LOUNGEFEST - The Lounge, Archway London - 26th August 2017

Kahmel Farahani


Now in its 4th staging, Loungefest is fast becoming one of London’s great showcases of young talent in the Rock and Metal world. Founded and run by Generation Graveyard and F.O.A.D. guitarist and promoter Arno Von Detritus, The Lounge is fast becoming THE independent venue in the London Metal world and it’s not hard to see why.

I arrive as young doom-metal bringers Gevaudan are mid-way through their brief 35 minute set. With a Vol 4 era Black Sabbath sound, songs like “Lord Of Decay” oddly hit the right spot this early in the evening. Guitarist Bruce Hamilton buzzes through a maze of heavy riffs while singer Adam Pirmohamed brings a more modern vocal delivery to proceedings.


Filtering back in from an outdoor balcony packed with Metalheads smoking and enjoying the sun set, I am very excited to see Black Sixteen for the first time. Describing themselves as “Dark grunge noise pop” this four-piece packs a real punch. Originals like “Pristine” and “Kill List” sound lean and heavy, similar to early Tool and Nine Inch Nails. This influence is shown very clearly with a mean cover of NIN’s “Head Like A Hole”. I found newly returned bassist Dany Jones to be particularly impressive - She plays with the same skill, ease and inventiveness as other modern bass greats like Justin Chancellor with some of the ferocity of the late great Cliff Burton.

Ending their set with the mid-paced kick of “Drown”, the band takes a well deserved bow. Despite a whole range of technical problems with their equipment, Black Sixteen soldiered on and delivered the first great performance of the night.


Next up are London based rockers Red Hawk Rising. A hard gigging rock band with an old-school sound, songs like “You are a woman, I’m a machine” and new one “LA Hayfever” carry just the right weight with the duel guitar sound provided by Rich Wearz and singer Derin Adebiyi. The rock solid rhythm section of Steve Parsons on bass and Tim Churchman on drums keeps everything perfectly grounded.


They return to London on October the 7th for the first of a new talent showcase “Big Red Rising” https://www.facebook.com/events/334234690356541/


If you have never seen or heard Primitai then you are truly missing out. With a super smooth and melodic metal sound and a live show that never misses a beat, this band has managed to confidently grow, both as performers and song-writers. The twin guitar onslaught of Srdjan Bilic and Sergio Giron handle the toughest solos with ease while front-man Guy Miller’s voice simply soars!


Opening with “Black Rider” from their last album “Night Brings Insanity “the crowd are treated to a truly impressive young band in prime shape. “Conclusion Forgone” packs in the shredding solos while “The Huntress” sounds like the very best of early Anthrax, with speeding drums and chopping riffs. Ending with a powerful “The Line Of Fire”, Primitai might have given the performance of the night.


Top of the night’s bill, Syteria have the energy that only comes from sheer joy of performing - these ladies clearly love what they’re doing and so do the crowd at The Lounge tonight.


Led by Girlschool guitarist Jackie Chambers and enchanting front-woman Julia Vocal, Syteria end the night’s live music with a punk flavoured bang. Roaring through originals like “Loner” and “Revolution” before a superb smash at The Ramones “Rockaway Beach”,


Although songs like “When I Get Out of High School” might not be the most musically deep or complicated, it’s almost impossible not to grin and dance along, which the entire front row began to do!


Ending with encore “Sheeple”, the clock has passed midnight by the time Syteria leave the stage. As the DJs take over the dance floor and we drift into the small hours I am so thankful that venues like The Lounge still exist to give younger & alternative bands a space to play. Until the Loungefest V then!

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