FORGED IN FIRE, SET IN STEEL
Highlights from Rockin The Bowl, Sheffield – Friday 10th September
On September 14th 2019 Rockin the Bowl brought open air rock back to the Don Valley in Sheffield to critical acclaim from fans, bands and press alike. Last year Covid closed the world down but in 2021 they are back, bigger and better than ever! There are two stages; the main ‘Mikey Lawless Stage’ and the ‘Steel Stage’ over 3 days. Here are the highlights from day 1.
Blackburn’s Bastette open the festival in style with their blend of powerhouse vocals and pop-rock melodies. They performed tracks from their EP ‘Exposed’, which is released 17th September, including the sultry ‘Sick and Twisted’ and new single ‘Rollercoaster’. Huge vocals come from Caroline Kenyon which are smooth and silky, strong and clear in a way redolent of the likes of Lzzy Hale. With a great depth to the vocals and punchy riffs, the crowd were loving it.
Find out more about Bastette on their website https://bastette.co.uk/
Daxx & Roxane
I was a little surprised by the slot for Daxx & Roxane and can’t help feeling a lot of people will have missed this awesome band due to work and travel commitments but they were a highlight of the weekend for me. The Swiss-London quartet are known for their high octane live performance and have developed a big following over the last few years. I’ve been lucky enough to see them a few times now and am never disappointed!
‘A Strange Woman’ is a favourite of mine, and the enchanting vocals and bluesy swagger soar across the field encompassing those of us lucky enough to be here to witness this fantastic band on a big stage in late summer, outdoors in Sheffield, my hometown.
A little tease of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstitious’ absolutely thrills me! I love that song and they do it well, adding a little sex appeal.
The band are energetic, very appealing to the eye, and most importantly bang on the money musically! They are on fire today! A killer sound and huge energy for an appreciative crowd.
Check out their website https://daxxroxane.com/
And our review of their album, produced by Colin Parkinson (ex-Inglorious bass player and founder of Temple of One), from May this year https://mmhradio.co.uk/daxxroxane/
Steal The City
Sheffield’s own Steal The City have taken a main stage slot after a few changes to the schedule courtesy of the loathsome Covid. They are like kids at a wedding! They cannot stand still and make the most of the space on the big stage, clearly enjoying every second.
A heavy bassline and uptempo, big energy sound, matched with their mammoth stage presence, led to a very entertaining and charismatic set including fan favourites ‘Wallflower’, ‘Know It All’ and ‘Beating Heart’ There was a even the tease of the next single ‘Supremacy’ which is out later this year. The vocals on ‘Beating Heart’ were sublime. Great show and fantastic to see them get a shot at a big stage.
Check them out on facebook https://www.facebook.com/stealthecityuk
The City Kids
Born from the genius of Mr John JJ Watt, The City Kids is a bit of a supergroup “featuring some of your favourite misfits”. With JJ (The Main Grains) on guitar and vocals, we have Dennis Post (Warrior Soul) on guitar, (‘Dirty’) Berty Burton (Tigertailz) on bass, and Dave Sanders (Falling Red) on drums. When your debut album features Kory Clarke and Tracii Guns there must be something going on! They recorded the entire record and launched The City Kids without ever being face to face. And I’m a huge fan.
Together they bring a gritty, sleazy rock n roll style which fills the arena. They are wild, they are gutsy, they are fascinating, as they embark on a fantastic set including next single ‘Should’ve Been You’ and fan favourite ‘Rats’.
There was a touching tribute to Mikey from Dave Sanders which had many wiping dust from their eyes (ahem) including me. These guys are always a highlight for me but they rocked that stage today!
Find out more at https://thecitykids.net
The Outlaw Orchestra
On tour for pretty much the rest of this year, The Outlaw Orchestra brought their blend of whiskey-soaked southern inspired rawk n roll to the main stage at Rockin the Bowl, following on from their success at the first event in 2019. Personally I love this band and have seen them many times, classing them as adopted yorkshire-men – chant with me, “Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire”. They often make the trip up from ‘darn sowth’ and we love them! In fact they are here again soon so keep your eyes open…
They never disappoint and give you a full throttle show of southern fried, country-fied, bluegrass, quality rock which will have you stomping your feet with the best of them.
My personal favourite from them has to be ‘See You in Hell’ from their debut EP ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’ released in 2018. It’s fun and catchy as hell.
Check them out at https://www.theoutlaworchestra.com/
Cats in Space
Highly acclaimed and sought after Cats in Space performed as Friday headliners in the middle of their Atlantis Tour for their 4th studio album.
Cats in Space are a great example of a band that most people tend to like and have at least one album and gig under their belts. They always nail their setlist and the audience goes away happy, and today is no exception. The Cats were on form as they belted out ‘Too Many Gods’ from 2015, ‘September Rain’ from 2019, in a 16 song set, encored with ‘Hologram Man’, and delighted fans both old and new.
The Cats are: Damian Edwards (vocals); Greg Hart (guitar); Andy Stewart (keys), Steevi Bacon (drums); Jeff Brown (bass); and Dean Howard (guitar).
Setlist: Too Many Gods; Spaceship Superstar; Revolution; Twilight; Mr Headache; Only in Vegas; Silver and Gold; Listen to the Radio; September Rain; Marionettes; Atlantis; Thunder in the Night; Mad Hatter’s Tea Party; I Fell Out of Love With Rock ‘n’ Roll; Greatest Story Never Told; Hologram Man.
Official website https://www.catsinspace.co.uk/
See also our review of their recent show in Bilston https://mmhradio.co.uk/cats-in-space-vambo-false-hearts-robin-2-bilston-2-9-21/ with photos https://mmhradio.co.uk/cats-in-space-atlantis-tour-purrs-into-the-robin-2-bilston/
Day 1 was awesome!