ROCK & BLUES CUSTOM SHOW 2018 Day 1 - Pentrich, Derbyshire 26.07.18




DAY ONE - 26.07.18


After weeks of blazing sunshine in the UK the weather forecast seemed ominous with rain on the horizon for one of the summer’s best festivals. Rock and Blues Custom Show nestles itself away in the hills of the beautiful Derbyshire countryside, rolling hills around which some of the best rock and blues music reverberates.

Thursday night saw the shenanigans begin with the party getting started with Meatloaf tribute Meatloud and Graham Oliver and Dobby Dawson’s Saxon, cranking it up loud, blasting out the hits and proving to be as much with the crowd.


As the sun continued to shine on Friday, I took the opportunity to have a look at the other and just as important part of this festival, the custom bike show.

A gleaming array of chrome and polished paintwork drew people into the marquee like magpies. The time and love spent on the bikes was appreciated by all. Some stunning design paint jobs and bikes of all ages from BSA’s to Yamaha’s, a fabulous display ready for Saturday’s judging.

3 stages were set ready for the off and first up on the acoustic stage was DAVE KERR who had stepped in last minute to kick off early proceedings.

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The Outdoor stage with its fabulous views over the countryside showed off its more than adequate PA system with DEVILS DICE cranking it up loud with a set of songs from their album ‘Libertarian’.

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With the Main Stage not starting up until mid-afternoon, NAKED SUNDAY kept the crowd interested before PISTON played a set of their well-known songs which sounded good acoustically. They have support slots coming up in September with Vince Neil and Kris Barras, catch them if you can, their rock show is fabulous. DESENSITISED kept things rocking, albeit gently, in the acoustic tent, whilst another local band EMPERORS OF THE WASTELAND from Derby and instrumentalists ARCHETYPE flooded the site with tunes from their first album ‘Silent A Cappella’.

The site was really starting to fill up by the time THE ZOE GREEN BAND brought the main stage to life with a stunning set of blues. She has a wonderful rich tone to her voice and a subdued energy which fitted well with the warm air and sunshine streaming into the marquee.

SKABILLY REBELS on the other hand woke everyone up with pure rock and roll, Roddy Radiation fronting a fabulous traditional feeling rock and roll band.

Competing with the energy of the Skabilly Rebels and winding up the acoustic stage for the day were EMPYRE. What a fabulous set they delivered, Henrik Steenholdt’s haunting, melodic vocals were astounding and hearing some of their songs played acoustically was a real treat. These guys are phenomenal live with their full rock set but this was something else. Unable to crowd into the smaller tent, people were 10 deep outside trying to listen. Trying was the word with the main stage and acoustic being so close the sound from the full electric set more than drifting through the air nevertheless, those watching and listening were very appreciative.

SUPERSONIC DEATH MONKEY turned up the heat in the sunshine of the Outdoor stage.  The 3-piece hard rock band from Derbyshire made themselves very much at home attracting a good crowd.

There was a buzz in the air as KING KING began their set on the main stage opening with ‘(She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’. These guys led by Alan Nimmo know how to play to a crowd. Lindsay Coulson remaining his usual cool self while throwing down the bassline with Wayne Proctor on Drums keeping the tempo. Jonny filling out the sound on keys but the key to all of the marvellousness is Alan Nimmo, after all his voice problems over the last year, he smiled and sang as the crowd helped him out with the singing even though it was not needed.

What always hits you when you see the band is Nimmo’s incredible guitar skills, the emotion in some of the solos was enough to make even the hardest metal fan verge on tears.

Over on the outdoor stage as the sun began to drop low in the sky, THE BAD FLOWERS graced the stage. Their debut album ‘Starting Gun’ is still on my playlist and I have seen the guys perform in a variety of settings and but this evenings was quite something. The sound guys had the levels bang right, the stage bathed in the fading sunlight, a breeze in the air, all perfect for a band to shine and they certainly did.

Reenie’s Rockettes Burlesque Troupe captivated the audience around the main stage bringing sultry dance moves and stunning colour to keep the crowd in situ for DAN REED NETWORK.

The crowd was packed in front of the barrier as Dan Reed Network and their funk filled set began. The energy Mr Reed brings along with the vocal is infectious, he has an air about him, almost zen like, a mysticism of positivity, his smile which rarely fades hits the entire audience who beam back – you can’t help it. The band are tight and the songs well known.

Reed is such a showman, never slowing despite the heat, clinging around the tent support, dancing around the stage, leaping of the drum riser. A supercharged package of talent wrapped in spirituality. ‘Tiger In A Dress’, ‘Rainbow Child’ and ‘Champion’ brought the house down. Superb musicians making the music flow effortlessly, it felt like a headline set but the night was not yet over.

THE OUTLAW ORCHESTRA where winding things down on the Outdoor stage with banjo and double bass ensuring their brand of southern rock left lasting memories. They are a band that has you dancing in your biker boots and you can’t fight it. Catch them live if you can.

You couldn’t pack anymore folks in front of the main stage if you tried as THE WILDHEARTS were eagerly awaited. The lights were low – smoke flooding the stage as fan favourites threw off any challengers to top spot with fast placed punk edged rock.

Firing on all cylinders, it was one epic massiveness of very, very loud songs. Highlights for me were ‘Caffeine Bomb’ and ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’, a party for my ears and a great way to finish the day. The band looked to be enjoying themselves, Ginger was on top form and the appreciative crowd bounced along and sang loudly, drinks or hands in the air revelling in the atmosphere and sheer talent of the guys on stage.

I love the feeling you get when you start to drive home after such a fabulous day knowing that there is going to be more the following day. Exhausted but exhilarated.