LIVE: Make A Scene Festival @ Teesside Uni SU, Middlesborough

All photography in this article is credited to Eddy Maynard.

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Now in it’s fourth year, MAKE A SCENE FESTIVAL decided to once again take over Teesside Univerity Student Union. Here’s what we thought…

The very first band of the day began at 12:30pm on the Seaside Studios stage in the form of Hung, Drawn & Quartered (6). Many people were still arriving as they played their down-tempo hardcore, so the crowd was rather small for them and remained so for Hives-esque Juvenile Summer (6) that followed on the same stage- although that was probably a good thing as guitarist/vocalist Tom Oliver snapped a string twice.

Upstairs in the sweatbox room that was the Knee Deep Clothing stage, A Dying Reign (7) put on a really promising display of metal. Despite all wearing the festival’s under-eighteen wristbands, their performance was as good as most adult groups. The Sumo stage then played host to rising UK hardcore quintet Lock & Key (8), whose performance was impressive as always. Response to their debut EP ‘The Divide’ has been largely favourable and sets like this should see them unleashing their next release to a substantially bigger fan base.

Moose Blood‘s (6) time on the UPRAWR┬ástage was rather forgettable as their blend of punky emo rock just didn’t really strike a chord, but the demonic racket created by Wraiths (7) immediately afterwards was completely the opposite. Their mix of hardcore and doom (which they refer to as ‘hell metal’) was complimented brilliantly by the crucified woman at the side of the stage, even if the set did start to get repetitive a few songs in.

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Following on the Sumo stage was a band whose gigs can never be accused of being repetitive – Zoax (8). Their eclectic music fused elements of rock, jazz, metal and everything in between coupled with vocalist Adam Carroll’s quirky penchant for wandering around the audience and involving as any punters as possible into the performance ensured that their name was on everybody’s lips. It’s always sad when a talented band calls it a day but Foundations (7) can take solace in the fact that their farewell show was to an absolutely packed out room that lapped up their melodic hardcore.

Welsh lads Astroid Boys (8) then tore the Sumo stage a new one with their irreverent rap/metal hybrid, followed by Hacktivist (7) whose high octane contemporary groove metal with a duelling vocal attack stood out as one of the UPRAWR stage highlights.

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Up next on the Sumo stage were one of the most intense live bands in metal today, Sheffield’s Malevolence (9.5). As soon as opening track ‘Serpent’s Chokehold’ began, it was like a bomb went off – bodies flew to the walls as the entire top floor of Teesside Student Union became an enormous mosh pit. Throughout the entire half hour of modern hardcore-tinged metal, the pit stayed furious. Eventually it all got so wild that the sound guy pulled the plug in order to get the crowd to calm down before Alex Taylor & co closed their jaw-dropping set with ‘Condemned To Misery’.

Made up of current and former members of TRC, Heights, Architects and more, Counting Days (7) played a solid set on the Knee Deep Clothing stage. The house lights never went down which made it a little hard to focus solely on Thom, Charlie, Lasselle, Bobby and Alex but it was still a well done half hour, punctuated with a cover of Slipknot’s ‘(sic)’ by a band who have only yet played a handful of gigs.

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The Sumo stage headliners were Milton Keynes-based groove metallers, Heart of A Coward (8). Opening with ‘Deadweight’, they played choice cuts from their 2010 EP ‘Hope and Hindrance’ and 2013’s full length ‘Severance’, but after the chaos of Malevolence, the crowd didn’t really respond with the vigour that Jamie Graham et al would’ve liked. Still, it was well played and the guesting of Alex from Malev during ‘Around A Girl In 80 Days’ made the final act on the Sumo stage one to remember.

Closing the festival on the UPRAWR stage were Welsh rockers Funeral For A Friend (7.5). They opened with Bullet Theory and proceeded to play just under fifteen of their tracks to a three quarters full Teesside SU. Almost all of the classics were in there, like Streetcar, Juneau and Rookie of the Year, but a notable omission was the track started it all for them, The Year’s Most Open Heartbreak’. For those a who like it a little more mellow, Matthew Davies-Kreye and company were still sounding great 13 years into their career, no less, and ended the Sunday’s festivities with ‘Escape Artists Never Die’.

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Written by Matt Bradley.

All photography in this article is credited to Eddy Maynard.