Les-Festive: Friday Review

Les-Festive_Dec_2013Les-Fest 2 back in July was one of the highlights of the cackblabbath.online summer, so when we were invited to Les-Festive this month at the Ivory Blacks in Glasgow, it seemed rude to decline! Les-Festive was created by the Les-Fest crew as a way to see what talent is out there in Scotland, in order to help them choose acts for the upcoming Summer festival. Organiser Dave Ritchie has stated all along that this wasn’t a battle of the bands or anything of the like, it was simply an opportunity for bands to be showcased. Just like the event in the summer, there wasn’t a shred of competitiveness in the air. Each band took to the stage supported fully by the crowd, creating the easy going atmosphere which the cackblabbath.online team have grown to love Les-Fest for.

Opening up the stage tonight were local doom metallers, Aye Aye. Creating a sound that is best described as ‘chunky’, this three piece blew apart the stage in a way not previously thought possible by such a minimalist lineup. This band also won extra points due to bassist/vocalist ‘Spawn’ coming up to us after their set and claiming our dance skills were… and I quote “spectacular” and the crowd should just be watching us and not the bands. The wee charmers!

Next up were Perduramo, again from Glasgow. There was a definite Grunge look about these boys as they were setting up and as soon as they kicked in with their first track,we immediately caught a Smashing Pumpkins vibe and knew we were right on the money. After being impressed with their set at Les-Festive we came home and gave their album a listen and have come to the conclusion that these guys are definitely worth a listen. Their amazingly titled album, Monkey See Monkey Do, is available for download now from http://perduramo.bandcamp.com/. Get on it!

Time for another change of genre now as Seed Of Sorrow took to the stage, attacking with full force heavy metal. These boys are from Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland and are as brutal as the climate they come from. Playing a set filled with technical death metal they got a so far, pretty stationary crowd moving finally! We now weren’t the only people dancing and making fools of ourselves! Although they appeared to struggle with timing at a couple of points in the set, they still put on a fantastic show and are a band who are only going to grow from strength to strength with more experience. Definitely a band to keep an eye on!

Farseer were next on the bill which meant it was power metal time. Very few things excite this member of the CackBlabbath team more than a good bit of power metal! Not meaning to put any pressure on the Glasgow lads, but our expectations were high for their set. One miss-pitched power scream and we would have been out of there! Thankfully though, the boys did not disappoint… Quite the contrary in fact. Vocalist David Bisset has an incredible voice and it matches the band’s melodic stylings perfectly. Each track was incredibly catchy as we found ourselves joining in with choruses we had never heard before! If you are a fan of Iced Earth, definitely check out Farseer. You will not be disappointed.

The next band up are the frustratingly talented, Disposable. We had been lucky enough to catch these guys in opening support slots a couple of times in Edinburgh over the last month or so, but it was fantastic to see them higher up a line-up and getting the recognition they deserve. Talented way beyond the legal amount for a group of boys so young, they played their old-school infused Thrash at a brutal speed without ever breaking the precision tightness which makes them so special. The thing that really stands out about these guys however is their confidence.  For a band barely out of high school, they are not at all phased by a live crowd and are certainly not scared to shout at them to move if they feel you aren’t paying their music enough attention! Sounding like a mini version of Slayer they break into a cover of Raining Blood at which point everyone loses it due to their perfect execution of the track. We predict big things for these boys. Watch this space.

Taking a break from the music for a while, Dave Richie appeared on stage to inform us that our tickets each had a unique number on them and that if our number was called we would win two weekend tickets to Les-Fest 3. Unfortunately, our numbers weren’t called, but the tickets were won by a very enthusiastic lady stood right up at the barrier and her excited reaction made us smile anyway, so all was well! Metal Outlaw TV’s very own ‘Big C’ then took to the stage for his infamous Metal Spoken Word. Treated to such delights as spoken lyrics from Slayer and Cradle of Filth, Big C got the whole crowd giggling like little children every time he uttered a swear word, proving if nothing else… metal fans will never grow up!

At last the time had come for headliners Estrella to take the stage. These long haired rockers were another Les-Fest find for cackblabbath.online and it really was a case of love at first sight. They are without a shadow of a doubt one of the finest rock bands in the UK right now and their set tonight aimed to prove that to any non believers in the crowd. Opening with Shout (I Wanna Hear You) from their debut album Come Out To Play, they instantly had everyone singing along with them. The great thing about these guys is the whole package they come with. They are a true Stadium Rock band and what I imagine watching bands like Areosmith would have been like before they got famous. From the catchy songs, to the confidence in front man Paul Gunn’s onstage strut, to the technical showmanship in Luke Gunn’s guitar playing… and of course not forgetting the wind machine letting their flowing locks become the icing on this 80s rock cake…. They delivered a set packed with tracks off their album before finishing with an encore of two covers. First being Crazy Crazy Nights by Kiss before finishing the night off with ACDCs Highway To Hell, reminding everyone of the campaign to make this track this year’s Christmas Number One. Usually not a fan of finishing off a set with covers, these guys get away with it because of the complete charm in the delivery, this is a Christmas party after all. After having the chance to interview Paul and Luke during the night, they hinted at big things happening for Estrella in 2014, so my advice would be to catch them live soon. I have a feeling they won’t be playing small venues for too much longer…

As the live music drew to a close it was apparent that the Les-Fest crew had once again pulled off a fantastic night of metal and more importantly were creating opportunities for (mostly) Scottish bands to be seen and heard. Our only regret for the night was that we weren’t able to return for the second night the next day. With a lineup consisting of the following bands; What’s The Damage? (Glasgow), Final Silence (Falkirk), Bacchus Baracus (Glasgow), Vantage Point (Edinburgh), Spill Sixteen (Sheffield) and Massive Wagons (Lancaster), it was looking set to be another amazing night of live music.