After a fabulous first day it was what felt like a very early start to the second day. The coffee house and the bar were already busy and the introducing stage had a good number in ready for the start.
HOLLOWSTAR opened the main stage and used the size of it to the best of their ability. The sound in the main arena is so good and hearing the band flood out the room to the very corners was amazing.
Worthy winners of the introducing stage in 2019 and the crowd were 100% behind them.
The Tazmanian Devil himself, ROB TOGNONI is a favourite here with the Giants crowd and he certainly can play that guitar! Always a pleasure to see Rob and his band throw down some up-tempo blues.
Over on the introducing stage, CROW BLACK CHICKEN were throwing some blues down themselves but these were the southern and sludgy in their tone.
I could only catch a couple of songs but was mightily impressed especially with the vocals from Christy O’Hanlon. Fortunately, the guys from Cork will be doing it all again as this year’s winners so will be on the main stage in 2021.
BAND OF FRIENDS are a band I knew very little about other than they deliver a celebration of the music of Rory Gallagher were next up on the main stage, but these guys are way more than a tribute act.
With the sad loss of Ted Mckenna I wasn’t sure if the band would keep going but they have and the sound is immense. How does something emitting from just the 3 band members sound so huge and so full of energy.
True professionals and a truly inspiring performance. An authentic Rory experience which left me with goose bumps.
RIVER HOUNDS had gathered a large crowd in the Introducing stage. The London based band who really do epitomise the best of UK Rock with their sound gave out the classic rock vibes a plenty.
It was a fleeting listen to them play but I will go and catch them out and about when I am able as they did leave a lasting impression on me.
Heading over to Reds I was surprised to see the room absolutely packed! STRAY’s reputation had obviously proceeded them as I managed to get round to the pit.
Del Bromham on guitar and vocals held my attention from the get go, what a fabulous personality as well as performer, the whole band had an infectious energy about them. What a wall of sound, wave upon wave of blues filled rock and roll full of groove and a degree of musicality which just sounded so good.
‘Houdini’ stuck in my mind particularly with some tasty drumming going on too and ‘Double Six’ with its rumbling full on grooving bass line and keyboards surfacing repeatedly throughout sounded equally splendid. How do these guys find so much energy from! Amazing and a new fan gained.
LOZ CAMPBELL hit the other end of the age spectrum of performers here at Minehead as she played the introducing stage and impressed those there with her bluesy rock with some grunge thrown in for good measure.
Impressive guitar skills to say the least and some good catchy songs. Again it was just a fleeting listen and I hope to see her again soon.
VOODOO VEGAS are a band I have seen several times and always enjoy. They were very late onto the introducing stage due to a mishap with their van as in mixing the fuels apparently means the van wont work! So somewhat rushed getting themselves on the stage and ripping into their opening song the band pulled out all the stops to engage the crowd from the off.
Classic rock played well and a singer who can hold a note and a crowd, is always a winning combination and when you can settle into your set so quickly with little / no soundcheck, it proved the band are professional and able to perform at the drop of a hat. Awesome job guys.
LES BINKS’ PRIESTHOOD was one of the bands I had been really looking forward to seeing this weekend.
The ex-Judas Priest drummer has assembled a fine body of musicians together with a young dynamic singer who has a huge vocal range and without imitating Halford, he can certainly belt out the songs at an impressive level.
Playing some of the songs that he played on with Priest I enjoyed what I managed to catch more than I thought I would even.
COLD SILVER have to have a mention even though I really did only catch half a song. Their drummer Zak was in a car crash the night before and had broke his hand in the crash but instead of the band pulling out, they played! Zak played one handed and did a phenomenal job! The south west guys have a dark bluesy sound with the classic rock and roll riffs and composition very evident. I hope the hand heals well Zak!
BERNIE MARSDEN’S HERITAGE ROCK SHOW was going to fill Reds with fans and it certainly did. It was rammed! The lovely thing about Giants of Rock and their centre stage and Reds are that they have loads of seating around the room and also great views so you can pick your perch and just stay there if you choose.
The staff are so lovely and everyone really seems to be enjoying themselves. Add into that the fabulous Mr Marsden and what could be possibly better on a miserable and soggy Saturday night.
Bernie is the joker, entertaining with stories and with his music. So many songs to go at and all delivered in his own style.
His talent has always been with the songs and his legendary guitar playing is astonishing and the band are all truly remarkable too. I didn’t want to leave but with the centre stage striking up again, I tore myself away.
It is back to the rich blues vocals of DEBORAH BONHAM and her bunch of talented musicians.
I first saw her 2 years ago, it must have been here at Giants and I went home and bought some of her albums. The lady has such a beautiful tone to her voice, like velvet but it also shimmers like satin. Just beautiful and powerful. A blues delight, full of soul but with a heart pulsating with rock.
Rock and roll is in her genes and she is possibly the best there is out there right now. Flavours of country and folk fall from the music too. I don’t know what to say except if you are not familiar with her music, go and take a listen, go and catch her live.
In total and utter contrast to the richness of the blues courtesy of Ms Bonham, next up in Reds was DIAMOND HEAD.
Having seen them at some major festivals last year I was delighted they were playing Giants of Rock. Rasmus Bom Andersen has the voice, the band consisting of Karl Wilcox relentlessly pounding the drums, Dean Ashton laying down the basslines and Abbz splintering the rafters with some mighty hooks and riffs, have the music, Brian Tatler certainly has that guitar down to a fine art (total understatement!), hypnotic to watch and always looking like he loves every moment, and of course they have the classic songs.
A new album last year ‘Coffin Train’ did not dispel the classic rock sound and I am always happy to catch the band live. Any guesses for the last song of the 11 song set list? Am I Evil? And did it sound awesome – yep.
HAWKWIND have played Giants of Rock before and last time they were in a haze of purple lights and back lit screen and I couldn’t have even told you who was in the band but tonight was in complete contrast.
A changed line up since the afore mentioned and I one that not only sounded good but I could actually see! Probably one of the bands who have been around the longest, some 50 plus years forming in 1969, they have a strong following who delight in their prog rock of which they truly are the masters.
Little can be said here that you don’t know already. Computers everywhere and a masterful mirage of music encompassing their career had the centre stage arena loving every minute.
The two headliners tonight are THE QUIREBOYS on Reds and PAT MCMANUS on the Centre Stage
THE QUIREBOYS are the party band. Good time rock and roll doused with blues, Spike as always a jolly soul, swirling and lurching around the stage, chatting to the crowd between songs, drinking a little and enjoying himself.
The band of Paul, Guy and Keith just show every time they perform why the pack out venues across the UK and Europe constantly. It’s simple rock and roll full of hooks, catchy chorus and sing along songs.
There is nothing to dislike – Always a band to make you smile and laugh. No better way to finish the evening on the Reds stage. A must to close out a night, drink a little and have a good singsong.
PAT MCMANUS is from the same cast but with more blues thrown in – not so much sing along but tap your foot along and nod your head appreciatively.
The 3-piece band allow their music to hit every corner of the centre stage arena from guitars to fiddle.
The master at work allowing himself to get lost in the music. Smiling or head thrown back as he riffs it up. What a fabulous way to close out the day.
Exhausted but on a high, it had been an absolutely fabulous day which when I had originally looked at the line-up hadn’t ticked all the boxes for me but on reflection it had been really good. Well done to the clever booking people and to Butlins. I couldn’t fault anyone on the line up. All impressive and thoroughly enjoyable.
Review & Photography by Lindsay Smith for MPM