29 August 2019

STONEDEAF Festival 2019 – Review

STONEDEAF FESTIVAL – Newark Showground 24th August 2019


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16th August 1980 was a cloudy and wet day over the race course of Castle Donington , Derbyshire. Rainbow the band finished off their Down to Earth tour with a final hurrah by headlining a one day, one stage  festival specifically for hard rock and metal bands. In a moment of genius someone came up with the moniker Monsters of Rock , and on that fateful day a legend was born . This concept was an instant hit and grew in stature, reputation and (unfortunately) size for another 11 years (due to 2 fatalities in 1988 it did not open the following year) until the double stage format was introduced in 1994 after another year off.

In the neighbouring shire of Nottingham ,39 years on from 1980 virtually to the day and less than 40 miles away Stonedeaf Festival opened its doors to its second outing with the one day, one stage  formula . The year previous the inaugural festival had Skid Row closing the show and as the lights faded questions were being asked if 2019 will be on and will it be any better.

For a start the weather had been booked and it was going to be a (in)glorious day. The stage positioning had been changed from the previous year to give the punters better viewing and the bill wasn’t too shabby either.

At 11:30 the winners of the 2019 opening poll competition started the ball rolling and Samarkind , the Irish/Polish 4 piece knew this was their moment to shine . The bands 2017 eponymous debut LP is a strong body of work and from this the set list was set to stun. Let’s be honest here , Samarkind are a classic rock band with streaks of blues , very much in the vain of 1970’s Whitesnake , Purple and dare I even say Led … you know what I mean. Vocalist David Paul Byrne knows what he is doing, the whole band knew what they were doing , and they did it very well indeed. Tracks Sun Stroke heart , Thru that door and fire and blood were delivered with the passion the people wanted , the best of the bunch was the set closer Blue mountain. The only thing that outshone Samarkind was the sun . They were fabulous and the bar had been set.

[Reviewer – Skid]

Samarkind setlist:

1.Black rain

2.Sunstroke heart

3.Skinny rivers

4.Thru that door

5.Fire and blood

6.Blue mountain


Brad Marr is a tiny fella , which is ironic in some ways as he is the lead vocals, guitarist and head honcho with Australia’s Massive. I am all for transparency , so I am going to lay my cards on the preverbal table. I have met, interviewed and reviewed the band recently and they are a really great bunch of blokes & I am a huge fan, so I for one was really looking forward to the band taking 2nd slot. Their 8 track set was a blitzkrieg of no nonsense all out balls to the wall rock’n’roll fun. I had the privilege of being stage side for most of the festival and got a view point that most people don’t. From this vista the small things can be seen which sometimes the crowd miss. I can say with no hesitation that Massive and especially guitarist Ben Laguda were having a ball. The short set was taken from across their 3 albums with a classic AC/DC cover thrown in , 10 persons (including 2 MMH DJ’s , the festivals mascot and few vivacious ladies) were invited onto the stage to prance through Dancefloor . Tremendous stuff and if the rock’n’roll gods are taking note , Massive who are finishing off another tour deserve bigger and better things , not just because they are fun to watch and are a great band, but because they are an outstandingly brilliant band.

[Reviewer – Skid]

Massive Set List

1.Generation Riot

2.Blood money blues

3.One by one


5.If you want blood (you got it)



8.Long time coming


(For those who don’t know) The Amorettes and fellow all female band Tequila Mockingbyrd have been through respective strife’s, resulting in members of the two joining forces and touring out each of the bands commitments. The Amorettes that took the Stonedeaf stage consisted of Gill Montgomery  , Josie O’Toole , Jancinta Jaye and Laurie Buchanan. The band has released 4 albums so far , the latest being last years Born to break. They are claimed to be heavy metal in the mould of fellow lady rockers Girlschool and Rock Goddess , and I  don’t like to compare bands by gender only by music, but I will do so in this case. I don’t see The Amorettes as heavy metal, but classic hard rock, and even though these four ladies have not been together as a playing unit for long they did a sterling job. My focus was between vocalist and very competent guitarist Gill and tub thumper dynamo rocket Josie. The highlight was Bull by the horns . A very good job well done , even though the crowd did seem spare during the set.

[Reviewer – Skid]

The Amorettes Setlist

1.Born to break

2.Let the neighbours call the cops

3.Come ‘n’ get it

4.You’ve still got rock’n’roll

5.Whatever gets you through

6.Coming up the middle

7.Bull by the horns

8.Everything I learned (I learned from rock’n’roll)

In every sphere of art there is genius at work , in Heavy Metal these people are often lauded and sometimes the genius word is over used , however , within this genre a few names are truly top of the pile . Brian Tatler is one. Diamond Head are currently touring the bands 8th album The Coffin train. Tatler is the only original member but the current 5 piece have been together since 2016 when bassist  Dean Ashton joined the ranks. Drummer Karl Wilcox has been about for nearly 20 years and smashed the kit into splinters, guitarist Abbz Abberley ran around putting any youngster to shame and vocals Rasmus Bom Andersen has a voice that slots well into and dovetails the new and classic material alike.

Technical woes at the start didn’t deter the band or dampen the faithful. A few tracks off the new LP were well received but most of the setlist came off the first 2 albums and as good as the new material is , it was the 40 year old classic’s Lightning to the nations , Helpless and of course Am I evil that the crowd wanted to hear. For me it was It’s Electric that was the cream of the crop, but for an old rocker who has seen DH over the past near 4 decades , I would watch Brian Tatler play the spoons. DH should be higher up the bill , but whatever happens to the band here on , Tatler’s name will forever be associated with the word genius.

They are supporting Saxon shortly and going out on the road again and you would be a fool to miss DH before Brian calls it a day on this magnificent rifftastic juggernaut of a coffin train.

[Reviewer – Skid]

Diamond Head Setlist

1.Borrowed time


3.Lightning to the nations

4.Death by design

5.Heat of the night

6.It’s Electric

7.Belly of the beast



10.Am I evil

If I’m completely honest the Wayward Son’s are not a band I know a great deal about, but from what I saw on Saturday I like them!!

From my crowds eye view I watched them explode onto the stage and start off their set set with the rip roaring “Alive” the band have a presence on stage that makes them a pleasure to stand and watch.   Through tracks like “ghost”, “Killing Time” and “The jokes on you” they kept everyone dancing.

Playing songs from Jepsons own back catalogue – Hurts and The Chosen one, meant that fans of this ridiculously talented rockers previous incarnations would be drawn into the performance.

As the sun beat down on one of the hottest days of the year so far the band kept up their blistering set, and we all had a ball listening to them!!

All I can really say is if you get a chance to go and see the Wayward sons during their upcoming dates supporting Black Star Riders…..Go…..You’ll be in for a treat!!!

[Review – Charlie Mace]

Wayward Son’s Setlist

  1. Alive
  2. Dont wanna go
  3. Killing time
  4. Ghost
  5. Any other way
  6. Crush
  7. Small talk/No more heroes
  8. Little white lies
  9. The jokes on you
  10. Something wrong
  11. Until the end

I was introduced to the voice of Geoff Tate in 1994 when a friend of mine sat me down and made me listen to “Empire”.  It would be fair to say that I have loved him ever since!!!

When I heard that he would be playing this years StoneDeaf festival I must admit to worrying that after all this time, maybe hearing him live wouldn’t live up to all those evenings spent listening to him as a teenager in the ’90’s, Thank God I was wrong!

From the moment he walked out onto the stage Geoff owned it, starting his set with the song that started it all for me, the eponymous “Empire”  His voice was incredible, his band were tight and obviously loving being on stage with a guy who’s music pedigree goes back 30 odd years.

He powered his way through some classic Queensrÿche including Operation:Mindcrime, Screaming in Digital and Breaking the Silence.  And of course “Silent Lucidity” which if I’m honest left me speechless..

