CALL OF THE WILD 2024 – Sunday (Festival Review)


Once again I was lucky enough to be part of the team here at CGCM to have the chance to be involved with the Call Of The Wild Festival (COTW) at the Lincolnshire Showgrounds. The festival is well run, with plenty of good camping spots and you are never too far away from the action. That action involves two outside stages which sit side by side and a smaller tent stage further back nearer the entrance to the main arena.

This year I had some interviews lined up before I arrived and by the end had done a number more than I planned. The thing is the festival is so friendly and most of the bands are really happy to chat with interviewers. Of course, doing that means I do miss bands at times but it is for me a price worth paying as I hope the interviews when uploaded onto the site shall show! Here is some of what I enjoyed on day three of Call Of The Wild.


After two superb days already, I was excited to see what would happen on the last day, day 3 of COTWBefore the music started I bumped into someone in the press area and got talking (that happens a lot with me strangely) and the guy called Zander said he was in a band. I asked which one and he told me so I said I would definitely come along and check out his band. He told me that his daughter was also in the group and I can’t say I have seen many bands with parents and offspring in them so I was kind of intrigued. That band?


A very unusual name for a very unusual band. They certainly involve a few styles in their music and in singer Taylor-Griss they have quite a focal point as she wears some form of headdress with possibly a beak coming down her forehead. The first lyric she sings/screams “let me introduce myself” before singing about being from “the gates of hell“. Be afraid, be very afraid. She stalks the stage, prowling and menacing.

Musically there was a nice change of riffage before the solo. “Why Don’t Ya Like Me!?” had a snotty-nosed punk edge to it. Tons of attitude in this and also “Shut Your Mouth” which she explained was about an abusive ex-boyfriend and she explained that the video features other females that had dated the guy basically raising their middle fingers to show what they think of abusing women. That got quite a cheer and loads of applause as abuse is never acceptable. Lyrically it dealt with abusive control and the music blended in well with the message being a mix of almost 50s rock ‘n’ roll and punk. The song had plenty of groove too.

Judas” also had I think a connection to the abuse she suffered with lyrics talking about how they “fucked my personality so no-one recognizes me” whilst the music is slower and more grinding, almost like a late 70s or early 80s Whitesnake number. There was also a track that was more gothic in style but I didn’t catch the title sadly.

Midnight Sun

They did do a brand new song called “Midnight Sun” which I noted as having a mellow start, slightly bluesy guitar lines with an almost military beat in the background which changed as it went along into a more straight edged rock number. I only heard it the once so I hope I have caught the essence of it! “What I Want” turned into a big clapalong and “End Of The Day” was a fine rocker. I was rather glad I bumped into Zander as it made sure I saw them. They certainly mix it up with rock/metal alongside goth and punk and at one point there was possibly a nod to Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac in the guitar work. I bloody well enjoyed them!

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Now as I was in the tent watching Not Now Norman there was a bit of a storm. Thunder and lightning (very very frightening?) and a bloody monsoon. I went to leave the tent and realised it was difficult to get out as so many had come in for shelter. The main stages were shut down due to lightning strikes in the area so they weren’t missing out on anything anywhere else (though they were seeing a great set from the band in the tent). When the rain stopped the sun came out and we all ended up roasting and needing sunscreen! It meant the ground was soggy like bogland and the place was a mudbath whilst we were boiling. The joy of UK weather at festivals.


Very much a thrash band with a punk edge who kicked a serious amount of arse. I didn’t catch all the titles but the songs I think I did make out included “Immortalized” with its opening lines (I think) of “are you ready to burn? Are you ready to live and learn?” Metal that was tight and heavy with groove. Headbanging heaven.

They were more than capabable of slowing things down as they showed with the very doomy and intense “Life After Dark” which I noted as being a mix of Slayer and Candlemass. The ending was really slowed down. It hit the spot with me. “Set The World Ablaze” we were told featured drummer Bobby in particular. He was very busy in it with lots of fills and battering the hell out of the kit. Singer/guitarist Kieron then worked the crowd a little asking us to put our hands palm front in the air, he then asked us to turn them around followed by asking us to make fists but leaving up our middle fingers, then to turn to the person to the right right of us and shout “Go Fuck Yourself” which turned out to be the name of the next song.


Most folks joined in winding up each other before joining in heartily with the chorus whenever it came around. There definitely was a punk edge to it. They did a tribute to Lemmy and Motorhead as one of the main stages is named after him. Kieron did remark that he didn’t think anyone had paid tribute on that stage but at least one band certainly had and during the weekend there were tributes to him. What was good was the fact he also name checked Filthy Animal Taylor and Fast Eddie Clarke who hadn’t been directly named.

