Fat Lip Festival took over Bristol on Saturday, spanning over three stages and featuring twenty-seven bands. We arrived late to the party, tragically missing the whole of newly reformed Welsh band Straight Lines set. All I had to go by was the ecstatic faces of fans and the sky-high atmosphere as the crowd disbursed.
Settling on seeing something different, we decided to stay at the Fireball stage to catch SHVPES (6/10). For a band with such a high energy and an intense sound, the stage often felt a little too small for them. However the crowd took advantage of the intimacy and after a few songs the moshing began. Sadly the sound quality was not as good as it should have been for a band with such refined detail to their sound, and at times it came through the speakers distorted. This did not put a downer on their performance though, as they swept the crowd up in their tidal wave of lively tunes.
Breaking through the gloomy weather with their heart felt lyrics and beautiful pop punk tones, Beyond Recall (9/10) brightened up the acoustic stage. The band held the audience so captivated that not even the elements could sabotage their set.
After taking a food break we decided to get down early for Feed The Rhino to ensure a good spot. During our haste to be at the front we caught the Devil Sold His Soul (7/10) set. Having never heard of the band before, I was massively impressed with their sound. The lineup was chosen well as their feisty sound and hordes of energy flowed well into Feed The Rhinos set.
You can see any heavy band and praise them for their technicality or precision on stage. But Feed The Rhino (10/10) take performance to a whole new level. People go flying, objects go flying, if I had not climbed on the sofa behind me I would have lost track of the show completely. But however much carnage they create, the passion that emanates from the band when they quite literally tear up the stage is infectious, and left us hyped up for the rest of the evening.
They say save the best until last and I was worried after Feed The Rhino delivered such a breathtaking set, that would not be true. But Young Guns (10/10) are a band that never fail to deliver, making Fat Lip no exception to their immaculate reputation. As a unit they have a way of connecting with their fans, and after addressing the loss of many widely loved rockstars they proceeded to play a stunning cover of My Hero by Foo Fighters.
Overall I would say Fat Lip Festival is amazing value for money. The atmosphere was on a permanent high and the snippets we caught of acts as we passed through were phenomenal. The entry cost came with a free clash finder, despite the fact the lineup worked so cleverly few bands actually clashed. This included a list of train times and taxi numbers. Some festival giants while they are fun, can feel like they are out for your money. This is not the case with fat Lip, which came across as an event built on a deep love for music.