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AstralEnigma
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PostSubject: Cambridge Rock Festival 2010   Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:34 pm

So who did you really enjoy at this year's festival, and was anyone a revelation...

For me it was, inevitably, Emerald Sky, Mostly Autumn, Larry Miller, The Enid and Panic Room.

Lost weekend were better than I remember them, Danny Bryant was good (but not close to Larry Miller!), Crimson Sky weren't at all bad (I stayed throughout the set after promising Chriz I would) and indeed I'd go and see them again even if only to hear their reworking of The Golden Void in about three tracks! Stray were also as good as ever.

Actually there weren't any revelations for me, but equally no one really disappointed apart from Olver/Dawson Saxon, whose vocals were awful.
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PostSubject: Re: Cambridge Rock Festival 2010   Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:44 pm

Obviously Breathing Space were outstanding, as were Winter in Eden.

Others that were close to them for me were Crimson Sky, Virginmarys, Stray
but plenty of others were excellent too. Among them Panic Room, Deborah Bonham, Praying Mantis, Paddy goes to Holyhead, Mostly Autumn and Rowse.
And I love to go mental to the Tygers of Pan Tang.
Saxon were the only ones I didn't rate at all No
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HippyDave
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PostSubject: Re: Cambridge Rock Festival 2010   Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:23 pm

I'll bite - bear in mind we didn't get there until early Saturday afternoon, though, and spent over an hour putting up our tent and getting ourselves fed and watered... Very Happy

Four Wheel Drive - Competent but a bit unexciting
Freeway - Good, solid, unpretentious Classic Rock (note the capitals!
Stray - As with Four Wheel Drive, only more so
Larry Miller - Spectacular axework - definitely my Saturday highlight

We were spared Saxon, as it began to rain again at that point and we were hungry! We also sat out the Monsters Of Rock, though what we heard from the upper field sounded pretty meaty. Mrs HippyDave, as a huge Whitesnake fan Back In The Day, was enthused but too tired to rock! Laughing

Sunday...

IO Earth - Pitiful. Apart from a cack-handed drummer (he played a solo that had less rhythm than a robot in a magnet factory) and a female vocalist who is clearly in love with herself (and whose vocals really do not suit the material), their songs lacked imagination and variety. The general impression was that of a pretty handy guitarist surrounded by average session musos who hadn't rehearsed. The general effect was also marred somewhat by some bizarre and bloodyminded antics by some of the band's merch crew (the lass who appeared to be in charge of the merch operation visibly cringed at the behaviour of her counterparts and apologised to me several times as Steen and I set up Panic Room's merch). What they proceeded to do to the poor Kyrbgrinder merch crew was completely out of order, but I won't go into it here.

Panic Room - Predictably ace, though they did suffer from some pretty muddy sound during the first couple of songs. With new bassist Yatim keeping the motor running, they turned in a short but excellent set with plenty of variety, Anne-Marie being in especially fine voice. Satellite pretty much tore the roof off, as evidenced by the brisk trade in copies of the band's latest album after their set.

Kyrbgrinder - Really hard rockin' stuff, part Slayer, part Judas Priest, with an occasional hint of bands like Rage Against The Machine. Great players, but they probably could use a bit more variety in their material.

Breathing Space - Highlight of the weekend, say no more! Very Happy

Aireya 51 - Technically bang-on, and they were clearly having a great time. Wish they'd turned down the backing vocalist a bit - she was great, but tended to drown the lead vocals out, which I'm not sure was the intent! Not sure about their take on Fleetwood Mac's Oh Well, but the snippet of Dazed And Confused definitely raised a few smiles. Good fun, and possessed of the loudest organ(!) of the weekend.

Praying Mantis - Like it was 1981 all over again! Astonishingly tight and energetic... Probably the biggest surprise of the day.

Hazel O'Connor - I was never really a fan, but I had to hand it to her. She turned in a powerful and crowd-pleasing set, and was incredibly gracious about mingling and chatting to everyone afterwards. A class act.

