In what has become an institution in the Fife town of Dalgety Bay and as usual with Cancer Research UK being the beneficiary, local lads Mark Bennett and Stuart Prentice, ably supported by an army of volunteers, put together a day that can rival most.
Starting at 10-30 a number of intrepid teams stage a timed pushcart race, all far to energetic for me, and once this is complete all adjourn to the concert area a few yards away for their own mini festival, thankfully minus the mud, and a variety of bands and solo artists played for the crowd throughout the afternoon and into the evening too.
The music programme kicked off at noon, and like last year Those Blues Brothers got the show off to a cracking start. The brothers attired as Jake and Elwood performed all the well known and loved classics from this classic movie in their own homage. They know how to sell a song and there could scarcely be a better way to start off proceedings.
Following hot on their heels were Lost Fleet. This foursome of almost sickeningly talented young locals did what they do best and that is gave a high energy, hard rocking set of predominantly their own material with an odd cover thrown in for good measure. These guys just get better and better. Watch out for them if you get a chance. If you like rock I’m sure you’ll be as impressed as I am each time I’ve seen them.
Grace Black was the next act on stage and as in previous years treated the growing crowd to her own style of big band / blues / jazz numbers. Certainly she was less energetic that the previous act, but her set was well received and certainly in keeping the almost summer weather we were experiencing.
Now last year’s surprise package for me was Shameless, and I was pleased to see that they were a late addition to the bill this year too. An eclectic mix of styles and ages, they seem to be able to turn their hand to anything. Skiffle, folk, pop, reggae and rock a billy, it’s all in an afternoons work for this group. As last year they were very well received and I’m sure I was not alone in wishing they could have played longer.
Close your eyes and when Tam Scott sings you could believe it actually was Neil Diamond performing to you that is how much he sounds like him. Okay the physical resemblance is not so striking, but what the hell; it’s the music we came to hear. Scott performed the well loved classics such as America, Cracklin Rosie, Sweet Caroline and so on and really got everyone, especially the kids involved in what was a thoroughly professional performance.
Now Mark Bennett’s name has already cropped up in this piece and now it was his turn to take some of the limelight as Blue Delta were next to perform. This excellent covers band is fronted by Bennett and his wife Lynsey on vocals with Ian on guitar, Jon on bass and Scott on drums, but there was an additional voice in the mix with Amy who has been standing in for Lynsey recently. All six performers rocked the arena during the set of 80’s numbers with a variety of styles, Kim Wilde, Billy Idol, Yazoo, Transvison Vamp; Bryan Adams amongst others preceded what has become a trademark ending their Queen Meggamix. Suffice to say they received the wild ovation their performance deserved.
Forever Young were the next act to hit the stage. These four guys are an AC/DC tribute band even down to the shorts and school uniform. What they also are is an excellent and entertaining ensemble, laying down the hard rock numbers that their mentors made famous. I have never seen AC/DC play live, but I guess I no longer need to such was the quality of Forever Young. I was really impressed with their set and could not believe it was over so soon, the time just evaporated. Finishing up with Whole Lotta Rosie was a fitting finale to their segment.
The Session took over the reigns next and as in previous years, these slightly more mature gentlemen certainly did their reputation no harm at all. Drums, bass two guitars and a rock vocalist this quintet played a variety of classic songs by acts such as Pink Floyd, Stereophonics, T.Rex, Stevie Wonder, The Who and even the Beatles, but managed to add their own touch to flavour these numbers. I certainly could have listened for much longer, which I feel every time I see them play.
Following on from them David Mutch was back once more to change the mood with his offerings. Mutch is a excellent singer mostly associated with ‘standards’ and musical theatre numbers and his renditions of Tony Christie, Matt Munro, Sinatra songs together with tracks from Miss Saigon and Les Miserables were if his usual high standard, but who would have thought he could have transformed a rock standard into a swing number? Certainly not me.
Rolling right on the next group The Getback Band really wound up the crowd with a quick paced high energy selection of Beatles songs. Okay the Fab Four had morphed into the Fantastic Five but who really was counting. The hits came thick and fast form all stages of their career but I think it was safe to say these guys went down a storm.
And yet there was still one highlight left to come. Elvis was in the arena. Leather clad Paul Thorpe, together with a four piece backing band, was the King and played his heart out much to the delight of the still milling throngs. Could there have been a better closing act to conclude a magnificent day.
So well done to Mark and Stewart, the whole of the organising committee, the volunteers, not forgetting the sponsors for putting the day together. Thanks to the artistes and everybody who gave something to the charity. One question. What date is it all happening again next year please?
Reviewed by Geoff