Saturday night headliners The Chemical Brothers, have been long on the wish list for Best-goers having waited for their main stage return since 2007. With Bestival being the last hurrah of the UK festival season, early dark skies provide a perfect backdrop for the onslaught of blinding green lasers of opening number and iconic late 90’s track ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’. Despite the lack of the famed saucy skeletons on the big screens, it’s a strong start for the dance duo and the arena is jumping.
The show is heavy with trippy images of clowns and dancers, strobe lighting and colour to make up for the fact that you are essentially watching two guys push some buttons and bob along to a future beat in their headphones, but it honestly looks like they are having a damn good time as they drop ‘GO’ alongside a visual of a glittery roller-dancer gliding about on screen. Standard as it might now be for a festival or arena tour, there is something exciting about smashing giant inflatable balls around the place when you’re swimming in the depths of the front barrier crowd, long live the gimmick!
Two huge red and blue animatronic robots walk on stage shooting happy ravers with their laser eyes, and a giant inside-out disco ball refracts spotlights into a million starry specks as the Chemicals close out with hits ‘Block Rockin’ Beats', ‘Push The Button’ and ‘Galvanize’. With a final flourish and an on-screen tribute to their sadly missed music producer Stuart Jammer James, who had also worked with a plethora of Bestival favourites such as New Order, Hot Chip and Grace Jones, the set is over. The Chemical Brothers were well worth the wait, and as the sweaty masses leave the arena for other areas with wide grins plastered on their faces, it’s clear they were a great headline pick.
It's bank holiday weekend in August which means one thing, READING FESTIVAL! With 8 stages in the arena, there is something for everyone.
The Main Stage saw headlining sets from Mumford & Sons, to heavy metal band Metallica and closing the show on Sunday, The Libertines. Each night saw three different audiences, a lot of hardcore Metallica fans arrived on Saturday which drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. During their set Metallica released hundreds of black bouncy balls with their logo on and the fans went wild, all trying to catch one to keep. Unfortunetly The Libertines seemed to lack a powerful performance and struggled to keep a full crowd for the whole set, being Sunday night a few people like to leave and beat the traffic but this seemed more than usual. However Mumford & Sons really captivated the audience attention with sing along songs from their first and second album. Other bands that caught my attention on the Main Stage were Marmozets, Bastille, Bring Me The Horizon, All Time Low and Panic At The Disco.
The BBC hosted 3 stages at Reading where you could see acts like Lethal Bizzle on the 1XTRA stage, Boy Better Know on the Radio 1 Dance Stage to Slaves and Limp Bizkit on the NME Stage where there was also a secret set from Foals. They also support growing talent in the music industry and brought back the BBC Introducing stage for another year. I got to see The Big Moon, Clean Cut Kid and Georgia. I was very impressed with all three and they are names to look out for in the future.
I soon realised I’d be spending most of my time at The Lock Up/The Pit stage when I saw the line up. There were so many bands worth mentioning the list could go on forever, but these were some of my favourites; While She Sleeps, Bury Tomorrow, PVRIS, Moose Blood, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and definelty a band to keep an eye on ho99o9. I’m pretty sure a lot of these acts will be on the main stage next year at Reading which is exciting for 2016.
Overall I had a really good experience at Reading Festival. The weather turned out to be pretty great, considering forecasts were set for downpours on Saturday and Sunday, there was minimal rain and hardly any mud (apart from in the campsite). The food was average festival food and there was a fair that went on into the night to keep you entertained when the music stopped. I’m really looking forward to what they have to offer for Reading Festival 2016!
Adding to an already stelar assemblage of electronic music heavy weights, MINT Festival are excited announce some further additions to their 2015 line-up.
Sunday the 20th September will see the unstoppable grime MC Skepta come to the Wetherby Racecourse, playing the Detonate + Jungle Jam arena alongside the likes of Sub Focus, Shy FX and Cause & Affect.
