I must start by saying a massive thanks to everyone that attended this year’s Mellis Music and Beer Festival. This is our 5th year and every year it seem to get better and better. The day got started at 2pm with local young musicians Billy Harrold and Nathan Cooper known collectively as “Billhouse” This was their first ever public performance . The lads played an acoustic set of original songs written by themselves. We had a bit of a technical hitch as our generator seemed to give up the ghost. Well done to the lads for carrying on regardless as myself and the PA man Steve frantically ran new cables to get everything back up and working.
Next on stage was Festival regulars Gwyn and Owain Thomas. This father and son duo treated the gathering crowds to some traditional folk music.
As I looked to the overcast skies the threat of rain appeared to be imminent. Fingers firmly crossed for the rain to stay away our next band, “Dark Custom” took to the stage. Fronted by the far too handsome Cameron, the band rocked their way through a cracking set of alternative rock covers including The Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary” and Reef’s “Place Your Hands”.
So far so good, the rain had stayed away. Clearly the finger crossing was having some effect.
Next on stage was local Mellis Musicians “Dave Ja Vu”. A ukulele led acoustic ensemble who wowed us all with classics including Blondie’s “Dreaming”. They finished off the set with their rendition of The Beatles “Hey Jude” accompanied by The Mellisians, a group of local residents who gather every Sunday to sing.
Our next band on the main stage was recently formed “Broken Promises”. This talented band made up of members from East Anglian bands including “Lick & a Promise” really set the tone as they played an eclectic set ranging from The Beatles to Oasis. You would have never known this was one of their first gigs playing together as they were fantastic.
Our next performer was again a Festival regular Damian Harrold. Damian, as always, entertained everyone with some great acoustic songs including Eric Clapton, a great set and at times quite emotional.
Well it had threatened all afternoon and now the threat had turned into drizzle. Is this going to be the year we get the rain? The past four years have all been dry and on the whole sunny. By the time our next band, “Jax & Co” were on stage the rain was falling. Clearly this finger crossing was not working. Fortunately “Jax & Co” were. This Johnny Cash Tribute Band made everyone forget it was raining and had people literally singing and dancing in the rain as they gave an incredible performance covering all the classic Johnny Cash hits including “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Walk the Line”.
As the rain continued to drizzle on down our next band “Cabras” took to the stage, and wow what another fantastic performance. Fronted by the incredible vocals of Matt Yellop, the band put their very own spin on classics ranging from “Hound Dog” to “Tainted Love” and making them sound like brand new songs.
Next on to the, by now very damp, acoustic stage was the fabulous Tyger O’Connor-Hendrick. Tyger is Eye’s answer to Ed Sheeran. Armed with just his guitar, loop pedal and enormous talent, Tyger enchanted us all with his incredible use of looping vocals and guitar. I am always amazed how one person can sound like a complete band!
As the darkness moved in and the rain still continuing to do its thing. The mood among the audience was good, as bin bags were clearly the new fashion with people designing new looks almost by the minute.
Next on stage we had the brilliant “Insane Asylum” who just owned the crowd as they had everyone singing and dancing along to Rock versions of “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “Video Killed the Radio Star” all being conducted by front man Gary and the somewhat bonkers drummer Rupert!
It was now time for our final band of the night, “LOAD”. This was the band’s first time at the Festival and they completely entertained. This four piece Punk band from Lowestoft were just incredible as they played some Punk and Oi classics from The Sex Pistols and UK Subs along with songs written by the band including the highly amusing if not slightly risqué “Streets of Lowestoft”.
What a fantastic end to what had been a damp and wonderful day!
I must say a massive thanks to all the people that make The Mellis Music and Beer Festival happen each year starting with Suffolk Wildlife Trust for allowing us to use The Common, to Diss Scaffolding for building the stage and enclosure, to my very hardworking boys and girls behind bar who were under the cosh from start to finish, to DM Tree Services for the bar, to Ultra FX Hire for the marquee and Steve’s PA Hire. Thanks also to all the bands and performers who put on a truly fantastic show and a huge thanks to all those that volunteer every year especially to Big Mark and Giles.
Finally, again, a giant thanks to all those that attended and braved the rain and made this years Festival the best yet!
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