Hawkwind at The Wychwood Festival 2012
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Day two - The Wychwood Festival 2012 - 09.06.12

It was a little bit more of a relaxed atmosphere as I headed down to Cheltenham Racecourse for the second day of the wonderful Wychwood Festival with the picture-perfect backdrop of Cleeve Hill. Against all the odds, the rain had held off and by late afternoon it was positively balmy!

Our final act for the weekend on the BBC Introducing stage were Worcester's East Of The Sun, who've been attracting rave reviews from the music industry over the last year or so for their great blues-rocking numbers like Wanderlust, Falling Down and Clearwater. Russ and the boys have been through a few name changes over the years, from Volume One to Unkle Monty, but have stuck to the same formula that's been winning them a lot of band battles - looking good for the future.

Now I know they're out of area and it wasn't a 'local' gig but once or twice a year Andrew cuts me a little slack. Wychwood have been trying to get the legendary Hawkwind to play for a few years now and while I thought this was a fine set from the original punk rockers, I can understand why the diehards were a bit disappointed in their choice of numbers. Just about everything except Assassins and Damnation Alley must have been unfamiliar to a probably 50%-ish family-type audience who'd mostly probably never heard of them. I don't think it would have hurt to throw in one or two of their great classics like Spirit Of The Age, Shot Down At Night or Levitation - and there were plenty of shouts for Silver Machine - but that's Dave Brock for you!

Saturday headliners were the incredible Manchester veterans James and I was particularly impressed when between numbers frontman Tim Booth went around the band asking what their first gig had been - Hawkwind of course! I was very taken with newer numbers like Walking On Fire, but not so much with their slightly too-laid-back Sit Down - all forgiven, though, with all-time favourite Laid. But I have to say this set really stood out for me as I watched the International Space Station cross perfectly from right to left over the stage half-way through - but I'm pretty sure I was the only one in 5000+ crowd who noticed!

Andy O'Hare

Local gigs and music CD reviews

  • 22 Jan 2013