REVIEW: The Hosts, Peak Cavern

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FEW venues are as memorable as this natural, cathedral-like fissure above Castleton – locally known as The Devil’s Arse. Even fewer venues present sound men with quite such a challenge.

But Tom Hogg’s crew have earned their stripes in arguably more hostile environments down the years and certainly deserved their shot at headlining one of Derbyshire’s most beguiling natural wonders.

We might not have got the loudest set The Hosts offer, but while the volume was down a tad the setting somehow befit music that took on a greater charismatic quality, as previously displayed by fellow Sheffielder Richard Hawley when he put this cave on the map as a venue.

Mellower moments were offset by livelier gems such as Wake Up and the wonderful September Song to draw sometime eerily echoes of appreciation from a modest but enthusiastic crowd. Tom’s trademark humour – not least when being dripped on by the moist ceiling – added to the novelty of an evening that owed as much to the surroundings as the set, rounded off with an apt encore of Roy Orbison’s In Dreams.

With David J Roch’s occasional soprano-like dulcets floating down the hill to the village as one of two support acts, the ethereal power of this location will not have been lost on anyone who made the rewarding trip up here.

Not so much a rave in a cave as something unique in the Peak.