Review – Amplified Festival 2017: 21st – 23rd July 2017 (Part 1)

This year a fantastic new rock and heavy metal festival was launched. Amplified is a brilliant name for a festival, isn’t it? The setting was in a gorgeous location in the Cotswold hills, Quarrydowns, between Northleach and Aldsworth in Gloucestershire.

I’ll be reviewing the festival in a series, as I saw about 15 bands over the weekend.

As it was the first year of the festival, there were a few teething problems, which were made worse by the torrential rain that plagued the weekend. I personally had a wonderful weekend and was very impressed by the facilities and the quality of the music and bands chosen for the festival. It was an amazing line-up! The organisers, bands, crew, staff, and everyone else involved, made a real effort to make up for any shortcomings. I managed to see most of the bands I’d been planning to see and also found some new favourites.

One of the bands I’d been looking forward to seeing, As Lions, had to pull out of the festival due to safety concerns and one of the stages being closed on Friday. There were quite a few changes to the original line-up and a few more bands were cancelled, which did cause a bit of confusion, especially on Saturday. However, the organisers did manage to switch many of the bands that were supposed to be playing on the cancelled stage to one of the other two stages over the weekend.

I wasn’t able to attend the festival on Friday due to work commitments. There were rumours that the reason the stage had been closed was that one of The Amorettes was electrocuted on Friday evening while performing, but the band posted the following message on their Facebook page after the show:

“…we’d just like to thank Gary and his whole team at Amplified Festival UK for looking after us, in really tough conditions.

Just to clear up some rumours, none of us, band or crew, were electrocuted. There were some live issues which our crew, and the stage crew, worked to resolve during the show. However, the weather took an even nastier turn after we finished, and so the stage was closed for the safety of bands and crew. […]  Hopefully we’ll get back to Amplified Festival in the future, with the sun shining.”

When I arrived on the Saturday, I did notice that there weren’t any signs to indicate where the festival was located. Luckily, my cousin who was with me had done some research and knew the way. We met a few festival-goers in the car park who were also very confused as to where they should be going. In general, I would say that there should have been more staff employed, and a few signs, as it was hard to find anyone when needed; an issue that can easily be rectified for next year’s festival.

I was very happy to arrive in time to see the first band I had been planning to see, Anti-Clone. They were playing the main stage. I’ll just mention here, as it’s a new festival, that the layout was great and it was easy enough to find all the stages.

Anti-Clone

Anti-Clone come from Boston, UK. Their music is a tantalising mix of old school metal and modern nu-metal with an industrial edge. I’ve been following this band for a few years now. They are producing some very original metal music. You can see my review of their awesome debut album, “The Root of Man”, HERE.

This was the first time I’d seen Anti-Clone live and I really enjoyed it. It was a great start the festival for me and one of the weekend’s highlights.

The band were dressed in full costume, with various interesting masks.

Anti-Clone played a few songs from their album along with a couple of tracks from their excellent “Hands Sewn Together” EP. They put on an energetic stage show. Their music and energy definitely got the crowd going and there was an impressive mosh pit. One of the band joined the fans in the circle at the front with his guitar and it was fun to watch.

They drew quite a crowd considering it was still quite early in the evening. This is a band to watch as they have been picking up new fans with every show they play. If you get the chance to see them live, I’d highly recommend it. They definitely know how to entertain!

Set list: The Root of Man/ Deracinated/ Switchblade/ Take This Pill/ Astaroth/ Mechanical Heart (w/ extended intro)/ The Usurper/ Feed The Machine.

They ended with a Chester Bennington Tribute; singing along to the recorded version of “Breaking The Habit”.

Anti-Clone will be playing The Macmillan Fest 2017 on the 2nd of September. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1915314818691624

Band links:

Website: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/anti-clone

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnticloneHQ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnticloneHQ

Instagram: http://iconosquare.com/anticlonehq

Massive Wagons

The next band I caught on Saturday were Massive Wagons. I’d seen them play in April 2016 and enjoyed their show. Their Amplified Festival show was in an indoor tent and there were many fans in attendance.

This is a band who play good old fashioned rock and roll and have been growing their fan base steadily over the past year or so, attracting the attention of radio stations and music media. Saturday’s performance was lively and fun. I only saw about half of the set as I wanted to check out a band, playing on the main stage, that I hadn’t seen before. One of the issues with any type of festival is always the band clashes. For Amplified it had been scheduled well to avoid too many clashes, but unfortunately the weather intervened meaning that there were only two stages and so less time available, resulting in inevitable clashes.

I watched Massive Wagons play their hit “Ratio” as well as their latest single, which is a tribute to the late Rick Parfitt (Status Quo), “Back to the Stack” (released earlier this year as a charity single).

Band links:

Website: http://www.massivewagons.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MassiveWagons

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MassiveWagons

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/massivewagons/

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I’ll be back with more reviews from the Amplified Festival soon…

 

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