download-poster-new@ Castle Donington, Main Stage, June 14 2009

A few months ago rushonrock was enjoying the company of Stone Gods in a tiny dressing room when the subject of Download came up. At that point the band had yet to be confirmed for the festival but none of the four members needed any encouragement in making a pitch for a main stage spot.

The craic was that, given the chance, they’d tear up Castle Donington regardless of what time they played or how many people they played to. For them it would be an honour to follow in the footsteps of the Monsters of Rock and they would do all in their power to bring Download alive. It goes without saying that the Gods stayed true to their word.

Brave enough to showcase new number Going Under, the boys were brazen enough to blast out their hard rockin’ standards as if they owned the main stage. It might have been 11am in front of a handful of hungover die-hards but that didn’t bother Richie, Dan and the gang one jot. This was a typically voracious Stone Gods show and they loved – and lived – every minute of it.

Is Burn The Witch one of the best new rock songs of the decade? Played live it reaches epic proportions and for as long as the band is capable of penning modern rock classics in thie mould they’ll steadily work their way up festival bills the world over.

For now it’s simply a pleasure watching a hot new act ply their trade with delight and determination, grasping every chance that comes their way. This might have been a set missed by the majority but the few that did get there experienced a real treat.

So good were the Gods in the traditional graveyard slot that it didn’t take a massive stretch of the imagination to see them headlining Download very soon. Watch this space, as they say.