Fat Lip Fest 2017
Venue: Bristol Bierkeller & Bristol The Lanes
Date: 29th July 2017
SHVPES waste no time to display their loud and proud attitudes, with a boundless load of chunky guitars and diverse vocals kicking off from the get go of their set. Taken from their 2016 album ‘Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair.’, they show off their prowess in full capacity in ‘Skin and Bones’ – hitting the audience with its wonderfully executed, distinct introduction. The track is easily a big highlight for the band’s set, proving to be even more powerful than on record. They belter through tracks ‘Breaking the Silence’ and ‘Two Minutes of Hate’, which contains limitless intense choruses that really pull you back into the enticing vocals from Griffin Dickinson. The Birmingham based five-piece really bellows their energy throughout their half hour set, bringing it down to a close with their final breakdown in ‘Shapes’; ending on an electrifying high. It is clear that the whole room is a whole lot more sweatier and fizzling with energy after the time is down.
London quartet Dead! really mean business as they take on the Bierkeller Main Stage. Despite just getting back to England earlier that morning after flying in from Finland, they have incredible energy and stage presence; no one would’ve guessed they were running on next-to-no sleep. Their newest track ‘Up for Ran$om’ – only released the week prior to this performance – works flawlessly into their set, with equal measures of attack and fierce sounds to that of their older material. The power they possess is unreal, with the guitar riffs vibrating right through audience members bodies in the best possible way. Everything they play is incredibly catchy, with ‘Enough Enough Enough’ echoing around the whole room following the relentless chant that is repeated. Their whole set is massively genuine, ending with ‘You’re so Cheap’, encouraging the room to bounce and get really involved. These guys provide an incredibly enjoyable performance, rapidly making them ones to keep an eye on in the current rock scene; they’re quickly going to become your new favorite band.
Bringing a healthy dose of pop-punk cheer to the Fat Lip line-up, WSTR are exactly what you would expect from a Liverpool band in the genre. They bring along typical pop-punk swagger, featuring consistent swaying and choppy riffs galore. ‘Featherweight’ proves to be a welcome introduction to their set, pleasing fans from the get-go. There’s plenty of catchy breakdowns evident throughout tracks such as ‘Fair Weather’ and ‘Nail the Casket’, which continues to raise the pace higher and faster. They highlight and play homage to the first song they ever wrote – ‘Graveyard Shift’ – featuring prominent bass vibrating through the floors. They end on a very positive note with popular single ‘Lonely Smiles’, making the room bounce. It’s a satisfying performance, especially for committed fans. For everyone else it is just another quintessential pop-punk appearance: once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.
Bierkeller courtyard held host to an assortment of acoustic performances from a diverse bunch of genres. The rain may have been ongoing throughout Greywind’s set, but the Irish duo maintain a tight performance, unfazed by the miserable weather. The riffs of familiar tracks like ‘Forest Ablaze’ and ‘Safe Haven’ works wonders in the acoustic setup, coupled up with Steph O’Sullivan’s impressive vocal ranges. There is plenty of enthusiasm and prowess and it easily takes the audience away to a faraway place. They manage to effortlessly make their performance sound haunting, beautiful and mystical all at the same time, unlike any other band around. They come out with softer songs such as ‘Car Spin’, incorporating duel vocals in a brilliant way. They end with ‘Afterthoughts’, which is bellowing and completely calm all at once and, despite the contrast, it is flawlessly executed and works incredibly for this band. They finish – much to the audience’s dismay – leaving a happy crowd that thoroughly enjoyed the intimate setup.
Fat Lip has already made itself known around the South West, providing a popular alt-rock night every month in Bristol. As the first year producing a festival line-up, the brand has definitely created something pretty special that is sure to continue to bring in some big names in the rock, punk and alt genres in future endeavours. Already with a diverse selection of bands and a crowd to match, this little festival has plenty of potential to make an even bigger name for itself.