And then there were three. Stages, that is. With yesterday’s triumphant opening of the Sophie Stage, today’s “bonus” day kicked as the Jager and New Blood boards were also trodden for the first time in two years.
Thirty-two acts paraded their wares, and we managed to catch a glimpse of quite a few around doing interviews and so forth. Interestingly the very first band of the day was a last minute swapout. Mother Vulture couldn’t’ make it for reasons I’m pretty sure you can guess, and instead we had the mighty Fury throwing boundless amounts of rock around. A more than satisfactory replacement, and hopefully Mother Vulture will be back in 2022.
I just had to catch Tortured Demon who opened the Jager stage, having heard so much about them. Honestly, I was blown away. With an average age of 15, they were as tight and professional as any group three times their age. Close your eyes and you wouldn’t guess that this was a bunch of annoyingly talented schoolchildren who were making such a racket. We talked to them afterwards and you can catch that on YouTube once we get back to civilisation and faster broadband!
In amongst the bands I squeezed in a surprise interview with the wonderful Elizabeth of The Charismatic Voice fame. For those who don’t know, she’s a very entertaining and knowledgeable vocal coach who has a YouTube channel which has taken off over the last couple of years, partly due to her reaction videos. I found out she would be on site and we managed to have a great conversation (again, to be uploaded early next week), and took in a couple of songs from Luna’s Call set on the Sophie stage.
Urne followed them and were obviously getting as much of a buzz from the crowd as said crowd were from them, and Seething Akira up next made the place erupt. With a set made up of their perfect crossover meld, they ended with a cover of The Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic” which went down incredibly well… even with the band dealing with severe microphone issues! Professionally handled, fellas!
The next bands I managed to rattle around were Famyne (very impressed, a great mix of heavy music and haunting vocals), Pemphigoid (we know these guys, heavy and unapologetic about it) and Axiom who were dealing out some funky instrumental riffage on the Jager stage.
I only caught a little bit of The Crawling who I overheard many people praising afterwards, but was back at the Sophie for last-minute additions Punk Rock Factory who had replaced Hacktivist. Apologies to Hacktivist fans, but this was a much better fit with the Bozo Clowns who were to follow, and an hour’s punk versions of TV themes and classic rock songs went down incredibly well with the huge crowd. Hearing several thousand people yell “Turtle Power” was a thing to behold.
Headlining were the utterly, wonderfully shit Lawnmower Deth. It struck me that it must be 30 years since their first full album was released and I saw them at Newcastle Riverside. The first band I ever stagedived to. And I missed, diving over the 3-deep crowd and landing on my shoulder. Ow.
Most of that album was played, plus a couple of others from Billy and Bozo Clowns such as the boppy “Buddy Holly”. No “Kids in America”, though, but I guess once you play it with the actual Kim bloody Wilde you just retire it. It can’t get any better.
The pit was wild, the audience (my age and far younger) had stupid grins on their faces for the duration. Granny was shredded, shepherds were dipped and we were, quite rightly, told to “Fuck right off” at the end. A perfect finish to 90 minutes of utter stupidity. I left exhausted, sweaty and feeling like I could do it all over again. Until I got in the car and wanted to collapse.
Albums age well. Teacher / review writers not so much.