Also on the Sunday, MINT Festival welcomes the legendary Zed Bias, an artist who has been pushing the underground bass scene forward for the past two decades. Zed will present his 'Madd Again' LIVE showcase, featuring MC's Trigga and Killa Benz, expect a big, bashy, grimey affair.
Skepta and Zed Bias will join a wide range of electronic artists over the two day event, including Sven Vath, Green Velvet, Ricardo Villalobos, Skream, Maya Jane Coles, Todd Terry, Seth Troxler and many more.
We’re very excited indeed to reveal the line-up for legendary beat supremo Shy FX’s Party on the Moon Bollywood takeover.
Bringing the action to a close on Sunday 13th September, the latest in our Bestival’s Summer of Love Bollywood takeover series, the Party on the Moon will see dancefloor lunacy provided by the Digital Soundboy don and Original Nuttah himself, Shy FX going back to back with some very special guests, who we can guarantee will send you into orbit, with microphone control courtesy of MC Stamina.
There will also be sublime moves on the ones and twos from chart-conquering musical polymath Mark Ronson, multi-platinum recording artist Craig David presenting his much admired TS5, the Leonine be-locked Lion Babe and Chloe Martini taking on Sinead Harnett.
From old skool tear-ups to thoroughly modern floor-spankers, Shy FX’s Party on the Moon is a sure-fire celestial end to our Summer of Love that’s not to be missed.
Since 2011 the backstage acoustic sets have been an exciting added bonus to the already popular Festival. This year Butserfest are giving you and a friend the chance to win a special wristband that’ll gain you access into our Acoustic Shack.
Simply visit their Facebook page to enter for a chance to win! (Please note that access to acoustic sets does not include event tickets)
The first backstage acoustic act announced was Brighton pop punkers, Boston Manor who will be performing a 3 song acoustic set for a small group of lucky competition winners.
Photo by Leigh-Ann Kilner
Other acts which have also been announced are Dirt, Create to Inspire and Our Hollow Our Home! With six acts in total confirmed to play the Acoustic Shack, the last two are being kept a secret. With a little inside knowledge, we can guarantee that you will not be disappointed!
If you would like to know a little bit more about the acoustic sets, check out last years video of Joe from EMPIRE doing a cover of Prince’s ‘Kiss’
To check out more of the latest news from Butserfest check out their website:
Widely known as one of the wildest and most immersive experiences around, BoomTown Fair is one of the UK’s fastest growing music festivals. This year marked BoomTown’s seventh year in Winchester, selling out with a huge 38,000 people ready and rearing to explore the pop-up wonderland.
Having not seen many familiar names on the line-up and with this being my first BoomTown, I went into this experience pretty blind.I travelled to the site using public transport and ended up having one of my most valuable experiences of the whole weekend on the shuttle bus there. The atmosphere was intense, people were anxious to see the site appear over the hill, and talk was all about the weekend ahead. Every single person on the bus announced they had barely looked at the line-up, they couldn’t tell me who the ‘headliners’ were and they couldn’t tell me who to look out for. Instead they gave me the best advice I could have asked for: “BoomTown isn’t about the line-up, it isn’t about the headliners. Go in there and immerse yourself in the whole experience, think of the music as the soundtrack to your weekend and go wherever it takes you”. Most of them even favoured the smaller, quirkier areas over the main attractions and insisted I spend some time walking around. Taking my fellow BoomTown citizen’s advice, I did exactly this.
This pop-up city nestled in the rolling hills of Winchester is split into nine districts across three areas of the festival (HillTop, DownTown & Temple Valley). From Wild West to DSTRKT 5, China Town to Mayfair Avenue, everywhere boasts impressive set designs and strong narratives dating back to the festival’s origins in 2009. You find yourself being ushered along by “policemen” in OldTown, only to then stumble into Grandma’s Living Room and play bingo with other festival goers. Needless to say the weekend was laden with these surreal experiences in every district, leaving you feeling a little lost when all is said and done.
