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TWO RIVERS FESTIVAL
Rivers Festival is part of an annual arts festival run by the local
council. What makes it slightly different to a regular, locally run
festival is that the promoters, Loud and Proud in conjunction with Real
XS usually manage to lure a big name to headline and this year we were
to be treated to The Union, none too shabby I'm sure you will agree.
itself is held in a pedestrian zone in the town centre of Paisley
(which is just outside Glasgow in case you are wondering) and on arrival
I was faced with a crowd split between rockers there for the music and
Saturday shoppers wondering what all the racket was about.
at that point was being created by local band Devil May Cry who
proved to be a bit tasty. They play a melodic, AOR style of rock of
which I only caught the last couple of numbers, it was enough however to
convince me that they would be worth catching again at some point.
full set of the day was provided by Fastlayne who proved to be
another cracker. Again, more melodic rock but with a harder edge, UFO
sprung to mind at times, and they went down well in the afternoon
Robert Traish once fronted a thrash metal band called Drunken State back
in the day, and proved to be a bit of a seasoned pro when it came to
playing up to the crowd; hell, he even managed a chorus of Spongebob
Squarepants for the younger members of the audience which got one of the
biggest cheers of the day.
were next to tread the boards. They are a fairly bog standard covers
band and were competent enough, but nothing special, they are available
for birthdays and weddings I believe!
Toozup though we had one of Scotland's best tribute acts Gallus
Cooper, who pay a pretty faithful homage to the great man. Opening
with 'Bed Of Nails' the band immediately impressed with frontman Gallus
looking even more haggard than the real item!
Alice favourites were aired including 'Billion Dollar Babies' complete
with doll and sword, a crowd pleasing 'Poison' and the inevitable
'School's Out' complete with giant balloons being tossed into the crowd.
entertainment then from a fantastic band were all on top form. I will
need to catch their full show at some point which contains the 'full
monty' Alice show, snakes and all.
were gathering overhead as The Amorettes took to the stage.
Having just released their first album 'Haulin' Ass', this all girl trio
are starting to make a bit of a name for themselves. Not having seen
them before I was unsure what to expect and to be honest I feared the
What we got
though was a new Rock Goddess, these girls can rock with the best of
them. Heavy bassline and hard melodic guitars are the order of the day
coupled with a strong vocal from Gilliam Montgomery. During the set, the
heavens opened and the aerial pyrotechnics added to the performance, the
rain however sent the crowd scurrying for cover which was a shame.
of the day though were The Wee Band who are the product of the
promoters Loud And Proud which is a music school which gives youngsters
a start in music and do some sterling work.
I have been
to enough school concerts though to know what these things can be like,
good for the parents, not so good for everyone else, but this crew are
in a different league. All aged between 13 and 16 the band would put
many older, more established names to shame.
'Sweet Child 'O Mine' the band were a revelation. It is hard to single
out individuals as all on stage put in a great performance, the stage
presence isn't quite there yet, but that will come with time which they
have plenty of.
highlights included a great version of 'The Chain' and a very heavy
version of Rock Sugar's mash-up 'Don't Stop The Sandman' which ended
their set. A highly impressive set then from a group of very talented
individuals, definitely ones to watch out for.
beckoned after which we picked our spot to witness Attica Rage.
Frontman Jonny and drummer Ritchie both originally come from Paisley and
their family were out on mass to lend their support including the Rage
The band had
thought about toning down their set a bit to appeal to the passing
masses, but decided instead to do what they do best and rock hard and
'Road Dog Forever' the crowd were with the band from the first chords.
Jonny was in fine voice and the rest of the guys played like men
possessed and were clearly having a ball. The bulk of the set was culled
from the excellent 'Road Dogs' album including a sing-along version of
'Ashamed' which went down well.
also aired one new track from their forthcoming album which they are in
the process of writing and recording, the working title is 'Flight 180'
and it is a monster of a track with Ritchie battering the living
daylights out of his bass drum.
If this is
the standard of the new material, then we are in for a treat come the
end of the year. The guys threw in a couple of crowd friendly covers,
namely 'Rebel Yell' and 'Paranoid' which finished off a solid set. The
Rage grannies should be very proud.
was then set for The Union and as just as Luke Morley struck the first
chords of opener 'Watch The River Flow' the heavens opened once more and
this time it showed no signs of abating quickly. The guys and the crowd
though soldiered on in the downpour and provided a set that was worth
was next followed by live favourite 'Blame It On Tupelo'. The crowd
reaction was a bit muted in the conditions, but the band play up a
I have seen
The Union twice already this year and this show was equally as good,
unfortunately the weather did dampen spirits a bit, but those who
remained were rewarded with a top class show with Pete and Luke swapping
guitar licks as quickly as the rain was falling. A good end to the day.
Rivers proved to be a great event with a fantastic array of bands.
Credit must go to the local council for resurrecting it this year (it
was cancelled in 2011 due to lack of finance) and hopefully after the
success this year's event, 2013 should already be pencilled in.