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Photos by "Rampant Lou" Here
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Photos & Story by Mike Taylor Below

We started the day with a mini Heep convention around Paul Rickards' house. He lives in Guildford and was instrumental in getting Heep booked for the festival. Meg, Louis, Steve and Dav had made the trip down from Scotland in their 'Classic Rock' Bus and were staying with Paul. Ian Maclaren joined us as well as Pete Wharton and Marije who'd travelled over from Holland. Along with Paul's wife and 2 children and sister in law we enjoyed a fantastic BBQ. Luckily we had some cover in the garden as a heavy thunderstorm attempted to spoil the didn't succeed:-))

At about 4pm we left for the festival site and made out way to the 'ents24' stage which is where Heep were to appear. A glance at the timetable showed that Heep were to only do an hour from 9-10pm which was a disappointment especially as they were to play at the same time as Madness on the main stage. A strict curfew of 10pm was because the festival was in a mainly residential area of Guildford. Another long term fan Tina joined us at that stage.

The band turned up at about 6pm and we enjoyed various chats and drinks but were aware of some discontent with the festival organisation. Apparently only 25 mins had been allocated for the crew to set things up from scratch and the sound was to be restricted to 95db with a bit of a weedy PA.

No news to report from the Heep front. I wasn't able to find out anything about the new album.....maybe someone else was more successful. All were buoyed up by 2 fantastic gigs in The Czech Republic where they played to 30,000 crazed Czech's in support of Motorhead and Finland where they played below ground in a Salt Mine. They were however very tired. No Dave Owen by the way as he's is with Ritchie Blackmore. He'll be back soon though.

At 9pm we went to the front of the stage where a reasonable crowd was gathered considering Madness were already playing on the other stage. It appeared that the crew were struggling to get things set up in time as things were a bit frantic on stage. At about 9.20 Heep hit the stage to a big noise from the crowd and immediately went into So Tired. The rest of the set was pretty much as we've seen before. Every time I hear someone criticise the band for their set list I start to feel a little bit impatient for a change but as soon as I see the band live I marvel at their quality and just immerse myself in the atmosphere.

No new songs but this definitely would have been the wrong place to introduce them. Everyone wanted to hear the classics and that's just what they got. Mick had a few problems which I assume were due to the short set up time, but it didn't really affect things too much. To quote Marije Russell really is an animal. Awesome drumming. He really has brought a new impetus to the band. Sadly it was over too soon. Heep only managed about 50 mins in total but I suppose it's quality not quantity. If the crowd had been allowed to have their way they would have played to midnight.

A few dinks after the show and a few more chats until everyone said their goodbye's.


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