Rocking across the Bay @ Planet Rockstock
Rocking across the Bay, it must be the first week in December, Trecco Bay, Porthcawl and Planet Rockstock hits town the rocking jamboree from Planet Rock with three days and nights of live music. Bluesdoodles had a rocking good time Rockstock is a brilliantly organised festival, thanks to the hard work, smiles of everyone involved backs stage and throughout the resort. The sound was of the highest quality, the lighting electrified the stage, change over between the bands was kept to a minimum and the background music entertained, the Trecco Crew where helpful serving us coffee, food, beer always with a smile. When Stage 1 was silent during the day there was plenty of music on stage two, a quiz, auditions for Darren’s DIY band. This made the festival friendly, fun and a pleasure to be part of – now what about the rock music.
Rocking across the Bay – Friday Night:-
… the stage was set and the film reel rolled as a dramatic opening for the festival using Star Wars to relate the history whetting our appetites as we cheered for the first of many times the exploits of Wyatt and his magnificent Bike ride to Trecco Bay raising over £33, 000 for the nominated charity CALM. Then Inglorious hit the stage at a high-octane speed with real energy. Inglorious packed a punchy set and the forthcoming self-titled album is waited with even more anticipation by many who heard the band play live for the first time. Inglorious have been getting loads of attention including airplay on Planet Rock and they didn’t disappoint. Breakaway their single was played with rocky riffs and Nathan’s vocals are the perfect tonal shape and control to front a rock band that means business and wants to excite. The debut self-titled album will be in demand when released in February 2016.
What a start how to follow that with blues that rock courtesy of South African mega-guitarist Dan Patlansky and he rocked the blues out of Trecco bay. The wind may have been howling outside but inside it was the guitar storm that had everyone mesmerised. Focusing on the deft lay of fingers on the six strings, we heard from the album Dear Silence Thieves. Every time I hear him pay live I feel the passion and the music just gets better his manipulation of the six strings, in fact the whole guitar needs to be seen to be believed. You know when he starts to manipulate the guitar strings you are going to hear and see dynamic guitar that is magic. What a start with young guns on the UK music scene igniting the stage.
Dan Patlansky Gallery
The Dead Daisies, a supergroup that plays rock they want to share and enjoy the interaction with the audience keeping the music fresh and live. Mixing original tracks including some from latest album Revolucion including the single Mexico they added there take on Hush getting in some crowd participation and All Right Now. John Corabi’s vocals were stunning having joined the band in 2015 he fitted perfectly and the 12 string acoustic added another tonal texture. The line-up is fluid tonight we saw a group of musicians who play to the crowd who just want to join in the fun full of energy a music collective that works this is a group that plays classic rock playing such great songs.
The Dead Daisies Gallery
Closing the night were FM; regulars at Rockstock who closed the night with live music that ensured Friday night rocked; now for Saturday.
After auditions a short time to practice before the stage lights shone on Darren’s DIY band Iron Made-Up, taking a leaf out of The Dead Daisies the line-up varied not for a tour but for each song! This was Carosel rock – Foo Fighters, Learn To Fly with Wyatt on Drums rather than a bike! Sounded really good a cracking idea for a festival high-grade audience participation. Then re-building the drum kit for right-handed Kim as she kicked off the beat and Darren completed the rhythm section for I love Rock n Roll all too soon it was Living After Midnight with a flavour of Judas Priest. This is festival fun without mayhem and then the extra number with another line-up Si King and friends performing Wishing Well, what a great start to the Saturday night musical fun.
Rocking across the Bay – Saturday Night:-
DIY Band – Gallery
Last year they rocked Stage Two and back again by popular demand on Stage One Gun Metal Gray. This is a young heavy rock band that gets deep into the groove of rock they distill the essence of rock in every beat and the lyrics. With the title track of the album played with verve and passion no wonder the merch desk was stormed as fans made tonight wanted a copy to take home.
Gun Metal Gray Gallery
They were followed by Heaven’s Basement who performed rock fuelled with British influence and sharp lyrics as they sang and shredded tracks including Lights Out in London and I Am Electric. The tempo rose and eased back on the throttle with bluesy influences and this is Rock n Roll that opens up the gates of hell rather than heaven!
Heaven’s Basement Gallery
The blues today was handled by Joanne Shaw Taylor a rarity at the festival a trio where the focus was on a guitar and a woman performer. JST is no power trio, Joanne handles the fender with authentic R N B and lead breaks that take you deep into the land of music. Delighted that in the pick of tracks from her current album The Dirty Truth she played Wrecking Ball one of my favourites. Joanne distilled her emotional energy and angst deep into the guitar and her vocals rolled around the auditorium as she sang Tried Tested and True a low autobiographical number with a sharp quip at the beginning. More fans were won over to the blues side of rock tonight with her singing and guitar playing.
