Swan & Heron stages
These stages operated alternately so you were able to see all of every band if you wish.
Both stages, and the bar, were housed within one marquee to protect you from the weather.
Arguably the most influential of the early British jazz/blues fusion bands with progressive overtones, Colosseum fuse an adventurous approach to rock with classical keyboard accents. Anyone drawing a classic rock family tree would find their branches reaching all over the place! Formed in 1968 by drummer Jon Hiseman, early line-ups featured sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith, Dave Greenslade (keys) and Tony Reeves (bass). Dave “Clem” Clempson (guitars), Chris Farlowe (vocals) Mark Clarke (bass) joined soon after and have remained with the band ever since.
Hand Of Dimes
Hand Of Dimes is the reunion of former Skin singer and front man Neville MacDonald and keyboard player Neil Garland. Their partnership goes back to the mid 80s when they were both part of the Welsh rock band Kooga, but when they split up Nev’s yearning was for more gutsy rock and roll, so the invitation to form Skin with guitarist Myke Gray was a no-brainer… Now Hand Of Dimes has picked up where they left off, with debut album ‘Raise’ full of soulful melodic rock which packs a serious punch and Nev’s unmistakable trademark voice over a blend of electric and acoustic material.
Ken Pustelnik's Groundhogs
Originally formed way, way back in 1962, the classic line-up of The Groundhogs featured Tony McPhee, Pete Cruikshank and Ken Pustelnik (drums). Ken then left the band and rejoined a few times and now has a new version of The Groundhogs under his own name, playing much of the classic early psychedelic blues material with a renewed energy for generations old and new! The band now includes Chris d'Avoine (guitar/vocals), Sol Latif (guitar) and Latch Manghat (bass).
Rhabstallion - a four piece all original NWOBHM band from Halifax, West Yorkshire are bringing their hard but melodic style of rock to venues thoughout the UK & Europe.
Having played with bands such as Saxon, Trust, Diamond Head and The Tygers Of Pan Tang the Rhabs are comfortable on any stage. The onslaught of guitars and soaring vocals backed with the pounding drums and bass are not to be missed. This is a must see band.
The Blackheart Orchestra
Blackheart Orchestra is officially the smallest orchestra in the world. Two people playing 13 instruments between them, Chrissy Mostyn and Rick Pilkington perform in what has been described as a ‘musical space station’ of instruments including guitar, bass, percussion, mandola, piano, organ, omnichord and their collection of vintage synthesisers.
After over 1000 concerts and 3 albums they’ve played everywhere from Southampton to Sydney including London’s Palladium and Royal Albert Hall and winning numerous awards.
McHale's Permanent Brew
The five member band have toured extensively in 2022, they were nominated for a 2023 UK Blues Federation Award. The band have received rave reviews throughout 2022, and are best known for their amazing live performances. They have supported Atomic Rooster, Dr Feelgood, Nine Below Zero and Gino Washington. Influences are Rory Gallagher, Pink Floyd, 60/70s based rock. They've been described as Blues Rock Psych. Not to be missed!
Viper Soup Complex
Viper Soup Complex is a Maltese Progressive/Avant-Garde Rock/Metal band formed in 2012 that specializes in unconventional music and unorthodox stage antics. Stylistically, VSC delves into multilayered sonic outbursts, often accompanied by dreamlike musical textures.
Thematically, the lyrics are mostly influenced by the absurd. So far, all the songs take a form of a story telling scenario. Currently, VSC is composing new material, while revisiting their first Album: Red Fugue (2018).
Jamie Porter Band
The Jamie Porter Band is a 3 piece rock n roll band taking their influences from many blues/rock and country artists. Fronted by songwriter and singer/guitarist Jamie, he is joined by Dave Paveley on bass/vocals and Simon Waterhouse on drums. The power trio are described as '...blues rock with a little bit of country swagger...' and the band have a growing live reputation, having recently supported Kira Mac on all dates of their headline UK tour during May/June 2023.
Genius The Fool
Genius The Fool started out featuring Barry Cassells (drums), Paul Teasdale (bass) and Mark Rowen (guitars) - all former members of either York based band 'Stolen Earth' or ex-Mostly Autumn offshoot band 'Breathing Space'.... or both!! 2022 saw seismic changes with the introduction of new keyboard player Phil Rushfirth, bass player James Peck, and backing vocalist Rosie Axon. But the biggest change is the recruitment of a new lead singer to replace Lisa Box. These were mighty shoes to fill, but they believe they've done it and cannot wait for you to see and hear their latest recruit.
