A sell out 1,500 capacity crowd taking over the tranquil Lincolnshire landscape. Some of the UK’s finest bands in a structure in the middle of said mass of fields. A … near-naked man??? Order! It’s time for the first item on the agenda…
One woman. One kickass untamed attitude. One ukulele. One hell of a voice. ‘I bloody love you!’ Millie Manders tells the large crowd gathered for her gutsy acoustic set, who are all thinking, ‘Same’. Local lads Carry The Crown are like a litter of Labradors. Enthusiastic, energetic, and really bloody likeable. Kings of crowd participation, their melodic alt rock hits the spot. Curious atmospheric doomy rockers North Atlas came to conquer – one pit member at a time. Confident and committed, these boys get horns aloft courtesy of their songs and (probably) send stick sales soaring thanks to an outstanding drummer hitting so hard he realigns heartbeats.
Carry The Crown
Dirty great rockers South Of Salem have the decency to look like hellraisers, play like their lives depend on it, and have fists, pints and, erm, guitarists in the air thanks to risers that mean at least one band member appears elevated and in yer face at any given time. Forceful and frenzied, South Of Salem push and persist with their songs and also with their presence. Scream queen Lauren Tate’s siren songs are intense, emotional and highly anticipated by the tons of people in t-shirts proudly bearing Hands Off Gretel’s inimitable style, that have been spotted since gates opened. Lauren is enchanting, but so striking and charismatic are all the band it’s a job to know who to focus on. These aren’t song choices for the fainthearted – ‘Milk’ opens, ‘Don’t Touch’, ‘Bigger Than Me’ all feature. Closer ‘Kiss Me Girl’ is cathartic. And with that, the set is over too soon. Skull-crushing bruisers Borders make heavy music to blow speakers and minds. People do not walk, they run to the stage to hear ‘singer’ JJ slice his larynx for their headbanging pleasure. Backed by powerful riffs and pounding rhythms, he relentlessly prowls at pace across the stage, finally unleashed. And lo, the pit doth bounce.
South Of Salem
Hands Off Gretel
90’s titans Terrovision have tunes, stage experience and Tony Wright – the man having maybe most fun tonight. The crowd’s joy at belting out, ‘Whales and dolphins’ (‘Perseverance’), last orders chorus ‘Tequila’ and ‘doo wopping’ (‘Oblivion’) along takes us back to the glory days of premillennial debauchery never to be seen again – literally – due to pre-dating smart phones. God bless the boys from Bradford for bringing the moves, ‘Middle Man’ and memories. Every band today has been outstanding. Each one has brought something different to the AGM mix. Benji Webbe’s warriors top the lot – on the bill and on the stage. From opening onslaught of ‘Stand For Something’ to Newport Helicopter inducing encore ‘Warning’, Skindred slay. One of the finest frontmen there is, Benji’s wardrobe is a thing of beauty, his easy and entertaining manner with the audience makes the set electric, but his vocals are the core. Sure, he raps, growls and all the rest of it. But he can sing. Acoustic lament ‘Saying It Now’ stills the crowd. And while Skindred make us jump the f*ck up for the majority, this is the song that stands out.
So, meeting adjourned until April 2022. Points to consider; how the hell can they better today’s bill?