Crazy Cowboy 3 Festival: Review
Words: Donna Lennoc | Photos: Anthony Firmin
We arrived as Stone Thieves were finishing their chilled out country rock inspired set, getting a great reaction from the crowd. From talking to others Sons Of Liberty and Blackbone Blues Band played inspired sets but traffic and a detour caused our late arrival – apologies guys.
This is my first time seeing The Outlaw Orchestra and I am immediately struck by their double bass as it gives out a wonderful booming sound along with songs about useless girlfriends, singing about the devil to a vicar and whiskey drinking mothers. It’s a good mix, and that booming bass... it’s wonderful!!
This is the second time seeing Building Giants in two weeks and they are just getting better and better. Their take on classic rock has a modern twist which is dynamic and bouncy, and is well received by this crowd. To be honest it’s difficult to write anything new about them but their set is exceptional and implore people to go and see them.
Knowing nothing about a band before you see them can often be a benefit as there are no preconceptions as is the case with The Nile Deltas. Dust Me Down starts with the opening slide riff from Zep’s In My Time Of Dying but quickly develops its own feet. This six piece includes an organ player which adds colour and warmth and it blends in perfectly. Sounding at times like Uriah Heep, especially on Funny Days, it’s a cracking set that will appeal to many.
South Wales is producing a fine crop of bands these days of whom Everyday Heroes are a great example. Their brand of bouncy heavy blues rock seems effortless yet delivered with gusto as is shown in Take Me Home. They come across as a much heavier version of King King, with guitarist Luke Phillips having similar mannerisms.
What this festival needs is some excitement and the rather tamely named Troy Redfern Band delivered it in droves... well, the guitarist did! Exciting, entertaining, energetic and engaging, just fantastic to watch - and the music is really great too - See You On The Other Side is just mental. It’s like watching Rory Gallagher on steroids and I am loving it. Discovery of the day!
Siobhan Mazzei calmed things down a lot with her acoustic slot, but what a voice, WHAT A VOICE. Her set was sadly spoiled by the usual irritating chatterbox crowd whom are so disrespectful, but Siobhans answer was a stunning cover of the GooGoo Dolls classic, Iris.
Next up we go more rock’n’roll with the excellent Matty James Cassidy Band whose recent 7” inch is featured in set of punchy short numbers, Anodyne - just released on Spotify is excellent, Sticks And Stones with its catchy chorus is typical with its Clash/punk feel getting lots of people dancing, and set finisher Brand New You also gets loads of crowd participation.
The Brandy Thieves bring us their unique blend of storytelling through Gypsy rhythms intriguingly infused with ska & punk. The 5 piece from Leicester enticed the crowd in with songs from their latest EP Devils Wine & debut album Old Tattoos. With the bands exciting mix of influences & Andrea's powerful voice the crowd cant help but join in the party vibe & dance! Looking forward to catching them again.
We caught Jack J Hutchinson recently in Manchester but this is a performance on another level, the man is firing on all fingers as he features material from his own releases, the RHR project and a great rocking cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well, the iconic opening riff making everyone’s ears prick up. We listened to the later half of the set outside as we needed sustenance, provided by an excellent pop-up stall outside serving Indian food – the chicken tikka wraps are insanely good.
It may be only a couple of weeks since we were impressed by Dead Man’s Whiskey in Manchester but this performance reiterates why we thought they were so good. From the tightness of the band to Nico Rogers vocals, sometimes reminiscent of Bon Scott, help to delivering the whiskey to a greatly appreciative audience! The obligatory participation came with I’m Outta Here Like A Racing Bullet and everyone joins in because you can’t help but love these guys!!
Fellow Mancunians Gorilla Riot have also made the journey down here on the way to start their Spanish tour and it is the first time seeing them with their new drummer - Will – previously with Voodoo Blood. Their blend of rock and southern blues is proving very popular here, and so it should, they are very good and have worked hard and deserve to be at this level. Arjun’s voice gets gruffer and bluesier with each gig, sounding more like Paul Rodgers of Free.
And so to the final band of this festival, Bad Touch, a band riding a huge wave following the release of Shake A Leg and this crowd is totally behind them, Stevie with his moustache being the dapper, sharp dressed man of the evening. Sadly unconvinced by their cover of Wishing Well, the only dip in an otherwise excellent set, although considering the crowds response I may well be in the minority (are covers really necessary at their level?).
The festival is a great success! They had a great crowd with a very nice vibe to the whole proceedings. A huge well done to Alec, Steph & the Crazy Cowboy team on giving us a fun day packed with 15 excellent bands, proving that the scene has some very exciting talent out there!
Roll on Crazy Cowboy 4.