The penultimate band of Les-Fest 2014 is north of England based Falling Red who are out to make the very most of their chance to show a new crowd what they're all about.
There's a large crowd to greet them as they make their way on stage and they waste no time in showing the audience their high energy show. Second song in, 'We Escaped A Cult', has the crowd jumping along as they enthusiastically sing-along.
'Outcast' has bass player Mikey Lawless leads the way as he joins the headbangers squashed against the barrier before frontman Andrew Roze takes centre stage with a short guitar solo as the audiences fists are thrust skywards.
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'Come On Down' is dedicated to those who have work the next day (who all seem to be grouped on one side of the stage strangely!) but the audience are in full voice during the chorus though much to the delight of Roze.
The band also impress with a spirited cover of Billy Idol's 'Rebel Yell' as camera phones are hoisted stage wards and everyone sings along to the chorus. Unfortunately for rhythm guitarist Jayde Starr, he has an issue with his guitar so the guitar sound suffers slightly is lost as he tries in vain to correct the problem but the rest of the band are professional enough to carry on as best they can.
With their latest album, 'Empire Of The Damned' not long out, we're treated a good selection from the opus including the title track which pierces the cool night air as the keyboard intro comes over the PA. Everyone in the band gives one hundred percent to their performance, and they are rewarded with huge roar of approval showing that this is a song they should be proud of and the audience seem to enjoy singing it as much as the band enjoy playing it.
A cornerstone of the band's performance is 'No Sanctuary' with its slow intro before the track is properly unleashed as the audience down the front jump into head banging action. Drummer Dave Sanders does really well here as he uses every available drum to really fill out the sound while obviously having a great time.
At the end of the day, Falling Red are a tight live band and their special guest slot performance has earned them a new fans, so watch out for more from this band soon.
Falling Red Set list:
Devil You Know
We Escaped A Cult
Come On Down
Empire Of The Damned
Falling Red are:
Andrew Roze - Vocals/Lead Guitar
Jayde Starr - Rhythm Guitar
Mikey Lawless - Bass Guitar
Dave Sanders - Drums
Falling Red Online:
So after three days, fifty bands, over thirty six hours of music and it came down to this - the very last band to perform at Les-Fest 2014, and that accolade was given to South Wales quintet, The Dirty Youth, who were making the most of a rare appearance north of the border.
They band were greeted to rapturous applause as they walked onstage one by one but there was not a moment of their stage time wasted as they dived straight into 'I'm Not Listening'. Vocalist Danni Monroe and guitarist Matt Bond took turns on the ego ramps to survey the audience and work very hard to keep the audience's attention.
Monroe has a great voice and is clearly giving everything to her performance and it's a fact the audience are aware of as they applaud loudly at the conclusion of the first number.
The band's debut album, 'Red Light Fix', was released in 2011 and the easy option here would be to play the whole album but what the audience are actually treated to are only two songs from the album, 'Fight' and 'Requiem Of The Drunk', both of which understandably get some of the loudest cheers of the night. The former is driven by it's stop-start guitar riff which energises the crowd whilst the latter with it's chorus of "la la la la, let's get drunk" has the whole of the main arena joining in.
The rest of the band's set is choc full of new material but judging by the audiences reaction, if these are the tracks that are going to be on the band's sophomore album, then it's bound to be a surefire success.
'Just Move On' slows the pace slightly but there's no let up for drummer Freddie Green who, as Monroe points out, is only playing his third gig ever with the band. The band don't need a fancy light show though as the band have songs which are solid enough to stand up on their own and the audience are happy to follow directions from Monroe as they wave their arms and cheer on command.
'Darkest Wedding' with its orchestral overtones has the head banging down the front, while 'Bury Me Next To Elvis' has those down the front jumping enthusiastically on the spot. This shows the band that crowd still has plenty of energy despite the rigours of the weekend and the band try their best to extract every drop off energy the audience have left.
'Crying Out For You' gives bass player Leon Watkins his moment in the spotlight before Bond unleashes some power chords as he surveys the scene atop the ramp once again as the audience enthusiastically clap along below him.
As the band's set comes to a close, they delight the audience with a song every one should know as they deliver a cover of the Rage Against The Machine hit, 'Killing In The Name Of' which has the audience creating a mini mosh pit down the front as the band's set builds up to a crescendo and the applause from the audience just gets louder and louder.
The Dirty Youth may be a new band to some at Les-Fest but they certainly made an impression and some new fans with their headline set, and it's clear that they were an inspired choice by the organisers to close the festival.
Les-Fest 3 has been the biggest and the best yet and as the main arena empties talk inevitably turns to thoughts of Les-Fest 4. Dave Ritchie, Fede Valls and their team have a big task to top this year's line up, and there's already a lot of people looking forward to next year's festival already and next year's bands also have a tough task following up the performances from some of this year's bands.
The Dirty Youth Set list:
I'm Not Listening
Just Move On
Bury Me Next To Elvis
Crying Out For You
Who I Am
Requiem Of The Drunk
Killing in the Name Of
The Dirty Youth are:
Danni Monroe - Vocals
Matt Bond - Guitar/Keys
Luke Padfield - Guitar
Leon Watkins - Bass Guitar
Freddie Green - Drums
The Dirty Youth Online: