Steelhouse Festival, Sunday review
Posted by: robaich ()
Date: August 01, 2013 02:18AM



So day two on top of the mountain. More rain but most importantly more great music.

First up were Blackbyrd, a young band from South Wales I knew nothing about but after their excellent thirty minute set, definitely one i’ll be checking out.

Skam were next in line. Once again aband i’d never heard and was pleasantly surprised by these Leicester boys, a good start to the day.

Next up were the boys from Northern Ireland, Trucker Diablo, the first band on the Sunday that i’d earmarked to see. Catergorising this 4 piece is difficult as they effortlessly blend several different styles in their repertoire. Big chunky riffs, southern groove and a whole load of melodies is barely scratching the surface of their sound. A superb energetic 40 minute set that won them many a new fan and including a rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” was a masterstroke. Frontman, Tom Harte, not only has the voice but also the licks and engaging charm to win any avid rocker over. Look forward to seeing them headlining in the near future.

So next it was Vega. The Beast’s faves and he was certainly the fanboy when they took to the stage. The added inclusion of two extra guitarists for their live shows certainly beefs their sound up a level more live as they dipped into both their albums for a set crammed with pop orientated melodic goodness. Don’t get me wrong, Vega aren’t just a so called AOR band, they can certainly rock out with the best of them. Vocalist Nick Workman effortlessly worked the crowd for the whole set and when he stood on the barrier right in front of the girls and indeed The Beast, I thought i’d have to carry all three back to the beer tent. Great stuff, looking forward to album number three and the tour now.

I’m afraid Heaven’s Basement do nothing for me. I hung around for their first couple of numbers but quickly decided that food was required and that was more appealing to this punter. Seemed that many didn’t share my sentiments as they went down a treat with many a festival goer.

By now the rain was piddling down, typical, just before one of the bands i’d eagerly been waiting for, Snakecharmer. Knowing that Messrs Moody and Murray were to include several Whitesnake classics in the setlist had gotten me a tad excited. The band is rounded off by vocalist Chris Ousey (Heartland), Arry James (Thunder, Magnum) and for this show Mark Stanway (Magnum). They were even better than i’d expected and so nice to hear “Ready An’ Willing”, “Fool For Your Loving”, “Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues”, “Slow An’ Easy” and “Here I Go Again” played exactly the way they should be, done properly in the old ‘Snake way. The stuff off their sole album to date geled nicely with the classics...Cov, this is how it should still be done.

So, time for the Cliff Richard of rock, as our Beast likes to call him. I’m talking about Bob Catley and Magnum. 65 years young and still does a damn fine job. Magnum were the surprise package of the weekend for me. Granted, I presumed they would be good but not this good!! Actually, they were excellent and i’m sure Catley has now got even more of those magician hand movements than ever? Combining tracks off latest album “On The 13th Day” with Magnum favourites like “Vigilante”, “How Far Jerusalem”, “Rockin’ Chair” to name but a few, how could they go wrong? They couldn’t. This was all made better by the rather portly young chap, who took his shirt off to reveal hand drawn inverted crosses and 666 scribbled on his back. Fair do’s both he and his mates (including one in a German helmet with horns) danced the whole set like they were desperately trying to shed a few of those err unwanted pounds!! Personally, Magnum should have closed the class.

And so, to the final band of the weekend, Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock. Billed as the Lovedrive Tour, herr Schenker, Bucholz, Rarebell, White and Findley tore through the German’s back catalogue of greats from his UFO, Scorpions and MSG days. Maybe it was the pissing rain and drop in temperature but by about halfway through I had begun to lose interest. The still sober Schenker didn’t help matters by coming on half an hour late, maybe it was all those photos he was charging £20 to sign that had delayed his appearance? Don’t get me wrong, Schenker was in top form but I struggle with Doogie White’s vocals, a Mogg or a Meine he certainly isn’t. In the end we left before the encores, the lure of a cosy warm pub and warm bed was far too appealing.

To round up, a superb, friendly festival with great sound, great bands and a great location. Apparently, they are already discussing next year’s headliners, do yourselves a favour folks, next July book yourself a weekend away in Ebbw Vale...marvellous stuff...:)


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Steelhouse Festival, Sunday review564 robaich 08/01/2013 02:18AM
Re: Steelhouse Festival, Sunday review 136 Tom G 08/02/2013 11:08PM

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