Live Reviews

Uxfest 2006

Carling Islington Academy

Powered by penniless music-loving volunteers, Uxfest is a charitable way of supporting local music. With proceeds being donated to Youth Music, Natandy Fund (helping Tsunami victims), Yeldall (for the Homeless). An ultimate festival for lovers of ska to death metal, and everything in between. The only thing that would have made it Rock Harder is hosting it on 06-06-06!

I arrive late and miss the first few bands. Once you in, you aint allowed out, and a gals gotta eat! So I missed opening acts No Warning Shot, Sylosis, OutCryFire, Inner Rage, Profane, Shellshock, French Eths and Forever Never.

I make it in time to catch the one of the best local hardcore bands PDHM. With drums so loud they drown out your own heart beat, the 2 front men bounced around the stage giving an energy injected performance. A husky, rusty metal voice complimented with AFI-like vocals, make the match almost as perfect as chips and mayonnaise!

Over to the Mill stage to catch the last couple of songs from the jazzy ska tracks of Mumrah. A six-piece surfer set, with a guy that does a disturbingly high screeching soprano.

Sacrificing seeing Head On, next up are one of my personal favourites The Blackout. Replacing Captain Everything they still jam-pack the room with adoring fans. Looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths they blow your hair back with their hard as rock set. Seasoning in a new track called Death Angel, their new album ‘The Blackout The Blackout The Blackout ‘ is bound to be a hit.

The most photographed band was definitely the Architects. Missing Engel from Sweden, I walk into a raging hot-box. It may be the smallest stage, but the excited vibe from the crowd make up for it. Whipping up a moshpit of mayhem, the photographers hit their own scrum in front of the stage! A four-piece from Brighton, with a rocking bassist delivering solid Pantera-esq riffs. With the singer Matt, bending back to fully open his Death Metal screams. Catch them on their insanely full diary in and around the UK till mid-October.

Hot new favourites Exit Ten are definitely a room filler, with devoted fans singing along to every word like a Thrice mantra. They play their highly addictive hit track ‘Resume Ignore’, which they have just launched a new music video for. With the finely tuned voice of Ryan this is definitely a band with lasting power which is inching closer, and closer to stardom every second you spend reading these lines.

I change stages to fulfil my curiosity of the Alice In Chains sounding B-Movie Heroes, and hope to stumble across them for more than 2 songs sometime soon.

Kingsize Blues rocked out with the singer doing vocal acrobatics, you cant help but be damn impressed! Singing almost 2 parts simultaneously, Tom Hennessy offers a flawless stage performance. Promoting their fittingly titled album ‘Live Fast and Die’, a slogan they share with Viking Skull, This band is no doubtedly going to have a successful tour in October.

Lighting up the up the Mill Stage are Fireapple Red. Blazing punk giving the political lyrics of Propagandhi some stiff competition, they have already toured with the likes of Bad Religion, Pennywise and Anti Flag! With the singer rocking facial expressions like System of a Down, these punkers are a photographers dream! Don’t be fooled by this humble-looking four-piece, their sound will eat you alive, and have you begging for more. More of which can be found on their latest EP ‘The First Drop’. Their up and coming revised line-up is mostly for charity. Punk ‘n Roll with a big heart…the way it should be!

Big in China, Biomechanical grace the Main Stage with their perfectly rehearsed stances. Describing themselves as ‘British Steel’ metal they play with a similar line-up to Uxfest in the Damnation Festival in Manchester later this October. Demanding the attention of Kerrang, Classic Rock, and Terrorizer magazines Biomechanical successfully appeals to Iron Maiden and Pantera fans alike. Switching between melodic keyboards to metal mayhem they strike the balance between new and retro.

Well known and loved Murder One are back to share their Metal antics. With quirky duo John and Paul giving the crowd their all. Dripping in sweat they squeeze out a back-to-back explosive set. Screaming words of angst from tracks ‘It was Lies’ and ‘Where the Body Lay’, they promote their hot new release ‘Somethings Are Better Left Unsaid’. They are playing a few odd gigs over the next 2 months, so catch ’em while you can…you never know when they likely to disappear into the cracks again…

Boasting not quite heavy rock or metal, Skindred offers a fresh forward thinking sound. The South Wales eclectic four-piece has enough personality to fill the crammed room on their own. With Benji Webbe’s humor, Daniels’ tight basslines, and Mikey Dee and Dirty Arya holding it together in the background, their talents are on the same plateau. In their multi-cultural sound you can hear influences of The Clash, The Specials, and Sublime.

Swinging his dreads about Benji interrupts his own stage performance with lines like ‘Isn’t music exciting!’. Being short of girls throwing their bras at them, they throw a found ‘Clutch‘ badge into the crowd, only to get it thrown back in distaste of it not being a Skindred badge. With fans showing their loyal dedication, it might be time for them to get some made up to silence their next up and coming crowds over the next 2 months. Rocking their encore with the lines ‘Nobody gets outta here alive…’ it plays in my head the whole way home.

Niki Kova’cs
Photos by Niki Kova’cs