Amplified Festival 2018

Quarrydowns Gloucestershire – Sunday 8th July.

Sunday, so soon! I was having so much fun as well! Still, I do have almost a full day ahead of me! Sadly I couldn’t stay the whole day but thought I’d stick around long enough to immerse myself within the bands who were scheduled to appear today. Out of the line up, there were one or two I definitely had to see and maybe some surprises, I never knew existed! Glad I stuck about to be honest!

As I sat, basking in the sunshine, enjoying my morning breakfast cob, I got a message, asking me If I wanted to interview Doyle, from his UK PR agent! I sat there and pondered for a minute, then thought, ah, why not but more on that later!

The first band over on the VMA stage who really grabbed my attention, were King Leviathan. These guys play blackened thrash metal, so no surprise they appealed to my senses then, is it! These guys hail from Brighton and were founded in 2014. In a very short space of time, it would appear that they are making a lasting impression – one gig at a time, on the people who go to see them at a live show. Thankfully, I managed to see them at Amplified Festival although I’m aware they are appearing at another prestigious metal festival, in a couple of weeks. Someone, far more intelligent than me, proclaimed that these guys are three gigs away from entering the stratosphere within their genre! And the best of luck to them as from what I saw, they’ve certainly got the potential – go for it!

It just so happens, that the far more intelligent and undoubtedly better looking person I previously referred to, features in the next band I’d like to speak about and they go by the name of Resin. Yes, you guessed it, it’s Simon Yarwood I’m speaking about and I love this human being! Not only does he play guitar within Resin, he himself is a pioneering figure within the music community, as he is one of the organisers behind Uprising Festival. He also does a lot to promote other bands through his promotion company “Resin Events” but I think that’s enough sucking up for one review, so back to todays set!

The band have just released their new album ’The Cycle of Need’ after having successfully reached their pledge campaign target. I’ve managed to listen to it and can confirm it’s very good. It’s well thought out musically and you can hear that a lot of work has gone into producing this album, which is very clear from the off! Dave’s voice has a striking resemblance to Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, as does their music but that is by no means a bad thing! Emma, on the violin, helps to give a very unique dynamic and sound to the band, which I loved hearing today! All told, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Resin today, despite failing to get certain members to smile!

The next band I caught up with over the main stage today were Tequila Mockingbyrd and these gals genuinely blew me away! It’s hard not to comment on the fact that Louisa, Jacinta and Josie are absolutely gorgeous but equally as important, is the fact that they are VERY talented as musicians too and given the right opportunities, like Amplified Festival, I can’t think of anything that will stop Tequila Mockingbyrd from going on to become mega superstars!

Whilst on the subject of female superstars, I also managed to see the super talented Soap Girls over on G’s bar stage today. These ladies are beautifully bizarre and also have the kind of approach to their post punk/rock that makes them stand out from others. Sure, they’re racy and yes, they do play semi naked, which isn’t to everyone’s liking but they don’t bow down to hateful opinions either and I applaud them for that and not letting the reactions of some, spoil it for the rest of us.

As the day went on and time drew ever closer to meeting up with Doyle, I received a request from Doyle’s manager for The Soap Girls to join us for the interview. Well it’s safe to say that my interview didn’t go quite as I’d planned……. so if feeling awkward is your thing, then you’re gonna love this interview for sure. (https://youtu.be/5tgG8Pp2Kps)

Thankfully, I did get to see the legendary guitarist play his set, which was kinda weird yet super exciting all at the same time. Doyle was everyone’s main focus – I think I looked over at one point, whilst photographing the rest of the band and there must of been about twenty photographers stood in front of him, twenty photographers I hadn’t seen all weekend, to be honest! There is a core bunch of us who try to see every act throughout the weekend, or at the very least, cover as much as possible like in my case (little old me) all on my own. It’s hard work, but we do it because we love it!

Alex, the bands singer, was clearly zoned into his own little world, yet coherent and loving life and this stance awarded me with one of my most favourite shots from the whole weekend! It’s just him perched on the end of the stage looking into space – most likely seeing dead people dancing around but I love it, it’s a real moment!

After seeing Doyle, I had to leave to save my family from the In-laws house, which disappointed me greatly as it meant I had to miss so many other amazing bands, like legends Therapy!

There’s always next time, I guess, providing I get invited back and by all accounts, Amplified Festival 2019 is already looking very likely, which is ace news and I will be buying a ticket for next year, to show my continued support for the festival, as I believe it’s one of the great summer events of the festival calendar! I’m glad to see so many others share my sentiments as well, as the pre-sale tickets which went on sale straight after this years event, sold out in record time. So fast in-fact, they released another 50 more!

I’m biased, I guess, but with very good reason as I know a good thing when I see it. I just hope I see you there in 2019, having a good time like me! BOOYA!

Be sure to visit us over on Flickr for more photos from Amplified 2018. https://www.flickr.com/photos/music224/albums

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)