Michelle Gray, proud mother of James tells it as it was, as the day that was 'on', 'off' and again 'on' and how the true British Spirit of 'rain will never stop play' prevailed.
The fourth annual Glastonvicki on 7th June ran with the true Glastonbury festival feel, after months of preparation organising the acts, play schedules and making festival changes. The Black Olive Cafe had ensured that everything was arranged and in place for the fourth annual Glastonvicki day of live music.
An early start to the day for all the organisers preparing food and moving and setting up the equipment to ensure a hiccup free day of music of fun was quickly followed by Cyprus weather having a different idea and trying its best to dampen the spirit of the day.
A full team effort ensured that all the sound equipment was water proofed, just as the downpour came and down pour it did in true Glastonbury not Glastonvicki style, and all that was missing was the mud and wellies! Sheltering under the umbrellas brought in to provide shade and the bar area no one could believe the timing of the weather as they waited for the rain to subside. But it did little to dampen the spirit of those already there who made the most of Vicki's food menu of homemade burgers and chicken curry whilst the bar continued to serve drinks to warm the spirit and sustain hope. Organisers determined whether the show was to go on or be rearranged!!
With no respite from the down pour the decision was taken to postpone the day but the Crossroads Rock and Roll Band (Gavin Simons, Mutlu West) with guest drummer (Barry Snakes) decided on an impromptu set to entertain the die-hard music lovers sheltering from the rain. Their performance really was the 'crossroads' of the day, keeping the music lovers there and entertained with an amazing upbeat lively set of live music while the rain started to ease.
With the remainder of the day uncertain following acts being cancelled, and an announcement that Glastonvicki was to be re-arranged, organiser and host Vicki Karaca, threw open the doors to free entry. As Crossroads came to an end scheduled act Charlie Berry had no hesitation of still performing and was soon on the
stage with his sing a long acoustic set carrying on the theme of the day that the show must go on, whilst remaining acts were contacted and called in, Glastonvicki was going on and not being rearranged.
Totally James (a.k.a. James Gray) soon followed Charlie with a solo set performing Indie Rock covering tracks from the likes of The Killers and Klaxons before putting down the guitar and microphone and playing a couple of his own instrumental compositions on keyboards. Singing Leanne McDermid followed James having to change her playlist as James had already done her tracks but a true professional Leanne quickly adapted her songs and had the crowd up dancing with her feel good music. Fifteen year old Amelia Atik took to the stage with some Etta James numbers her voice showing a power far in excess of that expected at such a young age, and brought goosebumps to the damp crowd.
After some fantastic and diverse solo acts there was no question that Glastonvicki was in full swing as the new youth sensation The Renegades (mentored by Barry Snakes) took to the stage. The Renegades (Tolga Guryel - drums, Scarlet Goodwin - bass guitar, Logan Sanger-Sharps - lead guitar, James Gray - rhythm guitar and vocals) making their debut public performance blew the crowd away with their professional and lively performance that far exceeded their experience and age, making everyone associated with them proud. Playing tracks from The Automatic, Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party and Artic Monkeys they soon had the crowd clapping along and eating out of their hands, a fantastic debut performance ahead of their big event at Girne ampitheatre supporting Bon Giovi on 12th July. Keeping the upbeat tempo of the evening, the headliners, Snakebite (Barry Snakes, Adem Oznedim, Ed Sezener and James Gray) didn't bite but charmed their way through a set of new music not usually heard in North Cyprus playing tracks from the likes of Wishbone Ash, Poets of the Fall and Muse before the familiar tunes from Queen, Free and Van Halen. An exceptional performance by all four of the musicians was fully appreciated by the crowd who enjoyed a different style of music from the usual. To wind down the evening Scratchband (Ed Sezener and Keith Bradbury) were last but not least to the stage and rounded the evening off with a great range of softer rock and blues tracks to the appreciative audience who at one stage thought the show would not go on!!!
Organiser Vicki Karaca said that 'the day was a great success and despite the initial decision to postpone due to the weather, there was no need to re-arrange due to the great team effort and professionalism from all the performers, the compare Pete Murray and sound engineer Barry Snakes that enabled us to continue and of course those who came along to support the day and braved the weather'.