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  CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL 2013, 4th/5th AUGUST 2013

Liz Medhurst: Photos by Noel Buckey, Simon Dunkerley, John Price and Gillian Lerner

liz medhurst

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cambridge rock 2013
Attica Rage

Cambridge Rock Festival is now is in its tenth year and has a great reputation, an extremely loyal following and attracts new attendees every year. It all started on Thursday night and over the four days more than 100 bands played across the three stages.

I arrived on Saturday lunchtime, and after checking out the arena, which was very well organised with good use of space, the first thing to do was stock up with plenty of beer tokens to ensure a steady supply of the brilliant selection of ales and ciders on offer. While trying the dry pear cider, I caught a bit of Austrian band Cornerstone's set on the main stage which was a pretty good rendition of their melodic rock catalogue, enhanced by lead singer Patricia Hillinger's quasi-futuristic silver playsuit. I then wandered over to stage two for a bit of indulging in Undertow's excellent set of rock covers, nothing to fault here.

Article continues below...

   


The first real surprise of the day however was The Temperance Movement. Every now and then you discover a band that makes you stop everything and immerse yourself in the music you are hearing. I went into one of those trances where it was all about the present moment, and loved every minute of what I heard and saw. The Temperance Movement have taken blues rock, merged it with their heart and soul, put a new hat and coat on it and unleashed it back out to the public in a very special way. This is a band that own their individual space and communicate instinctively with each other and their stage presence is very special indeed. Oh, and they are cool as fuck too. Their debut album is due to be released in September, this is something I will be snapping up.

phr
Pearl Handled Revolver

The crowd had only just started to come down from this performance when it was time for Pearl Handled Revolvers to take the stage. This hard rock and psychedelic combo was another revelation, with immaculate songwriting, and luscious grooves. It was completely hypnotic and one of the best natural highs around.

As if this wasn't enough to be going on with, it was then time for The Pat McManus Band. Pat, Marty McDermott and Paul Faloon grabbed the crowd by the balls from the first note and didn't let go. This was a masterclass in charisma, performance and the most solid of songs from the power trio. Not only that, the sheer joy that exudes from every pore of Pat McManus is an infectious delight which lifted the energy of the festival several more notches.

debbie bonham

After experiencing three fantastic sets, it was time for a bit of a sit down and some more of that refreshing cider. Not for too long though as Debbie Bonham was next up, performing a classic blend of soul-tinged rock backed by a tight band. This was a great and enjoyable performance. I didn't see all of the set as word was getting round of what was happening over at stage two. This was Laurence Jones, a twenty one year old fresh faced blues guitarist who was wowing the crowd with a virtuoso performance that belied his years. The tent was packed and he gained a lot of new fans – he will be around for many more years to come I hope.

hazel o connor

I dropped in for a couple of numbers of Hazel O'Connor's set, mainly from a nostalgic point of view, as I remembered loving her when I was a teenager as she was edgy and different. She still puts on a very good show. I spent most of that hour around stage 2 though, as Del Bromham's Blues Devils had commanded the tent, and were hosting a brilliant party. An extra treat happened when a couple of the lads from Pearl Handled Revolver joined the band on stage, along with Cherry Mee Lewis, so there was a bit of a mini super-group going on there. A good-time blues set, but with half a point docked for the over-the-top and unnecessary situation of having seven endings to one song – just finish the damn song!!

caravan

As the sunset gave way to darkness, there was a choice of styles to end the evening with. Caravan were as polished and ever with their brilliant quintessential English prog, infusing the main stage with a bit of a chill out vibe but Buster James and his band provided the rockier end to the night, blasting Stage 2 with their old time rock and roll and finishing the party in great style.

Sunday

For a nice gentle start to Sunday morning, we were treated Attica Rage at 11am. These boys are brilliant, and it was the first time I had seen them since High Voltage. They were kind enough to provide a wake-up call for the campers, and blew any cobwebs and hangovers away with top grade Heavy Metal.

The songs from the new album, '88mph', sounded amazing, in particular 'Long Ride Home'. Johnny Parr told us all about the band's fan led initiative in sending a single copy of the CD around the world as a kind of chain letter, hoping that it gets returned by the end of their tour in the autumn having travelled the world in 88 days. It's only reached England at the moment so a bit of travelling still to do.

There was an awesome interlude when bass player Colin Wilson took over vocals for a fantastic version of 'This Life' (theme from Sons of Anarchy) which blended amazingly well into the set. At the end of this incredible set of biker anthems and blues-tinged metal, we were treated to a Heavy Metal version of the Osmond's 'Crazy Horses' followed by 'Rebel Yell'. A brilliant start to the day.

hekz

Bedford's Hekz were up next – a band I had not been aware of before, and their prog Metal set was captivating and engaging, and something I would look forward to hearing again. They ended with a blistering version of Deep Purple's 'Burn' – a crowd pleaser, but nonetheless done with style.

It was left to the Ben Poole Band to bring some Sunday afternoon smoothness to proceedings. The six piece band were a brilliant showcase for Ben's original songs, capturing the vibe of early Dire Straits mixed up with the flying fretwork of Joe Satriani with a dash of Robert Cray thrown in. Ben is an awesome guitarist and effortlessly drew the crowd in, and there were several jaws dropping in amazement at the epic version of Hey Joe which he completely made his own.

Some unexpected between-set entertainment occurred when the Editor was leading an impromptu football kick around with several kids and displaying quite remarkable progress – until he sliced it at the wrong angle and lobbed it over the Radio Caroline Tent and into the depths of the equipment area of the site. Thankfully the question "can we have our ball back please?" was met with a cheerful response.

persian risk

When Persian Risk exploded onto the stage giving a full on Metal performance, there was a collective "OMG WTF" from the crowd. There was a lot of anticipation in advance of this performance both from those who were curious about this recent incarnation after a long break and those who had heard good things on the grapevine. This is only the third time that this line up have played together live, but the energy and communication was so natural that no-one would have guessed.

Carl Sentance was in full on rock God mode and had clearly made an awful lot of good decisions in reforming the band, writing the songs and putting the band together. The new songs were stylistically different from the original incarnation, but this was an evolution, not a complete change in style.

Lead guitarist Howie G amazed as always, and bassist Wayne Banks and drummer Tim Brown provided real power and charisma. From Maiden-esque anthems to hard-edged melodic Metal this was a relentless set that delivered on every level. I knew that this was likely to be a great gig, having seen Carl and Howie perform the most incredible version Heaven and Hell at Legends of Rock last year as part of Towers of Stone, but I was more than pleasantly surprised at just how good the set was.

There was such a rush to the merch table afterwards that every copy of 'Once A King' sold out within five minutes of the band leaving the stage, which bodes well for the new album later this year.

After a fuel-stop for some gorgeous Thai curry, it was time for NWOBHM legends Praying Mantis. The touring line up has had some well-publicised changes recently and new vocalist Jaycee (John Cuijpers) and drummer Hans in t' Zandt impressed right at the start and injected a new shot of energy. There was everything here – gorgeous harmonies, anthems, classics. It was a privilege to be in the presence of Tino, Chris and the boys – a Metal institution who keep delivering the goods; no resting on laurels here.

For a change in pace we saw Mostly Autumn, who have not lost their standard over the years and this set was full of gorgeous melodies, but with just the right amount of edge to keep interest. The York-based band get the mix of rock, prog and folk inspiration just right, keeping the songs tight and varied. The placing in the line up between Mantis and Magmum was ideal.

magnum

And then it was time for the mighty Magnum, who got the set list completely right for the occasion, mixing the songs from the new album with a great rendition of the classics. Bob Catley was in good voice and the atmosphere built to that indescribable feel where you know you are in the presence of giants. 'How Far Jerusalem' and 'Kingdom Of Madness' were the highlights for me, and the band were in top form – I imagine they were enjoying this gig way more than the last festival gig they played recently which was on a very wet Welsh hillside!

