Festival Review: Rewind Festival Scone Palace Scotland 2018

Review and photography by Steve Perks

“I can’t live without the rain” sang Headliners Status Quo – but they had to make an exception on this glorious weekend at Scone Palace, Perth as a stellar Eighties line-up entertained the revellers from 20th to 22nd July.
Not that the obligatory rain has ever dampened the spirits of Scottish revellers, but the sunshine and warmth certainly helped. This summer has already been compared to ’76 and there wasn’t a wellington boot in sight.

There are now three UK Rewind Festivals: The original Rewind South, Henley on the Thames site has hosted from the outset in 2009, Rewind Scotland, Scone Palace Perth since 2011 and Rewind North in Cheshire, introduced in 2014.

The festival was sold last year and the buyers introduced an all-new team, PR company and Security, promising to make the festival bigger and better than ever before.
There were a small number of teething problems to learn from, with the VIP ticket holders particularly disappointed with the reduced opportunities to meet and greet the artists and restricted view of the stage from the VIP enclosure, but the organisers are listening and taking on board the feedback.

Official Wedding with Michelle Slater and William Conville.Photography By Martin Bone

The PCN team were there to capture the atmosphere (we even photographed a real wedding in the inflatable church on Saturday morning!) There were actually two weddings plus an on-stage proposal (she said yes!)

FRIDAY 

This is the first day for all the Rewinder’s to set up camp and to enter the festival and get a feel of whats ahead for the next 3 days . Plenty of food and drink on offer and also some merchandise. Entertainment provided by some bands and comedians and with some Scottish traditional dancing on offer with Gaelic Music and with a Headline act HIPSWAY..

The main stage at The Forever Tent on Friday The tent was packed and you could barely move as HIPSWAY took to the stage . 

Hipsway performing at Rewind Scotland, Scone Palace, Perth, Perthshire on Friday 20th of July 2018 : Photo Credit Martin Bone (Scotland)

HIPSWAY’, The band was formed in Glasgow in 1984 by ex-Altered Images guitarist Johnny McElhone on bass, and featuring Grahame Skinner (vocals), Pim Jones (guitar) with hits in the 80’s and in 1985 had released their first, eponymously titled album. The album was a moderate success in the UK Albums Chart; while the single, “The Honeythief”,

made number 17 in the UK Singles Chart, and also reached the Top 20 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Another song from the album, “Tinder”, here is a video from their live performance at ABC Glasgow last year. 

the track TINDER became well known in Scotland as the soundtrack to a McEwan’s Lager commercial. Hipsway performed brilliantly and the Rewind crowds reactions to every track that they should have graced the main stage in the festival this year but its obvious   they would be popular choice for the main stage next year . HIPSWAY have a new album ‘SMOKE AND DREAMS ‘ out to purchase click here (Martin Bone ) 

Saturday

Richard Jobson of The Skids at Rewind Festival, Perth on 21st July 2018The Skids started the party at 2 pm on Saturday.
Richard Jobson, along with Bruce and Jaimie Watson (Big Country) played their hits, tearing the roof off with ‘Into The Valley’. An arguably unusual choice for the eighties themed festival, but a lot of people were looking forward to seeing this punk rock/new wave band formed in Fife in the late 70’s. Richard Jobson told the audience that they did consider wearing lycra, but they wouldn’t be able to get it over their stomachs. He also had a pop at Leo Sayer for knocking them off the number one slot and said in an interview later he would like to shave Leo’s head!

Andrew Roachford at Rewind Festival, Perth on 21st July 2018

Next on stage was Roachford.
Andrew Roachford is no stranger to the Rewind Stage, having appeared previously with his own band and Mike and the Mechanics. His most memorable hit, Cuddly Toy proved a crowd pleaser.

Peter Hook & The Light at Rewind Festival, Perth on 21st July 2018

Peter Hook and The Light continued the fun, playing hits from New Order and Joy Division.
Peter was part of The British Electric Foundation at last year’s festival and was again happy to come out and speak to fans. A good old friendly Salford lad!

Howard Jones at Rewind Festival, Perth on 21st July 2018

Howard Jones, another Rewind veteran followed, cramming as much of an extensive back catalogue as he could into 30 minutes. Howard had his own band with him. His set started with a slight technical glitch with his keyboards, but the untrained eye would not have noticed and his band had his back.