Yes I’m a fan, yes I queued to get his autograph, yes I almost managed words when I found myself face to face with the man whose voice I have listened to in awe since I was 19..Was I a bit weird when I FINALLY met him? Probably, but he signed my arm for me and I made strange vowel sounds until they lead me away.

As a showman Geoff Tate deserves his reputation as one off the greatest voices in Rock, if you get a chance to see GO!!!!

[Review – Charlie Mace]

Geoff Tate Setlist


2.Walk in the shadows


4.Breaking the silence

5.The Mission

6.Screaming in digital

7.Take hold of the flame

8.Silent lucidity

9.Jet city woman

10.Eyes of a stranger


I had a unique view of Phil Campbell playing, I was stood 5’ away. It’s a truly breathtaking site – He oozes macho sexy rock n roll, just like Lemmy did. He didn’t need to dress up in fancy stage gear. He really is the real deal. He makes playing guitar look SOOOO easy. One thing that was apparent was that all of the guys on stage were having a blast, playing some great Rock n Roll.

The setlist included some great tracks from the album ‘Age of absurdity’ – Big mouth is a a great opening song. I feel that the first song of a set, or an album sets out your intentions for the songs that are to come. Big Mouth does that in spades….. You know that you’re in for a great time. The energy flows. The same with Step into the Fire. Phil’s having a great time and it shows, (he was probably born on a stage, he is such a natural). He’s also obviously passed this instinct on to the rest of the band – They strutted like rockstars and grinned like naughty kids who were having the time of their lives.

Phil Campbell isn’t contractually obliged to play Motorhead songs, but I’m guessing he feels that people still need to here Lemmy’s works at the volume they deserved. The first one is Rock Out, which is one of my favourites. It’s one of those songs that is just straight out good time.

After Rock Out they came back to Freak Show off their album and it’s another jumpy, sing festival-tastic belter. And after that…. *sigh*, they just oozed into Born to raise hell – which is my favourite Motorhead track. It is the personification of a later years Motorhead song…. And the crowd were singing every word. I think at this point that Neil the vocalist was having monitor problems….. he kept running over the monitor tech  at the side of the stage an shouting – You wouldn’t tell from his performance. His voice was as strong, powerful and husky as ever.

Well, the set pretty much just keeps flowing really with good vibes, bouncy Rock and Roll….. Dark days and Get on your knees are from their album. R.A.M.O.N.E.S. is another Motorhead cover an then the monstrous Ringleader off the album.

We were then given a taste of the tracks on Phil’s solo album with the track Straight up – If that’s anything to go by, the album is going to be great. The band then eezed into a cover of Hawkwind’s Silver Machine, which obviously is a classic….. they’ve breathed new life into the track. It’s on their album too and it’s a great version.

Now….. you know there is one Motorhead song that it would be a crime if they didn’t play – Ace of Spades. Phil didn’t introduce it he simply said ‘This song is dedicated for everyone who has ever played in Motorhead’….. and as Tyla starts the bass riff, it’s as if the crowd in Unison get 50,000 volts shoved up their rear-end. They literally went crazy. (first mosh pit of the day). I thought it was especially nice the Phil based solo duty on to his son Todd. (who might I add has inherited his Dad’s guitar skills).

The closer of the set was the album track High rule, it’s true to the form for the rest of the set to be honest – another great slab of Rock n roll party times!

All in all, they were a slick, well oiled entertaining Rock n Roll machine. The only negative is that I wish they could have played twice as long!!

Foot note –

Another shout out should go to the Roadie (I believe his name was Jim). He used to be a Roadie for Motorhead, and it was interesting watching him work during the set… he never stopped – making sure guitar leads didn’t get caught up, tuning guitars, sorting monitors out…. He worked his ass off.

