ArcTanGent 2022 Review

After a long two years without festivals ArcTanGent finally returned to Fernhill farm last weekend and it was glorious. There were noticeable changes to the site from the get go, everything is bigger this year, a bigger lineup, bigger stages and a bigger crowd, this year’s capacity was a whopping 10,000 punters eagerly awaiting a weekend filled with the best heavy and experimental bands on offer right now. They even had an extra day this year with Wednesday providing a platform for all the Bristol based bands who make the local scene so strong like The St Pierre Snake Invasion, Memory Of Elephants, Sugar Horse and much more getting the early attendees warmed up and ready to go wild. 

image

Photo Credit: Carl Battams 

Unfortunately we couldn’t be there Wednesday so we arrived on site early Thursday to the sounds of The Hyena Kill crushing their ATG debut. With our tents all set up and beers in hand we headed off to see new boys Skin Failure which features members from Black Peaks and Memory Of Elephants, these sleeveless thrash metallers are all about having big dumb fun and are certainly ones to watch over the coming months as they’re set to release their debut album later this year, we headed over to catch the end of VASA’s set which saw the lads return after a lengthy break following the release of Heroics, the crowd were eager to soak up their energetic and colourful mathrock. Next up was Irish duo Bicurious who are no strangers to the UK scene after the last few years relentless touring, a tight set full of sing-alongs and a very bouncy crowd, they’ll be back in the UK before the year’s out.  Another festival debut from Bristol’s PEACH,  the newest project from Ellie Godwin is a fierce and angular beast which we can’t wait to hear more from. 

image

Photo Credit : Jonathan Dadds 

Heroes of the math rock scene Delta Sleep are back fresh from a South American tour sounding tighter than ever before on the Arc Stage.  Maybeshewill played an absolute belter of a set on the Yokhai, full of energy this is a band absolutely smashing it again since they reunited. Thursday headliners Cult of Luna finished things off with some of the heaviest post-metal we heard all day bellowing out from a cloud of smoke and some epic stage lighting, what a way to finish day one.

image

Photo Credit : Joe Singh

Friday started for us with some light hearted entertainment from upcoming mathrock duo Let’s Swim Get Swimming playing to a packed Elephant in the bar room stage. El Moono were one of our most eagerly anticipated bands of the weekend since releasing Temple Corrupted earlier this year and they certainly didn’t disappoint, taking inspiration from bands like Deftones and Phoxjaw these guys are going to be smashing it hard over the next few years, it’s an unrelenting set and they deserve to go on to much bigger and better things.

 Another festival highlight for us was God Alone from Cork, Ireland, these young lads are full to the brim with the energy of terrier dogs as they throw themselves around the Bixler stage with their unique mashup of irish traditional black metal, early foals and dance music. You can tell they’re delighted to be here and their set no doubt won them a tonne of new fans, they have a new album coming out on Prosthetic Records later this year so don’t sleep on it.  ATG stalwarts Alpha Male Tea Party are back again and let’s face it, what’s ATG without them these days? They’d had a pretty shitty week after being robbed on their way home from tour but the outpouring of love they received from the crowd speaks volumes and they managed to play yet another blinder full of old and new material having begged and borrowed gear to perform. 

image

Photo Credit : Joe Singh

Straight Girl was a joyous half hour of electronica punk which included a massive conga line and smiles on faces throughout the crowd.Palm Reader Closed the day for us as they headlined the PX3, They’ve taken the step up to bigger stages in their stride, and are finally getting the audiences and reactions they deserve. It’s an energetic set from the now 7 piece which also now includes Matt from Haggard Cat in the fold and dep drummer Thomas Shrimpton from LSGS, they played a mix of old and newer material and the crowd ate it all up bringing Fridays live music to a close

image

Photo Credit : Jonathan Dadds

With the final day upon us Australia’s SEIMS kick things off on Saturday morning on the main stage,a cheeky cover of Blur’s Song 2 was thrown in for good measure, their set seemed to fly by but there was no shortage of attendees in the tent for them for such an early start to the day so they’ll go back to Oz feeling the love. Daftboys Vogons have been knocking around the UK scene for quite a while now but finally made their ATG debut to a packed Elephant in the bar room stage, their weird prog math getting people ready for the day ahead, they even threw in a little medley during one of their songs to rapturous applause. Back to the heavy it was Heriot’s turn to melt faces as these rising stars dominated the PX3 with some brutal riffs while we had some lunch at one of the many amazing food trucks on site (shout out to the mac and cheese guys).  Bristol boys Sugar Horse played a second set on the Saturday which meant we actually got to see them having missed them on the wednesday and they didn’t disappoint with their heavy shoegaze/metal. 

image

Photo Credit : Joe Singh

Up next was another highly anticipated set from The Armed which might just be one of the most mental sets I’ve ever seen, we found ourselves right up front as shit kicked off within the first 30 seconds of set opener ALL FUTURES, cue hench dudes throwing guitars and themselves off the stage to a more than welcoming crowd. It was pure carnage from start to finish and we’re counting down the days until we can see them live again. My ears actually took a bit of a battering at The Armed so i opted to watch Lightning Bolt for a bit from outside the tent before heading over to see TWDY who gave a masterclass in cinematic postrock, you could feel the bass in your chest for the majority of their set and while they didn’t really say much on stage this is a band who have honed their craft and had possibly one of the biggest crowds we’d seen over the weekend.

image

Photo Credit: Derek Bremner

Pupil Slicer closed the festival for us and it was as chaotic as you would expect with mosh pits galore and vocalist Kate off crowd surfing while Chainy from Traps/Ohhms climbed the huge tent pole only to dive off into the pits. Thermal Runway was a definite highlight from their set and if you’re into unhinged chaotically heavy music then Pupil Slicer are sure to get you pumped!

ArcTanGent you never fail to disappoint and we can’t wait for 2023!