Somewhat hidden within these city walls are the stages. Like every district, each stage is themed depending on where it stands; each one an incredible set up. Some particularly impressive stages are the Lion’s Den; a huge temple themed stage that shoots fire when night descends, Bang Hai Palace; what can only be described as an oriental super palace lit from top to bottom with red and yellow neon lights, and Boombox; quite literally a giant boombox that glows as it pumps DNB through monstrous surround sound.
The weekend boasted some impressive musical names such as gypsy swing cyberpunks Caravan Palace who had the crowd jiving and jumping from start to finish. The global musical mastery that is Gogol Bordello tore up the Town Centre on Sunday night giving the BoomTown citizens something to remember. A particularly impressive set was Shy FX feat. Stamina MC at the Lion’s Den. Having seen this innovator of dance music before at a much smaller venue, it was incredible to see the transition from a sweaty tent to one of the main stages at BoomTown. Stood at the top of the hill where the Lion’s Den is situated, you could admire a sea of people bouncing, skanking and having the time of their lives. The atmosphere was electric as Shy continued to hit the crowd with classic after classic, Shake Ur Body being a particular highlight; smoke spilled from the mammoth stage and worked hand in hand with the strobes to create the ultimate raving experience. Other amazing acts across the weekend included: reggae master Stephen Marley, Ska-Dub-Punk group Dub Pistols (whom have actually won awards for their exceptional live performances), experimental Drum ‘n’ Bass multi-instrumentalist Squarepusher, with strobe lights to match his obscurity.Soulful blues and roots gang John Butler Trio provided a much needed break from the manichappenings elsewhere, while Mali’s Songhoy Blues stole my heart with their lively desert blues performed with upmost sincerity. More notable names were: The Carny Villains,Rubber Duck Orchestra, Born on Road Showcase and Noisia.
Some of my fondest memories of the weekend were visiting all of the side attractions that make their way to the festival. Long pathways lined with gypsy caravans and tipis, inside people were receiving palm readings, massages, yoga classes, wood crafting and wicker basket making lessons; the list was endless. Policemen can be seen taking part, staring at a black and white spiral wheel experiencing what can only be described from his facial expression as a sober acid trip. These side attractions keep the drunken masses smiling and add a little something special to the festival; there are vibes of a buzzing community and a sense that most of the vendors know each other from elsewhere. Its places like this that for me, make a real festival.
An entire weekend of sunshine is an absolute rarity during British summertime, but a weekend at Bloodstock Open Air where you’re not at risk of trench-foot even more so. This year’s BOA, hidden in the depths of Derbyshire at Catton Hall is awash with lobster-faced metalheads having a ruddy good time, and the kind of lineup that is set to shake your bones.
Taking a little tour of the arena shops and eateries you can get your hands on pretty much anything your little black heart desires, from limited edition vinyl to second hand band tees to support The Teenage Cancer Trust or a huge portion of brisket-inna-bun from The Texas Smokery. People are whizzing around on fairground dodgems or being shot up into the air in a bungee cage with unrivalled glee, it’s just a shame for Sophie Stage Bands that have to compete with the blaring music coming from the rides. One such band is German power metallers Messiah’s Kiss who’s tight-pants, crimped-hair and solid rocking set is unfortunately overshadowed by the twister ride’s expulsion of Welcome to the Jungle.
Donning the traditional black metal corpse paint the indiscernible growling of Belphegor is pretty one-dimensional overall, though die-hard fans crowd the front, the main contingent of the arena is set on lounging around with ice-creams, hitting each other with blow up guitars or having a good old nap. Enslaved come with a rockier shred-heavy edge yelling to the sunbaked crowd “We are Enslaved from Norway, Hello Bloodstock England!” before Ihsahn (of Emperor fame) takes to the main stage with his own brand of black metal prog. For such an unassuming quiet sort, he certainly knows how to captivate a crowd, but unfortunate technical difficulties (or is it perfectionism?) seem to put him on the back foot from the off, it’s clear he’s not happy with the sound.
