Date: January 7th, 2012
Venue: The Well, Leeds
Line-up: TRC, Martyr Defiled, Heights, Heart In Hand, Demoraliser, Landscapes, Grader, When Giants Collide, Hardships, Heavy Hands, Damager
Following what has been a pretty lengthy battle to keep the popular Leeds based live music venue The Well from being turned into a restaurant, including petitions and various other efforts to raise awareness and support for the cause, an all-dayer charity fundraiser aptly titled Hell In The Well was yet another push to keep The Well from changing. With various bands across the nation coming to perform and bring people in and raise money, we just had to get involved with such a worthy cause ourselves.
Opening the show are Damager (**), who make admirable attempts at warming up the crowd despite the kids being unwilling to move or come closer. They play well, with lots of energy despite being the opening band, and vocalist Adam Clarke connected with the crowd.
Scotland’s very own Heavy Hands (***) were next and received one of the best crowd reactions for an opening band, to the point of there even being one member of the crowd whose shirt was covered in blood after the set, exclaiming “that was the best thing ever”. A packed room full of movement, Heavy Hands smash it, bringing with them an excitable atmosphere all around. Definitely a promising band to look out for in the future and most definitely worth seeing again.
Local band Hardships (**) then take to the stage, who are sadly faced with various different sound issues from start to finish. This on top of an average stage presence, however their cover of ‘Guns Up’ provoked a good crowd reaction.
West Yorkshire metal band When Giants Collide (***) followed, an interesting band who’s music was a mix of different genres. They played well with attention grabbing guitar riffs, but I feel if there was a different crowd they would have received a better reaction.
Travelling all the way from Aberdeen, Grader (***) a young band with a promising future. They play with passionate energy and are fun to watch, with a vivacious crowd reaction. Vocalist Liam‘s dance moves on stage made for even more entertaining watching.
Landscapes (****) arrive a little late to the show than expected, and as a result their set is pushed back too, but the wait was worth it. Playing melodic hardcore with passion and having played shows all over the UK and Europe, Landscapes know how to put on an amazing show, even when playing immediately after travelling for hours straight.
Demoraliser (*****); how can I possibly sum up their set in words? Best band of the entire line-up. The Well literally was insane, and it was incredibly refreshing to see a band just play straight up great music without care for anything else, and to be received so well. People were crowded up the stairs just to watch their manic live show, which was being recorded, and it was havoc, with plenty of mic-grabs and stage dives.
Heart In Hand (***) take to the stage next. Hardworking and constantly on tour, playing festivals including Hevy Fest and Ghostfest, Heart In Hand have a fast growing fanbase in the UK, many of which turned out to the Hell In The Well all-dayer. Vocalist Charlie Holmes finishes the set with a stage dive off the speaker into the crowd. An impressive end to a great set.
Progressive hardcore outfit Heights (****) are up next, and despite cutting his eye open and bleeding from it, their guitarist still continues playing regardless which deserves some credit. Afterwards, he confessed “it felt like sweat but I wondered why it was warm”, and despite efforts from the crowd to wipe the blood from his face, he played flawlessly, showing the dedication that this band has.
Penultimately, it was time for Martyr Defiled (****). The room was literally over-capacity, people were spilling out of both entrances trying to cram in to catch their set, and there was no getting in or out until the set had finished. Vocalist Matt Jones‘ vocals are powerful and have the crowd moving all the way to the back of the room, and they were undoubtably a good choice to play before the headliner to keep the energy and atmosphere buzzing.
To finish off the show, London hardcore band TRC (****) are enlisted to close things up, who are always fun to watch. During their set, a fight that broke off which was quickly handled by vocalist Chris Robson‘s involvement, and a little speech by guitarist Ben Dingwall about how fights don’t involve in hardcore, which created a positive atmosphere at the venue. Miles Langford filled in as bass player and played with great confidence, which added to the general attitude the band has. Overall, a great show with kids up on the stage singing along, and everyone having a great time.
The Well made a great amount of profit off what was essentially a great night, showcasing some of the best talent around in the UK at the moment. A great atmosphere and all the bands played well, and are definitely worth seeing live again. Let’s hope The Well remains as one of the UK’s prime venues for live hardcore and punk music.
Written by Suki Deen