That seemed like a fitting place to call it a day and head for home, as I didn't think The Animals could add anything to what had gone before. As with all good events it's not possible to see everything, but I felt privileged to have seen so many amazing sets. What a brilliant festival this had been – superbly organised, great facilities and a perfect mix of bands and audience. One of the most enjoyable weekends I have spent in a long time, the weather was perfect and I caught up with so many amazing people. Next year is already in the diary.


beer beer beerbeerbeer


12.8.13





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enter shikari ENTER SHIKARI ANNOUNCE THE MINDSWEEP ALBUM DETAILS, PLUS 2015 EURO & UK TOUR DATES
"We pushed ourselves vocally with some of the rawest angriest vocals we've ever done as well as some of the most dulcet and delicate..."

black label society BLACK LABEL SOCIETY ANNOUNCE 2015 UK TOUR DATES
Zakk Wylde and co are bringing their explosive swagger to Europe in support of 'Catacombs Of The Black Vatican'...

evile EVILE ARE BACK WITH A NEW GUITARIST AND NEW TOUR DATES FOR 2015
"We finally get the chance to tour in support of our last album 'Skull'...we plan on playing that album in full at shows next year as we're really proud of what we put together..."

the temperance movement THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT 2 DISC DELUXE EDITION OUT NOW WITH BONUS LIVE TRACKS
Catch five stunning tracks recorded on the recent European tour. Fans who have already purchased the album can get these for free...

wildfire WILDFIRE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCE SEVEN NEW BANDS
Seven more red hot bands join headliners Tygers Of Pan Tang in what promises to be a scorching festival...

rival sons RIVAL SONS CONFIRMED FOR LATER WITH JOOLS HOLLAND
The band will preview their next single 'Good Things'. A further UK tour is planned for December this year...

ac/dc AC/DC REVEAL FIRST TRACK, ARTWORK AND TRACKLISTING FOR NEW ALBUM 'ROCK OR BUST'
'Rock Or Bust' is AC/DC's first studio album for six years and their first ever not to feature their founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young

manowar MANOWAR GIVE STUDENT MUSICIANS FROM ESSEN, GERMANY A NEW STAGE
Manowar will perform with the Bredeneyer Schulorchester. "We have offered them the opportunity to reach an audience that we know understands the tremendous power of music, and that they have more in common with than they may imagine..."

steel panther STEEL PANTHER UNLEASH VIDEO FOR 'PUSSYWHIPPED'
Biggest ever UK tour kicks off in March 2015, including a night at Wembley Arena...

texas flood THE TEXAS FLOOD SIGN LONG TERM DEAL WITH OFF YER ROCKA RECORDINGS
The powerhouse trio are ready to showcase their own brand of vintage rock to the world...

pythia PYTHIA ANNOUNCE RELEASE DATE, ARTWORK AND TRACKLISTING FOR NEW ALBUM 'SHADOWS OF A BROKEN PAST'
The band have also released the first song, 'The Key', which you can hear as part of the promo video here...

acdc AC/DC SHOOT NEW PROMO VIDEOS IN LONDON
Once inside Brian Johnson explained that Malcolm Young gave his blessing for the band to continue without him...

sanctuary SANCTUARY RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'FROZEN'
Seattle Thrash luminaries Sanctuary return with a new album and video, their first for twenty five years...

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES TO RELEASE 3D CONCERT 'APPETITE FOR DEMOCRACY 3D: LIVE AT THE HARD ROCK CASINO - LAS VEGAS' INTERNATIONALLY
This is the first official Guns N' Roses live concert film since 1992's 'Use Your Illusion' concert video and features brand new live performances of classic GN'R tracks...

blues pills BLUES PILLS KICK OFF THEIR HEADLINING EUROPEAN TOUR
The three month tour takes in seven UK dates, including an upgraded venue in Manchester...

tesseract TESSERACT SIGN TO KSCOPE
The band have a new creative energy after reuniting with singer Dan Tompkins and have already written half of their third album, the follow up to 'Altered State', slated for a 2015 release...

primordial PRIMORDIAL TO RELEASE NEW FULL-LENGTH THIS NOVEMBER VIA METAL BLADE RECORDS
"We feel revitalized, the hunger never left and we are ready for another chapter to be written in our history..."

ill nino ILL NIÑO PREMIERE NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'I'M NOT THE ENEMY'
The video tells a bold story of youthful injustice, overcoming social stereotypes and the dreams of constructing a better life...

