This post was also published on alternative clothing brand Jed Phoenix’s website.
Resistanz festival started in 2011 as the big new festival on the Industrial Music scene. Last year’s festival was well organised and drew some impressive headliners. This year was no different with Icon of Coil and Grendel at the top of the bill.
Looking around the venue, the layout was a little different this year. The mixing desk had been moved meaning a better view if you happened to be stuck by the bar when bands came on. There were also fewer food stalls but more seating. There was more room for stalls this year too, the sellers having been moved from upstairs to their own dedicated hall off the out-door area. Jed Phoenix and her team were of course on hand with an array of tempting outfits out on sale.
While I could discuss all of the bands, I’d rather talk about my favourite performances in olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medal style:
Bronze Medal goes to Dutch sampling extraordinaires Grendel. Grendel always feel like a bit of a guilty pleasure for me; they’re appeal lies in their catchy tunes and samples of cult movies. While they aren’t unique in this Grendel do seem to do it better than some. They’re performance at Resistanz while solid was far from charismatic, but I challenge anyone not to sing along with the Full Metal Jacket samples on their track “Soilbleed”. Add in the experience of being “Rickrolled” (initially in internet meme which seems to have recently leapt into the real world) to Rick Astleys “Never Gonna Give You Up” and you can’t help but love their performance at Resistanz.
Runners up (and only by a pinch) are the bonnie Scottish duo Surgyn. Despite having been placed first on the bill these guys blew me away. I had heard their debut album Vanity before getting to the festival and really liked it but these guys were also incredible live. Flawless melodic vocals, pounding electronic beats, incredible stage makeup, on-stage surgery and a fabulous rapport with the audience made Surgyn one of my favourite Resistanz performances.
Surgyn performing their track “Sharp as Stars” from the album “Vanity”:
A difficult decision but the gold medal has to go to Austria’s euphoric Future Pop ensemble Mind.In.A.Box. While their previous album “Retro” was a geeky homage to classic video games, their new album “Revelations” continues their story of “The Dreamweb”, already played out across their first three albums. This isn’t just a concept album, it’s a concept back catalogue!
Mind.In.A.Box blew the audience away at Bradford’s Infest Festival last year and despite some serious technical difficulties somehow still managed a fantastic set. Battling against feedback and broken vocoders is no trivial matter when you are an electro band but then again Mind.In.A.Box are not your average electro band. Frontman Stefan has a rich and melodic natural voice so was able to carry off vocals sans vocoder with some small edits to their setlist. In their encore 8 bits Stefan usually transposes his voice to sing in the voice of the vintage game heroine the song is about but with the vocoder out of action Stefan again sung the song in his natural voice but with help from bassist Adam. This turned Resistanz’s version of 8 bits into something more like a sing-along Metal anthem!
Mind.In.A.Box performing their track “Remember” from the album “Revelations”: