Raising money for the Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund.
Ferocious Dog. It was only a few songs into their set before I was in the mosh pit having the time of my life with people who, although I didn't know at the time, would soon become friends. And it was one of the fans (the Hell Hounds) who was responsible for organising this cracking little one day festival to raise money for a cause close to our hearts, the Lee Bonsall Memorial Fund. The fund supports local charities while raising awareness of the dangers of PTSD in ex service personnel, all in memory of Lee; son of lead singer Ken and brother of fiddle player Dan.
Although a one day affair, the clans started arriving at the campsite the day before and a pleasant jam around the fire went on until a bit of rain sent us off to bed. Saturday dawned fine revealing a campsite in a beautiful location overlooking the Derwent Valley with basic shower and toilet facilities plus the lovely Nana's Kitchen catering tent serving good food, teas, cakes and soft drinks and a huge barn furnished with a stage at one end and a bar selling ciders and meads along one side (more of that later). Just add a bunch of nutters and a frankly amazing lineup of bands and you have the recipe for the corking day this turned out to be.
Black Thorn, another group of talented youngsters banging out some great folky rock and even braving a version of Ferocious Dog's own 'Hell Hounds' which got a few the dancers chancing an early mini-mosh. Their own material is superb with 'Psychic Sally' being one of my favourites and I liked the novel rhythm section with guitarist on kick drum and bassist on high hat. The smoke machine in the kick drum puffing smoke out of the top with every kick was a novel touch and it even managed a perfect smoke ring a couple of times.
|Andrew 'El Barto' Hawkins|
|New Groove Formation|
|Brad Dear Band|
Karen had nipped off for a quick break after New Groove and came back to find a bunch of us whirling like mad things with beards dyed orange and a distinct lack of decorum. I've rarely got so wellied so quickly and it was only the timely intervention of my much better half and gallons of water that stopped me going the same way as Dean and sleeping the rest of the afternoon away. Thus I feel unable to comment with any authority on Brad's set but I know we were all having a bloody good time. The perveyors of the mead on the other hand have taken this reputation and run with it. They have now rebranded as MeadEvil and can be found at future festivals if you dare.
|Seven Little Sisters|
Sometimes it just takes someone pretty amazing to create something rather special and worthwhile all at the same time. These things don't happen by magic and I know Lisa and Paul went through a fair bit of stress to pull it off. All I can say is thanks. It was utterly gorgeous and apparently raised a respectable 640 quid or so for an excellent cause.
Please check out Alan's review and Snotface's photos: