I’m back to The Crypt in Hastings for Day Two of Entombed Festival, accompanied once again by the lovely Gemma Shaw, she of Gloomy Lights Photography, with her magic camera in hand. This second day was full of riffs and promises, and here are some of the thoughts I had during this day, in between shots and lots of laughs.
Starting off with Doomsday Clock, coming all the way from London with their chaotic power violence mixed with antifascist themes. As far as the performance went, the set was solid. However, I felt that only the vocalist was giving something there, the rest of the musicians felt a bit too into their own thing to captivate us on stage. It was a bit of a shame, because again, the set in itself was solid, especially for a power violence show. It’d still give their Bandcamp a go.
Next up, we got another Brightonian band, Monakis, unfortunately, their alternative grunge punk didn’t seem to impress much of the audience at The Crypt, but I liked it. It was very energetic, very swaggy. Some of their songs were downright grungy, like a more angry version of Dinosaur Pile-Up, others were more in the vein of Sonic Youth. You can tell they are ‘90s kids. Maybe that’s why I liked them. And yes, even the guitar throw was good in my book. Monakis were a good surprise but, maybe, Entombed Festival wasn’t the right place to get them as it was a tad too indie for the punk/metal crowd. I would see these guys again at a local venue.
Trippy Wicked And The Cosmic Children Of The Knight came right after, and in my humble opinion, this was the moment when things really started to get groovy as hell. If you are familiar with the London trio, you would know that they always deliver quality fun sets and this one was no exception. Everybody was into it, dancing, having an absolute blast. I was having a blast too, and so did Trippy Wicked. Another top-notch performance from them. Again, it would have been difficult not to headbang. A stellar performance from these trippy wicked duderinos.
Circle None then ensued with some proper old school punk with an electric vocalist, full of rage and energy. But right in the middle of the set, one of the guitarist’s strings broke. It truly sucked and at this point, I kind of felt for them. I’m no musician, but I can imagine how annoying it is, even if it happens to the best of us more often than we would. The singer tried to make light of the situation and asked the public to come with some dad jokes and, looking back, I wouldn’t be surprised if the very bad dad joke from the Doomsday Clock singer was the catalyst to get the guitarist another axe to grind and get the set back to where they left off. However, more technical issues forced the band to stop their set before their time. Yeah, it really was unfortunate, but I’m sure that in other circumstances, they would have done great. Better luck next time, I suppose.
Bristolians Torpor came right after and… Okay, can I be real for a sec? Good. I’ve been following these guys for years now, and I have been lucky to see them a few times in London and Brighton. They are phenomenal live. There’s just something about their noisy doom sound that strikes the right chords every single time. So yeah, not only was I hyping for them, I had high expectations for their set. My expectations were met. Their set was probably the heaviest thing I’ve heard so far this weekend. My favourite bit was when the drummer, Simon, stepped to the front of the stage and belted a cappella like nobody’s business. Damn, I love this band. And if you do too, check them out when they tour the UK in May, you’ve been warned.
Kulk were next. It was one of the few bands on the bill I haven’t heard from before coming here. And even though I appreciated their raw sound, the drummer who looked insanely cool and talented and their ethics in general, I was not into them. Again, it may just come down to personal taste, but if you like noise with a tint of indie and vocals a la Michael Gira, THEN definitely check them out. It bummed me out a little bit because they sound like absolute gems.
And then came Fatalist all the way from Manchester. Fuck, they were loud!! Their darkened hardcore style was impeccable, straightforward and crazy, the way I like my punk – and I’m not even a connoisseur. Their set was bonkers in the cool sense of the term, they effortlessly got people going just the right amount of pumped up to get the party started. It was a great show from them and I would also recommend you to see them whenever they play near you.
I thought that I would have enough time to catch a bit of The Domestics but getting food in town took me longer than I thought. However, I made it back right in time for Inhuman Nature, a heavy metal band from London with lots of thrash and hardcore influences. They were very impressive live, and it was great to witness those influences so visibly on display. If you like Municipal Waste, Iron Reagan and Havok, these guys are the band you need to see. Impeccable set indeed.
Then came In Evil Hour from Darlington (Darlo for short I’ve been told). This band reminded me a lot of The Gits, but a little rougher around the edges. If you don’t know who they are, they were part of the Seattle scene during the late ‘80s – early ‘90s and were on the verge of success before the untimely death of their singer Mia Zapata. This type of alternative punk is usually not my cuppa, but I enjoyed them greatly and what they had to offer. And they seem to be really happy to be down south, playing for a bunch of weirdos. Even if they had to shorten their set due to time limits, it was pleasant and refreshing to see a punk band with great values and an incredible frontwoman.
The penultimate set of the weekend came from the almighty Tuskar. The folks in the front rows were as ecstatic about this show than I was. As a drumming enthusiast, seeing Tyler Hodges mistreat his kit the way he did gave me goosebumps. I don’t think anyone hits as hard as he does live, so it’s always a pleasure seeing them perform. And what about that set, uh? Well, it was heavy as fuck, mind-blowing and way, way too short for my liking. Still an astonishingly good set from one of the best contemporary doom bands in the country.
Finally, the dessert, the sweetest of treats before calling it a night: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. They were supposed to headline the festival last year but had to pull out because of ‘Rona, so yeah a lot of us were really happy to see them in Hastings for what would be a hell of a show. As they are currently touring to promote their excellent new album, Land Of Sleeper, the Geordie Oinkies came in full force and performed a lot of songs from the aforementioned new record.
I really loved that moment where Matt Batty told the audience Land Of Sleeper outsold Pitbull’s Greatest Hits (yeah, fuck you too Mr Worldwide!). The crowd was so rowdy, it got to the point it was difficult to move, let alone shoot. But holy shit snacks, it was totally worth it. Once again, Pigs x7 were incredible, funny, ballsy and heavy until the very last note. It was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.
Entombed might not be the biggest festival nor the fanciest, but the Toxic Wotsit team put their hearts and soul into it and it showed. I cannot wait for the third round next year and their smaller sister festival, Wotsit Called Fest on 22nd and 23rd September 2023. Mighty thanks to Dan and The Crypt team. And to our lovely readers, if you can go down to East Sussex for a pure weekend of fun and riffs, then this little punkish fest is catering for your ears.