Graveyard, High Voltage Metal Hammer Stage, July 24 2011

Graveyard don’t do what it says on the tin. Anyone wandering over from the adjacent real ale tent expecting a dose of Scandinavian death metal from this fearsomely names quartet would have been sadly disappointed or, more likely, pleasantly surprised.

Graveyard’s music is a million miles away from their peculiar name and the sensational Swedes produced the set of the weekend where the rushonrock team was concerned. All 70s swagger and stoner rock vibe the hirsute band of brothers managed to mix classic rock with Sabbath-esque metal and create a bubble of greying doom under the cloudless blue skies.

Making a number of well-advised visits to latest – and one of 2011’s greatest – record Hisingen Blues there was never any let up in a performance overflowing with retro cool. Like Kings Of Leon before they sold out there’s an engaging attitude about the Graveyard guys and it’s impossible to imagine them selling their collective soul in return for stadium-sized commercial success.

The almost anthemic (if Graveyard did anthems) Ain’t Fit To Live Here lifted High Voltage to an exciting new level with sweat pouring down some of the greasiest and most unkempt locks of hair on the planet – and that was just on stage. If their music is old school then Graveyard’s image is more ancient than that but the matching jeans and tatty mops only complement the music’s rich credibility and creativity.

With no sign of a major Graveyard UK tour anytime soon this was, for fans of a certain persuasion, a must-see set on an afternoon punctuated with more obvious highlights. Very few bands are quite so relevant and special as this lot right now and it’s little wonder you can’t find a vinyl copy of Hisingen Blues for love or money right now.

Simon Rushworth