It’s Sunday, the sun is shining, Vanessa and I are heading down to
Photo:Dave, Mel, Shep, Gadge and their friends
They had two stages, bands playing all throughout the day from 1pm until around 11pm. The field was sprawled with tents of all shapes and sizes, people sunbathing, or just hanging out, enjoying chats with friends, as the day developed I began to wish I’d brought my tent for the whole weekend’s fun & frolics, there’s nothing like a good ole campfire chin wag with a beer or two.Photo: Sarah B, & Mel check out stage two & Ray Gange get's into the spirit.
The beer tents all set up with cheap drinks throughout the day, then there's the food, even vegetarian options, and a bit of a gourmet section in the comedy tent, selling chilli & curry. In between sets they played some impressive music, but you didn’t have to wait long for the next act to come on stage. We grab a beer and head to see our first band of the day at 1.30pm. Photo: Inside stage one
Bye Bye Johnny - A loud and entertaining band of local boys, festival kinda music, good band to start us into the spirit of the day, feel good, stories of life, with titles ringing out such as’Knocking Shop’, ‘Take Cover Wth Me’, they seem to have a small following, resplendent in Bye Bye Johnny tee shirts. Apparently a band to watch out for this year,
The band are: Danny Seasman - Vocals, Dean Hulse - Guitar, Johnny Rob - Guitar, Russ Davies - Bass, David Yazdi - Drums
Check them out: ww.myspace.com/byebyejohnnylive
The band are: Greg Rainey - Vocals, Guitars, Harmonica, Jay Moran - Bass, Guitars, Mandolin & Backing Vocals - Garry Byrne Drums Andy Scott – Guitars
Check them out: www.myspace.com/cottontownmusicclub
Creation Rockers - Highly recommended by Sarah B. Time for a bit of dub & reggae tunes, with the Creation Rockers, managed to catch the tail end of this band. It’s hard fitting it all in without missing some of the sets. (Maybe a tip for the Amigos that next year, you have a little break in between for food & drinks, or start the show early?) What I did catch was delightful; Sarah B was rockin out in dub heaven!
The band are: Yabass, Drummie Dan, The Manor, Papa D
Check them out: www.myspace.com/creationrockers
Pink Hearse - and now for something completely different. Pink Hearse are a five piece colourful outfit, with a sexy, flame haired, fireball of a singer Nikki Hearse, who bounced onto the stage and for the next 30 mins or so completely owned the stage, with their brand of horror pop, punk tunes. Lively and dramatic, images of Sioux and Texas Terri, this isn’t a band who play it safe, nor should they. It’s fast, it’s furious and it’s damn loud, they came, they conquered. They played a fine rendition from The Rocky Horror Show, ‘Touch Me’, and they wanna be dirty! Nikki even wears a t shirt baring the words ‘Fuck me I’m famous’. The guys seemed to enjoy the performance too, and with flashes of Nicky’s thong who could blame them. Great set I loved them, an inspiration to all girl bands, don’t tone it down, remain true to yourselves.
I managed to grab a lil’ interview with the girls as they sat and ate lunch. (Check out the interview here)
The band are: Nikki.Hearse - Vocals, Catlow - Lead Guitar, Fenton – Guitar, Rai CupcakeFace - Bass Guitar, Amy – Drums.
Check them out: www.myspace.com/itspinkhearse
Ace's & Eights - Just before the interview with Pink Hearse we watched a crackin pyschobilly type band with a dark edge, all mean and moody, with frenetic playing. I can’t say I have ever held my hands up to be a rockabilly fan, apart from buying a Stray Cat’s album like eons ago, but I went in open minded and really loved this band. They are such a delight to watch, all tattoos and attitude, a preacher for a singer, who’d put the fear in any saint. They play with a passion, so engrossed in the music, the double bass player impressed me hugely, the way he straddled the bass & threw it around, it was almost sexual!
