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Today marked a yearly music event promoting bands coming from the Wigan Borough, and the best part is that it’s free, it's at Haigh Hall Country Park in Standish. Glastonbury it's not, but it's a great day out, especially if your aged between 14 - 20 which seems to be the main age range, watch out we are gettin down with the kidz today.It's amazing how they can make your suddenly feel invisible.
Let's get the negative out of the way first, the parking, organisers need to arrange this a lot better for next year as it was murder trying to find a parking space without the risk of being clamped. I was sorely disappointed I missed out on a photo pass, none left by 2pm and being that I work for Wigan Council too!
It was a gloriously warm day with just a few little showers, which in the end didn't amount to much. On walking into the festival, a couple of drunks were being hauled kicking and screaming out of the area, strongbow cider in the hands of the police, hey a good start to the day and it was only 2pm.
We missed the first three bands who were, Elias T Hoth, Eighth Wave and Mr Fist but we got there in time to see the remaining 9 bands. Each band had around half hour sets, and 10 mins to set up between bands, which was fantastic, no hanging around for long periods waiting for the next band to emerge. No time for boredom or lethargy to set in. It was straight onto the next, then kept em rolling.There was also something for every taste, although I'd liked to see more punky/rock n' rollin/rockabilly kind of music.What is really impressive is that they all write there own songs, hardly a cover in sight, and they were all very professional and worked there butts off.
This Devastated Fan
The first band we saw was This Devastated Fan, a bunch of very young lads, surely one for the young girls/boys in the crowd, they played pop with rocking guitars, chatty communication in-between numbers and generally nice lads. Songs with titles such as 'Masks & Mirrors','Blow Out Stars' and 'Elementary Girl'. Enjoyed their set, great guitar moves with some heavy riffs, unexpectedly gave a rockin performance, one of the best of the day for me.
Before Autumn Falls
The band title reminiscence of a horror movie, and they are a little on the dark side. The first thing that stands out is the stunning singer, Sarah Bamber from Standish, great vocalist, with musical similarity's emerging from Pat Benatar to Heart with heavy guitar riffs & an additional punk feel. They have songs titles such as 'Holding Onto Nothing', their recent released single. The crowd seemed to like them, it was like being transported into the 80's, rock scene, but very professional and plenty of classic guitar posing. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of this band.
I would say this band were one of the highlights of the day, not for me but certainly from the crowds point of view. Sam Longhurst on vocals, worked the crowd and they went crazy, some of the guys dancing were hauled out for getting too excitable and moshing around too much. 'Life & Soul', 'Daddy Fantastic',were highlights of the show, with indie overtones and melodic pop. They weren't really my kind of music but different strokes for different folks, but they gave a great show.
Many of these bands have albums or E.P's out, and well worth a look, go find them on myspace, let us know what you think, and remember to support your local music scene.It's incredible just how many talented bands we have in the North West.The event is organised by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT), and funded by Wigan Borough, a showcase for the borough’s best unsigned acts. It's now in its seventh year.
This Devastated Fan – http://www.myspace.com/thisdevastatedfan
The Klang – http://www.myspace.com/theklangwigan
Snakes Hate Fire – http://www.myspace.com/snakeshatefire
Prose – http://www.myspace.com/prosewigan
The Broken Door – http://www.myspace.com/thebrokendoor
The Adjusters – http://www.myspace.com/theadjusterspunknroll
The V.C.s – http://www.myspace.com/thevcs
Smudge – http://www.myspace.com/smudge
Review & photos by Mel