ROCKMANTIC 2020 was rumoured to be the last "It's the last one!" "is it?" But more rumours surfaced that it may infact be back on next year "Will it go ahead?" "Wont it!?" Who cares? LORDS OF RUIN would be on the bill, and we'd be BRINGING IT all the same!
The lords are no strangers to what Rockmantic means and, hopefully continues to be. It's seen some of the Lords perform in the past with other bands, which meant it was time to catch up with some old familiars!
We were amongst the revellers on the first night enjoying the bands, and of course the Red Stripe, a Brickyard staple if ever you ask me! And every band delivered as good as the last for the entire weekend, early doors saw SCRUFFY BEAR take to the stage, and for me personally it was great to catch up with Jack Wild, Scruffy Bears guitarist who I'd gigged with when I filled in for another band years ago!
Up next, and saving us all were EVERDAY DAY HEROS, which was our first encounter and unlikely to be our last! Seeing us out for the night were the monstrous MASON HILL, who we've had the pleasure of enjoying before. But in all of the merryment, was the very real realisation that we had better not ruin ourselves for our set tomorrow at 6.30........ I tell you no lie when I say that by 1am, I'd ordered my pizza, was chatting shit to the taxi driver, and on my way home and in bed by 1.30am. I know. So rock n roll eh!?
Next morning, gig day! And despite being in bed by a decent time, I'd clearly crammed a lot in last night, or so my head was telling me! You know the sort. Dry mouth, discarded pizza box next the bed, sore neck from swinging my head about, yeah good night had! - this is probably all going to happen tonight isn't it? Anyway... "What time you arriving?" "Where you parking?" "What time's load in?" The sort questions bands ask on gig day as the group chat fires into life. Now all together, again for early doors, taking in today's bands, SYTERIA start the day off, a band we're familiar with as we gigged with them up in Dumfries at The Venue. Next up, and equally well known to us are DEAD RIVER KINGS, with crushing riffs and gravely rocking vocals, DRK are a band we've shared a number of gigs with and have got to know very well. Enough of us know who Mr Raz White is, so it was well anticipated to see him stage side for SWEET TEAZE. Most of our chats about bands, and who everybody were looking forward to, was mostly dominated by these guys, and thus, was going to be something to follow!
Here lies 'that time' where you're due on after next band, and any nerves or apprehension you have about the set creep in. Not this time. To say that we've prepared for this gig would be an understatement. Yeah, it might be a half hour set, and yeah you're playing to a familiar audience, but you're damned if it doesn't make it just as important! Ready and raring to go, and unbeknown to us at the time, Liam is having a minor panic on stage before we start, as he's not getting a sound from his amp (classic!) as he rushes around to fix the problem. later, at the next rehearsal, he'll tell us of his crisis, and that it was a simply due to a level on a pedal that was turned down. But as cool as a cucumber, and without us realising, issue sorted, then introduced by Darren Andrews, BOOM, we erupt into DECAY.
For me, having no sound check, the first song is where you find your feet, be it with the sound or the set up of the kit, 'Did I tighten that up?" "Should I have checked that?" this is where the thoughts like, "after this, were straight into the next bloody song!' "Any issues will have to wait till the end of the 2nd song Steve!!" I get through an intro verse chorus, meaning that by this time, I've gone round the kit under full steam, nowts broken off, fallen over, or sounds horrific, "think I'm in the clear" relief!! After those Initial thoughts it was the relentless practice that takes over. We finish off with our debut single IN FROM THE COLD to an overwhelmingly entertained, now boozy, and appreciative audience.
The rest of the night you can probably guess as to what went on. Though I didnt expect the night would end up at Deja Vu!...... and yes it was later than 1.30am this time.
We had a blast on stage for just 30 minutes, but for 48 hours we thoroughly enjoyed your company and daft photos that were to come in the following days.
Lots of you asked if we had any CDs, which we dont at the moment. But we already know where we're recording, so we hope to be in the studio before too long to record the EP.
🎥 Philip Hunton Photography
🎥 Emma Docherty