After a refreshing night’s sleep, Mott the Dog and team were ready for another day of good old rock & roll in the fields of Kent at The New Day Festival.
With the sounds of the Flying Tigers ringing out across the countryside we wandered down to the Spitfire stage to catch our first band of the day and what an act they turned out to be. By name they call themselves Kindred Spirit, led by the charming singer/songwriter Elaine Samuels. They also feature guitar, flute, violin, bass and drums, the latter being played by one Les Binks who rose to fame as the drummer for heavy metal gods Judas Priest. But although Kindred Spirit are indeed a powerful band, they are not heavy metal, far from it. They are actually very hard to button down: Prog rock for sure, folk elements, haunting vocal harmonies, and with violin and soaring vocals there has to be some comparison between this band and Curved Air. They were the most welcome surprise of the festival and Kindred Spirit is certainly a name to watch out for.
Next up on the Shindig stage was Edgar Broughton who played a mesmerizing set accompanied only by his own guitar. The songs he played covered his entire career, including a track from The Edgar Broughton Band’s album “Bandages”, to some from his latest album “By Myself” to a song called “The Sound Don’t Come”, a tribute to his fallen friend Mick Farren. This last song really brought a lump to many a seasoned rocker’s throat and hopefully it will be released on an album next year.
Back at the Spitfire stage The Fierce and The Dead were rockin out in fine heavy metal style, but perhaps a bit early in the day for that sort of thing. They were quickly followed by Solstice who were superb and blended into the atmosphere of the festival perfectly.
IQ Earth were up next with some beguiling progressive music and were followed by quite the reverse, a rumbustious Jackie Lynton who stirred up a storm whilst also proving he is the oldest, funniest and rudest man in Rock. Every festival should have Jackie Lynton and his fine band playing somewhere on the bill.
Getting serious again it was the turn of Soft Machine on the Spitfire stage. I thought this would be a disaster, but there was something quite compelling about being sat in a sunny field with a pint in your hand, fish & chips to pick at and Soft Machine playing their bleepy-bloopy sound. It made for a very pleasant hour.
Cometh the hour cometh the man as the saying goes and Martin Turner ex-Wishbone Ash took the stage by storm and rocked their way through the album “Argus”. Superb musicians all, they received one of the best reactions from the crowd all day. Any band that can weave a chorus of Monty Python’s Lumberjack ditty into a song called Warrior is alright by me.
Then we were treated to a faultless set by John Lee’s Barclay James Harvest. By now the weather had darkened and the lights were in full effect as beautiful songs came from the stage that lulled you along. This is a fine band who next year will have been around for fifty years.
Headlining on Shindig stage were Lindisfarne and the boys from the Tyne did not disappoint, leading a fine sing-a-long and playing all the songs you wanted to hear. They themselves may be a little long in the tooth, but you wouldn’t know it listening to the bounce in their songs.
The final act of the day was the mighty Uriah Heep and they had an ‘on day’, firing on all six cylinders. Playing tunes from their first album “Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble” to two from their latest, “Outsider”, every song was met with a cheer louder than the last and as the audience showed their appreciation, the band just fired back even harder. They finally finished with “Easy Livin’”, sending the crowds back to their varied accommodations a very satisfied group. It was the best day this writer has ever spent at a festival.
Tune in for the final part 3 of the festival next week!
Note: Written by Mott the Dog who can often be found muttering away about the New Day festival at a table in Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR North Pattaya.
(All photos courtesy of Strang The Steward).