Stonewire were first to play in the VIP sessions and it was a great start to the day – Sky has a great voice and the acoustic set showed off the gentler side of her vocals whereas the later main stage set showed off the power she’s got in her voice.
Elles Bailey may be from the South West of the UK but her music is definitely rooted in the South of the USA. It’s a blend of Blues, country and rock and with her lovely voice she puts in a great performance for this acoustic set. Toward the end of the set she brings Zack Logan onstage for a duet.
Zack Logan took to the stage for his set. He comes across as a nice guy with no sense of ego, just a regular guy who happens to enjoy playing music sometimes. Coming from just outside Nashville this is country/Americana from someone who has grown up with that style of music. It’s a great set – simple but expertly done.
Gorilla riot opened the main stage with a set that threw down the gauntlet to the other bands playing later – follow that if you can. It’s a fantastic set of blues infused rock and roll that really goes down well with the crowd. This was my first time seeing Gorilla Riot – after their set here I’ll be keeping an eye out for future gigs.
The Nile Deltas played later than advertised as another act had pulled out so the second stage started later than advertised, causing confusion since nobody thought to tell people or put up the new stage times anywhere. They were definitely worth the wait though as they put in an excellent performance – great rock songs with a bit of a southern influence.
Stonewire played main stage in the late afternoon. Singer, Sky promised us that this set would be a little louder than the earlier acoustic set and she wasn’t kidding. She’s got a great voice and this performance showed off a different side of it to the earlier set – the acoustic set was more gentle and subtle, whereas for this electric set she let rip with lots of power. Another great performance from her and her band.
It’s been a couple of years since I last saw Western Sand, and tonight they’re better than I remember – they’re really on form, with their busy touring schedule in recent years clearly paying off. It’s a good heavy set and they really go down well.
Zack Logan’s second set was slightly different to the first as he had a fiddle player and a double bass player with him, which added to the music, but the core of the sound was the same – another enjoyable set from Zack Logan.
I’d seen Jared James Nichols a few days before this event while he was on tour supporting L.A. Guns, but this was a longer set on a bigger stage, and he took the opportunity that gave. He’s a superb Blues-Rock guitarist and has a great band with him. It’s a loud high energy set that really goes down well. A nice touch was that during one of his guitar solos, in a nod to tonight’s headline act, he paid tribute to the Allman brothers by playing a bit of “Jessica” (better known to UK TV viewers as the Top Gear theme tune).
Elles Bailey’s second set was little different to the first with the exception of no Zack Logan guest appearance. She changed the setlist but some songs were in both. It’s another good set and this time in front of a larger crowd.
Broken Witt Rebels had only just arrived back in the UK from the US where they’ve been recording their next album, so while they may have been jetlagged to hell, once they stepped on stage the adrenaline clearly kicked in and they showed no sign of tiredness. Despite coming from Birmingham, their sound has its roots in the US. They give us a great set of songs based mainly around their debut album but also including material from their EPs. They’re definitely a band that has grown in popularity and also musical ability over the last few years, and I get the feeling the best is yet to come. A great performance.
The Devon Allman project was tonight’s headliner. Son of Gregg Allman, Devon Allman has a great reputation in his own right, and he has a great band with him including Duane Betts and watching them it’s easy to get lost in the music. We get plenty of Allman brothers songs tonight as well as some covers including Don Henley’s “Boys of summer”. It’s a fantastic end to a great weekend.
This weekend has featured a load of bands I haven’t listened to before, but the quality of all of them was superb. There’s been more Blues than people wanted, but even there you can’t fault the talent of the artists involved. HRH CROWS looks set to be a good addition to the festival calendar and with plenty of bands already announced for next year I’m expecting most of the fans here this weekend will be back next year.[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157701597772774″ size=”z” count=”100″]