LIVE: SummerJam @ Sound Control, Manchester (21/07/2013)

Date: July 21st, 2013
Venue: Sound Control, Manchester


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Coming back for a second year running in a bigger venue and now across two stages, Manchester’s SummerJam once again brings to the table some of the UK’s best up-and-coming bands, so of course we are proud to be one of the sponsors this year. Obviously, as one of the sponsors, we just had to get involved in the sweaty packed out rooms that were inevitably due to arrive.


Opening up Sunday’s main stage and equipped with newest recruit and ex-The Ocean Between Us frontman Judd Wrighton, Yorkshire based metalcore mob The Final Crisis may be one of the lesser known acts on today’s line-up but with a tweaks here and there to their set, this band carry a lot of potential to move on to great things over the coming months. [ZR]

Turning things a little more pop-rock for the first time on the main stage all weekend, up-and-comers Attention Thieves manage to hold their own against a crowd you may originally think to be all about the screams and breakdowns. Frontman Alex Green‘s ability to swiftly change from melodic cleans to raspy screams is to be admired, and offerings such as latest single ‘Take A Bow’ get the crowd moving along to their upbeat hooks. [ZR]

Now turning down the punk rock route, Gnarwolves are a light-hearted band who like a bit of a laugh and a joke around between a set of songs such as ‘Party Jams’ and ‘Coffee’. Let’s be honest, there’s not many bands who will shove in a coversation about sandwiches and burritos between songs. Gnarwolves inject some welcomed fun into an otherwise serious festival, and that’s more than okay. [ZR]

Light rock is still on the agenda three bands in with Hey Vanity. Again appearing like one of the few odd ones out on the main stage, at least considering the bands who have performed on it thus far this weekend, the Essex bred outfit manage to get a few claps and sing alongs to their set, and it’d be silly to say Marc Halls doesn’t carry some cracking pipes. However, it comes across that the band have a bit of nerves, but that’s something that’ll shake off as the band grow. [ZR]

AZRIEL – 8/10
The Scottish melodic hardcore outfit Azriel have been at the game for almost a decade now, and despite being in the scene for almost double the time as some of the band higher on the bill, the band are still to get their well deserved break. Judging from sets like this, it can’t come any sooner. Aside from the die-hard fans towards the front, most of the crowd just stand and watch whilst frontman Rob almost screams his lungs out against the stage barrier. [ZR]

Kent rockers Hildamay take to the main stage with purpose and waste no time churning out their hits such as ‘Sons Of The Brave’ and ‘Changing The Key’. Alex Green of Attention Thieves joins the quintet on stage for a rendition of ‘Miles Away’, which sees Green managing to harmonise screams with frontman, Time Lawrence. However, with a lack of crowd interaction, some songs fall flat and at times the clean vocals get drowned out by the rest of the band. Otherwise, a solid performance. [JB]

With this being the debut UK appearance of new frontman Paul Green (of The Arusha Accord) since Ed Gibbs left a few months ago. Understandably, both the band and the crowd have just reason to be apprehensive about today’s set. However, a few moments into set opener ‘No Remorse, No Regrets’ and it’s clear that DSHS have found a fitting replacement to fit Gibbs‘ shoes. Sticking mainly to new album ‘Empire Of Light’ material, today’s set is a opening into a future that definitely isn’t dark for the British metal troupe, and closer ‘Hope’ highlights that there’s much more to come with their October headline tour. [ZR]

Undeterred by being one of, if not the lightest band on the bill today, the pretty boys of Canterbury are greeted by the screams of most of the girls in the room and get their high energy upbeat set underway. Luke Prebble and Mike Sparks not only harmonise perfectly, but keep the crowd bouncing around the room constantly to tracks such as ‘You Are The One’ and ‘Saviour’. During the closing number, the crowd threaten to sing louder than the band themselves and really show how Canterbury really held their own when many critics would say they aren’t suited for the festival line-up. [JB]

An ear-splitting scream echoes around Sound Control as Cambridge quintet Mallory Knox take to the stage, although frontman Mikey Chapman quickly departs again as he falls off the front of the stage. Undeterred by this literal slip-up, they burst into their set complete with big-hitters such as ‘Signals’ and great vocal performances such as ‘1949’. Though the band acknowledge that some people may have wanted a heavier headliner, they don’t apologise and tear into some of their rougher numbers, such as ‘Wolves’ and older track ‘Oceans’. Anyone who doubts Mallory Knox‘s position as headline act, whether they like the band or not, cannot fault the effort they put into entertaining the crowd, polishing off this year’s SummerJam brilliantly. [JB]


