Call of the Wild: The Big Bad Review – Day 4

Somehow my ears and liver made it to the fourth and final day. And thank god, because it was one hell of a way to close out one hell of a festival!

Kicking things of were the awesome Dig Lazarus. I hadn’t checked these guys out too much beforehand, bit they are another band I haven’t stopped streaming since the weekend. Infectious grooves and some awesome, fuzzy riffs provided the perfect backdrop for Ash’s great vocals. The biggest highlight for me had to be the track ‘Never Change’. The duelling vocals between main and backing was fantastic and very catchy, to the point where I still can’t get it out of my head often now. Another band to keep your eye on in the next couple of years!

Up next were a band who’s name I seem to see everywhere, Hell’s Addiction. I feel like I have seen them before around but couldn’t quite place any of their songs. Either way, they were fantastic. Ben Sargent is one of the best vocalists around in the scene right now, hitting impressive highs and even some great growls. The rest of the band provided some fantastic instrumentation to make them all catchy, fun tracks. And the lead guitar was particularly fantastic throughout, too.

Time for another band of my weekend. I recognised the name Saints of Sin heading into the event, but it took almost halfway through the set to remember where from. Then I remembered they were the circus-themed band I saw at HRH a couple of years ago. Having changed their entire style aesthetically since then to fit in with their latest album, their old music still fit in well with the set. The guys were absolutely phenomenal, too. They played great track after great track of hard/glam rock somehow blended with math. The guitarist in particular was incredible, but that shouldn’t (and didn’t) take away from the rest of the guys. Oh, and they played an AMAZING ‘Uptown Funk’ cover, complete with coming into the crowd to dance with the audience. A great, fun band that are going to go far if they keep up like this!

From one fantastic band to another as Anchor Lane quickly took to the main stage afterwards. The Scottish trio brought their own blend of rock to the festival, much more refined than I imagine some of the crowd were expecting. Since hitting the road with some bigger names like Ricky Warwick and dropping down to a three piece within the last year, the band have done a light overhaul of their brand and look, and it definitely seems to have worked. The crowd ate up what the band had to offer, with tracks like ‘Dead Run’ and ‘Fame Shame’ going down a storm.

We managed to catch our new friends The Velvet Queens in the tent, who did an alright job considering the sound wasn’t the best in there. They got the crowd into it none the less, and did the local Lincoln scene proud. Unfortunately I think everyone was simply a bit tired after three days of partying to give it their all of them. It felt the same with Sister Shotgun on the second stage. They all did a good job and put on a good performance of great songs. However, a lot of the crowd just didn’t care. I think between them being so late on in the festival and them being slightly heavier than most on the lineup it made them an easy target for a subdued crowd.

The L.A. Maybe managed to win the crowd back around a little, but even then people were still a little more quiet than I was expecting. Still, the crazy-charismatic band put on one hell of a show. Their talent rivalled any other band over the weekend, with the guitarists in particular having some immensely good soloing. When you can get a pop out of a crowd by playing a guitar rendition of some Star Wars classics, you know you’re doing good. The rest of the band were also excellent, ripping through a great selection of their back catalogue to re-energise the crowd!

Doomsday Outlaw took to the second stage with boundless country-rock swagger and ripped through an awesome set. The crowd were definitely into this too, thank god. The piano was a brilliant touch here, an instrument we hadn’t heard too much that weekend and, honestly, isn’t included in enough music these days. Sure, there’s a lot of keyboards or keytars in bands or bands like Aerosmith or GnR will wheel on a grand piano for their big ballad numbers, but having a clean piano tone in each song really sets this band apart from the others over the weekend. Plus, playing it while the singer introduced the next song cut out any awkwardness and sounded great. I’ll stop gushing now and move on, not that I won’t also gush about…

The New Roses should be the biggest band on the planet. Fight me. Their music is SO good, with every track being a personal and crowd favourite. The whole band put on a great show and frontman Timmy is so charismatic that no matter what he said, even telling the crowd ‘let’s get naked!’ went down a storm with the crowd. Playing all of their hits from their back catalogue made everyone happy and it was one of the best crowds of the festival. And it was another case of the band looking happy to be there, something sorely lacking sometimes these days. The band treated it like a massive deal so the crowd gave them their all. I cannot wait for these guys to come back over here, we’ll be front row yet again!

We missed Midnite City, unfortunately, due to interviewing, but made it back just in time for the legendary Phil Campbell and all of his sons (and Joel Peters). It’s another band, much like the other headliners, where I feel it’s redundant to say they were good. Of course they were good. It’s Phil fucking Campbell. I’ve seen them a handful of times by this point and they never fail to disappoint, ripping through a fantastic setlist of original tracks and Motorhead songs. It was nice that the crowd responded to the Bastard Sons stuff a little better than the HRH crowd did, too. I think their stuff so far has been amazing and it comes across great live. There’s a reason they are opening up for GnR and other huge bands this year, and it’s because of shows like this!

And there we have it, four days of fantastic music, fantastic people and a lot of fun. The rock world is in such a strong place at the minute thanks to a lot of these bands and festivals up and down the country, and we feel so privilaged to be a part of it! ‘Till next time, rockers!