||MONUMENT/THE SANITY DAYS/STATES OF PANIC
Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid
If there's one band that are guaranteed to energise a tired (and in some cases emotional) Saturday night audience, then (the mighty) Monument are the boys to do it. Coming on as they did just a shade before 11:00pm, a lot of festival goers were feeling a bit the worse for wear having been drinking and partying for the best part of twelve hours, but this didn't deter the band who gave their best and managed to keep the party spirit alive and kicking in the main arena.
In particular the track 'Runaway' had the headbangers in full flow and the audience members jammed down the front were in full voice as the band literally roared through their set. Front man Peter Ellis did an excellent job to revive those who were beginning to flag, and it wasn't long before the crowd were obeying his every command – what front man can ask for more?
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The band manage to take the heat off their set momentarily when they perform a heartfelt tribute to Deep Purple's Jon Lord (who died just over a year ago) in the shape of a blistering version of Purple's 'Black Night', with Ellis hitting all of Ian Gillan's notes pretty much exactly spot on, whilst Dan Baune plays the complicated lead solo absolutely note for note compared to the original Ritchie Blackmore version – something which isn't easy, but he sure makes it look like it was just effortless.
'Carry On' gave Lewis Stephens his chance to have his moment in the spotlight and like on 'Black Night', this is a truly blistering solo whilst Ellis once again manages to get everyone in the arena with their hands in the air, whilst they shout (and occasionally scream) their way through the song.
Of the new material aired tonight, I thought that 'Crusaders' was just an awesome track, and even though the crowd didn't know it that well, they still lapped it up – so let's hope that this track stays in the set list for a while yet. With a final blast, they give us 'Rock The Night' which has the horns aloft in the audience as Ellis gives it his all one last time, screaming the vocals as if his life depended in it before they bade us all farewell and disappear from the stage.
From Monument, this is a job well done as they exit with the tired crowd shouting for an encore which sadly the band are unable to perform. Who knows, though, the band could be back here for Les-Fest 2014 where they may be able to headline? Here's hoping!
Peter Ellis - Vocals
Lewis Stephens - Lead Guitar
Dan Baune - Lead Guitar
Matt Scott - Bass Guitar
Matt C. - Drums
Rock The Night
The Sanity Days formed in 2011 when Steve Grimmett and some of the other band members of UK Thrash legends Onslaught launched a new project primarily playing old material. Simply put, The Sanity Days was only intended to be together for a limited period playing songs from Onslaught's most commercially successful album 'In Search Of Sanity', originally released in 1989 at well known festivals.
As such, they are building quite a following from old school Thrash fans and those at Les-Fest were more than happy that the band had chosen this festival to be their only UK appearance in 2013, and as such the assembled mass gave a great reception to the band.
With the dry ice machine switched into overdrive (much to the horror and frustration of the photographers crouched down in the pit I'm sure), the band took to the stage and threw down their intent with a truly astounding performance. From the opening strains of (the instrumental) 'Asylum' to the final strains of 'Lightning War', the band put on a performance that surely must go down as one of the best in Les-Fest's short history.
One of my favourite tracks in the set is the song 'In Search Of Sanity' itself. Old school style thrash drumming from Steve Grice who doesn't miss a single beat whilst Jase Stallard is clearly loving being on the stage as the word filters down to the bar outside the main stage who is on and the music drifts out through the windows bringing some people all the way from the campsite over to the main stage to see what's happening.
It's not all old tracks here today, though, as the band play one of our own tunesm, 'My Demon Mind' from their forthcoming album. From the response this track got, it's safe to say that the band have a growing fan base in Central Scotland, so let's hope that they don't leave it too long until they return for another live show.
Sanity Days are:
Steve Grimmett - Vocals
Jase Stallard - Guitar
Al Jordan - Bass
Steve Grice - Drums
In Search Of Sanity
My Demon Mind
Welcome To Dying
Blood Upon The Ice
Closer To The Edge
Official Website: http://thesanitydays.com
At precisely 9:30pm, it's time for States of Panic to show what they can really do – which is put on an excellent show from start to finish – vocalist Johnny Gunn literally bursts onto the stage at the start of their set and narrowly misses taking out the chandalier directly above the centre of the stage the with his Roger Daltrey style microphone acrobatics and from there on it, the Edinburgh based quartet give it all they can.
You may of course be more familiar with the band under their previous moniker of Peepshow, when they won the Loud/Metal Recording of the Year at the 2012 Scottish new Music Awards with their album 'Brand New Breed', but the name change doesn't seem to have affected their fan base as they manage to pull a considerable crowd to watch their performance.
This is an energetic band and they deserve their high billing tonight as they deliver their set which is full on fun and a shot in the arm for the audience after the heaviness of previous bands. 'Live Free or Die' has bass player Hex evidently having the time of his life whilst Gunn presses the flesh with the enthusiastic crowd down the front before initiating the community sing-along, where the audience don't need to be asked twice to sing along.
'Lost In The Fire' has guitarist Rusty pulling off a great solo before the track veers into almost acoustic territory before reverting back into to a balls to the wall headbanging metal track – certainly the diversity of this track makes it one of my favourites!
The band's last track, 'Rise Up' seems them give every last ounce of sweat to the audience as they blast their way through it – this band get a solid100% for effort, 100% for enthusiasm and 100% for their songs – these guys are worthy award winners and let's hope that 2013 and beyond gives them everything they deserve.
States Of Panic are:
Johnny Gunn – Vocals
Rusty – Lead Guitar
Dagan – Guitars
Hex – Bass
Hammy – Drums
One of Us
Live Free Or Die
Gun To My Head
Lost In The Fire
Waking The Dead
Official Website: http://www.peepshowonline.co.uk/statesofpanic-home
Christie Connor-Vernal, Triaxis and Dave Arcari were some of the artists who featured on the acoustic stage throughout the weekend. These images along with the picture of Metal Talk's Scotland correspondent, Johnny Main are all courtesy of Dutch Michael.
And here's some more Monument pictures...