I wonder how long it will be before folk start referring to the last weekend in June as Apollo weekend and not Glasto weekend. Well many people in York already do, and rightly so this relatively new festival is still very vibrant, friendly and fun even in its fourth year. I have now been three times and I enjoyed each visit immensely. If you like good music and a good day out for the family in Yorkshire then look no further than York’s Apollo Festival.
Anyway this year I was a bit of a lazy stage hopper in that I only visited one other stage apart from the Main Stage. I arrived at about 11.15 along with my beautiful wife Catherine a.k.a. Catwoman our good friend Caron and our amazing Odd Daughter Amelia. The first act we saw was the Ainsty’s Got Talent winner B Boy Swirl, aged just nine years old he is just three years older than Amelia. He proved himself to be a talented whirlwind of beatbox noise and break dance frenzy. What a brilliant start to the day.
Next up on the Main Stage was someone with a vocal talent that could easily compare and compete with Adele. The magnificent and truly soulful Kymberley Kennedy. Definitely check this lady out, she has a gorgeous voice. After that it was a quick dash to the Rick Witter Premier Stage for me to catch the final part of a stunning set from those magnificent scamps, the Mallrats. Just like the last time I saw them they were awesome!
I made my way back to the Main Stage for the second half of the Jackobins set. These scousers owe a debt to Brit Pop, but only a small one. Their talent goes much deeper than that. Ace mod covers band the outstanding 5:15’s were up next. What a party band these boys are, covers of the Jam, solo Weller, the Specials, the Yardbirds and so much more. They were followed by Chris Helme the former front man of the Seahorses. He is clearly a very talented and very chilled kind of bloke. But I’m afraid his music just doesn’t do it for me. But to each their own right?
I was disappointed that I had to miss the Supermodels this year. But I did have good reason, I had earlier bumped into the fabulous Rachel Brown of Northern Exposure who has recommended the Velcro Teddy Bears for ages. So clearly I was not going to miss them. Rachel and her fella Ash were also in the audience in the Rick Witter Premier Stage for the Velcro Teddy Bears Apollo début. So what were this highly rated Sheffield four piece band like? The were bloody stupendous. They rocked the place hard. If you love Led Zep, the softer side of Sabbath and hard but soulful rock then you will become a fan of the Velcro Teddy Bears. An incredibly tight band with a vocalist who could probably make any song his own. Their songs have the hallmarks of future classics. For me they were the band of the day. Thank you Rachel! I was also pleased to see my mate Kevin Forth in attendance too.
Dave McCabe and the Ramifications were next to entertain us from the Main Stage. Dave in case you wondered is a former Zuton. The band was excellent from start to finish in my opinion although I really would have liked to have seen them close with “Valerie” but Dave was having none of that.
Dodgy were the penultimate Main Stage band and it is fair to say that they were far more than just “Good Enough”. A stonking version of “Staying Out For The Summer” even managed to keep the rain at bay for a while. Sadly the rain really kicked in after Cast’s arrival, what a “Fine Time” for a downpour? So I must apologise to the marvellous Cast as we left about halfway through their set as we were soaked. But they are clearly still a great festival band. I saw them back in the 90s and if anything they have got even better.
So once again I have had the pleasure of attending another wonderful Apollo festival. This is one small wacky step for Dad dancing but one giant leap for festival kind. If you’re not already thinking about getting your tickets for next year, well frankly you’re not well!
Public Service Announcement – None of the pictures or videos were taken or filmed by me. I ‘borrowed’ them all from t’interweb.