The stage was reset for the Rewind All-Star Band, who backed the next few artists.
These are top-notch session players who have worked with an impressive roster of artists far too long to mention here, so check out their websites below.
They are such an important and integral part of the Rewind experience, they deserve a special mention:

Richard Brook – Musical Director and Drums
Vincenz Benjamin – Bass
Stelios Kalisperedes – Guitar
Pete Faint – Keys
Steve Power – Keys
Justin Swadling – Sax and Keys
Lily Gonzales – Percussion and Backing vocals

Odyssey was the first to start what was to be a frantic couple of hours of virtually non-stop music with the All-Stars.
Odyssey, previously New York based are now a three piece, led by Steven Collazo and based in the UK. Steven is a long-term member of Odyssey. His mother, vocalist Lillian Lopez featured on hits such as ‘If You’re Looking For A Way Out’. Steven toured as keyboardist and Musical Director with his mother as part of Odyssey until her retirement in 2003. Their set was all too short, considering their impressive back catalogue of hit singles.

Martha Wash at Rewind Festival, Perth on 21st July 2018

Martha Wash was next on stage.
Martha was one of the original Weather Girls and is also dubbed as The Most Famous Unknown Singer of the ’90s. Her powerful voice was used (without her consent) on the likes of ‘Everybody, Everybody’ by Black Box and many others. The crowd almost drowned her out (not an easy task!) during her performance of ‘It’s Raining Men

Kim Appleby at Rewind Festival, Perth on 21st July 2018

Martha was followed by Kim Appleby (Mel & Kim)
Her sister, Mel sadly died in 1990 at the age of 23. Her set at Rewind saw her perform Mel & Kim hits for the first time in 25 years, with a touching tribute to her sister.

Tiffany at Rewind Festival, Perth on 21st July 2018

Tiffany – what can I say?
Everybody will remember her 1987 hit ‘I Think We’re Alone Now
Her first ever Rewind performance demonstrated what a great vocalist and performer she is. She also took time out to meet her fans and pose for photographs. She is also about to launch her first album in 24 years titled ‘Pieces of me.’ Rewind was all about that hit though and it went down a storm. It is good to see artists like Tiffany not resting on their laurels and producing new, quality material.

Roland Gift at Rewind Festival, Perth on 21st July 2018

Roland Gift walked on stage just after 7 PM
I have to admit that Fine Young Cannibals were never really on my radar and I’ve never been the biggest fan of Roland’s voice. Nevertheless, they achieved major international success with hits like ‘Johnny Come Home‘ and their cover of ‘Suspicious Minds‘. His set was well received by the crowd and I came away with a different view!

Gypsy Kings at Rewind Festival, Perth on 21st July 2018

The Gypsy Kings formed in the early 1970’s and have enjoyed major international success with 13 studio albums, 9 live and compilation albums and 27 singles under their belt. It was their third self-titled album that brought them a real success. The two singles everybody will relate to are ‘Bamboléo’ and ‘Volare‘. The Reyes family performed with their full band and delighted the crowd. A strange choice for an 80’s festival I thought, but one that definitely paid off.

OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark)

It was third time lucky for OMD at Rewind Scotland.
Their first performance should have been as headliners in 2013 but their drummer took ill with heart problems on tour and they had to cancel at short notice. Their next scheduled performance was as a three-piece in 2015 as Paul Humphries was in a hospital in New York undergoing gallbladder surgery. You may wonder why bands of this calibre perform at retro festivals but Andy McLuskey, founding member, lead vocalist and bassist hit the nail on the head:
“You have a soundtrack from when you became you, and that stays with you all your life. People love to go and spent a day listening to the hits – and only the hits – that resonate with them and remind them of that time.”

Andy has bags of charisma and you could almost taste it. They performed all of their hits such as Electricity, Souvenir, Locomotion, Joan Of Arc, Messages, Tesla Girls… the list goes on. He spent the first half of the set on bass, then demonstrated his ‘dance like an uncle’ moves. As he told the crowd “Dance like no-one is watching, with the exception of your teenage kids.” The heavens would normally be opening at this stage of the proceedings, and they did at their 2015 performance, but tonight the heavens poured warmth onto the ecstatic crowd.

