Starting Sunday's Shenanigans at the very awkward time of 13.30pm, were the wonderful Culloden from South Shields. We have hosted them this time last year, now there was a new line up.
Andrew Halliday, Stefan Rosic and Alex Connor were joined by new guitarist Jack Brown
As always, the band put on a great set with the brilliant track 'Witchpricker' being a favourite of mine. Once again we were treated to Andrews unique vocals, (the Screams of Satan) it's always great to see the crowds reaction.
This year to fully celebrate the 40th year of this music, alot of our bands chose to perform a NWOBHM classic amongst their set. Culloden were no different and selected ' SEE YOU IN HELL' by the legendary Grim Reaper. I decided to ask the almighty God of rock a simple question for which I received a divine answer. So, to sing this classic we invited the main man himself Steve Grimmett, who agreed to join us along with his lovely wife Amelia Grimmett as our special VIP guests of honour.
Refreshed with several cups of our finest tea blends, Steve got up on stage to a thunderous applause, by joining the young Tyneside lads of Culloden, whose faces were a convoluted mix of TERRIFIED verses VOLTAIC! Andrew the lead singer was beside himself with fear and excitement. I could see his mind trying to keep it real, but how could he as it was completely unreal that day. I think Steve was just trying to keep up to speed with the actual speed of Culloden's version of his song.
These northern lads had hit the big time, it really didn't matter that it was only 2pm on a Sunday afternoon in Farnham village hall Slough. To them and to every single person in that room who could hear and more to the point feel the sheer power of Steve Grimmett's vocal cords, the lads were in their minds and ours, in a London stadium with ten thousand people holding camera phones and horning fingers in front of them, as there was no doubt Steve has a truly inspiring voice, but then he is used to projecting to packing out stadiums world wide. Today Steve was visibly happy, as he knew he had just made a few lads from the north east's dreams come true, and had left our afternoon Mearfest audience completely astounded and wanting more.
Steve and Amelia stayed right to the end of the day, which as you all now know, we love ANYONE who stays right to the end. They had a million selfies taken with lifetime fans and old friends, kindly signed 40 years worth of merchandise, which I personally had dragged down from Norfolk in Ikea storage boxes, they were both happy to talk to everyone in the room. There was no ego from any person from any band there that day, this is what Mearfest is all about, making dreams come true, the older more experienced and worldly wise, talking and teaching the younger inexperienced yet keen with new ideas. Learning and respecting each others points of views across the metal boards.
On a totally different tangent, this whole collaboration had got my wife Claire Mear very excited as Steve wore an incredibly stylish green blue Scottish kilt. Not only did Claire's previous fashion/music industry stylist's mind think this was the most perfect stage clothing for someone who had only recently been through such painful physical trauma by losing a leg, we could all see his inner strength, at overcoming such a loss. He looked just perfect for the day, not to mention but I will, how it complimented our two year old daughter Amélie's little red kilt, which she wore that same day, donated by the amazing baby clothing recycling company SUPERLOOPER.
Coincidence or statement?
It must also be said that Karl and Ryan the previous band members of Culloden were missed, but the two members did them proud on and off stage. Well done lads.
It set the bar high for the rest of the day and put the icing on the cake for me and many others attending. It was a fantastic highlight of the whole weekend. An incredible and wonderful start to our second day.
BY REBEL CROW
Fashionable rock star in the making...........
BETTER VIDEO VERSION TO COME......
GRIM REAPER - SEE YOU IN HELL ORIGINAL 1983
Brian & Claire Mear pride themselves on putting on a good show. Photography is Claire's passion, only the finest collection of images will be added here by the best photographers.