PARTY IN THE PARK 2005

CENTRAL PARK, BOSTON

SAT 9 - SUN 10 JULY

Only parts of this review were submitted to the Boston Target for publication see | Jul 13 | for full details.

With little spare time at present, we will provide only a brief flavour of what has become one of Lincolnshire's major music events. The Party was once again blessed by hours of sunshine throughout Saturday and Sunday, and local musicians once again provided their huge audiences with a variety of music.

Several bands we saw including Red Autumn (do first live appearances come any bigger that Party In The Park?), The Past, Blameless and The Melt concentrating on original material which was well received, whilst bands such as Blista, Evolution and Just For Kicks played a variety of covers from bands such as Green Day, Kings Of Leon, The Who and Queen.

Red Autumn making their debut at the event acquitted themselves very well, especially given the limited rehearsal time the band had prior to the gig. Their line-up includes singer and guitarist David Liversidge who has also played with two other local bands, Total Eclipse and Seizure. Their set featured some strong original songs, with just one cover, the final number a Foo Fighters song.

The Past are another band who play original songs, these are enhanced by the band's stage presence, Neil Burden is an imposing frontman, alongside him the kilted guitarist James Bastow who also sings on some numbers when Neil plays keyboards adds to the band's image. Wireless technology enabled Bastow to make a wild invasion into the crowd during one number. If you didn't purchase their four track CD 'Close Your Eyes' after their performance it will be available in HMV from this week.

Evolution included songs from modern day acts such as Kings Of Leon, as well as fine covers of two Who numbers 'My Generation' and 'Pinball Wizard' in their well received set.

Blameless are another band who play original music, songs such as 'Independence Day' featured in their performance. The band's line-up included both acoustic guitar and female vocalist Cara Knight, in addition to electric guitar, bass and drums. This gave their music a lighter edge than some. Cara and bass player Joe Hillman have recently joined the band, who can now move on following a period of uncertainly.

Blista by contrast play heavy rock covers including numbers from bands such as Green Day, they finished their uptempo set with 'Ace Of Spades', vocalist Mark Blackburn like Lemmy plays bass, his voice has a similar quality to Motorhead's frontman. This was the band's third appearance at the Party, and apparently was their last.

The Melt have appeared at the Party before, this year they have slimmed down to a three piece, brothers Ashley and Phil Wilson on guitar and drums respectively and Greg Smith on bass. To suit the occasion the trio played a series of songs with a more rocky feel, and rather surprisingly featuring all new material. Their strong set featured songs such as 'Throwing Knives' inspired by an ex-girlfriend, 'Please Stay' an extended number which featured some fine guitar work from Ashley Wilson and 'Think Of That' which closed their set.

There was a variety of music to enjoy on Sunday afternoon. 101 Proof, an established local band who were making their first appearance at The Party treated their audience to some great country and country tinged music, Since we last saw them perform, 101 Proof have extended their country repertoire considerably with songs such as 'The Bug'. Though the casual listener probably only recognised one or two songs from their set such as Van Morrison's 'Brown Eyed Girl', the large crowd seemed to enjoy a taste of Sunday afternoon country, especially as the songs chosen had the upbeat feel of modern country music, rather than more traditional country songs. Some reference to their music sources though would perhaps help promote 101 Proof's favourite music to a new audience.

Between their set and the second appearance by the CS Big Band, a local samba band provided some hot rhythms in the sunshine. During their performance a spitfire did several flypasts in honour of Veterans Awareness Day.

The CS Big Band performed a number of instrumental numbers including Cozy Powell's 'Dance With The Devil' which would have pleased rock fans in the crowd. The band which has around 18 musicians are also joined by vocalist Dave Hawkins who sung a variety of numbers from 'Hello Dolly', the rock'n'roll 'Sweet Little Sixteen' to a Billy Joel song.

Blues, soul and rock all featured in Ray Fenwick's Rhythm and Blues All-stars, with BB King, Ann Peebles and Spencer Davis Group songs all featuring in their uptempo set. There was some great guitar work not only from guitar master Ray Fenwick, who has worked with such bands as the Spencer Davis Group and the Ian Gillan Band, but from the less well known Dave Janes.

They were followed by Gin House, cheered on by the Ginettes and an ever-growing fan base. With songs such as 'Back In The Night' which they opened with, and 'Down To The Doctors' from Dr Feelgood to 'Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'Pride and Joy', Gin House whipped up a storming set of R'n'B.

We're sure the Party continued long into the evening, but with work and other commitments calling it was time to take our leave of the 2005 Party In The Park, which looked to have attracted the biggest audience yet, thanks to the gorgeous weather.