Call Of The Wild Festival 2022
CGCM Rock Radio has just experienced The Call Of The Wild Festival in Lincolnshire, UK. Two delegates, Scotsman Tom Cornell and Canadian Rich “The Meister” Dillon continue their coverage of the event here with this dually written account of Friday, May 20. More coverage will follow including daily accounts, band interviews, and photo galleries. Organizer Dave O Hara will also be live on air with Meister on Friday, June 3rd as well for a wrap-up radio show.
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Meister’s Morning Blog
MEISTER: The morning dawned over our glamping tent. At this time probably appropriate to apologize to any nearby neighbours for the symphony orchestra of Mike‘s incessant farting and my thunderous snoring🤣. The air outside was quite chilly and damp, but not terribly uncomfortable.
A little freshening up in the Shower/toilet block led us to the breakfast tent/stall that opened onto the camping grounds. Holy Mackinaw, are things expensive here for us 🇨🇦! Our money is worth about as much as used toilet paper🤦🏻♂️. A walk about the camping area and up to the entrance gate was a nice time killer while we chatted, laughed and finished our coffee.
Discovery of Dead Skull Coffee
First stop once the grounds/arena gates were opened was the Dead Skull Coffee table in the tent. OMG, finally a great cup of coffee! This stuff is wonderful, so we returned three times, each one a different blend. For me personally, the Thunder (yes, endorsed by the band), was the best! Super nice dudes running the stand as well and the coffee was even cheaper, too! Hey boys, you should sponsor a radio station🤣.
Taking our last coffee away from the little table area, we walked around the centre area of the grounds checking out some of the vendors that were open for business. Mostly as at some point yesterday I’d managed to lose my sunglasses and required another pair.
Today was marked as “Shit Shirt Friday” I was told prior to my flight over and I packed a banger! Shit shirts encompass your loudest most technicolour Hawaiian shirt. Several folks complimented my selection and someone even called it the winner.
Tom’s Friday Morning
TOM: After an excellent first day on Thursday, we were all ready for round two which was going to be a full day of music or at least 12 hours. 11am to 11pm there would be music performed over three stages. Between the two main stages allowing for the changes between them (10 minutes between each act) that alone was 11 hours of live music.
TOM: This was personally for me quite a busy day with interviews and note-taking/transcribing as well so once again I will cover the best I can the bands I saw live on stage. I even managed to get confused (not for the first time) and ended up 5 hours early for a band interview, feel free to laugh. Luckily it all worked out in the end apart from some slagging! These will, for today, be focused on the two main stages. Friday saw a little rain but not bad enough for folks to run for cover or hire a boat! Thankfully! Onto the bands.
Steal The City
MEISTER: Steal The City was the first band of the day and I was in the photo area for my allotted three songs of shooting. But after that, I floated away in conversation with friends and taking some shit shirt photos, so I’ll refer to Tom:
TOM: Steal The City opened the day at 11am. This Sheffield-based outfit were like a good number of acts here relatively unknown to me. From what they played they had a bit of a punk vibe to them crossed with some modern metal although still being commercial sounding. I didn’t catch song titles but they played their new single (possibly still to be released) “Bulletproof” which sounded good. Unless my ears deceived me they also had a song with the word “serendipity” in it. Don’t remember any other song that uses it so extra kudos for that!
TOM: Singer Joe had an issue with his guitar and he joked after he put it down and grabbed the mike as he had free hands to continue “you can tell I’ve never done this before“. Even this early there was a good audience who were quite vocal, so much so when asked “how’s the hangovers” the crowd response surprised bassist Smit who started coughing as he took a drink of water. They warmed the place up nicely.
TOM: Twister are a band that had passed me by (partly my own fault) and by God am I kicking myself for that! They opened up with two kettle drums on either side of the stage being hammered by two of the band along with the drummer who was also getting torn into his kit. The energy raised by that tribal noise grabbed immediate attention.
TOM: Musically they are hard rock with bits of glam or sleaze but have that edge that a band like Kissin’ Dynamite has. Also, like the band I just mentioned they have an excellent vocalist in Stevie Stoker who showed personality by being able to chat easily with the crowd. At one point he took the piss out of guitarist Jake Grimes when he appeared to stumble saying “two pints last night, on his arse today” along with a crack about drummer Jack Corbett who damaged a snare drum, apparently his “second snare in two nights”, yup, he hits those damn things hard!
TOM: The ballad “Monroe” was particularly good. They had (at least to my ears) a touch of Big Country in the guitar sound in a couple of tracks, that jangly Celtic guitar thing that gets the foot going. These guys blew me away on the day. Luckily they are also lovely blokes who were happy to chat with me when asked and that interview will be appearing here at CGCM very soon.
TOM: Due to interviews I only caught a couple of tracks from The Suicide Notes but what I saw I liked very much. Frontman Billy Tee reminded me a little of Wednesday 13 with his raspy tone (on their own site they called the vocals “raw nicotine-stained“). The music has that punky sound as well. They were a lively bunch who were putting on a show and were a fun watch. Sorry, I didn’t see more but I saw enough to want to give the band a shout-out here at CGCM.
