Diamond Fest rocks Wigan

HUNDREDS of Union Jack-waving revellers descended on Wigan town centre for a council-backed open air concert.

Starting at lunch time and carrying on well into the night, Diamond Fest gave 11 unsigned bands the chance to rock out in Market Place, to help mark HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Diamond Fest, Market Place, Wigan: The crowd show their apprecation and (below) Prairie Dogs in action

Diamond Fest, Market Place, Wigan: The crowd show their apprecation and (below) Prairie Dogs in action

After a near complete wash-out on Sunday, the weather largely held up too – with plenty of feelgood factor to go around.

The gig was kicked-off by Prairie Dogs shortly after 1pm, followed by terrific sets from Simon Williams, Small Town, Boomin and YouTube favourites Jeremiah Ferrari.

The Leigh-based band – who have attracted thousands of online hits with their sharp indie riffs and laid-back reggae vocals – were then followed by Tiredness Kills and The Portlands.

The Portlands, who warmed up for Diamond Fest with a recent gig at The Tudor, are enjoying a return to the borough’s live scene after previously gigging extensively in Manchester.

Diamond Fest, Market Place, Wigan: Prairie Dogs

Diamond Fest, Market Place, Wigan: Prairie Dogs

Guitarist and backing vocalist Tim Isherwood said: “I think it’s great that there was something like this going on in Wigan. It lets people know that there’s a lot going on for music here.”

Formed in 2008, St Helens band Titor’s Insignia then served up plenty of powerful guitar leads and crunching rhythms with their blend of Britpop, indie and rock – with a hint of punk swagger thrown in too.

Warrington rockers SlyDigs, meanwhile, showed off their powerful indie and Britpop-influenced sound, which has drawn comparisons to early Arctic Monkeys and Oasis.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Dean Fairhurst said: “Although we’re from Warrington, we actually started out in Wigan, rehearsing at the old studios opposite Wigan Pier.

“Our guitarist is also from Lowton, and one of our other members has just moved to Bamfurlong, so we seem to be getting closer to Wigan all the time.

“It was a really great idea to have the outdoor festival on the Bank Holiday.”

The concert was finally brought to a close shortly after 10pm, by local favourites and headliners Smitten Kitten.