Teddy Rocks Festival 2019 – Day 2

Charisworth Farm, Blandford, Dorset

Teddy Rocks 2019

The first band of the day is Death By Shotgun and we find them in full flow as we arrive on site. The four-piece from Bournemouth have the unenviable task of opening the Vocalzone stage. The crowd seems really responsive to the hooky acoustic/electric guitar mix which opens Day 2 well. Next up is Wolf Culture who continue the momentum with a set featuring their new energetic bassist; who is pulling plenty of shapes to tunes from their debut EP, as well as some great sounding new material.

Death By Shotgun
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The main stage opens with one of Dorset’s finest exports Saints of Sin who are quite possibly one of the finest rock bands in the area at the moment. Festivals is where this band thrives and they open the show strongly with their brand new single “Heart Attack”. With a new album on the way the band treats the audience to some new material including an epic new tune called “Shine Like Stars” and another called “We’re On Fire”. The two guitarists Sparxx and Sophie really excel as they both take turns with lead duties, while frontman Rui gives some impressive vocals.

Saints Of Sin
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Back on the Vocalzone stage vocalist Sean Smith of Raiders is giving headbanging a whole new meaning by banging his head on the floor of the tent in time to the music. Sean who you may recognize from his previous band The Blackout is certainly pushing the boundaries of entertainment and his attempts to whip up this early afternoon crowd fails, so he banishes everyone from the tent with an outburst of hilarious expletives. Virtually everyone follows his instructions, however, they stay curiously at the edge to see what happens next. This four-piece from Wales are as hard-hitting as they are entertaining. Their debut release “Wasting Away” is a combination of screamed and clean vocals, backed by some heavy melodic guitars. By the end of the band’s set Sean does not look too well, he head banging has possibly made him ill and as they leave the stage he vomits in the photo pit scattering photographers in his wake.

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A last-minute add-on to the line-up are rockers Black Tree Vultures, who got the call as Pretty Little Enemy sadly had to withdraw. To say they are ready is an understatement, hitting the stage at one hundred miles an hour this band certainly mean business. Humble frontman Celyon could not be more active and gets the audience on his side really quickly with plenty of positive reactions from the growing crowd. The band’s heavy rock heart is beating strongly with spot on tunes like “Bitter” and the powerful “No More Empathy” from their recent EP.

Black Tree Vultures
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The Rock n’ Roll continues with Wolf Jaw who have previously played here when they were known as “The Bad Flowers”. The West Midlands three-piece have some lovely rhythms, coupled with some expertly played blues-infused guitars which the Teddy Rocks crowd seem to all really enjoy.

Wolf Jaw
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Bournemouth’s great white hope Chris Payn has had rock ‘n roll oozing from every pore of his body since he was very young. He has played in a variety of projects including his own band Hightown Parade, whose singles have already received high praise from the music press and radio play on Planet Rock. Today Chris is doing a solo set with just his piano, a loop pedal and an acoustic guitar for company. This is certainly a really different prospect and Chris as he always does exceling with the tools he has, but what stands out is the power and the clarity of his considerable voice, particularly on new single “Secrets”. As good as this is Chris is much more at home fronting a band, hopefully, we shall be seeing him doing this on a festival stage sometime really soon.

Hightown Parade
Hightown Parade

The Dirty Youth are up next on the main stage and despite having to cancel their recent tour, the band made sure that they have kept this date. The sun is shining and singer Danni Monroe sounds on fine form belting out familiar tunes like “Alive”, “The One” and their new single (and album title) “Utopia”; which shows the bands recent evolution along with some great lyrical content.

The highlight of their set is when the band unexpectedly perform a version of “Killing In The Name” which they mix brilliantly with “Boom Boom Shake The Room”. During the chorus, they get the audience to chant “Fuck Cancer” which rings out loudly across these Blandford fields.

The Dirty Youth
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A quick trip over to the very packed Vocalzone stage and I find the festival’s beating heart Tom Newton playing his white Gibson guitar for his band The Bottom Line. Despite being on site for a huge amount of time, he still finds the energy to get up and play with his band. The band’s simple pop/punk tunes really appeal to the crowd with numbers like opener “Reasons”, recent single “Gone” and the earworm “I Still Hate You” getting everyone singing along with the band.

