Reading & Leeds festival set to announce second headliner

Festival Republic yesterday announced that the Reading and Leeds Festival will be announcing their second headline act on Monday 4th February.

So far legendary rapper Eminem has been announced to headline, with acts such as Deftones, Boy Better Know, Alt-J and Sub Focus also playing. Festival organiser Melvin Benn recently announced that there will be a Dance stage and Radio 1Xtra stage for the first time ever, with the arenas expanding by 25%.

2012 saw Foo Fighters, Kasabian and The Cure headline alongside acts such as Paramore, Florence and The Machine.

Check back here on Monday to see who the second headliner is!

Download Festival reveal 37 more acts

Download Festival have recently announced 37 more acts that will be performing at the Donington Park event this June.

The list of new bands added to the bill are:

Jimmy Eat World
Down
Korn
Airbourne
Enter Shikari
Cancer Bats
Asking Alexandria
Parkway Drive
Motionless In White
In This Moment
Young Guns
Walking Papers
Five Finger Death Punch
Limp Bizkit
Huntress
Hardcore Superstar
Converge
Amon Amarth
Black Dogs
Vision Of Disorder
Hacktivist
HellYeah
I AM I
Last Witness
Stone Sour
Mastodon
Bullet For My Valentine
Volbeat
Coal Chamber
The Hives
Buffalo Summer
Heaven’s Basement
Earthtone9
3 Doors Down
Goldsboro
UFO
The Sword

Limp Bizkit are set to headline the 2nd second on Friday night and Enter Shikari will be headline the 2nd stage on Saturday night.

Headline acts for the festival will be Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein. Tickets and more information about the festival is avaliable at www.downloadfestival.co.uk.

Vans Warped Tour UK 2012


10,000 music fans, 28 bands from 6 countries performing across 4 stages with 4,065 cans of Monster Energy Drink consumed, sums up the triumphant success that was 2012’s sold out Vans Warped Tour UK.

After soaking up the brilliant atmosphere for the early part of the event at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace, team Crossfire situated themselves in the main room to bring you back the info on performances from the Monster stages.

First off, we caught Breathe Carolina [3/5]. Now obviously this sort of electro/screamo vibe is not normally the kind of thing you would hear us raving about, but fair play to the duo, they really know how to work a crowd. The music maybe takes itself a little too seriously considering it is essentially just pop, but nonetheless, Breathe Carolina are widely adored by hyper-active fans.

Breathe Carolina

Following Breathe Carolina comes a completely different monster, UK born and bred metalcore titans, Architects [5/5]. Their thunderous blast beats and sub drops destroy the ear drums of a riff hungry crowd who respond with the biggest pits of the event so far. ‘Follow The Water’ and ‘These Colours Don’t Run’ are particular highlights of Architects’ set which ends with a union of voices screaming ‘You Fucking Pigs’ and the whole band surfing across the crowd.

Architects
On Stage With Architects
On Stage With Architects

3oh!3 [4/5] introduce themselves as a pop band, realistically that’s what they are, not typically a traditional Warped Tour artist. However, when you perform with such stage presence it doesn’t matter what genre you are tied to. ‘Don’t Trust Me’, ‘Starstrukk’ and ‘Punkbitch’ are all guilty pleasures to a crowd usually fed on punk and metal, but there really is no shame in enjoying these pop tarts when the bass is cranked up to such a dirty level.

Bringing the music back to the classic sound of Warped Tour, New Found Glory [3/5] bounce through an energetic set featuring all their hits with ‘My Friends Over You’ and a cover of Sixpence None The Richer’s ‘Kiss Me’ highlighting a charismatic performance. Showing professional brilliance, the band fought through technical difficulties to produce some of the most fun filled pits of the day. Even without being the biggest pop-punk fan, the infectious and uplifting sense of nostalgia was enough to get anyone involved.

After having been away from consciousness for a while, The Used [4/5] return to the UK with a commanding presence. ‘All That I’ve Got’ and ‘The Taste Of Ink’ are captivating and allow fans to reminisce the days when The Used were undoubtedly the king of emo. But it’s ‘Pretty Handsome Awkward’ that stands out of a polished set due to the punishing pit it creates.