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND LAUNCHES ZTV AND NEW ZILTOID SITE
"I'm really excited to present to you the new Ziltoid website, and the first of three ZTV episodes leading up to the album release..."

judas priest JUDAS PRIEST OPEN US TOUR WITH NEW SONGS AND CLASSICS: SPOILER ALERT - FULL SETLIST HERE
The legendary British Metallers are touring in support of of their new 'Redeemer Of Souls' album...

tony wright TONY WRIGHT RELEASES FIRST SOLO ALBUM 'THOUGHTS 'N' ALL' ON 17TH NOVEMBER
The Terrorvision frontman has made a personal, heartfelt and passionate reflection of his journey...

off PUNK/HARDCORE LUMINARIES OFF! RETURN TO THE ROAD
There will be six UK dates before the band head off to mainland Europe...

queensryche BREAKING NEWS: QUEENSRYCHE ANNOUNCED AS HARD ROCK HELL VIII HEADLINERS
Following the official cancellation of W.A.S.P., Hard Rock Hell are pleased to announce that Queensryche will be stepping up to the top slot...

motorhead LEMMY TALKS TO FULL METAL JACKIE ABOUT HIS HEALTH, THE NEXT ALBUM AND THE MOTORBOAT CRUISE
Lemmy Kilmister was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show this weekend...

hellion HELLION ANNOUNCE NEW 'KARMA'S A BITCH' MINI ALBUM & SINGLE
Hellion's strongest line-up to date unleash first new material in over a decade...

blaze bayley BLAZE BAYLEY RELEASES 'SOUNDTRACKS OF MY LIFE' DVD
Blaze and backing band Absolva are captured in a performance celebrating 30 years in the business for Blaze...

black sabbath BREAKING NEWS: BLACK SABBATH TO RECORD NEW ALBUM AND DO ONE FINAL TOUR
Just as we told you back in May, Black Sabbath's Hyde Park performance on 4th July was not the last ever Sabbath gig...

def leppard DEF LEPPARD ROCK THE NFL AT WEMBLEY
A stage was set up on the pitch with the band performing in front of beautiful cheerleaders...

slipknot SLIPKNOT RELEASE 'THE DEVIL IN I' OFFICIAL VIDEO
Find out more about the new masks as the build up to the release of '.5:The Gray Chapter' continues...

sy keeler ONSLAUGHT'S SY KEELER TO SIT OUT FORTHCOMING US/CANADA/SOUTH AMERICA TOUR
Ex Anthrax legend Neil Turbin steps into the breach as the health issues of Sy Keeler's son mean he is needed at home...

vivian cambell VIV CAMPBELL TO UNDERGO STEM CELL TREATMENT
Trixter guitarist Steve Brown will fill in for Def Leppard's autumn dates...

haken HAKEN LAUNCH 'DARKEST LIGHT' VIDEO
"We've managed to chop the old song in half, cut away all the excess fat and produce a 6 minute rowdy riff roller-coaster that will surely find a home in the heavier side of our live show..."

the dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES RELEASE 'THE FACE I LOVE' VIDEO
Get a look at the title track of the new EP here. A new album will follow in 2015...

primordial PRIMORDIAL ANNOUNCE UK DATES IN FEBRUARY 2015
There will also be an album launch in Dublin in November for 'Where Greater Men Have Fallen'...

protokult SING ALONG TO 'GET ME A BEER!' LYRIC VIDEO BY PROG FOLK METALLERS PROTOKUL
"For those of you who can't understand what the hell Martin is spewing, now is your chance to sing along! Get yourself a cold one and enjoy!"...

whitesnake WHITESNAKE ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE DVD/CD WITH CLASSIC AND RARE PERFORMANCES
"It's still hard for me to find the words when remembering that half the incredible band who originally recorded the 'Slide It In' album with me have passed away," says Coverdale...

