REVIEW: Humber Street Sesh 2016

 In it’s 5th year now, Street Sesh is an annual festival held in Hull to delivering the best and new upcoming talents the north has to offer. Drawing in a crowd of over 30,000 it was definitely not a day to be missed! Humber Street Sesh is a combination of over 200 + unsigned bands, local artists and DJ’s performing across 14 stages, alongside various food stalls and restaurants. With face painting, BMX stunt displays and arts and craft stalls its a day out for all ages. Set in the picturesque marina it’s a true showcase of everything Hull has to offer as its title of “City of culture” approaches in 2017.
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First band to be checked out was the Dantevilles, a indie pop four -piece from Manchester with dual vocalists. A set full of upbeat catchy riffs performing songs from recent release of “Calm before the storm”. Although the baking sun and still being early on into the day made them seem just that. With their song “It Might Be Tomorrow” airing on Radio 1 that week as Huw Stephens’ tip of the week, it’s worth giving this band another look at.
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Gracing the stage next was the energetic two piece Hot Soles hailing from Sheffield. Fresh from playing sets at a stint of festivals including Secret Garden Party, they Delivered a set of pure rock and roll, mixed in with deep groves and humour. This duo are a perfect festival band, getting the crowd bopping and tapping along in the sunshine.HSS2016 9

Over on the “BBC Introducing” stage saw Years Young getting into full swing. Drawing influences from Biffy clyro and Don Bronco, it’s no surprise that they had drawn such a crowd with their catchy melodies and polished performance. With quite a few songs already being crowd sing alongs, it’s no surprise that this band has been noted as one to watch. For fans of Mallory Knox, Lower than Atlantis and Paramore.HSS2016 10

As the evening sets in the Main Stage is warming up for the headliners with a line up of powerful homegrown bands. First up to take us into the night is Fire (The unstoppable force) who certainly made sure they won’t be forgotten. With a self described sound of “dark soul garage that will break your mind and melt your soul’ this four piece stormed around the stage whipping the crowd up into a frenzy. Looking like the northern version of The Hives, they belted out firm fan favourites of “Whiplash Crocodile”, with fans sticking out the rain to dance along to the anthem that is “Psycho Killer”.HSS2016 5HSS2016 4

The Black delta Movement was a contrast in style to follow up the previous act. With a strong psychedelic rock sound, this set was a much calmer one alongside the night time atmosphere. Having just released their new EP Seven Circles and having supported the likes of The Jesus & Mary Chain and The Stranglers, this band can only go from strength to strength. For fans of the Black Keys.HSS2016 6 As everyone’s now packed tightly around the Main stage in the heart of the marina, it’s time for the headliners to take to the stage. There has been much anticipation for this band who have quickly become a household name within in the Hull music scene. Counting Coins are known for their energetic and crazy live shows, and they didn’t disappoint. Bursting onto stage with their loud and catchy ska punk quickly getting the crowd skanking and bouncing. Harry Burnby has a natural charm and stage presence, it doesn’t take him long to have the crowd eating out the palm of his hand jumping on every command. It seems everyone young and old have got their dancing shoes on for these guys tonight, and who can blame them with the infectious anthems of “Dont Look Down” and What Gives You The Right”. With an album now under their belt, you won’t regret checking these guys out at a show. For fans of The King Blues.
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Street Sesh has reinforced once again why it’s one of the best festivals to take place in Hull. With not just the great showcase of musical talent, but the overall street- party vibe atmosphere. There’s a little bit of everything to suit everyone. This year’s lineup will be a tough act to follow, but no doubt Humber Street Sesh will be back next year even bigger and better as it’s crowned City of Culture.1HSS2016 13

REVIEW: Funeral For A Friend – O2 Forum, Kentish Town, London (21/05/16)

On the 21st May 2016, Funeral For A Friend graced the stage for the very last time. The band had announced a year prior that they would be no more following an aptly named “The last chance to dance” tour. This was to see the album’s Hours and Casually dressed and deep in conversation played in their entirety.

On the second and final night at the Kentish Town forum, the band performed the first album they ever released, 2003’s  Casually dressed and deep in conversation which featured at number 12 in the album charts. It was an incredible and firm fan favourite containing the hits such as “juneau”. The supports acts for the night were Zoax, a London based five piece, alongside Creeper who have previously supported FFAF on the release of their last album “Chapter and verse” UK tour. The southampton horror punks Creeper are definitely a band to look out for. With a very afi/alkaline trio esque sound they are quickly making a name for themselves, recently winning Best British Newcomer at the K! Awards and Golden God awards this week. Although the crowd was hesitant at first, they soon warmed up to the energetic and charming stage presence of vocalist Will Gould, with current fan favourites of VCR and Black Mass.

fdt1From the start to end, the energy and emotion that filled that room is indescribable. Song after song, the crowd sung their lungs out like their lives depended on it. A 15 year career combined into one final night.  This wasn’t just a recap recital of the album, no – this was more. This was a chance for Matt Davies to tell us the true inspiration and meanings behind each song which you don’t read in the magazines, adding to the tugs already pulling on our heart strings. As they sung through hit after hit, it was hard to even hear Matt’s vocals anymore over the crowd. Everyone in that crowd tonight danced and sang as if it was 2003, even more so when the band was joined by former members Darren smith and Ryan Richards on stage for a performance of This Year’s Most Open Heartbreak.

Many fans, including myself began to shed a few tears at watching this band who was the soundtrack to our teenage years come to an end. The once small group who helped kick start the era of welsh bands who stormed the charts with the likes of BFMV and Lostprophets. The closing song for tonight’s show was History, one they’ve ended on many times. But tonight it had a whole new meaning, a song that summed up the entire gig creating an explosion of emotions from not only the crowd, but from the band. Never have I experienced a gig where the crowd managed to bring the front man to tears, but they did. As the lines of “history” came to an end, and the band took their final bows, it was obvious the crowd wasn’t quite ready to let go. For 5 minutes the crowd sang in unison an encore of History, fingers up in salute as they watched their heroes stand in awe of the sheer passion and emotion in the room.fdt3

As sad as it is to see a favourite band go, that final show marked the end of an era in such a positive way. They ended the career on a high note, unlike the case of many bands that just deteriorate away. FFAF tonight made sure that while they may be gone, they’ll never be forgotten.

“Raise your fingers for one last salute and bleed this skyline dry. Your history is mine.” FFAF. 2001-2016 RIP.

Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation

Setlist May 21st:

Rookie of the Year

Bullet Theory

Juneau

Bend Your Arms to Look Like Wings

Escape Artists Never Die

Storytelling

Moments Forever Faded

She Drove Me to Daytime Television

Red Is the New Black

Your Revolution Is a Joke

Waking Up

Novella

 

Encore:

This Year’s Most Open Heartbreak

(with Darran Smith and Ryan Richards)

Kiss & Make Up (All Bets Are Off)

10 Scene Points to the Winner

You Want Romance?

10:45 Amsterdam Conversations

The Art of American Football

Roses for the Dead

History

Don’t forget to check out the Rebellious Noise review of the night before where FFAF played “Hours” in full here and our interview with them at Breakout Festival 2014.