Chris reels off his five bands to watch at Tech Fest 2015
UK Tech Fest 2015 is next week. As our coverage to date will have shown, we are quite excited, so we’re going to spend this week picking five artists each – of the 60-odd playing – who we’re very excited to see, and think you should too.
This year sees the festival return to Newark Showground, so we’re looking forward to its familiarity and relative comfort. With the promise of higher stages and even a hookah tent on site, 2015 promises to be the best ever.
As always, it’s largely about the bands though. Here are my picks for the weekend!
Playing: Saturday – 6:00pm, Main Stage
Outstripped only by Kiwis Heavy Metal Ninjas and Aussie noodler Plini for furthest distance travelled, Japanese tech outfit Cyclamen were actually started in the UK, so whilst they’re no longer based here, and no longer includes among their number Monuments‘ Olly Steele, I like to think of them as one of our own.
Nevertheless, the distance Hayato and pals will have travelled is monumental, but they won’t be coming in to Tech Fest cold – they’re currently taking in a few dates in mainland Europe with Mono-favourites Exist Immortal, and will be raring to go with their post-tinged tech come Saturday, when things will be in full swing in Newark.
And Cyclamen in full swing is a thing to behold. A UK tour last spring made way for supports slots with The Algorithm and the mighty SikTh in Japan – illustrious company indeed. Cannot wait.
Playing: Saturday – 5:45pm, Second Stage
If there are two bands synonymous with Tech Fest-related disaster, they are Aliases and Destiny Potato. Each have had to endure a plethora of injuries and mishaps that, in one way or another, have meant they played below strength, late, or not at all. Aliases finally broke their curse last year, but Destiny Potato have already seen a short UK tour earlier this year cancelled due to visa issues.
We pray Tech Fest 15 allows them to break their own curse, as a triumphant Euroblast set last October raised expectation levels significantly. The Serbian quartet’s catchy-as-fuck rhythmic, melodic metal meshes the guitar virtuosity of David Maxim Micic, the gorgeous voice of Aleksandra Djelmas and a level of enthusiasm generally unmatched. For a genre normally a bit po-faced and concerned with fretboard watching, Destiny Potato are an absolute joy to listen to, and will likely win over all who are doubting the silly name.
Playing: Sunday – 1:00pm, Second Stage
Liverpudlians F·O·E·S – formerly Fall Of Every Sparrow – have blown me away thrice this year already: twice live, absolutely owning Camden’s Unicorn, and once with their brand new five-track EP Antecedence, which is due out just a couple of days before their set via new label Crooked Noise Records.
For all intents and purposes they’re a rock band, but with a variety and sound reminiscent of both post-rock and metal. The field of effects pedals switch between the epic and delay-ridden, and absolutely stonking head-bangers. They’re held together by the magnificent vocals of guitarist Chris Mackrill, who replicates his empassioned and meaningful vocals with impressive precision live.
Playing: Sunday,18:00, Second Stage
If you haven’t heard Rolo Tomassi‘s new album Grievances, I feel bad for you son. As our recent review testifies, it’s absolutely stunning: full of drama, with strong dynamics and an absolutely caustic attitude, ripped straight from the most emotional screamo and hardcore.
It’s hard to believe that the band is ten years old now, but they’ve certainly matured consistently over their time, and with many lauding them as a British successor to The Dillinger Escape Plan, I’m excited to see how their new material plays out.
The Sun Explodes
Playing: Saturday – 16:45, Second Stage
Whilst I personally didn’t get on so well with their new EP The Calm, The Storm, I will always back Carlisle boys The Sun Explodes live. They always put their all into their live show, whether either of the Als are throwing themselves off stage – guitar and all – or Dave’s stripping down to his undies.
Despite not being very ‘tech’, the UK tech scene has adopted them as one of their own, so they will essentially be playing to their spiritual ‘home crowd’, which always gets a few extra points for effort.
More later in the week from Simon, Adam, Ryan and William!