- Attica Rage
- Dirty Rose
- Lets Play God
- Fire In The Empire
- Colours to Shame
- Lost Persona
- Deadly Inscription
First off is Neil and I’s journey down to Les Fest.
We set off for Valley International Park, Crossford in the pouring rain, not knowing quite what to expect when we arrive at Les Fest! After about an hour driving down the back roads and along a lovely windy road we arrive at an Art and Garden centre so parked up and followed the sign for ticket office and we were pleasantly surprised to see a lovely covered courtyard with cafe, restaurant, beauty parlour etc.
We picked up our wrist bands and lanyards and went for a quick nosy before we checked into the lodge. We’re not fans of camping, so we did the easy option and booked into the lodge. I can vouch for the rooms being lovely and well worth the money.
After dumping our stuff we headed up to the venue which was a function room with proper sound system inc full stacks and lightning rig. No outdoor marquee tent that we had expected, so it was a lovely surprise! Also proper classy loos as an extra bonus!
We caught up with a few folk that we knew as well as a few we didn’t, there was a really friendly relaxed party atmosphere around the site. After something to eat in the cafe we headed back up to the venue to catch some bands.
Due to trying to track down band members then doing interviews after the bands had finished their sets. I did miss a few bands entire sets and also parts of bands sets, so please accept this small review of what I managed to see and piece together from what Neil seen at Les Fest!!!
First band to start off Les Fest was Llamafunksnarf they started with F.M.L and Battle Llama, they soon had the room bouncing along with their blend of groove metal with heavy vocals! They had a good sized crowd considering it was early evening. Milk Snarf and their final song Dark Snarf went down well. What a great start to the festival.
Bekon I’ve seen a few time and the guys play a solid tight set. They play a great blend of heavy metal meets old school trash. They play ‘Apocalypse’’, ‘Awaken’ had head banging hard and of course one of the songs that has to be mentioned as it went down the best with the crowd ‘What’s the story Ballamory’! Definitely metal-tastic \m/
Deadly Inscription kicked off their set with ‘Statement’, then ‘Gather All Your Friends Together’ the guys have a good following there, they encouraged the crowd and had the pit going despite the size of the crowd. ‘Substance’ sounded fantastic. They finished up with ‘My Existence’ and ‘One Against The World’
Lost Persona tore through their 5 song set in true metalcore style. They started with one of their new tracks ‘Grudge Harbour’ that had the crowd moving, with its head banging and foot stomping beats. ‘A Fool and His Money’ screams and shouts at you. Up next up was ‘Open Prison’ ‘Blood On Your Hand’ their final song ‘20/21(End of Suffering)’ went down a treat.
Fire in the Empire, had only found out the night before that they were playing at Les Fest on the Friday night. The guys came up from Chorley to stand in for Ravenface who had to cancel their slot. FITE only had a 25 minute set and they managed to squeeze in four songs. First song up was ‘Riddles’ then they went straight into ‘Twisted Tale’ think dynamic dual lead guitar riffs, pounding drum beats and expressive powerful vocals. The guys seemed to be having a great time rocking the Les fest crowd and their last two songs To the thinking Man’s Horror and Break Away got a great reaction from the crowd.
Let’s Play God launched into their set with the dynamic D.T.A, this is a song that always gets the play bouncing along, same as Force Fed and Sky Scraper. I’ve seen these guys quite a bit and I can honestly say that I’ve have never seen such an unintentional acrobatic set ever!
Vocalist Rob was slightly tipsy! (LOL) and he performed a few spectacular moves throughout their set, this include swinging from the lighting rig, falling into the drum kit twice, falling backwards into the photo pit/front of stage where Neil and Melisa who where in there taking pictures, went to help him up, Rob said “Leave me” and carried on singing as if nothing had happened then once he’d finished they helped him back on stage, classic!
They finished up with ‘Pride and ‘Spineless’ during Spineless Rob dived from the stage into the crowd. The guys played blinding nonstop action packed set; there was never a dull moment as all the band members are constantly on the move!
Lothian trio Dirty Rose are no strangers to most of the audience, they start off with the awesome Another Day, ‘Sorrows End’, as always these guys play a solid tight set, that gets the crowd going especially ‘Metal Militia’ and ‘Bite The Hand’ which had their fans singing along. They finish up with ‘Supernaut’ that has been recorded the album ‘No More Tears – A Millennium Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne’ and ‘Straight from Hell’ which rounds off the set perfectly.
Attica Rage kicks off their Ragetastic headlining set with ‘36 Insane’ and they play two of my favourite older AR songs ‘Contradictions’ and ‘Back to the Old School’. They then play a new song aptly titled ‘new song’ as well as some fan favourites ‘Ashamed’, ‘Inner Eye’ from their latest album a well as playing the rocking track ‘Road Dog’. Before playing ‘Back To the Old School’ which always gets a great reaction and sing along from the crowd before closing with two stunning covers Rebel Yell and Paranoid, which finished off the evening on a rocking note!
