Not content on the lack of rock orientated festivals within Manchester, the guys over at Mutiny Events decided to call this to an end immediately and so enters the debut year of 3-day weekender, SummerJam. Onto the first full day of bands, composed of over 7 full hours of aural brutality within the confines of the Moho Live venue, we got stuck in with the insanity that was undoubtedly in store.
Loud Leeds lads The Final Crisis (***) get the moshpits going nice and early. Admittedly their set isn’t anything outstandingly innovative, but with a band at their stage in their genre why would you even expect that? Their sound is crushing, heavy and everyone is getting sweaty from the get go. What more would you want? [ZR]
Bringing some of their self-claimed ‘scouse metal’ into the mix, Carcer City (*****) are a band who are most definitely worth the swelling buzz that’s growing on them like a genital wart at the moment; it’s getting bigger and you can’t get rid of it. Unlike a genital wart however, it should stay and continue to grow, and with a set as exhilirating as this it’s well deserved. A mention needs to go out to drummer, Ollie Graham, who – for lack of a better word – is quite simply a machine. [ZR]
Metal quintet Demoraliser (***) take on the difficult task of following Carcer City, and whilst they put on a solid performance they struggle to recreate the sheer chaos their predecessors unleashed on the room. The crowd enjoy the set by opening up pits and throwing their limbs about all across the floor when they can. However, the bar has been set too high and sadly Demoraliser pale in comparison, despite putting on a show that on other days would’ve had them heading towards the top of the pile. [JB]
The first sound of any clean singing at all comes from post-hardcore Southerners Shadows Chasing Ghosts (****), who are just hot off the heels of releasing their sophomore full-length, ‘Lessons’. It takes a while for the crowd to finally let loose, but once they do sheer chaos ensues. The singing chorus from the fans during ‘Searchlights’ of “I’m the devil in disguise…” is quite a sight to behold and the barrage of crowdsurfers during ‘Lose The Attitude’ is just a benchmark for what is to follow later in the day. [ZR]
York’s With One Last Breath (****) seem to be popping up here, there and everywhere lately, and with a set like this things are going to be pushed into overdrive once their new album drops later this year. Frontman Spencer Costello has really come into a realm of his own since joining the band not too long ago, and his screams truly bellow throughout the venue. The crowd love feeding off the energy too, who evenutally end up ripping off Spencer‘s vest from his back. Truly insane. [ZR]
Heart Of A Coward (***) take to the stage and immediately tear into their set with extraordinary screaming from ex-Sylosis frontman, Jamie Graham, though unfortunately his cleaner vocals seem strained in comparison. The crowd steadily get more involved as the set goes on, but the lack of movement on stage when previous bands have been climbing the walls fails to inspire the same explosive reactions seen earlier. Songs such as ‘Stand As One’ and ‘Shade’ finally get the crowd into a frenzy with the stand out breakdowns they’ve been craving, bringing the set to a fitting close. [JB]
It seems like Azriel (**) have been around for ages, and the true level of their dedicated fanbase shines throughout their set. Huge credit must be given Rob Helm for continuing with the set and doing so with a high level of energy, despite his arm being in a sling from start to finish. It leaves to think though that this may in part have been the reason why the band otherwise seemed a little restricted on stage. Though the likes of ‘Hollow Man’ sounded somewhat huge, there was a feeling they weren’t quite giving their all. [ZR]
Heart In Hand (****) however more than made up for that. Right from the very first second of their set, things go out of control and the crowd go into an absolute frenzy. Charlie Holmes is a highly engaging frontman and the band’s overall melodic hardcore imprint into the SummerJam festivities made them one of the strongest bands on the bill. Charlie closes things off by surfing the crowd himself during the band’s final minutes on stage, crawling on the ceiling. It’d be difficult for most bands to top this. [ZR]
It’s up to British metalcore favourites Bury Tomorrow (*****) to wrap things up, and they do it with such prowess and conviction. High on the buzz from the release of their second record, ‘The Union Of Crowns’, it’s clear from the merch on people’s backs alone that these guys are the main reason a lot of people are in attendance. The fact that the band proclaim this will be the last time they’ll be playing some of their older debut album material for some time, everyone acts like it’s the end of the world and limbs go in every direction possible. The roars of “There’s blood on the walls” during ‘Anything With Teeth’ fill the room, the crowd overpower Jason Cameron throughout ‘You & I’ and the amount of bodies flying onto the stage throughout ‘Royal Blood’ is difficult to keep a count of. An awesome end to an awesome day.
Written by Zach Redrup [ZR] and Jonathon Barlow [JB]