The Adnam Stage is where we’re at, in The Lanes bowling alley for Bristol’s Fat Lip Feat 2018! Fat Lip has been going since 2013 with regular live shows and taking its name from the much loved Sum 41 song. The annual one dayer is split across 4 stages and 3 venues in a close Bermuda triangle. As with UK Tech-Fest, we meet a familiar face in I, TheMapmaker‘s frontman Ash Emery. The Lanes must surely be the only venue where the smell is freshly baked Pizza!
Opening up are rockers Trueheights [6/10] who offer up some well honed rocky tunes with all clean vocals. Their atmospheric builds are few and far between but work well, as do their sing-a-long choruses. Lifetight [8/10] raise the bar with a high energy hardcore set that even sees their frontman climbing on the bar. New song “Energy” bodes well for their upcoming new EP while older songs like “Dreams” talk up the positives in life. Bad Sign [7/10] continue the London theme. The South Croydon trio contend with low level music playing out of the PA that they drown out with their songs as well as a constant stream of dry ice that they claim makes them feel like Alexandra Burke. The comedy between songs is brilliant while they deliver a sonic sensation for the ear drums.
Glaswegian’s Lotus Eater [9/10] tear the venue a new exit. Easily the heaviest band on the bill and freshly signed to Hopeless Records, the band are on a high. The first proper pit of the day is stopped by security on a couple of occasions but fails in the end as “Crooked” brings their set to a close. Liverpool’s Carcer City [9/10] bring the groove with their Tech infused Metalcore. New song “Tides” is a set highlight and by the time closer “Sovereign” comes along we’ve seen circle pits galore. The band are a phenomenal live animal. Coventry Metalcore crew Silent Screams [8/10] are a band on the return run some 4 years after their last full length album, though they have released a number of singles and toured extensively in that time. This afternoon’s set is tight and full of energy with 2017 single “Low” a real highlight. We have heard reports that Crazy Town over on the Fireball SWX stage have run 15 minutes over and not played “Butterfly”, the song the crowd really wanted.
Sadly Napoleon have dropped off the bill due to drummer issues so Groove StreetFamilies [7/10] have stepped up to fill in. In sound check they blast through some famous riffs, fittingly including “Fat Lip” by Sum 41. Their by the numbers Metallic Hardcore brings out the two steppers and spin kickers and while there is no doubting they are a very good time indeed, they clearly have more about them but choose to play it safe. South Wales crossover Grime Metal crew Asteroid Boys [8/10] continue the party vibe with a new guitarist in tow sans Crowbar t-shirt. He might look out of place but the riffs are simple and effective when added to the live drummers sound to underpin the DJ’s work. They have a live energy that gives their material and extra 20 percent and with tracks like “Dirt” they have the material to get the crowd going with nonstop crowd surfing throughout.
Despite technical issues delaying their set start by 15 minutes, mics being too low in the mix at the start and some strained unclean vocals from Jot Maxi, Hacktivist [9/10] deliver an hour’s worth of material in fine form. Their live set has benefited from removing the backtracked extra guitars and their new guitarist is on point throughout. “Elevate”, “Cold Shoulders”, “Niggaz In Paris” the list of quality material goes on, but there is no new material in tonight’s set despite pictures of the band working with producer Justin Hill (ex-SikTh) of late. Still, the old stuff goes down a storm with crowd surfing and big smiles throughout.