Fused Festival @ Lydney

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6 Abr 2011, 20:01

Fri 1 Apr – Fused Festival

A brief summary of the bits that I saw from the festival this last weekend. It would have been nice to have seen a slightly larger turnout, but its not easy to pull in a crowd for any Prog-related show these days

Saturday:
I went to a Paradise Lost gig on the Friday night - which in retrospect was a mistake as I didn't enjoy it much. I should have turned up in Lydney to see Vanden Plas instead - I heard that they were excellent.

I ended up travelling over the following day and had hoped to at least arrive in time to catch Toxic Smile and the bands for the evening, but due to a bunch of chores and other things at home I only arrived in time to see Threshold. They were well into their set and mid-way through The Ravages Of Time when I finally got inside the venue. The sound was great and the band sounded fantastic, as they usually do. The setlist was however a slightly odd mix of old and new songs, but there was still plenty to enjoy. There were friends that I spoke to, who were a little disappointed with the choice of material, but checking the setlist, I don't think it was massively different to what they have been playing over the last year or so. There is more of the older material in there, which is a big plus for me, but they insist on playing Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams which I've always found a bit dreary. On the other hand they did play the marvelous Ravages of Time. Also I have finally been won over by Pete Morten, whose voice I was never very keen on, but his backing vocals are great and he adds a bit more dynamism to the band onstage

I suspect that the setlist was the same as the one that they played in The Netherlands, last week

Mission Profile
Consume to Live
Exposed
Avalon
Eat the Unicorn
Stop Dead
The Ravages Of Time
Hollow
Critical Mass
Smile At The Moon
Long Way Home
Pilot In The Sky Of Dreams
The Art Of Reason

Encore:
Clear
Slipstream
Paradox

Sunday:
Loreweaver:
I was quite impressed with these italians. The female vocalist had a fantastic voice and they were absolutely delighted to be playing in front of an appreciative and respectful audience. I thought that they threw in a few unnecessary time changes just to be a bit proggier, but on the whole I was impressed.

Haken:
I've seen Haken quite a few times now since they first appeared on the scene. This was the best I've seen them play - they were the band of Sunday for me. In the past the vocalist has been the weak point, lacking power as the show progressed and dicking around in a cowboy hat. This time he left the cowboy hat at home and delivered vocals throughout the set with good power and control. He's made enourmous progress - now if he could just work at quitting the stupid dancing on-stage. :)

Hanging Doll
This Gothic Metal band from Birmingham were OK and much heavier than I'd been expecting. They were the curve-ball band of the afternoon, with a very Gothic look, mixed with a guitarist wearing a Slash-style top hat. They were definately in the Gothic-Metal as opposed to the Gothic-Rock camp and their tunes were not just quick 3-minute tunes either. That being said, there wasn't a great deal of variety to their songs and there were a bit one-paced for my liking, but overall they fared fairly well and got a fair hearing from the crowd. Kudos for them sticking around and watching some of the other acts too - unlike some of the bands.

Day Six:
This Prog-Metal outfit from The Netherlands were solid but I was getting a bit tired by this point and only watched about half of their set. Their brand of Prog-metal was very competant and well executed, but wasn't sufficently special enough to persuade me to buy any of their CDs. A number of friends however, rated them as band of the day.

Kingfisher Sky
Now this lot were bigged-up by a number of people I knew, including some writers from Fireworks mag. They had a full hour break after Day Six had finished to get their act together, but they farted around with their huge and unecessary technical support team and came on stage about 40 mins later than they were slated to appear. The sound for all bands had been perfect all day up to this point, but they insisted on played at 11 when it was totally inappropriate to do so. The cellist, who had sounded awesome during the sound-check was inaudible throughout.

I don't understand what makes bands want to play LOUD when its not needed. They were playing to a half empty hall of mainly middle-age men on a sunday evening (most of whom would be working the following day and many of whom planned to leave early anyway). The volume had me running to the safety and relative quiet of the lobby where I snoozed through the remainder of their set. I can't say its the first time that I've seen a band who 'knew better' than the venue's soundman. Needless to say I didn't pick up any of their CDs. They could have been soo much better.

Kudos to Huw and his helpers who put on a great show!

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