Although known for being a bit hit and miss when it comes to live performances, Bring Me The Horizon [5/5] stole the show this time around at Warped. If the sound of screaming was deafening when the band walked on to the stage, words cannot describe the intensity when front man Oli Sykes appeared. It seems this generation’s metal poster boy left his demons behind for Bring Me’s set, as his presence was nothing short of iconic. Technically brilliant, impeccably tight, energetic across the stage and featuring surprisingly impressive clean vocals from Jona Weinhofen, this performance cements Bring Me The Horizon as the ones to beat in metal with new material from forthcoming album ‘Sempiternal’ sounding equally as brilliant as previous work.

Oli Sykes - Bring Me The Horizon
Oli Sykes
Bring Me The Horizon

Oddly enough, Lostprophets [3/5] appear a little out of place as headliners. Although their extensive and impressive history earns them this slot, they aren’t quite the buzz band they used to be. But ‘Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja’ brings utter destruction whilst ‘Rooftops’ holds the crowd firmly in the palm of Ian Watkin’s hand. When a set list is filled with classics such as ‘Can’t Catch Tomorrow’ and ‘Last Train Home’ you wonder why we ever doubted their dominance.

Ian Watkins - Lostprophets
Lostprophets
Vans Warped Tour UK Crowd

Words: Emma Wallace
Photos: Emma Wallace

Warped Tour Team Up With Teenage Cancer Trust


Lostprophets, one of this years UK Warped tour headliners, are giving fans the opportunity help fine tune their set list as well as support the respected charity Teenage Cancer Trust. There are five songs to choose from via text vote (with proceeds going to Teenage Cancer Trust). The song with the highest number of votes will be performed by the band on Saturday 10th November at North London’s iconic Alexandra Palace. Guitarist Mike Lewis comments:

“All of the songs we picked – some of them we’ve only played once or twice live over the past 12 years – they’re tracks that a lot of people ask us to play. We figured it would be a big deal for us to choose these because it’s finally giving our fans the chance to dictate which one they truly want to hear most. Teenage Cancer Trust is such an amazing charity. Everyone in the band has had someone close to them deal with a cancer-related tragedy at some point, so it’s a cause that’s really important to us. We’re happy to support it in whatever way we can.”

The full song listings and text numbers are as follows:
LPS01 – Lucky You
LPS02 – Darkest Blue
LPS03 – Broken Hearts, Torn Up Letters and the Story of a Lonely Girl
LPS04 – A Million Miles
LPS05 – Weapon

To choose a song text the code you want to 70300. For example, for ‘Lucky You’ text LPS01 to 70300. Fans can vote as many times as they like. Entries will be counted up until midday on Monday 5th November and the winning song will be announced on Tuesday 6th. Text messages cost £1 plus your standard network rate. Teenage Cancer Trust will receive £1 from every text.

Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for the six young people aged between 13 and 24 diagnosed with cancer every day. You can also support the Teenage Cancer Trust by purchasing the Warped Tour playlist here, featuring tracks by Bring Me Horizon, Funeral For A Friend and New Found Glory.

Furthermore, as one of the few charity partners at Warped Tour UK this year, Teenage Cancer Trust will have a stand on-site with signings from some of the artists performing, a raffle to win an exclusive Warped UK prize and their T-shirt Amnesty – a chance to drop off your old and unwanted band T-shirts and potentially pick up a bargain in the process!

UK Vans Warped Tour Now Sold Out

Vans Warped Tour UK 2012
With still many more bands to announce, the UK date of the legendary Vans Warped Tour has sold out with around two months to go until the event. This years festival will take place at Alexandra Palace in London on November 10th and the line up promises to make it one hell of a show.

As well as headliners Lostprophets and Bring Me The Horizon there are a whole host of awesome bands including Funeral For A Friend, The Story So Far, Man Overboard, Architects, Bury Tomorrow and The Acacia Strain. There are also a few controversial choices on the list including Blood On The Dancefloor!

