Tonight’s free event was organised by Nick Harney from headline band Mescina and a team of volunteers. As soon as we walked in to Skybar we noticed the new stage and bright lights which made the room look great, and there was also the exciting addition of pyros at the front of the stage. We had been promised sword fighting as well as 5 live bands so we knew we were in for a treat.
Opening the show tonight were Liverpudlian pop-punk/rock band Red Winter. They treated us to a great set of mainly original material and there was also a very high-tempo, punk version of ‘Stand by Me’. They were a super energetic band with lots of bouncing, especially by the rhythm guitarist and they got heads nodding all round the room and drew people forward to watch. Red Winter had a really good sound and got the night going in style. I for one will definitely be looking out for them in future.
Next up were Blast Tyrant who brought us a high energy set of punk metal featuring awesome twin guitars and brutal vocals. The band made the most of the stage as they ripped through a set consisting of all original songs from their EP and a couple of new ones too including the incredibly catchy ‘Tear it Down’. They said they hadn’t gigged for a while but it didn’t come across that way as they gelled well and delivered a red hot performance. Vocalist Louis jumped down onto the floor for final song, ‘Degenerate Swine’ which is full of that punk attitude and energy that runs through all Blast Tyrant gigs.
The 3rd Degree, a “grungy punk rock band” from Coventry, were next to take to the stage. Just before they played some barriers were put in place and sword fighters Hardcore Pawns took their places on the chequered dance floor and treated us to an thrilling performance with their Queen shouting instructions. There can’t be many gigs where the audience are shouting “Take his head off!” whilst the band plays but it was actually an entertaining mix and the guys in The 3rd Degree weren’t distracted by what was going on, delivering a great sounding, tight set with lots of original material including the punchy ‘Serial’ and up-tempo, punky ‘Bi-Polar Skies’. They also threw in some covers including ‘Doctor Alibi’ by Slash and ‘Burning Love’ by Pure Love (a personal favourite of mine!)
There was more sword fighting and balancing by Hardcore Pawns to keep us entertained whilst the penultimate band of the night, Sacrament, set up. Sacrament came at us with something a bit heavier, citing Metallica and Megadeth amongst their influences. They would normally be a 4-piece but unfortunately one of their guitarists was in hospital so they were down to 3 tonight, but this didn’t affect their sound. They played a well put together mix of original songs and metal covers. Sacrament are enthusiastic and skillful with some blistering guitar solos and heavy riffs, and it was really good to hear a bit of thrash thrown into the mix.
It was time for our hosts and headliners Mescina to take to the stage, and the crowd drew forward to watch them as they kicked into first song ‘How Happy Are You Now’ which features a captivating rap metal verse. Mescina have an impressive sound and image, drawing inspiration from alt-metal and hardcore bands, and the covers they threw into their set by Deftones, Korn and SOAD fitted really well. They have also developed their own musical style with some serious riffs over heavy, fuzzy bass and venomous vocals. Closing number Lethal Injection in particular packed a real punch; brutal and intense with a fantastic hook. They’ve got some exciting times ahead as they are competing in one of the Bloodstock M2tM heats in Burnley along with Blast Tyrant, and also supporting Slipknowt in Manchester amongst other gigs.
All in all this was an incredibly fun event which was very well organised, and the genius additions of sword fighting and pyros made it something really different!
How Happy Are You Now
X (SOAD cover)
Famine of Fortune
Around the Fur (Deftones cover)
Blind (Korn cover)
Review by Rachel McMurdo
Photography by Fiona Harold