Live Review: ArcTanGent (August 2017)
With its 5th year done and dusted ArcTanGent yet again has done a solid job on the small festival circuit. Each year bringing bigger names to its line up and more people through its gates the Bristol based “Math Rock” festival is well on its way to growing some roots in the UK festival scene selling all 5000 tickets well in advance to the Thursday kick off.
With the likes of Explosions In The Sky and Converge playing their only UK dates and Japanese three piece Boris it shows that even bands are showing a keen interest in getting their name on the line up poster. HECK even played their last show on the opening day which in true HECK fashion was carnage from start to finish.
Most of the “hidden gems” can be found in the on the smaller stages with the likes of “itoldyouiwouldeatyou” who’s songs are full of focus on LGBT matters, “Britney” and their weird, wonderful and frantic mix of samples.
Then there’s “HO99O9” who are deffinetly the curve ball of the festival. The two piece American Hip Hop group (yes Hip Hop at a Math Rock festival) make for an interesting yet savage set. With out a single guitar in sight theOGM and Eaddy produce a stunning mix between old school hardcore Hip Hop and Punk which on lookers lap up in forms of massive circle pits, walls of death and near riot chaos. HO99O9 leave a lasting impression on festival goers, even Arctangent producer Goc O’Callaghan can be seen nodding her head in unison with the crowd.
With Converge headlining the Friday night fans are not only blasted with side ways rain but also Jacobs raw vocals. Converge easily clear any bar set by the bands so far and also set it close to unreachable heights for the remainder. Not fazed by the glorious British summertime weather the band breeze through a blistering set. Opening up with the heavy hitting “Dark Horse” and closing with the lengthy “Jane Doe” the bands 75 minute set is over all to quickly.
With the majority of bands on the bill using the same formula of sparse lyrical content and more focus on atmospheric, tremolo sounding sets it can sometimes be hard to stand out. This however isn’t the case for the likes of Thursdays headliner Russian Circles and festival closers Explosions In The Sky. The light set up teamed up with the night sky (and for the first and only night of the festival lack of rain) make for a calm and somewhat entrancing finale to the three days.
Employed to Serve
Devil Sold His Soul
Review and Photography by Anthony Hunt