Live Review – Rise Festival 2022

Location: Newcastle

Artists:

Main Stage: Motherland, Cassyette, Death Blooms, Static Dress, Vukovi, Boston Manor, Creeper, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes.

Fireball Stage: Mally, Kidpunk, Rituals, Hometruths, Zand, Lebrock, Modern Error, As December Falls, Higher Power.

For the galleries of the bands who performed at the festival, follow this link.

Taking place over the course of the day at Northumbria SU, Newcastle; Rise Fest. This is a brand new music festival for the heavier audiences of the North East but… a heavy music festival in Newcastle? It’s not something you’d normally credit the city for, expect says few select venues but with it rearing to go with some standout bands from the last few years as well as the established mainstays on the scene, it was time to unleash the energy on the fans!

Rise Fest was composed of two stages at Northumbria Students Union, the Main Stage with Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes headlining in addition to Creeper performing an exclusive ‘Weeping Widow’ set where keyboardist Hannah Greenwood stepped into the main vocals role as their regular lead vocalist Will Gould sadly couldn’t be there on the day.

Kicking things off were a band from the local scene in Newcastle, Mally, where they stepped in at the literal last minute to replace Superlove and I have to say they brought their absolute best energy with them to kick start things on the day, pulling a great crowd over to the Fireball Stage and starting the day off with a bang. They were quickly followed up by Motherland, an ambitious five alt piece from down the road in Middlesbrough warming up the stage for the utter madness that would ensue.

Switching over we had the always fantastic Kidpunk, one band who are already establishing themselves as the next big ones to watch, especially with the recently released track, ‘Tanners Arms‘ Next up on the day, Cassyette. It’s probably a good thing this artist was switched from the Fireball Stage to the Main Stage because over the course of the last year, she’s one that has been nothing short of excellent, gaining more and more attention to become one of the largest names in alt music in lockdown. With that, she pulled in what looks like everyone who was there at one glances leading to a blinding powerhouse performance which is always managing to topple every subsequent appearance.

Heading over to the Fireball stage for a moment, Rituals bring the head banging heaviness for which they’re known for, the quartet are assisted by some of their best new material where their rising progression is just hammered by by the refined collective they have become over the last few years. Special shoutout to the track ‘Oceans Subside’ because that is one tracks which showcases all the energy the band bring to the table.

Now Death Blooms. If Cassyette gave the crowd the energy, then this band takes it to a whole new level and being one of the heavier bands on the bill, they had to live up to the reputation (which they did). What’s more is that Death Blooms just kick everything up every single time I’ve had the pleasure to watch them play and this one tops the bill quite literally with a majority of the crowd singing back ‘Shut Up‘.

Now to switch genres up a little here, you have some more tremendous local talent in Hometruths that give and give so much where their boundless potential matches against their ambitious melodies showcasing just what the North East is offering at this festival and why they won’t go ignored for much longer.

I’ve witnessed Static Dress before and there’s just something about them, their refined sense in the pride of their music or the attention to detail. Whatever it is, it’s that which unlocks the pent up energy we’ve all had in lockdown, they take it out of us to really get things started. They’re a band who know how to play with their audience, taking their time with their songs and peaking just at the right time to give you that little bit extra you never expected from a performance.

Zand is just Zand. Before a note is every even played or a word uttered, all attention is on this artist. The crowd is just silent and then you’re captivated by the shaved green headed person which stands before you, which leads into a record for most eagworms you’ll ever have during a set. It’s a very refreshing set to say the least which is what makes Rise Festival so spectacular in bringing the many different genres of rock and metal together because you never know whom will surprise you on the day.

Now Lebrock. I honestly hadn’t heard anything from this particular group before and wasn’t sure what to expect, in fact it was a little weird to begin with because they were a band which seemed a little bit of a mismatch to everyone else I’d seen so far. But it’s this difference which made the performance all the more memorable as much as it was powerful. Their synth vibes completely captivated me to a point where I was just fixed on the spot and couldn’t look away. This was one of the most unique artists I’d come across in a long while.

Scottish mainstays Vukovi are the next band to grace the MainStage, showcasing their undeniable rage with their amazing confidence, making them one of the best bands on the day where a little bit of the mix from their older material fires up the crowd well as some of their material from their second record, ‘Fall Better‘, especially ‘C.L.A.U.D.I.A‘ is one track which the crowd identifies with and loses their collective minds over.