They did “No Class” which was brillant as it isn’t played so often and “Killed By Death” which is. Both were given all the energy and spit that they deserved. Strangely their new track called I believe “Diamonds” had a right Motorhead feel to it. Being a 3 piece probably helps as the bass was pounding and fuzzy as well as being high in the mix. There weren’t as many thrash style bands at COTW but when they are added they tend to be top notch and Bang Bang Firecracker were right up there. Biggest laugh was when announcing the name of the band Kieron managed to get the name wrong. Man that made me feel better for all my cocking names up😂.

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This is a band that I really love. I first saw them at SOS Festival where they impressed me greatly and then I caught up with them in Glasgow when they supported Fury UK a few months ago. I was very impressed again. They opened with “Hell Hath No Fury” where singer Lidya belts her lungs out scaring the shit out of anyone in the vicinity (this of course is a good thing) at one point. She can also do subtlety as well when things drop down a little. The song has a good chorus which I heard a few folks around me singing along with. The song has a doomy vibe but with 70s hard rock running through it. I liked it on first listen, I still very much like it.

Fever Dream” was one of the highlights of their set, starting all slow and doomy, twisting into a hard rock groove and from then on seeming to flow in and out of both vibes with ease. Drummer Sav was getting so into it that he started to slowly destroy his kit, knocking over one cymbal stand and nearly tripping up another band member who tried to replace it one handed whilst still playing their instrument. The looks on the faces were great as they were both laughing at each other.


The band did start a song which they told me later they hadn’t planned to play (they realised they had longer than they thought) which went slightly awry, so much so that Lidya joked that she thought they were all playing different songs! Now I want to point out that I have seen Rush have to stop a song before due to things going wrong, and if 3 of the greatest musicians on the damned planet can have things go wrong it can happen to anyone.

It also proved that this is LIVE music, REAL music, IN THE MOMENT music. Of course the drummer got the blame with the suggestion that he was going to be “sacrificed at the next Solstice“. What was also funny was the way at the end of the next song “Resurrection SongLidya looked at the band and went “that was better wasn’t it?” causing laughs all round.

During “RSLidya moved around the crowd singing in folks faces that “your soul is mine to kill“. Charming! “Hectate” had a slower groove and the guitar solo was particularly lovely and it also allowed some gentle vocalizations. We were told that most of the set might never be heard again as they haven’t been recorded yet (I hope they are) and they finished with 3 more songs that are available online in “Something Wicked This Way Comes“, “Witching Hour” and “Pyre” all of which are excellent. The last track was I am sure extended soloing wise. To sum up… STILL impressed!

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Taking to stage with lovely surroundings or trimmings of old style lampshades and flower vases down the front, These Wicked Rivers proceeded to uplift us all with their bluesy, peaceful, spiritual vibes (not religious as such although there is a gospel feel to some of their songs). They played a lovely mix of mellow tracks and stomping blues rockers. “Shine On” opened things on an upbeat note. It grooved and swung and the chorus is an easy pick up even for first timers to the band (not that I think there were many with the reactions).

Evergreen” was quicker, more incessant in riffage within the verses but it swung in the chorus, in fact it was slightly Southern in the choruses. This had plenty of guitar soloing going on. They then turned attention to their latest album with “Black Gold” which is a great track that if there was any justice would be a massive hit single. It sounded even better live than album of course. If you weren’t moving you were already dead. The lovely bass line was still coming through strong.

Keeping it rocking the band powered into “The Riverboat Man” which again has a Southern rock vibe, it stomped and kicked, a bit like the guitarist who was twirling around high kicking and having a ball. The band were able to bring things down a couple of times firstly with “Just To Be A Man“. In my notes I wrote “classy” and “beautiful”. The drum sound was quite classical as it built up, I felt like I was listening to a timpani player. He was using those furry end sticks which probably helps make that sound. Very atmospheric and haunting.


Of course they brought the tempo straight back up with “Testify“. We were asked for a “yeah“, then a “hell yeah” and finally a “testify” and the crowd happily responded. The song now comes with added harmonica live which is a bonus. Keeping it upbeat with “The Family” which features the line “sing it one more time, “this is our family now”, which is as good a way of describing the atmosphere of firstly a Rivers’ gig but also the COTWfestival.

A real family event with kids playing football etc and with a very easy going friendly crowd. They finished with the wonderful “Don’t Pray For Me” which is a slow burn, a bit of a “Freebird” moment with the song building up, dropping down and building back until it goes into guitar solos aplenty however this dropped back down and managed to include a section of Neil Young’s Hey Hey, My My” on the outro. I am pretty sure this was quite a bit longer live than the studio version as they jammed. A beast of a track to bring an end to a fine set on the day.