MEISTER: The Suicide Notes I was looking forward to having played their song “Rollin With The Punches” on CGCM Rock Radio after being alerted through them by a PR campaign and also CGCM teammate Dave Wilks at around the same time. Only having the Trampstamp EP meant I didn’t know all their songs, but they had a great punky flavour that got the toes tapping as the beers were flowing. A band to watch out for, I for one will be getting into their catalogue very shortly.
Both CGCM boys seemed to miss Last Hounds for the most part. Meister performed photo activities, but was not taken by their music personally and instead had a beer with friends. Tom locked himself into the press area setting up interviews and working on transcribing those conducted yesterday.
MEISTER: I’m not sure what to make of Bastette. I mean I like the music but it’s got a funkiness and groove to it. And am quite familiar musically having checked it out when a PR label advanced me the Exposed EP. I also played tracks on CGCM Rock Radio and in my shows. And I do love the latest single “Psycho” as well, but something is holding me back somewhere. Frontwoman Caroline Kenyon exhibits a sultry stage presence slinking around in a black leather/plastic outfit. Her vocal tones are velvety and smoothly delivered with a sexiness that suits.
TOM: The rain began to fall as Empyre played, but it didn’t dampen the band’s performance or indeed the crowd’s enthusiasm. On my first listen I considered them to be quite grungy(?) in style, but on repeated listens (and indeed this is my second time seeing them) have realized that they are probably more a prog band than “grunge”. I was hearing similarities in music and in the vocals to artists such as Nevermore or Communic. Singer Henrik Steenholdt has a wonderful deep resonance to his voice, strong and compelling to listen to.
TOM: For me, the highlight of the set was the lengthy “Homegrown” which being longer allows the band to explore even deeper the emotions of music and words. I was utterly transfixed during it. As I didn’t hear anyone talking etc near me I assume everyone else watching was similar. Bloody magnificent stuff. The rest of the set was pretty impressive too, even the brand new song showcased “Hit And Run” (if I caught it right) went down well.
TOM: Drummer Tom Cole showed his chops especially on “Only Way Out” with some great fills. Despite being a serious-sounding band they have a fine sense of humour such as when Henrik joked about the weather, firstly saying that it is normally said “the sun always shines when Empyre are on… well that’s gone to shit now” and when he went on to say that at the merch desk you can get lyric sheets of the songs as keepsakes so why not “get one, then present it to us soaking wet falling apart and we will try signing it“. I think today was the day I fully got this band and by God I am glad. Guys in black playing thoughtful, sad songs in the rain and it was still fun! Success all round.
MEISTER: The Takeaway Thieves was one band I was 100% pumped to see live. I jumped into the photo pit with the other togs first off snapping away. Then I relegated myself to a bit back with a beer and a couple of friends to enjoy the rest of the set.
MEISTER: You see, I’d been perusing the album 9 and absolutely loved the track “Spider“. So much so that in my three radio shows I played it every show! I even began to sing the chorus in my head to a daddy longlegs spider crawling up a wall the week before I flew over. My hope that they would play my favourite song came up about mid-set and rather shockingly to me. Standing with friends and a nice cold beer, between songs vocalist Peter McLoughlin, addressed the crowd by calling out: “Where’s Rich Dillon? He’s come a long way from Canada to be here and this one’s for him”. They then launched into “Spider“😁. Fantastic. I caught up with three of the band later in the evening for a little chat that will soon be coming to CGCM as well. Awesome set, thanks for the call-out boys!
MEISTER: I missed out on Florence Black as I rushed off to the press room to join Tom in an interview with Twister (partly as an excuse to sit down maybe🤣). I’d actually hoped to catch the end part of Florence after the interview, but that didn’t happen. Anyways, thanks Tom for allowing me to sit in on your nice chat with Twister and that’ll soon be coming to CGCM.
MEISTER: Tom also had an interview sorted with Massive Wagons and I hoped to hang on for that as well, but things were running a bit behind and I took leave of the Press area to return to live stages. The best thing was that I had met Massive Wagons earlier out on the field. As soon as I said Canada, the band Rush was mentioned by guitarist Adam. I told him when they sit with CGCM to mention Rush as interviewer Tom is a huge fan! Later on in the day, Tom posts a photo on Facebook, with the caption: “Let me be quite clear, it was not me who started the Rush talk when you hear my interview with Massive Wagons!” Perfect🤣!
MEISTER: These Wicked Rivers became a casualty as I was late down. Instead I photographed some friends in shit shirts trying their hand at Axe-Throwing! Lots to do here at Call of the Wild, that’s for sure! King Creature was my next target as I’d rather liked what I’d heard and played in my livestream shows. Tom was a little late down after talking with Massive Wagons but has a great account of the set here:
TOM: I missed the start of King Creature due to conducting an interview. But from what I saw and heard they heavied things up quite a bit. In fact, this was the first time I saw a band member “windmilling” their hair onstage here. How I wish I could have hair to do that! “Desolation” had a doomy Black Sabbath vibe to it which was noticeable most around the guitar solo. During “Falling Down Again” one of the guitarists was thumping the shit out of his guitar making noise aplenty. “Lowlife” had a fine audience participation section which the crowd got right into.
