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Creative Review Music Festivals
While most of the country was having a quiet weekend and getting over the festive lull, some of the best names in Hardcore, Metal and Punk gathered in Leeds to put on a killer show to raise money to save Boom (Formerly known as Temple of Boom), which is one of the last bastions of DIY music in the U.K.
Boom is to the U.K underground what CBGBS was to the original wave of New York punk. Sadly, the venue is under threat, with mounting debts from surviving Covid, increased operating costs and people with less money to spend on gigs, all of which is putting an enormous strain on the independent venue.
Unfortunately more than 120 venues have closed their doors post Pandemic and if Boom were to close, the entire UK underground scene would take a huge blow and the North of England would lose one of its most authentic venues.
To try and help, some of the hottest bands in the U.K performed over a two day gathering at the venue, with all proceeds going to keep the venue alive. Headlined by screamo revivalist’s Static Dress (A band who only seem to get bigger and bigger each year) and Leeds Post-Hardcore legends Higher Power.
The intimate 200 cap space, is tucked away from the City Centre on Millwright street and is an important breeding ground for the fresh blood of U.K artists. The insanely stacked bill was filled with some of my absolute favourite bands such as the U.K hardcore institution The Flex, my personal fave breakthrough artist of the last year, the frantic thrashers Pest Control and Bloodfury, easily one of the most brutal bands on the scene.
I was lucky enough to get tickets (many weren’t as it sold out instantly) and lets just say if my first gig of 2024 was this good, I do not know how the others will compare.
To kick things off was Leeds Metalcore new bloods Eternal Rest. But this isn’t the over produced trite that passes for metalcore these days, this is how the genre should be done. Sharp and in your face with a melodic range, their sound was very reminiscent of Prayer For Cleansing, one of my all time favourite bands. This is definitely a band I will be keeping an eye out for in 2024.
After them was BodyWeb, a supergroup of sorts made up of members of Pest Control and Higher Power. Was it emo, grunge, nu metal or jungle (they had a DJ) who could tell? But they certainly got the room bouncing and moving.
Boom is a venue that prides itself on variety and the contrast between the next two bands was something. Mercury from Stoke played a beautiful and poignant mix of grungy emo reminiscent of Superheaven and Hum and was a much-needed breather, although they did not lack energy.
Then came my personal band of the night Newcastle’s very own Bloodfury. Their blood-curdling mix of Death Metal and Hardcore had turned the entire room into a war zone. I was throwing some spin kicks and absolutely no one, including me, was safe.
Then it was time for the headliners, Static Dress, the Leeds post hardcore quartet, whose sound is an update to the 00s emo bands such as Underoath and Funeral for a Friend, that I grew up with. With infectious hooks and chaotic breakdowns, this isn’t simply a nostalgic rehash but something new and beautiful.
Static Dress are very prominent on social media and have a large following of younger Tik Tok kids who seemed to be going mad for them. I was quite surprised by how many kids, who were merely a glint in their dads’ eyes, still dress like Emo Kids from 2006.
Vocalist Oli Appleyard did his best to educate the young crowd on the importance and history of the venue and to get into more underground music. Static were killer headliners and with day one so good I was absolutely excited for day two.
Photo credit goes to @scottytwoshotty