Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

COVSTOCK 2008 - Coventry 31.05.2008


On May 31st in Coventry’s Cathedral Ruins an awe inspiring event took place, 5 men took on the challenge of organising a festival sized concert for charity, the like of which has never been seen in the city before.

They have been involved with organising 4 previous events of the same name but none were of the same magnitude of COVSTOCK 2008!

What is COVSTOCK, well it started out as an all day charity gig for the Bethany Keenan Fund, which is for a little girl who at an early age contracted a rare form of childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma. This is expensive to treat and so Coventry musicians banded together to raise money for her. Over 5 years on and they are also raising money for Coventry Young Carers, who with money raised at COVSTOCK 4 helped fund a school of rock style project.

From that project came the newest band on the line up for COVSTOCK ’08 The Allies. And even though they have only played a few gigs together and also haven’t been playing their instruments for very long, they certainly looked comfortable as they rocked out on the immense stage which filled most of one end of the cathedral ruins.

Next up were another young band Delta Rush with their brand of modern electro indie and they were followed by Coventry’s very own rockin’ blues band Momma’s In The Kitchen. Even though they had quite an early slot with the event starting at about 1pm, they didn’t let up and gave it all they had.

My band The Way was next and so it probably isn’t appropriate to comment on how hard we rocked or how well I played, but we had fun and that’s what counts. After us was The Treehorns, who again pulled an ace performance out for this special day. The following band was Jamson’s Nook, who are easily the most talented band ever to come out of Coventry and did a laid back David Bowie cover, so laid back it took some people a while to realise it was a cover.

On stage next was The Crooks with their new more electro infused darker sound and for a band that have been sidelined recently due to illness they were showing absolutely no rustiness at all. Another indie band was on next in the form of the Bootleg Poets, but as I’d been roped into selling raffle tickets I didn’t really get to see them.

After the raffle was drawn by local radio presenter and promoter of BBC Introducing on the Cov & Warks station Vic Minnett it was straight on with the local bands. I forgot to mention that during the day the stage was sponsored by the BBC Introducing team and the last 4 bands are among the best ever to come from the City. First on were King Hermit who blasted us with their rocking might.

Not to be outdone were Men in Caves who like King Hermit are a 3 piece that produce an amazing sound and would make you believe there were more people on stage with them. Penultimate band of this portion of the day were glamsters Fiori who are one the tightest bands on the local scene at the moment, they also caused a short moment of quiet panic amongst the organisers with a song about Satan in a Cathedral.

Final band of the BBC Introducing stage were The Ripps, who after The Enemy are Cov’s biggest signed act. They produce their usual fine standard of indie pop and then some when they invited their brass section on stage to perform with them. After the break the last Coventry based act were on in the form of Trailer, who have evolved a lot since I first saw them play in Cov three years ago. They have certainly grown technically and have become a band that would blow any festival audience away.

Next band were Friends Of The Bride who were another indie band that we were not too sure about when they first started playing but won us over. Second to last band of the Evening Stage were Robots In Disguise who are mainly noted for appearing in The Mighty
Boosh, with a sound not too dissimilar to Shampoo and Sleeper they provided an entertaining set.

The Headliners of the whole event The Music were up next and they proved to be one of the most energetic, well crafted bands I’ve ever seen. Mixing their set up with well-known songs like Bleed From Within and Welcome to the North and newer tracks from their latest album like Strength in Numbers.

Overall this was one amazing day from start to finish and thanks and congratulations have to the organisers for keeping the whole event running to the minute. And also thanks to the people who volunteered their time to help out. I for one am proud to have been there and especially to have been a small part of the whole experience.