Winter Rocks. Saturday December 1st. The Corporation, Sheffield.
Review by Joanne Marsland
Photos by Philip Goddard
As this was my first visit to the venue I wasn’t sure what to expect and my first impression was a cold, dark room in need of a good refurb. It wasn’t long before I warmed to the place though and it proved a cracking place to host a rock festival. The opening act on the main stage was at 12.30 pm and people were still slowly filtering into the building but as Stevie R Pearce hollered ‘ Sheffield are you fuckin ready?’ the crowd headed for the stage and they were treated to half an hour of raucous head banging bluesy rock music from Stevie and the hooligans.
The band from Basingstoke played tracks from this year’s self titled album including Same Old Story and Set My Soul On Fire which included a little audience participation to which Stevie jokingly declared ‘ You’re fuckin worse than me’. This was the greatest way to kick off a long day and night of amazing rock bands and I imagine the 3 cans for a fiver helped too.
Wondering where the second stage was I just followed the masses which took me upstairs to another large room, containing some large and very comfy leather sofas which were great for chilling out during the long day/night. The lighting wasn’t as great on this stage for taking photos but the sound quality was fantastic. The bands playing on this stage were Sheffield’s own hard rock outfit Silverjet who were playing their first official gig for over two years, Deltanaut, also from Sheffield who play more psychedelic rock music, The Idol Dead from Leeds and The Black Hands from Derbyshire. One of the bands I was looking forward to seeing, also from Sheffield, were Steal The City. They didn’t disappoint with their heavy rock sound and Sam on vocals sounded awesome. They had plenty of fans in the room and Joe on guitar had the occasional chat with them between songs, not sure how he managed as he was putting 100% energy into the performance.
Manchesters own band Gorilla Riot went down really well, Arjun has a brilliant voice and the band were just quality as always. Their pals from Norfolk, Bad Touch, were spot on again too, starting the set with Good On Me from their 2015 album Halfway Home which they mash up with ZZ Tops Sharp Dressed Man. From their new album Shake A Leg they played Show Me What It Means, Dressed To Kill and crowd pleaser Skyman. Stevie and the band were really tight and sounded fantastic, always making sure the fans are having a good time. From their 2016 album Truth Be Told they played Outlaw and ended with my favourite, the very catchy 99% which had the crowd singing and bouncing along. Love seeing these guys, always a good vibe.
As the band on one stage ends the band on the other stage begins which meant you didn’t have to miss a single act but during the event you could take yourself off to another area of the building where there was food for sale and merch stands too. If you were lucky enough to be sporting a V.I.P pass there was a separate room to buy drinks and have a rest (I heard) and also some of the bands played special acoustic sets too.
Bands on the main stage included Red Spektor from Stoke On Trent who played psychedelic blues music and very well too, Liberty Lies, a very heavy rock band from the West Midlands, surprised the crowd by mashing up Changing places with George Michaels Careless Whisper, Lowdrive from Sheffield, Hell’s Addiction from Leicester, Stone Broken from Walsall who were outstanding and Wayward Sons, Toby Jepsons new band ( formerly Little Angels ).
The highlight of the main stage for me was getting to see Doomsday Outlaw for the first time and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Phil is an amazing vocalist with bucket loads of personality to match, using pretty much 95% of the stage during the set. The Derby band played Spirit That Made Me, Over and Over and title track from Hard Times, which is an awesome album and Bring You Pain and All That I Have from Suffer More which has just been re- released. The whole band sounded awesome and put on a great show and I can’t wait to see them again.
Unfortunately due to my last train being cancelled I had to leave early for the one before so I missed both headline acts which were Skindred and The Amorettes. Nevertheless I had a great day/night and would definitely return to The Corporation for gigs as it is spot on.