||LES-FEST 3: DAY ONE
Wiston Lodge, South Lanarkshire
Friday 27th June 2014
Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid.
Les-Fest is Scotland's only annual Rock and Metal Festival which attracts a host of local talent and bands from across the UK.
Now in it's third year, this was the first time the event had been held in Wiston Lodge in South Lanarkshire but the new home of the festival suited it well and with fifty bands performing over three days, the organisers made sure that there was something for everyone no matter what age and musical preference.
Edinburgh based Disposable started off the three days of Rock and Metal in fine style as the clock stuck 11:00am. The band walked on stage to warm applause and bearing in mind the campsite had opened only a few hours earlier, many had stopped midway through erecting their tents to catch the band's set.
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The relatively young age of the band belies the power they have when performing and with the likes of 'Existence', a fast thrasher, their set list kept the crowd entertained. Drummer Liam Tucker seemed to be having fun atop the drum kit as he smiled away throughout the bands set whilst the head bangers in the audience crowded together at the crowd barrier.
'Addiction' had the crowd fully involved which delighted vocalist William Robertson before the band plough through 'Into The Water' (for which the band have recently shot a promo video for) had an influx of spectators coming into the main area giving the band their best reception of their short set.
A short drum solo created some laughter from the band before 'Void' which, we're told, the band haven't performed live before. Taken from their forthcoming (as yet un-named album), is was certainly my favourite of their set. It's a good start to the festival and the band left the stage to great applause having certainly picked up a few new fans.
Disposable Set list:
Into The Water
Now It Ends
William Robertson - Vocals/Bass Guitar
Andrew Anderson - Guitar
Jack Batcharj - Guitar
Liam Tucker - Drums
Having seen (and enjoyed) a performance by What's The Damage?! In December 2013 as part of Les-Festive, I was keen to see how the band performed here and was pleased to say that this is one young band who are thoroughly entertaining. Although maybe not some festival goers cup of tea, the band delivered a performance they should be proud of.
Guitarist Gordon McVean really worked well on set opener 'Dreams of Tomorrow' but some of the crowd took a while to get used to what is an aggressive but great vocal performance from Samii Morton. 'Grace In Despair' has a faster pace with the McVean's guitar unfortunately lost in the mix for most of the song, but Morton more than makes up for it with another sterling performance.
'Eradicate The Night' receives (what I believe is) it's second live airing ever, but you wouldn't think that as it's a well rehearsed performance. Guitarist Dominic Donaghy shares the vocals this time around which is a refreshing change from Mortons more hardcore vocal style and creates another nice counterpoint with Donaghys more softly sung vocals. The break also leaves Morton free to elicit a response from the ever growing audience.
The band clearly enjoyed themselves throughout their short set and this comes across in their performance, which is appreciated by the crowd who warmly applaud as the band take their bows and move towards the backstage area knowing they've left a good impression on those who caught their set.
What's The Damage?! Set list:
Dreams of Tomorrow
Grace In Despair
Eradicate The Night
Shadows Will Crawl
What's The Damage?! are:
Samii Morton - Lead Vocals
Dominic Donaghy - Guitar/Backing Vocals
Gordon McVean - Guitar/Backing Vocals
Gareth Dunion - Bass Guitar
Robert John McIndewar - Drums
What's The Damage?! Online:
Haerken seemed to be the talking point early in the festival (have a look at their fantastic website!) and so as the band's stage time approached, a sizeable crowd left the sunshine outside to get a good vantage point inside the main arena ready for the band.
A long intro of Gregorian chants announces the arrival of the band on stage resplendent in their medieval garb as they burst into 'Exordium' while the crowd show their appreciation with a rousing welcome.
By the time the band perform 'King Herla', there is some synchronised head banging from the band which helps invigorate the crowd as bass player, Reverend Benjamin, takes over the lead vocal duties from Laird Logan.
'One To Defend, One To Defeat' slows the pace slightly but by now the crowd are loving the spectacle as camera phones are hoisted stage wards. Logan encourages the crowd to join in the shouts of "Hail!", and gets a good reaction from the audience who raise their fists skywards at the same time.
Benjamin introduces the band in Ye Olde English to the crowds delight before 'The Eve of Bealltainn' has him taking centre stage as he windmills furiously to the frantic beat, much to the delight of those fans wedged against the barrier. Certainly my favourite of their set, this band have a lot to offer and I highly recommend you catch them live if they're playing near you.
Haerken Set list:
One To Defend, One To Defeat
The Eve of Bealltainn
The Bannauc Burn
Laird Logan, the Scot - Guitar/Vocals
The Baron - Guitar
Reverend Benjamin, the Scribe - Bass Guitar
The Revenant Knight - Drums
Having caught Cambion live at Ivory Blacks in Glasgow supporting Beholder back in April I was keen to see them again but unbeknown to me, the band had swapped stage times with another band and it was only when I heard the bands intro music from outside the main arena that I was alerted to their on stage presence.
Described as a Tech-Metal band, this quartet are extremely talented and are steadily building their reputation as a solid live band.
'Virus Part 3' has front man Elliott Alderman-Broom producing the first of many great guitar solos, that is when he's not standing centre stage head banging away, and the track gives way to the slightly more up tempo 'Salem'.
Drummer Frank Dennis is the star of the show here as he pounds away on the complicated drum patterns as the rest of the band head bang in time.
My favourite of the band's thirty minute set is new song 'Heterodox' as Alderman-Broom jokes with the crowd that this may be their "first and last time to hear it!". The song itself is another technically excellent display with Alderman-Broom giving his most ferocious vocal performance whilst Dennis uses every drum and cymbal available to him.
If this new track is an indication of the direction the band are moving into, then any upcoming release from them will certainly be high on my priority list and I'm hoping the track remains in their live set for some time to come.
Cambion Set list:
Virus Part 3
Virus Part 4
Virus Part 5
Elliott Alderman-Broom - Lead Guitar/Lead Vocals
Marc Randall - Guitar
Jonny Walker - Bass Guitar
Frank Dennis- Drums/Backing Vocals
It's unusual for Scotland (and indeed the rest of the UK) to have such glorious weather and part of the appeal of the Les-Fests held so far is that the main stage is undercover in case of inclement weather.
However, as the sun continued to beat down outside, the festival goers possibly felt they were missing out on topping up their tans and so the main arena tent was conspicuously quiet as Martyr De Mona took to the stage.
As any professional band do, of course, the band carried on and did their very best to get those audience members who witnessed their performance, the very best show that they could. Kicking off their set with 'Siege Mentality' which is a solid enough number, those in the main arena seem glad of the opportunity to catch the band live.
Vocalist Louis Hale has a good voice and drummer Ashley Leatherland does a good job holding down the beat at the back.
The set is mainly made up of tracks from the bands latest album, 'Imperia', which was released back in March 2014, and amongst the bands best songs of these was 'Kyo' which has some solid guitar from Ant Rickett who will only improve as the band's career goes from strength to strength. Certainly from their performance here, I'll be searching out a copy of their new album.
Martyr De Mona Set list:
Influence & Persuasion
Am I Sorry
Suffer Unto Me
Martyr De Mona are:
Louis Hale - Vocals/Guitar
Ant Rickett - Guitar/Vocals
Joshua Wooldridge - Bass/Vocals
Ashley Leatherland - Drums
Martyr De Mona Online: