Photos of all the bands can be found in this large Flickr collection which will be added to over the next week or so as more pictures come in!
Sean took over the majority of reporting for the Sunday session as I had a small child to take to his first drumming lesson. He did well, thank you for asking!
Here’s Sean’s write-ups for the early bands:
[Sean] Silverjet (7/10) – Waking everyone up on the final day of Wildfire was Silverjet with modern rock ‘n’ roll. The crowd was small but increased in size as more rock revellers gradually came back to life over lunch, and Silverjet worked them well. With their energetic performance and bluesy solos, Silverjet were a great start to the day
[Sean] Corrupt the System (7/10) – Opening up the second stage, Corrupt the System brought the first dose of the very heavy on the Sunday morning. They engaged the crowd well and have lots to offer with their very varied style. There’s groovy ideas, thrashy ideas, clean vocals, screamed vocals, melodic ideas and more – it all worked together well. As another home grown act, I’m keen to see what Corrupt the System have to offer in the future.
[Sean] Emperor Chung (7/10) – Back on the main stage, I unfortunately missed second act Balls Deep due to interviewing Salem but I managed to catch their follow-up band Emperor Chung. Upping the musical ante, Emperor Chung brought a technical side to their modern rock music with a variety of odd-sounding chords (couldn’t tell you what kind they were by ear or by looking at them!), widdle-y solos and great sense of melody – all round top-notch musicianship! I geeked out a little at their performance spending most of my time watching the guitarist and bassist to see what they were doing, and it’d fair to say I need to get back into practice with my own noise-making. Overall, a good performance from Emperor Chung.
[Sean] Soul Remover (7/10) – Back on the second stage, Soul Remover brought their brand of heavy rock to Wildfire. They rocked out and had a great crowd reaction. The atmosphere was very relaxed watching Soul Remover – they made it feel as if they were performing in front of their mates down the pub or local rock club, which is not a bad thing!
[Sean] Hellion Rising (8/10) – Back on the main stage was Hellion Rising, bringing their kind of heavy/stoner rock. There was a lot of styles on top of this foundation and the performance was great. Reaching the end of their set, Hellion Rising changed things up even more with a cover of “Skulls” by The Misfits. Following this, Hellion Rising ended their set with an original 4-chord song. I didn’t expect it but it was awesome! The song itself was simple and heavy but almost had some kind of a stadium pop/rock feel in the music. It definitely put a smile of my face, and Hellion Rising smashed their gig.
[Sean] Uncle Rust (8/10) – Following Hellion Rising on the main stage was Uncle Rust. Uncle Rust brought a more straight-up approach with their ballsy and heavily distorted-sounding hard rock. With catchy riffs and driving rhythms aplenty, Uncle Rust rocked their set.
Back again and the upshot of my later arrival was that I got to Wiston Lodge just in time to catch Thirteen Stars on the second stage. I’m glad I did as their southern boogie/country rock blend was a stand-out of the weekend. Something nice and different, and a great band to chill out and go “Yeah!” to in between the heavier offerings.
I had to rush off towards the end of their stint to see Liberty Lies on the main stage. Another bunch of annoyingly young upstarts, they hit the stage running and didn’t let up. Track after track of heavy alt-rock blasted out to blow away whatever cobwebs were left after lunch. I had a chat with the guys later on and grabbed a copy of their EP Fracture. They’re definitely heavier live than on CD, but either way they’re a great act and worth seeking out.
Edinburgh’s Disposable set the smaller stage on fire with a fairly standard thrash sound, but don’t take that as a bad thing. I think their average age is around fourteen (hey, I’m old – I’m allowed to get cranky at young people being talented) and they’re certainly channelling Slayer et al, but give them a couple of years and your continued support and I’m sure they’ll develop a great sound of their own. Certainly, they’re superb live. They engaged the crowd, threw out a couple of inflatable sharks (related to their album sleeve) and their drummer mugged wonderfully for our junior photographer.
[Sean] Disposable (8/10) – Heading back to the second stage, Wildfire presented the last thrash act of the weekend – Edinburgh’s up-and-coming ragers Disposable. Yet another band who’s name has been cropping up in my social media news feed, I had to check them out. Disposable definitely went down a storm with their high-speed energetic riffing and crushing breakdowns. They managed to get several heads banging, mine included, and plenty of punters queueing up behind their red van beside the stage to buy CDs and t-shirts. Definitely another awesome new thrash band to look out for from Edinburgh alongside Black Talon – maybe I should seriously consider relocating from Glasgow and start a band in Edinburgh? There seems to be more and more great thrash talent oozing out of the capital.
Lawless were another band in the hard rock category who regaled us over the weekend. Somewhere around the Whitesnake end of things, they’re – and I hope they don’t mind me saying this – at the opposite end o the age scale to Disposable. Something that Sean and I said to each other over the weekend, though, was that despite the number of different genres being represented and our own tastes differing we didn’t see a single band that failed to impress. Lawless continued this happy trend with a rocking set, obviously experienced and happy in front of the crowd with singer Paul in fine form, giving the audience a giggle between songs with a great sense of humour.
The last band we caught on the second stage were Dog Tired and they certainly brought a crowd with them. Understandable given how good they were. With a very heavy sound akin to the likes of Lamb of God, they thundered out belting riff after belting riff with barely a break. Even the sharks stopped to enjoy the show.
[Sean] Dog Tired (7/10) – The last band of the Wildfire weekend I managed to catch before heading home to try and sleep more my imminent early shift at my day job was another home-grown band, Dog Tired. I didn’t managed to catch a lot of their set as after a few songs I got the message to go and interview Uncle Rust, but what I did hear was pretty cool. Keeping the heavy end up on the second stage, Dog Tired presented another blend of ideas – there was something about them that reminded of me of a cross between Lamb of God and Obituary but with crushing stoner/doom metal moments. Dog Tired’s set (what I saw of it) proved to be a winner with the crowd moshing along to their unique brand of modern metal.
Finally, for us, were Spirytus on the main stage and I only caught a bit of them as I was rushing around doing last-minute interviews. What I saw, I liked. They were the first band of the day to arm themselves with a DJ and they had a sound unlike any other band I saw over the weekend. Their claim to play “aggressive funk” seems about right, with the kind of groove that it’s very easy to get into without relenting on the metal side of things. Don’t take my word for it, the band have uploaded their set on YouTube! If you think playing later in the day gives you an excuse to put on a lazy performance then I’m sure Spirytus would be the first to disagree. Incredible energy and a hugely entertaining show.
Sadly, Sean had an early shift the next day and I had a grumpy 7 year-old who needed to go home so our festival ended there. A crying shame as the remainder of the line-up contained some of the best bands of the weekend – The Toi, Estrella, Diamond Head… Next year, though. We’re already planning on grabbing one of the cabins and making a proper weekend of it.
Huge thanks go to Dave and every member of the crew for putting on a superb festival. Great atmosphere and sound that puts several of the venues in Glasgow to shame. If you’ve not tried Wildfire (formerly Les-fest) before, then I can hand on heart recommend it. It’s cheap, fun and the bands are great. My wife and I were absolutely happy with the child-friendliness of the whole thing (7 year old and almost-3 year old) but would obviously recommend ear protectors for the little ones. You can get good ones for little over a tenner online.
[Sean] Finally, some last words on Wildfire. This was my first time going to the festival in it’s four year history (previously known as Les-Fest) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. A massive “thank you” to Wildfire mastermind Dave Ritchie for allowing Mosh and myself to bring the Moshville Times to the festival, and especially for putting on a great event with some awesome bands. I’d thoroughly recommend anyone to go and check out Wildfire this time next year – it has an awesome relaxed and friendly atmosphere, it’s very family friendly (for those bringing younger ones with them), the staff are nice and helpful, the location is beautiful (onsite lake? Check. View of the luscious Scottish countryside? Check.), the food and drink is very reasonably priced and very tasty (unlike that of larger festivals), and the tickets are great value for money. What more could you want!? I’d love to see Wildfire get progressively bigger in the future and gradually start featuring bigger and bigger bands, while maintaining it’s awesome friendly atmosphere. It’s about time Scotland had a great rock and metal festival and after last weekend, I know that festival is Wildfire.
Roll on 2016 – it’s already in the planning stages!