Live Review: Macmillan Fest 2014 – Nottingham

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Macmillan Fest may be over but we’re happy to announce that we raised over £4,700!!! Here’s our review of this year’s event.

All dayers are always good fun. A day full of top quality bands putting on great performances of the music they so painstakingly wrote – and when it’s all for a good cause like Macmillan Cancer Support, the vibe is just that much better.

Kicking off Macmillan Fest 2014 in the Rescue Rooms were Nottingham lads FAMOUS FOR NOTHING (7) who played a pretty solid set of metalcore. Having two vocalists meant that the screams remained harsh and the singing stayed clean, and as proven by the fact that they sold out of merchandise, they were a great choice to open things up.

There was a little less ‘core’ from the next band as WE ARE TYRANTS (7) gave a crash course in modern metal. Despite a couple of technical problems towards the end, the rest of the set was top notch, and guitarist/front man Benjamin Wright getting better at his role with every performance the Nottingham boys give.

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© Chris Clough

Over at Spanky Van Dyke’s, groove-meisters VIRTUES (7.5) practically crippled all ears with their relentless low end assault. It was a bit of a shame that there weren’t more people watching one of the more musically intelligent bands of the day, but for those in attendance it was yet another razor sharp set of tech/groove metal from Danny Foster & co.

PATH TO PREVAIL (7.5) hit the Spanky stage afterwards and played another great set, this time made up of music that straddled the borders of thrash, death and metal core. The half hour set was made up entirely of material from their upcoming EP, with ‘Our Finest Hour’ and ‘Through It Again’ standing out as particularly good.

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© Ashlea Bea

Stealth then played host to one of UK hardcore’s newest and most polarising bands, LOCK & KEY (7.5) and with a decent sized pit throughout most of their time on stage, it didn’t seem like there were any haters in attendance. The tracks from their new EP, ‘The Divide’, all went down well and resulted in an excellent first time in Nottingham for the hardcore quintet.

Back in the Rescue Rooms, the crowd were treated to another strong performance of intense hardcore from CONTINENTS (7). Even with a temporary replacement guitarist, tracks from 2013’s ‘Idle Hands’ went down a total storm, the crowd no doubt fuelled by the incessant intensity of front man Phil Cross.

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© Ashlea Bea

For those more into musical virtuosity, the Rescue Rooms were then filled with the technical wizardy of THE SAFETY FIRE (7). Choosing to have vocals harmonies and screams played over a backing track rather than use one of the other four members to back up Sean McWeeney’s singing was a little confusing, however maybe singing whilst playing such technical music would be asking too much of anybody, and as with Virtues earlier on, it was a little disheartening to see such a talented band play to such a relatively small amount of people.

The best thing to come out of Scotland since Irn Bru were about to headline the Rescue Rooms and from the moment that BLEED FROM WITHIN (9) kicked in with ‘Colony’, the crowd absolutely lost it. Scott Kennedy seemed to be having the time of his life as they smashed through ferocious tracks like ‘The Novelist’ and ‘Leech’ (featuring a wall of death that legitimately almost reached the bar at the back of the venue), so much so that he declared it to be the single greatest gig they had ever played in Nottingham. After forty minutes of non-stop anarchy, the Scottish bruisers closed Macmillan Fest with a brutal performance of ‘It Lives In Me’ – and with sets like that, for metal’s sake, let’s hope it lives in them for a long time to come.

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© Sean Shore

 Written by Matt Bradley.