With floods and terrorist attacks the order of the day back in Blighty we decided to flee the country and check out the small but perfectly formed RosRock festival that takes place in Rossum, Holland.

After successfully negotiating the colossus that is Amsterdam's Shipol airport I manage to meet up with Swedish metallers Crucified Barbara to share a lift over to Rossum and all goes well until one of the two cars we're travelling in has a blow out on the motorway! There's plenty of smoke and several moments of panic before we all grind to a halt on the hard shoulder, which gives the perfect opportunity to sink a couple of beers. Thankfully everyone is OK & we're back on the road before too long although it does mean that we miss the first couple of bands.

The festival itself takes place on a fruit farm, run by organiser and all round genial host Adrian. It's a small set up with only a thousand or so punters but this enables it to retain a great atmosphere and with beer only 84p (& that's after we've exhausted all the free ones!) there's little danger that we're not going to have a good time! The only problem we did encounter was trying to get vegetarian food when the stall was manned by (very patient) non-English speaking girls, which even when on the limited menu kept coming back with ham on it!

So what of the bands? Well for a festival this size RosRock manages to pull some impressive names, which is testament to how well it is organised and it has to be said that the sound system put many bigger festivals to shame as it was excellent throughout. Early on in the day we got several previously unknown (to us) bands from across Europe ranging from the Rancid style ska punk of Beans to the dark indie rock of Spain's Tokyo Sex Destruction. The first band to really impress though are the UK's own Mighty Roars, who deliver a really solid set of fast & melodic punk edged tunes and it's a real shame that their set gets cut short by what is either the greatest shot or the luckiest fluke ever as someone in the crowd manages to hit vocalist/guitarist Lara right on the nose with a small apple! Needless to say the mic stands are thrown to the floor & they understandably storm off stage but not before drummer David has threatened to beat the shit out of whoever threw it.

Crucified Barbara follow and as anyone who saw them supporting Motorhead last year will testify, deliver a great set full of attitude and guitar solo's and they go down very well, particularly with a cover of Motorhead's 'Killed By Death' as a set closer. They are followed by our old friends McQueen & if we thought we'd seen some wild crowds at their shows in the UK then we were wrong! The crowd at RosRock were like lunatics on speed and the band gave them every justification to go for it with a polished set full of the usual energy and grit that we've come to expect. Unfortunately there was a bit of a spiking incident with one of our German friends straight after their set, which meant we spent much of the next couple of hours over at the Red Cross tent. Fortunately she was OK after a few hours in the local hospital but we did miss most of The Nomads & The Datsuns. From what I heard though they both turned in fine performances.

Highlights of Sunday came from Hungarians Superbutt, who played an excellent energy filled set reminiscent of SOAD and were a real surprise. Definitely worth checking out should you get the chance. Finland's Bitch Alert put in a solid set although after Superbutt they didn't have the same impact and it was down to Belgian's El Guapo Stunteam to bring proceedings back up to speed with some excellent high energy rock and roll that got the crowd moving. Denmark's Volbeat headlined and probably got the biggest crowd of the weekend, which is not surprising as they have graced Wacken Open Air and Full Force Festivals this year with their brand of Metallica influenced metal. They throw in a few surprises too with a Johnny Cash cover and are nothing if not entertaining.

RosRock really is a great little festival and well worth a visit. As an introduction to many European bands that we may never otherwise have heard it was invaluable and the whole vibe of the festival is just fantastic. We met some great people, caught up with some old friends and had a thoroughly fantastic time. If you're itching for something different from the usual UK festival scene then this is a great place to start your foray into European festivals & it's a safe bet we'll be returning next year.