Live Review: So Punk Fest (Southampton, 30/05/15)

So Punk Fest at Avondale House in Southampton was a great celebration of our DIY punk scene, with over ten bands playing from across the genre. As good as the line up was, the turn out was surprisingly underwhelming. It unfortunately seems that less and less people are bothered about the scene, small bands, and going to local shows, but the night still consisted of excellent bands and music.

Wallflower opened So Punk Fest and played their first, but not last, show of the day, starting the day on a high with their heavy, melodic, trash punk sound and a refined performance.

Brighton duo H_ngm_n sounded like a full live band during heavy and loud moments in their set, but during quieter moments where a guitar was lightly strummed over just the drum beat, it was almost impossible not to wonder what they would sound like with a bassist. Nonetheless, they made it work and they delivered a great set full of energetic punk songs.

Despite technical problems, itoldyouiwouldeatyou pulled through to deliver a great set full of energy and excitement. Their twinkly, happy, emo sound was perhaps the most diverse and different out of the line up, definitely making them stand out.

Next were pop-punk newbies Headrush, who seemed to have a heavier, angry edge to them, possibly because of their active live performance.

Punk three-piece, Lark Hill’s set seemed to blend together through their songs consisting of similar and simple melodies and structures.

Scared of Everything were one of the stand out performances of the day as their vocalist provided an intense performance, screaming and shouting into the crowd’s faces. Their sound is dark, heavy and emotional and translates amazingly live to create a compelling set and performance.

Like Home’s set was powerful and dynamic as they delivered punk and hardcore influenced songs with energy and a performance clearly refined and perfected over time. New song, “Ludic”, stood out against the rest of the set as it features the band experimenting with a grungier sound and shoe gaze influences, giving a small insight into how Like Home have recently grown and evolved. As this song is yet to be released, it will be interesting to see not only how this song sounds on record, but also how these different influences and sounds have moulded their progression and new record.

Water Canvas delivered a brilliant set and performance, blending emo, punk and alternative sounds to create their unique music. Their set consisted of fast, heavy and lively songs that got the crowd engaged and excited. They are definitely ones to check out live on their upcoming July tour with Nevermind Me.

Playing shows with bands that are doing well for themselves in the pop punk scene, such as Trash Boat, has allowed Homebound to refine their performance and create a set that you would expect a band much older in age and experience to execute. This is also noticeable in their songwriting as their music is perfectly pop-punk, professional and unique. They are a band with a great stage presence, aura and finely crafted songs.

All the bands that played So Punk Fest showed the diversity of punk music and the heaps of different creative talent that exist within in our scene. It is a crying shame that the audience was so small, but hopefully one day these bands, and the scene, will get the recognition they deserve by playing to much bigger and more engaged audiences.

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Olivia Dytor

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