It was an eclectic line up for day 2 of the Stone Valley Festival South hosted in deepest, darkest Hertfordshire. To the casual observer all indicators (available merchandise on offer in the stalls that skirted the arena and the pre-kick off sounds emanating from the PA amongst other clues) suggested that this was a mod come Northern Soul festival. There were for sure a plethora of chaps of a 55-65 vintage sporting barnets a la The Modfather.... complete with the 'Weller-wing' side burns! Indeed, much of the music scheduled for the day was entirely in keeping with the modish genre.
On early doors, and perhaps rather too low down the pecking order, were the fabulous Small Fakers who did the Small Faces proud and make no mistake..aaah! To step on a public stage to play the songs of such a musically brilliant band is brave. To go on that same stage to emulate a pint sized foghorn with the talent of Steve Marriott if nothing short of heroic! Stone Foundation added a Style Council element to the afternoon's proceedings whilst Geno Washington, a highlight of the day, belted out a string of soul floor fillers. Nevertheless, The Rezillos got in on the act as the evening took a definitive swing towards the New Wave with Peter Hook doing the prep work for headliners the Stranglers.
Of all of the bands appearing on the day, it was Hooky that I was most exited to see. To date he had bypassed me . I was never particularly big on New Order and Joy Division were particularly late in coming to my attention. Mates of mine loved them... I saw 'The Light' only after watching the Ian Curtis biopic 'Control'.
Now in a Hertfordshire field, complete with authentic cow shit, Peter Hook was once again supporting The Stranglers, a billing that last occurred at The Rainbow in April 1980, a mere 42 years ago!
It was a shame that they played a parred down festival set, but that is how these things are.... variety and all that. To say that he played Joy Division's hits would be something of a misnomer given that no such hits existed until the success of the posthumous 'Love Will Tear Us Apart Again'. Nevertheless, with the inclusion of 'Disorder', 'Transmission' and 'She's Lost Control' most of their most 'recognisable' material was present and correct. Thrown into this mix was a handful of genuine hits from New Order that made for a most enjoyable hour, before Hooky announced that it was past his bedtime.
The set was recorded and turned out pretty well despite the best efforts of a bit of a cross wind... a festival hazard always.
Backstage Hooky was pictured with JJ Burnel.... a genuine teacher and pupil moment so many years down the line.
Thanks to Chatts for the recording and Gerred Gilronan (07764580332) for kind permission to use a fabulous photo of his from the day for the artwork. Cheers both!
Artwork sleeve: https://we.tl/t-wLp3qDXPTS