Jan Roberts reviews the Hair, Heavy and Loud (some of the time) Bury Fringe Festival last Saturday as Tundra and Gaffer Tape Sandy produced two energetic and committed sets with full audience participation and obligatory stage invasions to close out the 2018 Bury Fringe All-Dayer. Local supporters were not disappointed by the line up put together by the ever present and tireless promoter Seymor Quigley, fully deserving of his own crowd surf moment during the Gaffer Tape Sandy set.
The day started off with three young bands from the Queens Road Rock School given space to demonstrate their burgeoning talents. Family and friends were there to shout, encourage and applaud the respective performances of Queen Dogs, The Daze and Substation.
Standout acts for this years event were art punk band Kulk who at short notice substituted for The Interesting Time Gang, who were unable to attend. The shear noise and energy put out by this act surely took its toll on guitarist Thom, but the second performance was as committed, uncontrolled and passionate as the first.
At the other end of the musical spectrum was a beautiful acoustic set performed by Matt Hammond. Playing on the Race Against Racism stage, he uses a wide range of percussive guitar techniques to create his own unique sound world accompanied by beautiful vocals. A treat for the ears.
This stage also saw bass guitar and drums duo Granma’s Waffle Velocity perform their set of pounding drums and effects driven bass. They played with real passion and commitment was clearing writ large over Jessica’s face as she beat and bent the drums to her will. The Baskervilles put on a storming set of heavy blues infused indie rock. The stage was closed out 3 piece Goldblume. They certainly put on a rousing finale to the RAR stage but sadly to a small audience. As Jethro the lead guitarist frequently stated “you will always be able to say you saw us before we were famous”
Honourable mention should also go out to the bands performing on the smallest set “The Magic Carpet Space”. A showcase for acoustic solo and duos featuring Phoebe Austin, Ben Pegly, Alica Hall, Rosa and Noah Evans, this was perhaps the calmest place during the day where the music could unfold at its own sonorous pace.
With 28 bands playing 31 sets over four stages, a mention should be made of the ever present MC, Seymor. Ably supported by his band of techies who kept the show running smoothly and on schedule with very few technical gremlins, walking bass drums excepted.
Be sure to make a note in the diary for 2019 as this was a great demonstration of the emerging and developing talent from the region and with acts such as Gaffer Tape Sandy making inroads into the national festival scene, perhaps we will see more bands having to ask Dad for a lift to get them back in time to play a homecoming gig.