The Rock and Roll circus brought their unique blend of music and circus acts to Sheffield’s Don Valley Bowl this weekend for a three day festival and promised punters an unforgettable show. Last year’s inaugural event was held in Newcastle, and this year Sheffield got their turn. We Shoot Music went along on Friday to check it out. It’s easy to see why the site was chosen, the tram makes it super easy to get there, and the Bowl itself offers tiered grassy seating to anyone just wanting to take a break and chill (although to be fair the sound was pretty good out there too).
The main stage was housed, not surprisingly, in a circus style big top, with a good array of food and drink stalls outside, as well as other temptations such as a Honda motorbike stand.
Even before we got into the arena we could see performers juggling fire batons, once we were in there it did not disappoint. Stilt walkers roamed around and magicians entertained anyone who sat down long enough.
The crowd was a slightly odd mix of parents and children trying out circus skills and 20 somethings in bucket hats, but everyone seemed happy and the whole festival had a really laid back vibe.
The BBC Introducing stage played host to some great bands, most notably Harri Larkin and headliners Indie-pop band Lostboy whose energetic set was a perfect way to close the stage.
The lineup on the main stage had some cracking bands including the fabulous The Joy Formidable and The Cribs.
The Happy Mondays opened with Kinky Afro, warming the crowd up nicely as Bez entertained the crowd with his trademark moves, as always Hallelujah went down really well.
But it was Noel Gallagher that everyone had come to see. The place erupted as he walked on stage with a quiet “y’aright?” and we were off. When you have as many bangers as High Flying Birds have, you don’t need to say much. Opening with Pretty Boy and Council Skies, then as the show went on the fans were also treated to some Oasis classics such as Half a World Away and the classic Masterplan which had the crowd singing their hearts out.
As the event was relatively small the atmosphere was fantastic. Security was super friendly and helpful, this added to the relaxed vibe.
Sadly we could only manage to see the Friday night but hopefully this event will continue year after year. Who knows where the big top will pop up next time?
Word by Fiona Turner
Photos by Philip Goddard