Celebrating the 20th anniversary of one-day musical extravaganzas in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park, this year’s Ipswich Music Day was set to top previous years with a magnificent line-up of the region’s finest artists. Covering genres as diverse as heavy metal, country, ska and hip-hop, Sunday’s event proved just why it has established itself as one of the biggest free music events in the country.
Opening the Evening Star Stage fast-rising classic rock outfit Walkway rocked the early comers with their set of pounding hard rock numbers. With their sound sitting somewhere between Guns N’ Roses and classic 80s Ozzy, the band excited with a fine display of guitar solos and heavy riffing, with a cover of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid fitting in perfectly.
Up next were psychedelic indie trio Butterfly. Far from your typical indie band, these guys mix classic psychedelic with today’s alternative rock scene and deliver a truly unique set. A regular gigging outfit in Ipswich, these guys are ones to watch for the future.
Energetic emo rockers This Sudden Injury know just how to work a crowd and were certainly contenders for most popular act of the day. The sound on stage was a little indistinct but the band soon settled into their stride and offered a plethora of catchy choruses to the hooked audience.
The award for heaviest band of the event went to masked heavy metal outfit Never A Hero who are currently enjoying success on Kerrang! and Scuzz TV. On the basis of this set it’s clear this success is well deserved, and they were certainly the tightest band of the weekend. Think Bullet For My Valentine with occasional bursts of rapping and you’re not far off how these guys sound.
One of Suffolk’s most popular bands, B. Goodes, performed to a packed out audience all present to enjoy their retro style of pop. Upbeat songs, glorious sunshine and with everybody clearly enjoying themselves, these guys offered the perfect summer soundtrack. Hitting on the same vibe as bands like The Beach Boys and with plenty of catchy hooks to sink your teeth into, these guys are well worth watching in and around Ipswich.
For me, the day’s most entertaining band were East Town Pirates who proved that pirate rock is one of the most exciting genres in existence today. Dressed suitably for the occasion these scurvy-dogs couldn’t possibly lose with song names like Ship Ahoy!. The BBC Radio Suffolk Stage certainly struck gold with this band of ruffians and with the song Tobias Gill having local connections these guys are a perfect addition to this local event.
Back by popular demand after last year’s victorious display, soul/hip-hop outfit Millionaires By Morning returned with a whole new set of very promising new material. Their older songs were received the best but the band displayed the art of lyrical wordsmithery at its finest, rounding off the packed out event in true energetic style.
Words: Jason Noble