UK Tech Fest Day One : Friday
15th July 2015, 16:00
Posted by Tristan
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Arriving at this years UK Tech Fest it was apparent that this was not going to be like most others. Moving through the throes of of tents until we found a section fit to pitch, from entering the festival both bands and punters retained incredibly tight knit sense of community. Very much the heart and soul of the Tech Fest ethos, the festival thrives on interactions. As we geared up for the first day, we were about to find out exactly just how eclectic the mix of UK Tech Fest could truly be…

10th July 2015
UK Tech Fest
Newark Showground
Support Bands: Subversion, No Sin Evades His Gaze, Sithu Aye, Nexilva Leprous, Betraying The Martyrs

Kicking things off we saw the arrival of Subversion . Beginning the festival proceedings in fantastic style the band were a fitting and loud start to the festival. Premiering a brand new song “Revelation” the band had a good idea yet was mired by the slightly convoluted instruments. Nevertheless a great way to kick things off.  Shortly afterwards we were treated to No Sin Evades His Gaze, asking the crowd rhetorically “Who thinks our band name is too long?” the crowd enthusiastically lapped up their brand of Death Metal meets symphonic, featuring another song preimere of the devastating new “Preacher” their performance is solid, execution on point with vocalist James Denton’s commanding presence definitely one to watch .

Truthfully having not heard of Sithu Aye before the festival it would seem that Tech Fest was a culmination of firsts both for bands and listeners alike. For the solo artist performing live for the very first time it was a feast for the eyes and ears. Meaning I was happily blown away by the guitar virtuoso’s performance at the festival. The solo artist enlisted the help of his brothers on various different instruments to be performing live. Delivering his now understandably signature lead lines the guitarist performs with a greater understand of music as a listener. Rather than deciding to go all out for shredding that would merely bore people to tears the guitarist has created an interesting , distinguishable and most importantly recognisable sound. A definite highlight for those leaning more towards the technical side of the spectrum of Tech Fest.

Nexilva :

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As we slowly move into late afternoon we see the arrival of the unsung heroes of the festival. Having spotted an innumerable amount of Nexilva t-shirts among the masses. Taking to the stage the band have some serious talent given their age. Our spring chickens burst out onto the stage with vocalist Gary King screaming until his proverbial lungs collapse performing with such venom, only matched by the rest of the bands ability. Though sadly we weren’t able to see Connor Jobes behind the kit as he broke his collar bone the night before, this didn’t disparage him from deciding to play the entire set on guitar!

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Queueing up the drum machine for the set the band ripped through the crowd delivering a ferocious set with material new and old showing that age truly means nothing. Perhaps due to the sound on stage the mix of the relentless Death Metal did get slightly muddled and was hard to hear at times, nevertheless this didn’t detract from the bands brilliant work together, Nexilva I tip my hat.

Leprous :

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It would seem that Leprous have very much run with the saying, “good things come to those who wait“. Deciding to ensure that their sound is truly air tight, the band leave eager punters waiting at the gates to enter the stage. Once given the all clear the band set the moody, contemplating theoretical atmosphere with opener “The Flood”. Arriving on stage in a uniform of black shirts we see our Norwegian’s begin as stiff Krautrock statues. With their gargoyle like presence in full effect we see one of the highlights of the festival an absolutely mesmerising rendition of “Rewind” with singer Einar Soldberg’s oscillating screams reverberating not only off the walls but the souls of every unsuspecting listener.

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Slowly shedding their Kraftwerk skin much like a Venus fly trap Leprous combine the beauty of soaring vocals and uplifting keys until the inner rage is unleashed moving almost into almost Shining like territory. It would seem that anticipation is indeed their secret weapon. Building tension unto fever pitch the sheer raw power contained by the delivery of the vocals is truly overwhelming. and bring it crashing down with a rendition of the air tight “The Price”. Showcasing exactly just what the band are capable of.

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Once the veil is lifted the band are predatory, preying on the emotions of the unsuspecting. Leprous are malleable tonight. Never quite able to be grasped by our listeners the eel like presence eschewing predictability particularly in their bursts of energy with the freak out of Bilateral number “Forced Entry” With new album The Congregation obtaining rave reviews around the metal globe it is easy to see why these Norwegians are such a force to be reckoned with. Delivering a performance that oozes both style, passion and sheer unhinged primal instinct. Performing sporadically tonight the band coalesce to create something beautifully dark, unpredictable and truly mesmerising. You would be a fool to miss them in their headline shows. Phenomenal.

Betraying The Martyrs :

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Unfortunately the same could not be said for Betraying The Martyrs arriving later than planned the band bounce onto the stage with opener “Liberate Me“. Though their stage presence is commendable their delivery seems very misguided, with their material coming through as much of a hodgepodge of genres. Had this been done with a sense of aplomb then perhaps I might have forgiven the band. However for me it was just too disorganised, one minute Victor Guillet is holding a keyboard, the next he’s screaming into a mic, then just jumping around like a French Sid Wilson. Make your mind up guys. Much the same could be said for the band’s music itself as well. Delivering a confused melting pot of genres with the sound up LOUD.

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However if you want to see a great live band, look no further! Because boy do Betraying The Martyrs tick all the boxes. Front man  Aaron Matts made use of the monitors to the utmost effect trampling speakers, with bassist and guitarist at once playing instruments yet singing as well there is something strangely intriguing about the chaos unfurling on stage, with their brilliant light show that ensured the knew they were indeed headlining. But it was when they brought out their jewel in the crown a cover of Frozen favourite “Let It Go” complete with an Elsa chair crowd surfed to the front man. Whatever the opinion of the musical dexterity of the band it is undeniable that they are incredibly fun to watch.

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Taking it on the chin, it truly is a sight to behold to see a packed out main stage sing “conceal don’t feel, don’t let them know”. Nevertheless when the more deadly first material “Martyrs” is revealed later in the set the band do deserve to have their name as headliner for the festival. Performing admirably the band have blasted through their various back catalogue and despite their sometimes slightly miscalculated muscial approach have set the bar incredibly high for the rest of the weekend’s head liners…

Check back tomorrow for UK Tech Fest Day Two : Saturday.