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Sophie Colson

sophie colson

Now in its third year, Make A Scene Festival is steadily growing in size, with 2012 offering over 60 bands across six stages. As well as booking the UK's best bands, a large proportion of the line-up consists of local acts, supporting the Middlesbrough music scene and showing what the north east has to offer, from hardcore and Metal to pop punk and alternative rock.

My Extraordinary open the main stage and receive a warm welcome with their alternative rock being at the lighter end of today's spectrum. They provide a memorable set, with vocalist Antony's voice soaring through the large room, and offer accessible songs for the uninitiated. By the time they finish, a satisfying crowd has gathered.

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Starting on the Animals V Machines stage, Housefires bring their post-hardcore chaos to provide an energetic performance. The vocalist is almost trying to challenge the audience when he jumps over the barrier at the beginning of the set, spending most of the time throwing himself around amongst the static crowd. As he proceeds to swing on a bar attached to the ceiling, security try to pull him to one side, but he continues with the song, screaming unmercifully into his mic and finally making it back on stage to finish the set.

Downstairs on the Oh So Glorious! Stage, local band Lifeless encounter a few technical problems before they begin, trying to get through the first song multiple times. They finally manage it, but once they get going it is a disappointment. The vocals are monotone, with the rest of the band sounding as though they are just hitting their instruments as hard as they can, leaving their thrash/hardcore with nothing to hang on to.

As the previous band finish on the Animals V Machines stage, a few remain saving their place at the barrier for Fearless Vampire Killers. With two vocalists in the band, in which they take turns in singing while the other holds down the rhythm guitar, there is a danger it could dictate their set list too much but surprisingly it works well, with Kier singing the first two songs and Lawrence singing for the rest.

They could have gained from splitting the set evenly between them but apart from this they are enjoyable and you are not short of something to watch. The theatrics of both Kier and Lawrence commanding the stage and Drew looking possessed as he swings round with his bass provide ample entertainment. Although on record their songs lack substance, they are given a new life live, sounding much fuller.

Pop-punk band Kids Can't Fly, provide a welcome change with their horn section that makes them sound bigger than just the six members. They play all of their new EP, 'Northern Horizons', scattered throughout their set and finishing with 'Esmeralda', but also playing older hits such as 'The Summer'. They teach the crowd the chorus to 'Stick To Your Guns' from their EP and succeed at getting everyone singing along. Their playing is tight and sounds just as good, if not better, than on record.

TRC walk on stage to 'Ni**as In Paris' which divides the crowd into those that know all the words and those that don't know the song at all. They open with 'Haters', drawing the largest audience of the day so far. They also play 'Define Cocky', 'Go Hard Or Go Home' and of course #TEAMUK which is fitting as it is about being proud and supporting the UK's music, which is exactly what Make A Scene is all about.

They look as though they are having as much fun as the crowd as they shout and snarl at them, their rap and Metal combination working particularly well. They finish with 'Temptation' and the band, especially the two vocalists, have done a good job of whipping up a frenzy for While She Sleeps.

It's unavoidable that the day has ultimately been building up to While She Sleeps. When they finally play their intro, they are thrashing around on stage with everyone going mad even before the first song. It is then 'Dead Behind The Eyes', the first track to be released from their forthcoming album, that they play.

Having been out for around four months everybody knows it and it is interesting to see guitarist Matt having more of his own vocals. Although not as noticeable live, it is much heavier and furious than anything from EP 'The North Stands For Nothing', of which the title track is played next. In the middle of their set they play 'Hearts Aside Our Horses' and the crowd scream every word of the chorus back at vocalist Lawrence, who throughout the set is climbing on the barrier and engaging with them. He then commands everyone to crowd surf to the stage and, of course, they obey.

The biggest response is from 'This Is The Six' which sounds even more epic when the crowd chants back: "This is the six!"

Finishing with 'Crows', While She Sleeps leave everyone wanting more with chants of "one more song" ensuing, not moving until they return. Unfortunately there is no encore, so the only solution is to see them on their UK headline tour at the end of the year.



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