Run by like-minded individuals for ardent classic rock lovers, Stonedeaf’s atmosphere was as warm as the heatwave that swamped the festival site. Founded under the ethos of; “One day, one stage, one monster rock show”, Stonedeaf 2019 pulled out all the stops to ensure that attendees got just that.
Following well-received early sets by Samarkind, Massive, and The Amorettes, NWOBHM heroes Diamond Head brewed up a storm, with a mix of classic tracks and newies from this year’s ‘Coffin Train’ album. Led by the charismatic Rasmus Bom Andersen, who effortlessly conjured the tones of predecessor Sean Harris, the band’s no-nonsense heads down approach proved a huge hit in the early afternoon, none more so than with biblical set closer 'Am I Evil?'.
Geoff Tate followed, and filling his set with nothing but Queensrÿche classics, the singer effortlessly proved that he’s still got the voice to perform such towering classics. Kicking off with ‘Empire’, closing with a dramatic ‘Eyes of a Stranger’, with 'Silent Lucidity' along the way, his proved the most hits-filled set of the day.
With rousing sets from both Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons, and the Toby Jepson–led Wayward Sons – who blew the stage's main fuse during their hell-raising performance – seeing in the evening, it was left to Nathan James and Inglorious to set the scene for headliner Glenn Hughes.
Arriving to a ferocious 'Stormbringer', the former Deep Purple man grooved, screamed, and prowled the lip of the stage as only he can. With the show part of his ongoing 'Glenn Hughes Plays Classic Deep Purple' tour, it was exclusively hits from his former band that filled out the set.
Greeting the crowd, the man they call the voice of rock said; "I'm so happy to be here tonight. I'm flying home tomorrow, but so happy to be here tonight. I would not have missed this show!"
Going on to play a number of stone cold classics including a funky 'Might Just Take Your Life', Hughes also ventured outside his time with the band, with a brace of cuts from the Mk.II era of the band in 'Smoke on the Water', and a driving 'Highway Star'.
Signing off, in spiritual form, Glenn said; "You are here tonight because you are loved. You are talking to someone who has beaten the devil".
Rebranded as Stonedead for 2020, the festival returns to Newark Showgrounds on Saturday 20th August 2020. Early bird tickets are available now. For the latest updates, visit the Stonedead Facebook page, or visit StonedeadFestival.co.uk.