Review and photos by Sara Bowrey
Entombed was brought to Hastings by Toxit Wotsit (the team behind Wotsit Called Festival) and local live promoters, Infected Umbrella. It was a festival dedicated to all things heavy, and for fans of noise this was the ideal way to blow away the January/COVID blues.
Centred mainly around The Crypt and with an aftershow gig for late-night revels on Saturday night over at The Pig, Entombed was a simple mix of back-to-back bands and festival themed cocktails.
DAY ONE – Friday at The Crypt
London-based Shooting Daggers are Wotsit Called Festival favourites and they epitomise riot grrrl queercore punk.
This is ferocious, fast, infectious, and comes complete with a healthy dose of insightful political angst that really delivers the power-punch. Shooting Daggers are a band to watch that it’s sure we’ll be hearing far more of them…we can definitely picture them on a Download stage in a few years time.
Check out some of their performance at last year’s Wotist Called along with an interview with the band…
Or for a trip to the dark side sneak a listen to some Spotify tracks:
The headline for Friday comes from the really rather incredible Dawn Ray’d – black metal with a determinism to destroy fascism in all its forms. Stark, dark, haunting and unique, Dawn Ray’d are loud but somehow at the same time understated. However, they present a commanding presence that has the audience instantly transfixed with incendiary guitars, howling vocals, and THAT violin.
With so many influences to draw on (from punk to classical to folk) Dawn Ray’d were a great choice to close day one, and one of the most memorable sets of the weekend.
The 22.30 finish means nice early night for those who want to be fresh for tomorrow’s offerings. But, for those in full party mood, what more could you want than the cheesy 80s disco that mopped up the messy remains of Entombed day one.
DAY TWO – Back to The Crypt then over to The Pig
Saturday’s line up is carefully put together, with two of Hastings’ very finest lined up to kick off the day’s events, thus ensuring a great turn out from start to finish as the local heroes did as expected and pulled out their fans for an early blast of familiar favourites.
Opening the show is Comeback Clit. Probably the newest act on the line-up, having only formed during lockdown – and they may tell you they are not professional musicians – but whilst they may be still learning their licks they deliver a catchy fun, punk-fuelled set from start to finish. Sass and attitude in abundance…and a big part of the Toxic Wotsit crew as well.
It is probably against the law for a punk/metal festival to take place in Hastings without Haest playing. And it reinforces the fact that behind Toxit Wotsit is some fine musical talent.
It’s great to see musicians prepared to put effort into staging events like this and allowing themselves to take on the opening sets when they could justifiably be further up the bill.
And it’s no doubt got to be significant in terms of choosing the rest of the line-up that so many of the organisers are intrinsic parts of the scene in their own right.
Haest self-describe themselves as ‘Slunk’ – sludgy hardcore/punk, says bassist, Mark.
[Maybe that should be ‘Shunk?]
Riff-heavy, and delivered with speed and enough intensity to knock you to the other end of the room. Haest are dynamic on stage and as at home in a small dingy underground cavern as they are on a big main stage. Ever the showmen, the band knock it out of the park once again, with pretty much the full set delivered in and amongst the crowd.
Jawless are not a band to go unnoticed.
Front woman Teresa Vendetta is a constant prowling, pacing bundle of energy adept at getting everyone involved. It’s a long day and the furious intensity of their set meant there was no afternoon lull and energy levels were kept high.
All the way from Falmouth, F Emasculata are now ten year’s into doing what they do and can best be described as X-files themed hardcore punk.
They serve up another in-yer-face in-the-crowd set of speedy, pounding and totally infectious tunes featuring guttural vocals and a bulldozer delivery.
Rash Decision start as they mean to go on at a breakneck speed. Most of their songs are no more than two minutes, but for all that they never fail to impress or deliver and are an audience favourite, leaving the whole room wanting more.
Conan are heavy as hell amd finish off the main event of the day as a replacement for Pigs X7 (who have already been re-booked to headline next year’s event).
Crushingly powerful riffs and relentlessly delivered (like the DPD driver from hell) carnal vocals are counterpoised with every note punching through. The songs become forces of their own, pulsating through the room and leaving every head in the audience banging as one.
For those not ready for the night to come to an end, a short walk to the seafront venue that is The Pig promises a few more treats at the aftershow, with the SLM, Torrid Horror, and last-minute additions, Sniff, rounding off the first of what we hope are many Entombed festivals.
If you missed it this time round then be sure to get your tickets early for 2023 – they’re going to go fast with Pigs x7 already confirmed.