Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Cyprus Rocks

Cyprus Rocks! Classic Rock Festival is the brainchild of Eddie and (the beautiful) Elaine Yates. Who successfully blend rock festival and a summer break for like-minded people, well…. Namely fans of classic rock of course. Lately Eddie has hung up his mankini, and in unison we all praise the Lord for his mercy upon us, and taken more of a back seat, leaving the running of the event to Mario.

A week-long event on the beautiful island of Cyprus. Famous of course for the place where Richard Coeur de Lion married his princess Berengaria, before setting off on Crusade into the Holy Land.
Also the populous of the Mediterranean Islands. Settled by the Mycenaean’s in the 2nd century BC then subsequently occupied by the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, from whom the island was taken in 333 BC by Alexander the Great himself. The island was annexed by Great Britain (hoorah). So we shouldn’t really have been surprised that all the power sockets are UK and the cars all drive on the left, just like home. Did you know Halloumi cheese originated on the island? No? well it did.

Odins Day is upon us at last as we have been anticipating this one for a while and it’s nice to be finally on the plane sipping a pre-arrival Gin and Tonic! As if not enough to do as it is, Mario has the extra stress of Monarch flights going under, leaving band members stranded at home. Could have been a bit of a disaster there, but Mario manages to get alternative travel and everything is fine. Phew.
Arriving late-ish at the airport we are met by Artist Liaison, namely Drew, who is from Cyprus itself, born of the sea. Her voice like the siren welcomes weary travellers to her paradise home.

Well it’s late, and we spotted a pub still open just at the top of the hill, I think we should go say a cheery hallo to our fellow weary pilgrims, seeking refreshment before retiring for the night and falling into the arms of Morpheus and to sleep in Elysium.

It is mid-morning when I am disturbed from my esteemed repose, Hyperion is high on  his horse and sweats in the eye of Phoebus, and as usual I have missed breakfast. Thankfully so has Andy so we venture up the hill once more in seek of sustenance, tonight is the welcome party. There could be trouble ahead.

Evening draws nigh on Thors Day as we are greeted once more by Drew, Artist Liaison, and we are introduced to our fellow wandering minstrels. Friends of one another do we declare ourselves to be.
                                        Peter and Drew 
As the sun slowly sets beyond the horizon the waxing moon rises to dance upon the wine-dark sea. Tranquillity prevails, for the present at least, for I know what happens at the welcome party and this mad lot of rockers! So I am determined to pace myself, and live up to my reputation as El Santo.
First band of the evening Stone Free, Mario himself takes the stage and sets the bar high indeed, Great covers of Bread Fan by Budgie and 20th Century Schizoid man! They Rock! We are feasted and wined by our gracious host.

This photo says it all. Taken just 30 minutes before Letz Zep stage time, Peter sporting a fine suntan, spending his time wisely by the pool with a small beer. No longer Pete the Beat, now Pete the Beet-Root. Then the  two Pale Riders, Andy and Jack who have obviously not seen  a minute of daylight since the moment they arrived.
Every day there are fantastic events to be enjoyed, with marvellous bands. Who’s Next, very good, Very surprised at how good The Toxic Twins are, vocalist Danny doing an excellent rendition of Steven Tyler.

The events that lay ahead of us, a pool party with a special appearance  by the fantastic Jimi Anderson, and yes, I imagine someone will fall in at some point. Culminating in a farewell party with a much anticipated set from Nazareth vocalist Carl Sentence, and much more in between. All in all a great diverse selection of very good bands, to cover the full spectrum of the classic rock genre. Music for all seasons.

The main stage set upon the beach itself, with such beautiful natural lighting casting long shadows upon the golden sands. Perfect setting for the powerful and dramatic music that beckons.

So what is it that makes this event so special? is it this jewel of an island set in the silver sea? The excellent organisation from Mario, Drew and the tech crew? The exquisite cuisine? the bands? Well of course they all play  a part, but mainly the fantastic bunch of mad rockers who come together to celebrate all that is good in the world. In one space at one moment of time, it’s these lovely people that make this even to special. We love you all.
So, they say Cyprus Rocks is the probably the best rock holiday on Earth, a bold statement, can there be any truth in it?

Damn straight!

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