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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Taylor

Riff Yard Radio #6 with Nat Taylor - STONEDEAD FESTIVAL SPECIAL

Welcome to another episode of Riff Yard Radio with Nat Taylor and this week is a Stonedead Festival Special. The one day festival at Newark Showground returns again this bank holiday, August 26th and to get you warmed up I’ve rustled up a selection of the best from each of the bands playing this year. In it’s 5th year, the festival is set to be a killer day. I’ll be on site as usual behind the scenes and I cannot wait.

Vandenberg – Light It Up

First up before we get stuck in is our usual track of the week – and this week I’ve come across new single from Vandenberg, who appeared at Stonedead Festival just last year. The new track is called Light it Up, taken from the upcoming album ‘Sin’ due for release August 25th.

Stonedead Festival 2023

Collateral - Lullaby

Straight into the festival line up and kicking off proceedings will be the Opening Poll winners, Collateral with Lullaby.

Having supported the likes of H.E.A.T, Reckless Love and Skid Row, Collateral have a loyal following and gained the public vote to open up Stonedead for 2023. They’ll have an album coming towards the end of the year.

South of Salem – No Plague Like Home

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of this band and I am very excited they will be playing Stonedead this year – as are so many others. It’s been a huge year for them so far with the addition of a new drummer and guitarist, 2 big support slots with Wednesday 13 and W.A.S.P and a new album recorded set for release soon, they’re destined for big things.

I picked to play No Plague Like Home – it was a hard choice from the debut album The Sinner Takes It All but it’s a deserving track with a killer lead, and everyone else seems to pick Cold Day in Hell - again, awesome song, but I like to be different!

They’ve just announced their first UK headline tour for this Halloween season, so if you’re not heading to Stonedead or Rockwich next weekend, get your tickets and check them out – it's not to be missed and they’re selling fast! Tickets are available at

Deraps – Live Fast Die Slow

Stonedead Festival is known for its variation and always bringing something new to the party. This year we are being treated to Canadian-Australian rock trio, Deraps. This next track on the show is Live Fast Die Slow. It has such a groove. Knowing the Stonedead crowd, they’re gonna go down an absolute storm.

Mason Hill - DNA

Another UK band on this year’s line up is Mason Hill. These guys are one of the nicest bunch of hard working lads on the scene, and after some time away to focus on the next album, they’re back with a bounce and a run of festival appearances. My pick is fan favourite DNA.

King King – Never Give In

Formed in Lincoln back in 2008, firm favourites on the blues scene are King King. Influenced by the likes of Jon Bonamassa, and named after a former Blues club in LA, they have worked tirelessly to be one of the best out there in the Blues Rock genre. I’ve chosen Never Give In from their 2020 album ‘Maverick’.

The Answer – Livin’ On The Line

Next I’ve got a recent single from the album Sundowners by The Answer. The Northern Irish rock n' rollers are back in 2023 after a 7 year break and set to get everyone up on their feet at Stonedead and a run of UK dates into November.

If you’re not heading to Stonedead, you can catch them in Manchester, London, Wolverhampton, Glasgow and Belfast and tickets are on sale now –

Therapy? – Screamager

Keeping it Irish and throwing it way back to some classic 90’s alternative rock now with Therapy?. Stonedead likes to mix it up as I mentioned and it’s not a day at Newark without a nod back to previous decades to stir up the nostalgia in the fans. I’ve chosen Screamager from the 1994 breakthrough album Troublegum. If you’re listening and this brings back some awesome memories, please drop them in the comments on our socials and share!

I have to say, when announced, it wasn’t a band I was familiar with, so I asked my Uncle Steve, the oracle of rock and my biggest musical influence since I was a kid – “what do I need to listen to?” Of course, the answer was ‘Troublegum’. I could not get into it during a drive home from Swansea a few months back but after a few listens, I now can’t get Screamager out of my head some days. There will be plenty of people throwing themselves around to the set and I’m looking forward to witnessing it!

Black Star Riders – Bullet Blues

So finally, after the dreaded year of 2020 that we don’t talk about, the continuing agonising challenges of travel in 2021 and dates that couldn’t align in 2022, Black Star Riders will be making their long awaited appearance at Stonedead. For this track, I’ve chosen a personal favourite from the album The Killer Instinct, Bullet Blues.

I haven’t listened to this album for a while, and I forgot how much I enjoy it. But check out their latest album Wrong Side of Paradise. It’ll be great to see Ricky Warwick back at the helm with Sam Wood joining them on guitar, he may well be creeping up to one of the most frequent attendees to the festival now as well after his appearances with the Wayward Sons in previous years. It’s gonna be a mega set and a fantastic warm up for the eagerly anticipated headliners of the night, Blue Oyster Cult.

If you’re heading to the festival next weekend, we hope you have a fantastic time – it is completely sold out so don’t forget that there will be no tickets available on the gate, but you may still be able to find genuine resale tickets on the festival social media pages.

I’ll be there, living my best life and looking after the fine people that take time out to support this independent festival – big shout-out to the Directors, Chris, Neil and Lou, the production team behind the scenes and the hundreds of volunteers that join us all to make the festival happen. Proceedings kick off on Friday night for those camping or who have upgraded, with a special party with Myke Gray’s Skin, Kira Mac and The Karma Effect, sponsored by Mercia Whisky.

I could have gone slightly off piste, which usually I like to do, but really there is only one way to close this show with Blue Oyster Cult and I don’t think it needs an introduction – More Cowbell!

Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear The Reaper

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