After our late arrival on Day One, we got our act together on Sunday and made it on time for the first band. The weather was fabulous, so we grabbed a couple of chairs and found a nice spot on the field to enjoy the music and the sun, with great views of the stage and the surrounding nature.
Led by the charismatic Conny Bloom, Swedish band Electric Boys opened the festivities. It took the band 15 hours to arrive in Wales from Stockholm, in fact right when their concert was supposed to end on the Saturday… They performed an extended set, cheered by the audience.
South Welsh quartet Buck & Evans followed and Sexy Hubby and I agreed that we want to hear more from their blues-rock music. Chris Buck and Sally Ann Evans, as well as drummer Bob Richards and bassist Dominic Hill, share an incredible chemistry, reflected in their songs. Their first record should be released later on this year and it will definitely be added to our – rather large – collection.
Bad Touch then got on stage. I had spotted their flamboyant frontman Stevie Sparrows in the crowd earlier, with that hair and that outfit, impossible to miss him, right? But what I also witnessed was how down-to-earth he was, chatting in a relaxed manner. The five members of this Dereham-based band, lead guitarist Rob G., guitarist Seeks, bassist Bailey, drummer George and Stevie delivered their blues-tinted heavy rock with gusto and allure, for the great pleasure of the festival attendees.
As Heaven & Earth’s turn arrived, the heavens, well, opened. While we took refuge into the beer tent with quite a few others, the sudden rain neither deterred the Los Angeles band, touring the UK to promote their latest album Dig, nor a large part of the public.
Next came Toseland, the band named after the former double world superbike champion James Toseland. They were presenting their debut album Renegade, a mix of classic rock and power ballads.
Bernie Marsden, one of Sexy Hubby’s favourite guitarists, then arrived on stage. Unassuming and smiling, the former Whitesnake guitarist delighted the audience with classic rock standards, interspersed with friendly badinage. Predictably, his thoroughly enjoyable set ended with three Whitesnake’s songs: Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City, Fool For Your Loving and of course Here I Go Again, to much singing along and cheering. Bernie has a new album, Shine, coming out mid-August. Yes, Sexy Hubby has pre-ordered it already.
As we were waiting for our meet & greet with Europe and were then taken backstage, I am afraid we did not give The Answer the attention they totally deserved. We did however notice how the Northern Irish formation, led by impressive singer Cormac Neeson, seduced the festival attendees with their powerful performance. This year’s edition was not their first Steelhouse appearance and I bet it will not be the last.
The task to close this amazing weekend was given to Sunday headliners Europe. They did so magnificently and you can read all about it here!
My final words on Steelhouse are the following: Once you have mastered the dirt-track road leading to the top of the mountain, you are in for a real treat. We both loved the two easy-going days we spent on Hafod-Y-Dafal Farm, everything was very well organised and we personally were impressed with the Persian food on offer, a nice change! The festival is family-friendly too – kids do not pay and there were plenty around – and we met some lovely people. Vicky and Daz, it was a lot of fun sharing breakfast with you on both days!
So… Have you guessed yet? Yes, we are going back next year.
LINE-UP – SUNDAY 20TH JULY 2014
- Electric Boys (who could not play on Saturday due to delayed flights)
- Buck & Evans
- Bad Touch
- Heaven & Earth
- Bernie Marsden
- The Answer