Another band which are hard to place on the day, flickering the line of heavy are Modern Error. To myself, they’re a band which are just that little bit more mysterious which adds tot he mystique of their performances which always seem to make them a highlight, no matter what lineup they’re a part of. ‘Their latest record, ‘Victim Of A Modern’ age and some of those track live just hit a little bit differently live where each and every band member matches the energy in a way most bands don’t, they exceed it at every turn.

Keeping things going, Boston Manor just had every banger on their repertoire going, opening with ‘Carbon Mono’ off the Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures EP delighting fans much to the excitement of what’s to come on their upcoming release ‘Datura‘. Creeper though, we didn’t know what to expect. This is because Keyboardist and backing vocalist Hannah Greenwood was stepping into their frontman Will’s shoes for their ONE NIGHT ONLY Weeping Willow performance but by the sounds of everything I heard, I think there’s a lot of people who would want to see that again due to how strong her vocals were on the night and how grand her stage presence was. Safe to say, she absolutely smashed it! From effortlessly ripping into ‘Suzanne’ and having the audience participate in ‘Down Below’, this will go down in the bands history as a fan favourite set.

*Below is some fan shot footage from the festival.

As December Falls, one UK pop-Punk band always on an upward trajectory. Last year they delivered a SOLD OUT UK tour and this year it’s just continuing their success with appearances at festivals, not to mention a headlining UK tour which will see them at larger venues this time around. But for Rise Fest? The gave an absolutely solid performance where if there had been room on that Main Stage, I’m sure ADF would’ve definitely filled it because some of their latest material, the effortlessly catchy ‘Go Away’ as well as the guitar driven powerhouse ‘Ride’ are always two you want to hear live again and again.

Now for the final bands, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, I had to dash off after the first three songs into the set because of the trains which meant I did miss quite a bit of their set and the entirety of Higher Power so I can’t say much on these final two acts but from what I did experience and view via Social Media, Frank Carter led his band into a high octane energy fuelled set which not only smashed through anything people witnessed but also it dwarfed any expectation which was set on the day to end the first ever Rise Fest on a high note which made everyone want so much more.

For its first iteration, Rise Fest was nothing short of an absolute success from my standpoint, showcasing the best of the locals scene to the talented up and coming acts as well as the established in the UK. It was such a fantastic space which has been created and hopefully this isn’t the first and only iteration of the festival that we’ll end up watching.

Rating 5/5.

Now the last question I’ll ask on Rise Fest is that will it return for 2023? At the time of writing a post was made a day ago on the Rise Fest account which teases the 2023 edition of the festival. So I guess we’ll have to keep an eye on what happens until sometime in the future.

Who does everyone want to play the festival next?

Comment your answers.

Single Review – All Ears Avow – Technophobia

All Ears Avow have dropped a new track.

Called ‘Technophobia’ it’s a patient and fresh indie banger. Full of striking guitar progression and haunting melodies, it’s a fantastic addition to their catalogue plus the commentary on technology and our addiction to it is one that’s striking enough to make it stand out.

Also, the music video taps into the VHS aesthetic which is nothing short of timely to add to the overall punchline of th tone of the video.

Rating: 4/5

Peach Martine Releases New Track, ‘Romeo And Juliet’

Pop Singer/Songwriter Peach Martine has dropped her latest single, ‘Romeo And Juliet’.

The trackis a pop-punk fantasy. Pairing grungy, high-energy production with Peach’s striking vocals, it’s an untempered, in-your-face anthem that makes you want to scream at the top of your lungs.

With the hooks of Simple Plan meets Jimmy Eat World, ‘Romeo And Juliet’ feels like a throwback but turned to eleven for 2022. The feisty Pop-Punk banger is a welcomed addition to what is becoming a transcendent year in the genre.

Rating:3.5/5.

Check out ‘Romeo And Juliet’ below.

Follow Peach Martine via:

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Check Out Kite Thief’s Latest Track ‘Allegedly’

Kite Thief are stepping into 2022 in a big way with their latest track release in the form of ‘Allededly’.

Allegedly was written in a dark & angry place. From the experience of
having false empathy, and friends sitting on the fence with conflicting
convictions. From dealing with trauma all the while being shunned, called a liar and ignored. More than 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual assault and 86% of survivors knew their attackers.