[Review – By Glyn Shepherd]

Phil Campbell and TBS Setlist

1.Big mouth

2.Step into the fire

3.Rock out

4.Freak show

5.Born to raise hell

6.Dark days

7.Get on your knees

8. R.A.M.O.N.E.S


10. Straight up

11.Silver Machine

12.Ace of Spades

13.High Rule

Nathan James , the lead singer of Inglorious appears to polarise some people . He has a reputation for having an overblown ego and being self-indulgent. I don’t get it . I don’t see this in James , what some see as the above , I see as a man speaking his mind honesty, and for that I applaud him. This however is irrelevant , James is a singer in a rock band , so by default the focus should be on this. Yes he is flamboyant , he has a head of hair most super models would die for and his line in black shirts is not to everyone taste, but he has presence and man does he have a set of pipes on him. Three albums in their career so far they have many tracks to choose between for tonight set list, which  is a clear battle cry of what they have to offer . The band is not just one man, the five piece of course are all excellent players , the young guitarist Danny de la Cruz is a visual copy of a 1988 era Slash, and he knows his way around a fret board. It is James however , even to me was  tonight’s surprise , his vocal range and tone has never sounded better  but it was when he sang the Alanis Morissette cover Uninvited he was nothing short of sensational. I, as said previously had a vantage point where the most did not and I heard his voice not through the PA , but by the power of his vocal cords only, it was astonishing.

Inglorious for me where the nice surprise of the day , I have seen them many a time but always as the punter and believe me when you are up close and personal with them, they are even better than being in front of them , they were outstanding. For those haters , put your thoughts behind you and just re-listen to the 3 Inglorious albums, they deserved to be number two on the bill.

[Reviewer – Skid]

Inglorious setlist

1.Where are you now

2.Taking the blame

3.High flying gypsy

4.read all about it

5.I don’t know you


7.Freak show



10.Ride to nowhere

11.I don’t need your loving

12.Holy water

13.Until I die

Glenn Hughes was over 30 minutes late to hit the stage as the headliner at 2019 Stonedeaf Festival. For reasons unknown to me, the stage crew hastily taped up all the joins on the stage floor when he was due on. Electric issues with the keyboard player throughout the set did make an impact , but the band played on.

Hughes , in regard to rock and roll has been there , seen it and done it. He is the real deal. He may be a bit out of touch with the real world (‘you didn’t come to see me , I came to see you” and “I would play every night for free”) but he admitted , speaking isn’t his forte however music certainly  is. On that note , he is right. For a guy who is close to 70 , he plays his bass as if he was still in the 70’s , he looks fantastic , has the energy of a young man, but it is that voice that just blows you away . Oh my word, how does he still have that voice? I was there by the stage folks, there were no backing tracks, it was all Glenn Hughes . I don’t know how he does it, but he did do it and it was astonishing. The set list was the classic Deep Purple set he has been touring for a long time including tracks released by Purple before he joined them. Mistreated , Stormbringer and Burn were outstanding , but it was you keep on moving (even with the keyboard issues) that just showed how good he really is, it was a stunner.

I am not sure if the late arrival on stage impacted the crowd at the back, but the front rows were in awe and had a great time. Glenn Hughes is a rock star and he was the cherry on the cake of Stonedeaf Festival 2019.

[Reviewer – Skid]

Glenn Hughes setlist


2.Might just take your life

3.Sail away

4.You keep on moving

5.Gettin’ tighter


7.Smoke on the water

8.Georgia on my mind





10.Highway star


As a post script , a special mention to Krusher Joules for his Mc’ing and the “war stories” behind the scenes , but  I must point out that Chris Sumby’s team across the board were exceptional ,Stonedeaf Festival is still evolving and has much to learn I am sure , but the effort put in gave out the outstanding end result. Stonedeaf Festival is on the map and I hope like its ancestor Monsters of Rock will live long and prosper.

Reviewers – SkidCharlie Mace & Glyn Shepherd

Photography courtesy of and copyrighted to – Adam Thomas Enigma13 Music Photography


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