Review: The Apollo Festival – a day of great live music

One of the big names… ish. Oasish at the Apollo Festival. Photographs and video: Steve Cowell
30 Jun 2013 @ 9.44 pm
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One of the big names… ish. Oasish at the Apollo Festival. Photographs and video: Steve Cowell
One of the big names… ish. Oasish at the Apollo Festival. Photographs and video: Steve Cowell

Review: The Apollo Festival
Venue: Clifton Park, York, Saturday, June 29

As thousands flocked to Glastonbury to witness the likes of The Rolling Stones and Mumford & Sons on the Pyramid stage, hundreds were drawn to Clifton Park to bask in the sunshine and enjoy a day of great live music.

The Apollo Festival was a family friendly affair in a perfect venue, with the obligatory fast food and merchandise stalls, funfair rides and beer tents. But, of course, the main draw were the artists – performing on two stages.

The main stage (out in the open) hosted the “louder”‘ acts, and ATM’s stage (in a tent at the other end of the site) was the venue for the acoustic artists.

Unlike many other festivals, Apollo doesn’t restrict their line up to original acts, and includes a number of bands playing nothing but cover versions. In fact the two closing acts went one step further, as full-blown tribute acts.

That isn’t to say original acts are not welcome – in fact, for me, on the main stage the performances of Littlemores and Chris Helme – both performing their self-penned material, were a couple of highlights of the day.

Icehole
Icehole
Chris Helm
Chris Helme
Littlemores
Littlemores
Some of the sell out crowd
Some of the sell out crowd
Funktion
Funktion
Tribute band Kazabian
Tribute band Kazabian
Barcode Zebra
Barcode Zebra

Outside Funktion played a great guitar-driven set of covers to get the crowd moving, and Icehole – featuring a line-up comprising of stalwart York performers – drew at the crowd to the stage to dance as the sun broke through and floodlit the arena.

It was good to see Kirby Howarth and Barcode Zebra performing in the acoustic tent, with Boss Caine rounding off the proceedings.

Back on the main stage, the day was drawn to a close by Kasabian tribute act: Kazabian, and Oasis covers band: Oasish. They really got the crowds moving with their renditions of a number of well known songs.

I must admit, I am OK with tribute acts when they concentrate just on the music and songs of their favoured artists. But when it comes to donning wigs etc. to try to look like the artists … I’m not so sure. That said, it was a fitting end to a fantastic day.

This was the first Apollo festival. Let’s hope it is the first of many.