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Gig Review : Heretic Festival Day 2

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Review by Maria Glover for MPM

Day 2 – Saturday 14th May 2022
• Bastette
• Steal The City
• These Wicked Rivers
• Ryders Creed
• Revival Black
• Bootyard Bandits
• Daxx & Roxane
• The Fallen State
• Mason Hill
• Stone Broken


Fronted by singer/songwriter Caroline Eve Kenyon, Bastette is a relatively new band, formed in 2019, from Blackburn. The swagger and commanding vocals of Caroline are difficult to miss and she owns that stage.

They start their set with the poignant ‘Talk About It’ from their ‘Exposed’ EP which is a song inspired by the inner workings of a relationship. This is quickly followed by ‘Hunter’ and then their latest single ‘Psycho’ from their forthcoming EP out September this year.

There is attitude aplenty, Caroline the epitome of a strong, independent woman, killing it on the live circuit. The vocals are impressive and there is sufficient guitar for even the keenest voyeur with a rhythm guitarist in the mix with bass and lead.

When she belts out ‘Rip Me To Shreds’ you stand up and listen! This is my favourite track in the set and gets the crowd really moving and interacting. They are really quite mesmerising.

Watch out for new song ‘Fiction’.

Their sound has been compared to Pretty Reckless or Florence and the Machine but I would say they are simply Bastette – go check them out.

Web https://bastette.co.uk/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Bastette
Twitter https://twitter.com/Bastetteuk

Steal The City

I’ve lost track how many times I’ve watched this local band and they never fail to entertain me. They have a huge booming bassline courtesy of Smit and an enigmatic front man in Joe.

They look younger than their years (ssh don’t tell them I said that) but have developed so much in the last few years finding their true sound which has become heavier and more demanding with experience and time.

Thanks guys, I’ve been singing ‘Beating Heart’ for 2 days now! They are fun and their songs are too damn catchy that they refuse to leave your head, and more importantly they have a great talent that shouldn’t be underestimated. Love these guys.


Web http://www.stealthecity.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/stealthecityuk

Twitter https://twitter.com/StealTheCityUK

These Wicked Rivers

The stage is draped in vintage materials and set with huge lamps, the keyboard player looks like he’s set up on an ironing board, and the whole ambience once of reading tea leaves, tarot or getting out the crystal ball.

The Derby band formed in 2014 and since then have implemented their plan to take over the blues-rock scene.

The set opens with ‘Shine On’ from their album ‘Eden’. The interplay between the band members is great to watch and they are tight AF as a unit.

The lead guitarist is sensational and definitely one to seek out if you want to see how it’s done. ‘Force of Nature’, ‘Evergreen’ and ‘Testify’ present a whirl of luscious guitar, a flurry of harmonica and amazingly emotive husky vocals, culminating in ‘Don’t Pray For Me’ to close.

Their sound is a mixture of hard rock, blues and bluegrass, and they are one of the heavier blues-rock bands out there at the moment. Go check them out.


Web https://www.thesewickedrivers.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheseWickedRivers

Twitter https://twitter.com/WickedRivers

Ryders Creed

Now where do I start with Ryders Creed… Firstly, I believe with all my heart that they are not given the degree of reverence and regard that they deserve and they are one of my favourite bands around. I was at their very first gig at Route 44 and haven’t looked back since. I love them more than donuts!

In 2017 Ryders Creed became the Winners of HRH new band ‘Highway To Hell’ competition, securing themselves a record deal with Off Yer Rocka Recordings.

They have won numerous awards and cultivated a loyal following through their hard work and determination. They are currently touring their second album ‘Lost Souls’ from 2020 after the last couple years of hiatus on live music.

The album is an absolute triumph and well worth a listen. They meld together incredibly melodic vocals, huge riffs and catchy lyrics, underpinned by a formidable rhythm section.

A few technical issues with the mic and an impression of the Wizard of Oz (behind the curtain) in the first song is laughed off by all and quickly overcome with their captivating performance of 6 tracks from ‘Lost Souls’. Ryan is a frontman who commands your full attention easily, with an imposing voice and infectious movement to the music, which demonstrates clearly how close the music is to his heart and how much he feels and believes in what they deliver.

‘Cut Me Down’ and ‘Hand In Hand With The Devil’ are gloriously heavy tracks and enable Miles on lead guitar to shine. But the set ends all too quickly and I now have to wait til next time #sadface

Please take a nosey at this band, they are immensely talented and their sound is truly compelling.


