Live Review: Outbreak Fest –  Canal Mills, Leeds – 03/05/2015

Since its beginnings as a small setup by two friends in a community centre in Sheffield 4 years ago, Outbreak Fest has grown into one of the most anticipated and talked about events on the UK hardcore calendar. With the biggest and broadest line up in the event’s history assembled for 2015, 1000 or so revelers found their way to the Canal Mills just outside Leeds city centre for another day of stage dives, high fives and endlessly good vibes.

Shrapnel have been making ever-increasing waves in the scene thanks to their take on classically hectic New York style hardcore. Their set today is met by an active stage and rambunctious silliness with a pit taking up most of the front of the venue. With a reaction this heated after releasing just an EP and demo, things are set to only get bigger for these Yorkshire lads. (3/5)

Milk Teeth take to the stage and look a little uncomfortable prior to kicking in to their set. Perhaps feeling the pressures of an unfamiliar crowd they soon get into their stride and their grungy punk has several pockets of the crowd’s heads bopping. By the time the piercing feedback and uncomforting noise of closer ‘Trampoline’ engulfs the stage, the band prove their worth and surely find themselves a few new punters. (3.5/5)

Headroom follow with their last show as a band and are making sure they go out with a bang. Vocalist Ben Thompson cheekily calls for the ‘moshers’ to get on stage as they tear through their short discography of breezy alt tunes, with ‘Outside’ and ‘Miss’ receiving the most jubilant of sing-alongs. Though their lifespan was short, it seems that the band have made a pretty deep indent in the scene and will surely be missed. (4/5)

Angel Du$t don’t mess about as they take centre stage. Their scrappy, snotty take on old school punk comes off a little ropey and dull as the band try and bash out as many tunes as they can, though that doesn’t stop those in the know striding across the stage with vigor and grabbing the mic from frontman Justice Tripp any opportunity they can. (2.5/5)

After an energetic stopgap set from Leeds newcomers Higher Power, Broken Teeth go for the jugular with their animalistic riffs and chest pounding beats. With members of the crowd leaving the pit with puffed up eyes and bloody noses, the band tear through their 20 minutes with violent intent and gruff cockiness. A true UK institution. (4/5)

Survival follow and deal out one of the most fun sets of the day. Their loud, proud and bullishly scoffing straight edge jams have every set of lungs in the room giving out and every set of lips possessing a smile. If an example was needed to show how vibrant, enjoyable and infectious British hardcore is in 2015, look no further than these Manchester mosh bandits. (4.5/5)

Turnstile are one of the hottest properties the genre has to offer right now and their set justifies that claim indefinitely. Frenzied, feral and painstakingly tight, the band deal out their groove laden offerings with intent and passion. Frontman Brandon Yates finds his way into the crowd on more than one occasion as ‘Drop’ and ‘Gravity’ fly by before ‘Death Grip’ sees the stage consumed with flailing bodies and rousing war cries. Untouchable stuff. (4.5/5)

Cold World swiftly follows and keeps the energy at breaking point. Their hip-hop influenced style makes for some venomous listening and in a live environment the bile overflows. ‘Gods And Earth’ stomps by with rumbling malice before closer ‘Low Places’ has every head in the room banging like no-ones business. The band may not get out on the road very much, but when they do they more than make the most of it. (3.5/5)

Compared to the utter devastation that came before, Basement feel a little subdued to say the least. Nonetheless the band tear into their set with optimism mixed with disbelief at the size of the crowd that stands before them, singing back every word. It seems as though during their time away from the band, after their split in 2012, has seen the band go from under the radar hotspots to a genuine big deal without them even realising. ’Spoiled’ rips clinically while older cuts ‘Canada Square’ and ‘Earl Grey’ have every set of lungs in the room giving out. Newest additions to the set ‘Summer’s Colour’ and ‘Jet’ from last year’s ‘Further Sky’ EP both show what the future of Basement may sound like as well as receive a warm reception before ‘Crickets Throw Their Voice’ sees the set out with heated anarchy. With a new album due out later this year, based on this performance everything Basement touch now could turn to sepia stained gold. (3.5/5)

Title Fight have a long standing and respectable reputation preceding them and the number of people who are still here till the bitter end is a testament to that. Opening with a wall of delicious fuzz and reverb, their set borrows heavily from new album ‘Hyperview’ with tracks like ‘Rose Of Sharon’ and ‘Make You Cry’ sounding dramatically stirring and receiving a polite and respectful reception. Though it’s the golden oldies that really get the bodies moving. ‘Shed’ is met with a wall of voices while ‘27’ and ‘Youreyeah’ have so many people diving off the stage, the band at times almost get pulled off themselves. Bassist Ned Russin uses the set several times to say how honored him and the band are to be able to come over to play the UK year after year, and shouts out the bands who they have formed lifelong friendships with before finishing on the rousing ‘Head In The Ceiling Fan’ and jubilantly raucous ‘Secret Society’.

Though Title Fight have changed and adapted over the years, their acceptance and position within hardcore has not budged which says more about the modern day scene than words could ever say. As the last notes ring out and assembled head off out into the night, what today represented as a whole becomes even more clear. Today was a community coming together and showing off its unity, passion and friendship without prejudice, discrimination or judgment for 10 hours of the music that holds it together. It doesn’t get much better than that, does it? (3.5/5)


Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)


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