Home Gigs Gig Review: Rockin the Bowl ROCKS CHESTERFIELD 10th September 2022   

Gig Review: Rockin the Bowl ROCKS CHESTERFIELD 10th September 2022   

22 min read

Review by Maria Glover for MPM

After the devastating cancellation of this year’s Rockin The Bowl festival, a couple of venues stepped up to host 3 events on the same weekend and I was lucky enough to cover the main event for MPM on Saturday at County Music Bar.

Pete K Mally was compere still and a fantastic weekend of live music shook Chesterfield and Sheffield (Sunday) to their core.

The County is on a main road in sleepy Chesterfield, just a short walk from the main shops and market, and surrounded by other pubs.

There is a courtyard out back which has sofas and picnic tables, and there we have a merch stand for Rockin The Bowl and food in the form of Tacos. The bar staff are friendly and efficient and queueing is well-controlled. The security are miserable but that’s often the case, and to be honest I think I would be, given the job.

The sound system and tech are superb and I don’t notice any problems throughout the day. Landlord and lady Phil and Lauren were pleased to open the doors for a warm up event Friday night and the main event Saturday. It’s jam packed inside and out, and it’s turned into a decent day weatherwise so great to get some fresh air between bands and mingle.

Pete is incomparable as compere, funny and charming and with a genuine love for the scene and trying his best to abide by his orders from security to keep a walkway open and keep us all safe as well as happy. Well done all and thank you for a great day.

And to Steve and Zhany – Long Live Rockin The Bowl.

King Voodoo opened the day at 12-midday and what a way to start! A relatively new band the Liverpool-based foursome was brought together by lead guitarist Ian Johnson in 2019 but their performance belies that and is polished and tight, like they’ve been together for years, and boy can they make a hell of a racket to shake the windows in their frames.

I only discovered them a couple of months ago but I fell in love with their sound. The vocals are incredibly soulful and spellbind me with a primal instinct that I need to hear more.

The bass and drums are powerful and the guitar work sublime, the audience are entranced and moving as one. I absolutely adore this band so, if you haven’t already, go take a listen and #bemorevoodoo

King Voodoo setlist: Whiskey Drive, Fever, TVC, Left Alone, The Sid, Belief in Yourself, Drag Me To The Water.
Website: https://kingvoodoo.co.uk/

Local band Baranovich are on top form and have generated a crowd by themselves. Very much a classic rock band, these guys have been together a while now but have had changes in line-up.

On vocals, Steve Baranovich has a lovely mellow voice and the lead guitarist lays down some serious riffs as Myke on rhythm guitar adds muscle, and this is all underpinned by a mighty bass and drums. This is the best I’ve seen these guys play.

As always there’s interaction with the audience and joking around on the stage and this all adds to their charisma. ‘Hyde’ is my favourite track of theirs, a hefty bassline and catchy chorus, and they throw in a promising new number ‘Invincible’. Great show lads.

Baranovich setlist: Have a Nice Day, Fire In The Sky, Hyde, Astray, All Gave Some, Invincible, Firing on All Cyclinders, R & R Ending
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Baranovichrocks

One of the most prolific local bands, the downright exceptional Lowdrive are my highlight of the day. As they take to the stage the atmosphere is electric in the packed-out small room.

I can just about see singer Andy Sawf ‘s head as their grungy stoner rock anthems billow out across the room towards me, engulfing the audience who are clearly loving every second. It’s almost spiritual to be part of it.

This is a band who never fail to impress and I’m delighted to see the crowd eating up their performance. The vocals are gruff and so deep they are near-cavernous, Andy cool AF and seemingly effortless, and the songs are simply addictive as the repetitive lyrics force you to sing along, the heavy beat pounding through your veins.

John Hodgson on guitar is one of the most under-rated musicians I’ve come across. Standouts for me are ‘Into The Light’ and ‘Roller’, which is simply class and a track that I still can’t get enough of several years down the line.

Once again, I want to shout from the rooftops how great Lowdrive are, and too few people are talking about them so spread the word!

Lowdrive setlist: Into The Light, Last Stand, Fallen Saviour, Rise, Roller, Shield Wall
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Lowdrivemusic

The mighty trio Blitz take charge next and this Nottingham band are regular supports across the region so are quite well known to the audience.

For 3 guys they make a colossal crash and bang; Stuart’s grizzly vocals supported by the talented Kev Simpson on guitar and one of my favourite drummers, Matt, these guys are a force to be reckoned with.

They have a natural charm and easy way with the crowd as they belt through a short but impressive set. Stand out track for me is always ‘One In A Million’ with its chugging bass.

If you like no-nonsense rock n roll with a touch of sleaze or glam on the side, this is the band for you.

Blitz setlist: Damage, Don’t Look Back, One in a Million, 99 Ways, Party Time, I Believe (They Can’t Take Our Rock n Roll)
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/blitzrockbanduk/

With powerhouse vocalist Annabelle, Circus 66 have no difficulty engaging with the audience and open with ‘Jekyll or Hyde’ from their debut album ‘Follow The Black Crow’.

The vocals range between subtle and sultry to an all out fierce roar, accompanied by some dangerously alluring riffage and a deep-rooted bassline. Lyrics are relatable and catchy, the melodies seep into your mind easily, and the performance is fluid and animated. Definitely one to watch out for.

