‘Stonedeaf Festival – Looking back and moving forward’.
By Paul Monkhouse
It’s still Summer (despite the weather) so it’s still festival season. We have had Download and Bloodstock, Ramblin’ Man and Steelhouse amongst others are on the horizon but there are many superb smaller ones definitely worth checking out. In amongst those is one that mixes a heady nostalgia for the greatest annual rock festival of the 80’s and 90’s, an event put on by rock fans, for rock fans I give you: Stonedeaf Festival, happening on the 24th of August.
Despite only having its inaugural festival in 2018, this has become a much-anticipated fixture in the rock and metal calendar and one that has upped the ante even more from last year’s impressive debut. Put together by a collection of veteran fans of the legendary Monsters of Rock festival, this packs into one day and one stage more quality than most festivals do in a weekend (and more than Reading Festival has in the last ten years). The idea was to appeal to not only the people who used to go to MoR but anyone who loves classic hard rock music and doesn’t want to spend several days trudging from one stage to another on a massive site with overpriced food and drink. At Stonedeaf the order of the day is to make things as relaxed and easy as possible so people can get on with just enjoying several hours of fantastic music. Camping is an option and, unlike Download, you can pitch your tent within a very short walk of the arena which is a huge bonus and means you don’t have to miss any of the action. The same can be said of the one stage set-up, totally avoiding all those awkward clashes of timetabling.
Headlining this year is THE Voice of Rock, Mr Glenn Hughes who will be bringing his Classic Deep Purple live set to the venue. It can’t be overstated just how incredible this man is, not only for the voice and his phenomenal bass playing but also for being one of the true survivors of the business. The current set lets him really dig deep into his time in the legendary hard rockers but also breathes life into material that is over forty years old but rocks just as hard as it ever has, mixed with his soul and funk edge. This promises to be a must-see performance.
Not only do you get one of the greatest performers on the planet but also a stellar supporting cast featuring some of the cream of the scene. Rising superstars Inglorious bring their heady modern take on classic rock and in frontman Nathan James have a man whose voice and presence can command any audience. If you like your rock harder and dirtier, long-time Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell brings his Bastard Sons to Stonedeaf and will be playing not only selections from their own hugely acclaimed material but also throw in a song or two from the late, great Lemmy’s troupe too. Having gone down a storm to a packed tent at Download last year, constantly toured the UK with some of the best bands around and on the cusp of releasing their second album, the ex Little Angel Toby Jepson fronted Wayward Sons have got class and material to match that most groups would give their whole careers for.
The unique voice and vision of Geoff Tate is also appearing, doubtless showing just why Queensryche became so huge and true Legends of the NWOBHM, Diamond Head play too. It really cannot be overstated just how important DH are to the modern music scene and without them neither Metallica nor any of the other Big 4 would likely exist. Scotland’s brilliant The Amorettes will doubtless bring some Celtic fire to the proceedings and the bill is rounded off with the visceral rock ‘n’ roll of Australia’s Massive and the bluesy hard rockers Samarkind opening the show. With Krusher Joule MC’ing the whole event and tickets only £50 (£60 for camping) it’s a total no brainer.
Full details at https://www.stonedeaffestival.co.uk/
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