The Bottom Line
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After a quick break for a much-needed coffee and tasty festival burrito, I once again head to the main stage to see the legend that is Phil Campbell, who until the death of Lemmy was a long term member of the legendary rock band Motorhead. In 2016 Phil; along with his three sons Todd, Dane and Tyla formed Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons with the line-up being completed by former “Attack Attack” vocalist Neil Starr. The band open with the straight to the point “Big Mouth” from their debut release and play a set that is mixed with their own original material; as well as a few Motorhead classics like “Born To Raise Hell” and the classic “Ace Of Spades”, which was enjoyed by old and young members of the audience alike. With barely the last note of final song “High Rule” finished by Phil, Walsall rockers Stone Broken take to the stage in the Vocalzone Big Top.

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Stone Broken’s popularity just seems to get bigger and bigger as time goes by. Their tunes are getting regular airplay on the rock radio stations and the live shows are always nights to remember. The four-piece featuring Rich Moss (Vocals/guitar), Chris Davis (Guitar), Kieron Conroy (Bass) and the ever smiling Robyn Haycock (Drums) kick off with “Stay The Night”. The band sounds on fine form and despite not playing a gig since February, are certainly firing on all cylinders. Looking around me there are so many Stone Broken devotees who clearly know every word to every song. The set list is full of many highlights including last year’s single “Heartbeat Away”, “Let Me Go” and a fantastic acoustic version of the emotive “Wait For You”. They leave the stage with a wonderful reception from the crowd and it was a privilege to have such a band on the bill.

Stone Broken
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It’s been a long day and it’s now finally time for tonight’s unbelievable headliners The Darkness. Myself, and much of the audience can hardly believe it – Justin Hawkins and company are about to take to the stage in Blandford. After the big bold intro music, the band arrive onstage and open with “Givin’ Up” which soon gets much of the crowd moving. Justin is in a David Hasselhoff t-shirt; while Frankie is sporting stripy suit, drummer Rufus in shorts (Brrr!!) and Dan is wearing all black. After the first few numbers, Justin briefly disappears and returns in one of his trademark multi-coloured catsuits, before launching into “One Way Ticket” which features dancing pyrotechnics and confetti canons cascading a bright wall of colour high into the air. Justin is every bit the showman and shows off with some hilarious acrobatics as well as a trip through the audience on the back of somebody’s shoulders. The crowning moment of their set was of course “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” which gets the audience singing in a beautiful unison as Justin shows off his unique vocal range…the song ends with fireworks exploding high in the air above the heads of the audience, as well as streamers and more confetti. Just before the encores, Tom Newton comes to the stage with the now customary announcement and the news is amazing that the festival has raised £85,400.79 so far. The Darkness then return. You really cannot fault their performance here tonight and the audience shows their noisy appreciation. They are rewarded for their positive support and are treated to an encore of “Love On The Rocks With No Ice” which ends things perfectly.

The Darkness
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The music does not stop there…on the other stages I find the excellent Bomo Swing with their mix of different flavours from around the world with an eclectic mix of Balkan, Reggae, and ska combined with infectious Latin percussion. The wonderful combination of vocal styles with Lucas’s rapping, coupled with the delightful voice of Kimari Raven they keep peoples feet moving consistently throughout their upbeat set. I find my 15-year-old son Joshua over on the Greyhound stage; reliving one of his first festival experiences seeing Green Day at Reading Festival in 2013, however this time it’s tribute band Dookie providing the entertainment. They perform an authentic set full of the band’s best tunes and the crowd is singing along with them too. Well, that’s Day 2 done – I’m really cold and need a shower and a good night’s sleep, let’s do it all over again tomorrow!!



More Videos from the event can be found on our YouTube channel here.

Read all our teddy Rocks 2019 reviews – Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Article written by David Chinery with help from the Rock Regeneration Festival Team
Jon Musselwhite, Ross A. Ferrone, George Fullerton, Joshua Chinery and Lynn Burt.

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