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Gospel Brunch

Festival Review

Eridge Park
Royal Tunbridge Wells
East Sussex

The Black Deer Festival 2023

Sunday

 It's Not so warm this Sunday morning but there will be warmth all around at the Live Fire Stage with the Gospel Brunch lifting all our spirits whatever your beliefs may be. A run through of some Gospel classics mixed with Bob Marley and Jackie Wilson has the several hundred gathered coming round from their Saturday night excesses rapidly, equipped mentally for the day.

Gospel Brunch
Gospel Brunch
Gospel Brunch
Gospel Brunch

 First up on the Main stage this morning are The Wandering Hearts, a London based band from the recent crop of talented UK Country / Americana Artists that are constantly emerging, they are already gaining pace and support slots with major Stars such as Jack Savoretti. A perfect pick me up for Sunday  they know how to compose a Country song and their vocals deliver the songs effortlessly.

The Wandering Hearts
The Wandering Hearts
The Wandering Hearts
The Wandering Hearts

 Sleep Walking Animals are a mix of genres and slightly towards the indie/Rock category as well as Folk tendency's, providing something different to take in and listen to. They are also a young band from Manchester and have an air of attitude and confidence born from knowing each other for years. 

Sleep Walking Animals
Sleep Walking Animals
Sleep Walking Animals

Black Deer is now fully awake heading into the afternoon and some rain showers don't dampen our spirits too much though it doesn't mix with Cameras too well. It makes taking photos of Lukas Nelson interesting on the Main Stage. Having not seen him before, his voice gives his family links away and the whole bands credentials and experience shows through in the performance. 

Black Deer Festival 2023
Black Deer Festival 2023
Black Deer Festival 2023
Black Deer Festival 2023
Lukas Nelson
Lukas Nelson
Lukas Nelson
Lukas Nelson

A real highlight of the Festival is the show by Drake White in The Ridge tent. From start to finish a show from a charismatic performer who has the presence that can be sadly lacking in many modern performers. The crowd are baying for his appearance before walking on stage, from then he never lets up with an obvious rapport that connects to his fans. He has a clever use of other well known songs that he interveaves with his own, using such artists as Tom Petty and The Kings of Leon so that the audience can't predict what is coming. He also produces two covers of Hard to Handle and With a little help from my friends - both impeccable.

Drake White
Drake White
Drake White
Drake White
Drake White
Drake White
Drake White
Drake White

Following Drake White on The Ridge Stage is Joanne Shaw Taylor providing her Blues Rooted songs to contrast to the more Country genre we have heard. She knows her way around a guitar and clearly enjoys every show. A great addition to Black Deer this year.

Joanne Shaw Taylor
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Joanne Shaw Taylor

I catch a brief part of Patty Griffin's set before braving the showers back to Haley's Bar to see Canadian bluegrass artist Bella White and for the first time actually getting to The Roadhouse to take in some of Black Orchids, you just can't see everything but loved what they were playing before having to get to the next Photo pit.

Patty Griffin
Bella White
Bella White
Bella White
Black Orchids
Black Orchids
Black Orchids
Black Deer Festival 2023

 I am not sure if I "get" Nogood Boyo but there seems a place with this audience for them down at Haley's Bar.

 Meanwhile back to The Ridge for another Festival Highlight with Headliners Bear's Den. They look pleased to be here and as they say haven't performed at a festival for quite a while. A great set with new songs interspersed and a fitting end to the last band I will see at this 2023 Festival. 

 It has been another stellar line up and for an original Festival it can't be beat....

Nogood Boyo
Nogood Boyo
Bear's Den
Bear's Den
Bear's Den
Bear's Den
Bear's Den

Friday and Saturday reviews are on another page, please take a look

Photographs by Dan Reddick

Review by Dan Reddick

Please let us know if this type of review works for you

it would be nice to hear... thanks, Dan

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