metal church VOCALIST RONNY MUNROE QUITS METAL CHURCH
The band posted a statement on their official Facebook page assuring fans that the band is alive and well and that "big announcements" are expected soon...

bloodbath BLOODBATH STREAM FIRST NEW TRACK FEATURING NICK HOLMES AND REVEAL ALBUM TRACKLISTING
Sweden's masters of horror Bloodbath are set to release their fourth album of supreme death Metal, 'Grand Morbid Funeral', on 17th November 2014...

ac/dc AC/DC ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM, 'ROCK OR BUST', AND CONFIRM DEPARTURE OF MALCOLM YOUNG
AC/DC have announced details of their 17th studio album, their first for six years and their first ever not to feature Malcolm...

lordi LORDI RELEASE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM 'SCARE FORCE ONE'
Tour dates to follow for the Finnish sensations. "The overall sound of the band is more modern this time, and we've tried out some new tricks here and there..."

bloodstock CANNIBAL CORPSE WILL PLAY AN EXCLUSIVE UK SHOW AT BLOODSTOCK 2015
Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura and Ihsahn join the line-up that also includes Within Temptation and Opeth...

helix HELIX ANNOUNCE TOUR OF EUROPE
This will be the first Euro tour for Helix since heading out with Kiss and Ian Gillan in the 1980s...

threshold THRESHOLD DISCUSS HOW THEY FOUND THE NEW ALBUM ARTWORK ON THE INTERNET
Damian Wilson and Richard West discuss Threshold's new album 'For The Journey', out today...

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS RELEASE 'THIS IS ROCK N ROLL II' IN ADVANCE OF NOVEMBER TOUR
Re-packaged, re-styled and with 4 bonus tracks, the rare 2001 classic from The Quireboys will be available on 23rd October...

gwar GWAR REVEAL TWO NEW MEMBERS - BLÓTHAR AND VULVATRON
Meet the latest warriors to don the latex and styrofoam and join the intergalactic crew for Gwar's "Eternal" tour...

fear factory FEAR FACTORY SIGN TO NUCLEAR BLAST ENTERTAINMENT
The journey continues for one of the groundbreaking Metal bands of our time, with new material to be released in 2015...

tank TANK BEGIN WORK ON NEW ALBUM; BAND CONFIRMED FOR BANG YOUR HEAD
The band are scheduled to enter the studio in November with a release planned for early February...

blitzallica DIAMOND HEAD TO HEADLINE COUNTY DURHAM'S BLITZALLICA IN OCTOBER
Plus legendary Metal party band Dumpy's Rusty Nuts and old favorites Holosade who are reforming especially for this headbanging estravaganza...

saille SAILLE COMMENT ON FORTHCOMING THIRD ALBUM
"'Eldritch' differs quite a bit from our two previous albums," keyboardist Dries Gaerdelen says...

winger WINGER RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'BETTER DAYS COMIN'
Winger have released a new music video - the title track from their Billboard chart breaking album...

voodoo six VOODOO SIX ANNOUNCE SIX HEADLINE SHOWS IN EUROPE
This Autumn, Voodoo Six will play six headline shows in Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands...

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER ANNOUNCES DECEMBER UK TOUR
Schenker will perform songs from the new album, which features the new single, 'Lord Of The Lost And Lonely' plus all the classics...

johnny thunders LOOKING FOR JOHNNY: THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY THUNDERS MOVIE TO BE RELEASED NEXT MONTH
When Johnny Thunders died in New Orleans on April 23rd 1991, he left behind a mystery...

metallica METALLICA TO RELEASE 27 LIVE ALBUMS BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR AND APPEAR IN THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS
To commemorate the anniversary of the LiveMetallica.com site, the band are offering CDs and LPs of every gig they played in 2014...

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS AND THE TREATMENT ANNOUNCE UK TOURS
Kobra And The Lotus will be kicking off their Headline Tour on 24th September in support of their latest record 'High Priestess'...

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