Home Gigs Gig Review : Rock & Blues Custom Show, Pentrich, Derbyshire. Saturday 30th July 2022.

Gig Review : Rock & Blues Custom Show, Pentrich, Derbyshire. Saturday 30th July 2022.

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Review by Lindsay Smith for MPM

I expected the frenetic pace and high energy of last night’s headliners HEAT, who had the crowd bouncing and singing along, to allow for a slow and steady start from the festival goers on the final day of Rock & Blues Custom Show but I was wrong.

As the sun beat down on the outdoor stage, Rat Faced Lewey took up the pace where Heat left off. The trio got everyone’s attention as they delivered a set packed with attitude and energy.

The smooth running of the outdoor stage by Chris and Co is seamless as Bourbon Hitcher played their own blend of rock and blues.

It was good to see so many families sat watching, children dancing round playing air guitars and drums with one or two trainee photographers in their midst too. A truly family friendly festival.

Heading into the main arena, New Generation Superstars who have played the festival more than any other band over recent years (6 times) showed why they are invited back time and again as they drew people out of the sunshine to listen to their own fast paced, punk edged rock and roll set.

Another band with a fabulous reputation for their live performances, Takeaway Thieves noodled and riffed their way through their set with bang on vocals from Pete Mcloughlin delivering a melodic but gritty performance.

Supported by The Outlaws motorcycle organisation, part of the festival is a custom bike show and the crowds gathered to watch the presentations giving a break in the music.

The pride shown by these owners, the hours spent customising their bikes, chrome glinting in the sunshine, the roar of the engines showing that these are not just for decoration, Harley’s, Hondas, and custom builds which, as the prizes are given, get an honour lap around the site.

But it is back to the music we go now with new commers Kira Mac bringing the blues / country rock to the main stage. A couple of songs which have received extensive airplay on Planet Rock, ‘Dead Man Walking’ and ‘One Way Ticket’ brought the crowd in to hear this promising band.

Throwing in a cover or two kept the crowd’s interest as with any new bands with new music, festivals can be difficult, but Kira Mac had them from the first song and held on to them throughout.

More female fronted fabulousness with Muddi Brooke on the outdoor stage. The band from Derby had brought a few fans and many more left as fans after a blistering set

My first time seeing them ad I am sure it will not be my last.

How do you follow that? With Florence Black of course!!

Every time I see Welsh trio Florence Black all the way from Merthyr Tydfil, they consistently provide romping rock and roll at its finest. Tristan Thomas can not just belt out the vocals but lead the riffs with dexterity and attitude, a big sound filling the air from bass man Jordan Evans and Perry Davies smashing the skins to send the rhythm section to the forefront on many occasions.

I do think this band have a big future and if their fan base grows much more, they’ll need an even bigger main stage tent to have them back here at Rock and Blues.

The 501’s kept the outdoor stage buzzing with more classic rock and roll as the band held their own whilst Florence Black took the main stage hostage.

As the heat started to recede on the main stage it was sent up to 100 again as burlesque dance troop Reenies Rockettes smouldered and danced their way through their performance to prove no matter what your age, what your size, what your confidence level is, you can be amazing, you can look amazing and you can be appreciated for who you are. Bravo…

Ferocious Dog are well known in this part of the country hailing from Worksop, with their distinctive folk-rock style. From accordions to Banjo’s and violins, the songs vary from shanty style to punk, all with a generous topping of Rock.

Good live bands leave you with their songs, the hooks and melody humming through your head and a feeling of euphoria and Ferocious Dog certainly tick all the boxes.

Their songs are storytelling, from miners lives through Thatcher’s 80’s the grittiness and poignancy of some of their songs leave a long-lasting impression. I am certain that this band will be back at Rock and Blues, the reaction from those watching was just brilliant.

Closing the outdoor stage for 2022 were Stormbringer. As the name suggests, a hard and heavy dose of rock, the riffs are splintering, and the general feel of the music is hard classic rock.

Keeping a good crowd even when the temperature drops in the late evening with darkness falling is always a challenge to the band and this one was challenge accepted and accomplished.

Closing the main stage are tonight’s headliners and Rock and Blues veterans Reef. Always welcomed back with opened arms Gary looked delighted to be back as he took to the stage, a strong and dynamic frontman, the band crank up the volume, with Jack Bessant on bass, Jesse Wood and Amy Newton on guitar duties and Luke Bullen on drums.

A very popular choice of songs had all the crowd eating out of his hands as Gary stalked the front of the stage, pointing and waving at friends and acquaintances as they performed tracks from their 15+ years together.

Throwing in a cover of Fleetwood Macs ‘The Chain’ sounded fabulous but it was their own fan favourites ‘Revelation’ and ‘Place Your Hands’ that nailed it. 22 songs on the setlist, 22 reasons to smile and enjoy, Reef absolutely smashed their set.

They looked happy and relaxed giving 100% and playing some new music too to keep the true fans happy. A fabulous way to close out one of the most fabulous weekends of the year.

Festivals do seem to all come along at once but trust me when I say that if you come to Rock & Blues Custom show, you will be joining a friendly and hospitable community of devoted music fans who go full out to ensure that the young, the old, the abled bodied, the not so able are all treated equally, all treated very well and all made to feel part of a family.

The bikes are a huge bonus too, a part of one of the best weekends you will have all year. Let’s keep live music alive and thriving here in the Derbyshire countryside.

The pedigree of bands that appear at Rock and Blues Custom Show reads like a who’s who of the rock world, (Saxon, Y&T, Dead Daisies, British Lion to name but a few) the variety of genres is breath taking but it’s the community, the respect and the values that ensure these bands keep coming back.

Show your support and get those tickets bought and I will see you next year at the bar.

If you are in a band, a promotor or Agent, please check out the website to apply to play at this wonderful weekend in 2023.



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