Arriving just before the first band were due to begin, I had finally got my timings right. Joining my friends in the booth they had secured, I settled down to enjoy another evening of choice local bands, all in the name of a very good cause. The guy introducing the bands seemed to be having a wonderful evening and would best be described as ‘slightly inebriated’, which added a certain comedic aspect to the proceedings. However, things soon got underway and we were introduced to the first band.
I felt a little guilty reviewing Creeps. They were introduced as newbies performing on stage for the first time. That in itself would be daunting enough, without the added pressure of someone watching your every move and making notes. But, if the three guys on stage were nervous, it certainly didn’t show. From the outset they hit the audience with a heavy wall of sound, confidently produced and showing a strong grunge influence. Both lyrically and musically the tone was of a heavier, darker Nirvana, the songs being expertly delivered with just enough rough edges to make the sound authentic.
By the third track, ‘Die’, the music had a heavier feel with a surprisingly up-beat chorus, although ‘I just want you to die and let me go’ might not be the most cheerful lyric, it fitted in well. The last track, ‘Walls’, was the heaviest of all and none the worse for that. The whole performance was excellent. Called back for an encore, they repeated an earlier song, ‘On my Mind’, a good one at that. If I had any complaints on that score, it would be that I would have liked to hear more of their repertoire. The Creeps gave a confident performance. Definitely one to watch for in the future.
The next band, Sheepy, were one that I had heard about but never seen. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I liked their power-pop output a great deal. Like the Beach Boys on speed, their set barrelled on, leaving the audience breathless and wanting more. They overlaid their power chord energy with some interesting guitar riffs on their fourth song which was pure punk well delivered.
The next song had a reggae beat and was more melodic, the overlying rock guitar riffs giving it a more Indie feel. Then the excellent power pop of ‘Hugs and Kisses’, another blinder of a track. I might not have caught this band before, but I certainly will again.
I had already listened to some Sugarking tracks on Soundcloud in the past, so I was intrigued to see if their live sound matched up. The singer has an excellent voice and the solid rhythm section overlaid by some ‘Guns and Roses’ style guitar licks, cemented their position as an out and out rock band. They showed some glam rock influences, as well as giving their music a heavier feel at times. Their stage presence had a theatrical element, with the singer moving well around the stage, although I’m not sure about shades worn in a dark club, which caused some hilarity in parts of the crowd.
The set was punctuated by soaring, sophisticated vocals and fine rock riffs. Sadly, their professional performance was let down by a catastrophic electrical failure part way through the set, but they recovered well and finished the set in style.
That ended my three day experience of Hope Fest, and what an enjoyable experience it had been. There seemed to be something for everyone with my only problem being I know I have missed other excellent acts playing at the other venues. Roll on Hope Fest 2015!