Live review Saturday 22nd July 2017.
Some called it biblical, some called it apocalyptic, either way, I can confirm Friday evenings weather messed everything up but that didn’t stop us from having a great night though, even if things there after didn’t go to plan.
Saturday’s proceedings saw the main stage playing host to a combination of bands from both the Very Metal Art Stage and the Red Stripe Stage, as the VMA stage basically closed for the rest of the festival but thankfully, the guys who ran the main stage managed to get it back up and running safely, and allowing us to continue enjoying ourselves.
Bands who were scheduled were contacted and asked if they still wanted to play and if so, Amplified would try and slot them in, on either the main stage, or the newly adopted second stage over in the beer tent. Sadly, with the pit in the beer tent being very small, access was restricted to the official festival photographers only so I was restricted to the main stage only for today.
That said, there was a great days entertainment to be had on the main stage and first up are a band I have some seriously conflicting emotions with. Outright Resistance are made up of some very talented, yet on stage, very angry young individuals which helps make Outright Resistance, who they are. During today’s set, Paige, the bands lead singer gave several rousing speeches about equality, mental health and other aspects of society and mentioned that if anyone was feeling down, they were free to contact the band, or them personally and talk freely to them about issues they may be experiencing which I though this was commendable.
Press to MECO were up next – we love a good three piece here and these guys didn’t disappoint. There is no question that 2016 was a pivotal year for Press To MECO, building on their unconventional take on riffs, pop hooks and 3-part vocal harmonies that have become a trade mark. PRESS TO MECO have released their new single “If All Your Parts Don’t Make A Whole”, the first track to be taken from the band’s forthcoming album “Here’s To The Fatigue” out on 17th November 2017.
Scarsun, a female fronted band, ticked all the right boxes. Jessica’s vocals reminded me of Floor’s – the whole band, in fact had a very similar feel to that of Nightwish, which was enjoyable to listen to. Matt, the bands guitarist, who I’ve known of for a while, appeared to be concentrating very hard, yet the bands bassist, Paul appeared to be a right character, playing up to the cameras, to great effect! I will try and catch this band again!
Welcome Back Delta recently supported Lionize at The Flapper in Birmingham, which was probably a great gig as from what I saw of the in between rain falls, they appeared to have all the right ingredients for an accomplished rock band – antics, great songs and riffs, plenty of riffs and that is always good. Unfortunatley, trying to operate a camera through a plastic bag is in fact a very hard thing to do – so I didn’t!
When an apocalypse is upon you, there’s only one band you need have play and to get you through it and they are Anti-Clone. I simply love this bands music and their live performances which I got to mention to Con, one of the bands guitarists, who said the bands energy and persona on stage was a conscious decision that the band made back when they first formed, as going to shows before hand were boring and lifeless. Yes – a band that gets it as a live show needs to be just that, entertaining! Take a bow Anti-Clone and speaking of which, at the end their set the band played out to a Linkin Park track and whilst doing so, they revealed their true identities for the first time ever out of respect for the recently deceased Chester Bennington. RIP sir, you’ll be greatly missed. Many bands, over the course of the weekend paid tribute to Chester, in one way or another, which was great to see.
Firm favourites, ‘Rain’ of Fury’ brought a little light humour to their set by wearing some super ‘sunny’ Hawaiian shirts, which made us all feel as though we were somewhere sunny and hot. No such luck, but their set was terrific as per usual. I must say, this bands drum kit reminds me of a porn film though, what with the leopard print on it. ah, the laughs!
Time for a break, so I jumped on over to the Motley Brew tent for another of many cups of tea that I had here, over the course of the weekend. Phil, who runs the best tea stall at any and every festival going is a great bloke, he also makes a mean cuppa! Thanks dude.
Back on the main stage we had Krysthla, who were my surprise find of the day. I’ve received their press releases from Stampede Press over recent months, so I was keen to check these guys out live. Today’s set was a powerful display of metal, which followed on nicely from the previous two bands we’d just witnessed! The bands new album, released earlier this year, titled ‘ Peace In Our Time’ appears to be doing very well, in various music charts and has been well received, by the critics. Be sure to check these guys out, if you can – you won’t be disappointed.
Having spoken to Barry, the lead singer of Massive Wagons, prior to their set in the beer tent, I’d told him of my disappointment at missing photographing their set due to pit restrictions and thanks to his powers of persuasion, he managed to sweet talk the stage manager into opening the pit up to all of us non-official togs wanting to shoot Massive Wagons. I, of course was first in line, no second, no third, well, I eventually got in the pit to shoot these phenomenal rockers, from Lancashire! I love this band and the guys who make it so awesome are the biggest reason why I love them so much, they are all great guys and very entertaining. Some would even go as far as calling them sexy….ppfft, behave, have you seen them with the lights on? HAHA!
I watched as much of the ‘Massive Wagons’ set as I could but as I heard One Machine starting up over on the main stage, I made a mad dash to catch them as this was the first time I’ve been able to catch this band live. This band features non other than Stefano, on bass, who’s also another fantastic character in the music world, such a nice guy. When ever we’re at an event together, he always says hello and is happy to chat with me, which we do when ever we get the chance. I haven’t seen him performing live since his time in Savage Messiah, which was some time ago now! One Machine, remember this name, I dare say you’ll be hearing it a lot more, from here onwards! Great live band!
With Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons opting to deliver their headlining slot over in the beer tent instead of the main stage, this now meant that Evil Scarecrow would play the Red Stripes stage instead – Result! And as Evil Scarecrow are one of the best performing live bands around, who provide one of the best live shows in the music world today, it was fate. All their usual antics took place tonight, just as you’d expect and as a special thank you to the two contestants of the televised game show, ‘Pointless‘, who’d mentioned the band live on air, stating they’d spend their winnings on going to watch Evil Scarecrow, the band got them up on stage to say thank you and also to show off their winning trophies. The pair certainly appeared to be enjoying themselves, up on that stage, with the band for a song. After which, Dr. Hell stated “now get off my stage” in the nicest possible way, of course!
Evil Scarecrow have recently announced that to celebrate the fact that they started some 15 years ago, to the day (nearly) that they’re heading off to perform at Waken open air festival, which is a dream come true for the band and well deserved too. I wish we could be in Germany to see it, like we have for all of their other major milestones but sadly we’re not, however I know those who are there will have an absolute blast, as will everyone in the band. Enjoy guys.
I’ll now hand you over to Sue for her take on the Sunday here at Amplified Festival. It’s been a blast and I hope that we get to do it all again and see you back at Amplified Festival in 2018!
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)