Fake Festival Chelmsford
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The Fake Festival

Central Park, Chelmsford.

7th July 2018.

I wasn’t sure what to make of the Fake Fest before we went but as it was new I thought I would give it a try. It’s a simple concept, several tribute bands in a big tent and due to the events that happened during the day, it turned into one of those red letter ones. I was a bit lethargic as I had a very late and boozy night, the previous evening at Eddie and the Hot Rods. We arrived at 12.45 with bands to start at 13.00, first ones up were one of my favourites, from outside the tent the refrain of “I wanna be adored,” blasted out and inside was the Total Stone Roses. Inside under the canvass the heat was unbearable so we had to watch them from the back where it was a bit cooler. I think it was one of the hottest days of the year. The band played a good set with all of their singles and best album tracks, “Sally Cinnamon,” “Elephant Stone,” “Fools Gold, “ “Ten Storey Love Song” and all the rest. Very enjoyable and they were on for well over an hour. When they finished there was a rush for the exit as everybody left to watch the England Sweden game.

We went to the Royal Steamer to watch the match, a great friendly pub which serves a fantastic pint of Maldon Gold. What a game, very emotional, it’s not often that England win and win well to get into a semi-final. The only problem was that we missed the Oasis and Jam tributes but to be fair, well worth it. Next on was Flash, a Queen tribute. Queen is one band that I wouldn’t bother going to see, even if they were playing at the bottom of my garden. I must have been getting a bit drunk by then as I enjoyed them. As with the other bands, there were no songs that you didn’t know and this band was the one that most of the punters came to see. The Freddie Mercury character was very good and I found myself singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody. The last band was a Green Day tribute, Green Date. I must admit that I know nothing of these apart from “American Idiot,” this one they played first. Lucky I had Paul with me who actually knew most of the songs. I must say they were very good, especially at the end when they did some Undertones and Pistols covers.

Summing up I am glad I went and if it is on again and I like the bands I will definitely go again. It is good value, at £22.50, not expensive at all. The bars were ok as well, £3.50 for a drink, you can’t complain at that. It was also very esy to get a beer, even if it was only Carlsberg or Somersby Cider. I didn’t eat but the food outlets looked ok and the most important thing, the toilets were clean and you didn’t have to queue.

Being a glutton for punishment, straight after the event finished I decided to go on my own as Paul went home to another new soul club that has just started in Chelmsford. It is called Chelmsford City Soul and is at Barista, opposite the bus station. I always think like the Fake Fest you should support all these things, if you don’t they won’t bother. This is going to be a new monthly event which will be the first Saturday of each month. Luckily enough a few mates were there so I wasn’t lonely. They play Jazz Funk, 70’s soul but mainly 80’s, no Northern which is a shame unless you count Benny Troy. But then if I want 60’s soul I will go to a club that does this. It is very friendly and a good venue. It was well attended but in the Essex soul circles there was another event on that night in Laindon and I knew quite a few people would go to this, so I can see this going from strength to strength. Next one is August 4th.

Some good events coming up in the next couple of weeks in the UK’s newest City. On the 13th of July a mod band called the Signs are on at the Bay Horse. All weekend the Chelmsford Beer Fest is on and on the Saturday the 14th Gun Runner are playing there. A great rock covers band. On the 20th of July, Pieface play the Bassment, a good Humble Pie, Faces and Small Faces cover band. On Saturday the 21st there is the Prince Re-Union have their annual get together at The Black Bull in Rainsford Rd, they normally have music on, I think there are Reggae DJ’s playing skinhead stuff, this is all day. In the evening the Essex Northern Soul Club are the Railway in Witham always a friendly welcome there. On the 4th of August there is a Psychedelic all-dayer which is put by those top chaps at Wet Dream Records.

Whatever you do, do something and have a great time, just remember it’s coming home.

Duncan, July 2018.

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