Circus 66 setlist: Jekyll or Hyde, A Little Piece of Magic, A Thousand Miles From Home, Take a Shot, Monster, Prince of California, When The Black Crow Flies
Website: http://circus66.com

The Outlaw Orchestra are one of the most diverse and brilliant bands on the scene and, with their own brand of southern-inspired rock and roll, they cause insurrection and mayhem wherever they go with just about every instrument you can think of including a trusty banjo and mandolin.

Despite hailing from the deep south (of England) this band are no strangers here and are well known and obviously well loved by this audience as I cannot get anywhere near enough to see even the top of Dave’s hat! This band are immensely talented but so humble and down to earth, and their love for what they do shines bright on the stage.

They easily take over the whole place from the first note with their full throttle performance.  The superbly titled ‘Chicken Fried Snake’ was the first single from their ‘Pantomime Villains’ album and is heavy on the banjo and drums, reverberating round the room and bouncing off the ceiling as the audience goes wild. The vocals are spot on, deep and rich and full of life.

Their sound is a bit country, bluegrass and bluesy and their genius has to be seen to be believed. ‘See You In Hell’ is a fantastic track and so much fun that I fear the Chesterfield crooked spire may fall down altogether from the hoe-down shenanigans.

Check them out today, you won’t be disappointed but you may end up spending a lot of money on their back catalogue and merch. #BlameItOnTheHorse

The Outlaw Orchestra are set to release their new cover album ‘Back Under The Covers’ on September 30th 2022.

The Outlaw Orchestra setlist: Back to Georgia, Done My Time, See You in Hell, Chicken Fried Snake, Iron Fist, Send Some Whiskey Home, Come Together, Whiskey Drinkin’ Liar, Blame It On The Horse
Website: https://www.theoutlaworchestra.com/

More than a few Trucker Diablo t-shirts adorn the room, here for the chunky riffs, big choruses and hulking performance by the Irish lads.  Their ‘Tail End of a Hurricane’ album, recorded between lockdowns and released in May 2021, has received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike.

They have an arena swagger and quality which is absorbed by the relatively tiny room today and yet again I, as a short-arse, can see nothing of the stage.

As expected, they set the crowd alight with a gloriously blistering performance, from fan favourite ‘Drink Beer Destroy’ (and a little ‘Proud Mary’) to new track ‘Dig’. This is a band who have finely honed their craft and are consistently superb at what they do.

Trucker Diablo setlist: The Rebel, Plwsteotw, Let’s Just Ride, Rock Kids, Fighting For Everything, Drink Beer Destroy, Insects, Dig, Drive, Rock Hallelujah
Website: http://bigtruckkeepsonrolling.com

Leicester’s finest export Skam are up there with the best of the best in the new wave of classic rock genre. This is another band who make a massive wall of sound with just 3 guys, albeit 3 very gifted musicians.

The band consist of brothers Steve Hill (vocals and guitar) and Neal Hill (drums) with Matt Gilmore (bass). Steve is a consummate frontman with a cool demeanour and natural stage presence, a fine vocalist, and boy can he play the life out of that guitar.

They open their set with ‘Circles’ with a deliciously fuzzy guitar and melodic vocal, and they are just compelling. 

The audience join in on ‘Take It or Leave It’ which is perhaps the most fun you can have fully dressed and in a crowd, and ‘Bring The Rain’ is simply anthemic. They close a brilliant set with ‘No Lies’ from their debut album, where it all began 10 years ago.

They have riffs that batter down your defences and supercharged vocals, shimmering harmonies and a sinful beat. They have it all.

Skam setlist: Circles, Take It or Leave It, One Track Mind, Iron Cross, Deadliest Sin, Green Eyes, Bring The Rain, Holy City, No Lies
Website: https://skamuk.com/

I’ve made no secret of my love of Ryders Creed and am delighted to see them again so soon after their May gig in Sheffield. With 2 albums under their belt and a fanbase keen for a third, the headline act today warrants little introduction and accept high praise from compere Pete with humour and modesty.

This is the last date on their Lost Souls tour and they are on fire. From the first track you know this is going to be something a bit special and they don’t let us down.

Anthony Ryan has a striking and flawless voice and commands your full attention easily. Lee Gilbert on drums wins the best dressed award for a rather fetching white shirt and shorts set covered in pineapples but let that not detract from his competence as he beats the living cr’p out of that kit. And the massive smile on all their faces displays just how much today means to them.

The setlist is the perfect mix of both albums, a reminder of their roots and what they have achieved so far. ‘Lost Soul’ has everything you need to make the perfect rock song, a rollercoaster ride through melodies and pure unadulterated hard rock.

‘Believer’ is dedicated to the audience and I’m rapt by the command the intense and brooding lyrics hold over us all. Myles Cooper shines on guitar in ‘Cut Me Down’ and a couple of songs later the set closes all too quickly with ‘Money’.

What a band. I for one can’t wait to see what they bring next as this is pretty much an A-game performance.

Ryders Creed setlist: Memories, Headspace, Promise, Meant To Be, New Beginnings, Believer, Lost Souls, Feel The Fear, Hand in Hand, Cut Me Down, Unleashed, My Life, Money
Website: https://www.ryderscreed.co.uk/

Photography by Manny Manson for MPM

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One Comment

  1. Zhany Hughes

    14th September 2022 at 1:11 pm

    To the whole team at Metal Planet Music and particularly to Maria Glover and Manny Manson, thank you from the bottom of our black hearts for being there and celebrating the Rockin the Bowl Phoenix party with us. One of the best weekends of my life perfectly summarised and expertly shot by these two professionals. Thank you again. Show must go on 🙂

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