Web https://www.ryderscreed.co.uk/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RydersCreed

Twitter https://twitter.com/RydersCreed

Revival Black

Compere Pete K Mally says “even his sweat tastes good” and I can believe it as frontman Daniel Byrne has the golden touch (and tonsils) at the moment and can do no wrong. I first discovered Revival Black (formerly Black Cat Bones) a few years ago on the second stage at an indoor event in Sheffield.

I was immediately transfixed by Dan’s incredible vocal and it seems plenty of people are catching up with me as they realise that this young man has one of the best voices in modern rock in the UK. He is a favourite of Myke Gray and is all over social media with acoustic tracks which spellbind even the hardest to please.

Dan is also the most humble and appreciative yet exceptionally talented person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Their set included latest single release ‘See You Again’ with a chunky riff and tantalisingly velvety vocal. If I had to introduce someone to the band this is the track I would pick – I love it. It’s modern and exciting, and yet exudes a maturity and class beyond their years.

The new album ‘Under The Light’ is out 26 August 2022 and please go see this band live as soon as you can.


Facebook https://www.facebook.com/RevivalBlackOfficial

Twitter https://twitter.com/RevivalBlack_

Bootyard Bandits

Describing themselves as “Country Metal from Wild West Worcester” Bootyard Bandits are a force to be reckoned with and a sight to behold, 4 strapping cowboys and Bam Bam on drums clad in teeny denim shorts.

Armed with “an arsenal of heavy, catchy country anthems” and a banjo, surrounded by inflatable cacti, the Bandits invade Heretic Fest and make the audience their own. The different singer throws me slightly but is filling in and has big boots to fill.

The 8-track set is a “hoedown showdown” from start to finish, glorious fun and entertaining to watch. This is not a band for the faint-hearted with tracks like ‘MILF’ and ‘Shirt Potatoes’ but the band are all very talented as well as amusing.

The heavy metal banjo Thunderstruck section is mind-blowing, and ‘Let’s Rodeo’ has the crowd going mad.

This is one hell of a band and a must see so add them to your calendar today.


Web http://www.bootyardbandits.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BootyardBandits

Twitter https://twitter.com/BootyardB

Daxx & Roxane

Swiss originated Londoners Daxx & Roxane are a 4-piece who seem intent (and capable) of taking the scene by storm.

They have killer hooks and energetic performances that have secured them a firm and increasing fanbase, old-school inspired hard rock tinged with a little bit of blues and tweak of sleaze.

I read somewhere that they started out as a thrash band which I cannot imagine and am eternally grateful for the change in direction.

The set starts out with ‘Ticket To Rock’ from the 2013 album, with screaming guitars and thunderous drums, and 4 more from the same album. I adore ‘Strange Woman’ which is infectious and impossible not to love.

Look them up.


Web https://daxxroxane.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DaxxRoxane

Twitter https://twitter.com/DaxxRoxane

The Fallen State

I’ve known the new singer of Fallen State for many years now, through 2 bands before this latest role. A local lad, I am immensely proud to have witnessed his growth and could not be happier with his performance tonight.

The ink of their latest album cover not quite dry, ‘Between Hope and Disillusion’ was released January this year, the band are currently touring alongside Mason Hill and Stone Broken.

With a 7-song setlist, you get a flavour of what the band are about – big vocals, lots of personality and great music.

The set includes a mix of old and new, Adam taking on old favourites ‘For My Sorrow’ and ‘Nova’ with gusto and confidence, the songs really suited to his voice. The first single with Adam in the line-up ‘Knives’ is more hard-hitting musically and lyrically, balanced well with melodic guitars.

I’m one happy lady tonight to finally see this line-up live on stage.


Web https://thefallenstate.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thefallenstate

Twitter https://twitter.com/thefallenstate

Mason Hill

Singer Scott and lead guitarist James met at school and in 2013 they formed Mason Hill. Craig (drums), Matthew (bass) and Marc (guitar) completed the line-up and created a wonderfully strong connection united in their desire and vision for the group they had created.

In late 2015, the band released their debut and only self-titled EP and successfully toured off this record until the release of their long-anticipated debut album in 2021 with Jaba Music. This album quickly became a contender for album of the year and remains subject to critical acclaim, and they have become one of the hottest acts in the UK.

Their songwriting is front-loaded with emotion and easily relatable, their style both heavyweight and classy, Craig on drums being one of the finest drummers I’ve witnessed and an absolute machine, underpinned nicely by a hefty bassline from Matthew.

