Charisworth Farm, Blandford, Dorset

Teddy Rocks 2019

Day 3 (Sunday)
There is nothing like a bit of Punk Rock to wake you up and shake away the cobwebs. Toxic Fruitcake are five fifty somethings men who are fulfilling their childhood dreams by getting up onstage playing the songs of their heroes. There are songs from The Clash, The Undertones, Buzzcocks and an enjoyable cover of The Levellers “One Way”.

Toxic Fruit Cake
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Over on the woodland stage are Moonbeams a local Bournemouth group who feature two pillars of the local community Conrad Barr and Paul Tucker. They have gathered around them a host of great musicians to create some great compositions, which have a very progressive psychedelic 60’s feel to them. With tunes like the dreamy “Sunset In Stereo (Rainbows on the Radio)”, the post-apocalyptic “Crash & Burn” and “Barbarella” from their Lava Lamp Mind EP; which features some beautiful atmospheric ebow work from Paul. Perfect music for a chilled Sunday afternoon.

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Bournemouth’s Bird Shoes have come on leaps and bounds since their appearance here just one year ago. These guys mean business today – notably in their attire, cream suits! At what is ostensibly a Rock Festival they add a little lightness amongst the sea of black. Their music speaks for itself – short, sharp bursts of Punk-infused splendour. This ain’t no White Stripes rip-off, these guys mean business. And don’t anyone mention Slaves, they are so far removed from them too. Some new material is previewed today but I can’t wait for their standout track, set closer “Lads”. Recently signed and growing in confidence – remember the name people.

As a massive fan of the local music scene it is fantastic to see that so many local bands have been asked to play here this weekend and the Woodland stage area is almost like being in one of my favourite local music venues, Chaplin’s in Boscombe. There are so many familiar faces here that I could honestly stay here all day to catch up on all the music gossip. However the task in hand is to watch some live music and the next band are also local, San Marlo. They open the day on the main stage and since I last saw them they have slimmed down to a three-piece fronted by former drummer Connor Fox of popular folk band Fearne. San Marlo’s roots are in the 90’s American Rock scene and this with their own input makes for some great sounding tunes. Connor fronts the band playing some extraordinary effects enhanced electric guitar, coupled with his top rhythm section of Matt and Aaron.

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Towers really impress on the Vocalzone stage with some great well-groomed beards, along with some well-crafted guitar enhanced tunes that get them plenty of positive noises from the crowd. You cannot help being drawn in by the punchy and powerful tunes of all-girl quartet The Franklys. Their no-nonsense approach has gained them plenty of previous festival appearances and here they get it right with a series of great tunes including latest single “Not Guilty”.

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Bournemouth Glam rockers 27 Days have swapped their electric guitars for an alternative acoustic experience. They deliver a good mix of covers and a few of their own including their single “Dead Men Walking”. They end with a stellar version of Prince’s “Purple Rain”.

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Bloxx are a brand new band to me and my research tells me they sound like the love child of Wolf Alice and Sundara Karma. The band show themselves off well with a collection of original compositions with grungey undertones including the excellent “Headspace”. Their set includes impressive silver streamers and dancing pyrotechnics.

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Travelling all the way from Liverpool are Paris Youth Foundation who after the first few songs have me smiling from ear to ear and could well be my new favourite band. The delectable vocals of singer Kevin Potter; coupled with a really smooth guitar, to me they sound a little like a more upbeat Kodaline. With some totally infectious songs like “Look What You Started”, “If You Wanna” and “Losing Your Love” they have me hooked after their impressive 30 minutes on stage.

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On the main stage Bang Bang Romeo are all about vocalist Anastasia Walker, whose substantial soulful voice is just a sheer joy to listen to. With tunes like “Bag Of Bones”, “Chemical” and a great version of Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River” the three-piece band’s sound radiates into the hearts of the audience. One of my favourite local artists is singer/songwriter Jack Grace who is playing a solo set on the woodland stage. Disappointingly the sound is poor, with the volume from the main stage bleeding over the top and Jack struggles to show everyone what he is really capable of. I trudge off disappointed after only a few songs as I know we need some quiet to get the best out of this highly rated artist.

