St. Leonards Farm, Ferndown

Featuring: The Treatment, The Dust Coda, Oli Brown and The Dead Collective, Carbellion, Austin Gold, We Three Kings, Dead Writers, Skinny Knowledge & Crowley

As the sun comes up this morning over St. Leonards Farm, it marks the first day of Summer and thankfully we are blessed with a semi-decent forecast for today with just rain showers expected later this evening. The second day of the Loverocks festival brings even more camaraderie from the security guys on the gate; to the bar staff, sound technicians, roadies, photographers and generally any one attending the festival. Today marks the opening of the second stage with bands taking alternative slots across the two stages.

The first band of the day should by rights be a little bleary-eyed this morning as they visited the historic stone circle at Stonehenge to watch the sun come up, celebrating the Summer Solstice. Crowley are an Occult Rock band from Newcastle named after the English occultist Aleister Crowley, sometimes described as the “Wickedest Man In The World”. Kicking off on the 2nd stage at 11:30am, the quartet are full of energy and pull in quite a crowd for this early hour. Their dark Gothic-tinged Rock, with powerful deep rooted lyrics wakes up even the heaviest of sleepers. Songs that include “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, “Witching Hour” and “Pyre” featuring vocalist Lidya Balaban harmonious and sometimes screamed vocals, coupled with two invigorating guitars; along with thunderous rhythms, really hit the spot. Their soaring set is welcomed by the crowd who show their appreciation for this intoxicating band.

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Next on the main stage are Skinny Knowledge, the only band to be representing Dorset this weekend. They start strongly with opening number “Rock N’Roll” and they have pulled a decent crowd of enthusiastic souls, despite the early hour. The band have been through a few changes over the last year or so and have brought in fine sticksman Mike Rigler, who works well with long term bassist Rab MaGowan. Skilled guitarist Duncan Petrous has been brought in and gives the band a more hard-edged sound. Frontman Andy Smooth’s cheeky sarcastic sense of humour provides some inbetween song banter and raises a few laughs amongst the audience. The band provide some great tunes including recent single “Home” and a powerful version of the Grunge-infused “Stereo” which hilariously sets off a car alarm. The quartet end on the ear worm that is “Keep Me Out Of It” and the crowd give them the adulation they deserve.

Skinny Knowledge
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Goths don’t normally like the sun, however Dead Writers vocalist Paul Shine appears to be making an exception today. With their twin atmospheric guitars, keys and subtle rhythmical patterns they make a beautiful dark sound with a distinct sinister edge. The sound is ascended from a variety of areas and provides something quite unique. As well as the creative instrumentation they clearly have an unquestionable way with words with some impressive lyrical delivery. Tracks like the unreleased gem “Beautiful Mess”, the dramatic “December” and the disquieting “Among Spirits” show entertaining creativity. Paul is a great old school frontman with propulsion, confidence and infectious enthusiasm for his music. The crowd love everything the band have to offer and almost seem disappointed when they leave the stage. The band’s merch queue after departing the stage was one of the longest of the weekend.

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Next up we have Mancunians We Three Kings who enter the stage to the Christmas carol of the same name, which seems a little weird to be hearing in June. Featuring Rich on Vocals/Guitar and Peter on Backing Vocals/Drums the band are out of the blocks quickly, delivering their fuzzed-up grooves. The band share the stage with their mascot, a skeleton called “Bonesy” who wears a crown! I’m sure there is a story there somewhere, perhaps their bassist was eaten by piranhas?! As a duo the band have no other musicians to hide behind and create a real grandiose sound full of ambitious twists and turns. The two of them have a chemistry and work harmoniously together to deliver an impressive performance full of powerful driving guitar riffs created from an array of pedals at his feet including the essential wah wah pedal. Their set features a formidable tune “The Criminal”, new single “Get Back” and uplifting set closer “Bright Lights of The City”. I was determined to write this paragraph without mentioning “Royal Blood or “The Virginmarys”….I hope I achieved this.

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After a welcome in between band sit down for a quick bite to eat and a drink. Looking around though I’m in good company as there are plenty of Rock veterans in my age bracket as well as plenty of younger souls. Next up are another new band on me, Austin Gold – my research tells me that they are from Peterborough and are already a well established band with three releases under their belt. They feature David James Smith (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Lee Churchill (Bass), Adam Leon (Keyboards) and James Pepper (Drums). They show themselves to be cohesive and provide a heavy classic Blues/Rock sound that the audience really warm to. David (who to me looks a little like Puddle Of Mud’s Wes Scantlin, though I could be mistaken as my sight is a little blurry) provides some fine, almost flawless bold vocals along with some skilfully played guitar riffs. The intensive propulsive bass and drums are complemented by Adam’s (who looks a bit like Andy Cairns from Therapy) melodic keys. The band perform their new single “Cut & Run” as a bubble machine sprays them with translucent soapy spheres to great effect.