Hyperactive Jersey boys Overkill were a huge hit last time they graced BOA and this year is no different, coming in loud and confident they proceed to blast through their brilliant screechy eighties thrash set yelling “We are your cousins from Jersey, whether you like it or not!” and doling out some serious face-melting guitar solos. I am I with former Dragonforce vocalist ZP Theart gather a decent crowd on the Sophie Stage, but it’s Swedish extroverts Sabaton who take the prize for best of the day on the main stage, with their huge stage set. What’s not to love about a band who sets their drummer atop a tank which actually fires pink pyro? With matching camo-trousers, black ops vests and mirrored aviators they could have walked right out of a 90’s Smash Hits boyband centerfold but luckily for all involved they sound considerably better and it’s a wave of flame cannons, ticker tape explosions and full throttle heavy metal. Joking around the crowd chant of ‘Ikea’ is quickly picked up as frontman Joakim Brodén tries to sell his bandmate “If you want this guy, you can find him in the Ikea catalogue. He comes this big… and you fold him out. He comes under number 666 I guess…” before dropping into fan favourite ‘Swedish Pagans’. Following Sabaton’s explosive finale, as has become BOA festival tradition, the first band of the 2016 line-up is announced to be homegrown heroes Venom, to a massive roar from the crowd.
As hot day turns into chilly night, Trivium hit the stage to an intro of Maiden’s iconic Run to the Hills, giving everyone a chance to air guitar it out and warm up a bit. With twin creepy skull things hovering above the stage (they sort of look like Frank the dead bunny from Donnie Darko…) and blasting smoke cannons, the sound is the clearest it has been all day, and Trivium give a good solid, if not exactly awe inspiring mix of old hits and new material. Technical difficulties cause havoc for guitarist Corey Beaulieu who misses playing the first two songs due to “getting electrocuted by [his] microphone” and soon after throws the mic stand claiming “my face is getting shocked to shit!”. Despite the setback ‘Becoming the Dragon’ and ‘Strife’ get a small circle pit going and they finish strong on ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr’ to cheers, despite the fairly thin crowd in front of them.
Saturday sees another corpse-painted posse 1349 bring some doom and gloom to an otherwise sunny day, everyone seems to be loving ‘Atomic Chapel’ but it’s all a bit hard to take seriously in the nice weather and I kind of want someone to tell them it looks like they haven’t rubbed their suncream in properly. Plenty of panda-faced people with yesterday’s sunburn and hangover-applied mascara actually look sort of similar. Finnish folk-metallers and lords of the extraordinarily tight-pants, Korpiklaani are unashamedly fun and upbeat. You can’t beat a good silly jig around in a field with your mates, toasting with ales from hollowed out horns, and Korpiklaani bring exactly that to the party. With a giant inflatable football making its way across the crowd and super catchy ‘Vodka’ (or Wodka as they seem to say it) they just put the life back into the arena after a sleepy afternoon.
Local lads Napalm Death always bring the noise, frontman Mark "Barney" Greenway looks like a toddler having a rage tantrum but the sentiment is as usual anti-establishment for ‘When All is Said and Done’ and ‘Scum’ and it is pure gritty energy. 25 years after their last time in the UK, thrashers Dark Angel lead some sweaty circle pits with doom riffs and serious shredding a pretty big crowd has turned out to hear them play and give some crowd-surfing a go.