It’s down to No Consequence to face the difficult task of opening up the second stage of the Sunday, a feat that they take well within their stride. Their technical guitars and bone crushing breakdowns prove to be the perfect starter as the crowd begin to loosen up. The band’s energy radiates into the slowly expanding crowd and it’s evident the band were winning over some of the more hard faced hardcore kids as their set began to gain momentum. If only there was more crowd participation. [SC]

Belgium’s Now, Voyager carry on the more metal theme that No Consequence already started. The songs sound just as tight and the energy is certainly raised as every member, irrespective of instrument, bounce around the stage like it was their last show. The set finale is particularly impressive, seeing each member take a part of the drum kit and drum along. It seems that Now, Voyager‘s new material may be a little bit different and it’s not for the worse. [SC]

Hailing from Winsford, This Is Turin follow and as the band’s set kicks into full swing, everything seem to get a little bit darker compared to what has been witnessed thus far. It’s the kind of set that even the hardest metal fans would just have to sit down and re-cooperate afterwards. Their songs transcend many subgenres of metal and it’d take a lifetime to pick them apart, but they all had one vital thing in common: they’re heavy as fuck. This Is Turin and their live show are definitely not for the light hearted. [SC]

ODESSA – 9/10
With Odessa, every foot stomp, every scream and every note is perfectly placed and it shows in the way the music transcends the cities the band members originate from effortlessly. It’s difficult to believe this is only the second time the band had been to perform in Manchester and if today’s set is anything to go by, you had better get used to seeing Odessa t-shirts around. This band are definitely here to stay. [SC]

Starting their second set of the weekend on a ten second silence as a mark of respect for the trafic recently deceased fireman and the hugely pivotal venue, NQ/Moho Live, may seem like a bold move for Martyr Defiled, but the silence that deafened the second stage for those few seconds shows that it rang true in a lot of peoples’ hearts. The silence obviously doesn’t last though, as the band tear into their set that includes a more than welcome stage invasion, microphone sharing and some of the best most energetic deathcore/hardcore around. [SC]

For most of the people that started their day in the basement, they finished it there too, only making time for short cigarette or toilet breaks. Unfortunately for Black Shapes, their set marks one of the emptiest floors of the day. Their eccentric brand of harcore/punk just doesn’t seem to catch the imagination of anyone in the crowd, prompting some people to even leave. Regrettably, what’s done is done and Black Shapes‘ only impression on Sound Control and the SummerJam crowd is as a lull between the momentum of some other great bands. [SC]

Hardcore quartet Pay No Respect have travelled for 18 hours to get back to Manchester for the first time in 2 years and deserve a bigger crowd than they get. This doesn’t deter them though and they whip the crowd up into an absolute fury, commanding circle pits and hardcore dancing to songs such as ‘How It Ends’. Whether you’re in the middle of the crowd or straggling behind, nobody in the room can deny PNR‘s commitment to their fans. [JB]

TRC – 8/10
Forever opinion splitting Londoners TRC (or, The Revolution Continues) never have really got the full respect and recognition from the “true hardcore” scene due their arguably blasphemous splicing of hardcore with rap. However, with a set that consists of people clambering on the stage to scream along to the likes of ‘#TEAMUK’ and ‘Go Hard Or Go Home’ and a huge magnitude of stage diving, both from the crowd and the band, it’s sets like these that prove TRC have rightfully earned their place alongside all of their hardcore peers. [ZR]

HEIGHTS – 9/10
Not ones to give a note for note perfect set but always set to deliver a performance that will be hard to forget and have you sweating from ever pore of your body, Heights are the second stage headliners to close of 2013’s edition of SummerJam. They step up to the plate with gusto, at least as much gusto as a hardcore band can provide. From start-to-finish what Heights bring to the Sound Control basement is nothing short of utter chaos. Frontman Alex Monty throws himself across the stage and into the crowd who, along with his bandmates just cannot stay still through a set consiting of ‘Eleven Eyes’, ‘Dead Ends’ and Eye For An Eye’ to name but a few. Guitarists Dean Richardson and Tom Green are also getting in on the mayhem, swinging themselves from the roof railings, grating the microphones against their guitar strings and, ultimately, the band close SummerJam in the fashion that it deserves. [ZR]

Written by Zach Redrup [ZR], Shaun Cole [SC] Jonathon Barlow [JB]