Warrington Music Festival..Year One

With Warrington Music Festival returning next week, we look back to the very first Warrington Music Festival, which was organised as part of Culturefest 2007, and took place on Saturday 28th July, a mighty ten years ago!

We raided the Warrington Guardian archives last year and the following article was one of our most popular. If you have any memories or photos, please send to WArringtonMusic@gmail.com


 WITH lyrics about thieving from a girlfriend’s handbag while she is at the bar and fumbling with first time lovers on school trips, it was understandable that Gareth Roberts seemed a little perturbed to spot his mum in the crowd at Warrington Music Festival.

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Gareth Robert, previously of Red Badge of Courage

The frontman from Red Badge of Courage may of course claim that these themes are purely allegorical, but either way his band’s songs were brimming with wit and one of the many highlights of Saturday’s event.

Warrington Music Collective had organised the show in Palmyra Square, Queen’s Gardens … playing across two stages, 25 bands gave a taste of the wealth of talent in the town.

Alongside a Red Stripe beer tent, food vendors and a Kung Fu skills exhibition by Woolston’s May FangFa school of Pak Mei, Guilty Warfare, Jacs Creation, Bill Davro and The Popes and The Stocks had built up an impressive crowd as the show kicked into gear around noon.

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The early gazebo on stage two was no match for the windy weather

Sly Digs [Ed: This years headliners!] rattled through a powerful set of classic indie rock before The Cordels took to the stage, with a sound that brought to mind The Police, especially in the tender vocals of Dave McNamara. Nevertheless it was the brilliant drumming of Dave Wimbush that propelled the band – even after he temporarily broke his drumkit!

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Percussionist, China White. They went on to now be know as The Winachi Tribe

The range of influences and sounds on offer was no better illustrated than in the brooding, dense hip-hop of China White [ed: Now going as The Winachi Tribe] and the complex song structures of chaotic five-piece City Lights, who threw inflatable footballs and rubber rings into the crowd while one band member took to a cello.

From the cocksure swagger of The Kingsway to the charismatic performance of 4ft Soldiers’ frontman Jim Green, the gig certainly seems to indicate a bright future for music in the town.

Headliners Exile Parade best epitomised this optimism, with a triumphant take on northern rock that explains why they may just be on the cusp of greatness.”
Link to original article

Exile Parade of course went on to tour across the world, regularly popping over to China, whilst Slydigs are making their own history, currently in North America, on tour with The Who.


This year sees Slydigs headline a Saturday full of great local music, following a Friday night featuring artists over 10 venues in the town! Capping off the weekend is Liverpool Indie icons, Cast and Space. This years Warrington Music Festival has everything a music fan could want.

Bookmark our Warrington Music Festival page to be kept up to date with all the latest information here.

To listen to the bands of the Festival first, download [WAM]’s free compilation album from the below

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