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

Live Review – Creeper – Leeds Beckett Uni

This one had to be worth the wait because you know what they say, good things come to those who do. This show was postponed, delayed, rearranged, rescheduled again and again due to covid hitting the band bu now they finally arrived. Live music is back in full force and the theatrical emo’s known as Creeper are well and truly back and show absolutely no signs of slowing down whatsoever.

First up for the evening were the Welsh Punks, James & The Cold Gun. Slowly winning over the crowd in areas o their sets they use an array of tracks in their arsenal with small mosh-pit ready bangers showcasing some confidence in their set albeit a limited capability of what occurs due to limited playing capabilities due to the covid pandemic. they’re a band that grew on me during their set and I hope for larger things in their future though.

Seconds up, the Scottish duo Vukovi. Bringing the energy to the next level with their infectious charisma and catchy anthem tracks in the form of ‘La Di Da’, ‘Claudia’ and more, it’s so much fun to watch the energy the band brings to the stage because you’ve missed watching the bundles of energy that is a true rock performance, it’s what everybody has been missing all throughout the various lockdowns.

Now this was my first Creeper headlining set and I didn’t know what to expect but what did occur, a spectacle of the highest standard in music and storytelling. After the curtain drop every aspect of the performance just filled to eleven where frontman Will Gould just strode on stage with a massive pair of angel wings to deliver a selection of tracks with the most theatrical swagger since Alice Cooper. This is a band that continue to hit their peak every time they perform and willl only continue to smash it.

More of the theatricality in the horror punk come into play when Hannah dons a white wedding dress and lets rip with he sound of a gunshot, if they weren’t before everyone in the room held their collective breath as if we were watching a Marvel film for the first time or rather an M. Night Shaymalan twist came into play. Every emotion is felt during Creeper’s performance and you need to experience more again and again.

Rating:10/10

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.

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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.

Flo Gallop Releases New Single, ‘Sorry For You, Mate’

You already know Flo Gallop. You’ve already heard her voice, it’s a pitch-perfect, beautiful, arm-around-the-shoulders version of the one in your head. Flo is the voice we all need, She’s the beat behind our breakdowns and the word-perfect poetry of our bounce-back pick-ups. South-east London born and bred, Flo was raised around music, her dad made songwriting feel like breathing. Without it she would choke. So, she sat, scribbling words, diarising an everyday life through the musicality and soul of a natural artist that would eventually emerge, fully formed, as a friend in your ears.

Her latest single “sorry for you, mate” rings true to the songwriter’s honest and playful storytelling lyricism. Written from the heart, the single speaks of the demise of a relationship and focuses on celebrating the loss of a negative person in your life, rather than mourning it. Flo shares, “I hope the music inspires people to dance and be happy when they’re listening to it. If something is not quite right in their lives or as good as it could be, maybe something as simple as one of my lyrics might inspire them to change it. That would be amazing!”

With a track reminiscent of a beat similar to that of Señorita” by Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, the rhythm is reminiscent of Olivia Rodrigo’s recent material in some instances but it’s a perfect track to get yourself into a great sense of mind for that IDGAF attitude.

Rating: 4/5.

Check out ‘Sorry For You, Mate’ below.

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Live Review – Fully Showcase 1

Date:28/01/22

Featuring: Please Remain Calm, The Rosettas, The Rosemaries

Heading to a showcase evening with some new and upcoming bands on the scene in Yorkshire, this evening was utterly spectacular with some new faces as well as some massive sounds to come from some acts I hope to see in the future.

First to grace the stage were Please Remain Calm, the heaviest of the three bands on the lineup. Coming over from Leeds, the hard hitting quartet had such a disorderly stage presence but so utterly powerful and one you just can’t take your eyes off. From their sound reminiscent of early Marmozets dashed with them being a little more on the melodic side of things, the band are one of the finest fresh faced acts to grace the stage in 2022 with hopefully more material and performances to follow soon.

Next up were The Rosemaries. This is what I love about finding new bands to listen to, there’s a whole bunch of endless possibilities. Looking possibly the youngest of the three bands tonight, The Rosemaries let their talent speak for themselves as they demand the audiences attention with every note played. But more to that, their blend of Pop Rock is quite like most out there at the moment.The audience feels connected to them because of their creativity and the lust for what they have to offer.

Now I do have to say,I think the York crowds loves their Indie bands. Well they do as far as The Rosettas are concerned. Giving off more of an alt looking vibe but sounding more along the lines of Arctic Monkeys, they are just a delight to watch. Every move they make the audience just responded to and there was more life injected to the crowd with every track, bringing us back from the brink with a bang. For such a younger band, everyone’s stage presences were unparalleled where the energy proving that the connection motivated just what was occurring in the room tonight.

Now do I hope that I see every band I saw tonight again soon? Absolutely! What’s more is that I’ll be front and centre to shoot them again and again.

Rating:9/10.

Photos by JackLiddPhotography.

Live Review – As December Falls @ Fulford Arms, York

Date:19/12/22

Support:Y!kes, Heartsink

Looking back this was my most anticipated show of 2021 in York mainly because I’ve been waiting to see the headliners As December Falls for ages! On the other hand, I was so hyped for this show as it took place at a favourite venue in my hometown?! I couldn’t think of anything better.

First up were the hometown heroes themselves, Heartsink. Now due to a positive Covid case in the band, they had to go acoustic for the night within a matter of hours and bless them, it worked really well! It’s a tough thing to do in a limited timeframe but it was a really lovely mellow start to the evening, an enjoyable pallet cleanser from the day to get everything and everyone in the mood.

Seconds up were the larger than life Y!ikes. Now truth be told, I had no idea this band were playing until the night but what a surprise! A massive and fresh faced band for me to enjoy who just seemed to soak up every ounce of energy in the place and threw it back to everyone. I hardly see a band that can do this but that made them all the more impressive to watch. Everyone just built on the anticipation from the guitar riffs to the vocals, but the standout? Their very fashionable guitarist mainly because that dude was freaking crazy! if you look at the pics you can certainly feel the energy pulsating right through the pic!

Onto As December Falls, it’s safe to say they didn’t disappoint. The set is filled with loads of their Pop-Punk bangers to prove that yes the UK does have some fantastic talent but more to that, the ferocity the band contain only has them bursting at the seams of the venue especially when they culminate into some of their larger tracks. What’s more is that they’re destined for larger venues soon and with all the festivals they’re going to be a part of in 2022, it’ll only strengthen their fanbase and prepare them to get all their energy out and about! A sonic battle for the ages at this venue, the Sold Out show and tour certainly got the fans their money’s worth and more by the time things got to the end.

With the whole performance, it makes you wonder that where’s the limit for As December Falls? They’re one of the UK’s hot up and coming acts in the entirety of the genre and we can’t wait to see what comes next from the bands.

Rating: 8/10.

Photos by JackLiddPhotography.