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The band only have a few singles out at the moment and are still to release their debut album, but such is the background of the band and the reputation they have garnered in the last little while, they were given the headline slot on the second stage at COTW. I personally hadn’t seen them live but I had heard good things, I knew it would be colourful and have inflatable unicorns (quite right as the national animal of Scotland… and no I am not joking) and that whatever they played there would be choruses and dancing. Everything on that list was ticked and more.

The songs were poppy, yet have a rocking vibe and a snotty nosed punk attitude. The band obviously don’t give a shit about detractors. They also as I said put on a show. They played all the singles as one might expect and stuff yet to be released including what will be their next single…TWICE! For good reason as they wanted to film the video at the festival so they wanted lots of crowd shots etc fo the video. The very fortunate thing was that the song was what young folks today call a “banger“.

It was so good I didn’t mind hearing it twice as the beachballs and even a blow up crocodile flew around. I got walloped by both things during it all, wasn’t great in that due to the storm earlier in the day the field was a mudbath so everything that landed picked up mud and covered you in it when it hit. Again I was having so much fun I didn’t care.


Lead vocalist Gill has a dry sense of humour and was able to chat away between songs, at one point commending us all in the crowd for putting up with “the mud and shit“. “Dance Around” had folks dancing around as well as the crowd singing along on the chorus of “I love it when you dance around“. God it was infectious. One of the things I did note was that the song “Going Down” had a riff that was pure 70s Status Quo whether on purpose or not I have no idea.

Live Laugh Love” sounded terrific and the crowd belted it back at them with serious intent. They did the best sales pitch I have ever heard for their merch as they reimagined the classic track “Mercedes Benz” from Janis JoplinGill went through what was available including hats which suggested buying a hat for your gran or even one for your cat! Genius work, advertise and entertain at the same time. The vocal harmonies at the end were seriously sweet! They finished with “I Didn’t Like You Anyway” which is a belter of a “fuck you” song and there was some lovely almost Thin Lizzy guitar harmonies.  You want fun? Want colour? You want to sing and dance? Then get your arse along to see this lot as all things are guaranteed.

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So it was all coming to a close and what a fine way for COTW to do so with Tyketto. A real classy act with one of the best singers around today in Danny Vaughn. Every song is sung almost to perfection, especially those from 30 years ago that on closing my eyes I thought I was hearing them again for the first time.

The one constant in the band of course is the singer but he always seems to find good quality musicians that can play the songs in the way the fans love. As for the songs there were so many that folks didn’t need any encouragement to join in with, these songs are known and loved, folks have grown up with them and I am sure they bring back loads of memories to those of us of a certain age. For instance on “Wings” the audience belted out “if I had the wings” part with no real direction. It sounded fabulous.

Danny told us he had been at the festival watching bands the day before and had been impressed at the quality he saw on the stages. He described the crowd as “road warrriors” who had “taken on all the weather fronts this country can throw at you“. How right he was, but music fans tend to be hardy souls and need their music like some plants needs watering. He also commented on community singing saying it is more fun than doing it on your own.


Before “Circle The Wagons” he reminded us all that the band Tyketto had been around in various forms for over 30 years before saying to anyone that didn’t know of them “where have you been for 30 bloody years” whilst laughing. I don’t imagine there was anybody there that didn’t know them. “Strength In Numbers” kicked some arse, seemed heavier than I remembered it. Danny did say he was so thankful that so many places are requesting the band to play and that the UK had been one of the first places to take the band to their hearts.

There was love from the stage as well as towards it. I admit that around half way through I put the phone away (I use it for notes for reviews, if I don’t do it then I would never remember… old age) and just enjoyed what I was hearing whilst having a beer with new found friends. The songs kept coming including a wonderful “Standing Alone“. The crowd sang and danced all the way through and by the end of it everyone seemed to be smiling. That is how you bring a festival to a close, with songs and personality.

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So that was it for the festival 2024 (well apart from the after show party in the tent for the real hardy buggers and party animals) and once again it was a real treat. Each year I come away having seen new bands that become favourites that I might not have found otherwise. The festival is so friendly, really like a family, in fact with many real families there, I have met 3 generations of the same family here all sharing in the fun of the event.

Personally I just want to thank the staff and crew who put the whole thing together, the wonderful media team (they really look after folks like us at CGCM), all the bands that took time out to speak with us at CGCM. Those interviews are to follow so keep your eyes open for them going up online. I can honestly say all the bands were generous with their time and were a huge amount of fun to spend time with. I have loads of work to do but it is worth it for the music and musicians involved. Until hopefully 2025…

Check out my other articles and reviews here. Tom.

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