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Wiston Lodge, South Lanarkshire
Friday 27th June 2014

Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid.

johnny main

les fest

With Metallica playing their (some would say controversial) set at Glastonbury, the hills of South Lanarkshire were filled with sound of a new Messiah - Saturday night headliners, Savage Messiah!

Hailing from London, the band manage to fill the main arena a good ten minutes before their allotted stage time, and when they finally file onto stage one by one, the audience are treated to the full Savage Messiah experience and the band leave Les-Fest with an army of new fans.

'Scavengers Of Mercy' has bass player, Mira Slama and guitarist Joff Bailey both head banging away encouraging those fans squeezed against the crowd barrier down the front to do the same whilst 'Hellblazer' has the crowd singing along with Bailey just a mass of hair as he head bangs his way through the song.

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The photographers in the pit jostle for position, while the first circle pit of the bands set begins, much to the amusement of the band and those on the periphery of the pit, who are less keen to join in, try and dodge those in the pit as it gets bigger and bigger.

As the band make their way through their set, the noise from the audience just get louder and louder as the band were clearly loving every minute of their seventy minute set.

The audience thrust their hands in the air during the easy to remember chorus of 'Zero Hour' as the pace slows slightly with front man Dave Silver taking on lead guitar duties, and during 'Minority Of One' (which is written about Mahatma Ghandi apparently) the fists of the audience thrust in the air once again while Bailey takes centre stage with his guitar solo whilst the crowd chant 'Hey' much to the band's delight.

The band launch into 'The Fateful Dark', the title track of the bands current release and as their set draws to a close, the band bring their mascot, Evil Pope, on stage during 'Insurrection Rising' and while this is all very good for the audience (who lap it up), the band don't really need gimmicks like this because their songs are really strong enough as they are.

Before their final farewell, however, the band have one more surprise for the audience in the form of the brand new song, 'The Last Confession'. "This may or may not make it onto the next album," Silver tells the crowd, but judging by the audience's reaction, they are onto another surefire winner.

Savage Messiah Set list:
Scavengers Of Mercy
Cross Of Babylon
Zero Hour
Minority Of One
The Fateful Dark
Insurrection Rising
The Last Confession

Savage Messiah are:
Dave Silver - Guitar/Vocals
Joff Bailey - Guitar
Mira Slama - Bass Guitar
Andrea Gorio - Drums

Savage Messiah Online:

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les fest

After the Heavy Metal onslaught of Savage Messiah, how could the organisers of Les-Fest possibly top that? Well, the easy answer is that they booked House Of X to close the Saturday night main stage.

Dave Ritchie walks on stage to personally introduce the band as he tells us that every year he has one choice of band all to himself and it was he that chose House Of X, which is made up of ex-members of the legendary rock band, UFO.

This is another coup for Les-Fest as its the band's first ever UK gig where they are billed as House Of X (having previously been known as X-UFO) and what the audience are treated to is a set choc full of classic numbers but with a healthy dose of new material too, showing that House Of X are not just a nostalgia act.

'Do Me Wrong' is the first new track premiered which gets a great reaction as does 'Busted' which has bass player Rocky Newton taking centre stage as frontman Danny Peyronel realises the keyboard isn't quite working as planned so busks some new lyrics while the issue is sorted out quickly by a tech.

My favourite of the new numbers is 'No More Tequila' which has the audience jumping around including Dave Ritchie who, as opposed to watching the band from backstage area, squeezes himself into front centre obviously enjoying every second of the band's performance.

les fest

There is, of course, a generous portion of classic songs that gets the arena jumping and singing along. 'Highway Lady' and 'Martian Landscape' have Newton and guitarist Laurence Archer engaging in some onstage tomfoolery as the audience sing along while the latter, we're told by Peyronel, is the first time the track has been played in nearly forty years.

The loudest cheers are kept for those evergreen classic tracks of 'Shoot Shoot' and 'Lights Out', during which Peyronel is having so much fun he bursts into laughter as the audience finish the choruses for him.

The ubiquitous 'Doctor Doctor' has everyone jumping around once again as the band bring their set to an end to a rousing reception and after a quick "Thank you" to the audience, they disappear backstage.

The shouts of "One mair tune!" from the audience rings around the arena and after a short wait, the audience are treated to an unrehearsed encore of 'Mother Mary' which has Peyronel with a microphone malfunction but ever the professional he borrows Newton's to complete the song whilst Archer ends up in the photographers pit much to the delight of the jam packed front row.

As the band finally exit to the backstage area, it's clear that Ritchie's personal choice of band is a good one and with a couple of upcoming shows confirmed already for House Of X, most of the audience will certainly be looking for a repeat performance next time the band heads north of the border.

House of X Set list:
Let It Roll
Natural Thing
Do Me Wrong
Highway Lady
Backdoor Man
House Of Lies
Shoot Shoot
Martian Landscape
Lights Out
No More Tequila
Rock Bottom
Doctor Doctor
Mother Mary

les fest

House Of X are:
Danny Peyronel - Vocals/Keyboards
Laurence Archer - Guitar/Vocals
Rocky Newton - Bass Guitar/Vocals
Clive Edwards - Drums

House of X Online:

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