Diving right into day two of Winter Rocks, the main stage opened on the awesome Dead Man’s Whiskey (with an E). They’re another band that I wasn’t too familiar with outside of the name heading into the set. However, loved them coming out of it. Even with some slight technical difficulties with one of the guitars for the first couple of tracks, these guys did one hell of a job at setting the pace for the day. Their unique blend of hard and southern rock was awesome. And, every single one of them put on a great show to accompany it. You could tell they were having fun, so as a result, so did the crowd.
Next up we headed over to the second stage to catch the awesome Slyder Smith. While not especially my thing, there was no denying the talent of any of the three people up on that stage. They all performed masterfully and Slyder had oodles of charisma, keeping the crowd entertained and encapsulated throughout.
Next it was back across to the main stage for another Scottish band, Jason Sweeney. This was apparently the furthest South the band had performed to date, and I think they’ll definitely have a lot of new fans coming out of this set. It was bluey, it was funky, it was hard rock, but once again it was a lot of fun. Jason was laughing and joking around with the crowd and in return they were giving a fair bit of energy and attention back. And of course the music was also great to top it all off. Just another band that I’mma have to see again!
Over on the second stage we were then treated to a blues/country rock masterclass from Tom Kilner and his band. We caught a bit of his set at Call of the Wild earlier this year and were blown away then, but this was on another level. It reminded me a lot of Whiskey Myres (one of my favourite bands). It’s insane that a bloke from Yorkshire can sound this southern. The technicality from Tom’s playing, alongside his phenomenal bassist, was off the charts, and his songwriting is frankly amazing. They did a longer, almost prog track where they stripped it back and almost just jammed and it was fantastic. A great way to chill out and marvel at some insanely good music.
Fallen State soon took to the main stage after, heavying proceedings back up again. I’ve been a fan of this band for a while now and honestly, this felt just a tad flat to me. I’m not sure whether I was just getting a little worn out by this point or restless for the later bands, and the crowd may have been the same, but it just didn’t seem to click. The band all played their parts well and the songs were good. But, for whatever reason, the crowd weren’t into it. Thus, neither were the band. Hopefully they were just having an off night as I’d love to see them again at full force!
Next up were a band that, if everything goes the way it should, will be one of the biggest bands in rock in a decades time. Very few know what ‘it’ is in terms of the music industry, but for anyone who hasn’t seen The LA Maybe yet, they’ve most certainly got it. Not only do they have unbelievable talent (the duelling guitar solo and snippets of Star Wars, Eagles, Metallica and Thin Lizzy at the end of ‘Peace of Mind’ honestly made me feel like I should never pick up a guitar again), but they are incredibly good songwriters.
‘Mr. Danger’ and ‘Oh Sugar’ have been stuck in my head for days, as well as being stuck on my Spotify. And I have never seen someone so effortlessly become Axl Rose, in voice and body, as I did watching Goliath perform ‘Welcome to the Jungle’. This is the second time we’ve seen them and I already want to see them again. They are currently on tour over here and I urge you to make it down if you can, you’ll find your new favourite band!
Headlining the second stage were our good friends Bastette! It’s been a while since we’d seen them, over a year, in fact, and the band has changed quite a lot in that time. a pretty large line-up change, including bringing in The Hot Damn!/Cult Classics guitarist Laura Buchanan. It seemed to give the band a new lease of life as they were on top form here. Whether it was their older stuff or tracks that have come out in the last year, they all sounded great. And Caroline is sounded and performing better than ever. There were times where she almost growled/screamed and honestly I think it would have helped the tracks even more. My only slight point is that I kinda wish they’d get a second guitarist back in to fill out the rest of the sound live and make it a little heavier again.
Finally we reach the mainstage headliners for the Saturday, one of my favourite bands for a few years now, The New Roses. I’ve seen them four times and every time they get better and better. This was a phenomenal set. Coming off the back of their much praised new album, Sweet Poison, they played a set heavy of that, alongside all of the classics and crowd favourites.
And speaking of the crowd, it was packed and everyone loved it. I’ve seen them at festivals before and, while the crowds are never bad, they’re never that familiar with the music going in so just sit back and appreciate it. However, everyone around me knew every track and were down to have a great time partying with Timmy and Co for well over an hour.
And, because of the adoration of the crowd, the guys were clearly enjoying themselves and seemed the most comfortable that I’ve seen them too. Timmy was laughing and joking around with the crowd, oozing charisma, and the rest of the band were just as entertaining too. This was not only my set of the weekend, but one of my favourite shows I’ve seen this year. I cannot wait for them to come back over here next year, as I’ll be travelling to wherever they end up to see them!
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