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Published on September 16th, 2015 | by Ben Adsett

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UNDERGROUND FESTIVAL 2015 – PREVIEW – 26th -27th September

Underground Festival takes over the Gloucester Guildhall in just over a week, this new music based festival holds some great aural memories for me. From the very first year where I was blown away by intimate solo sets from Jim Lockey, Boat To Row, Lost On Campus (now Rob Lynch) and Sam Little whilst sat on a carpet and saw Frank Hamilton and Pulled Apart By Horses amongst others. To the second year where Hold Your Horses and Shoes and Socks off blew me away in the cinema room and Peace and Bastille both started on their meteoric rises. This festival has a solid track record of incredible bookings and this year is no different, there are even a few TTC favourites tucked snugly into this great line up.

In standard High Fidelity style here’s a top five list of bands you simple cannot miss

Tall Ships

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If there is a band that have consistently blown me away every time I have seen them play it’s probably these chaps. From the first time I saw them live I was musically invested for the long term and with every release and every performance they continue to develop their beautifully complex sound.

As a live entity Tall Ships have been radiating headline quality for a very long time so to see them top the Saturday bill here is amazing. The sound combines the intricacies and complexity of math rock and the accessibility that comes with solid hooks and the most rousing of live shows.

If previous Underground headliners are anything to go by this will be the year of Tall Ships so come and see them in a small venue on a Saturday night whilst you still can.

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes

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Frank Carter is UK hardcore royalty, the work he did with Gallows shaped a scene and the way this was carried forward and developed with Pure Love was fascinating. He now returns with gruff snarls and a chaotic live style backed by his band of Rattlesnakes.  Frank is almost infamous for his live delivery, which can often strike fear into the hearts of an audience. I once saw him play a maniacal set with Gallows after duct taping a huge gash in in knee up and I’m sure you can find numerous similar stories.

In the form of Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes we find brutal lyrical honesty and a delivery that snarls and bites through every single moment.  Factoring in the backing which combines the brutality of hardcore with the intelligence of something altogether more technical and the grimy blues sound you’d find in the darkest of venues and this is going to be a live performance that will stick into your head like a pick-axe.

Brawlers

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If I was to pick my favourite release of twenty fifteen Brawlers debut full length  ‘Romantic Errors of Our Youth’ would be right up there. It is the perfect mix between honest song-writing and passionate musicianship all bundled together into a furious paced twenty minutes.

If you have heard the record you are in for an absolute treat watching these songs live, Brawlers are genuine jaw droppers on a stage. They combine energy, excitement and chaos into live sets that are impossible to take your eyes off. When you factor in song-writing full of hooks and singalong moments this set is going to be right at the top of highlights lists.

Trash Boat

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Trash Boat much like Brawlers take pop punk and emo and turn it into something fresh and exciting , they don’t forgo the hook laden choruses or the warming lyrical delivery and that is what makes them a must see live. The band has developed into a driving force within a scene that growing in both numbers and quality and they are ever developing both on stage and in the studio.

The latest release ‘Brainwork’ shows a grittier side to song-writing but the record is far from scrappy, the polished sound they have taken on board is a credit to solid development. As a live entity this will be a set filled with passion and energy.

EMP!RE

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Emp!re are a band who have the broadest of appeals, they capture the noughties British rock style and have added individuality to create a truly special sound.  As a band these south west stalwarts have recorded some truly stunning material and have really developed as songwriters with each and every recording.

It is as a live act though that Emp!re really come into their own with performances of almost mechanical synchronicity between members and a level of energy and presence that could fill any room these chaps are the real deal. They are one of the few bands I have seen really nail the opening slot on the 2000Trees main stage and if they can conquer a stage of that size, the Guildhall is going to be nailed!



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