Reviews and Pictures by: Shane Bradley
This past Saturday 30th Jan saw the return of the ARfm/Just Say Yes now in its second year, this charity event saw six top melodic rock bands come together to raise funds for the Just Say Yes charity. Those of you that are not to familiar with this charity it is to raise money to help young people suffering with cancer.
The Idea was brought about in memory of Mark Bulman a young student who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (a rare and aggressive bone cancer) in October 2007, he had 11 months of intensive chemotherapy and major surgery. Unfortunately Mark lost his brave battle in Oct 2010, not before taking on with always a smile the Just Say Yes motto he was at the tender age of just 21 when he passed away.
This Years event took place as last yrs at the spot in Derby, a nice medium sized venue which as you walk in has a bar in front and the stage to the right, at the rear there was plenty of merch raffle prizes etc.
Upon arrival I was greeted with a smile and a handshake from the event organizer Steve Price of ArFm,and subsequently told to enjoy the day,at that off we went to eagerly await the arrival of the first bands, Fahran, Lifeline, No Hot Ashes but no sooner had the day started than it was three bands down and we were half way through proceedings and there was a smell of hot curry in the air, as there was food being served at the rear of the bar area next to the merch stands which consisted of curry, rice and chips (of which i personally did not partake in, but i am assured it was quite delicious), no sooner was it on with the show Blood Red Saints, Newman, Hand Of Dimes then it was home time, a thoroughly enjoyable day with so many familiar faces and nice people,and all for a good cause.
The bands themselves was all there was no Headliners and there was no Warm Up Acts, they were all Headline Acts playing at different times, for dedicating their time effort and each one gave their all not just to support a good cause, but also to ensure everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Fahran kicked off the day with their indelible powerful and passionate performance featuring Take This City Alive and their brand new single released in Feb entitled Ashes, if and this is only a personal opinion, but if there was a standout act it has to be ‘Lifeline‘ as this was their debut show, (I myself had the pleasure of reviewing their debut CD and it was fantastic) so i was really looking forward to seeing these guys, and they did not disappoint, to hear Nigel Bailey sing ‘Now His Angels Gone’ with just a keyboard accompaniment and guitarist Paul Hume helping with the chorus it just sent shivers down your spine. No Hot Ashes were next to the stage recently signed up to frontiers after a 25 yr hiatus these guys certainly have not forgotten how to rock, with tracks like ‘Boulders’ Lonely Hearts, and Little Johnny Redhead’, they kept the pace right up to Teatime.
After an hour or so tea break we were treated to another outstanding performance by ‘Blood Red Saints‘ featuring much traveled ace behind the skins ‘Pete Newdeck’ with Pete Godfrey On vocals, again with the recent release of their debut CD these guys were rocking from the off with ‘Kicking Up Dust’,’Show A Little Mercy’ and a brand new track penned by ‘Pete Newdeck’ which they inform us they have only rehearsed it once entitled ‘Dirty Lil Secret’. Newman were next up, with a whole plethora of songs to choose from they were never going to disappoint,with the smooth vocal delivery and tight rhythm section added to some sweet guitar work from ‘Shaun Bessant’the tracks just kept flowing ‘Every Moment’,’Back To You’ , ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘Pray For The Day’ not too mention the awesome ‘If Its Love’ where Steve was joined onstage by Pete Godfrey of ‘Blood Red Saints’, Steve breaking off every so often throughout the set to have some banter with the audience also to inform everyone that ‘ALL’ Merch purchased 100% would go straight back into The JSY Charity, which is another reminder of how great these guys really are. Closing off proceedings was ‘Hand Of Dimes’is a new band which sees the reunion of ex Skin singer ‘Nev Macdonald’ and keyboardist ‘Neil Garland’ with over thirty yrs of experience these guys sure know how to rock the tracks once more kept a coming ‘Looking At You’ Pinstriped Arrogance’, Angels and Demons, House Of Love all delivered with a warm confident panache, a great way to round things off, in what all in all was a great successful and thoroughly entertaining day.