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Gaz Coombes delivers accomplished and brave solo show at the 20th Godiva Festival

The UK’s largest free festival returned to Coventry last weekend for a three day celebration of music, community and culture. However, the 2018 edition of the Godiva Festival came with the additional fanfare of turning 20. For the past two decades the cities War Memorial Park has turned it’s tranquil green-space in to a throbbing wave of care-free abandon.

Since the festivals conception in 1998, Godiva has gone through a number of changes. This once predominantly indie weekend, which hosted rising stars including Kasabian, Maximo Park and celebrated Coventrians, The Enemy now hosts a more eclectic blend of pop, rock, folk, acousitc and more. The festival is now also complimented by a growing rota of family-orientated activities and on-trend street-food vendors.

Back to 2018! This years line-up was the perfect illustration of how the festivals approach had shifted to appeal to as many tastes as possible. The roll call included Suffolk’s Cradle of Filth, Boyzone’s former frontman, Ronan Keating, UK rapper, Professor Green and Birmingham’s very-own Bhangramuffin, Apache Indian. However, cutting through the local grafters, big hitters and newcomers one act caught our eye and excelled as the headliner of Saturday nights Rhythm Tent.

Gaz Coombes, former Supergrass frontman, is currently riding one of his highest highs. His latest solo album, ‘World’s Strongest Man’, was received with rapturous applause, filling column inches with praise and raising his profile once more. So when he emerged as the sun began to lower our expectations spiked but how can the former britpop survivor move-away from 90’s classics like ‘Caught by the Fuzz’ and tipsy festival crowd pleasers such as ‘Moving’?

Fairly easily by the looks of Saturday nights performance. Gaz Coombes delivered from note one. He is now a more accomplished, brave and forward-thinking musician, loading tracks with multiple layers that aren’t designed to boost his ego but provide pleasure to the listener. Walk The Walk drifts with intent, crammed full of tone and texture, it’s draws you in, drags you about and drops you to your knees. The support band, ‘The Sonic Wonderland’ allowed their leader to deliver an exceptional set of contemporary tunes that see’s Gaz Coombes continue his assault towards the best male, solo artist in the world.

Image credit: Garry Jones.

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