The fifth annual Tavisrock N' Blues Festival 2012, in aid of the charity The Royal British Legion Riders Branch, once again took The Wharf at Tavistock, by storm. With the doors opening at around midday a few diehards were there from the offset.
Opening band, female fronted Nothing For A Minute played a blinding set to a sparse but appreciative crowd. Karen Lucas' deep rich vocal style lending itself to an excellent version of Thin Lizzy's 'Whisky In The Jar'.
Next up, Seattle sound, and grunge covers band Seattle Saints managed to drag a few more in from the sunlight with a excellent set of 90s grunge covers opening with Alice In Chains' 'Bones' and also including into their set tracks from Pearl Jam's classic album 'Ten'. They managed to capture perfectly the sound and feel of that era.
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The next band, Decade 5, fronted by two female vocalists, Mel and Grace, had their work cut out following that set. Performing for the first time as a four piece band, Eclypse, who until recently had been a performing as a highly popular blues/rock duo, to a now steadily growing crowd.
Performing originals as well as covers, on this occasion, with the combination their unique rendition of The Animals' 'House Of The Rising Sun' combined with Helen's powerful vocals, they made that track their own.
Not an AC/DC tribute act as you might suspect, High Voltage, who despite blowing an amp after their opening number, The Cult's 'She Sells Sanctuary', went on to perform a crowd pleasing set of Hendrix, Sabbath and AC/DC covers.
Power trio, Blue On Black, delighted the audience with a mixed set of rock/blues numbers.
Black Cat Bone tested out a new original track, 'Jump And Jive', as well as a tribute to the late Steve Marriott, 'All Or Nothing', but the outstanding song of their set was a crowd rousing rendition of Rory Gallagher's 'Bullfrog Blues', which was also my song of the evening.
Another power trio, The Needletones, played a mixed set of their interpretation of rock classics to a now livening crowd and in a shamefully successful attempt to get the attention of the ladies played the second half of their set shirtless, ending with a demonstration of guitar throwing, much to the crowd's delight.
The next band, heavy rock and roll trio Grifter, described by their vocalist/guitarist Ollie Stygall on this occasion as "What Black Sabbath would have sounded like if they hadn't been so awesome!" and fuelled by the power of Guinness, played an excellent set, once again, of all their own material, including, 'Good Day For Bad News', 'Young Blood, Old Veins', 'Buck Toothed Woman' and 'Sweat Like Horses'. Their groove certainly seemed to sit well with the party mood of the crowd which was still continuing to grow.
Blue Angel had the difficult job of following after Grifter but they managed to successfully maintain the crowd.
Cornish Metal Trio, Kernuyuck, didn't have quite as many of the 'crazy crew' that followed them to the last gig I saw them at but were still enthusiastically received by the ever expanding audience, playing an excellent set of original tracks from their album 'Kaos'.
There were no signs of the crowd flagging as the final band, the energetic Facemelter, hit the stage, the highlight of their act, for me, was the appearance of a flag waving 'Little Eddie' during their version of Iron Maiden's 'The Trooper'.
Overall it was a highly successful, fun event with lots of money raised for an excellent charity and with the event drawing the biggest crowd to date it looks like Tavisrock is set to continue in 2013.