Here at the Moshville Times we are nothing if not inclusive, and we know a lot of metalheads like to ride bikes and a lot of biker’s love rock and heavy metal. I especially love my bikes as much as my metal and photography, so I was more than chuffed when our glorious leader and editor allowed me to combine them all here for you guys.
It’s quite warm and sunny as I set off from home early Friday morning to the beautiful Yorkshire dales, unfortunately I’m in the car due to excessive camping and camera gear. But I am looking forward to what is Motorcycle Action Group’s (M.A.G.) first rally of the season. As I wend my way through the countryside closer to the site then sadly the weather turns a little overcast and damp. But as I arrive I find that the site is clean, well laid out and plenty of marshals are on hand to point me to where I’m camping. No mud and all paths well packed with hardcore make parking up and unpacking a breeze.
Tent up, I go for a wander to check the rest of the camping areas, all very well laid out, good access and temporary roads ensure no slips, slides or mud pits. You can hear the roar of engines as people start to roll in, bikes and trikes of all shapes and sizes loaded to the brim file past me. It’s only just 12 and it’s filling up quickly. Two huge heated barns make up the venue, on one side a bar with seating and tables which is already filling up with leather- and textile-clad bikers thirsty from the long trips. The other a stage has lots of room for the crowds that are going to form later, but is currently empty with just a few stagehands scurrying about doing last minute checks.
Through the afternoon a DJ plays an eclectic mix of rock and 70/80s classics as people catch up with old friends and drink, which I must mention is very reasonably priced. Craft ales and ciders from local brewers at £2.50 a pint is not to be sniffed at. I must confess to sampling a few before the weekend was out. As this is a rally you won’t find masses of band merch but there are stalls making custom patches and selling leather coats, jackets and waistcoats and an ensemble of skulls, dragons, jewellery and gothic items – enough to make any discerning metal head happy.
The evening entertainment kicks off in the main stage with three bands, all cover acts this year, though previously they slipped a few original bands into the mix. Reloaded are up first playing a mix of early 70/80s rock, then Overgoat supplying plenty of old classic metal from the likes of Motörhead, Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin, with headliners Audiofire supplying the contemporary rock for the night. Rocked out and full of cheap cider it’s time for sleep, but early May in Yorkshire can get nippy at night and I was glad I’d brought extra blankets to keep me warm.
Saturday morning and there is plenty of cheap coffee (£1) and breakfast options to fill us up in preparation for the rest of the days fun. This includes a bike show in the outside area, a rock and blues acoustic band in the bar area and a hilarious comedy show on the main stage taking us through to the remainder of the weekend’s bands.
Thunder Monkeys open tonight covering rock hits from AC/DC to The Cult and anything in between, Spirit Levellers up next with yup, you guessed it, covers from the Levellers. Final band of the weekend is Supermodels with their eclectic mix from the likes of The Who, ELO, Fleetwood Mac, Toto, Tom Petty and more. They may have been cover bands, but they were great at what they do and had everyone dancing, moshing or singing along.
What a great weekend, cheap but good beer and food, great friendly people, with no issues all weekend and no mud whatsoever thanks to the well planned out campsites. This was M.A.G.s first rally of the year, the next is The Farmyard party in June, which is just a tad bigger: 4 stages and over 30 bands (most original this time), and more cheap beer and food.
If you’re into your motorbikes, good music and a friendly family atmosphere give it a look, I might see you there.
Photos by Drew Scott Photographic
Thunder Monkeys: facebook
Spirit Levellers: facebook