By Desh Kapur, Photographer, and Lloyd Wakeling, Journalist–Rock At Night Manchester Correspondents
Location: Conwy, Wales–GORGYS FESTIVAL
Take a beautiful , late summers day, add a setting second to none, mix in a blend of truly eclectic and original music , throw in some lovely local ales ,some wines and the odd donkey ride and yes,you have it,a blissful day spent under a warm, blue sky that from the beginning promised everything and delivered so much more in bucket loads!
From the minute I walked onto the grounds of the stately and serene Caerun Hall,I knew the majestic Conwy Valley was going to provide all who were there with a wonderful day.Families,couples, singles ; anyone ,we were all welcome.I could smell the wood fired pizza, the burgers and the coffee served from the back of a V Dub camper.The bar looked well stocked and ready and those donkeys,who doesn’t love a donkey!…brilliant!
But on with the most important part of the day, the music and what a mixed bag the mecurial Gav Mart and his friends had chosen, wow! although with two stages going at almost the same time, it was always going to be a challenge to review everyone, the caliber on show was impressive beyond doubt and even if your chosen genre was unavailable,the quality of musicianship shone through to excite even the most determined critic.I’ve chosen the three main headliners to review but needless to say they were representative of everything that was amazing on the day and what headliners they were!
Nick Harper, a man moulded by blues and rock in equal measures , guided his tamed guitar into a relay of songs that sometimes carried two or three titles together , without a breath ,matched only by his effortless voice and the sobering ability to change a string one handed ,whilst still holding a note with ease; let me tell you people , this man was good, very very good.
Next up ,my personal highlight appeared, Marcus Bonfanti, a man who ripped up the stage and then ripped it up again,without even the hint of an apology! His powerful blues voice and guitar playing left me in awe and his stage presence,well, rock God springs to mind, an inspirational performance in keeping with an inspired day and he reminded me of why I love live music , brilliant!
And then, Seth Lakeman, some one who wears folk as a hat and his celtic heart on his sleeve, gently soothed my mood with a guitar, a violin and a bazooki,his tender wilting songs sitting happily with the whole ambient day,such a lovely way to finish.
So,what a day. The inaugural Gorgys Secrets festival.The sun was there, the music was there ,the atmosphere was there and I for one was incredibly thankful I was there and in the inimitable words of the late great revolutionary crooner Lou Reed,it was oh such a perfect day, and one I look forward to repeating,many many times.