Last time Opeth played BOA, there was a definite lack of spark and a pretty sparse turnout, but today, this is the aligning of the powers that be and they are joined on stage by the perfect sunset for their eerie but beautiful music. Opeth greet the mesmerised crowd “Good evening… er where are we… Derby. Good evening England. We came all the way from Stockholm Sweden to play for you… which takes a long time if you’re walking like we do.” and joke about a night out after mixing their record here some time ago, and getting fish, chips and a glass of milk. Countering, the crowd keep up the earlier joke of chanting ‘Ikea’ only to hear back “Are you saying Ikea? It’s Swedish… is that what they’re saying? Why not, I have a shitload of Ikea furniture at home. You know Volvo too? Also Swedish…” and they finish up with epic ‘Deliverance’.
Back in the olden days (ten long years ago) when Bloodstock was a little metal fest held in the Derby Assembly Rooms, tonight’s headliner Within Temptation blew our metaphorical socks off. Back tonight with an epic stage set and a number of costume changes the symphonic melodic metallers soar to new heights. Dressed in a white PVC bustier, black pleated skirt and some sort of binbag-esque cape, Sharon headbangs her way through the set with so much energy it’s amazing that she never breaks song once, the vocals are immaculate and when she stops to mention that guitarist Stefan “…had an accident last week, he has a bruised rib. He’s trying his best, he’s here for you tonight” a roar of approval is elicited from the now densely packed crowd. ‘Our Solemn Hour’ and the refrain “Sanctus Espiritus” have even the clueless chanting along and the energy the band exudes is infectious. With the full force of ‘Stand My Ground’ ringing through the arena, bursts from flame cannons and an elevated platform for lead vocalist Sharon to run around on top of, it’s clear this band mean business. With the addition of some fringed arm gauntlets, a cellist and the help of some smoke cannons the band sail through their jam packed set, with Sharon pausing to ask “This is a male dominated festival… where the girls at?”. Whilst she could of course be talking about the sea of people in front of her, it is a good question raised at the overwhelmingly male dominated main stage acts this year.
Unfortunately a massive sound blunder befalls the unlucky band as they try and fail to start ‘Ice Queen’ once, twice and then “You wanna try for a third time? You sure? Okay, third time it goes otherwise I’m going to skip it… maybe this song is cursed!” yes, you guessed it – on the drop for the third time the PA completely loses its shit again. Of all the places for this to happen though, Britain absolutely love an underdog. The crowd cheers on through a massive drum solo and stick it out for massive finale with ‘Covered by Roses’ and the incredible ‘Mother Earth’. Floating above the stage in a billowy white cape Sharon calls out “We waited ten years to come back here, thank you so much for having us”, and we hope it won’t be another ten years before we see them here again.
You could definitely do worse for your hangover than starting Sunday off with a big old heap of Orange Goblin, who rock the cobwebs right out of your dusty ear-holes, but its Pro-Pain’s chuggy steam roller metal that instantly blows a speaker with their heavy riffs. It’s a pretty good sized crowd in the arena but the effects of possible liver damage and sunstroke seem to be weighing heavy today. Luckily Sepultura are on hand to deliver a downright dirty and dark set, with rolling drum and a celebration of their thirty year anniversary.
Finnish fury Ensiferum take to the stage with a melodic Viking style intro and proceed to windmill their hair in dangerous ways, but the ever creepy Cannibal Corpse really dig deep into the weirdness, singing songs about “shooting blood from your cock” and growling at the crowd “Don’t sit around rubbing your girlfriend’s tits and ass, she’s not here to look at you… she’s here for ME!”.
With all the dark and heavy stuff that’s graced the stage this weekend, it’s a nice change of pace to have Black Label Society providing the rockier edge, and Zakk Wylde sporting a signature flamboyant guitar is as ever shred-heavy and brilliant. Following BLS Bloodstock’s second band announcement for 2016 is revealed to be epic 2012 headliner, Behemoth.
