LIVE: Fury Fest @ East Village Arts Club, Liverpool (10/05/2014)

Date: May 10th, 2014
Venue: East Village Arts Club, Liverpool
Website: None available


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After a reasonably successful debut last year, Liverpool’s Fury Fest has returned for its second year running, this time bringing a far more hefty line-up spread across two stages at its new home, the East Village Arts Club. With this year’s headliners consisting of transatlantic punk rockers I Am The Avalanche on one stage and British hopefuls Malevolence on the other, perhaps this is just the beginning of a future staple event on the rock festival circuit.


Fairly local four-piece Headroom cut the ribbon and open up this year’s Fury Fest on the upstairs stage, and their somewhat lighter Basement-esque melodic punk is a great steady start for the day ahead. Away from his main project in rock duo Nai Harvest, who are also playing a set later this afternoon, we see frontman Ben Thompson able to deliver a more solid sound with a more traditional band formation. As an early project there are still areas to be worked on, but Headroom are ones to keep an eye on.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Back onstage for the second time today, frontman Ben Thompson is now here to display his more acknowledged project Nai Harvest alongside drummer, Lew Currie. Though their set may be sound, what the two-piece deliver is just a little dull and bland, especially when compared against the other acts that have already performed today and are yet to take the stage. A technical hiccup towards the end, resulting in the duo to cut a track from their, only hinders an already lacklustre set.

Delivering an emo tinged pop-punk, akin to the ‘Your Favourite Weapon’ era of Brand New, Canterbury’s Moose Blood have been heralded by many publications as a band on the rise and to be kept an eye on come the eventual release of a debut album later this year. Indeed, their slabs of heart tugging pop-punk is an interesting prospect and one that the British market has barely tapped into in recent years. With a few fresh cuts lifted from the band’s upcoming album making an appearance, Moose Blood are certainly making sure their reputation is deserved.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Definitely one of the more fun fuelled sets of this year’s Fury Fest, pop-punk heroes in the making Gnarwolves are easily the closest thing that the UK has ever had to an pre-hiatus era Blink-182, and their popularity despite lacking a full-length would suggest a similar success is potentially on the horizon. The three piece deliver slab after slab of pop-punk fun, something that gets people amped up for headliners to follow, I Am The Avalanche. Or, as frontman Thom Weeks suggests, you could “go downstairs and punch people instead”.

The final performance from upstairs is all down to I Am The Avalanche, who are currently midway through a headline tour across the UK, stopping at Fury Fest as headliners along the way. Frontman Vinnie Caruana and co. bring them a set that mixes cuts from all three of their studio records, and this really is one of the more intimate sets the band has been able to bring this tour. A special mention to a couple celebrating their 10-year anniversary is brought to our attention before the band delve into ‘Young Kerouacs’, just one of a few of the band’s set highlights. Closing off with ‘Brooklyn Dodgers’, the punk rockers bring a deserved close to the second ever Fury Fest, and secure hopes that a returning third year is definitely on the cards.


Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

Cheshire’s Above The Underground are granted the exclusivity of being the only pop-punk act on the basement stage today, with all the others taking helm upstairs, but the band use this to their advantage. Their pop-punk hooks and chants, akin to that of The Wonder Years and Four Year Strong, at times could stand toe-to-toe with the band’s aforementioned contemporaries. Bassist Nick Barlow can’t seem to keep still for a single moment, and frontman Will Kirkman hits all of the right notes with ease.

Sadly, we were unable to catch this set.

SHIELDS – 7/10
Travelling up from London, up-and-comers Shields aren’t regular visitors to Liverpool, but despite facing a fresh faced audience, the metalcore outfit will undoubtedly have secured some new fans under their belt. Their set is passionate, hard-hitting and full on conviction, with frontman Joe Edwards‘ raspy screams ringing out the final moment’s of the band’s crushing 30 minutes onstage. With a secured set at Ghostfest in June and a few more tour dates booked in, 2014 is definitely a year to watch these boys.

Keeping it local for a little while, Liverpudlian metalcore newbies Arcane Addiction may be infants in the game, but they certainly have taken large strides in standing out against the pack. Vocalist Simon Mora mimics a stage presence similar to that of the late Mitch Lucker and a scream like Austin Carlile in training. New track ‘Lights’ closes off the band’s high octane set, and, from the sounds of things, it looks like they’re taking a route down a more technical Architects-like lane for future work. A certain gem for the Liverpool metal scene.

Perhaps the biggest homegrown name on this year’s bill, Carcer City ensure that their self-branded title of “Scouse Metal” is held with dignity and respect, delivering a set that sees the band on top of their game. With a new album set to be finally on the cards in the foreseeable future, the introduction of some new material definitely gets the pits moving after what is admittedly a sparse start, despite frontman Paddy Pinion‘s best efforts to get the crowd involved. The addition of some DIY stage lights, powered by guitarist Lewy Hughes stamping on a button as and when needed, definitely steps their stage show up a bit.

A taste of grime brings something new to the Fury Fest line-up, and Cardiff’s Astroid Boys are here to deliver just that. It’s quite bizarre to watch a portion of the crowd hardcore dancing along to Traxx spitting rhymes along to the likes of ‘Minging’, even with the fact that this is the scene the guys are breaking into. Partnered with Dell due to the current absence of original co-vocalist Benji, he looks a bit unsure of his place on the stage, rapping the odd lyric here and there alongside Traxx. This is a slightly hindered Astroid Boys set, but rest assured, they can provide better.

It seemed like getting hurt at any form of rock, metal, punk or hardcore show was always a rarity – and then Desolated came along. Their beatdown offerings literally sees people getting (or close to getting) beat down, having their teeth knocked out, or dislocating their arms from out of their sockets, and today is no different. Away from the swinging fists of the floor, Desolated‘s hate fuelled offerings are certainly ones to pump aggressive through the veins, even if Paul Williams‘ vocals fall a bit flat compared to what he’s normally capable of.

To close off this year’s Fury Fest basement stage, Sheffield’s Malevolence may only have the one full-length and a few other tracks to compose their setlist with, but still manage to keep proceedings exciting and the pits a-moving. Speaking of pits, the limbs are still flying around left, right and centre like you’re watching ninjas in training, at one point resulting in a fight to break out early on in the set. Even despite frontman Alex Taylor‘s declaration that “if you’re going to fight, fuck off”, tension is still high. Still, Malevolence‘s set of breakdowns and groove galore sits as a highlight for the second ever Fury Fest. Well done, boys.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)