Part 2 of 2.
The Bowling Green Lichfield 26th July 2014.
Well, I’m fed, watered and champing at the bit in anticipation of the next five acts that are set to play at the Lichfield Rocks Festival and with Of Kings And Captains taking to the stage smack on 3.30pm, I didn’t have long to wait!
Of Kings And Captains were undoubtedly a firm favourite for many today and when a band has such energy and buzz on stage, as these guys do, then their popularity comes as no great surprise. Highlight of the set for me was the song ‘Takes All Night’ as that is truly a great party anthem and one you simply have got to sing along to.
Next up on stage were The Two ‘n’ Eights and having recently seen them at The Flapper in Birmingham, I had a feeling that playing on a bigger stage, the size of the one here today, would see this band come into a life of their own. Encouraged on by fans, both old and new, lead singer Jono could not have seemed more at home up there and as for the bands set today, it was damn near indie outstanding! If you haven’t seen The Two ‘n’ Eights before, then make sure you do.
I’ve heard so much about Mitchell Emms and Mister Nothing and never quite managed to get to see them play live before so their set today was something I had been looking forward to immensely. Was I disappointed – no way, as from their very first few notes it was apparent that Mister Nothing were going to play the hell out of Lichfield today! Mitchell Emms certainly can sing and play a mean guitar and if his energy on (and off) stage could be captured, then the National Grid could run for days on it! Time for a spot of fun and dancing from the audience aswell, which confirmed that Lichfield was well and truly rocking!
You simply have to love Stubblemelt as in their three short years of existence, they have proven to be a band that has grown into something which truly is an amazingly original love child and if that ain’t enough, well you couldn’t wish to meet a nicer bunch of people either. Huge praise also needs to go out to the guys and gal of Stubblemelt, particularly to Kyle Perry as without their behind the scenes work on the Lichfield Rocks Festival, I very much suspect that today would not be half the event that it is.
In recent months, Stubblemelt have released their debut album ‘Gypaetus Barbatus’, which looks set to cement a prosperous path for their creative future but today the set took a trip down memory lane with many of the songs from their earlier days and the debut EP ‘The Search’ and it was also great to see Craig Pedley back behind a keyboard for part of it aswell. Combined with the heat of the day and an intensely jiggy audience, Stubblemelt put their meltingly good stamp on today’s proceedings as only Stubblemelt could do.
Our headlining act today was the unmissable Lucy Spraggan and what a busy lady she was, with the Lichfield Rocks Festival being her second festival of the day, having already played at The Fat Cat in Sheffield as part of the Tramlines Festival. Lucy’s set was a must see for many and people seemed to emerge from just about everywhere. Cars were even stopping and pulling over onto the grass verge beyond the perimeter fence to watch, cheeky yes, but not surprising really, as Lucy is one seriously talented lady.
Lucy’s set included some of her finest songs with ‘Lighthouse’ heralding the start of a very enjoyable forty five minutes. There is something very special about the songwriting talent of Lucy Spraggan, as not only does she capture some of life’s tougher moments in her songs, but she somehow manages to add a sparkle to her observations and you need look no further than the ‘Jeremy Kyle’ song to see what I’m talking about. Lucy is a great storyteller indeed and today’s set was definitley appreciated by all present.
With Lucy’s set bringing the outside entertainment to a close and heralding the time for the acoustic vibe to continue indoors, I can wholeheartedly say that today has been my kind of festival. There are so many people whose hard work behind the scenes has made this festival the success that it was and with such a wealth of great music, sunshine and good company aswell, not even the rain clouds dared to spoil it. So, roll on 2015 and doing this all over again!
Words and Photography by Sue Wardle.