A whole month has passed us by since we got to experience what is hands down the greatest UK festival for all those that love anything experimental, mathy, instrumental and that bit different- weeks on, we thought we would reminisce in all things ArcTanGent.
A very misty and ominous atmosphere accompanied all at ArcTanGent when the gates opened on Thursday. Festival goers went all out embracing the wide array of acts and entertainment on offer. Highlights included Lite, their performance is an experience that needs to be shared, their passion and honest love for what they do shines through their set and produces an enlightening feeling to witness. We caught Mylets for the second time this year, it’s refreshing to see an artist truly give it their all each time no matter who is watching. Henry effortlessly captivates any crowd in front of him. Mutiny on The Bounty, Alpha Male Tea Party and Cleft all notably performed inspirational sets and in doing so cementing the first night at ArcTanGent a great success.
Friday morning our favouritesQuadrupède kicked things off bright and early on the Yohkai stage. We were so thrilled to see such a hard working band travel to the UK to play the most fitting festival for them. Fitting in the genres of Noise Rock and Electronic Math Rock, Quadrupède mutate between the two and create something so unique they can call it their own, their live set gained them several impressed fans, who no doubt will jump at the chance to see the pair tour the UK again later this year.
Holy Roar certainly dominated Friday afternoon with a plethora of incredible acts on their roster. With Bodyhound, the progressive math rock must sees who started the first heavy and fierce wall of death and Ohhms who were one of the heavier acts on the bill, but their crushing set just left the crowd in need for more.
Her Name is Calla, Delta Sleep and Rolo Tomassi played throughout the afternoon. Before Maybeshewill offered a complex set on the Arc stage in the early evening and with only one clash when they played their crowd continued to thrive, an act that live up to their solid live reputation.
Another highlight was finally catching Chon perform live in the UK. Prior to their Arc performance on the Yohkai stage, the band had been touring the UK with the boisterous Rolo Tomassi and the legendary The Fall of Troy. Chon provide the ultimate blend of unpredictable jazz prog rock and their heightened performance solidified why these talented musicians are only getting better. We then caught another favourable Sargent House act, Helms Alee their contrasting set of immense post-hardcore, sludge rock offered something slightly different to the crowd, a solid booking.
Then we waited patiently at the Arc stage with a handful of die-hard Fall of Troy fans waiting for their favourite band to hit the stage. ArcTanGent we are so grateful you bought this trio to us. Their dynamic and driven set was one of the most immense live performances we’ve witnessed, with pits forming at the front of the audience and dancing at the back, their set had it all. These icons enthralled the crowd and enticed their fans to enjoy their time as much as they were.
Vennart and Blanck Mass followed the evenings proceedings alongside the hypnotising sounds from Emma Ruth Rundle. Emma’s set clashed just as Dillinger Escape Plan started their crazy headline set on the Arc Stage, but holding her own she proved unstoppable.
We headed back to the Arc stage to catch the notorious Dillinger Escape Plan, the stories that surround their live shows seem to be that of myths. But finally seeing what the commotion was all about by witnessing their jaw dropping performance from these icons. The band gave a fast paced intense experience for all who basked in their powerful presence. With meaningful lyrics and hard hitting instrumentation, band members and instruments flying everywhere, this is a band who know how to connect with their audience.
The final day of the festival arrived, despite unpredictable weather and several time changes for bands throughout the day, spirits were still high, attendees excited for the day ahead and rightfully so.
100 Onces were set to kick things off but got pushed to later on, this was a benefit for fans and the band, as Steve Strong no longer clashed with the act as he kicked the day’s events into full swing on the PX3 stage, when we returned to see the hyper and must-see duo they hurtled through their set with full force and truly mesmerised onlookers whilst they were accompanied by all sorts of inflatables. Their set a true highlight for any fan.
Lone Wolf provided a very sincere set, performing under the moniker Lone Wolf for the penultimate time during their appearance, their set seemed like such a special and intimate projection. A pleasure to witness and be part of. Respectfully, providing dreamy vocals, guitar, synth and piano parts mixed with a demanding drumbeat, Lone Wolf enchanted Fernhill farm.
Playing a little later in the day, Talons looked at home on the Arc Stage, Their sound drew us in as they curated a very heavy and spectacular set. The post-rock act created the most intense climatic instrumentation. Their boisterous set engrossed the crowd that headed down to the Arc stage to catch this vivacious act in their element.
Throughout the day live performances from Vodun, IEPI and Pg.Lost kept us entertained. By mid afternoon the Bixler stage started to fill up as the crowd patiently waited for Tangled Hair. When the trio graced the stage the crowd watched in awe. Tangled Hair provide tenor led percussion driven melodic compositions. Each track holds it’s own unique style with ongoing tempo changes, brief hooks and in most cases short and intense bursts of energy. With a sudden downfall of rain outside, more people seeking shelter joined the crowd, but in doing so got to see one captivating act on this years unmissable bill.
Deerhoof followed on the arc stage in the early evening, for easily the most insane live attributes the farm has seen. They are another iconic band and undeniably one of the craziest bands around, not taking themselves too seriously and able to create the most fatuous blend of abrasive yet adorable hard-hitting rock. Your eyes are fixated on the band throughout and they will leave you speechless with their phenomenal performance.
Marriages were in the Yohkai tent in the early evening. How an act can create such an atmospherical environment during their performance whilst at a festival is truly remarkable. Marriages provided an intense set that drew you in from the get go- a credit to their profound label and another reason why Sargent House and Arctangent go hand in hand.
Just a short few steps away from Marriages performance, Scottish instrumental quartet Vasa had a respectful crowd congregating the band whilst they annihilated their set on this years Px3 stage. Creating atmospheric soundscapes and bursts of frantic energy, Vasa were a must see for us and certainly did not disappoint.
A short while passed and we returned to the Yohkai stage to capture Vessels live during their closing set of the stage. Easily one of our biggest highlights of the festival, the intricate, intellectual instrumental electronic act simply blew us away. The Leeds based quintet are known for their captivating performances, and provided a slightly refreshing, relentless performance. Dual drumming and electronic soundscapes culminated into a flawless execution.
Following on from Toundra on the Bixler stage we returned to catch our friends Alright The Captain.
Earlier in the day it seemed that Alright The Captain had drawn the short straw when it came to the stage/time changes, despite headlining the Bixler stage and closing the festival on their part they also clashed with both Deafheaven and Cult of Luna- but in hindsight this was nothing to fear for the trio. The band are notorious for how hard they work, but they play even harder. Their constant hard work in the live DIY music community means when they need to, they can depend on their loyal fanbase, who all united for their accomplished set. It doesn’t matter how many times you see ATC live, you will never grow tiresome of this trio. The musicians meld heavy passages with smooth cleans and a set of cleverly selected synths and samples. With surprises throughout their headline set including an added bassist- John from Vasa joined their stage whilst Todd was happily being passed around the crowd.
If you speak to any touring band, any established label, any music loving individual at any live show, you are guaranteed to talk about and asked if you were at this year’s ArcTanGent. The smaller sister festival of the equally renowned 2000 trees, and remarkably their 2015 event was just their 3rd year- ArcTanGent festival lives up to it’s own legacy.
It’s not just a weekend of incredible music ArcTanGent provide but they’ve curated their own solid music community, their own festival hub and it’s a pleasure to be a part of this.
The perfect combination of the best music and the best like- minded attendees. Every person attending, working or performing they all make the festival so sincerely special and unique and we can’t wait for next years!
The climax to our summer of festivals, 2016 we are ready!
All Images by Oli Montez
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