Yet, society still asks the victim for the proof, for unequivocal evidence that they had to go through a traumatic ordeal. If the evidence isn’t strong enough or, let’s say, the perpetrator was ‘popular, ‘ a ‘nice guyTM’ or ‘didn’t seem like a rapist’ then often the community around the victim shies away, avoids the uncomfortable conversations or even worse – sides with the offender.

Throughout this, violators are granted safe space, camaraderie and
sympathy. So this song is one big FUCK YOU to not just all rapists and
abusers out there – but also those who blindly follow them.

Allegedly starts with the large hooks and powerful guitar sections which are mesmerising from start to finish. From there, the band storms into some material which hits harder than most artists in a way that most aren’t able to where Kite Thief tap into the conscious of a collective to give one of the best releases so far this year.

Rating:5/5.

Check out the video for ‘Allegedly’ below or stream the track via the following link.

For those who are facing or are survivors of sexual abuse, harassment or misconduct, help and support can be found via the following links.

NHS: www.nhs.uk
Safeline: www.safeline.org.uk
A Voice For The Innocent: www.avoicefortheinnocent.org
RAINN: www.rainn.org
The Survivors Trust: www.thesurvivorstrust.org
Citizens Advice: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Sleep/Less Release New Single ‘My Serenade’

Beau Turner, Brad Conrad Wiebe, John Corsiga & Zach Fedorowich – also known as Sleep/less, formed in late 2017, with a mission to start a band influenced by the artists they grew up with. In 2020, the band released their song “Laska,” finally shaping the sound they’ve been crafting. Since then, they have been creating an innovative, layered fusion of pop rock and pop punk. 

Their latest track, ‘My Serenade’ is a triumph in every sense of the word. With a head banging start, it evokes the best of the nostalgic emotional Pop-Punk feel but in a more modern sense with the lyrics, it makes you want to hear more from this group.

Rating:3.5/5.

Check out Sleep/Less’s latest track, ‘My Serenade’ below.

Follow Sleep/Less via:

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Live Review – Neck Deep @ O2 Academy, Leeds

Date: 16/02/22

Support: Happydaze, Higher Power, Wargasm

With a bang and stage filled nostalgia to where they came from (Seb’s bedroom), Neck Deep return to the UK for a headlining UK tour to re-launch where they left off in England and cause some mayhem along the way.

First to take to the stage, Scottish foursome Happydaze. Now with this roughly being their third ever show, it’s massive to see Neck Deep bringing some newbie’s along for the ride. It’s fantastic to watch some upcoming Pop-Punk take centre stage and see just where the future might lie. While they didn’t steal the show at first (some down to the technical difficulties after a song into their set) they did hit some pretty good strides and found some balance to take with them into the tour, especially since the release of their EP, ‘Underground Summer Sound‘ was released last month. Moving into their set set further, they did find some room to connect with the audience and we hope that that continues on this tour.

With this being a Leeds show, it meant that this was a homecoming of sorts for Higher Power and where they lack the intensity in their energy, the atmosphere of the whole venue turned up a lot for them. Higher Power might not be quite what most would expect where they sound something out of the 90’s grunge era but they have certainly made quite an impression on this crowd. The more heavier aspects of the crowd are one the audience responds to in some ways but their latest release ‘Fall From Grace’ does sound more updated when compared to their older material but that’s not something to be taken lightly. Did it make them more exciting to watch? Yes. Did it being everything up in the venue? Absolutely! Did people respond to them well? One Hundred Percent.

Now for Wargasm, one most exciting acts on the rise in the country at the moment. But they make you wonder, where the hell do they get their energy from? Seriously though, the chaos and extreme nature that makes the band themselves just berates you with banger after banger in a relentless wave of ecstasy. Tracks such as ‘Salma Hayek’ as well as ‘Spit’ go down really well with this crowd who do appreciate the heavier aspects what they have to offer, especially when the raunchier sounding track come out to play… ‘Drilldo’ we’re looking at you there!

It’s inevitable we’re going to see more from the band in the future and after a SOLD OUT UK headlining run of their own towards the end of 2021 as well as appearances at a number of UK festivals in the last year shows the sky is the limit for this band, who will crash through and set an example for what is genuinely possible in music which is a genre of their own making.

Okay so… Neck Deep. Oh my god these guys are so insane to watch. I’ve never seen a Leeds crowd react in such a positive way to a Pop-Punk band. No wonder why they’re favourites ey? It feels as if the band have combined everything that makes them exciting for this setlist (including playing one of their most popular tracks ‘A Part Of Me’) from their early days to the latest record, ‘All Distortions Are Intentional’ shows that they’re not another Pop-Punk band who just writes soppy lovesick hit after hit, they want everyone to enjoy it and reconnect after so long (pardon the crowd collectively crying four tracks into the set for ‘Lime St’) as well as celebrate one another, where ‘She’s A God’ being one track which celebrates the women in the audience.

Neck Deep just hits differently. It’s as if a surge of energy hits in the crowd and then their stage presence just combines with the dizzying spins every member in the band performs in a sight that has to be seen to be believed.

With these final tracks played out (Gold Steps & In Bloom) , Neck Deep always manage to show how much of a lasting impression they leave on the community that has gathered to watch everyone on this lineup.

It’s no secret that the bands are all so genuinely happy to be thrilled to be playing music on a stage again but it’s so good to see them use every ounce of energy in their person to provide one of a show that the audience will be sure to not forget anytime soon as everyone leaves smiling big.

Rating:9/10.

Live Review – Boston Manor @ Stylus, Leeds

Support: Jools, Movements

Date: 15/02/22

It’s been some months since Slam Dunk Festival, the last time I was able to watch Boston Manor take to the stage and since then, they’ve dropped their latest effort, the EP ‘Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures’ which has some absolutely insane tracks on there and ended up being some people’s favourites of the year. We caught the show with amazing supports from up and comers Jools, the utterly fantastic Movements and the headliners themselves, Boston Manor.

First up were UK based Jools. It was hard to pin them into a corner, genre wise. That’s what I love about some bands, you never know who’ll just intrigue you or make them obsessed on a first time listen and I have to say they’re quite mesmerising. With only a handful of single release under their belts, they’re certainly making strides to be on this tour but it also meant they have a lot to prove. With some great clear vocals and crashing melodies, they’re a band whom I expect to blow up in a massive way on the touring and festival circuits soon. With their tracks being such genre bending curiosities full of political and social issues, it’s no wonder they’re becoming more relevant as well as a band that the audience warmed to over the course of their set.

Movements were just so special to watch. I’d been listening to them for a while now nand certainly wasn’t disappointed by the Post-Hardcore outfit. With their older material off ‘Feel Something’, it was a very energetic and atmospheric set at the same time, which is something that seems impossible for most, but childs play for this band. It was a strange combination I have to point out but they were clearly winning over everyone tonight as the room filled to near capacity where it was an emotional rollercoaster by the time they were finished. Frontman Patrick Miranda got the crowd going again and again, egging them on to become a little more involved than they’d like which kept everyone roused and summoning the energy to have some pits open up. The bar was set by them and needed the headliners to smash through it entirely.

Now Boston Manor were as mental as you might expect from the videos and images you may have seen from some social media. With their set just beaming with massive energy and even bigger mosh pits, not to mention more crowd surfers than this place is usually used to. Being in Yorkshire and them being a Lancashire band did stir a little bit of controversy but they’ve been playing over in Leeds for so long I think the crowd just decided we’ll claim them as our own.

What filled the night was just utter and total carnage, with track such as ‘England’s Dreaming’, ‘You Me & The Class War’ just opening all the wounds in the aggression for the pits to open up in a way we’ve not experienced in a while, with every track gaining more traction on par with every studio version with the scorching melodies of the crowd joining in to keep the unrelenting energy going.

As things start to climax, one of their more recent tracks in ‘Carbon Mono’ hits in a way the others just don’t. The pounding electricity drives the audience into a frenzy before they even take their leave and now we just want more from them. Now that the tour is complete it’s just a matter of imagining what will come next from this band.

Rating: 8/10

Live Review – Employed To Serve @ The Key Club, Leeds

Date: 22/11/22

Support: Hidden Mothers

With one of the most anticipated releases of 2021, Employed To Serve set off on a very intimate UK tour for the launch of their record, ‘Conquering’ Madness was sure to ensue at this heavy affair.