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All the way live and direct from Wisconsin USA are Carbellion, a bunch of guys who play their Rock hard and heavy. They enter the stage with big smiles on their faces and have chosen Loverocks festival for the first night of their UK Tour. The denim-clad musicians play Slayer-heavy guitar riffs, coupled with thunderous basslines and dominantly creative drums with tunes like “Bar Fight”, “Backseat”, “Stalemate” and a reinvented cover of Marc Bolan’s “20th Century Boy”. I am more than impressed this year with “Jim Love” and his team have brought in some more diverse acts that really add to the enjoyment of the line-up. The crowd really warmed to Carbellion after this successful debut, I’m sure that they will return some time in the near future.

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Talking of eclectic, the next act could not be any more different than the last. Oli Brown and the Dead Collective features Black Star Riders/Wayward Sons guitarist Sam Wood, along with seasoned drummer; four times awarded British Blues Drummer of the Year Wayne Proctor. These three musicians all have serious CV’s with a huge amount of experience under their belts and of course expectations are high. The multi-talented musicians effortlessly work together like a well oiled machine, providing some divine sounds. Starting with “Father” from the 2023 “Prologue” Ep, a beautifully crafted song with some wonderfully heartfelt lyrics; the crowd just stand taking in all the trio have to offer with epic original tracks “Goliath”, “Haunted” and the toweringly awesome “Estranged” – a tune that just makes the hairs stand up on the back on your neck. Oli’s smooth emotive vocals serenade us and power across the festival site through the speakers into the hearts of the audience. Their 45 minute set is certainly one of the highlights of the weekend, a pure Blues/Rock instrumental and vocal masterclass.

Oli Brown and the Dead Collective
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The Dust Coda vocalist John Drake has had quite an adventure getting here today as he as flown in from Australia with a stopover on the way and a hefty delay. He is here, a bit jet-lagged but gathered on stage with his fellow band members and ready to rock. Opening with “Limbo Man” the band have no trouble pulling a crowd over to the main stage, the vast majority of the audience have seen them before and know what to expect. They are a band who also include Adam Mackie (Lead Guitar), Scott Miller (Drums) and Tony Ho (Bass) and are a delight to watch, they are an industrious bunch with a passionate delivery. “Sweet Love is Gone” is a highlight and John shows the jetlag in no way interferes with his soulful vocal delivery. “Call Out The Dogs” sees Loverocks very own roadie Nigel Poole joining the band at the side of the stage, providing some particularly impressive air guitar = even giving Adam a run for his money. The band give their all during their 40 minutes on stage and even a few technical niggles did not detract from their great performance.

The Dust Coda
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It might be the longest day and we are expecting it to stay light until at least 10:30pm, however this being the UK the skies have clouded over and it has started to rain. After the wonderful weather we have experienced, a heavy rain shower is not going to make any difference to our enjoyment of the headliners. Tonight’s top billing status has been gifted to Cambridge indomitable Rockers The Treatment. The “Wake Up The Neighbourhood” album has once again shown the band to be firing on all cylinders. They hit the stage with huge amounts of energy with their twin guitars blazing and frontman Tom Rampton is on a mission to whip up the crowd. Opening appropriately with “Let’s Wake Up This Town” from the new record the band ply their craft like a thoroughly seasoned and capable outfit. There is a great spirit and camaraderie within the quintet and it is clear that they thrive when performing in front of an audience like this. With a huge armoury of great songs the band provide a relentless momentum with tunes like “When Thunder and Lightning Strikes”, “Running with The Dogs” and the hugely popular “Get The Party On”. As the rain is now coming down even more heavily the band come to the end of their set and the loyal audience still want more and The Treatment deliver with the epic “Shake The Mountain” to conclude the second day of the festival in some style. The Treatment are a great all round band and produce a fantastic and memorable headline set.

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Before the festival dates were announced, my sons bought me a ticket to see German Industrial giants Rammstein in Dublin; a bucket list band for me, so sadly I won’t be able to attend the final day. However we will leave you in the capable hands of our photographer Lynn Burt and our reviewer Becky Crowthall-Brown, who will bring you all the coverage from the final day of the festival. As usual it has been an absolute blast and thank you to Jim Love, along with his wonderful team for their hospitality and for putting on one of the best live music events in the area.










More Videos from the weekend can be found on our You Tube Channel here.


Article by David Chinery (Chinners)
Photography by Lynn Burt
Additional Media & Photography by Becky Crowthall-Brown

Loverocks 2024