ROCK AND BLUES CUSTOM SHOW - Day 3 - Coneygrey Showground, Derbyshire 27.07.19
PHOTO CREDITS: LINDSAY SMITH
Saturday arrives and the weather again isn’t kind. On the Outdoor stage WHITE RAVEN DOWN’s heavy, grunge-tinted rock has seen a decent clutch of people brave the impending downpour, and as they bring their excellent set to a close it’s a mad dash over to the Main stage for OUTLAW ORCHESTRA who provide one of the highlights of the festival. Their countrified, banjo plucking, bluegrass rock may not immediately seem like a fit for Rock and Blues, but they go down an absolute storm, their wit and tongue-in-cheek delivery win the crowd’s hearts, even if they are a double bass down.
They are followed by SULPHER who are probably the most out and out metal band on the bill. They are perhaps a shade too heavy for many, but they produce a decent set nonetheless.
The music then takes a break for the Custom Show and even if you’ve never ridden a Harley in your life, you can’t help but be impressed by the paint jobs and engineering feats that these dedicated bikers have put into their pride and joys.
A brief sojourn around the site takes us past Outdoor stage compere, Mr Badaxe, handing out tinned goods to passing punters or strumming joyously bad taste songs about Michael Jackson, friendly merch stall owners who, if you get on the right side of, will offer you a swig of rum from a hip flask bigger than your head and oodles and oodles of places to buy noodles (other foodstuffs are available).
Back to the music, though, and DIAMOND HEAD and their dedicated legion of fans bring the old school NWOBHM to the party. Even this far into their careers the band know how to get the crowd rocking and by all accounts this is one of the finest line ups they’ve had for years.
Somehow, we’ve reached the final evening of the Rock and Blues Custom Show and while MYKE GRAY ft. KIM JENNETT bring the Outdoor stage to a close in style, a good crowd is gathering in spite of the rain, back on the main stage is UFO legend PETE WAY and his band. The old school rockers in the crowd lap it up but in truth it is a slightly shambolic set which the band seem to get through on the wave of love from the crowd.
So, enter headliners REEF who not only ride that wave, they turn it into a tsunami. They ease themselves into the set with a couple of newer numbers but then blast out hits like ‘Naked’, ‘Place Your Hands’ and ‘Come Back Brighter’ that whip the crowd into a frenzy. It is a charismatic and confident performance and by the time they hit their encore songs ‘Yer Old’ and a rip-roaring cover of ‘Stay With Me’ there’s not a face in the crowd that isn’t grinning from ear to ear.
But ultimately at the Rock and Blues Custom Show if you don’t leave happy you clearly haven’t done it right.
And if you get in now all this can be yours next year for the minuscule sum of £35.00 all in. The only question remaining is: what the hell’s stopping you?
SONS OF LIBERTY
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