Frantic paced, with rock n’ roll sensibility, with a handful of horror. This is music for the modern age, combine the elements of punk, rockabilly with rock n' roll and you have Aces & Eights, go see them live and I dare you not to enjoy their set, your feet won’t be able to keep still. They are described on their MySpace as follows - "Aces & Eights, the most obnoxious, prima donna, stuck up, downright rude and egotistical band I've had the misfortune to play with in a long, long, time."
As we strolled around I caught sight of the band and asked them for a lil’ chat with us, what a bunch of sweet guys. (check out the interview here)
The band are: Reverend Black - Vocals, Dexter Midnight – Double Bass, X-ray Cat – Guitar, and Adam Savage on drums.
Aces & Eights Setlist:
Check them out: www.myspace.com/thecreaturethateightsheboygan
Henry Cluney - Caught 15 minutes or so of this set, from the former Stiff Little Fingers member, but as Hyperjax were playing across the field we had to leave. He did an acoustic set of ‘Alternative Ulster’ and was met with keen interest from the Scampers. Check out Henry here: www.henrycluney.com
Hyperjax - As we were still locked into pyschobilly frenzied mode, we wandered to stage two around 5pm for Hyperjax. The set had already begun, it could be heard across the field, rockin the camp site. Initial reaction was WOW….The Punk/Rockabilly trio’s looked amazing, 50’s rockers, complete with tattoos and star quality, the singer, chisel jawed, Sam Woods, just oozes sex appeal, hold me back!!
Liam plays the double bass pretty hot as well, think I’m having an overload of double bass fascination. The drummer they call ‘The Wolf’ plays like a maniac. As for the music, the single ‘Happy Pillz’ I can’t stop singing it, I’ve just gotta have their album, "The Wildest Card". I love it when I find new music to explore, this is one band that you have to see preferably on the same bill as Aces & Eight, then you have one hell of a night ahead. Sexy, hard driven rock n’ roll, with just the right amount of punky spirit. These guys are going places, looking forward to seeing them again and taking them on a Mudkiss interview journey.
The band are: Sam Woods - Guitar and Lead Vocals, Liam Revenge - Double Bass and Vocals. Neil "The Wolf" Holden - Drums
Hyperstomp (instrumental intro), Panic Button!,English Country Guardon,Navigator,Spider On The Wall,She's A Siren,Talkin' New York City
Georgia Slop (Big Al Downing R&B classic),Happy Pillz,The Wildest Card,Self Made Cell.
'Happy Pillz' - Hyperjax
Infidels – We caught a couple of their songs, punky, reggae pop, dance, I recall them bringing the house down at Strummercamp in 2007 with The Clash covers, and playing alongside Pablo Cook and Smiley from the Mescalero’s, today they have their own unique sound. A
The band are: Chris Infidel - Vocals Guitar, Keith Infidel - Bass, Derby John Infidel - Keyboards, Christopher Infidel - Guitar,Sir Andrew Infidel - Dub Reggae guitar, Young Danny - Drums, Turkish Gav - Catering
Set list (All original)
'Practice What I Preach', 'Golden Warrior', 'A Man of conscience', 'The Bitter End', 'Brother Turn On Brother', Flags On The Hillside', 'Rise Up'!
Check them out: www.myspace.com/theinfidelsuk
T.V Smith - Last time we saw TV Smith was in 1977 at Wigan Casino with The Adverts, but it was so long ago, I can’t recall much about the event.
Tonight needless to say Tim did some acoustic versions of The Adverts songs, people shouted out for ‘
Check TV Smith out: www.myspace.com/tvsmith
Goldblade – All aboard the Goldblade pirate ship, having secured our position centre stage during TV Smiths performance we remained there until Goldblade hit the floorboards, then all hell broke loose, it became a free for all mosh pit, every man or women for themselves.We scurried along to the side, as it was beginning to sway dangerously close to toppling over. John gave a little acknowledgement to me before we fled (he did the foreword for 'Mudkiss Interviews 2008' book.). John and his merry band, are frantic on stage. John like a demonised preacher, before long he was asking the kids to join him onstage, they loved it, then it was “let’s get the ladies up here”.