Rock For Funds acoustic unplugged stage
- Christie Connor-Vernal
- Dan Dean
- Craig Weir
- Dannii Yelo
- Target 13
- Praying Mantis
- The Amorettes
- Dana O’Hara
- Massive Wagons
- 15 Times Dead
Rock for Funds stage set up in the covered courtyard, which provided some lovely acoustics Dan Dean, who we could hear while we had brunch in the cafe and Christie Connor-Vernal even though she had a problem with her guitar pickup shorting out from the rain, a quick replacement was found and she carried on with her set songs included a few of her own songs and covers of Janice Joplin’s – Mercedes Benz and Poison’s – Something To Believe In
D3vilmaycry opened up proceedings on the main stage today and in keeping with Les-Fest’s policy of showcasing new unsigned talent these guys have only been around for a year, unfortunately Neil only caught the end of their set after leaving the Rock for Funds stage but said they sounded like they had been playing a lot longer together than a year.
15 Times Dead start off with ‘Deception’ and ‘No Friend of Mine’ Dan takes over vocal duty from Andy for ‘Driven By Hate’ his more growly darker sound gives the track a grittier feel to it. Next up is a new song ‘Let Them Die’ which has a darker heavier, girth sound to it, ‘I’ follows on perfectly from it with its Slayer styled intro and riffs; it’s been changed slightly so it’s sounding heavier and more intricate than before! After ‘I’ they checked and found out they had ran out of time so we never got ‘Bullethead’ which they normally close with.
Massive Wagons start off the party atmosphere with their distinctive hard rocking tunes such as ‘Ride on’ and Heavy metal Man’, The guys did a superb set with lead singer Baz Mills constantly on the move jumping from the stage to the barrier or twirling the mic stand around during their high powered set finishing up with a well received ‘G String Boogie’ all it needed was the pole dancers from their video to really set it off nice one guys.
Continuing on in the rocking party mood, next up is Estrella who are making a great name for themselves this year. Their catchy blend of 80’s metal that they have brought bang up to date, with songs like Shout and Let’s do It they have the crowd dancing and head banging along whilst utilising the stage with their moves. The guys brought their set to a close with a cracking cover of ‘Highway to Hell’ which had the crowd singing along and then shouting for more.
Next up is Severenth a band that I’ve seen a few times now and have been looking forward to seeing even thought I seen them in March at Hammerfest. This is Severenth’s first Scottish appearance and there is a good turn out for them. They start off their set with ‘Revel’ and ‘Age of Paranoia’. Their latest video ‘Two Mirrors’ gets a great reaction, as does ‘Annunaki’. They finished up with ‘Wayward Days and ‘Born to Suffer’
Fluorescent streaked painted bodies take to the stage next, in the form of Dana O’Hara and it’s easy to see that they have a lot of fans in the crowd tonight. They start off their set with ‘Light The Lanterns’, they get a good pit going as they continue on their blend of melodic death/NWOBHM/ power metal and blast into ‘Risky Woods’ which is based on the ye old Mega Drive/Amiga computer game! The guys run about the audience during the set which has the crowd flocking around them whilst they continue playing. In The Arms of a God’, ‘The Apostle’.
Welsh hard rocking trio Inferno started their set off with ‘Veni Vidi Vici’ and ‘Are You Alive’ which went down a treat with the crowd, the guys are sounding superb as always. They played ‘The Suicide Pact’ as well as their latest single ‘The Hand is Quicker than the Eye’; if you haven’t heard this track or seen the video go check it out. The also treated us 2 new songs ‘Vis A Vis’ and the foot stomping ‘Death by Rock N’ Roll’. Inferno played a power rocking set which is great going as they had played a gig the night before and travelled up overnight before arriving in the early hours of the morning and only getting a few hours kip before playing their set.
The Amorettes I missed as I was interviewing however a huge shout out to the girls for making it in time to perform their set especially as they had been playing support at the Gun gig in Edinburgh then heading straight to Les Fest and literally about 20 mins before going on stage. The feedback about their set was fantastic, nice one girls!
Praying Mantis had to cut 2 or 3 songs from their set as the night was running about 15 mins behind schedule. They opened with charming ‘Children of the Earth’ and ‘Panic In The Streets’, Highway was a highlight of the set, as was ‘Turn The Tables’ During the set Tino hit himself with his lovely Les Paul guitar, this didn’t distract him one bit! All the guys pulled of some great rock poses throughout the set. They finishing off their superb set with ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Captured City’, which were well received by the audience…
Kyrbgrinder start off their krushing set with ‘What About Me’, this goes down well with the crowd same as ‘Don’t Be So Cold’. The trio certainly show off their talents Tommy is a guitar maestro, Dave’s brilliant bass licks along with Johanne stunning drumming, singing, as well as dancing about whilst bantering with the crowd this keeps everyone entertained. The final song was ‘My Heart Bleeds’ Johanne asked the 15 Times Dead guys come on stage, they are joined by the lovely Mel for a sing along to the song, and it was a great finale to the night.
Very quick summary of Neil and I’s weekend
A combination of great venue/ facilities, friendly, laid back party atmosphere, hanging out with new and old friends, superb mixture of unsigned local/national bands playing along with the bigger more established signed artists definitely worked well at Les Fest to provide a winning weekend.
Well done to Dave, Isabell, Lewis all the team, bands and venue staff that made this event what it was – fantastic weekend.
Roll on next year and the proposed to be a 3 day event some bands have been signed up already for it!!! Line up and more details to be released in the first official announcement on the 1st November 2012.
Rock For Funds
Neil’s festival photos:
Day 1 – click here
Day 2 – click here