Steelhouse Festival 2023 – Friday. Planet Rock presenter Ian Danter has been compere to the early bands and makes a passionate, brief speech about men’s mental health as he introduces Ginger Wildheart And The Sinners before Kris Barras closes out a soggy first day.
Steelhouse Festival – Ginger Wildheart – Kris Barras
Danter signposts the audience to the t-shirts for the event’s chosen charity, You’re Never Alone, a men’s mental health charity based in Blaenau Gwent. This leads to a sobering introduction to The Sinners, minus Ginger Wildheart.
The mercurial singer/songwriter isn’t well enough to play but is ably replaced by all-round nice guy and ace guitarist Sam Wood, who joins the band for a run through some of the band’s songs from their debut album, with the odd cover thrown in.
It’s a heartwarming set, with singer/guitarist Neil Ivison leading from the front. I’ve always been a bit lukewarm to the Geordie’s songwriting, but he certainly has penned a tune or two in his time, and his army of fans lap up the show, despite his absence.
All the team at MetalTalk send their love and best wishes to Ginger Wildheart for his recovery.
As darkness and more rain close in on the mountain, it’s time for the stage to finally come to life with swathes of red, yellow, and purple lighting.
It’s Kris Barras who gets the honour of headlining the Friday in 2023. He’s in confident form. As usual, his cut tee displays his total covering of ink.
He starts well, with the anthems Hail Mary and Wild Horses getting his fans singing along. It’s upbeat, but despite his virtuoso guitar work, there’s something just a little lacking. Having seen Barras in smaller venues, it may be that his move to the bigger stage means sacrificing a bit of the passion that the sweatier gig produces.
Still, it’s a solid show, with his band tight and plenty of crowd interaction, including a huge left vs right audience participation section on the finale of My Parade. Two covers are included, with Lewis Capaldi’s Forget Me better than his slightly overlong workout on Zep’s Rock And Roll.
Ultimately, Barras brings it home with smiles all around and closes off a successful, if soggy first day at Steelhouse 2023.
Steelhouse Festival 2023 was held over the weekend of 28-30 July 2023. MetalTalk’s Paul Hutchings reports from Ebbw Vale.
Early Bird tickets are available for next year’s festival, which begins on Friday, 26 July 2024. Tickets are available from here.
All MetalTalk Steelhouse Festival 2023 coverage can be found at https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/steelhouse-festival-2023