Onto Sunday we go, and the singer of opening band Crocus was so dismayed at his microphone stopping working that he settled for simply screaming at people. He was still louder than the rest of band. Scary.
Scottish metallers, Azriel, did that melodic-hardcore thing that they’ve been doing for a few years now, and while Holy State ticked all the right boxes and wore all the right t-shirts for a band playing Offset, they didn’t match up to the unhinged noise war of Kong. Creepy human face masks? Performing in their pants? Frank Sidebottom-esque inter-song banter? We almosy shat ourselves with fear.
Hemel Hempstead’s fourth best band, Lower Than Atlantis, really ought to keep their wits more about them, as after locking all their equipment inside their van – along with the van’s keys – they were forced to borrow everything from other bands on the bill in order to play their set. The very definition of ‘epic fail’?
Yet another Visible Noise band, Outcry Collective, absolutely nailed their brief set, with singer, Stephen Sitkowski running around the moshpit stealing hats from unsuspecting punters. Veteran punks, The Stupids, initially draw a small crowd, but their sneering gang vocals and old-skool sensibilities soon see the tent start to swell. But it was the youthful snarl of Throats that marked the beginning of the evening’s heavy hitters – Alex Wealands’ bestial roar rode some truly bone-shattering guitars to mark Throats’ set amongst the most violent of the whole weekend.
Offset Festival 2009 photos courtesy of Paul Caudell
While their status isn’t as high as it will surely be in a year’s time, Blackhole made the most of their small crowd. Vocalist Richard Carter spent 90 per cent of the set in the crowd, on people’s shoulders and generally being bloody awesome before the tent filled up for Rolo Tomassi. With the stage busier now than it had been for the whole weekend, and the Sheffield five-piece took full advantage. With another Summer of festivals under their belt, the Rolo Tomassi machine is well-oiled and stronger than ever, and on the evidence of new song, ‘Party Wounds’, their second album – due out in Spring 2010 – is going to be another belter.
Offset Festival has been called a hipster festival in some quarters, but the cold wind blowing through Hoxton Square this weekend shouldn’t put you off it in future – because as the skinny jeans brigade sloped back for their last trains, The Ghost Of A Thousand hit the Hardcore Stage to the best crowd reaction of the weekend. Frontman Tom Lacey whipped up a tent of pure carnage, with circle pits round the poles in front of the stage, numerous stage dives and just general brilliance. This band is on blistering form, and everyone that stayed around to watch them knew it.
We’ve also got a ton of sexy video action from the whole weekend still to come, which we hope to have ready for you just as soon as our video guy pulls his thumb out of his arse and gets on with the business of editing it into shape.