In addition to the music event it has been confirmed that a number of Vans skate and BMX team riders will be making an appearance as well as Steve Caballero and Dennis McCoy with many more to be announced.

Although the London event has sold out there are still a handful of tickets remaining for ‘Road To Warped Tour’ headlined by New Found Glory. Pick them up here.

Reading and Leeds 2012: Top 10 Performances

Arguably 2012 was Reading & Leeds strongest line up of recent years. Not only were did the legendary The Cure take to the main stage, there was a whole variety of acts that put in stellar performances from all sorts of different genres. We’ve picked our top ten from the weekend, some punk bands, some new, some old and one very pop. Check it out below:

ENTER SHIKARI

Enter Shikari and Reading & Leeds go hand in hand. Their performance on the main stage saw punters running over from the dance stage -drawn in by dubstep mix ups- to mosh along with older ‘Take To The Skies’ fans. Tracks from ‘A Flash of Colour’ go down a treat as does ‘Juggernaughts’ which is now somewhat of a Reading classic, again seeing a stupid amounts of crowd surfing. One day soon these humble lads will headline this great stage. Perfection.

RANDOM HAND

Random Hand’s high tempo mix of metal, punk and ska is uplifting. The sheer energy pouring from the band on stage certainly kicked things off in the Lock Up tent after a slow start to the day. Funnily enough, the most impressive part of the whole performance has to be the sheer capacity of Robin Leitch’s lungs! His effortless alternations between trombone, screamed vocals and dancing like a lunatic was a joy to behold.

HAWK EYES

Headlining the BBC Introducing stage was Leeds’ most unassuming rock behemoths Hawk Eyes. Playing a fast and furious set, primarily of tracks from this year’s ‘Ideas’, Hawk Eyes managed to make the outdoor stage feel like a sweaty basement, with the standard troupe of lanky lads starting a (admittedly rather tame) mosh pit. Having previously played the stage under their previous incarnation, let’s pray this signals the last time the boys are on one of the smaller stages at Reading and Leeds.

CEREMONY

When there are an abundance of acts are taking themselves too seriously on stage and swanning around the guest area like they are gods, you need a bit of Ceremony to remind you what punk is all about. Having a fucking good time. And this is exactly what Ceremony do. Vocalist Ross Farrar just goes nuts, spinning around with his t-shirt over his head and microphone dangling around his neck, musically they aren’t that tight, but really no one cares. That’s not what this set is about, it’s just a great laugh.

AT THE DRIVE-IN

Having declared their break-up in 2001 after the release of their seminal album ‘Relationship of Command’, the announcement of reunion dates were a dream come true for many a fan. With mixed reviews emerging from performances at Coachella, it was difficult to know what to expect from their headline set on the BBC Radio 1/NME stage. Opening with the explosive ‘Arcarsenal’, it was hard for a smile not to appear on the face of anyone who holds a special place in their heart for the band.

Given that this was the first time that the majority of the audience got to see the band in the flesh, it was especially pleasing to hear tracks played across their whole back-catalogue of releases, with singer Cedric Bixlar-Zavalar trying his best to recreate those explosive sets from over a decade ago.

The same joy didn’t extend to all members – it was hard not feel disheartened at the sight of Omar motionlessly standing facing his amp for the majority of the set, looking as though he’d rather be elsewhere. This wasn’t the At The Drive-In that left us all those years ago, and perhaps it is too much to expect that.

GALLOWS

The band’s first Reading Festival sans-Frank went off without a hitch in true, unadulterated Gallows fashion. Vivacious circle pits, crowd surfing and an onslaught of punk rock from the stage that never let up, this is a band that is every bit as good, if not better, as version 2.0. The crowd was totally sold by the end of the set. Interestingly it was the band’s new tracks that came across best, leaving everyone wanting more fresh material ASAP.

THE BOUNCING SOULS

Who doesn’t love the Bouncing Souls? Their inspiring punk appeals across the board in the Lock Up tent. Old classics such as ‘Sing Along Forever’ get the dedicated fans jumping whilst newer , softer and more melodic material like ‘Coin Toss Girl’ is a hit with members of the crowd previously unaware of the band. Their set is a resounding success.

