Wednesday, 5 June 2013


(Thanks to Nick Wainman and others who took pictures that i stole)

As promised I’ve finally gotten round to my update on Pontefract’s own Crooked Ways Festival, exhausting though it was, many beers were consumed and many bands seen, all I can say is thank god for programs to remind you who they were. As you’ve seen from my previous post I’m a big supporter of small festivals in general and even more so when they’re in my old hometown. I’m hoping Crooked Ways keeps going and more people in future make it down, however I also hope the organisers work on the smaller aspects like naming the small stages with some form of sign!

So first up I made sure to catch Awooga who were awesome last year on the Crooked Ways presents stage and have managed to get themselves bumped up to the Institution stage this year, and it’s easy to see why. They’ve been described as the sound of a star exploding, and that’s pretty close to accurate, colossally heavy guitar riffs over huge basslines, elements of prog than burst into heavier sections and back again, they were good last year, this year they’ve stepped it up further to great, grab their last release ‘V Column’ and expect much better going forward.

Finally my friends turned up and after the obligatory insults and grabbing of beers we heard a decent racket coming from the Crooked Ways presents stage so decided to venture in and check out Yorkshire’s own Carnabells, gotta love this band, and I’ve already downloaded their previous EP ‘She’s a Rollercoaster’ any band that infuses 50’s rock’n’roll into their sound is going to be loved by me, add on to that a modern twist, basslines I can actually here in the mix live and I’ve got a band I’ll be keeping an eye on for future.

Just because I hadn’t been over there yet it was time to check out the Supporting The Son stage and whoever was playing, in this case it was The Blue Haste, I’m not going to go into too much detail here as they were an average rock band, some good riffs and melodies but sorry nothing I’d get excited about.

Back over to the Institution then for local heroes Above Them, described my friend as ‘very tight but I don’t like the songs’, I on the other hand do like their songs because I’m probably more into the Hot Water Music punk infused sound that Above Them excel in. They’re definitely a band I need to give another listen and hopefully check out again live, dodgy tash’s an all.

Quick chat with jonnythefirth from next band Cry Baby Cry, Jonny’s concerned that they won’t sound as good due to his dodgy clacker, Jonny needn’t have worried, Cry Baby Cry were literally the band of the day, I truly feel sorry for people who were not at this stage, I’d describe Cry Baby Cry usually with a sound, but the second you do they’re doing something completely different on the next song, like the blues infused ‘Tombstone’ a highlight among highlights of a great set, Jonny’s vocals mix perfectly with Rosie Doonan’s sultry style, there’s an album on the way and I for one will be grabbing a copy, if this is what they sound like with a dodgy clacker you can only imagine what they can manage at full health. ONES TO WATCH!

I don’t know whether It’s because Cry Baby Cry were so good or just in fact that Rolo Tomassi were so awful, the sound was rubbish and even though I’ve tried and tried to find something I like about this band I just can’t, as my friends pointed out the vocals just sounded like ‘Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack!’ Sorry but I like full on hardcore bands and this was just noise to me.

Next up was the jonnythefirth recommended Middleman, now my friends weren’t too impressed by these guys but I kind of enjoyed the melodies and the metal sections and even to an extent the urban influences, plus I always love rave mixed in a la Hadouken, so while they didn’t blow me away, they did peak my interest and I actually wouldn’t mind hearing more from these guys.

Dilemma time, Max Raptor and Dinosaur Pile-Up were clashing so we had to go with a bit of half and half, starting with Max Raptor who put on a suitably intense performance of raging punk rock, pretty good stuff but you can’t help wishing they’d experiment a bit so the songs wouldn’t be so similar.
Quickly over then to catch Dinosaur Pile-Up, who were impressive if not badly mixed, awesome riffs but you can barely hear a bit of the vocals which kind of ruined it for me, new single ‘Arizona Waiting’ did sound awesome though.

My band of the day next Mallory Knox, having looked forward to them all day, the sound mix was brilliant so you could hear all vocalists, every song as huge as their new album, the only thing slightly letting them down was the lack of energy, I really was expecting them to go off double barrelled but they seemed strangely subdued, still stayed the entire set but I was hoping for a little more. ‘Death Rattle’ still kicked it though.

Over to meet my friends and catch the second half of Pigeon Detectives who seemed to be dealing with a little hostility from the crowd, I think most people were just looking forward to The Enemy, however the vocalist can come across as a little smug (just my opinion which I’ll expand upon shortly), Anyway I cought them knock out a few of the old hits, which was nice.

A good few sing-alongs to tunes in-between and The Enemy take stage, banging out tune after tune, ‘Aggro’ sounded awesome, and you still love seeing a band with their kind of reputation playing a small festival like this, tracks from the new album were going down well, especially ‘Saturday’ and the crowd were going suitably apeshit, myself at this point I was taking a step back, nearly 12 hours of standing was taking its toll and I’m getting old. And this rounded off another great festival.

So where does the future lie? I hear they want to make it even bigger next year, so what kind of bands should they book, well there’s two ways to go, while bands like Pigeon Detectives and The Enemy were huge, they’re already seeing a decline in crowds and venue sizes. I’d actually push to go old school, Shed Seven would slay Crooked Ways, and have a huge local following and I think getting older artists like Grandmaster Flash is a stroke of genius, for the rock stage, there’s some more relevant bands appearing these days such as Baby Godzilla, Eureka Machines, God Damn and Zico Chain are going to get even bigger so book them while they’re cheap. (#JustMyOpinion)

1 comment:

Rob Brenton said...

Great Review. After reading this I feel like I've been anyway, so saved myself £35! Cheers Boss!