CALL OF THE WILD FESTIVAL DAY 1 - Lincolnshire Showground, Lincoln 24.05.19




With seventy bands over three stages, space for camping/glamping/campervans, official merchandise, traders, and a plethora of food available, all spread over a cracking three day weekend on Lincolnshire Showground, the very first, and family friendly, CALL OF THE WILD festival looks to have been a rip-roaring success! In fact, early bird tickets for 2020 were on sale for one week only and have completely sold out, with many people buying theirs before leaving this year’s event! With proper toilets and even showers, this all seems a far cry from the image your typical festival conjurs up. So how was it? For those of us stuck at home for one reason or another, the photos and videos feeding through from the event showed some of the brilliant bands on offer and of course the great weather. Down the Front Media was there to soak up the atmosphere and experience all we could from what the first CALL OF THE WILD festival had to offer.


The weekend kicks off on Friday afternoon with a VIP welcome party on the ‘Cloven Hoof’ stage, which is one of two indoor stages (the other being the ‘Badlands’ stage) that are at either end of a big hall. Compère for the weekend PETE K. MALLY introduces THE ELECTRIC JESTERS, who make a great start to the event, getting people in the mood for things to come. The band, who feature 3 members of KNOCK OUT KAINE, have certainly taken the word ‘party’ to heart and are dressed to impress, drummer Danny Krash topless save for a tie, and the whole band keen to get proceedings off to a flying start with their impressive set of danceable rock tunes.  

After that, main ticket holders make their way in and it’s time for VILLAINOUS to open the main outdoor ‘Kilmister’ stage and demonstrate why the band won the Call of the Wild Launchpad which earned them the opening slot here. Expressive vocalist Sean Stakim keeps the crowd entertained as he is in constant motion, using all the stage to his advantage as the band’s groove driven sound makes an instant impression on the crowd. 

As soon as VILLAINOUS finish their set, Launchpad finalists TENYSON open up and rock the Badlands stage, while over on the Kilmister stage, grunge rock three-piece NAKED SIX look to be having the time of their lives. 

On the Cloven Hoof stage, Launchpad finalists REVIVAL BLACK offer up some classic rock for the crowd to enjoy, while over at Badlands, ‘Fuzzy powerpop’ Lincoln natives GUTS perform.

THE IDOL DEAD seem thrilled to be on the main stage and split their heavy sound with some acoustic moments. Singer Polly Cathcart pleads with the audience to capture his “Bon Jovi moment”, as he holds his acoustic guitar aloft. It’s an energetic and light-hearted set from the Yorkshire guys and the crowd seem to love it.

Launchpad finalists and groovy hard rockers DEAD RIVER KINGS perform on the Cloven Hoof stage, then MISS VINCENT bring it on the Badlands stage. Then, over on the Cloven Hoof stage, BLACK KING COBRA get the crowd moving to their masterful melodies.

Meanwhile, on the Kilmister stage, A JOKER’S RAGE appear, the whole band with faces painted white plus vocalist Zakky Boy Taylor donning an Indian Headdress. A party atmosphere ensues as their guitar-based tunes entertain the crowd before large party poppers are let off at the end of their set.

NEW GENERATION SUPERSTARS appear on the Badlands stage, then rockers LORDS OF RUIN play on the Cloven Hoof stage.

LAST GREAT DREAMERS perform on the main Kilmister stage and are a cool looking band that have stood the test of time, frontman Mark Valentine wearing a velvet jacket and bowler hat. The rest of the band are decked out in patterned shirts, black waistcoats and various hats and flat caps, it certainly draws the eye. Their catchy tracks go down a storm with the Call of the Wild crowd and you can tell they’re seasoned professionals as they run through songs old and new.

RAZORBATS’ vocalist Paulie Vercouteren has such an intense stare, it’s beguiling. The band have come all the way from Oslo to play classic rock on the Badlands stage, which pleases the attentive crowd. Meanwhile, BAD POLLYANNA play over on the Cloven Hoof stage.

SYTERIA, on the Badlands stage, is fronted by three gorgeous women wearing an abundance of leather, studs and lacy tights; drummer Pablo Calvo being the only male in the band. They play ballsy hard rock that goes down a treat with the crowd. This band are just finishing their pledge for their album ‘Reflection’, if you’re quick you can grab it 2 or 3 months before it’s on general release!

ROCKY SHADES WRATHCHILD, on the Cloven Hoof stage, are a sight to behold! Wearing huge platforms and sporting a steampunk monocle and a rocket launcher on his shoulder, they burst into opening song ‘Stakk Atakk’. The tunes don’t really do it for us on the night, although the image is fantastic.

The mighty TRUCKER DIABLO rip up the Kilmister stage with some tremendous riffage including new single ‘Other Side of the City’. Their rapport with the audience and with each other is what really makes them stand out from the crowd. Their songs are hooky, memorable, catchy and make us want to rock out! 

Friday night headliners THE VIRGINMARYS take to the Kilmister stage and the crowd are in for a real treat. I’ve been following these guys for years and Danny Dolan on the drums is an absolute animal! Amazing to watch - but there was lots of red light, darkness and lots of lingering smoke which sometimes made it difficult to see him! Ally Dickaty attacks each song with gusto and all eyes are the duo and their accompanying bass player as they play songs from their newest ‘Northern Sun Sessions’ album and their back catalogue too. What a brilliant way to round off the first night of this new festival.