ALT-J

The compacted punters inside and swarms of fans outside the Festival Republic Tent show that although fairly new on the radar, Alt-J are already a firm festival favourite. Despite their annoying- hipster-type fan base, Alt-J’s unique and slightly obscure brand of indie is certainly something to take note of with hit single ‘Breezeblocks’ becoming one of the anthems of the weekend.

SANTIGOLD

You may be thinking this is a bit of a bizarre choice if you are familiar with Crossfire’s usual content, but the thing is we can still recognize a good pop artist when we see one! Mixing electronica, hip hop and a healthy dose of mainstream pop, Santigold has a collection of great songs including ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Creator’. Santigold gets the festival party vibe going.

ATTENTION THIEVES

As we caught these local guys in their own territory of Reading, they might have had a slight home advantage. But it appears that it is Attention Thieves’s energy thats key to drawing in a huge crowd around the tiny BBC introducing stage. Attention Thieves have been gaining a lot of attention from the press lately and it seems it’s well deserved as their radio-friendly Rise Against inspired punk rock goes down a treat.

Words: Emma Wallace except Gallows (Sarah Maynard), At The Drive-In, Hawk Eyes (Joe Parry)

Rise To Remain and Sonic Boom Six Added To Merthyr Rock

As festival season begins to draw to a close there is one last event to put in your diary…

31 AUGUST- 2 SEPTEMBER 2012 – MERTHYR ROCK FESTIVAL

Merthyr Rock is independently run and has a strong community focus. Whats more, its pleasing on the eyes, the festival is situated in the beautiful historic Cyfarthfa Park, a public Grade II space in the heart of Merthyr. This boutique festival brings a mix indie, rock, and metal from the UK and further a field.

Sonic Boom Six

Today two additions to the line up have been announced; increasingly popular metalcore quintet Rise To Remain and Sonic Boom Six who combine a vast array of genres to produce an electric performance. They will join Exit Ten, Yashin, Skindred alongside others on the main stage on Saturday. The rest of the line up is as follows:

Rise To Remain

Friday 31st August:

Main Stage:
RAZORLIGHT
SAVES THE DAY
FUTURES

Second Stage:
Dirty Goods
The People the Poet
The Lash
The Undivided

Saturday 1st September

Main Stage:
SKINDRED
LOWER THAN ATLANTIS
YASHIN
RISE TO REMAIN
EXIT TEN
SONIC BOOM SIX
THE DIRTY YOUTH
DOPAMINE
PROSPERINA

Second Stage – Lostprophets takeover:
Pulled Apart by Horses
Save Your Breath
Neil Starr & Gavin Butler
Exit_International
Black And Reds
Bastions
Astroid Boys
The Dead Formats

Sunday 2nd September

Main Stage:
KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES
DEAF HAVANA
WE ARE THE OCEAN
FUTURE OF THE LEFT
DON BROCO
STRAIGHT LINES
THE JAMES CLEAVER QUINTET
SHADOWS CHASING GHOSTS
REAPER IN SICILY

Second Stage – The Blackout Takeover
A (EXCLUSIVE)
Canterbury
Marmozets
Proxies
Page 44
Blowgoat
Verses
Buried in Alaska

Tickets are on sale now and start at £20!

Go Groez or Go Home

groezrockfestival2012As ever, Groezrock festival in Belgium was a bit of a blur. A pretty brilliant blur of bands, drinks, drunks, friends, work, play and partly questionable weather. Crossfire headed out as it’s one of our favs and one of the most punk rock festivals out there. This is a rundown of our experience in the crowd this time around.

DAY ONE

YELLOWCARD ACOUSTIC (W)
We kick off our weekend of bands in a chilled manner with a mass singalong in the chandelier-adorned acoustic tent as Yellowcard have each and every one present in the bulging tent in the palm of their collective hand.