The Enid - I freely admit that these guys aren't really my cuppa, but there's no question that they turned in a great performance, and our Enid-loving friends went away extremely happy. Polished and quite unlike any other band I've ever heard, I reckon everyone should catch them live once.

Mostly Autumn - Oh dear. I had such high hopes for these guys, I really did. Livvy's arrival/Heather's departure seemed to have injected a bit of new life into a band that seemed to have lost its way somewhat, but there was little evidence of any new energy/spirit on Sunday. In all fairness, they weren't helped by noticeably poor FoH sound that lacked separation (important when you've got that many musicians on stage), but the general impression was of a tired band who were content to go through the motions. A decent Fading Colours opened proceedings, but it was all downhill from there, barring a surprisingly intense Last Bright Light which was a nice surprise. I've never heard such a monotonous reading of Answer The Question, and even the usually feisty Dark Before The Dawn seemed a pale shadow of its usual self. The final insult for me was the interminable opening of Spirit Of Autumn Past, which seemed to go on for aeons. At this point, we all called it a night. Probably a good thing, since what I heard of the rest of the set from across the site (a limp reading of the awful Dreaming, and the utterly predictable finale of Evergreen and Heroes Never Die (YAWN)) just made me regret the time I'd spent listening to them in the first place. They did, however, play Breathing Space's Questioning Eyes, which for me was easily the highlight of their set - and personnel aside, it wasn't even their own song. I think that says it all... Rolling Eyes

Anyone want to buy my pre-ordered copy of Go Well Diamond Heart off me if I don't like it? Wink

The appalling music/behaviour of IO Earth and the disappointment of MA aside, it was a cracking weekend! Cool
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Hels@Hippychick
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PostSubject: Re: Cambridge Rock Festival 2010   Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:38 pm

Highlights for me in no particular order:

Breathing Space
Winter in Eden
Crimson Sky (first time I had seen them)
Deborah Bonham
Rowse (who opened the festival on Thursday night, and who we had seen once before playing and then again at High Voltage)
Stray
Whitesnake - I too am a huge Whitesnake fan - especially the early stuff (excellent taste Mrs HippyDave)
Hazel O'Connor - like Hippydave, I'm not a fan, but have seen her before and she doesn't disappoint

Saxon were sh*te - that bloke just cannot sing for toffee and was wearing more make-up than me (mind you I think he needed it more than me - lol) I've never been a fan of the actual Saxon, but these were truly awful
I have to say that I think that Danny Vaughan is overrated too - although since I'd had a "few" by the time they (80s rock thingy) came on stage - I danced my ass off Wink
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AstralEnigma
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PostSubject: Re: Cambridge Rock Festival 2010   Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:44 pm

Well....

Glad you enjoyed Larry Miller. I've been a big fan for years (at least 30) - back from the days when people thought we looked like twins and we did a few gigs together. OK so he's aged better.

I agree everyone should see (and hear) The Enid at least once. I'm glad they played Summer stars (or a lot of it) although it got extended a bit too much I reckon - breaking it up would have been better for the newbies.

I missed Aireya51 unfortunately. So can't comment, although I quite like bits I could hear from outside. I saw Hazel O#Connor a few years ago (? - last time at CRF) and still am not convinced. Tygers and Paying Mantis were predicatable fun, Monsters of BR were okay but weren't M3, let alone Whitesnake - let down but vocals that weren't good enough and keyboards that were mixed out.

I thought Mostly Autumn were fine though. But it did depend a lot on where you were. Half way back it seemed to lack atmosphere, but in front of the left speakers it was great! But then I like Dreaming and Answer The Question and Heroes in particular. Still, as Lynda frequently pointed out, "is it going to be another song about death and destruction" and much as I love the music and the lyrics I do know what she means. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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Mr Gig
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PostSubject: Re: Cambridge Rock Festival 2010   Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:02 pm

AstralEnigma wrote:
So who else did you really enjoy at this year's festival, and was anyone a revelation...

