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Saturday 13th August 2022

The 1865 Southampton

The 1865 in Southampton is the venue for a great one day festival - Nozfest. The TenTen effect I like to call it (10 bands in 10 hours). Hats off to Jodie Bowie the creator of this fantastic event now in its third season which has seen some mega performances in the past by bands such as Those Damn Crows, Massive Wagons, The Treatment, Marco Mendoza and Collateral. What Jodie has achieved in putting such great line-ups together in todays climate and external competition (and doubters) is quite frankly remarkable.

This year continues to have its Covid interruptions and first off saw a surprise replacement to the openers, Ethyrfield, by way of local Southampton band The Outlaw Orchestra with their great entertaining mix of Rock and Country kicking off the festival with plenty of cheer that saw an immediate feel good factor aroused in the cool air conditioned 1865 venue. Some great songs that sees this three-piece growing more - like their fanbase.

Dead Man’s Whisky were next up - an immediate put your pint down and Rock out to some absolute banging tunes with strong hard vocals and undertones of Iron Maiden riffs. If you shut your eyes you can hear Slash on stage somewhere too with some high energy heavier GnR solos. Their second album is due soon, so keep your eyes peeled on socials for this and where you will be able to enjoy them at a venue near you.

Gallows Circus lead by their frontman Ian Day play original Blues-hearted, dirty Rock inspired by the likes of Free, Reef, Led Zeppelin and Black Stone Cherry. A truly head nodding gurning experience from these Kent lads.

Scarlet Rebels - Well…… a name that seems to be in the ears of more and more people now for good reason. These five-piece Welsh boyos are hitting it hard with their mix of rocket powered energy tunes getting you jumping with Hard Rock classic riffs mixed with the modern edge of alt Rock giants like the Foos, Petty and The Boss Springsteen.

Western Sand - A local south Coast four-piece with their Hard Southern Rock infused tuneage. Front man Tyler Hains has a fantastic range with his gravely tones and great guitar fingering truly working in harmony with ace guitarist Jimmy Bradshaw and the hard hitting bass of Dan De Vries. These boys have some serious stage presence that kind of gives your eyes and ears a workout. What’s even more impressive is how you can make great - better, and I guess the word Phoenix comes to mind as from the ashes - greater things can arise. Sadly this was their final live performance as Western Sand after the departure of their original drummer and founding member Nathan J. Kay. This last gig left them to source a new drummer with some boots to fill and admirably this has been achieved to phenomenal effect by the gifted Zoot Hill-Valler. So…. with new songs and some heavier hard hitting changes you better be prepared for the new future, as I guarantee you Western Sand have just evolved onto another level like Scotty did for Kirk! So watch out and look out for…………….
Black Water Redemption…! More on these to come ....

The Hot Damn! - God damn these girls were awesome. Some fabulous Hi energy, Tie-Dye, Pop Rock tunes and hailed as Rocks answer to colourful chaos. A definitive four-piece dishing out punchy beats, fierce harmonies and a feel good factor from these talented musicians that made you know you were there to parteee…loved them.

Interval - At this point Collateral were due to appear but sadly they too had suffered the Covid (boo) To the Bar…!

Florence Black - F L O RRRENCE BLACK – hell yeah….!! Nice, Heavy jaw dropping, head banging assault on your senses. With a UK tour looming in October, you really should get to see them. Frankly I’m gobsmacked at the amount of talent coming out of South Wales presently. I’ve long been an advocate of how a three-piece band can equal six. Glorious noise from these chart-topping other boyos, having recently returned from touring stints in Europe, they are just another shining example of how good the UK Rock scene is right now. Big sound, big Rock god future…!

Massive - The Aussie rockers have returned to celebrate their 10 year anniversary as part of their '10 Years-Still Massive tour' and boy what a scene they make. I first got to see this amazing Rock band back in July 2017 and they are just a fireball of Noise, Energy and Rock n Bloody Roll. Frontman Brad Marr I admire immensely, as he’s overcome some huge hurdles in these times of post Brexit and Covidity to get his live music in front of us – a huge privilege. Its easy to forget how hard it is now for a band to tour abroad, so its even more important to support these live musicians that enable us to lose ourselves in the craft they bring for our enjoyment for a short while. That said… I was pretty excited to see the return of drummer Andrew Greentree in all his awesomeness, but sad a couple of original Massive members were unable to make it for various reasons. No sweat though as hard hitting bass bomb Lzi Hayes from The Hot Damn stood in. Long live Rock n Roll!

Mason Hill - la crème du’ lait crème – described by more and more lately as the single greatest Rock band on the UK circuit today, so its hard to argue how these popular lads from Glasgow and their music is right now. Their ability to make each live song better than the last until they have built you up into a frenzied, howling, screaming, anthem singing mess that leaves you with a sore throat for two days, tends to convince you. Since their EP release in 2015 their rise to success has been dealt with numerous accolades supporting some of the greatest Rock bands out there. The glorious symphony that Craig McFetridge beats from the back with support form Matt Ward's bass is all enhanced by Marc Montgomery and finished beautifully by James Bird on lead guitar which, only leaves the song bird Scott Taylor to leave you singing aloud to their own amazing sound. Dandy words I know but don’t be fooled as Mason Hill give you Spellbinding Rock music and are one of the nicest bunch of lads I’ve ever had the privilege to stand at the bar with – but I’m STILL waiting for that all elusive pic with front man Scott Taylor though! You can catch them on tour in October until they hit our European friends in December. Very excited for the next album - so you should see them – they really are very good!

So there you have it – a remarkable one day festival put together by a successful young lady attracting some of the UK’s top Rock bands that the paying audience seem to think just gets better and better year on year. I wonder who will be wanting to sign up for Nozfest '23? - Bring it…!!

Darren King

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