Rock royalty crowned Chesterfield’s first Fake Festival with a knockout tribute to one of the finest bands this country has produced.
Chants of Freddie, Freddie filled the air in a packed marquee at Stand Road as the flamboyant singer of Flash held court.
He captivated his 1100 loyal subjects with vocals, mannerisms and stage presence which mirrored that of the much-missed Mr Mercury.
All the great and the good songs were there, from Tie Your Mother Down to Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga to We Will Rock You.
The crowd sang at the top of their voice to I Want To Break Free and We Are The Champions before the main man held his crown aloft as his merry minstrels played out with God Save The Queen.
Memorable moments were many at Saturday’s festival. A mass singalong of Wonderwall, led by Oasish, was up there with the best of them.
Every hit that Liam and “our kid” ever produced was aired with the crowd going wild as classics such as Look Back In Anger, Supersonic and Champagne Supernova blasted out of the speakers.
New2 came to Chesterfield from Glastonbury where they had been playing the night before and kicked off their set with the anthemic Where The Streets Have No Name.
They were the only three of the night’s bands that I had seen live and I was particularly impressed by their reproduction of I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.
Favourites such as Sunday Bloody Sunday and Beautiful Day were rolled out to an ecstatic crowd as were the Beatles’ Helter Skelter and Hey Jude.
Some might say that tribute bands are riding on the coat-tails of the famous innovators but the joy that these three top take-offs brought to Chesterfield was the real deal.
The day kicked off with bands from the area making the most of a golden opportunity to warm up the festival crowd.
Crackin’ Right Foot opened their farewell tour with a volley of killer tunes including You Really Got Me, Foxy Lady and Fight For Your Right to Party, shoehorning footie fans’ favourite Blue and White Army into their batch of covers.
Vocalist Aaron Brown said: “Who needs Glastonbury? This is a fantastic festival and a first in Chesterfield,”
Performing at the festival was right up Calida Hartley Potts’ street as she used to frequent the Stand Road park when she was a youngster.
Fronting the band Trinity Road, Calida gave a belting performance of a varied selection of songs including Price Tag, Telephone, Sweet Child O’ Mine and Forget You.
Stand Amongst Giants lived up to their name, being the first band of the day to jump on the platforms housing the monitors.
Their well-played, well-chosen covers included Let Me Entertain You, Come Together, Whole Lotta Love and Ace of Spades with a couple of their own numbers fitting seamlessly into the set.
Uptown Funk was the perfect song for the afternoon and a good choice by The Nameless to keep their crowd bopping after the funkadelic sounds of Superstitious and Let’s Dance, the latter being one of the best songs of the afternoon.
Frontman Liam Godfrey was as versatile as he was energetic, changing style from Buck Rodgers (Brand New Car) to Sweet Dreams to Happy to Fight For The Right.
The rain slung it down, the performers sang their hearts out and the music reigned at this big party in the park.