I spoke to a woman just before they came on stage and she bet me he would be shirtless before the third song, wonder if she bet on him being trouser less? What the hell, he tore them off, and off came his shoes, and socks. One woman almost ripped his undies off and we caught a glimpse into John’s private world below, another snatch might have had him arrested for lewd behaviour Jim Morrison style. He knows how to win the crowd over, and work that body, work that body!! He got down into the front with the heaving masses, pushing the mic into there faces shouting out “Do you believe in the power of rock n’ roll or was it punk rock?” Like some possessed preacher man he held there heads as if to cleanse there souls. John whipped out the ‘Riot’ banner, but by this time the crowd were already having a riot of their own. I have seen John and the guys perform before but not up this close, he is an excellent entertainer all round, and such a charming man.Who else could get away with dancing around in his undies in front of a bunch of children?
The band are: John Robb - Vocals/Guitar, Keith Curtis - Bass/Vocals, Pete G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S - Guitar/Vocals, Johny Skullknuckles - Guitar/Vocals
Rob Haynes - Drums/Vocals
Check them out: www.myspace.com/goldblade
Jukebox Generation - Goldblade
The Alarm - Well as usual The Alarm were on top form, a new line up though tonight. Who is the blonde lead guitarist………wait a minute it looks a bit like
The band tonight are: Mike Peters – guitar & vocals, James Stevenson – lead guitar, Derek Forbes - bass, and Smiley on drums.
The Alarm setlist:
Three Sevens Clash, Loaded, Home, Alarm Calling, Superchannel, Spirit of ‘76, Rescue Me, Fightback, My Town, 45 RPM, 68 Guns.
The Damned - Early "77 we bought the first Damned album, it was for us the ultimate punk album, for some reason we never got to see them live back in the day. Tonight we finally made up for those lost years, 32 years later and what an impressive set they had in store.
I’d managed to finally secure my place under Captain Sensible, we were quite excited by the performance, possibly stunned actually! They are magnificent musicians, Captain does a great line in stage posturing, he thanked everyone for buying him drinks at the bar, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed his antics on stage. Dave Vanian is just so charismatic (I even got my own personal greeting from Dave with an old fashioned bow) what a gentleman.
They bounced onto the set with ‘Love Song’, seduced us with ‘New Rose’ and ‘Neat, Neat, Neat’. For an encore we had ‘Jet Boy, Jet Girl’ by Captain Sensible, really enjoyed that singalong. The rousing chorus of ‘Smash It Up’ had the whole front row squashed onto the floor as the barriers fell down, and people got crushed briefly into a heap. What a fab band to end Strummercamp, it’s been a day to remember for a long time.My memory card ran out so had no video of The Damned for you guys.
The Damned setlist:Love Song, Second Time Around, Anti - Pope, New Rose, Nation, Eloise, Dr. Woofestein, Meldy Lee,
The band are: Dave Vanian - vocals, Captain Sensible - Guitar & vocals, Monty Oxymoron - Keyboards, Pinch - Drums, Stu West - Bass.
The night ended for us with Amigo Phil raffling off Billy Braggs acoustic guitar, congratulations to the lucky winner. Phil thanked everyone for coming and said we’d be back at the same venue next year.(Check out my interview with Phil here)
They played us out with Joe Strummer & The Mescalero’s ‘Redemption Song’ and what a poignant way to end the day, I imagine there was a few damp eyes as they walked out.
Lovely to see old friends, Sarah B, Rob Galloway, Ray Gange, Davester, Shep, Amigo Mike, great to finally met Kev, also Gadge, Pink Hearse, Hyperjax Sam Woods, Ace & Eights, Peter G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S, if I missed anyone’s name I’m sorry.
For anyone who hasn’t been you’ve gotta get your diary dates set for next years event, it just get’s bigger and better. May bank holiday 2010, it’s not to be missed. It most certainly is the only festival that matters, and one which leaves you feeling euphoric!!