It's May 2022, and the house on the hill is ready to rock again. It's been a while since we've had an indoor Gig of Glory, like the days of old. Last year's festival-style outdoor event was fab, but there's nothing that screams rock 'n roll more that a sea of a hundred sweating bodies jamming out the Summer of '69. And after a familiar ensemble opening, this is exactly where we find ourselves with Styled opening cover of Brian Adams' classic. Guitars were shredded, with a pencil-thin David Byrne look-a-like on the keys, and the signature 'drummer in a box' (presumably so he only shatters his own ear drums?)
In between acts, the compares arrive: Neave and... has Axl Rose been at the pies? Ah no - it's just Mike. Between them, they provide good banter and decent jokes (Neave: Ted's recently completed a seven dessert challenge / Mike: It's DESERT challenge) to keep things moving while the next act tunes up.
Next up, it's Bassafe, who look like a cross between the Sex Pistols and the Happy Mondays, while Luke swaggers across the stage to the Arctic Monkeys like John Lydon in two-storey boots. A few acts in and we know the worst of the pandemic must because of all the sweat and bodyheat.
Our very own Rex Pearson does his trademark hammer-on, Ibernez-shredding Satriani number with flawless delivery, and expert time keeping from Matt on drums.
Next up - it wouldn't be Hurtwood without a bit of theatrics, would it now? Some ominous, mask-wearing figures carry a coffin onto the stage, but when it opens there's only a bare skeleton inside. Onto the stage strides Ted - who he? - Ted Jackson, son of our founder, brother of our Headmaster and, until last year, housemaster of Cornhill. He's wailing the high notes like a helium-filled Brian Blessed, with Deputy Dave on the guitar, for a rousing rendition of Welcome to the Jungle.
By the time Token Straights take to the stage, opening with Heatbreaker, we didn't think it could get any more rock 'n roll. How wrong we were... The performances here were flawless, and the energy of the showmanship was off the scale. Their carefully choreographed intensity is amongst the best all-out rock we've seen at Hurtwood. Lady Zaza - we salute you.
All performers reunited for a triumphant finish with Foo Fighters, Linkin Park, and Boston. A big shout out to everyone who helped to organise this year's GoG - especially Hurtwood Film Academy for filming the whole thing, Dave P, Guy, Al and others for doing such a sterling job with the tech, and of course Dave for making all the noise happen in the first place.