It was a beautiful, sunny day yesterday at the Cambridge Rock Festival. I’d never been to this festival before. It’s very well organised. It’s perfect for young and old. There were three tents/marquees where the different stages were situated, all quite close to each other.
I had bought a ticket especially to see Colour of Noise as they are such a fantastic live band and always put on a great show. I had a quick look at the line-up for the day and turned up a bit earlier to catch some other bands. The first musician I saw was in the acoustic tent. He was called Matt A. I haven’t been able to find any information about him online, unfortunately, but he was very good. I caught a couple of his songs and was impressed.
After that, I went to the main stage to see Hekz. I’d never heard of them before but watched a couple of their videos on Youtube when I saw they were in the line-up, and I liked them. Hekz are a young band from Bedfordshire. They put on an impressive show. One of the band was wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt and I could definitely hear the Iron Maiden influence in their music. They play heavy metal that is almost theatrical in sound. The band take their influence from the greats and make the genre their own, producing very original music.
One of the highlights of their performance for me was the song “The Black Hand”.
The next band I saw was Colour of Noise. I’ve seen them a couple of times before and they always put on an energetic and passionate show. The gig at Cambridge Rock Festival saw the band on top form. I am always blown away by Matt Mitchell’s vocals, and Bruce Dickinson’s cool guitar playing is a pleasure to watch. They had a new guitarist with them, replacing Dan who recently left the band: Tommy Gleeson is a great addition to Colour of Noise and fitted in seamlessly.
They played many songs from their excellent debut album, including, “Can You Hear Me?”, “Can’t Take It With You”, “Drive It Like You Stole It”. A song from the album that I hadn’t heard them play live before, “Great Day For Rock & Roll”, sounded great, and there was some audience participation at the end; that was when I realised that they’d drawn quite a crowd by the end of their performance! They also played their new track “Lucky Number 7”. This band seem to be getting better with every performance. They’ve announced a couple of live dates for later in the year, so catch them if you can; you won’t be disappointed.
Next on the main stage was the amazing Hazel O’Connor. As I was a teenager in the ‘80s, she had been one of my idols, so I was quite excited to see this show. She played a few songs from her debut album “Breaking Glass” (which features songs from the film she also starred in), including “Monsters In Disguise”, “Come Into The Air”, and “Big Brother”. One of the highlights for me was when the band played my all-time favourite Hazel O’Connor song “Will You?”.
It sounded awesome live. I love that saxophone! She also played an emotional song written when her mother was dying; that brought a tear to my eye. Another highlight was the encore when the band played a cover of Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars”.
Hazel O’Connor is a true legend. She’s a brilliant entertainer who seems very much at home on stage and engages well with the audience. Her band are fantastic too. If you get a chance to see any of her shows, you should definitely take it!
Colour of Noise