A festival on top of a hill in the Peak District, mid September after four days of rain and severe storm warnings sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, but this years Rec Rock Festival turned out to be one of the best festivals of the season.
A purely for charity event, this 3 day festival saw some of the best upcoming bands from the UK playing across three stages, along with a host of family themed events and a selection of food and drink at reasonable prices.
Friday nights entertainment got off to a slow start as people arrived and set up camp, but the Tim Peaks stage was soon rocking to a rare appearance from Feed The Kid who have gone through a couple of line-up changes and have spent the last few months in the recording studio writing new material. The new material sounds good with a nod towards a new country.
This first nights line-up was probably the strongest of the weekend with The Blinders and Cabbage playing back to back at the end of the evening and packing out the main stage. Cabbage are already on the way headline status and The Blinders who’s electric lives shows just get better and better are not far behind them, it was quite a coup for Rec Rock to get them both. It won’t be long before arena size gigs are the only chance you’ll get to see them.
The sun shone on Saturday and all three stages were operating, with our own Flick Of The Finger Stage hosting a number of, hotly tipped acts including Sam Carson, Types and Mesch. The ever popular No Hot Ashes headlined here and with their massive fan base are surely on the brink of big things, their funk based set had the crowd dancing in the fields.
Another band attracting a lot of attention, Bolton’s Jade Assembly played the tea time slot at Tim Peaks drawing a big crowd, before Liverpool’s Queen Zee and the Sasstones played. Originally due to play on Friday, Queen Zee kicked off to a virtually empty tent but by the end of the set the place was rammed with even Tommy Scott and the rest of headline band Space struggling to catch a glimpse of Queen Zee’s amazing energetic performance.
By late evening when the camp-fires had been lighted, head liners Space arrived on stage with that great front man Tommy Scott charming the crowd. Female Of The Species saw the crowd go wild with Tommy handing out the microphone for fans to join in. It was a great end to the nights live acts and as people headed over to the dance tent, Tommy Scott was still chatting and posing for selfies surrounded by a crowd of admirers.
Sunday’s line-up appeared on paper to be the weakest but turned out to be one of the most diverse and entertaining. First up were the legendary Piccadilly Rats who’s performances have been variously been described as wacky and dodgy! Today they were in great form with Gaz,Tommy and Ray belting out some classic rock and roll accompanied by some ace dance moves.
The 99 Degree, another hotly tipped Manchester band played a blistering set at Tim Peaks before it seemed most of the crowd moved out into the fields to catch James Holt on the Flick of the Finger Takerover stage. James a singer/songwriter from Bolton who has been tipped by Brian Eno as someone destined for great things, performed a superb set with his band, great tunes with thought provoking lyrics.
With the festival moving towards a close, focus moved back to the main Barn Stage where Liverpool’s Bad Mood played a powerful and moody grungy set, with iconic looking front-man Liam Devall at his confrontational best.
Final head-liners of the day were The G-O-D a band steeped in Manchester music history with former Dub Sex member Chris Bridgett on vocals and guitar, and drummer Simon Wolstencroft who has turned down all of Manchester’s big bands at some time over the past 35 years. The G-O-D’s set was perfect, danceable rock and roll music for a late sunny Sunday afternoon, a fitting end to a wonderful festival.
A brief mention must go to all the people involved in putting Rec Rock on, despite all that the weather could throw at them in the days preceding the start ,they brought us a safe well managed festival with a great eclectic line up and many varied events and attractions making it a truly family event……and the best paint fight ever!!