'Godiva Festival showcases Coventry's wonderful talent'
Pete Clemons on what was memorable to him at the 2016 three-day event
Godiva Festival 2016 at War Memorial Park
Godiva Festival means so many things to so many different people. It is so vast and varied that no one can take it all in.
Yet those who attended will have had a great experience and will have our own special memories of it all.
Pete Clemons, a regular Coventry Telegraph contributor, found the whole event inspiring.
So in no particular order, other than when they appeared, Pete has put together a brief snapshot of what was memorable to him on the first and third days, having been unable to attend on Saturday.
The Ellipsis: The opening act for the whole event on Friday evening. What a task to be given and how well they took it.
Luna Kiss: By the time Luna Kiss appeared on stage the ever growing crowd were soaking wet after a horrible downpour.
However this excellent performance proved to be very popular. At the heart of the set Luna Kiss showcased the title track from their recent EP ‘Gravity’. By the end of their performance the sun had returned and the audience had been well and truly warmed up sufficiently for the headline acts.
JLR Brass Band: What an enjoyable way to begin the proceedings for Sunday. In the vast expanse of the ‘This is Coventry’ tent I was pleasantly surprised as to how much I enjoyed hearing tunes by the likes of Queen and Jimmy Webb played in this fashion.
To fill the space between bands we were treated, in the middle of the giant tent, to some performance art. This involved some amazing high wire acrobatics. Initially I thought that the accompanying music had been pre-recorded. I was staggered to notice that the vocals at least were live.
The Moonbears: One of Coventry’s finest and a joy to listen to. They try to make the best pop music they can with what they have. I personally think they undersell themselves. The Moonbears are incredibly skilled at their craft and play complex arrangements with exciting rhythms. Their set included the very popular tune ‘Catnip’, which given the reaction of the audience, was very welcome.
Tunes included ‘Hoard the Pieces’, ‘Driving Through, Empty Skies’ and the wonderful ‘Lonely Boy and Girl’.
Emma McGann: Back to the main stage and despite having heard so much about her, this was my first introduction to Emma.
Her very energetic set really wowed the sun drenched crowd. And her equally effervescent backing band was also hugely impressive.
Cliff Hands and his Band: Coventry’s very own super group. These are not my words, but those of other people far more knowing than I am. What a great year it has been so far for Cliff, culminated by this gig on the main stage. The set began with the very powerful and guitar driven ‘Going Down’ continued with ‘Liberty Ward’ and the band concluded with a tribute to David Bowie by way of a unique version of ‘Heroes’. This was great touch indeed, greatly appreciated by the by now visibly growing main stage crowd. You really must check out his recent CD release ‘Two Inches Down to Dust’.
Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla: Joe and his band are perennial visitors to the festival. This year we were treated to the full five piece band and, wow, did they put a shift in. The tunes are fast and furious and a lot of the song titles are in Gaelic which I will not even attempt to name. And it is such a joy to see Joe and guitarist Si Hayden exchanging licks. But the band always throws in a ballad. And they did just that with ‘O’Neill’s Lament’. A beautiful tune that is simply sublime. Surly Joe and the band are overdue a shot on the main stage.
"What makes it all the more remarkable to me is that music is a passion that they fulfil in their spare time.
"And the music they are creating is their own. It is what burns inside them. Most weekends they can be found playing the pubs and clubs in the region. So please continue to give them your invaluable support."
Pete continues: "Godiva Festival is without doubt the jewel in the council’s crown. It is a showcase for much of the city’s wonderful talent.
"And it is quite possibly the biggest stage they appear on. And this may even lead to greater things for them.
"With almost 15,000 people attending over the course of the weekend, long may it continue to grow."