Location: Cyfartha Park
Saturday 3rd September

Bare in mind I got there quite late so missed a fair bit… it was raining (rain..in Wales? No way) – but the main stage was a massive marquee. There was also a second smaller stage outside, and Radio Wales broadcast from their OB unit at the far end of the site (check the photos and you’ll get an idea of the place).

Cyfartha Castle & Park is home to two big county events every year – The Merthyr Show, and Fete & Gala (Aug & May bank holidays), so Merthyr Rocks is a big new venture for the place. Organised by the same company that does the Hay Festival, it’s a much needed event into the local economy. This is the first year of it, and going by today’s event, I can see it happening next year!

Cyfartha Park was the home of my first ever on stage event – back in the day – well before in fact some of the headlining acts hit the UK chart! ;) It was nice to be back in the park – on a sunny day it’s pure lush, but it was raining…so that kind of put a dampener on things.

Anyway, who I saw..

Friends Electric
Caught them briefly so can’t really comment – marquee was packed though (and not just because of the rain)

Straight Lines
Third time seeing the boys in the last 12 months – and they get better each time. A definite crowd favourite is Set me on fire and feed me to the wolves. If you see them live, watch for the conga!

Goldie Lookin’ Chain
I wonder whether outside of the Severn Bridge does anyone “get” GLC? Okay, back in 2004 when “Guns don’t kill..rappers do” came out, everyone marveled at their quirky way – and granted they are good at what they do. I like them, but I’m wondering whether if you’re not South Walian, the joke wears a bit thin?

Caesar’s Rome
Caught them briefly while wandering for a wee. Good guitar sound – another one to watch! Check out their site for more!

If I’m honest I only remember Cast as a band of about 2 songs..Walkaway & Guiding Star, mainly because they were the only songs I used to play on Red Dragon FM on overnights. But when they kicked off their set with Finetime I realised they formed part of my musical education that underscored most of my time on Red Dragon. Surprising how many hits they had – took me right back. Biggest moment of their set had to be Walkaway. The good news is that their back on tour shortly too!

Ocean Colour Scene
Same really as above. Didn’t think I knew that many songs – but after their set I’ll be digging out the CD’s from my lockup, ripping them and putting them onto my Ipod touch. Can’t really fault their set – just faultless. From kicking off TGI Friday…no… The Riverboat Song, to The Day we caught the train and their cover of Beatles’ Day Tripper – couldn’t have asked for more.

Tomorrow (Sunday 4th), sees Funeral for a Friend, Attack Attack, Save your breath, Skindred play – more of a local music feel. But going on Saturday’s event, Merthyr Rocks 2012 should be a given!

Click here for more photos

Check out GLC meeting the mayor of Merthyr too: