Openers F.A.S.T.L.I.F.E. describe themselves as a band who “party hard and rock even harder” – and they certainly hit the stage hard, opening with Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking The Law’. However, despite a competent enough performance, honed by non-stop gigging over the past 18 months or so, they’re a band who can’t really make up their mind where they fit in, veering from the sub-thrash of ‘My Beautiful Abomination’, through the mid-tempo Red Hot Chilli Peppers inspired bassiness of ‘Humanity’ to the indie-mixed-with-Maiden riffage of ‘Let Me Burn’. It’s definitely a case of saving the best till last for this quartet, as closer ‘Metallic Anthem’ is head and shoulders their strongest number on the night.
Middle billers Baleful Creed – moved up a notch after Rebels By Nature unfortunately had to cancel at a few days’ notice – are a much different kettle of fish: a classic rock quartet playing like a modernised Mott The Hoople, complete with ravaging guitar solos. ‘Fortune Seeker’ is a strong song, with its stoner elements mixed with classic late 60s/early 70s inflections, while ‘Crazy Man’ is another highlight of this well-performed set, melding Black Sabbath style riffs with modern influences such as Danzig. The second half of their set is just glorious.
Headliners Interrogate have just returned from their latest jaunt along the US eastern seaboard, and you can tell they are glad to be back on home soil, as they explode on to the stage with raw power and energy, mixed with their usual “fuck off fuck you” attitude, filling the dancefloor with their insanely complex yet simple riffs and melodies.
Bassist/vocalist Darren Brown is slowly warming to his relatively new frontman role (the band honed down from a quartet to a three piece at the end of last year), growing in confidence and mixing growls, death-throats and clean vocals seamlessly. He’s in typical rabble-rousing form during the likes of ‘Walk Away’ – fortunately, nobody does – and touring certainly has honed the band into a well-oiled killing machine, as the likes of ‘Affliction’, especially, show a new-found maturity. Again, it’s the second half of the show that is the highlight, as any nerves from the thought of their first home show in a while are well and truly dispelled and the trio – completed by Mark Johnston on guitars and Stephen Brown on drums and backing vocals – just let loose and enjoy themselves.