**PHOTOGRAPHS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF G.W.I Photography /DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA**
Graham Webb (Wiggi)
Klasside / Cause To Effect / White Tyger / The New Saints / Shyyne / Ryder’s Creed / Theia / Rock Revolver / The Bad Flowers.
The Darkroom Stage
Secrets of Mariana / Pork / Torous / Seize The Void / Spreading The Disease / Valous / At Dawn We Attack / Netherhall / Voodoo Sioux.
A bank holiday weekend, a fantastic venue, helpful and friendly organisers and staff and some of the finest musical talent were carefully blended together for GIFF-FEST 2017.
The Giffard Arms in Wolverhampton, the birthplace of rock in the West Midlands, provided the perfect venue for the day. Bands from across the UK arrived and unleashed a barrage of hard hitting, head banging, rock your ass off music for charity. Compton Hospice, Wolverhampton must be delighted with the £1814.43 raised and being donated to them to help those being treated there.
Opening up the festival on the Main stage were Klasside. Powerful rock music from a well rehearsed, polished band who know how to entertain a crowd. A quick dash up the stairs to The Darkroom to find Secrets Of Mariana already into their set. Powerful vocals and heavy riffs got the crowd’s attention.
As the temperature steadily climbed, Cause To Effect, Pork, White Tyger (with some great covers), Torous, The New Saints and Seize The Void alternated the two stages and continued a relentless assault of solid, high quality rock and metal.
Shyyne delivered a typically great performance which was hard to come away from but Spreading the Disease did not disappoint. More hard hitting vocals and chest pounding guitars brought the ever increasing crowd up to boiling point.
For me, one of the two highlights of the day came out onto the Main stage. Ryder’s Creed delivered a blistering performance to a packed room. Ryan and the guys have that certain something, that runs a little tingle up your spine when they play, passionate in what they do, massively appealing to a huge cross section of music lovers, and when the final song was announced it capped off another great show from a band with a huge future.
Valous, with the matching gig attire were a strong outfit, heavy and tight. Theia were great, Kyle was on top form delivering exactly what a now, very sweaty crowd wanted. At Dawn We Attack and Rock Revolver had the crowd throwing themselves right at their feet, begging for more as the quality never dropped below the highest level.
Netherhall. Excellently crafted songs that had a unique style, and a stage show with guitar/vocal combo’s left & right, complemented perfectly by Tom belting out monster bass riffs from centre stage. Almost conceptual in feel but done with that hard rock edge and well rehearsed style that shows dedication from the members.
Headline on the Main Stage were The Bad Flowers, eagerly anticipated by a packed house, the temperature now was almost at melting point. This didn’t hamper the band in the slightest. Vocals on point, tight rhythm section and an all round package that was the perfect finale for the downstairs fans.
The last band of the day and the second highlight is Voodoo Sioux. The veterans that released their first album back in 1995 took to the stage and anyone who had not seen lead singer Nick Flaherty on stage before was in for a treat. Head dress feathers, war paint and a full Red Indian outfit is a visual treat. Don’t be deceived and think that these guys are past it. Nick enthrals the crowd and leads them in to a war dance, with gritty vocals and a ton of charisma. Mario on Bass is just bursting with energy and the occasional hypnotic stare, which contrasts well with JB who really is mister cool on the guitar. Last but not least is the man keeping the beat, Nigel.
The Music has been awesome, the people, either working or watching have been amazing, and this is a festival you should mark on your calendar for next year.
Special Thanks to Wendy Shone and her team at The Giffard Arms. Where they really know how to put on a great festival