Now not knowing much about Hidden Mothers beforehand, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought possibly some head banging and heavy riffs but there was something that what followed was just a lot more laid back in places and more emotional connection to the audience, which was quite a drastic change to be honest. What’s more is that there was a lot of circling from the bands vocalist in a way that made the performance all that more kinetic and connected to the audience.

Definitely a performance to remember for a while, it wasn’t until the final track the whole band came together on stage and outrightly brought the house down.

Onto the main event of the night, Employed To Serve have become one of the hardest working bands of the last few years in the UK, delivering some absolutely killer records along the way. Their latest effort just oozes stomping power and head banging in the best ways for days and that translates over to the livr side of things beautifully because anytime you watch them it’s utter chaos. Some tracks just work out so well in these intimate venues similarly as to for Hidden Mothers and now their sound is just so defined, when one track drops the whole venue just erupts with applause. Employed To Serve prove how savage they are time and time again and there’s just no complaints on the night, they’re heavy as you can get and you’re always wanting just that little bit more.

Rating:9/10.

Photos by JackLiddPhotography.

Live Review – Wargasm @ Leeds Key Club

Date:23/11/21

Support:Death Blooms, Bambie Thug

This time last year Wargasm were relatively unknowns in the music world but then came their singles which found their way into the ears of their ever growing legion of fans. With the popularity only growing over the year and slots to play at the Download Pilot and Slam Dunk Festival, they are just gaining so much traction where now at the end of the year they embarked on their debut headlining UK tour.

First we were introduced to the larger than life gothic artist Bambie Thug whom offered up some shock as well as flexibility in her set as she showcased raw and clean vocals making her a standout to watch and keep an eye on over the coming months. With the added messages of self love and sex positivity within her tracks, there was something unique about the performance to ensure that all eyes were on the stage with no exceptions.

Okay I have to be honest, Death Blooms a few months ago were a bit meh. From the moment they set on stage on this evening however, they were utterly relentless. Everything just battered from sheer carnage into mosh pit after pit which seemed to span over half of the room at some point where the aggression and pent up rage seemed to flow out of everyone to give a really poignant and respected set. Part way through you had to ask if you took something because of the alien appearing onstage mid-set whom then joined the earthlings More of this I beg you Death Blooms because that was truly amazing to watch!

Storming onto the stage with the largest applause I’ve heard in a while are the truly amazing Wargasm. With them ripping into their material at serious speeds you feel as if you’re a deer in headlights the way things are moving at the pace where as they performed, they just excelled more and more into the night.

The utterly brilliant catchy chorus of ‘I want to drink, fuck, fight, love’ just moves into your brain, an earthworm of the best kind with the crowd getting louder and rowdier all over the place. Now the chemistry and energy between Way and Matlock is just impressive to see as you feel the connection between them, each one of them doing more to outmonourver the other, it’s what we all need to see.

Eventually closing things with ‘Spit’, possibly their most destructive track so far to date, you had to be ready because this took everything up a notch way above what we were expecting to showcase just how far they can fly.

Wargasm are truly one of the greatest bands to hone their craft coming out of the pandemic and with more to come from them in what will hopefully be released, it’ll only add to the sheer chaos that is their live act.

Rating: 9/10.

Photos by JackLiddPhotography.

Pleasure Craft Unleash Powerful Track ‘Dead Weight’

Neo-new-wave and industrial-pop project, Pleasure Craft, has drawn inspiration from a difficult time when principal songwriter, Sam Lewis, grappled with extreme isolation, his mother’s cancer diagnosis, the beginning of the pandemic, and a breakup – all within a period of six months.

Drawing on two years of psychotherapy sessions and exploring the fear of vulnerability drawing Lewis‘ behaviour, Pleasure Craft‘s forthcoming debut album, Walls, Mirrors and Windows, is a deeply cathartic collection of songs.

Dead Weight,” the fifth song on the LP, is a heavy, bass and drum driven industrial track that finds the album’s protagonist grappling with self loathing and fear brought on by a newfound self awareness and introspection: He’s a kid, he’s a soul, he’s a rag doll, he’s a chemical, he’s a bag in the wind, he’s a tag in, he’s a swimmer in a current.

With a sense of catharsis as much as uneasiness to art with all the while leading into some hard sounding vocals, ‘Dead Weight’ is as much destructive as it is powerful. A word to the wise, don’t sleep on this track!

Rating: 4/5.

Check out ‘Dead Weight’ below.