Sonsiphere 2011 - The Other Stages, Sunday - Knebworth
I arrive on site just in time to head back to my favourite haunt of the weekend to catch Kylesa on the Bohemia stage and witness the monumental battering they mete out to a slowly emerging throng. The two guitar, two drum attack is used to devastating effect as the band tear through a set chock full of angry hardcore/stoner crossover riffing that drags the assembled out of their Sunday morning slumber with a thump.
Personally it is very much a dose of teen nostalgia when InMe hit the same stage twenty minutes later, and they duly deliver with the seminal ‘Underdose’, a song still as catchy and angst-ridden as the first time around. And given the average age of the large crowd they’ve pulled into the tent nearly a decade later, it still appeals primarily, almost exclusively, to the teenagers here.
The sharpest dressed band of the weekend award goes to Mancunian proggers Amplifier with their matching black shirts and ties complete with album logo. Playing mostly material taken from recent opus The Octopus, the melodic meanderings cause more than a fair few passing the Jagermeister stage to stop and take note of their spacey jams that help to lift the grey bleakness that is the English Summer.
There’s a pirate invasion back over at the Bohemia stage as Alestorm send the tent wild with their seafaring stories of wenches and mead. Easily the most fun band of the weekend, they even have the security guys and girls bopping along to their mischievous tales of daring deeds. The crowd have come dressed for this one, with pirate hats and rattling sabres liberally scattered throughout and promptly redistributed as the manic energy from the band and songs spill off the stage and out to the baying fans.
Four Year Strong have the unenviable task of following that bout of mayhem; yet despite the frantic performance they put in, only strike a chord with the rebellious teeny-boppers that now pack the front barriers. Pop punk is a vastly over-done genre these days (as is demonstrated by the number of such bands on the bill this weekend), and whilst there are far worse protagonists, they add nothing new.
For those sticking around for just a little longer at the end of the festivities, Bat Sabbath, alter ego of Cancer Bats, entertain the Bohemia tent with a few lively Black Sabbath covers; this is just a bit of mucking about, paying homage to a band we all love dearly, and the Bats pull it off with aplomb. This may be a low key, but is a decidedly heavy and pleasing end to another year in Knebworth Park.