 

 

Sunday

Your intrepid PCN reviewer/photographer roughed it in the car on Saturday night to be bright and early on Sunday morning. The aroma of last night’s doner kebab and cheesy feet proved too much to bear, so was back in the deserted press tent at 08:30. This provided a unique opportunity, as I bumped into Rhino (bassist, Status Quo) exiting his morning constitutional in the VIP Luxury Loos. The Quo tour bus arrived on site at 4 am. Rhino had a walk around the deserted site and came over for a quick chat. He told me that Status Quo love performing at the Rewind Festivals but their schedule has limited them to the Scottish date only this year and was as pleased as I was at the weather forecast. We chewed the fat about bass playing, bands, our shared favourite photographer Christie Goodwin and Butlins (Quo and I both started our professional musical careers there!)

The first act of the day came on stage at 2 pm
Hue and Cry are a duo consisting of brothers Pat and Greg Kane from Coatbridge, Scotland. They formed in 1983 and are best known for their hit singles ‘Labour Of Love, ‘Ordinary Angel’ and Looking For Linda’, all of which were performed today to an enthusiastic crowd.
Pat and Greg came out to greet fans in the VIP area following their performance.

The Selecter were the next to grace the stage with their energetic performance of politically conscious, punk-infused 2 Tone Ska hits. Core members Pauline Black and Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson treated the crowd to ‘Too Much Pressure‘, ‘On My Radio‘ and more. They could be seen enjoying some of the other artists from the side stage area following their performance. 

The Boomtown Rats were next up for their half-hour set.
The weekend had a kind of Band Aid/Live Aid vibe to it, and it didn’t go unnoticed that Bob Geldof and Midge Ure were performing on the same day. A missed PR opportunity was getting the two together for a photo call but schedules didn’t permit. There were other musicians over the weekend that were also involved in both the Band Aid and Live Aid performances.
The  Boomtown Rats were active between 1977 and 1985 and had a string of UK hits.
They disbanded in 1986. The version we saw this weekend reformed in 2013, without original members Johnnie Fingers or Gerry Cott.
Bob Geldof, love him or hate him, is an enigmatic character. I have heard mixed reports of the Rats performances back in the day, one saying it was the worst live band performance he has heard to date, but the Rewind performance was tight and lively. ‘I Don’t Like Mondays‘ and ‘Rat Trap‘ were of course in the set and still as outspoken as ever, Bob took a swipe at Donald Trump.

UB40 were next to take the stage.
There are two versions of UB40 doing the rounds – the version featuring Ali Campbell, with Astro and Mickey Virtue. (Ali left UB40 in 2008) and The version we witnessed at Rewind this weekend, which is the official, original version, with original members Jimmy Brown,  Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Brian Travers, Ali’s brother Robin Campbell and Duncan Campbell, Ali’s older brother, joining to take over lead vocals. Ali is embroiled in a family feud with his brothers after deciding to use the name UB40 for his band, causing much confusion. All of that was put aside today though and the original UB40 treated their audience to a string of hits from their back catalogue including ‘One In Ten’, ‘Red Red Wine‘ and ‘Rat In Mi Kitchen‘.

Imagination
Leee John was the next artist to grace the stage, using the Rewind All Stars Band and his own bass player. Originally a three-piece formed in 1981, they chose their name as a tribute to John Lennon, who was shot and killed a couple of months before. Their first hit ‘Body Talk‘ reached number 4 in the charts in the summer. We were treated to this and other hits ‘Just an Illusion‘, ‘Music and Lights‘  and more. Leee released a new Imagination album last year entitled Retropia.

Wendy James
Wendy was the vocalist with the Pop/Punk band Transvision Vamp who came to fame in earnest in late 1989 with the release of their fifth single ‘Baby I Don’t Care‘. Her set today covered this and other hits such as ‘I Want Your Love‘ but also went back to the start with their second single ‘Tell That Girl To Shut Up‘. Once the pin-up of a generation, Wendy may be more mature now but hasn’t lost her ability to shoot from the hip, having posed all but naked for the cover her 2016 album at the age of 50. She calmed things down a little for the Rewind audience though and delivered a great set.

