Gemma Hirst

Review: Corbridge Festival

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Summer is out and that can only mean one thing: the festival season is about to start.

Corbridge Festival rocked the house down last night (July 11, 2015) as the North East audience were entertained with the latest and upcoming artists of this year.

Set in the fields of Tynedale Rugby Club, the family festival had some great entertainment with street theatre, fairground attractions, food and drink and, of course, some great music from artists around the UK.



Hosting the festival was BBC Hebburn star and comedian Steffen Peddie, as he got Corbridge ready for some top quality entertainment.

First to kick off on the main stage was Riverain, a five piece band from the North East that know how to rock and roll. They really got the audiences energy going and got them into that festival feeling.

Corbridge Festival celebrates local talent and showcases their skills of music.

One of those artists was young Wylam musician, Charlie Dancer.

It was a privilege to see Dancer perform live with his fellow band members Tom Booth and Jack Dancer.

Bringing the sunshine out with him, the audience loved his performance of Oh My – he has such a mature and soulful voice for such a young artist.

From soft and soulful to funk rock, Newcastle’s answer to the Queen with Brian May haircuts, The Gatecrashers were an act that surprised the audience of Corbridge, coming out looking like a 80’s rock band and playing 80’s funky music.

New to the festival were Bloxed Beats, describing themselves as three guys with three microphones – no backing tracks and no tricks.

I was in awe with what they could do, creating layers of bass lines and vocal effects as they covered Blurred Lines and Get Lucky.

It was as if they were some sort of musical robot that could play music out their mouths. In fact, I was trying to find the lead that they were plugged into but I could not find it – they were really mixing tracks with their tongues!

Welcomed back to Corbridge Festival was Yorkshire born singer, Chris Helme.

After playing on the acoustic stage last year, he returned to the main stage to play some of his well-known songs, such as Blinded By The Sun.

The folk singer must have made a mark with the audience last year, as everyone sung a long with his songs and recognised his live performances from last year.

Fearful that Helme would find the bigger stage overwhelming he took it in his stride and looked right at home. 

Another new face to the festival were a band from Hull, The Talks.

Like the modern day equivalent of Madness, they made the saxophone sassy.

Getting everyone up and out their deck chairs, the whole festival was bouncing with the rhythms of The Talks, dancing to one of their biggest tracks, Radio.

That had the full essence of everything Madness yet fused. With the modern sounds of Reggae and Punk, they were defiantly a crowd pleaser.



Every year,  Corbridge  headlines the festival with a big name act.

In previous years, it has seen Toploader and Big Country.  This year the festival saw 70’s punk band The Undertones. The Londonderry legends are known for hits such as Here Comes the Summer and Teenage Kicks.

They finished the festival in true rock and roll style, putting on a great head banger of a show.

As I walked away from the festival, I could still hear festival goers singing at the top of their lungs.

It was great to see the music bring together the community.



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