As the skies darken on the final night of Bloodstock 2015 and the painted up zombies come out to play, the stage comes alive with the monstrous legends of film on huge backdrops for headliner Rob Zombie. Whilst this isn’t the stage sets we’ve become accustomed to seeing at bigger festivals, it allows Rob to really showcase himself as the attraction. With some serious dance moves, a good bit of lunge-work and some fairly seductive gyrating, he’s a force to be reckoned with. The rowdy frontman rocks hobo-chic in a way that makes you think vomiting in your own dreadlocks and sleeping in a bog look like it might actually be a good fashion choice, but the music is what’s really pulling us in tonight. No-nonsense gut busting drums, huge riffs and dirrrrty lyrics is what takes Rob Zombie from comedy metal to genius, and absolutely everyone is going full throttle mental for ‘Living Dead Girl’. Especially the female zombies in the audience who actually are living dead girls tonight. A little bit of James Brown funk thrown into the mix does no harm “You can’t listen to metal all day right?” says Rob (and really, who doesn’t want to see Rob Zombie studio-54 it up whilst singing about being a Sex Machine?). Rob is also suitably impressed at the calibre of crowd surfing in the UK “That’s some crazy fucking crowd surfing using a couch… I remember when it was a chair, now it’s a sofa?!”.
Mass crowd pogo-ing, chants of “We wanna fuckin party” and LED lit guitars all add to the spectacle, but it’s being told that “The past few years doing shows in the UK have been some of the most fun we’ve had in twenty fucking years” that really gets us to put our hearts on our sleeves for Rob Zombie, we know Rob, we know we’re awesome at metal. You’re welcome.
Kicking out big blow up balloons into the crowd and dropping a cheeky Ramones cover (Hey Ho, Let’s Go – Blitzkrieg Bop obviously) is great but still doesn’t hold sway against classic (and Guitar Hero favourite) White Zombie song ‘Thunder Kiss ‘65’ as the call goes out for “All the young people, put your hands in the air. Now turn around and wave at all the old people in the back. Remember when you used to stand in front?”. A little snippet of fellow gore loving metal icon Alice Cooper’s ‘School’s Out’ is snuck in alongside a huge guitar solo, played on the tiniest guitar ever and after a short encore Rob Zombie return for an encore in matching Union Jack trench coats to a massive roar of appreciation from the crowd. We might not be the most outwardly patriotic of countries, but damn do we love it when those treasonous scallywag Americans decide to rock our flag.
Closing out the night with firm favourite ‘Dragula’ is the perfect note to end on, and happy little rotten-to-the-core metalheads go forth into the night satiated after rounds of raucous applause and chants of ‘Zombie’. It’s been an incredible set, night and weekend for Bloodstock-goers and with next year’s tantalising announcements, there are sure to be immediate ticket sales during tomorrow’s early bird release. So it’s with a heavy but happy heart that we doff our caps/bandanas/horned helmets and Stetsons to the BOA organisers and look forward to more exciting announcements about next year’s lineup.
It's my favourite time of year again, Standon Calling is back and better than ever. I was lucky enough to attend last year’s festival, and after having an incredible time, I knew it would be hard to top it this year. However, it did not disappoint, with a bustling atmosphere rivalling much larger events. Kicking off on the Friday, despite having its largest number of attendees ever, it still managed to retain its charm and original ethos of championing emerging artists. Standon Calling had an excellent set list this year, with Little Dragon, Dandy Warhols and Basement Jaxx headlining the festival. Basement Jaxx was my personal favourite, drawing the largest crowd on Sunday night with all ages singing along. Other musical highlights came from Prides, Saint Raymond and the incredible Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, who came all the way from Chicago to blow the audience away with their musical talent spanning all genres from hip-hop to jazz and rock. Ella Eyre was incredible, her vocals and perfromace really brought the whole of Standon together. The Cuban Brothers returned for another year, with hilariously crude jokes kicking off their energy filled performance, proving a crowd favourite. The BBC Introducing staged also hosted lots of musical talent, my particular favourite being Amber Run, who closed the show on Saturday night. They proved extremely popular, after their highly anticipated album '5am' released earlier this year.