This stage offered a clear contrast to the bands in our other marquee.
Self described as a circus rock act with mayhem and madness guaranteed to leave jaws dropped, Papa Shango mix all the elements to give the audience something very, very different! Once described by Herts Live as "Highly skilled musicians with fine song writing nous, they’re nothing like anything you’ve seen or heard before”, the NME (no less) countered with “The internet killed live music… Papa Shango are saving it”!
John Hackett Band
John Hackett has been a much-loved figure in the progressive rock scene since the mid-70’s; best-known for his flute work with his brother, former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett on albums such as Voyage of The Acolyte and Please Don’t Touch. ‘Progressive’ music in our sense of the word is based on rock-solid song-writing coupled with hot jazz drumming, melodic, funky bass, outstanding guitar in the form of Nick Fletcher, and John himself – whose flute playing travels with such ease between classical and rock. They will be joined by special guest Amy Birks!
All the way from.... Peterborough! Austin Gold's debut album “Before Dark Clouds” showcases ten original songs blended in a melting pot of influences to come together as something that is really very special – think Bad Company meets Foo Fighters with hints of Pink Floyd. From heavy guitar riffs, to the most delicate heart-felt ballads, from atmospheric sonic landscapes, to hook-driven melodies. The band, of David James Smith (vocals & guitar), Lee Churchill (bass), Adam Leon (keyboards) and James Pepper (drums), have been building a reputation as one of the best live acts around.
Also Eden have performed across the UK and Europe on the same bills as Steve Hackett, Riverside and Pendragon and have developed an enviable reputation as a live band. The band will showcase material from their forthcoming new album, ‘Open Skies’, due for release in the second half of 2023, as well as songs from their first two highly regarded albums, 'About Time' and 'It's Kind Of You To Ask'.
The Paradox Twin
The Paradox Twin was formed by singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboard player, Danny Sorrell. They impressed producer and musician extraordinaire John Mitchell and together with Chris Hillman they were signed to White Star Records. The album, which was well received, featured John and vocalist Kim Seviour on the track ‘Moonblood’. A video of the first single from the album, ‘Planeta’, gained a nomination at the prestigious Progressive Music Awards even before the album had been released and the band were nominated again in the best new artist’s category.
The Blue Lena
Imagine if Free was a southern rock band and Stevie Nicks was singing harmonies for them. Imagine if Bruce Springsteen was British and had written those infectious songs of life, loving and loss in small town England.
Now imagine these songs being performed by an exciting 6 piece rock band, all soulful vocals, bluesy guitars, Hammond organ, southern harmonies and rock’n’roll grooves. Welcome to The Blue Lena.
Kinky Wizzards are one of the most audacious, exciting and fun instrumental jazz rock bands to have stepped into the music scene. The Welsh trio, based in Cardiff, comprise of bassist Mathew ‘Miffy’ Griffiths, drummer Jonathan ‘Jiffy’ Griffiths and guitarist Ryan Elliott, and offer an unforgettable pyrotechnical display of musical wizardry where you can expect anything from flying drum sticks to slapped bass to exciting guitar solos, all packaged in ludicrous song titles such as ‘Door Dancing Penny Collector’ and ‘Stomp Foot Syndrome’.
A recent review in Blues Matters said "With two albums, one band and and twenty-two cracking bits of music, it doesn't get much better than this. This is solid, no-frills blues/rock". With gigs around the UK clubs and festivals like HRH Blues, Skegness, Lincoln, The 100 Club, Upton Blues Festival, and Looe, they have supported some great name acts. Thr3e are bluesy, rocky, hard hitting and have fun playing.
The Gift were described by Anthony Phillips as ‘one of the most exciting bands on the current scene’. They fuse the melody and grandeur of the likes of early Genesis and Camel with a fierce hard rock attack. Onstage The Gift really delivers, with a powerful, theatrical performance that lingers in the memory long after the last notes have faded.
A great blend of musicians driven by hard hitting original songs and powerful vocals produced by London born, lead singer Romy Gensale. Now based locally, Romy is a long-standing musician, playing both both solo and in various bands since the 1980’s, including all female band ‘Drunk on Cake’ and frequenting highly regarded London venues such as The Marquee and Borderline. With hints of P.J Harvey, Alanis Morissette, Chrissie Hynde, think of ROME as being provocative and challenging!