17 Jul 2017
2017's Rock the Castle saw thousands of people flood to Pembroke Castle for the fifth anniversary of its popular concert weekend, held between 14-16 July.
Rock the Castle was kicked off by Vicetrack, a modern rock band from Pembrokeshire, followed by a fantastic set from WE-ARE-Z, a quirky Anglo-French concoction of different music styles with a Mighty Boosh-esque aesthetic. Post-Britpop superstars, Toploader were next to the stage to perform in a castle for the first time. The band, best known for global hit Dancing in the Moonlight, filled the grounds with their feel-good music showing why they were one of the definitive bands of the early ‘00s with over two million album sales to their name. The headline performance came from world-famous indie rock band, The Fratellis, best known for their infectious Top Ten hit Chelsea Dagger and their 2006 debut album Costello Music, which spent 83 weeks in the Top 100 of the UK charts. The band played their well-known htis alongside tracks from their new album, Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied, bringing Friday night to an electric finish.
Saturday continued with a performance from Pembroke’s Neil & Diggy, before the crowd were transported back to the 60s with Dublin-based The Bootleg Beach Boys and the unmistakable sound of west-coast America. The crowd were soon singing along to the hits from California’s most famous act, such as Good Vibrations, God Only Knows, Surfin’ U.S.A., and Wouldn’t It Be Nice. The night was brought to a spectacular show from The Bootleg Beatles, justifiably recognised as the world’s premier Beatles Tribute show, with their meticulous attention to their costumes, period instruments, witty Scouse banter and uncanny inflection perfect vocal impersonation.
Sunday brought a more relaxed feel to the castle, with families bringing along their picnics and chairs to sing along with Preseli Pete and the Merrymakers Band and watch the Birmingham Stage Company’s stage performance of Horrible Histories: The Best of Barmy Britain, based on the popular books of Terry Deary and the award-winning TV programmes of the franchise.
The whole weekend was a great success, with many calling it the best Rock the Castle yet. We can’t wait for 2018 already…