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Planet Rockstock 2017: Saturday roundup

Massive Wagons © Darren Griffiths

Joanne Shaw Taylor, Dan Reed Network, Brother Firetribe, Electric Boys, Massive Wagons, Broken Witt Rebels and many more wow Planet Rockstock.

Florence Black © Saskia Dugon

A perfect way to blow away the morning cobwebs, Merthyr Tydfil trio Florence Black opened Stage 2 with their potent brand of dirty chugging metal. Their set undoubtedly reached its zenith with their vivacious cover of ‘Breadfan’ by their esteemed fellow countrymen Budgie.

Beth Blade © Darren Griffiths 

Keeping it nice and heavy, Cardiff rockers Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters played a fiery set packed with attitude, big riffs and melodic choruses as typified by the uncompromising ‘This Bitch Bites.’

Godsticks © Darren Griffiths

From another side of the musical spectrum, South Wales four-piece Godsticks took us into more experimental, progressive realms with their dark, brooding and oft hypnotic sounds such as ‘Angry Concern’.

These Wicked Rivers © Darren Griffiths

Recent stars of our weekly Ones To Watch feature, These Wicked Rivers wowed with a muscular performance of their southern rock-influenced sounds in front of a packed Stage 2. A well-oiled rock machine, ‘Testify’ and ‘Don’t Pray For Me’ in particular stood out.

Gabriella Jones © Saskia Dugon

Next up on the ultra-eclectic bill was rising Birmingham star Gabriella Jones who impressed with her pop-tinged blues-rock sounds, such as set closer ‘Take Me To The Party’.

Some drummer called Wyatt © Darren Griffiths

The biggest cheer of the day so far came when Gabriella introduced her stand-in drummer – a certain DJ called Wyatt who secured his share of the limelight with his drum stick spinning antics. “You’re probably wondering why a Planet Rock DJ is playing with us right now?”, Gabriella asked the crowd, to much amusement. “Our drummer decided a wedding is more important than playing Planet Rockstock so Wyatt stepped in!”

The Texas Flood © Saskia Dugon

Having negotiated the arduous 30-minute journey from Port Talbot, The Texas Flood brought a slice of gravelly-voiced southern rock to Stage 2. Not only did Tom Sawyer (yep, that's his name) and co. have ace tunes like “our take on the classic that never existed” ‘Shoot Me Down’ but they also won everyone over with their self-deprecating humour with lines like “We want to thank you from the bottom of our cold-blooded hearts.”

Trucker Diablo © Saskia Dugon

Hailing from Northern Ireland, Trucker Diablo (also Ones To Watch alumni) delivered a rousing Stage 2 finale thanks to an impassioned rendition of ‘Over The Wall’ and ‘Proud Mary’ that had the whole room chanting “rolling down the river” in unison.


Broken Witt Rebels © Saskia Dugon

Fresh from playing a homecoming on Thursday night (30th November), Birmingham blues rock bastions Broken Witt Rebels were commanding from the word go.  

With a voluminous gravelly voice that belies his tender years, singer Danny Core’s talent is matched by his fellow band members who serve up a cavalcade of big dirty riffs and sumptuous grooves. From ‘Guns’ with its singalong refrain of “burn bright like a cigarette” to the powerful ‘Snake Eyes’ and the wall of sound that is ‘The Bottom of the Hill’, it was a breath-taking opening set.

Massive Wagons © Saskia Dugon

An ultimate party band, the impossibly energetic motley crew that is Massive Wagons kicked off their high-octane set with their Rick Parfitt tribute track ‘Back To The Stack’ and brought it to a cacophonous end with a cover of AC/DC’s ‘Riff Raff’; a nod to the late-great Malcolm Young.

In between their tribute sandwich, the Lancashire lads were relentless, belting out anthems including ‘Red Dress’ and the towering ‘Fee Fi Fo Fum’, while captivating singer Baz Mills was a ball of energy throughout, urging the crowd to “show me your beers” and bounding around the stage with boyish enthusiasm.

Electric Boys © Saskia Dugon

Dipping into their 30-year back catalogue, Swedish rockers Electric Boys were a musical tour-de-force throughout their well-received set. With singer Conny Bloom rightfully proclaiming “We’ve got beers, we’ve got great rock music, it’s going to be one hell of a night”, the undoubted highlight came when the band launched into a cover of Rush’s seminal classic ‘Tom Sawyer’ before seguing into funk rock anthem ‘Electrified.’

Brother Firetribe © Darren Griffiths 

With smiles etched across their faces, Finnish purveyors of synth-drenched Euro rock, Brother Firetribe, were in their element from the moment they stepped on stage and looked genuinely thrilled to be at Planet Rockstock. 2016 single ‘Taste of a Champion’ is one of the standout moments; a fist-pumping anthem that harks back to the eighties and could very much be lifted from a certain boxing movie.

Also wowing with tunes including ‘Give Me Tonight’ and ‘I'm on Fire’ from their 2006 debut album ‘False Metal’, the band (featuring Nightwish guitarist Emppu Vuorinen) took a well-deserved bow at the end of their set to a rapturous response from the crowd.

Dan Reed Network © Darren Griffiths

Playing the penultimate main stage slot, Portland, Oregon’s Dan Reed Network took Trecco Bay on a funk odyssey. Opener ‘Cruise Together’ positively oozed cool, while ‘Under My Skin’ had the audience rhythmically bobbing to the slick grooves.

After a truly jaw dropping bass solo from Melvin Brannon II, the band launched into a seamless medley of Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘Let's Groove’, KISS’s ‘I Was Made For Loving You’, Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ and Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax’. Just when we thought that moment couldn’t be topped, the set ended with an acapella singalong of ‘Long Way To Go’ with the crowd.

Joanne Shaw Taylor © Darren Griffiths

“It’s so nice to be back here for the third time!”, Joanne Shaw Taylor told the Planet Rockstock faithful at the start of her eagerly anticipated performance. Testament to her growing status, Joanne made the leap to headliner from playing penultimate Main Stage slots in 2014 and 2015, effortlessly delivering a blues rock masterclass.

Flanked by a tight-knit band, Joanne showcased her phenomenally talented guitar skills that perfectly complimented her bluesy dulcet tones as she played songs like ‘Nothin’ To Lose’ and a sublime cover of ‘Wild Is The Wind’ – dedicated to the late-great David Bowie.

PHOTO GALLERY: Saturday at Planet Rockstock 2017

Watch our backstage interview videos here

Read our Thursday roundup here

Read our Friday roundup here

Read our Sunday roundup here

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