Les-Fest, Valley International Park, Crossford
Sunday 30th June
Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid
With over sixty bands performing over the previous three nights, the organizers of Les-Fest needed a big crowd pleaser to headline the last night, and this is exactly what they got with Swedish hard rock four piece Bonafide, and the front of the main stage is absolutely packed as the band take to the stage before they proceed to play a set that you can't help but enjoy. I mean, who at Les-Fest doesn't like a solid set of classic rock numbers in the vein of AC/DC?
One of the redeeming features of watching Bonafide live is that they, by their own admission, don't really have a pre-arranged set list as such and just play as they feel - something which makes their shows a delight to witness. Kicking off their set with 'Doing The Pretty' (the debut single from their third full lenth album, 'Ultimate Rebel'), the band are just on fire throughout their set.
Making the most of the festival audience, and therefore the chance to make some new fans, they play a few numbers from their latest album including the solid riffs in 'Too Fired Up', and slower tempo of 'The Mess' which features a great guitar solo courtesy of Mikael Fässberg.
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However, it is the total madness of 'Rebel Machine' that really puts the band into the 'showmen' category with a truly electrifying performance. It's a fast and frantic number that gets the fists in the air and the head bangers down the front shaking the dandruff. When the guitar solo comes round, guitarist Pontus Snibb grabs his chance and takes an impromptu wander off stage and right into the heart of the crowd. The photographers in the pit separate to try and catch shots whilst Snibb stalks the crowd before ending up behind the bar - much to the amusement (or should that be bemusement) of the bar staff! Great rock n' roll moments like this are what makes gigs, and Snibb makes the most of this moment tonight.
One of my favourite numbers in the set was 'Night Time' which is set up beautifully by the solid back beat from drummer Niklas Matsson. He truly is the master of his kit and you almost feel sorry for him being stuck at the back but he absolutely shines at every given opportunity. 'Night Time' segues into another bit of band fun when they play an impromptu game of 'Guess The Song' with the audience - in this case it's 'Wheels Of Steel' by Saxon, a bit of 'Under Pressure' by Queen and the James Bond theme - touches like this only endear the band to the audience even more.
Alas with time against the, the band fire through some crowd pleasers in the shape of 'Can't Get Through' and 'Fill Your Head With Rock' before a blistering cover of the Ray Charles song 'I Don't Need No Doctor' which the band just make their own.
Les-Fest 2013 wanted to go out on a high and Bonafide delivered exactly what was required - a high octane display of rock n' roll, which only gives the headliners for 2014 a very difficult performance to follow.
You can see Bonafide live here:
Saturday 27th July – Hölje Rock, Olofström
Wednesday 31st July – Colwyn Bay Football Club, Colwyn Bay
Thursday 1st August – Railway Venue, Ipswich
Friday 2nd August – Cambridge Rock Festival, Cambridge
Saturday 3rd August – Rockviken Festival, Frövi
Friday 23rd August – Sollentuna Rock & Blues Festival, Sollentuna
Sunday 6th October – O2 Academy, Bristol (supporting The Quireboys)
Monday 7th October – O2 Academy, Oxford (supporting The Quireboys)
Wednesday 9th October – O2 Academy, Birmingham (supporting The Quireboys)
Thursday 10th October – O2 Academy, Sheffield (supporting The Quireboys)
Friday 11th October – The Garage, Glasgow (supporting The Quireboys)
Saturday 12th October – The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (supporting The Quireboys)
Monday 14th October – O2 Academy, Newcastle (supporting The Quireboys)
Tuesday 15th October – Club Acdemy, Manchester (supporting The Quireboys)
Thursday 17th October – 02 Islington Academy, London (supporting The Quireboys)
Friday 18th October – Old Fire Station, Bournemouth(supporting The Quireboys)
Saturday 2nd November – Gaswerk, Winterthur
Sunday 3rd November – Schuur, Luzern
Doing the Pretty
Butter You Up
Too Fired Up
Can't Get Through
Fill Your Head With Rock
I Don't Need No Doctor
Pontus Snibb – Vocals/Guitar
Mikael Fässberg – Guitar
Martin Ekelund – Bass Guitar
Niklas Matsson – Drums
Official Website: http://www.bonafiderocks.com