30 June – 1st July

The rain is running down the walls and the bands are likely to get electrocuted.  Welcome to the INSIDE of the Castle pub.  The cigarette smoke fights for control of the hole in the roof with the rain, one trying to get in and one trying to get out. Don’t be put off though, for the place has a great selection of real ales coupled with intimate atmosphere.

For two days the rain bucket has been converted to a collection bucket to support the musical festival put on to raise funds towards cancer research.  It’s a pretty non-stop rotation of bands, diverse in agility and in the case of Amida, heavy with technical problems.  For a start there are only 3 of them, as other members travel the country.   Then broken strings, a bust guitar and dodgy leads plague a set that never gets any momentum going.  They don’t so much as stop, as just give up.  Better luck next time lads.

Tameside are represented by Words, a band that the term “pub-rock” could have been coined.   It’s an ideal way of getting into musical gear for the long day to come.  It’s a series of rock songs belted out in an enjoyably enthusiastic manner.  There are so many blatant rip off’s that it’s hard to dislike them and I don’t.  Set closer “Stand Up or Sit Down” is closer to the James chant along “Sit down” that the lawyers would be rubbing their hands with glee

Colin’s Godson is a 3 piece whose intentions seem to be to enjoy themselves and play music.  A ski mask is donned for half a song before the vocalists realise he cannot see anything – the lighting in the room appears to be a single 60w bulb. They sing about the Tardis, have written a song especially for the event, and exude mischievousness

Reputedly making their live debut, Monster Island must practise a lot, for they do appear well rehearsed and carry off their numbers with aplomb.    It’s a raw, fractured sound powerful enough to catch and hold the attention, promising much for the future

The rotating band list means a rotating crowd or in the case of Harrington (not the Harringtons) mothers, brothers, dads and friends who pack out the small room.  A comfortable swagger is exude by the group, whose influences probably include the Libertines and the Jam

Soloist Edwards James Bass takes up his guitar then hold the audience captive with his tales recited with a voice that can glide effortlessly through the scales

Another bnd reputedly making their debut is Tin Pot Dictator.   Judging by the packed out room, with the pool table the best vantage point, they either have a lot of mates or people have heard them practice.   They are the most commercial band on display so far, and they have their crowd dance….. err, well, moving around, but that might be to avoid the droplets of rain.  Highly polished in performance, they close their set with a well-received copy of “Enola Gay”

Just what you want from such an event – apart from the money that is – a whole host of bands you haven’t heard before, providing great entertainment

Words: Photo: Ged Camera -

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