A day Out in Ossett with The Idol Dead

Monday, 17 May 2010 | By | Add a Comment

So, it’s 6.30am, I’m stumbling around the kitchen, the guitars from last night’s gig with The Needful Things and Psychobabylon still ringing in my ears, searching for weapons-grade coffee and a mug the size of a bucket…

Luckily, I find both and manage to function in a manner close to ‘awake’. .

Next step, rouse the roadie.

Diddly is our guitar-repair god (www.guitarrepairservices.co.uk) – he’s a genius with anything that has strings.

What he isn’t is a morning person. So, I sit him in the weak morning sun, force feed him tea and cigarettes and eventually his eyes open and he demands more tea and cigarettes.

Singer and roadie functioning correctly so before long we’ve loaded Diddly’s van up with noisy equipment and we’re heading for the A1.

I get a text of Nish – he’s not happy to be up so early.

I get a text of KC – he’s not happy to be up so early.

I get another text off KC – seems Tim isn’t happy either. .

No text from Miguel, he’s Spanish and has no idea this early even exists – we’ll see him at 2.

We arrive at the ground and find it full of bleary eyed rock n rollers wandering about in a daze, wondering why a man hopped up on energy drinks is bellowing instructions at them.

The whole venue was getting in the spirit though. Bands had food and drinks named after them…ours:

The Idol Dead Cappacino

The Idol Dead Cappacino

That man is Wayne Poppleton – the guy behind the whole event who I don’t think has slept since April.  Wayne briefs us on what’s happening when, gives Idol Dead coloured vests to all the bands who volunteered to marshal (we did ask, but were told no, honest) and then sends us on our merry way – which is to a greasy spoon for a full Veggie Brekkie. Nom Nom. Diddly demands a Sausage and Egg butties, he gets Bacon coz I’m an idiot and all meat is just meat to me!

Then the waiting.

First band hits the stage at 11am, and it’s the rather brilliant Bad Appetite. These chaps look barely out of nappies but they kick some serious arse! Great tunes, great harmonies and they look plenty cool too. All in all a great start to the day.

Now, I’m not going to review every band on, coz it’d take for ever, but I will say the mix of music on offer was great – a little something for everyone and, as the stages were next to each other, bands just played all day.

I will mention Evil Scarecrow though – brilliant, funny, great image and played fabulously – the full package. I’m not sure if I’d buy an album by them, as they’re a little heavy for me, but I’d pay to see them live every night of the week. Just great, great entertainment … and if you like your music heavy, then you certainly would buy their albums, coz they do what they do very well – s’just not my bag, maaaaaaaaaaaaaan.

Did I mention the I-Dolls? We really do have the best looking, best dressed fans you could wish for.  Home made Idol dead t-shirts (including our first group picture t-shirt modelled by Natalie) and sweatbands … my wife turned up with black and green dreads – Idol Dreads as Nish called em … plus Lisa was wearing a purple coat I could quite happily have stolen and run off into the night with.

So, 6.20pm, it’s time for the Dead to take the stage. KC is grinning like the Cheshire Cat on Dexadrine – it’s gonna be a corker.

Right from the opening bar of Shooting Star I know it’s off the hook.

The Idol Dead at WRF

The Idol Dead at WRF - photo by Alex English

The sound is immense, and the boys are tighter than a particularly prudish nun, which means all I have to do is stay in turn and act like an idiot.

Which I do, in spades. I even climb the speaker stack at one point, but then my missus tells me off from the audience, so I get down.

Tim’s throwing all the shapes (and standing on me!) … Miguel is rocking up a storm in his laid back, Castilian manner … KC is using wireless so he’s all over our stage and next-door and the floor and everywhere …  and Nish is grinning, pounding and having the time of little Kiwi life!

All too soon, it’s over – my hair’s a mess, my throat is ragged and I’m knackered … but I’m very, very happy.

Plus we come off stage and sign autographs. A group of young rock fans are waiting for us next to the stage. When you see their faces, and how much they’ve enjoyed not just us, but a whole day of great music, it makes you think the future of bands playing live and loud is in good hands.

Polly signing autographs

Polly signing autographs

God bless ‘em, one and all.

After signing autographs and clearing the stage of our gear, we had to get ourselves together, all hot and sweaty, to do a quick interview. Ebony B (who hosts a Monday night show on Mansfield radio) asked us a few questions, we were all pretty pumped up at this stage, apart from Miguel, so this just capped off our rock and roll weekend!

I hit the beer at this point coz all the important stuff’s done – so it gets a bit hazy … but as the day draws to a close I’m sat, happy and content, in my front room with a glass of wine in my hand and a smile on my face, job well done. .

I’d like to thank Wayne, Jim Cameron, Alex English, Donna Rockbabe, Ebony B, all the bands and everyone else who made this thing happen – it was a fantastic day out, and I hope Wakefield Rock Fest can move onwards, and upward, to become a solid date in the Summer Festival calendar.

Peace out,


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Singer - designer - video maker - I have a lot of hats.