Maid Of Stone – Sunday. So with my head in a Southern buzz, I headed back to the Phoenix stage to catch The Outlaw Orchestra, a band very much playing music in the Southern style although adding a little more of a country vibe to it.
The Outlaw Orchestra
What was quite obvious was this is a band that can more than hold their own and have come on in leaps and bounds since I last caught them at Ramblin’ Man. The lineup hasn’t changed, but musically and performance-wise, this is a far tighter outfit, who were clear on what the audience wanted and were prepared to throw it at them, kitchen sink and all.
Opening the set with a cover of The Beatles Come Together, they started off from where the Sons left off and were rapidly drawing a large crowd who were completely falling for their UK-oriented style of country rock.
With a heavy dose of steel guitar on Red Rag courtesy of the incredibly diverse Pete Briley and the pitch-perfect drawl of vocalist/guitarist Dave Roux they had an audience dancing and leaping around like loons.
This is a band who more than know how to have a good time, yet don’t take themselves overly seriously with songs, and between-song banter interjected with a fair share of humour. Yet don’t let that take anything away from the fact that these guys can seriously play, whether it’s Ryan Thundersmith driving the beat that the tunes hang on or Pete Briley shifting from slide guitar to steel or to banjo and mixing up the rock ‘n’ roll with a fair share of good old boy bluegrass.
As a band, they seem capable of throwing anything into the mix and making it work, and that was proven by a tongue-in-cheek dip into the Proclaimers 500 Miles, which had everyone singing.
But the The Outlaw Orchestra more than have their own songs which last long in the memory, whether it’s the likes of Too Much Willie Nelson, or Rollin’ Stone with its strong sway and Banjo picking or Chicken Fried Snake and See You In Hell where the guitar riffing and solo’s of Dave Roux came to the fore.
This is a band that knows how to deliver and keep an audience hanging onto every note played. This was quite simply a triumphant performance.
Unfortunately, I had to miss the end of the set as I had to go to interview the Sons of Liberty, although I was quite happily hopping away from the stage as Send Some Whisky Home followed me. I, for one, will definitely be catching The Outlaw Orchestra again. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.
Maid Of Stone Festival 2023 was held over the weekend of 21-23 July 2023. MetalTalk’s Adrian Stonley, Paul Monkhouse and Robert Sutton were reporting from Mote Park.
All Photography: Robert Sutton
Early Bird tickets are available for next year’s festival held over 19-21 July 2024. Tickets are available from here.
All MetalTalk Maid Of Stone 2023 coverage is at https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/maid-of-stone-festival-2023