The bands that will rock Galtres – by the man who chose them

24 Jul 2014 @ 10.24 pm
| News

Dom Smith, editor of Soundsphere, has chosen the acts for the new rock stage on the Sunday of the Galtres Festival. Here’s his line-up…

Headlining: The Virginmarys

Man, this is going to be interesting! Being asked to curate a rock stage at Galtres is a pretty big deal for me.

Not only do I get to work with guys on the Galtres team that I respect; I’ll namecheck just a few in Pete Wise (PR and occasional Spherer), James Houston (organiser), Dan Whiting (my mega-patient drum tutor, and main-man at The White Rooms), Joff Hall (of 53 Degrees, Preston and formerly The Duchess) and the lovely Joe Coates (Please Please You), I get to showcase bands that I love!

In fact, the only negative thing about this entire experience, is that I didn’t have more slots to fill this time around! See, there are loads of great, no amazing bands in York.

Guys like The Franceens, …And The Hangnails, Fawn Spots, Berlin Black, Worm and Stonewater are just a few that would undoubtedly fit amazingly well on a rock-focused stage, and I’d love to have them all next year.

I’ve just got to make sure this one is awesome, so they have me back! Please come!

How did I, the editor of Soundsphere magazine, come to have this great honour, you might well ask?

Well both me and James Houston were judges at the Amps Awards – in the very excellent company of BBC Introducing’s Jericho Keys and Jane Humphreys of Access To Music. James suggested a rock stage might be a cool idea.

So here are the bands who will rock the Oxman Stage on Sunday, August 24, 2014…

The Virginmarys

The Virginmarys have made a huge impact on people over the last few years, and so they were the team’s resounding pick for a headliner.

Anyone who has ever heard them knows that they’re worth the buzz that has seen them excite at other festivals like Download and Bingley before – an absolutely brilliant live band, with real swagger and powerful tunes.

You really can’t go wrong with that, can you?

A Joker’s Rage

Next up, we’ve got A Joker’s Rage! I’ve been excited about these guys for a long time, as most of York’s alternative scene have.

What pedigree! Adam G was in Testtone3 before this, and is without doubt one of the greatest musicians in the region, and Zakk Taylor and Phil Morfitt were in world-beating Kid Ego before, with Geordie Ginface performing as part of Breakout Degree and Matt Collinge destroying skins in electro-rockers Digicore.

They have been doing so well recently, and it’s definitely well deserved. With the make-up, epic stage show and quality tunes, AJR’s rock stage appearance is going to be huge! Bounce will be a festival anthem!


RSJ are the best metal band in York. Hands down, and one of the best in the country. Done.

After years slogging away, the band has finally been getting the national acclaim that they deserve. Showcasing the very best in heavy sounds and a resume that already boasts massive festival slots at Sonisphere and supports with the mighty Slayer, RSJ at Galtres is going to be explosive!

I’ve known this mob for a long time, and I’m so proud to have them on this line-up. It’s gonna be damn incredible, and nothing less than that.


Pantheon? They’re the twins of metal! They’ve got a great following and are some of the hardest working musicians that Soundsphere has had the privilege to cover over the last few years.

They’ve got this intense New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound down, and I’m really hoping that they bring their A-game to #galtresrocks, because that is something to behold, no matter what musical style you’re in to.

We Could Be Astronauts

Put simply We Could Be Astronauts are a hard rock powerhouse featuring ex-members of some of York’s finest acts from the last decade.

Idle Jack And The Big Sleep, Hijak Oscar and The Yards are all represented, and something truly spectacular has come from this mix.

Every time I see this band perform live, I find them so entertaining. They’ll be the perfect act to bridge the gap from pure rock to heavier metal sounds on the Sunday. If this band were able to tour more, they’d take over the whole country.

Believe that, and come and see for yourself. Proper rock.

Counting Coins

Counting Coins are one of my favourite bands from Hull, and I’m so glad we got to have them for this stage.

They have played amazing sets for The Warren’s Stewart Baxter on his Hull stage before now, and we are looking to recreate some ace memories with gypsy-hip-hop-ska-punk awesomeness on the rock stage.

I’m really looking forward to seeing this lot up close and personal. It may well be the best moment of the weekend for many. What Gives You The Right is well worth an advance listen if you get a sec.


And what of Bull? Probably the indie rock band of the minute in York. They definitely have that all important buzz. Tom Beer et al have all the right hooks in all the right places.

I remember hearing Green for the first time and being absolutely stunned. They’ve just been getting better and better each time that I’ve seen them, and that’s why I wanted them as part of this line-up.

The York music scene’s future is with bands the calibre of Bull, and that makes me very, very confident! So chuffed to have them onboard.

The Holy Orders

The Holy Orders are Hull’s greatest ever grunge outfit. I’m sticking with that. I’m hoping they’ll bring a few Hull rock fans over to our stage as well.

They’ve got a really raw sound, and some absolutely storming riffs. I’ve seen them a few times over the years, and I know they’ll impress a lot of festival goes into alternative stuff this year. Moody and bloody magnificent. Yep.

The Buccaneers

Our openers The Buccaneers have this great blues-rock fusion thing which has had me captivated for quite a while.

Of all the bands I could have had to open the stage on Sunday, I’m really proud that we managed to pull this lot in. They mix some wicked influences together live, and on record.

They’re tight and always sound on top of the freakin’ world when they play live. What better way to start a rock stage at a festival? I couldn’t think of one, obviously.


Then, we have the party band, Rosie. North Yorkshire’s answer to The Prodigy, or more accurately Hadouken!

They’ve got this whole electro-rock thing down, and I dig it very much. They’ll be bringing the (slightly) more chilled out after-party vibes to the #galtresrocks stage after some serious heavy stuff from the likes of RSJ, A Joker’s Rage and The Virginmarys, we can’t wait for you to join us for that!

In summary then this is a bit of a dream for me. I’m still buzzing. I’m really… really excited, and I hope you’ll come and support #galtresrocks this year.

It’s sure to be really loud and very, very bloody awesome.

  • The Galtres Parklands Festival 2014 is at Duncombe Park from Friday, August 22 to Sunday, August 24
  • The Galtres Festival website
  • More music stories