MISS MAY I (J)
Brilliant live band. Lots of head moshing to this which gave us a bit of a head ache but we reckon it was definitely worth it.

THE WONDER YEARS (W)
Stage diving is mandatory at the Etnies stage and bodies are flying throughout The Wonder Years’ set. In fact, they start propelling themselves through the air before the band even kick off their first song. An excellent performance brimming with energy and complete with mass stage invasion at its conclusion.

SET YOUR GOALS (W)
SYG pick up where TWY left off perfectly with more audience participation and an effervescent set of pop punk perfection.

THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN (W)
We catch a fleeting moment of Dillinger and even this short audience with the band’s set provides opportunity to see them scaling the heights of speaker stacks and spewing forth excellent intricate heaviness in abundance.

GARRETT KLAHN (W)
A hidden gem on the line-up, the acoustic stage is woefully quiet for Garrett’s set of Texas Is The Reason classics and his own solo creations. However, it’s a magical interlude this evening with a spine-tingling stripped down version of Back And o The Left closing his beautiful performance.

GALLOWS (J)
By this point one too many Jagers had been consumed although we do remember a rad set, a rammed tent, a hell of a lot of crowd surfers and keen crazed Belgian stave-divers. The crowd were all rooting for Wade which was nice to see.

RANCID (J)
Two words: Fucking AMAZING

DAY TWO

MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK (J)
Should have played a smaller capacity tent seen as it was half empty throughout the whole set. They lacked serious energy for such a band with lots of great songs and Pierre’s patronising chat in between songs wasn’t very inspirational.

ALKALINE TRIO (J)
We always find that despite how much we fucking love Alkaline Trio their sound live is pretty shocking. So we were glad to hear that they weren’t as bad as they normally are but it still wasn’t brilliant (Skiba if you are reading this – sort it out!) Their set was varied of old and new tracks which went down well however they didn’t play Armageddon so they lose 5 points.

THE BRONX
Undeniably one of the weekend’s highlights, The Bronx have become one of our ultimate festival bands, always bringing the party and the hits, with plenty of engaging banter from Matt in between. In fact, he proposes to the entire crowd present, becoming the ultimate crowd pleaser in the process.

WATO (J)
Sound was slightly dubious and by no means loud enough for such a great band. Despite the fact that their set was not advertised they drew a decent crowd. (They also played v well despite a mole telling us that they were absolutely shitfaced and the drunkest they have ever been for a gig.)

THRICE (J)
Thrice played a much anticipated set to a packed out tent of over-eager fans keen to see one of their last shows as part of their farewell tour. They did not disappoint and delivered a storming set including crowd pleasers Deadbolt and Stare at the Sun.

GORILLA BISCUITS (W)
More Etnies stage insanity at this point with a neverending barrage of stage divers and crowd surfing. The classic hardcore is certainly one of Groezrock’s big pulls for many of their regular punters and it’s great that the organizers bill such legendary bands in such an intimate tent so everyone can get involved. If they can squeeze into the tent, that is.

REFUSED (W)
What can we say? One of our most anticipated bands of the weekend and they did not disappoint. Huge sound. Riveting stage presence. Seminal songcraft. The energy at the main stage when New Noise kicked in is a feeling that will not soon be forgotten. Catch this band whilst you still can.

Brought to you by Jaimo (J) and Winegums (W).

www.groezrock.be

Download announce more confirmed acts

Download, the definitive festival for rock and heavy alternative music is back for 2011 and the lineup thus far looks huge.

So far twenty bands have been announced including The Gaslight Anthem, Pendulum, Thin Lizzy, Bullet For My Valentine, The Cult, Gwar who are all set to join headliners System Of A Down and Linkin Park.

Download Festival will take place on 10-12 June 2011.

Festival Season Revisited: Photo Gallery

The festival season was a mighty one this year and we’re sure you all got involved in someway yourselves. If you missed out then head into our Live Reviews section for an extensive coverage.

But whether you were there or not, here is a selection of photographs from Caitlin Mogridge who got fully stuck in to some of the best festivals this summer. Relive some memories or just have a look at great photographs below.

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