It’s Sunday, it’s chucking it down and Throwfest is larger than ever with a stunning 25+ bill spread across two floors of Clwb Ifor Bach and Fuel, both renowned for their metal shows.
Our first catch of the day is When We Were Wolves (7). There’s a justified amount of people in the room for these lads, who themselves say they weren’t expecting many and appreciate the time people have taken to come watch them early on in the day. A few skip their way around the centre throwing all kinds of shapes. They’re tight, it’s interesting but a part of me feels they could be better, a little more attitude to justify their striking music.
Over to Fuel sees light hearted Junior (7) play to a few. “1 2 3 JUNIOR” they shout, standing in a circle like they’re about to break into an American football game. They’re cheeky and albeit playing to mostly photographers at the front but that doesn’t stop them playing off each other energetically.
Even from outside I could feel the generic “we hate everyone” riffs. Realm Of Torment (5) are your pretty typical hardcore act. A few dancers appear mid-set but that isn’t enough for the singer as he runs full force into the crowd at speed, taking out a few in surprise. Overall they’re let down by the singer whose monotone repetitive grunts cloud the rest of the band creatively.
As we head back upstairs, the first glimpse of Cold Hard Truth (8) makes the band before look like beginners only to be proved rightly when they jump into their first song. If you’re looking for your hard looking, hard hitting, hardcore then this is it. The strong presence off the entire band entice the crowd to pummel each other across the floor. It’s engaging and their singer makes sure of it.
Heaven Asunder (7) show us the more glam side of rock with their strong compelling stadium metal and all black clothing. They belt out every tune and give Amy Lee a run for her money. Belters. All of them. And posers, but they do it well and it suits them.
Back at Fuel we get into serious rock with Grumble Bee (7) who firstly apologises for not being as heavy but no one is worried here. It’s polite no nonsense rock and an enjoyable set. They play like they’ve done the whole circuit and are ready for the big game.
Continents (8) kick things off back upstairs. They don’t hesitate to explain where they’ve been, and as for most cases of bands of this stature it’s been too expensive too tour. It’s understandable and somewhat entices to the crowd to get their times worth. Everything is kicking off, albeit a few songs feeling repetitive, but they’ve got the stamina and emotion to end on a high.
There’s dwindling numbers in Fuel as Foes (7) get sound checked, with the crowd consisting more of dedicated fans than ones checking out new/local acts. There may be few in the room, but the feeling off them is loving and respectful, which matches their atmospheric tunes, alluring vocals and pleasurable attitude. Northern bands always have that underlying spark in their vocals – it always feels more emotive, more moving.
Thirty seconds into walking in on The Browning (8) and they’re already my new favourite party band. The upstairs of Clwb Ifor Bach is bouncing and it didn’t stop until the last second. Their music may be simple but it’s enjoyable and fun. Everyone is grooving to these metal dancers, and for 18 hours worth of driving here, I hope they had a a great time too.
50 Caliber (6), another Hard-“we-mean-business”-core band. The singer stands frowning to the side like a London gangsta who could eat you to shreds. It’s a shame his bite doesn’t quite match his appearance and the vocals fall short.
Moved from the smaller stage Create To Inspire (7) pack out the top floor and with so many in the room, no one wants to move. The set is tight and they give out ample stage presence. The singer grabs a few down the front singing their hearts out and gives them their moment.
Things are really starting to get busy as a packed top floor waits for heroes Hacktivist (9). Throughout their set it’s one giant party and everyone is loving it. Each member plays off each other and to the crowd – pulling faces, blessing fans and giving it their all. No fear as the singers spend part of their time down in the crowd. They end on a dig at Teresa May as they play one last hit and leave the crowd thirsty for more. Intense from start to finish, although technical difficulties meant cutting a few songs off the list the crowd couldn’t care or be happier.
Not as full as they were probably hoping for, especially for a headline tour coming all the way from Australia, I Killed The Prom Queen (8) do their best to leave a lasting impression tonight at Clwb. They’ve had their fair share of hate in the past but tonight a mixture of fans and newcomers grace the front row. They keep the set mixed and the stage presence faultless – and although a few songs feel a little lack lustre by this point everyone is just happy to see the over here playing. They’ve been an influence to many and hopefully continue to do so.
They end the set with a kind tribute to Architects guitarist Tom who sadly passed away recently. They reminisce on past tours and call for everyones support to help the band at this tragic time, and Say Goodbye ends the night. Throwfest has been a wonderful experience, with a variety of bands, fans, and great memories. Hats off to Imperial Music for the day.
Throwfest 2016Clwb Ifor Bach & Fuel Club, Cardiff - August 21st 2016.
Photographer: Nadine Ballantyne - www.nadineballantyne.com
In Order: I Killed The Prom Queen, Hacktivist, Create To Inspire, 50 Caliber, The Browning, Foes, Continents, Grumble Bee, Heaven Asunder, Cold Hard Truth, Realm Of Torment, Junior, When We Were Wolves.