A Flock Of Seagulls
Mike Score formed the band in 1980 in Liverpool and they rehearsed over former hairdresser Mike’s salon. Mike was known in part for his wild backcombed haircut and extravagant clothes but today he sports a shaved head and black top, playing a single keyboard. Maybe not the most visually exciting act of the weekend, but hits such as ‘I Ran’ and ‘Wishing (If I had a photograph of you)’ proved popular with the crowd.

Next on stage was Heaven 17
Martyn Ware (keyboards & vocals) and Glenn Gregory (lead vocals) performed at Rewind Scotland in 2017 as part of British Electric Foundation and returned this year with the full band. Heaven 17 were an offshoot of The Human League and formed in 1980. They released eight studio albums, four live albums and thirty-one singles between 1980 and 2016, but only performed their first live concert in 1997. The Rewind audience were treated to the most popular hits like ‘Temptation’ and ‘Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry’. 
A recent addition on second keyboards is Berenice Scott. Her father, Robin Scott was founding member of ‘M’, famous for their hit ‘Pop Muzik’.

Next up was Rewind veteran Midge Ure.
Midge appeared at the very first Rewind Festival at Henley On Thames in 2009 and this year clocks up a total of twelve Rewind appearances across the three venues. Midge has had an incredible career, best known for his time with Ultravox, he was also part of Visage, Slick, Rich Kids and even a spell with Thin Lizzy. He has also enjoyed a successful solo career. We mustn’t forget Band Aid and Live Aid of course, with his partner in crime Bob Geldof appearing earlier in the day.

We were treated to the blockbuster hits like ‘Vienna‘, ‘If I Was‘, ‘Dancing With Tears In My Eyes‘ and the song he wrote for Visage, ‘Fade To Grey‘. A great performance and some nifty guitar playing – it’s no surprise he is a popular part of the Rewind family.

Multi-Grammy and Brit award nominated Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler was next and was a great choice to precede the headliners.
Her hits ‘It’s a Heartache‘ and ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart‘ are two of the highest selling singles of all time and both were included in her set tonight. Bonnie has a distinctive husky voice, a great sense of humour and knows how to work an audience. She told the story of how she came to work with Jim Steinman, a collaboration that elevated her career even further. At the age of 67, she is still recording, still looks and sounds great and I’m sure we’ll see more of Bonnie in future Rewind Festivals. Her only other Rewind performance to date was at Henley on Thames in 2014.

Status Quo
The time finally arrived just after 9 pm for headliners Status Quo following a reset of the stage.
The Quo formed in 1962 under the name of The Scorpions and met Rick Parfitt at Butlins Minehead in 1965. Rick was playing in his band the Highlights. He joined the band in 1967 and the name Status Quo was born. They have enjoyed a phenomenal career and have sold over 118 million records worldwide. Core members John Coghlan (drummer) and Alan Lancaster (bassist) left in 1981 and 1986 respectively.

Rick Parfitt died in 2016 of sepsis following a shoulder injury but had a history of heart-related problems in his last years.

The current line-up is
Francis Rossi– lead guitar, vocals (1962–present)
John Rhino Edwards – bass, rhythm guitar, vocals (1985–present)
Andy Brown – keyboards, rhythm guitar, harmonica, vocals (1982–present)
Richie Malone – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2016–present)
Leon Cave – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2013–present)

For the next hour, The Mighty Quo rocked the crowd with hit after hit after hit, spanning their 56-year career. An hour was never going to be long enough, but what an hour it was!

 

 

The festival finished off with an impressive firework display before the happy campers headed back to their tents or headed home. It was certainly a Rewind to remember and a fitting ten-year celebration.

There are two more Rewind’s to go this year – if you are lucky enough to get tickets, you won’t be disappointed!

Rewind North – Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire 3rd – 5th August 2018

Rewind South – Temple Island Meadows, Henley On Thames 17th – 19th August 2018

Thanks to the Rewind Team and David Lim and Corrine of Outside Organisation for looking after us and a shout out to Police Scotland who did a great job of policing the festival in a friendly, approachable way.

REWIND HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO 

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