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Winterstorm Day Three – After The Storm

All new to 2018 is the inclusion of After The Storm, an additional day that lets us keep enjoying the music but in a more relaxed state.

A short day with only three bands all stripped bare(not clothing) and all seated in the smaller hall. It worked out to be the perfect finale to the weekend for those still feeling a bit rough after the overindulgence but not wanting to let go of the music or weekend just yet.

First up was Terry Brock, the man with the voice and the front man for his solo career, Roth/Brock, Strangeways and one of my all time favourites Giant. Terry had played a full set the previous day but I missed that due to a clash and the fact I would see this show.

It was just Terry and his lovely wife Ana Portalupi(of Hardline fame) on a couple of stools with a low volume bass and an acoustic guitar, oh and some trick pedals that gave the sound of a choir in the background.

This is my idea of heaven, songs you love stripped right back with the chance to hear the writer tell you stories of how they were written and where they were in their life at the time. It gives a whole new meaning to the songs and an insight to people you have followed for years. I really never got those people who cannot enjoy shows like this.

Although I knew he had a good deal of Scottish links I never realised to what extent( or that he do an accent as good as Mike Myers in So I Married an Axe Murderer…..Peper down) The man speaks with real passion when he reminisces about the land of my birth. Based on what I saw and heard today this man has my blessing to become an honorary Scot.

We had numbers from Terry’s whole career today and as much as I loved every single minute of the set there were two very special moments which had me glassy eyed. The first was the song “My City” which was based around 9/11. At the time of those attacks I was working in the financial industry and I watched like the rest of the world did the horrors unfold but with the knowledge I had colleagues in the buildings. Terry’s own personal story brought those memories to the front once again and the incredible lyrics to this song really stuck in my throat. What an amazing tribute to the fallen and even more so what a lesson in how to live your life.

The next to get to me was “What a Ride” which was written about motorbikes but once again can reflect how to live a life. This song really struck a chord with me as I am always one to look on the bright side and no matter what is going on see the good in every situation. I have no time for worry so again the lyrics really hit home.

A brilliant set from Terry and if his hint is anything to go by we may know one of the bands heading to Winterstorm in 2019 and I for one will not be missing that. Operation Mindcrime also played last night and if you have read the review you know exactly how I felt about that. As soon as this was announced I knew there was no missing this set as I had seen Geoff play his songs acoustically back in 2016 and it was one of my highlights of the year.

The stage was much busier for this set with six members of the band present and all seated except Geoff himself. Just like Terry we got to hear some of the stories behind the songs and even learned that Geoff had done a DNA test and found out his origins were from Scotland(luckily he did not try the accent like Terry).

We got a scattering of songs from throughout Geoff’s career, some the big hitters from Queensryche like “Jet City Woman” but most were chosen purely on the basis of his favourite songs with great meaning to the man.

We went way back to “The Lady Wore Black” one of my favourite tracks and in this setting truly beautiful. Another beautiful moment was the always touching “Silent Lucidity” which was renamed Silent in Tennessee after Geoff’s hysterical story.

Another funny moment was explaining why the hell Queensryche decided to add a harmonica solo on “Sign of the Times”. Is this the reason you need to say no to drugs kids?

Another perfect song in the acoustic show was “Chasing Blue Skies”. You really hear a different side to Geoff’s vocals on this song and this was worth the ticket price on its own.

This man is at the top of his game after more than 30 years and I am looking forward to what is in store next.

Due to interview duties and having to leave I missed Steve Overland of FM’s set but the feedback was great. This day was a welcome addition to Winterstorm and I hope that it is kept next year.

With Winterstorm done for another year it has become obvious that in three short years this has become the best festival in Scotland and right up there with the best in the UK(it even topped Graspop for me this year). The date is already in my diary for 2019 and I think this is the one festival I will attend year after year. A brilliant home grown weekend that brings a perfect mix of old a new bands in an amazing setting.

If you have not done Winterstorm before please consider it for next year with weekend tickets at 70 quid and food and drinks at less that the price in Glasgows larger venues you cannot go wrong. I cannot recommend this highly enough and I will go as far to say if you go and do not enjoy it I will give you your money back.

Roll on the line up announcements for 2019 in roughly three weeks and I hope to see you all there next year.

Images and words Ritchie Birnie 



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