Monkey Business

Date published: 17 September 2014

Friends, families, musicians and even monkeys were out in full force for music festival Monkey Business Two at Queens Park, Heywood last weekend (Saturday 13 September).

Organisers Music Street described the festival as “fun for everyone and a chance to showcase some incredible local talent”.

The festival was organised to help raise awareness of local services in the borough. One of the services highlighted on the day was Recovery Republic. Recovery Republic is a centre for well being which supports those who are recovering from all types of illnesses.

Mayor Carol Wardle opened the event and introduced acoustic folk band Free Sandwiches to the stage who played a classic array of crowd pleasers and foot-tappers with a Balkan stomp twist.

Rochdale singer/songwriter Katie O’Malley was next to entertain the crowd treating the gathering audience to an enchanting set full of soulful folk.

Following Katie was Matt Hamer. With his unique slap style of playing acoustic guitar, Matt had the crowd hooked and mesmerised in no time and delivered a passionate set of folk, rock and pop.

With one artist not being able to make it, Healey Dell artists Kelly Roddy and Dave Foulger from the band Cosmic Slop sprung to the rescue. Their impromptu set of blazing acoustic soul-punk revved up the atmosphere and had everyone smiling and sent energy levels soaring.

The stage was then set for gifted singer/songwriter Joe Dunne. He cast a magical spell of a set, full of lyrical original numbers that rank up there with the best of Johnny Cash and The Beatles - whom he also covered to the delight of a wildly appreciative crowd.

Recovery Republic spokesman Carl Cruise then addressed the crowd informing people of the supportive service they provide in Heywood.

Then it was time for festival favorites the Bigsby Brothers to get up and sing 'It don't mean a thing if you ain't got that swing'. They treated the jiving and waltzing picnickers to a sublime performance of classics peppered with their own special feeling for jazz - especially gypsy jazz.

DJ Fingernose was spinning records all day in between the artists and kept things running smoothly, entertaining the appreciative crowd to some choice cuts of punk, rock and roll and dub-reggae.

Fresh from mastering their debut album, Featherteeth offered something completely new and refreshingly different with their music, spiced with subtleties of reggae, whilst conjuring shades of the Stone Roses and the Cocteau Twins.

Cue headlining act Deejay Mase from Darnhill who rocked the park and whipped the crowd into a frenzy with his dazzling skills. He served up an eye-popping, scratch masterclass that capped and rounded off a brilliant family day and wonderful showcase for the local music scene.

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