Joanne Shaw Taylor Gallery
See more Photographs of Joanne Shaw Taylor Bluesdoodles Photography HERE
Then the headliners of the evening Rival Sons, the anticipation rose the standing area became a packed crush once again we all wanted to be up close and personal with this fantastic band the buzz at Rockstock rose to a crescendo of joy. Opening with Electric Man from Great Western Valkyrie the band hit a high note with a barnstorming opening and the crowds sung along and screamed with collective shared pleasure. This is a band that puts on a show and Jay gets the crowd excited with the crowd continuing to sing along after the song finishes the guitar playing rocked and rolled around the chords and the slide from guitarist Scott Holiday using a gun shape slide on his ring finger courtesy of Jetslide Guitar Slides all adds to the rocking event that is Rival Sons. Music comes first with layers of sound and then the rocking cherry on top of a stage show and presence that makes Rival Sons the complete rock package.
Rival Sons Gallery
All too soon a rollicking Saturday night came to an end with everyone very satisfied, having enjoyed an array of bands during the day.
Sunday got off to a great start on Stage Two with Buffalo Summer and Cairo Sons being mentioned as the pick of the bands in lots of conversations why they played music that hit the spot and added layers of rock tone to the proceedings with some individuality and many were disappointed that Buffalo Summer ran out of CDs the demand outdid supply.
Rocking across the Bay – Sunday Night:-
Sunday evening on Stage One kicked off with Scorpion Child and finished with The Darkness with a full range of bands interpretations of rock in between. Scorpion Child’s use of synth keys to add to the rhythm section combined with punchy riffs from lead guitar caught your attention. This was a short set and may not have given the band scope to expand and shape the music. They certainly opened the evening and got the crowds in a rocking mood.
Scorpion Child Gallery
Many were excited to hear Crobot, for me this was the band that impressed me the least over the weekend. For me the head banging and antics on stage did nothing to add and in a way disguised the quality of the music. The bass player’s attire or lack of it left nothing to the imagination. As ever music is subjective and many loved them.
Danko Jones a rare power trio followed as he delivered fast furious and frantic rock. Danko’s tongue curled around and shaped the lyrics ass he spat them out like crushed gravel, Danko Jones knew how to entertain with quips and songs that connect to a Sunday night crowd who wanted the music to be fun this is music from a stalwart of a festival a crowd pleaser.
Danko Jones Gallery
Fozzy up next another powerful entrance with Chris Jericho wearing a jacket of jewels that glittered like a Christmas Tree. This is a band full of the theatrical combined with heavy metal that wanted the crowd tonight at Planet Rockstock to participate and we were happy to oblige. This was a set of heavy, grungy sound, it was a great set full of hefty numbers and then a great take on ABBA’s SOS. Proving once again a great song written well can be reinterpreted across the spectrum that is music. For a few minutes there was a sixth member – Gregory in the crowd who held the microphone, this is festival fun at its best combined with music that went down a storm.
All too soon it was the final set of Planet Rockstock 2015 – The Darkness. Justin Hawkins in a silky suit and his hair cropped ruled the stage and the audience. They blew the roof off with the opening number, despite the sound on vocals being poor. This was quickly rectified. Then the snare drum was replaced but the banter between Justin and the audience was entertainment in itself as Rufus Taylor the drummer and crew sorted the drum kit into working order once again. The high notes from Justin were electrifying and adding a cowbell and this certainly is a band with chemistry. British Rocking and rolling that pleases closing the festival on a high energy riff that will sustain us all until next year.
Bluesdoodles, had fun heard bands live for the first time took far too many photographs and met many people. Bluesdoodles says hi to you all and a special shout out and thank you to Claire and Vincent from Coventry who stood up front he whole weekend and made sure that I could get back up front to take the photographs that hopefully captures the essence of the weekend.
The Darkness Gallery
Planet Rockstock organisers deserve applause and all the plaudits as they managed to weave the variations within the rock family and created a festival where bands reflect the wide ranging tastes of everyone. Talking to people there was approval for the guitar wizardry of Joanne Shaw Taylor and Dan Patlansky from the Blues corner – Gun Metal Gray for many was the band of the weekend also mentioned in dispatches must be Rivals Sons and The Dead Daisies. Summing up Planet Rockstock in three words, organised rocking fun. Rocking across the bay 2016 is going to be even more fun until then there is wall to wall rock playing over at Planet Rock Radio.