However, Standon Calling offered up much more than just music, making this a festival that really does provide for all. Kids and adults alike participated in the annual dog show, with the usual humorous classes including 'waggy-est tail' and 'owner most like it's dog'. With over 30 participants, The Clock Tower became a bustling hive of activity filled with laughter and plenty of barking! The theme this year being 'Day and Night' provided festival goers with the perfect excuse to dress up, finalised by a parade out of which two lucky winners won tickets for next year. As always, the design team had done an amazing job to transform the fields into a set that resonated the theme. The trapeze proved extremely popular with adults and children alike, as did the swimming pool which was a perfect accompaniment to the hot weather. One of my highlights was the petting zoo, you could literally go and pick up a bearded dragon, learn all about them and then pick up a snake. It was fascinating and provided very popular over the weekend! For the revellers who wanted to dance the night away, the Cowshed with its incredible decoration stayed open until the early hours.
Food and drink weren't in short supply, with my personal favourite being the Mac and Cheese stand serving up 'The Kanye Western', their twist on the traditional recipe featuring smoked sausages, BBQ sauce and crispy onions. Barnaby Sykes Pie Maker's returned this year with their incredible goods; the chicken and ham pie with mash and gravy was phenomenal. Sweet treats were readily available at Kitty’s Cake Emporium, from blueberry, lemon and poppyseed cake to the gluten free orange sponge, all equally delicious. Refreshing cold ciders were plentiful at the Old Mout Cider bar, at which you could also sing karaoke and bounce on a trampoline whilst trying different flavours of cider; what a perfect combination! Ice cold cocktails and beers were also available, and with the cash free payment system, it made queuing and buying drinks much easier and faster.
Overall, I had an amazing time and cannot wait to return next year. I have never been to a festival like it, it's atmosphere is truly unique. I will be first in line for the early bird tickets when they become available, it is worth every penny.
Last night Fierce Panda hosted their Summer Showcase in The Oak Room at Covent Gardens 'The Hospital Club; comprising of two of their signings, 'LONGFELLOW' and new signing, ''MASAKICHI'.
Having heard their new single, 'Spring' on Soundcloud I was eager to see 'Masakichi' live, to see if they were able to recreate the dynamic range from their released tracks, and put simply- I was not disappointed. The five piece from London played a flawless set from start to finish, combining soft droning verses with shatteringly heavy choruses, laced with tonnes of groove and subtle uses of compound time signatures, the harmonies between Hannah Cartwright and Hattie Williams really polishing off what was a tight, and solid performance.
If you are like me, and you can't really listen to vast amounts of Post-Rock instrumental bands without yearning for vocal melodies and harmonies, I would recommend checking out Masakichi. Their instrumental arrangements have all the epicness and dynamism of atmospheric Post-Rock, while filling the void often left by other bands through their use of melodic vocal lines, and harmonies.
Their Album is out September 18th, and can be pre-ordered from Fierce Panda Here.
LONGFELLOW, an established Fierce Panda act took to the stage shortly after, and cracked straight into a set full of incredibly well written, upbeat pop songs from their latest release. Having been blown away by Masakichi's set, I had high expectations for Longfellow. Although I wasn't disappointed by their performance, I felt that there was a lack of emotion and passion during the first half of their set, their cover of 'Elastic Heart' by Sia not managing to capture the raw emotion of the original and falling into the back of the room, Owen Lloyd's vocals unfortunately getting lost in the arrangement.
New single 'Choose' introduced a welcomed melancholy and emotional track into their set which really stood out and addressed my prior issues, the downbeat song really conveying the pain of emotional stalemate and cyclical relationship routines in a raw pop song. Ending their encore with 'Medic', Longfellow managed to prove themselves as a versatile act, thoroughly dismissing my prior reservations, and providing me with songs stuck in my head while on the train home.
Longfellow's New EP is available to pre-order from Fierce Panda Here.