Sunday review

Strummercamp 2008 reviews

published: Thu 29th May 2008

The Mentalists

Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th May 2008
Bowdon Rugby Club, Clay Lane, Timperley, Altrincham, England MAP
£59.50 per person weekend pass, £35 a day and £15 for kids
last updated: Fri 2nd May 2008

Sunday brings with it a cold and cloudy day, more like the Manchester weather we know. There is a huge breeze, and not just from the many burgers that have been eaten the night before! It feels like you are being chewed by a set of windy gums whilst trying to sleep in your tent! Rob Galloway opens the stage (after playing at 2am!) with help to sing ‘ ‘Girls Are Meaner Than Boys’, which a lot of us have just managed to get out of our heads from earlier in the morning!. Both George Borowski and Atilla get second shots on the stage, with Borowski’s ‘Hold Up Your Hands’ involving the crowd and more funny rhymes and songs from Atilla in the form of ‘Joseph Porter’s Sleeping Bag’ and salute to Mr Strummer ‘Comandante Joe’.

The Score, with a singer appears to shop for his sunglasses at the same place as The Toy Dolls, are great for the younger members of the festival crowd. Rambo And Leroy are more Coldplay than Goldblade; the guitar work from the young band is amazing but feels a little self-indulgent at times (especially the drawn out ending with three ‘stops’. The use of a backing tape with keyboards is ok, but to have an acoustic guitar sound coming over the speakers when the guitarist is not playing his is a bit strange, he is more than capable of playing a few chords.

The only females to perform all weekend (apart from the lady helping Galloway) are The Mentalists, a group of beautiful ladies fronted by Kim E. Leon, who sounds a lot like Tia Carrere (Cassandra from Wayne’s World). Talk about stage magic; the fellas in the tent sure seem to be enthralled! There are a lot of new songs showcased today, many have not been played by the band as one unit before. ‘Imposter’ and ‘A Women’s Work Is Never Done’ are good riot grrl tracks.

The Mentalists

Radio Revolcion win the award for the furthest travelled to get here, hailing from Mexico and Columbia (via Peckham and Brixton). They mix Columbian ska and reggae to good effect, though the singer has a little too much of an intro (thanking Bob Marley and nearly a thousand others) and midway through the set disappears to get another guitar, without telling anyone (even his band). The drum and bass beat kicked out by their female drummer is beat perfect.

Radio Revolucion

As they have been stuck in traffic, Random Hand get to play a later set, and again this mainly appeals to the younger crowd here. The sound has ska tendancies, mainly from singer Robin Leitch’s trombone mixed uniquely with thrash metal. Interesting...

The venue is no the only thing to have changed last minute, Koopa and Dreadzone have also had to be removed. No matter, as Strummercamp regulars Goldblade are here to save the day, after playing another concert earlier in Darwen for Live 2008. This does not slow them down, kids are pulled onstage (with one even singing the start of ‘Pyhsco!’) and many down the front are blessed with the ‘Power Of Rock And Roll’. You can guarantee a good Goldblade gig every time, such is the effort shone and crowd participation. Dreadzone would have been great, but you can’t say Strummercamp without adding Goldblade.

Goldblade

Next up the cutest thing (and you can’t say that about many punk festivals) are the self-named Rock and Roll Kids. Singer Tom and his brother and friends belt out Redemption Song; I can see grown men crying. These kids have just collected two hundred pounds for the Strummercamp cause in a money box; it is not secret that the festival was struggling towards the end to break even, but a last minute effort and the support from the crowd (such is the spirit of this festival) and save it before the end. The compare should have bet that he can beat the world record for the amount of times he can say “No, no, no they were better than that!” after ever band (a running joke towards the end).

I am glad to come to a festival like this, a true grassroots gig but for the punk community. The promoters The Amigos put their all in whilst making a loss every year (three day tickets are only £59.50), and I for one am glad that they stick at it. Here’s to number four!

intro / Saturday review >>

review by: Danielle Millea

photos by: Danielle Millea

Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th May 2008
Bowdon Rugby Club, Clay Lane, Timperley, Altrincham, England MAP
£59.50 per person weekend pass, £35 a day and £15 for kids
last updated: Fri 2nd May 2008


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