Godiva Festival 2016, Coventry – Day 1, 1st July 2016

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Coventry’s Godiva Festival 2016 saw over 140000 people attend over the first weekend in July. It’s a growing festival with some amazing acts , including local talent, and a huge array of attractions to go along side the music. Friday Day One kicked off with Coventry’s own award winning The Ellipsis.

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2015 and 2016 have proved busy time for the local outfit, seeing them win a British Film Institute award, get national airplay for their EPs, including Radio 1, and now opening their home town festival

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Opening in the Rock tent we had another Coventry based oufit Wilde.  This four piece rock band secured their place at the Festival by winning second place in the Godiva Calling, Rock/Metal Category. Their booming bass and loud vocals sounded like a cross between The Doors and The Who, and at times the vocals even reminded me of O.A.R.

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Next up in the tent were an interesting new act Signs of Fire, who beat Wilde into second place in that  Godiva Calling  Rock/Metal category and it’s easy to see why.Their image is typical of rockers and metal bands alike though it is the sound that makes them very different. One of the tracks reminded me of Black Stone Cherry, with the vocals nice and refined.They have recently played in Metal To The Masses in Birmingham making the semi-finals meeting Valous, and recently followed up last year’s EP Bottom of the Well with their second release Cain and Abel.

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Carrying on the local theme this is the third Godiva Festival appearance for punk band The Prophets, fronted by Kate Thompson , and with new guitarist Tommy Joyce on show. They have a decent sound about them and they got a great reception from a proper crowd that made he main stage look dead. The Prophets start their first UK tour in August and you guys should check them out.

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Multimillion worldwide selling artists Space performed wonderfully on the main stage in the rare sunshine. They offered up great performances of 90’s hits Mister Psycho, Me and You Versus The World and Female of the Species.

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Black Peaks played Download Festival and seem to have gone from strength to strength.From start to finish the crowd were jumping up and down and singing along. The Brighton lads certainly won over the crowd and were easily the best set in the tent on the night.

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The crowd seemed oblivious to what was turning out to be yet another weekend of festival rain. It was still damp and overcast but this didn’t dampen their enthusiasm or their crowd chanting for the Boomtown Rats, aided by Space leader singer  Tommy Scott, who for some reason was in the pit. the band walk out with arms in the air and big smiles followed by Bob Geldoff in a wacky eccentric gold and silver suit. The way Bob managed to prance around on stage you would think he is still in his teens or at least it was 1986 again. We heard their old hits being belted out: l Don’t Like Mondays, Like Clockwork and Someone’s Looking at You. Never shying away from controversy Bob took the opportunity in the limelight to incite some some anger in the crowd with him speaking out over the EU Referendum. it had the desired effect  with some missiles thrown towards the to the stage and one particular angry fan at the front giving Bob and the security a hard time. The set finished, perhaps appropriately, with Rat Trap.

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Wrexham five-piece Neck Deep have already had a wild start to their career ticking off their bucket list playing at Wembley Arena supporting All Time Low. Tonight they played to an expanded crowd with front man Ben Barlow putting on the performance of the day. Ben really does have the rough edgy voice that ticks my box, its loud and rough and raw, what you hear is what you get with no bells and whistles. A great way to end day one of this year’s Godiva Festival.

Watch this space for days two and three!


Words and photographs: Chris Bowley

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