It has been three years since bands and artists graced the fields in Pikehall, Derbyshire. This triumphant return saw a stellar lineup of A-Listers and up an coming artists split across numerous stages.

The first artist on the bill was Gabrielle. Oozing class and looking fabulous, Gabrielle caused quite a stir in the tea-time slot. Which such an extensive back catalog the crowd is were treated to a number of classics including ‘out of reach’, ‘sunshine’ and ‘dreams’. There was plenty of crowd participation encouraged by Gabrielle and her band.

Next on the bill, we’re West Lothian four-piece ‘The Snuts’ who treated the crowd to hits from their debut album ‘W.L.’ as well as their soon-to-be-released second album ‘Burn the Empire’. Highlights included their recent release ‘Zuckerpunch’ which explores the negative connotations of social media with hard-hitting intellectual lyrics and a catchy melody to boot.

Technical issues didn’t dampen the spirit of the crowd as Sundara Karma took the ‘Big Gin Stage’. After a false start, the Reading four-piece cooly continued their set and treated the crowd to a set of alt-rock bangers full of stylish guitar licks fronted by the equally suave Oscar Pollock whose stage presence is quite captivating.

An hour delay due to further sound issues meant that The Manic Street Preachers had to adjust their set somewhat but despite some impatient from the crowd, the Manics absolutely smashed it, kicking off with ‘Motorcycle Emptiness. As soon as the first chord was struck all was forgiven and normal service resumed. I last saw this band fifteen years ago at Leeds Fest and they were tighter than ever, with enthusiasm and on-stage antics that could put younger bands to shame.

Headlining the Friday were the Stereophonics who were undoubtedly the band that the crowd had been waiting for. Welsh flags were raised as a leather-clad Kelly Jones swaggered onto the stage and kicked off the set with ‘Do Ya Feel My Love’ and flew through a belting set list from all their releases from the last thirty years. It is easy to forget just how many solid songs this band has released, and the highlight on a personal note was a beautiful version of ‘A Thousand Trees’, ending the evening with ‘Dakota’ and thus bringing to a close the first full day of music after a long-awaited return to the fields of Pikehall.