It’s day two at Rockingham and with a midday start, there was plenty of time to recover from
the day before. Today’s lineup remains strong with another dose of melodic rock.
Starting the day was Departed who certainly made sure everyone was awake and ready for
the day. By the end of their set, the crowd was joining in and clapping their hands in the air.
The band brought the much-needed energy to the stage and to the whole venue as they
powered through their set and took on the challenge of being the first act of the day. They
were followed up by the extremely impressive Wildness who were making their UK debut.
The Swedish band brought a new level to the day as they provided showmanship and a
heavier side to melodic rock. With long hair flying and plenty of movement, they were
captivating to watch. The day just continued to get better as Bigfoot were up next. If the first
two bands were energetic then these guys something else. Not a moment passed where
they weren’t hair flipping, spinning and being all round entertaining to watch. Not to mention
the outstanding vocals from the front man!
As mid-afternoon came around this party was now in full swing. Which means it’s time for the
always impressive Ammunition! The crowds got bigger as the room filled with fans looking
for a space to see these guys. They flew straight into their first song but before they could
continue any further we hit a few technical difficulties. However, the band kept the
momentum going as they chose to do a crowd led version of “All Night Long” which certainly
seemed to keep the vibe going. With everything back in order the band just went from
strength to strength as they played through their set. Entertainment is the name of the game
and these guys delivered! From acoustic tracks to those classic tracks such as “Wildcard”,
there seemed like there was nothing this band couldn’t do and the crowd took it all in.
Up next were the Canadian melodic rockers Boulevard. With saxophones, keyboards and
soft melodies, they were definitely something different for the day. They were here to do what
they do best and provide this crowd with a truly special moment. But that exact moment had
to be when the band brought a gospel choir onto the stage with them. It’s not an everyday
occurrence especially not at a rock concert but the blend of two types of music worked in
With just two bands left for day, it could only be time for a new all star band with Tokyo
Motor Fist. This leading lineup brings together Steve Brown (Trixter), Ted Poley (Danger
Danger), Greg Smith (Ted Nugent, Rainbow, Alice Cooper) and Chuck Burgi (Rainbow,
Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner) for their first ever UK performance. With this many
outstanding performers in one room it was bound to be an epic set. Poley was as flamboyant
as ever as he played up for the crowd using the whole stage as his own personal
playground. The rest of the band were no less charismatic on stage as they enjoyed the
stage time. The crowd were undoubtedly in love with this new mix of artists and kept up the
fantastic spirit they had generated all day. Despite being a young band in terms of the length
of time they played together, they were spot on in their performance as this calibre of
professionals are. They got the crowd singing and clapping with joy throughout the entire set
and really interacted with them. It was definitely a highlight of the weekend so far for many
fans in the crowd tonight.
The nights headliners were the truly fantastic Nelson who have aged with grace. The two
brothers were here to give their fans a show and they certainly did. They played through hits
old and new and even some impressive covers of “A Whole Lotta Love” and “You Really Got
Me”. Fans in the crowd were singing and rocking along with the band from start to finish and
loving every minute! The band themselves moved around the stage and seemed to be
enjoying every moment of sharing the stage this weekend. For a lot 8f the fans here tonight
there was just one moment they were waiting for – “Love and Affection”. Now, this was a
band who knew what the crowd was looking for and clearly enjoyed the tease, as throughout
the entirety of their set they kept playing a just a small clip, getting the crowds hopes up. But
all this teasing was most certainly worth it as they pulled out all the stops for this
performance and the crowd went wild for it.
It was another perfect ending to another perfect day at this festival.
Photography – Mark Elllis
Shoot The Groove