Mason Hill hit the Big Top to thunderous applause after the MC introduced them as festival organiser Bev’s favourite band, which is always a bonus when trying to make your way up the ladder. In fact, I think this band are already at the top of the ladder. If not, then only one rung down.
Firevolt Festival – Saturday
Mason Hill were absolutely sensational tonight in a packed-out tent. The crowd reaction at the end of every song rendered an emotional Scott Taylor speechless at times, and he genuinely seemed taken aback.
I’ve seen the band many times over the years and to see what they’ve become is what it’s all about.
New songs Def Con One, Alone and Freakin’ Out are particularly strong. During live favourite Where I Belong, the crowd sang as one, which was just a memorable moment. It is a milestone occasion on this band’s journey, which is only heading one way. Catch them while they’re hot.
Mason Hill announced on Friday that Singer Scott Taylor collapsed the following day after their amazing set here at Firevolt and has been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation caused by a sudden drop in blood pressure and has received medical advice to take complete rest for the next two weeks.
As a consequence, the band have had no choice but to cancel their appearance at next weekend’s Stonedead festival. Subsequent to this,
Scott Taylor decided that he needs to take time to consider his future. Mason Hill have begun the search for a new singer.
I would like to send everyone’s best wishes here at MetalTalk over to Scott and wish him a speedy recovery.
To get a band of the stature of The Answer in only the second year of this festival is fantastic for the Firevolt team. Genuine rock heavyweights the Belfast band have done it all, touring on worldwide stages with rock royalty such as AC/DC on their Black Ice US and European legs of an eighteen-month long tour, The Rolling Stones, Whitesnake, Deep Purple and Paul Rodgers to name a few.
Cormac Neeson has the voice most singers would give their right arm for, and his whisky-soaked tones are highlighted in the opening new song, Blood Brother.
Its stomping beat gets the capacity crowd in the barn bouncing from the off, with Neeson asking repeatedly, “Are you ready to do some rockin’ with The Answer?” Of course, there was only one answer!
The frontman breaks out the harmonica for Oh Cherry, quipping at the end, “Well, we’ve played some barns in our time.” The classic Under The Sky takes us back to where it all started with the debut album Rise and ramps things up a notch, while the title track of the new album Sundowners takes us full circle with a masterclass of slide guitar from John Mahon.
Ending the best performance of the day, Neeson climbs the barrier during Preachin’ to get amongst his disciples, slowly ushering everyone, including himself, to sit on the floor while he does his preachin’. It was quite a spectacle watching everyone hanging onto his every word. A fantastic ending to another great day of brilliant bands. Or was it the end?
As I said on Thursday evening’s scribbles about White Tyger, there’s more to come from them, and indeed, there was. Introduced back into the barn on the bigger stage for an impromptu appearance to more people this time around, the band ripped through a short set that had everyone partying before the live music curfew kicked in, sending everyone back to their tents happy, great stuff.
Firevolt Festival 2023 was held over the weekend of 11-13 August 2023. MetalTalk’s Dave Bonney reports from Whitebottom Farm.
All Photography: Linda McDermott and Dave Davies.
All MetalTalk Bloodstock Festival 2023 coverage can be found at MetalTalk.net/tag/firevolt-festival-2023.
For more details, visit the Firevolt MCR website.