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2004 FESTIVAL ARTISTES
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Shades of Purple
Stinging With Bigness
Vanguards of Justice
So here’s the view from the Shed.
This was the first year for The Indie
Tent, and despite the tremendous interest on the manxbands site, we had no idea
it would be SO popular.
The amount of people both in and outside the tent, and
spread across the football field throughout the day, was absolutely fantastic
and more than any of us dreamed of.
We tried our best to bring variety across the two days, but also to give
opportunities to many of the younger bands to try out material in a large
public venue and I think we succeeded on both counts. So, to the acts:
The openers for the first ever Indie Stage at The BIg Wheel Blues Festival were
– these boys have been around a while now, and their set was a mixture of
originals and covers, and for me The Hives “Die alright” was storming.
experienced some problems on stage, and it was a great shame that we didn’t get
to see them in full swing, but their early songs in the set sounded great out
, a UK band, brought us a heavy set and free key rings, a real change in mood,
and you can see why these guys are a popular act across… tight, confident and
adapting quickly to this “plug in and play” scenario we gave them.
followed with their late 70’s punk set, “Passenger” got a few people up
dancing, at least.
Shades of Purple
topped the bill on Friday night, and the musicianship was phenomenal with
faithful renditions of all the Deep Purple classics– these guys really should
gig more often.
Saturday was a marathon, a very enjoyable one. Starting at 1pm,
treated us to a solo routine including the inevitable “Move it” and “Just 17”
– we love him, and it seemed right to start the day off, at least, with a bit
of Blues! Next up
, and a chance for Mil 1 to show us what he could do with the drum kit he had
supplied for the event. These guys are close to becoming a Green Day tribute
band (4 of their songs in a 30 minute set!) - maybe The Green Stripes would be
a more fitting name.And so to
, a young band with 30 minutes of raw energy. Teenage Kicks was the pick of the
were up next, and despite their nerves they played really well, and it was
impressive to see some instruments swapping around. Some good original material
in the set, and potential for the future – keep at it, guys!
took to the stage and blew the crowd away, straight from the off. Some
tremendous guitar work, and a Led Zeppelin medley which went down like crazy –
sorry to see the keyboard collapsing on stage – but the guys played on
regardless, and got a great reception.
Stinging with Bigness
arrived and changed the mood with their mellow tuneful sound – Stuey, those
keyboards sound the business! I felt a bit guilty kicking them off stage, but
their time was up, and I had a schedule to run. Go see these guys do a full set
sometime, they have some quality material. We weren’t quite prepared for the
. It was their debut in this line up, and from the first song “Kiss” they got
hold of the crowd and brought them along with their nod to 60’s and 70’s
commercial pop, delivered with great panache…. and the farewell song of “500
miles” was a great way to bow out. This stage hoped to cater for everybody, so
turns up next, with
, and gave us 45 minutes of pure Rock and Roll… and that double bass is
something else, a quality set and again getting a great reaction within the
tent. We then had a change of mood again – The
Vanguards of Justice
, put together by
, had something like 11 people on stage, and banged out a handful of soul
classics to a startled, but delighted audience. There was a full brass section
bellowing out a lovely collective sound, particularly on “Mustang Sally” and
even Dave Wade got up on stage for the encore and joined in the fun. Priceless!
were next up, and despite Ray’s disappointment afterwards, played well to an
enthusiastic crowd – a grunge version of Oasis’ Wonderwall got the best
reception and the only disappointment for me is that they didn’t have more
material ready – keep it going Ray, they love you!
were a late edition to the schedule, and they didn’t disappoint. Boy, are
these young guys confident! Real lively raucous stuff and some real
showmanship, and their finale of “99 red balloons” was both surprising and
Shades of Purple
came back for a second set, followed by
to do their “set up the final act” routine, opting for their modern punk set,
which went down well, mainly due to
leading the dancing at the front! “Burn baby burn” seemed to go down best.
Jimmy’s hair was a triumph, and in terms of performance, I have to say that is
the best The Sheds have played in their 13 year existence. Top of the bill?
. These girls are going places. A blistering set of mainly original material.
The tent was absolutely packed to the rafters, and they got a great response to
everything they played (personally, I love their rendition of Eye of the
Tiger!). They have a new album out next month – I urge all lovers of manxbands
to buy it and play it repeatedly.
So that’s it. An absolutely fantastic festival, and a great opportunity to see
a shed-load of different bands and appreciate all kinds of good quality music.
My grateful thanks to everyone at Laxey Football Club for all their hard work
in putting the venue together, the organisers of Bushy’s Big Wheel Blues
Festival, allowing us “the keys to the tent” to book the acts, all the
performers, and particularly Jimmy, Danny and Martin from Module CD5, for
allowing us to use their equipment for the backline.
Will we do it again next year? Let’s hope so!
Review by Stewie Mills.