And so to Saturday, and it’s day 3 of Leg-ends, and what better breakfast can you have than a dose of tributes to Metallica, Muse and Guns N’ Roses, who raised the roof of the V Arena?
Legends Of Rock 2023, Great Yarmouth
Words: Sara Harding
Photography: Sally Newhouse
Then it was a quick walk over to the V Lounge for Circus 66. Fresh from touring with Collateral, this band took to the stage with fresh new riffs and stunning vocals from the very gorgeous Annabelle Zaychenko.
These Maidenhead rockers delivered a supercharged heavy rock set. Founded by guitarist Matt Pearce (no, not that one), this is what British rock needs, touches of Jerry Cantrell with his vocoder and notes of Halestorm courtesy of Zaychenko, Matt’s guitars were something all of us wannabe guitarists would love in our collections. His riffs were truly awesome.
Paired with a solid backline and Zaychenko’s high-energy vocals, this band certainly woke up us rock fans up. Stand-out songs include I’m A Monster which had us all singing along. Certainly, an emerging group that you all need to experience.
Remaining in a packed-to-the-rafters V Lounge, we were all very excited to see The Davidson Trio. As the very charismatic Owen Davidson steps onto the stage, with his Dudley accent, newly acquired beard and hat, it was just like seeing my boss, Sir Lenny Henry, on stage. The trio kick off with a new song, Cougar – Owen is a born performer who oozes charm with his 5-octave voice and stellar bass playing. I’m talking about the skills of bass-playing legend Larry Graham, famed for his stints with Prince, and the reason Mark King from Level 42 picked up a bass.
Davidson lures all of us ladies to the front of the stage, performing and flirting with us all. As Cougar ends, he looks at us and says, “This is for all you gorgeous older ladies who like it slow and long.” Although I don’t know why he was looking at me, I’m only a mere 32 years old (ahem). Kicking into When You See The Tears, a Buddy Guy classic which truly took us back to the Blues Delta. Then it’s into a tribute to the late, great Jeff Beck. Followed by a consummate cover of Cream’s Sunshine Of Your Love.
Owen’s voice is like the best velvety coffee, and with that, he says, “I haven’t played this before,” and as we hear the opening chords to Purple Rain, the whole lounge goes to a shhhhhhh! This is one of the best musical four minutes I’ve ever experienced in my life. As he whispers into the microphone, “this is for all the people we’ve lost this year,” we all start blubbing as we remember those who aren’t with us at Legends this year – it was an emotionally charged moment.
As the band conclude with a sublime cover of Mistreated by Whitesnake, it’s another chance to experience the extreme talent of this trio. Mind blown!
Collateral, fresh from their tour with Skid Row, steam on stage with their gorgeous good looks and rock star swagger taking us through their last couple of albums. Having lost a guitarist, it was great to see that they could still deliver a cracking set.
As always, they gave us fans a polished performance and are just such talented young Brits. The band headed straight back into the studio after Legends, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Legends’ Virgins’ Brave Rivals take to the stage next. Already favourites with my fellow rock journalists, we were very excited to check out this five-piece combo from Portsmouth. Singers Chloe and Lindsey are powerhouse singers with incredible dual vocals.
With heartfelt and beautifully crafted songs about shit ex-boyfriends and mental health issues, the band have every fan in the palm of their hands.
Laughingly distracted by some of the punters dressed in the most outrageous fancy dress, they still perform a superbly polished set, including their latest single, Run And Hide. With Ed ‘The Shred’ on guitar, these musicians are ones to watch out for.
As the tribute bands take us into the wee hours with Legends of AOR and super jams, and then there are the caravan parties until six in the morning.
Keep up to date with our Legends Of Rock 2023 coverage by using this link: https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/legends-of-rock-2023.
You can find a nice selection of film from the event by PunkRockSal on YouTube.