Live Review: Thinking Pink all day festival

Thinking Pink 2018

The Hairy Dog, Derby – 20/10/2018

The still under threat Hairy Dog in Derby hosts a great many events for charitable causes and Thinking Pink in aid of breast cancer after care is now a solid fixture on the calendar.  Run by Mark Sesin and Lynn Barton, herself a breast cancer survivor this is an event that goes beyond just being a gathering of like minded people, or even the coming together of family, this is a true show of unity. 

While set times do overlap a little it is possible to see all the bands playing on the two stages (main and acoustic) if you really want to.  Kicking things off for the second year on the trot are acoustic duo Jazz and Andy.  It’s a tough slot to have but the pair produce a set that really is deserving of a higher billing.  Anna Melidone puts in a solid shift notable for a stirling cover of Metallica’s Enter Sandman.  Weekend Recovery’s Lori Janey threatens to steal the entire show with a vocal masterclass.  Her control and pitch are quite brilliant.

Over on main rockers Purple Thread get the crowd moving early on.  Damn Cargo prove to be a fine act too, and deliver their songs with memorable panache. Filthy Filthy keep the momentum going with a strong set while New Subterraneans show some real class. Before a break for an art expo and some stocking up on food Jonny And The Mental Breakdowns add a toch of punk humour to the proceedings.  Pre-expo back on the acoustic stage Vertigo Violet rock the socks off the audience with power and precision while Minatore offer a beat box and guitar combination that adds variety as well as quality to the event.

Break over and it’s two thirds of Desensitised that get things underway on acoustic.  Charlotte on vocals and Libby on guitar are quite wonderful.  Special mention has to be made about Libby’s ability to entertain simply by pulling face too, it’s priceless.  Headstone Horrors work wonders converting their horror punk into an unplugged format. It’s a testament to the strength of this band that they seem to do this so effortlessly.  Headlining the acoustic stage are the veteran Static Kill who just make it all sound so easy.  Tight, seamless and punchy this is a set of songs that would do any stage justice.

Bigg sound like their name suggests, they open up the post break mainstage with thunderous riffs and toe tapping grooves.  You Want Fox were always going to go down well.  They’re a truly loved band around these parts and it’s no surprise when they end up with a solo fan invasion soon followed by the Desensitised girls and Lynn Barton all performing backing vocals.  Seeing Lynn on stage with Libby and Charlotte makes you question anyone that says music is segregated by generations.  Not here it isn’t. Pussycat And The Dirty Johnsons are feline rockabilly rabble rousers with tunes that make you just want to behave like a lunatic.  The crowd happily oblige.

Taking things to a different level, wringing the last drop of energy out of everybody present, and then some are Duncan Reid And The Big Heads.  Consummate professionals they are the perfect act to bring the curtain down on another highly successful Thinking Pink. Recovering from any kind of cancer or other illness can be a long hard road so the money raised here will be doing a huge amount of good.  Well played Mark and Lynn, let’s hope Thinking Pink keeps going for many more years to come.

Review and photos by Gary Trueman