Reviewed by kev McVeigh
Yet another demonstration of the wide range of musical talent in Lancaster and around took place at The Park Hotel this Saturday at the latest Barnbox All-dayer. All told 19 acts performed over 9 hours or so to sizeable crowds who came and went. (It was an exhausting day, I saw perhaps 12 or 13 performances myself, between arriving late, popping out to eat and so on.
There were popular favourites, local stalwarts such as Paul Rhodes and Kish early on, before things really got going. Credit to both for their playing. From Manchester, and new to me, Maria Jordan’s amped up guitar pop sounded nice, and went down well, as did the more controversial acoustic hardcore of Say Nice Things About Everyone, who I’m sorry to say were far from impressive in my eyes. Apparently they’re nice people though.
The popular return of Jo Gillot was obviously a highlight, and she mixed some good new songs with favourites such as ‘Spectacular’ which should be a massive hit, but there ain’t no justice. Homemade Lemonade too showed off their range and adventurous nature with a mix of guitars and electronics.
Of those acts newer to me Gary Todd has a powerful classic rock voice, a tight band and a solid presence. Guernica equally rocked, mixing SLF-ish punk and Pixies-like guitar lines to great effect. And there was a one-joke Smiths parody act whose name I have forgotten. That was when I went for my tea.
The day was smoothly run by the Barnbox team, including sterling work by Kriss Foster and co. Even when there were technical issues, such as the swap over from a rock band to a folky singer nothing seemed to rattle them. And you have to say, up to 19 bands for a fiver is remarkable value. At 25p a band even the crap ones were value for money and almost all exceeded that by far. Like The Adventures Of Loki, suffering from flu and with an unstable drumkit (makes a change from the stereotypical unstable drummer!) they still rocked out. Get their album yesterday!
Who else played? How’s My Pop? Closed the night off, Married To The Sea were on, and lots more. Folk, pop, rock, electronica, pastiche, tribute, shambolic mess and technical wizardry, lyrical gems and shouty rants. What more could you want?
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