The quality and richness of the dual guitars is simply divine, Marc providing the muscle and James a remarkable lead guitarist delivering awe-inspiring solos which appear so effortless. And the vocals, well you will be hard-pressed to find a more consistent and gifted vocalist, with such a graceful and luxuriant tone.

There are many, many MH tshirts in the crowd and we are packed in up to the barrier as all surge forward to enjoy the show and the excitement is palpable. Scott is warm and gracious, humble and engaging as he chats between songs, taking a moment to catch his breath from his frenetic stage performance – the man has so much energy! The crowd know all the words to every song except new track ‘Freakin Out’, which is just as immense as we have come to expect from Mason Hill.

They work the stage and put on a vibrant and dynamic show. This is a group who have only just started to make their mark but are already leaving most of their contemporaries behind in their wake.

Full disclosure here, I’m a massive fan and along with my mum set up the Mason Hill fan group on Facebook. I don’t have a bad word to say about any of these guys and their music and talent speaks for itself. I have, however, tried to help along the way by telling everyone who would listen to me that they need to watch this band.


Web https://www.masonhillofficial.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/masonhillofficial

Twitter https://twitter.com/MasonHillBand

Stone Broken

The latest Stone Broken album ‘Revelation’ hit the number 1 spot in the UK rock charts and they are currently touring to promote the album, including headlining Heretic Fest on the Saturday. I thought that writing a review of my favourite band would be easy but it turns out it’s harder than I thought! Where to start? How do I limit it below 2000 words? So many questions…

‘Revelation’ opens the set and to hear this live at last (this is my first SB gig in 3 years) I’m almost speechless (almost!). When I get my voice and wits back it’s only to sing along like a lunatic. Next it’s back to the beginning with ‘Stay All Night’ from their first album ‘All In Time’ which was in my top 3 albums of all time until this latest album nudged it out of the way.

The performance is polished and arena-quality, there are smoke and lights, the sound echoing round the room and weaving through the appreciative crowd, who all know the words and are joining in.

‘Doesn’t Matter’ is an important song to me lyrically and holds a special place in my heart. ‘Heartbeat away’ pounds through my veins from my feet up, the power incredible and the atmosphere electric as many of the audience beat their chest or pump their fists in time with the music. ‘The Devil You Know’ is outstanding and the lyrics so close to the bone; how you can try so hard to get well and be ‘normal’ yet sometimes, even if you do everything right, you still fall.

The set is a genuine mix of all 3 albums and includes fan favourites ‘Let Me See It All’ (aka the stripper song), ‘Worth Fighting For’, and of course the anthem that is ‘Wait For You’. The unbelievably expressive and tender ballad starts with Rich on acoustic guitar alone on stage and, despite a recent bout of laryngitis, his vocals are spot on and enough to make the angels weep.

Surprise addition to the setlist is a cover of Bad Company, albeit admitting he doesn’t actually know the words (which did not matter one jot).

There is a nice section where Robyn, Chris and Kieron are jamming on stage while Rich leaves them to it, showcasing that they are far more than a lead singer but a group of very gifted and accomplished musicians, and avoiding that awkward question of when do we get a bass solo… (a bit of an inside joke for anyone in the fan group)

Robyn is fearsome on the drums and such a beautiful and inspiring person, and I’m really enjoying her having more vocals on the new tracks. I believe Chris is a first-rate guitarist and underestimated, and Kieron’s bass is tremendous throughout, vibrating in my throat. Rich is a natural frontman with charm and humour, always down to earth and sincere.

The set sadly draws to a close with ‘Not Your Enemy’ and it has been a wonderful experience to see them headline at this first Heretic Fest.

I’ve met a few people today for the first time from the ‘Broken Army’ fan group who I wouldn’t normally see as they live too far away, and it’s a great feeling to all be in the same room to experience what is going to be an epic night. Trouble is, we are all fighting over the tshirts and drumsticks being flung off stage.

Setlist: Revelation; Stay All Night; Doesn’t Matter; Heartbeat Away; Black Sunrise; Let Me See It All; This Revival; Better; Let Me Go; The Devil You Know; Worth Fighting For; Wait for You; Feel Like Makin’ Love (Bad Company cover); Not Your Enemy


Web https://www.stonebroken.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OfficialStoneBroken

Twitter https://twitter.com/StoneBroken_

Photography by – Cecil Paul Studios for MPM

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