PLANET ROCKSTOCK – 2019 – PARK DEAN HOLIDAY PARK, TRECCO BAY – PORTHCAWL, SOUTH WALES – DAY 2 – SATURDAY 7TH DECEMBER
WORDS – MARK WARBURTON, PICTURES – PIPPA MAUNDER-WARBURTON
So onto day 2 of PLANET ROCKSTOCK, and feeling fully refreshed we arrived back in Trecco Bay for another day of quality live rock n roll.
First up on the main stage are the band VEGA who i have followed from the start of their career, reviewing their magnificent debut album ‘Kiss Of Life’ in 2010 and witnessing their first ever live performance at the Borderline in London back in early 2011. Being this the last gig of 2019 for the band they ended the year in style with a consumate performance that ive come to expect from such a quality and very professional band.
In frontman Nick Workman they have a real gem of singer who always delivers top notch vocals whenever VEGA play live, together with songwriting masters, Tom & James Martin on bass and keys respectively, together with guitarists Marcus Thurston and Michael Kew, and finally drums from Martin Hutchinson.
Personally i feel VEGA should have been much higher up the bill, and so given the limited time on offer they rip through some real quality hook laden Melodic Rock tunes that the crowd absolutely lap up. Songs such as the brilliantly catchy ‘Lets Have Fun Tonight’ with stellar guitars from Marcus Thurston, to the epic ‘Every Little Monster’ featuring immense vocals from Nick Workman. A reworked version of my favourite VEGA tune ‘Kiss Of Life’ goes down a storm with the packed crowd, whilst the melodic ‘White Flag’ and the excellent ‘Worth Dying For’ are just sublime. I could have watched VEGA play all day and such made the band another highlight of our weekend at PLANET ROCKSTOCK.
Manchester band the VIRGINMARYS have gone from strength to strength in recent years, and in frontman Ally Dickaty with his rasping bluesy vocals they provide an great addition to this very strong line-up. Tracks such as the rocking ‘Thousand Times’ and ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ go down well with the crowd, and my personal favorite, ‘Sweet Loretta’ are followed by the brilliant ‘S.O.S.4.U.N.I.’ The VIRGINMARYS fly through track after track of uptempo rock n roll before ‘Blind Lead The Blind’ and ‘ Bang Bang Bang’ brings this entertaining set to a close.
We have followed The KRIS BARRAS BAND from the start and having witnessed them play two magnifenct sets at RAMBLIN MAN FAIR in 2018 and 2019 we were looking forward to another great live performance. Having being voted the best new band by PLANET ROCK, and having a busy schedule Kris Barras still finds time to front supergroup SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE alongside the legendary Billy Gibbons from ZZ TOP.
Tonight The KRIS BARRAS BAND provided a polished performance and kick things off in style with the southern blues boogie of ‘What You Get’ and the blues rock infused ‘Vegas Son’ . The wonderful ‘Rain’ with quality keyboards from Josiah J Manning and wonderful soulful vocals from Kris Barras is a real highlight of the set. The bluesy ‘Im Gone’ through to the excellent ‘Broken Teeth’ featuring the great rhythm section of Elliott Blackler on bass and Billy Hammett on drums are well received. The sublime ‘Hail Mary’ and crowd favorite, and extended ‘Lovers or Losers’ wrap things up on this throughly enjoybale set of blues rock of the highest order, this band just goes from strength to strength.
LAST IN LINE led by original DIO guitarist Vivian Campbell were one of the bands that we were looking forward to seeing the most, and although the band have released two albums of their own material, is the old DIO tunes that everyone was here for, and boy they didnt disappoint. From the opening riffs of ‘Landslide’ vocalist Andrew Freeman absolutely slays the packed PLANET ROCKSTOCK audience with for me the vocal performance of the weekend. Next track ‘Stand Up & Shout’ the opening track from the DIO classic ‘Holy Diver’ gets the crowd bouncing, before we are treated to another DIO tune, the excellent ‘Straight Through The Heart’ . Probably the most famous DIO anthem ‘Holy Diver’ is delivered magnificently by the the all star rhythm section of Phil Soussan & Vinny Appice, and again Andrew Freeman really does Ronnie James Dio proud on this one. The title track from ‘Last In Line’ is just pure class, before ‘Starmaker’, which is dedicated to ex Dio bassist Jimmy Bain provides a real fitting tribute to one of the greats who are sadly missed.
Up next is one of my all time favorite songs, the amazing DIO tune ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ which Vivian Campbell absolutely nails playing his trademark Les Paul he used on the debut DIO album. This phenomonal set is fittingly brought to a close with ‘We Rock’, and yes we do , a magical performance by all and another contender for band of the weekend for me.
Quite how THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT were going to follow LAST IN LINE god only knows, but they gave it their best shot. Having witnessed the band play a great set at RAMBLIN MAN FAIR in summer they kicked off with the catchy ‘Caught In The Middle’ which the crowd lapped up. My personal favourite, the excellent ‘Three Bulleits’ is up next which keeps the momentum going into tracks such as ‘Only Friend’ and ‘Aint No Telling’.
The sublime ‘Time Won’t Leave’ and ‘Midnight Black’ are well received by the rammed PLANET ROCKSTOCK audience, before we are treated to ‘A Pleasant Peace I Feel’ and crowd favorite ‘A Deeper Cut’. Tonight THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT proved to be worthy headliners with a great fun filled rock n roll set that sent the crowd back to their caravans happy and in readiness for the final day.