LIVE: Radstock Festival @ O2 Academy 2, Liverpool (30/03/2014)

Date: March 30th, 2014
Venue: O2 Academy 2, Liverpool


Returning for its second day at Liverpool this year, Radstock, an event that was originally set to feature thirty bands across three stages but has been reduced to an all-dayer of several bands on one stage, this time will see a headline spot from Yashin, who also played at the festival last year. With a line-up of bands much lighter than who performed at the city’s O2 Academy yesterday, a generally younger audience show their faces for the six bands at hand.

First up are fairly local outfit Bentley Park (***), bringing to the table pop-rock with a slightly heavier edge that at times borders on post-hardcore, similar to that of very early era You Me At Six. Despite being one of the lesser known bands on the entire Radstock bill, they manage to draw a reasonable crowd and even have a fair few fans singing back along to newer material, such as ‘All The Fists In The World Won’t Save You Now’.

Pop-rock is still the weapon of choice come Verses (***), who are ladden with hooks aplenty and have all the makings in their foundation to be filling Academy venues of this size on their own tours, assuming they get the right push following the release of upcoming album, ‘Feel It Faster’. Frontman Jason Danzelman tries to get the crowd to singalong to ‘Live In The Sky’, which sadly the crowd don’t get too involved in, but regardless Verses deliver a great set.

Derby trio LostAlone (****) are the smallest sized band physically to take to the O2 Academy stage this weekend, but in terms of sound you’d be mistaken for thinking there are at least five members in the band. Sporting hair as blue as Marge Simpson’s, frontman Steven Battelle works his way up and down the fretboard at the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog, with the same blue blur when he dives right into the crowd the throw out a solo amidst the fans. This is alt rock done right.

All suited and booted, gothic punks Fearless Vampire Killers (***) are the most smartly dressed guys in the room, and their constant comparison to the likes of debut album era My Chemical Romance and Aiden is entirely justified. Horror themed tracks keep a-coming, including ‘Could We Burn, Darling?’ and ‘Brain Dead’, and they even get some crowd participation for new song ‘Danger’, with two halves of the room helping to sing the chorus harmony.

We return back to pop-rock now for Canterbury (***) and, sadly, the room appears to be the most sparse it has been all weekend. Still, it doesn’t appear to phase the quartet, who consistently try to encourage the crowd to bounce and/or singalong to the likes of ‘Expensive Imitation’, ‘Wrapped In Rainbows’ and ‘Satellite’ and, though response is minimal, sadly like it has been for most of the day, Canterbury really are on great form.

Moved up into a headline spot following the line-up reduction of Radstock a few weeks back, Yashin (****) are easily the heaviest band of the day, and even manage to draw the biggest and most engaging crowd. Opening with latest single ‘D.E.A.D.’, the crowd start pitting it as soon as breakdown sparker “Now lose your shit” kicks in. From here, the band bring forth a set composed of material from both of their albums, most notably a shifting medley of ‘Get Loose!’, ‘Friends In High Places’ and ‘Let It Go’.

It’s great to finally hear some new material, and judging from the reaction of the crowd to ‘Renegades’, the title-track of their upcoming third record, it’s certainly one of this year’s more eagerly awaited releases. However, it’s the likes of crowd favourites ‘Stand Up’ and ‘Runaway Train’ that see the set come to its full potential, the former drawing huge singalongs and the latter seeing sweat dripping from the crowd and co-vocalists Harry Radford and Kevin Miles still standing with great trade-off partnership in the UK post-hardcore scene. Yashin close the curtains of Radstock 2014 to much delight.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)