(Photo Credits: Dave Briggs Photography)
The Station at Cannock was the venue selected to host this leg of the Sempiternal Festival. A worthy charity fund raiser in the name of Christina Edkins, who lost her life after being the victim of a knife attack in Birmingham in 2013. After members of her family started a charity fund in Christina’s name, with proceeds going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Dave Williamson decided to use his love for rock music as a means to raise funds for the charity. An added bonus was showcasing some of the incredible rock and metal talent available in the UK.
The event was to run over the course of the weekend, but sadly, I was only available for the Saturday. So, camera bag over my shoulder I set off to the familiar venue, The Station, to enjoy the line up. I was already familiar with a couple of the bands and was keen to see the other bands on the events roster.
Proceedings were kicked off by a band of young talent from Uttoxeter – Anonymous. This band have boundless energy and talent, always giving an energy fuelled performance. Due to traffic, I sadly missed a photographic opportunity of their performance, but they never fail to deliver a powerful performance.
After a quick equipment change over, the next band was Wolverhampton based group, Wakedown. They delivered their alternative rock set to the small early congregation, who were very appreciative of their sound. Next up was Norwich based band Hedra. A hardcore metal five piece group, they belted out their music with commitment and enthusiasm, delivering a forty minute set that had the assembling crowd suitably entertained. After another change of gear, the next band took to the stage, Seven Main Sins. This Polish group, now based in the UK, played their brand of death metal and completed an effective set.
Next band up was Southfall. A five piece from the West Midlands are the culmination of two former bands, coming together in 2015 and subsequently producing some great sound heavy rock. They gave a very entertaining and effective set, receiving much appreciation from the growing crowd.
Liverpool based Black Cat Bones took the stage for their share of the show, giving a superb performance. This band has a solid following and it’s easy to understand why. They gave a very polished rock performance. With a great stage presence and very credible vocals, from lead Jonnie Hodson and impressive musical execution from the rest of the band, they certainly expanded their following.
Local band Ryder's Creed took centre stage next. Formerly known as Black Rose Cadillac, after a line up reshuffle this was their first major outing and they didn’t disappoint. Lead vocalist, Ryan Hulme gave his usual high standard performance. The existing member of BRC, Richard Clark and Myles Cooper worked seamlessly with new recruits, new guitarist Lee Spencer and drummer Lee Gilbert. You wouldn’t have thought this was a recently formed union, expect big things from these guys.
The next band, and headliners warm up was a personal favourite of mine, Burton based Theia. These three young men never fail to give a blistering performance, delivering a sound that belies their ages. The show that was subsequently given was of the usual incredible standard, with Kyle Lamley exuding a confident and thoroughly entertaining routine. Paul Edwards, bass and Jake Dalton gave equally impressive musical performances to deliver an impressive set, consisting of track from Take the Pill and their recent well received album, Back In Line. With everybody suitably entertained, Theia ended their set with fan favourite, Whoop Dee F***ing Doo. Although maybe a slightly biased opinion, you should definitely check this band out. If you enjoy good, heavy, rock and roll, you won’t be disappointed.
Another equipment swap and it was time for the headline act – Aussie rockers, Massive. A four piece born out of Melbourne, Australia, in 2012, they have built up a reputation for delivering a memorable heavy rock performance. Great vocals from lead singer Brad Marr were complimented by the, shall we say, ‘strange’ presence of guitarist Brendan Forward, sporting his ‘mermaid’ swimsuit and accompanying glam make over. The band drove out their tracks and definitely got the spectators energised. Aiden McCarrigle on bass and drummer Jared Medway helped cement an overall memorable performance, which was sweetened with bonus of a guest appearance from Tequila Mockingbird lead lady, Estelle Artois.
A thoroughly enjoyable end to a great day’s rock entertainment, with the added benefit of it being an event for a great charitable cause.