Festival Coverage — Amplified Festival, Quarrydowns, Gloucestershire. Day 2: Saturday – Recap and Highlights

Words and Pictures: Reg Richardson

 

The day started pretty much as the previous one finished – very wet, this time though right from the off. The events of yesterday meant that the published schedule could largely be ignored with the main stage (mostly) being ok-ish and the remaining two stages handling what they could. Under the circumstances, they did pretty well.

First on the main stage was Outright Resistance and at the start of their set, the rain was torrential though this didn’t stop Paige Lee and her cohorts from letting loose on the fans. This short set had rain, it had the sun, it had a mini confetti cannon, it had streamers and it had Paige wandering through the crowd. Well entertaining.
Heavy rain was, again, never far away so I made took the executive decision to stick with the main stage bands through the day, only occasionally venturing out to the mock-up the second stage that had permanently relocated to the beer tent.

Crawley-based alternative/indie rockers Press To Meco next. In complete contrast to the aggressive performance put on by Outright Resistance, the Press To Meco boys throw out some very musical sounds, plenty of energy from the lads and a thoroughly enjoyable set which ventures away from the alternative/indie sound occasionally to touch on a slightly heavier sound but always returning to the melodic sounds they do best. A short interlude while the stage was being set up allowed the Amplified Belly Dancers to perform in front of the main stage, reminded me a bit of Carry on Spying!

Another alternative/indie rock band, Illustr8ors, provided a rather more edgy performance much in the mold of Velvet Revolver. The band have a very refined, clean sound about them and have drawn in fans following their first headline UK tour earlier this year. Definitely, a band to look out for!

A quick scamper over to the beer tent for a rearranged set from The Uncharted saw the young metalcore band who were due to play on the Shoot the Hoops stage first give over a sprawling set of aggressive tracks mixing the growls of extreme metal with a more melodic metalcore vocal bordering on mathcore with its’ unusual time signatures.

Exercise keeps coming my way, another dash back to the main stage for Scarsun, an alt-metal band with symphonic overtones. The band was promoted from the Very Metal Art stage to the main stage and they made it count. The music is dark, the vocals strong without being operatic; this was a very good performance in the rain from the Welsh metalheads.

As the rain continued to tip it down I stayed on the main stage for local lads Welcome Back Delta. The sound has moved away from alternative rock & metal back to more mainstream blues rock. This bunch of lads really do make a very good sound indeed and were one of my favorite bands of the day with their foot stomping songs.

Time for another of my best bands of the day, the nu-metal nutters who are Anti-Clone. I’ve not seen the lads since their makeover during which the face paint and masks have taken great leaps forward. The lads from Lincoln took to the main stage amid yet more of the wet stuff but gave a blinding performance. They have really come a long way since I first saw them three or four years ago. Loads of attitude to go with the music, the rain only made it better to watch. Fantastic.

Back to the tent for a brief look at Broken Jaw giving a lively set, as usual, of their punk-cum-metal and with Nutzie Shelley, who worked hard over the weekend helping keep the event afloat (sic), sporting an electric blue hair-do too. Must have been a sale on that color.

The legs were getting tired now as a trudge back to the main stage saw Reign of Fury kick off. With the drumstick twiddling of Magic Dave Humphries on the drums and the gurning of Chris Musgrove on the bass, the band gave another tremendous performance which included some material for release on a new album which is due imminently.

Throughout the day the rain has come and gone and come again, hardly any respite from the downpours for the crowd who I’d say were luckless had it not been for the fantastic efforts of the bands and festival staff to keep it alive.

Heavy metallers Krysthla followed Reign of Fury to the main stage and like all the bands that preceded them they gave a banging set of heavy metal to keep the fans happy and the enthusiasm as high as it could be under the miserable grey skies.

By some jiggery pokery the main stage timings were tweaked sufficiently to allow One Machine to take up residency, having moved them from the Very Metal Art stage they were due to play on. Steve Smyth, the bands’ founder, gave everything he had as sessions vocalist, Niklas Sonne, took the reins and steered the band through their heavy metal set. None of the bands today gave anything less than 100%…but there’s more!

It was time for the fans to make a choice as Phil Campbell elected to move his band from the main stage into the tent allowing Evil Scarecrow the space needed on the main stage to ensure that the technology (if it can be called that) had room to move freely. The fans made their choice as both Phil Campbell and Evil Scarecrow took to their relative stages at about the same time. On this occasion, Evil Scarecrow won hands down, or rather hands up to the right then left then down then right again. Evil Scarecrow are always fun to watch and with Dr. Hell in charge tonight was no different and I’m just glad that Brother Dimitri Pain appeared to have put clean Y-fronts on for the occasion.

There’s no getting away from it this band is tremendous, so much so that I didn’t actually get to see Phil Campbell at all, sorry folks.

That closed out the day for me, and what a day it was, the gloomy weather was brightened by the sunshine that came in the form of the music that was played. The weather report suggests more of the same tomorrow, I was thankful I hadn’t left any of the car windows open again.

 

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