The Salford Music Festival reached its chaotic climax at The Willows yesterday with over fifty bands and DJs giving out in four rooms named after seminal music icons – the Anthony H Wilson room, the Bryan Glancy room, the Gullivers room and the John Peel room.
After four days of gigs and parties, everywhere from the Old Pint Pot to the Town Hall in Eccles, this was a fitting anarchic finale with the lists of who was playing hardly matching who was on stage at the time. But that just allowed people to see surprise bands that they would not normally bother watching, which added to the festy vibe.
Downstairs in the John Peel room, Salford's Got Talent finalist, Screwmaster G did an intimate duet with Dark Angel, before launching into his own set of lilting Salford patois that filled the dancefloor with babes of all ages. Meanwhile, on the decks, Silky DJ played some top global tunes and Keith Dewsnip found his calling as an MC.
On the big stage upstairs we had big bands, like the soul rock of Supajamma and some other very loud rock bands (we've no idea who they were), intersected by the laid back tight rap of Garbage Man and some sweet soulful songs by Empress Asher. Meanwhile 24Krt Gold did her ansaback rap to 50 Cent… "I'll have a baby by you, make me a millionaire…"
In the smaller Bryan Glancy room, rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen were impressing everyone with bollocks kicking from every amp, while on the top floor the Gullivers room showcased a stream of acoustic singer songwriters.
This Salford Music Festival finale was one of them where even half the bands didn't know which stage they were on and when – but we wouldn't have it any other way. It was a case of drifting through the rooms and stumbling on a top act. And there were plenty of them.
Roll on next year – and hats off again to Ed Blaney and Grayso who pulled the whole thing together in their own inimitable style.
Main photo shows Screwmaster G and Silky DJ
Photos by Mikey K