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DV8 Festival, Part One: The Last Cry, Anne Marie Hurst, Utah Saints and The Chapman Family
The Duchess, York
28 July 2012
This year’s DV8 Festival starts in storming fashion, literally: a lightning strike has cut the power to a large section of York and delayed thet start of the preview night by an hour! After speculation on whether this was the result of a mad experiment to reanimate some form of ghoulish monster, shrouded in dark cloud and with the sizzle of electricity still in the air The Duchess reopened and played host to four monster sets.
The Last Cry took to the stage an hour later then scheduled and delivered a performance that set the pace for the night, if not the entire festival. Perfectly playing the Mad Professor, Andrew Birch throttled his vintage radio mike as he delivered his vocal barrage., and between outbursts he clutched his head as if hoping the pressure might be relieved.
Anne Marie Hurst came next and opened with the balladic intro to ‘Cinder Road’. Soaring vocal, supported by clean guitar accompaniment, soon gave way to the familiar Ghost Dance five-piece sound. A set pulled from all of Anne Marie’s musical incarnations followed included a rock styling of the Skeletal Family classic ‘Promised Land’ and Ghost Dance’s ‘River of No Return’. New material ‘Set Me Free’, ‘Angels’ and ‘Lost in Munich’ fitted neatly into the set, and favourite ‘Radar Love’ and had the audience dancing happily.
Of course, if it was dance the crowd wanted, The Utah Saints were ready to deliver with their dance-infused sledgehammer sound, pulled from a vast array of musical influence. Crashing rock into dance and lashing the remnants together with samples from film and TV, their wall of sound forbade passive observation, blasting the audience into submission and The Duchess was bouncing.
At the Witching hour, The Chapman Family take to the stage, looking and sounding the part, smashing and crashing their way through a set of indie art rock delivered at lightning pace. Kingsley Chapman has grown as a stage presence and delivered a set pulled from last year’s ‘Burn Your Town’ album and the recent ‘Cruel Britannia’ EP. This set was interrupted twice with power failures, but this served to fuel the intensity of delivery and the band did themselves proud as headliners.
Perhaps it is no surprise that this preview night, which pulled from some of the best live performances of last year’s festival, has set such a high standard for others to follow. As a taste of what is to follow across all of the DV8 venues, and it tastes good.
Words & Photo : Unholy Racket