Anyone who knows me knows that heavy music has never particularly been my forte, but when I was asked to head down to the first ever Breakout Festival in Brighton I knew I wanted to see what these bands had to offer, and I can honestly say it was something of an experience.
Upon entering, the first band I saw on the Main Stage was called The One Hundred and immediately I was interested in these guys. They were quite heavy, but incorporated elements of Electronic music into their set, which I felt was a really fresh way of taking heavy music on, and they also had a lot of energy whilst they were performing, which is something I feel really passionate about! If a band, regardless of genre, gives it their absolute all when they are on stage, I can’t not think highly of them. I only got the end of this band’s set but I thought they were exciting and I’d definitely like to see more of them in the future!
After having a bit of a wander round the festival settings I stumbled across a very interesting find. A band called Bigfoot whom was playing on the “UpRawr” stage. I was attracted to them from the outset, as the lead singer wasn’t screaming until his throat fell out, but singing with such power and charisma it was something I hadn’t expected to see! The genre I can only describe as a combination of power metal, like that of Dragonforce and Heavy Metal, similar to Iron Maiden, with the lead singer of Bigfoot having quite a few similarities to Bruce Dickinson. He jumped around on stage as if he had been there since he was able to walk, and the guitarists held their own on stage, supporting their lead singers confidence. I have to say these guys may have been my favourite surprise find of the day.
The next band I saw have been on my band’s to see list for months, and to say I was looking forward to seeing them was an understatement.
Collisions have been creating so much attention for themselves in Brighton lately, and I’ve heard nothing but positive things about their live shows, and they did not disappoint at Breakout Festival.
For starters I want to praise their drummer Will Chapman for being one of the most solid live drummers I’ve ever seen, and practically radiating passion for his band and the music they were playing, but it wasn’t just down to one member that this band work so well, together they are practically unstoppable. I’ve always thought of successful live bands as a ball of energy that no one can get to or touch when they are playing together, and this band definitely fall under that category. Throughout their entire set they had so much going on, in terms of backing tracks and synths, yet they never once lost their focus or timing, but kept their confidence in each others abilities. I love how Collisions combine elements of other genres in this new brand of Metal they have created, it’s just something I haven’t seen before and they are clearly destined for massive stages and festivals. At one point during their set the equipment they were using to set off all their backing tracks failed to work, but frontman Olly Simmons held his own, and kept the crowd on the bands side despite the issues they were dealing with on stage, which just shows how professional this band are. Download their songs, and see them live! Just get involved with this band!
For the next couple of hours of Breakout the bands seemed to blend into one slightly, with each genre seeming to be quite similar it was hard to really pick out some killer bands. All of them technically performed well together and knew their way round a stage but nothing really caught my eye. The next band that really took me by surprise was much later into the day, and they took onto the main stage with so much gusto it practically knocked me off my feet.
The Blackout are a six piece band from Wales and initially I could only see one vocalist on the stage, but I kept hearing a second set of vocals from somewhere, but couldn’t see any other members singing, then as if out of no where, a confident chap with bleach blonde hair jumped out of the crowd and onto the stage and suddenly the whole set lifted off. This band managed to include the entire crowd of Breakout Festival in their set, without throwing their music down our throats, but just showing us how much they loved what they do. Both singers swung their microphones around themselves, incorporating it into their entire performance and I was literally transfixed with the amount of energy they had, not once seeming to look tired or showing any signs of slowing down. From start to finish they were incredibly exciting and I intend to go to a full gig of theirs as soon as I can!
The next band on the main stage were Funeral For A Friend and despite sticking round for the first few songs, it just wasn’t really for me. They were a great at what they were doing but it just wasn’t a genre I really understood, so instead I decided to check out was on the UpRawr stage, and I’m so glad I did.
The Qemists were, what only can be described as, electronic metal. They had a live DJ with them on stage, and their sound was reminiscent of that of The Prodigy, but they had bought that sound into a new age. Another band that had two vocalists, a recurring theme throughout the day, this band probably were the first band I’d seen that day to have an audience literally eating out of their hands. I was further to the back of the large crowd that had formed to see them, but it was clear that the front few rows were literally going nuts for them. At one point they made the entire crowd get really low on the floor and obediently we all complied, with not one person feeling embarrassed to get involved, and with as much energy as the band were delivering, we jumped up in unison and enjoyed the final part of their set. I loved this band, and anyone interested in real electronic metal music need to see them.
The final band I saw were a group, that have been awarded “Best Live Band” in 2011 by Metal Hammer and anyone I told I was seeing them widened their eyes and said I was in for one hell of a show.
Skindred were literally in a league of their own. This reggae/dub/metal band have played countless festivals and hundreds of venues all over the world, and yet, the excitement and joy they portrayed on stage would make you think it was the first time they had ever played to an audience before. I’d heard a few songs of Skindred’s in passing but I had never sat down and listened to an album in full, but after seeing them live I think I’m going to be investing some money into getting all of their music. The biggest crowd I’d seen all day formed to watch lead singer Benji Webbe prove his worth as a frontman and behind him, were a group of musicians who were giving each song everything they had, so that we as an audience wouldn’t be afraid to give them every bit of energy and attention we all had. If you have seen Skindred live then you know exactly how fantastic they are, and that they are up there with all the other great live bands, and anyone who hasn’t seen them, regardless of whether metal music is your thing or not, if you enjoy music, and spend your time going to gigs, then Skindred NEED to be on your bands to see list. If you don’t see them live then you’re missing out on one of the best shows you’ll ever watch.
Breakout Festival featured many bands that were following the same genre for a big part of the afternoon, which although was good for those who like that genre, for others it was perhaps a bit too much? However in the end I found some wicked live bands, and saw an epic headliner, which is surely what any good festival is about?