but that didn’t stop her!



Bertha rolled in like an out of control juggernaut
We were unprepared for the damage she wrought
But she was a thing of truly awesome beauty
A writhing black maelstrom of fury
Turning day into night
Putting tents, awnings and gazebos to flight
Quite literally
We gazed in wonder at the boiling clouds
Listened to the wind building fearsome and loud
And then came the rain
Torrential does not even begin to describe
The volume that fell in so short a time
And the hail which pummelled even the hardiest soul
Into submission and shelter
If indeed shelter could still be found
For many had been razed to the ground
Or simply blown away
Then suddenly, the skies above were clear again
It was once more light again
As Bertha tracked her way northward bound
Having left us very much aware
That she, the unexpected guest, had been and gone

And yet throughout, the music carried on.

We survived, as far as I am aware there were no injuries but some of the traders lost their stalls and many campers lost their tents, gazebo's etc. which was a right pain but everyone seemed to pitch in and help and offer campers, cars, etc. to sleep in, sadly a few packed up and went home but, as soon as the storm had passed it was back to reasonable weather albeit a little breezy!

That threw us a bit but we were back mid afternoon to the acoustic tent to see Matt Stevens, for me it was another great pleasure after having introduced him the weekend before at the Rhythms of the World Festival.

Matt works his magic
Then it was back to Stage 1 for more prog and damn fine performances by Winter in Eden, Mr So and So, Mostly Autumn and to catch a little bit of the Metal God that is Jorn before beetling down to Stage 2 for the other 'had to be done' gig, Roadhouse, who once again showed why they are the No.1 Americana Rock'n'Blues band around.
OK I might be a bit biased and we had spent a lot of the weekend with our good friend Mandie G of the band but they are a damn fine band and work very hard and certainly were once again one of the highlights of the festival.

Roadhouse really rocking Stage 2
After Roadhouse, despite having no voice from singing along to almost every song and no feet, well none that wanted to work from all the dancing, it was a slow stroll back up to Stage 1 to catch some of Wishbone Ash before coming back to Stage 2 to finish off the night and the festival with Dave Edward's Three Piece Suite and boy oh boy what a way to end a brilliant festival.

Another late night spent in the company of some of the best friends one could ever wish for (They know who they are) and then it was time for sleep until packing up in the morning.


On Monday, it was sunny, bright and warm, oh well, did it matter, did it f..........................................

Until the next time and who knows when that will be, so long for now, stay safe wherever you may be.
Cheers m dears, Grant - All Rights Reserved, August 2014

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