This weekend, we went to... Tunnelfest Music Festival at Kilsby.


June 02, 2019 - 801 views

Tunnelfest 1/6/19 

For audio interviews of the bands... click here!

For the gallery... click here!

Sunshine, beer in plastic cups, a mix of music and smiles and hosts that are in it for the love of the community and music. That’s what a good festival is about and Jenni and Matt at The Red Lion in Kilsby had sweated and bled over Tunnelfest to ensure it kicked off.

Though we were there for the music and bands, there were plenty of stalls and food stands and acts between the bands to keep the kiddies interested. Family, as it should be, was primary on the organisers' agenda.

I should also urge everyone to visit the community shop there as it is run by volunteers and I heard how the shop is one of the keystones of Kilsby's community spirit. Pop in when you pass through, it's at the back of the Red Lion's parking square.

Sarah Jayne and her best buddy Emma started proceedings with powerfully performed favourites from the Motown era but with a scattering of modern songs to add something recent to the set. Proud Mary was performed flawlessly as is expected from Sarah, complete with her own custom talky bit at the start which had the audience laughing. In fact, Sarah interacts with the audience as if they are all friends, complete with puns and jokes. Emma is an up and coming vocalist and, under Sarah’s wing, should find herself in just as much demand as her mentor as an entertainer.

Find and book Sarah at https://www.facebook.com/sarahjayne.vocalist.39

Emma is yet to throw herself to the internet lions but watch Sarah’s space to watch Emma’s career grow.

Next up came Blind Summit, a threesome from Badby and Kilsby who you can tell are good mates as well as accomplished musicians though, surprisingly, they told me that they have yet to hit the studio or host any of their original material. Lead singer and guitarist Steve has a seriously good voice, earthy and folky with undiluted passion and emotion that reminded me of Howie Day and every single self-penned tune was catchy and surprising yet still familiar enough to take with you. I can’t remember the name of the song, it was their last tune and may have been called Desperate, but it was a standout track and a right earworm as I saw quite a few people singing along by the second chorus. I really do hope they put something together online soon because they are just too talented not to be heard.

Adam Johns bravely took to the stage alone and delivered a punchy mix of folk-rock covers including a flawless version of That’s Entertainment that earned a multitude of nodding appreciative heads, and a couple of original songs. Lead singer with the Paper Street Soap Company (nice Fight Club reference there) he’s used to having his band behind him but you wouldn’t think this was his first time solo. His confidence and rock-solid delivery and guitar playing definitely won some fans and it is definitely on my list to check out Paper Street at a gig soon. If he sounds this good solo, I can only imagine the extra layers another two or three behind him would provide. Especially, as Adam told me, they have an upright bass and an accordion in the band!

You can check out Paper Street Soap Company, here. www.facebook.com/paperstreetuk

As a DJ I know a bit about floor-fillers and anthems – the go to records that you can rely on to rescue a diminishing dance floor. Escher Rocks showed how a live band can do the same and picked a set of covers that simply lit up the tent. Every single tune was an anthemic singalong rock classic but not what you’d expect. You want some Queen? Well, where other cover bands would go straight for predictable and safe, We Will Rock You or Radio Ga Ga, Escher went for I Want It All and it worked. Big time. They kicked off with She Sells Sanctuary and when it came to their Bon Jovi cover, Living on a Prayer was just too predictable so You Give Love a Bad Name was their choice. And it worked beautifully. Let’s Go Crazy by Prince allowed the lead guitarist to show some serious skills and I definitely saw some jaws hit the ground. It was the first time I’ve seen a cover band perform Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Danni California and they nailed it along with some ACDC and Whole Lotta Love (thankfully without the ten-minute drum solo but enough to showcase the drummer’s considerable skills).

These guys know how to rock and the energy from the lead singer, Johnathon, was infectious as he left the stage several times and took his mic into the crowd for some interaction, getting one lucky audience member to sing the chorus to one song!

You can hear them and book them at www.escherrocks.com

Daventry Radio have been supporting Misumena since hearing their debut single Could Have Written It Better. There had been merch on sale at the festival, so when they took to the stage there was already a small army of fans with the ‘M’ logo on their backs. A sincere scattering of original songs penned by lead singer Gemma, and a plethora of metal anthems including a rousing cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit and a show stopping rendition of Sweet Child O Mine (Gemma has a tatt of Axel on her arm so I kind of guessed this was coming) topped off a set that had layers of emotion signposted by Gemma’s heartfelt passionate vocals when she sang her original songs that obviously have many stories behind them. One of the tightest bands I’ve ever heard, I get the feeling that they rehearse constantly, though chatting with them afterwards they were all friendly, relaxed and chilled.

They are soon to record and release their debut album which promises to be a winding river of stories punctuated by powerhouse drumming, a layer of electronica bubbling under the surface, and the aforementioned deep and complex vocals. In the meantime, test their depths with their latest single Could Have Written It Better, here. www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQyx6Hq8kuE

You can check out Misumena’s page here. www.misumena.co.uk

Unfortunately, we had to chip before we had a chat with the Tunnellers. Their set consisted of a raft of anthems including Oasis’ I’m Free which had an extra layer of authenticity thanks to a young violinist in the line up! You could tell that they were enjoying every minute and though I didn’t get to chat with them, their interaction with the crowd, jokes and banter with the regulars of the Red Lion reminded me that behind all of the hard work and very professional organising, there was real heart, a sense of community, family, friendship and having a good time, but most of all for the love of music… and beer of course.

You can find the Tunnellers here. www.facebook.com/thetunnellersband/?tn-str=k*F

Break Neck Times and Rough White Water by Charlie Tarry and the Outlaws has been on Daventry Radio’s play list since they first came to our attention. Though we weren’t around for their festival closing set in the Red Lion, we hear that they once again enchanted the audience with their intelligent lyrics, deep chords and dream like melodies. A slightly harder folk sound than the rustic surroundings Kilsby provides but having seen them play at the Peppermill in Daventry at their Daventry Rocks open mic night, I am confident that the audience would have lapped them up and made Charlie, Andrea and Lawrence feel very welcome. Apologies to them for not being able to stick around for their set.

You can find out more about Charlie Tarry and the Outlaws (who are in fact very nice people and not criminals at all) here, https://en-gb.facebook.com/nowrock

Thanks for having us Red Lion at Kilsby, roll on the next one!

Darren and Wayne

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