For me it was, inevitably, Emerald Sky, Mostly Autumn, Larry Miller, The Enid and Panic Room.

Actually there weren't any revelations for me, but equally no one really disappointed apart from Olver/Dawson Saxon, whose vocals were awful.

For your info, Larry Miller was backed by the rhythm section of Storm Warning from the Aylesbury area who did a stonking tight session on the Blues stage 2 on Sunday. I enjoyed nearly all of these blues bands. But then I kind of expect to enjoy blues.

Its the other things that spring pleasant surprises. Eg Emerald Sky. and Breathing Space.

In general I found the sound good in S2, p'raps 'cos its smaller. Stage 1 sound was often poor - if you were in the middle front row, you could not hear the vocals (but you could see the show). For example, Stray, the lyrics of 1600 Pensyl. Ave and Harry Farr are definitely worth hearing. Whereas I had to put in ear plugs to avoid being deafened by Micky Moody's amp.

Luckily Heidi's vox was soooo much better. Must have been the scotch fumes on the mic. Wink
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AstralEnigma
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PostSubject: Re: Cambridge Rock Festival 2010   Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:20 pm

Mr Gig wrote:


For your info, Larry Miller was backed by the rhythm section of Storm Warning from the Aylesbury area who did a stonking tight session on the Blues stage 2 on Sunday. I enjoyed nearly all of these blues bands. But then I kind of expect to enjoy blues.

Not sure about that - Simon Baker (who I've also known for about 30 years) was playing drums - and he used to be Predatur's drummer for some time... Admittedly Larry does have a tendency to change backing musicians as the need arises although due to their unavailability.

But in general I agree that the Blue stage was, as last year, excellent. Three Piece Suite stood out for me there, despite doing all (? - I think) covers.
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PostSubject: Re: Cambridge Rock Festival 2010   Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:57 pm

Hells Bells Helen, Marie will be feeding you the dogs food next visit after your comments about her "man" Danny Vaughen. Me and Col will have to eat your portion. Laughing Laughing

Paul Turner
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PostSubject: Re: Cambridge Rock Festival 2010   Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:20 am

I've already enthused about Breathing Space, Winter in Eden, Crimson Sky, Stray, Virginmarys. Rowse, so this is some of my other thoughts.
Paddy goes to Holyhead, I expected nothing so was delighted with a good fun sing along set, very well performed. And Treatment were very enjoyable on the Thursday in tent 2.
Sorry Trevor, but I still can't see what you like so much about Emerald Sky, they're not bad, just not memorable enough for me.
The tribute bands are all very good at what they did, but I can't get overexcited about any of them (except maybe the Who's Next). And Freeway were better with the previous singer IMO.
IO Earth had a poor showing compared to last time I saw them, and Aireya 51 did nothing for me. I enjoyed Larry Miller on a par with the Red Eyed Band the previous day, good but neither were exceptional. The 80s rocked band on Thursday were ok, but the Monsters (Whitesnake) band were much better. But it is hard comparing these bands to seeing them doing their own gigs, with a full set.
The fact is apart from Saxon, nobody I watched was bad, and many were very good, with a few who were brilliant. And the sound guys did a great job (especially stage 2), with only Panic Room's first track having any slight quality issues, which didn't stop them putting in a great performance.
I wish we had made it back from Cambridge for Chantel McGregor. Sad
And the Tygers of Pan Tang come from Newcastle, so after loads of beer I had to have fun watching them (but I have no idea if they were any good)

And HippyDave is very honest in his posting about MA, even if I don't happen to agree with him on many of his thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Cambridge Rock Festival 2010   Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:16 am

ColinCamel wrote:
And HippyDave is very honest in his posting about MA, even if I don't happen to agree with him on many of his thoughts.

The fiver's in the post, mate. Mwah! Laughing
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