TOM: They, like many of the bands, had a sense of humour and were able to chat between songs including references to their home county of Cornwall and tractors which may or may not be true. It certainly had folks laughing. Definitely a band I want to catch doing a full set. They were more metal than rock to my ears but still had some melodies to catch onto.
MEISTER: Howling Tides and Raging Speedhorn were not in my wheelhouse particularly. And that’s not a knock on their shows, just rather not my preferred musical style is all. So it was time for food and a beer with friends. Tom however was on hand for the Rage:
TOM: Heaviest band of the weekend by far was Raging Speedhorn. They screamed, growled and caused chaos on and off stage. I must admit I was curious how they would go down being so heavy. But there was a good crowd there and believe it or not there was even a mosh pit going on at points! The energy onstage was impressive but the band was obviously having fun! Even playing frisbee with one of the crew’s caps who came onto the stage to replace the monitor in the mayhem. Songs they played included “Motorhead” which comes on like the hard-nosed music of the band in the title. And the accurately named “Doom Machine” which has a doom vibe about it whilst being utterly brutal.
TOM: It also seemed that at least one of the band had seen the memo for “Shit Shirt Friday” (I missed that completely) giving competition to CGCM‘s very own Rich Dillon who had definitely seen it! Maybe a tad heavy for some regulars but they certainly made sure the folks who knew them had a bloody great time.
Ricky Warwick And The Fighting Hearts
TOM: Ricky Warwick And The Fighting Hearts were special guests. They played a set of songs that were punchy, anthemic and aimed at both heart and mind. There is no pretence about Ricky, what you see is what you get. These days it is probably more accurate to just call him a singer-songwriter ala Springsteen. A working-class man who doesn’t surround himself with affectations, the songs are what matters. Whether it be his solo songs, covers or ones from bands he has played in they all have a punch and an honesty about them. Not to say he doesn’t have fun, he jokes around with the crowd quite a bit.
TOM: The speed of interaction is great. When he after two or three songs first speaks it is simply to ask “How ya doing?” Someone with a loud voice in the audience shouts back “No, how are you?“. Causing laughter on and off stage and Ricky to simply remark “This is the politest festival crowd ever” to more laughs and cheers. He also wasn’t too happy to strip for us… unless we joined in loud enough, apparently!
TOM: He only did the one Lizzy song (“Boys Are Back“). But he did hit us with a few Almighty songs including the brilliant “Jonestown Mind” which was great to hear again. “My Fighting Heart” has the couplet “got your name tattooed on my chest, well I was never blessed with common sense” which I think many of us could identify with. He has a way with words and belts out lyrics with great aplomb. With an excellent band (featuring Sam Wood from Wayward Sons on lead guitar) he smashed it out of the park.
MEISTER: I totally agree with Tom. Such an awesome set and being a massive Almighty fan, I loved hearing those tracks live for the first time! I sang along in all my glory to “Free ‘n’ Easy“!
TOM: Finally it was time for the headliners Massive Wagons who earlier in the day had given us some time for an interview at CGCM. That will be up online at some point very soon! The band obviously was absolutely chuffed to get this headline opportunity. And by God, they went for it with lights, canons, explosions and some of the most fun rock ‘n’ roll music imaginable. This is a band that wants folks to feel good, forget their troubles and have fun. They partly do that by being as crazy on stage as possible. Especially ringmaster and singer Baz Mills who covered every inch of the stage, often more than once. They couldn’t care less about being “cool” which for me makes them 100% cool, the real deal. Lyrically they are very British with lines that must make folks from other parts of the globe go “what?“.
TOM: They have so much humour in their songs that I find myself laughing whilst rocking. Not an easy trick to pull off. The new song they played called “Triggered” seemed to make mention of a “potato”. I have no idea why but I await the album lyrics with interest. The song is one asking folks not to be so easily upset but to chill, laugh (and rock) which seems a fair objective. Before playing “Matter Of Time” which was inspired by his daughter he dedicated it to “fathers and daughters in the audience, except the ugly ones” which caused laughs. It is actually a lovely track about your child growing up and not needing you so much. Drummer Alex Thistlethwaite kept coming in quickly, stopping Baz from talking causing Baz to complain about how “bloody keen” he was.
TOM: With songs such as “Back To The Stack“, “Bangin In Your Stereo” and closer “In It Together” they have the songs to back up the show and get a crowd singing along. Simply a triumph!
More to come…
And there’s our account of Friday at Call Of The Wild Festival 2022. Stay tuned for much, much more content in daily accounts, interviews, photo galleries and livestream radio shows.
Tickets on sale now for COTW 2023 with VIP already 75% sold! Get yours today!
*Written by Rich “The Meister” Dillon and Tom Cornell for CGCM Rock Radio.
CGCM‘s Full Coverage of the whole event can be found here: CALL OF THE WILD FESTIVAL 2022