REVIEW festival Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Grillstock; A Music Festival With Food Or Food Festival With Music?

Sometimes, the review of an event virtually writes itself. Today though, Grillstock came to town!

I still can't decide if this was a food festival with music or a music festival with food. I would say the former if I was pushed, but we were here to review the music, so we left the temptation to eat all day behind to bring this to you all... and on a day when the fabled Manchester rain abated for the occasion, what a great day was had by all...

Haymoonshaker opened on the main stage. It was well worth the wait. This was modern, raw, expansive blues guitar with a twist. The gravelled emotive vocals were complimented brilliantly by the only other member of the band, a well versed and we'll rehearsed human beatbox.

Fabulous stuff, a no nonsense set to get the crowd in the mood for the day ahead. If only they had been able to appear later in the running order, so that a bigger crowd could have appreciated this fine performance.

Big Joe Bone took to the 'bar stage' (aptly named as it was tucked into the end of a tent with a very long bar). He is a Grillstock regular, apparently, playing solo, acoustic blue grass, singing along through one he'll of a beard! The early revellers loved it, not sure if the appreciation was  for the artist or the beer, but everyone had a great time!

Next on the main stage were The Revered Peyton's Big Damn Band. A sibling trio described in the notes as 'A twenty year old bourbon in a room of vodka red bulls. Vintage but timeless, exciting and still welcome'! Wicked slide guitar and vocals accompanied by sisterly love and a washboard beat, complete with thimble fingered gloves to save damage to the polished nails!

Brotherly love finished the band with traditional drum kit percussion. Believe me, you need to see the pictures!! This was a well balanced high quality set from an accomplished band at the top of their game. Definitely worth a watch in their own right.

Levi Roots followed. Yep, the guy from 'Dragons Den' has returned, literally, to his roots... High calibre reggae music to get the crowd rocking with some originals and ska tributes sprinkled with The Specials and Bob Marley. The finale was predictable though, I can't believe Levi elected to complete his set with a version of the advertising jingle from the sauce that made him famous.  His excuse for the song? It made him £60m!!! The sauce may be successful, hot and spicy, but the song definitely isn't.

And so to the finale...(after a hastily organised hot dog eating competition). Grillstock saved the best to last as The Cuban Brothers took the stage.

I'm not sure how many in the audience had heard of them before and, to be honest, I don't really know where to go with this review. They stole the show with their unique blend of hip hop and rap music interspersed with comedy and sensational dancing. To see it is to believe it... it was party time with no boundaries, no holds barred sexually explicit humour, crowd interaction as you have never seen, incredible dance moves, electrifying music, semi - nudity and so much more. Forget this review, check the schedules for The Cuban Brothers and make sure you are there to be regally entertained next time they appear in your neighbourhood.

And that was that. Grandmaster Flash (remember him?), hit the decks and the crowd moved fully into Saturday night party mode, with food and drinks aplenty. Tomorrow, dear friends, is another day.

To find out more about Grillstock click here.

Words and pictures by Loz Taylor & Mark Eastwood