Firefest Friday Nottingham Rock City - 19-10-12

Our third trip to the annual Firefest AOR/Melodic rock weekend in Nottingham.

 First up were Lionville from Italy who were the perfect band to start the weekend’s festivities.

Their guitar and keyboard driven brand of AOR with the powerhouse vocals of Work Of Art’s Lars Safsund went down a storm.

Their 5 song set included 4 songs from last years’ debut cd (Here By My Side, Power Of My Dreams, With You and the Richard Marx 
penned ballad World Without Your Love) and one from the soon to be released second cd which I think was called All I Need.

The band were very tight (considering this was their first ever live date) and Safsund was having a ball and the only downer was they only played for 25 minutes. I look forward to the new cd.

Dante Fox were up next and if I’m honest all the atmosphere that had built up soon went.

Sue Willett’s has a great voice but her poor stage presence gives very little to the crowd and as much as guitarist Tim Manford tried it all went a bit flat.

With new cd Lost Man’s Ground available at the show they played one song off it the catchy “Who Stole The Innocence” and filled the 40 minute set with their earlier material with “Walking The Line” being the  pick of the bunch.

Again the anticipation went up a notch as Ten hit the stage.

Playing a 50 minute set with 3 newies off new cd “Heresy And Creed” and 5 fan favourites their set flew past.

Here is what they played:

The Lights Go Down
Ten Fathoms Deep
After the Love Has Gone
The Name of the Rose

After seeing them back in May for the first time and with no band changes Gary Hughes led from the front with all his usual confidence and nice to see the mullet has gone.

Dan Mitchell on guitar had taken them back to a level not seen since the Vinny Burns days with his fiery playing and Gary seemed to enjoy every minute and the last 2 songs especially were stunning.

“Red” was bellowed by one and all. What a great song.
Let’s hope for more tour dates to support the new cd.

Tyketto were quite simply superb. With a great sound Danny Vaughn in fine voice and the crowd singing along to every word the atmosphere seemed to drive the crowd and band to give even more.

Over the course of 75 minutes Rock City was the place to be.

Here is what they played:

Strength in Numbers
Burning Down Inside
Lay Your Body Down
Here's Hoping It Hurts
Catch My Fall
Sail Away
Standing Alone
Rescue Me
Meet Me in the Night
The Fight Left In Me
Forever Young

The 3 new songs from their recent cd “Dig In Deep” all went down well and fitted in well with the older catalogue.

Ably backed by Jimi Kennedy (bass), Ged Rylands (on keys) and Michael Clayton (drums) it leaves the floor to Brooke St James on guitar to play riff after riff and solo just like the songs should be played unlike the earlier incarnation of the band from a few years back.

But the star of the show is Danny. Whether the frontman, playing on acoustic guitar or just his wonderful singing he was all over the place.

He really does get better with age and when the band play 6 songs off one of my all-time favourite cd’s the legendary “Don’t Come Easy” it doesn’t get much better.
The mainly acoustically played “Standing Alone” was majestic before the 1-2 finish of “Wings” and “Forever Young” took the roof off.

“Wings” was dedicated by Danny to his wife Melissa who he met at Firefest 5 years ago and as it happens was stood directly in front of us.

“Forever Young” will always be the anthem for us all and had everyone jumping up and down and bellowing out the words with more gusto than I have seen for a long time. The band looked genuinely lost for words at what they could see and it was a life highlight let alone a gig highlight.

A quite wonderful finish to yet another fabulous Firefest evening.

Well done to all involved for keeping the Firefest flag flying and we all look forward to next year!!

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