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Fatherson deliver a masterclass on the main stage as they provide an offering of fine cuts from their latest record “Sum of All Your Parts”, including captivating opener “Charm School”, the jaw-dropping bass tone of “The Rain” and the emphatic chorus of “Ghost”. Their impeccably tight performance is bolstered by their passion, as they express sheer delight while the pyrotechnic display’s embers dance before them.

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Indoor Pets from Kent are a four-piece that are quirky, nerdy and certainly know their way around an infectious tune. I have never seen nor heard of them before, but quickly I find myself singing along with their tunes like “Heavy Thoughts” and “Thick”. At one stage frontman, Jamie puts his guitar down, cavorts around the stage like a madman and swings his microphone around his neck nearly half strangling himself in the process – all the aim of entertainment! They remind a little of American bands like “OK GO” and “Weezer”. On that note they have just been announced as special guests of “Weezer” at Brixton Academy in November, a rare honour indeed. A band certainly on the way up with loads of potential putting on a very memorable performance here today.

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One of the Dorset’s finest Ska bands The Decatonics pull one of the biggest crowds of the weekend on the Greyhound stage. You could feel a small earthquake as the band started each song as so many people danced to tunes like “Rock Steady” and Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”.

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Toploader have recently celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the 1999 “Onka’s Big Moka” album, which makes me feel really old as it only seems like yesterday it came out. The band arrive on the main stage to a great welcome and give us a good mix of songs from their smoothly delivered originals; to a few covers like Elton John’s “Rocket Man”, along with the tune everybody wanted to hear “Dancing In The Moonlight”. Their polished performance and great setlist had lots of people readily singing and dancing along.

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Around about 6pm I hit a complete brick wall, I just felt exhausted and needed a break. A twenty minute sit down with some tasty festival grub, “Battered Chips” and coffee soon puts me right. Looking at the list there are three bands to go and the first of these Black Water County are bound to inject some much-needed energy. Like The Decatonics before them they pull a huge crowd and as soon as they kick off people around me are dancing, and I too soon join them. The Celtic sound that this band creates is so infectious it’s very hard to stay still. The band pumps out a host of great tunes including “Start Something New”, “Painful Truth” and the ruckus “One More Beer” where the crowd all infectiously bounce along. These guys are masters of their trade and each member adds something unique to this band, who despite losing a key member recently just get better and better. We are given a glimpse of their future with a couple of new songs including the stomping “Who Am I Now” which combines Shan’s tin whistle with Gav’s beautifully melodic mandolin. The band ends on their usual closer “Loch Lomond” which causes complete pandemonium, as some of the band jump down off the stage and energetically dance amongst the audience. For me this has been one of the best sets of the whole weekend and I’m sure no one who was here to see this would disagree.

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Louis Berry from Liverpool is an honest guy with a chequered past who has put all the negative things that happened to him behind him and channeled it into music. Here in deepest rural Dorset the strong Scouse accent initially seems a little alien, however, Louis gets his points across with some fine vocals that those who have not seen him before soon warm to and those who have, to love him even more. The thing I love the most is the passion of what a positive crowd means to him, his body language during his performance says it all. Louis and his three-piece band provide some excellent entertainment with tunes like “Rockstar”, a new tune with an Irish flavour “Molly Malone” and an acoustic version of the hard-hitting “Man Down”. Like thousands of musicians before, Liverpool has yet again given us a talented chap who if he continues to give passionate honest performances like this, will continue to grow.

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Sunday night headliners from Liverpool The Zutons take to the stage with a massive crowd in front of them full of expectation. In front of me are Liverpool band Paris Youth Foundation who played earlier, and they are certainly enjoying their peers by singing along to opener the unmistakable “Zuton Fever”. They band seem in a really buoyant mood and are really up for the task in hand tonight to entertain this huge Teddy Rocks crowd. The fourth track in their set is their biggest tune (made more famous by Amy Winehouse) “Valerie”, which sees the whole of the crowd chanting the lyrics back at the band in a beautiful unison. The rest of the set takes in tunes from every area of the band’s career and includes dancing pyrotechnics along with a massive cloud of red confetti which cascades down over the audience, briefly obscuring the view of the stage. (Anybody who was there I’m sure will be finding these little bits of confetti all over the place for months…I have found them in the car, the shower, my bed etc) The announcement by Tom Newton that the Festival has raised just shy of £109,000 sends ripples through the audience, making everybody so proud of what has been achieved here this weekend.

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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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