Manchester, Music

“A celebration of diversity, uniqueness and chaos”: Deadbolt Festival 2017 Review

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After taking a year off to recover from 2015’s breakthrough event, Deadbolt Festival makes an outstanding return to Manchester.

By Leigh Hewitt

More than 60 pop-punk, metal core, hardcore and rock bands played to music-hungry crowds across six stages and two days at this year’s Deadbolt Festival.

Attracting big names including Martyr Defiled, Carcer City, Junior, Borders, Coast to Coast, Carbine, Kamikaze Girls, and Better Than Never – organisers ensured that festival goers’ appetite for hard, fast and heavy music would be sated.

Just before the 2017 Deadbolt Festival kicked off, founder Liam Connolly said: “Deadbolt Festival is a chance for us to take the chaos of our club night and amplify it. Deadbolt Festival 2015 was the biggest thing that we have done to date and we can’t wait to make it even better this year with bigger bands, more brand collaborations and even more chaos!”

Liam and his team definitely achieved the chaos they aimed for, as the multiple venues were, at times, haphazard. Fans were forced to make agonising decisions about which performances to watch and which ones to skip, while also darting up and down Oxford Road to different locations – something that gets harder to do after a beer or two!

Once the difficult discussion making has been done, the clear highlights of Deadbolt were Martyr Defiled and Recovery’s performances, who both played on the stage dedicated to Sophie Lancaster; a woman murdered for being different.

Recovery, a band born and bred in Manchester, didn’t disappoint the heavy metalcore fans, kicked off the show with an energetic set, filling the room with heavy riffs and ferocious breakdowns. Martyr Defiled followed up with an equally brutal set, as lead singer Matt Jones paced back and forth to make sure everyone in the crowd could hear him roar. Their passion for their craft is evident in every note they played, making it even harder to accept that they have decided to disband. Both bands captured the essence of the festival, in its celebration of diversity and uniqueness, making the gesture of naming a stage after Sophie all the more poignant.

In between Recovery and Martyr Defiled, over at the tiki cocktail paradise that is the Zombie Shack, bands Dearist, Elevator Lady and Altar Flowers take the stage. The air was electric, with the crowd pulsating with an energy that isn’t always there at gigs. Revellers latched on to the rhythmic drumming in Dearist’s ‘Genocide’, swayed together for Elevator Lady’s ‘Going Nowhere’, and erupted to the stadium sounds of Altar Flowers’ ‘Hoker’.

Over at the Bred Shed, Bristol-born Weatherstate stayed true to pop-punk form, were firing out infectious hooks and pounding rhythm with songs ‘Stuck in a Hole’ and short, but sweet, ‘Strutter’. The band is like an amalgamation of early 00s veterans such as Sum 41 and Weezer, and if their performance at Deadbolt is anything to go by, they’re set for big things.

The organisers did an amazing job of showcasing an army of talented bands and they should give themselves a huge pat on the back. Lets hope they don’t take a year off and bring the show back in 2018 – until then, the club night will have to do.


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