I'm Getting excited, the butterflies in my belly fluttering more with each of the articles I type. The thought of seeing all of these bands at close quarters in the heart of the English countryside is filling me with such a heightened sense of expectation that the time can go quick enough. I'm already mentally packing my rucksack and driving up the motorway to Newark.
Some of these pieces have been little journeys of discoveries for me, finding out about new bands so I can provide you a succinct precis of their style for you to make your informed festival decisions around. But this one will be for me no such journey; as it features 3 of my favourite bands of the moment. So, I've provided some ado, let there be no more; on with the show.
Melody, technicality, unalloyed neck tapping guitar joy wrapped up in death metal paper; that is the present that awaits you if you decide to make this French band one of your musical pit stops for the TechFest Weekend. In the few years since their inception they have produced a ebullient EP and and exceptionally entertaining album, that both embrace the rules and strictures of Tech-Death and yet somehow define their own unique variety of passionate, pacey, groove laden style. Live they are a joy to behold; spontaneous, powerful and totally in control. Vive La France, Vive La Technical Death Metal
Shields are at the very forefront of the Post-hardcore scene in the UK. With a soulful skillful combination of gorgeous melody and bone shaking syncopation, their songs adhere to the memory like musical glue. They judiciously use both subdrops and breakdowns to emphasise the powerful staccato momentum within their music. I have been fortunate enough to have seen them play on several times and each occasion I have been tremendously impressed with both their playing and their Tiggerish ability to bounce their way throughout a set. Infectious and aggressive, Shields, in my opinion, are destined for big things. They may just feel hate, but they'll make you feel great.
I have a confession to make to you. Up until a couple of weeks ago I would have descibed Red Seas Fire as one of my guilty pleasures. Maybe its the beautifully sung poppy choruses, or their skill at piling riff on riff in such a energetic skillful manner that makes their music so accessible; whatever it was, my fandom of Red Seas Fire was something that I wanted to keep to myself and lock it deep away from prying eyes and judging minds. Now, this admission is the past. I stand boldly before you and declare my love for this bands music. The reason I have be so emboldened: I saw them perform live at the London TechFest all dayer and was blown away like a hay rick in a tornado. They were magnificent. From the frankly psychopathic yet utter unforgettable drumming of Jake Foggerty to the sublime vocal skills of Robin Adams, they pummeled my bashful incipience into the mental obscurity it deserved. Suitably chastened by this experienced I vowed to never hide any admiration I might have for any band under stone of ego ever again. So, Red Seas Fire; they made me become a better person, or at least try to be. Why not let them into your world and see if they might do the same for you.
– John Whitmore