Fast becoming one of the best small festivals in the UK, the sold out event mixed Monsters of Rock veterans with rising stars from the New Wave of Classic Rock.
Following on from thrilling sets from Absolva – last minute replacements for The Treatment –an energetic Myke Gray, and Blaze Bayley, who focused on his Maiden Years, new blues maestro Kris Barras rocked the crowd with his melodic, groove-laden slot.
Revealing how grateful he was to be there following the postponed 2020 event, Barras greeted the crowd saying; “it's great to be here. I think we got booked to play this two and a half years ago!” Highlights of his mid-afternoon set included the new single and harmony-heavy ‘Dead Horses’, and the trade-off soloing during their cover of Freddie King’s ‘Going Down’.
Massive Wagons meanwhile, proved why they’re fast becoming one of the UK’s favourite rising stars, with the capacity crowd loving every minute of their performance.
Shifting things up a gear with their hits-filled set, Gun plundered their ‘Taking On The World’ debut, as well as throwing in a few choice covers including their lauded version of ‘Word Up’, and rousing anthem ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Party)’. On a more poignant note, singer Dante Gizzi dedicated ‘Better Days’ to those that lost their lives to the pandemic, as well as those who have endured through it.
Arguably stealing the entire festival, Terrorvision exploded onto the stage in a sheer ball of energy. Kicking off with ‘Discotheque Wreck’, and going on to hit all the right notes, it was a treat to be reminded of just how good the Bradford band are. Firing off hit after hit; from ‘Pretend Best Friend’ to ‘Perseverance’, it was a simply relentless performance from Tony Wright and co.
Ironically losing the lights just as they arrived at their most colourful track – ‘Do You Wanna Go Faster?’, Wright quipped; “they're making us play in the dark!” before reaching for a torch. With the help of the audience and the light from their phones, the show went on as if nothing had happened, giving Stonedead its most spontaneous and memorable moment.
Taking to social media after the show, the singer said; “great to be back and gigging. I think the excitement and adrenaline have been all consuming… aching, happy and ready for the next stage”
And so it fell to last minute replacement headliners Uriah Heep to crown what had been an exceptional day of music. Stepping in for Black Star Riders, the rock behemoths rattled through their five decades in music, with an electric ‘Too Scared to Run’ and dramatic ‘July Morning’ among the highlights of their short set.
“We're right in the middle of recording out 27th studio album”, said singer Bernie Shaw as the show drew to a close; “but now we're having a little bit more fun, live and loud, how rock and roll should be!”
Praising the team behind Stonedead and the crowd for standing by the fest during the toughest time in its existence, founder Mick Box added; “you stuck with it and we all enjoyed it!”
Stonedead Festival returns to Newark Showgrounds on Saturday 27th August 2020. Early bird tickets, priced from just £40 are available now. Click here to book.