19th Celtic Beer Festival, St Austell Brewery 25/11/17
Well I popped my Celtic Beer Festival cherry yesterday and today I’m feeling rather fragile. It wasn’t my first beer festival of course, or even my first Celtic Beer Festival but is was my first of the 19 that have been held in Cornwall (since I’m still a relative new comer to these parts), and it was, I’m glad to say, worth the discomfort at the beginning!
This event is extremely popular! Talking to the gate staff they were at capacity all day (approx 1600). It begins at 11am and runs until 11pm and after midday was operating on a strict one-in-one-out policy. It took me 90 minutes to get from the end to the start of the queue and even when I left at nearly 7pm there were about 200 optimists still lining up patiently, hoping to be let in! Sadly because of the delay getting in, I missed several of the bands I’d wanted to see, but luckily my timing was perfect for King Creature – giving me just enough time to get my first beer, unpack my camera and get down to the front.
As you’d expect, local lads done good, King Creature went down a storm! The love for these guys in the room was tangible, and the lads responded in kind, giving their all and putting on a phenomenal show! Even if they hadn’t already been local favourites, their infectious groove-laden original songs, featuring gorgeous lead guitar licks and fabulous expressive vocals would have had the room rocking. As they already are the kings of rock in Cornwall the room went a bit nuts, with the crowd singing along joyfully to their ironic cover of ‘Sweet Child of Mine’, just as much as to new album material like ‘Lowlife’, ‘Can You Forgive Me?’ and their rousing finale ‘Money’.
The Motown Pirates were quite a change of pace sandwiched between too heavy, hard hitting bands as they were but they didn’t let this phase them. Dressed in one of her wonderfully sparkly dresses, with her gorgeous red hair surrounded by a halo of light, Liz looked and sounded breath-taking! This lady has so much energy and joie de vivres that she makes you fall in love with the motown and funk all over again. A consummate performer she has it all: the voice, the moves and a smile that fills the room – its no wonder the audience were eating out of the palm of her hand! The band also really know how to put on a show – they were incredibly tight and looked and sounded absolutely amazing, especially with the stage lights bouncing off the brass instruments! Every song was a crowd-pleaser, guaranteed to get everyone dancing and singing along, and everyone in the crowd was game to do just that.
The Velvet Hands
Garage rockers The Velvet Hands have been on my ‘to see’ list for a while and I loved their swagger and charm – telling us they’d just learned one of their songs that morning but hadn’t slept for a while so they might not remember it! They have been likened to the early Rolling Stones and I could see why – they fill the stage with their lusty enthusiasm and give a raw, adrenaline fuelled performance that you just can’t help but bounce along to. They may be young but they know their stuff and they do it very, very well! Wonderful stuff!
Review by Debi