Town left rocked by Freefest stars

Take The Seven
Take The Seven

For the third year running, Skintfest commenced at The Crooked Spire pub,and even the sun appeared to break out for the free festival, organised by Sam Hague, guitarist for Such Sights and general promotion busy body.

At three days long it’s near impossible to write a full length review for each band; all were brilliant, but here are the highlights.

Forevermore opened the festival, a brilliant acoustic-pop punk quartet from Sheffield, they immediately took hold of the relatively large crowd.

Vocalist Jareth was extraordinary, teamed with the simplicity of the Cajon drum and the acoustic guitars. After a few sound mishaps they played a beautiful set, including covers of Paramore’s ‘Decode’ and Muse’s ‘Time Is Running Out’, both carried out to a superb standard.

Forevermore created a great atmosphere, their sound is nothing too specific and they entertained the masses.

The drinks were flowing and Jimmy Holland hit the stage, an acoustic Frank Turner-esque lad, he performed a riveting and very entertaining set with the experienced sound of a man twice his age - plus huge, fist-pumping choruses. Amazing.

A band that really caught people’s attention was The Call Back Academy; the first band to really bring in a decent hardcore base to the day with gorgeous clean vocals. They were also handing out free copies of their CD ‘Chapters’ which is a storm of an EP. The Call Back Academy had outstanding energy and the class and style of a band who had been playing for years.

Friday was pretty good, but it was the festival’s Saturday night, held at Real Time Live, that blew the punters’ minds.

The Natterjacks delivered their usual performance full of sophisticated spin on folk-rock. The Derbyshire Times has said it before, but The Natterjacks are the perfect ‘chill out’ band, and live, they’re absolutely awe-inspiring.

Next up was a one off performance from Back In Five Minutes. Now I’m a bit of a nipper, so hadn’t heard of this band originally, who seemed to take over Chesterfield two or three years ago with their rough and ready pop punk. For one more night they held a power over the Real Time crowd who felt a little nostalgic at Chris Child’s incredible vocals and the band’s exceptional talent.

The Culture Thieves took to the stage next, and without a doubt, they’re one of the best bands I have personally watched live around Chesterfield. I don’t know if the rum was taking its toll; but I do know that The Culture Thieves have the stage presence and the talent to put on a superb set. 
They have the rock and roll of bands like The White Stripes and The Black Keys, along with that simplicity that they’ve mastered. I haven’t seen a band look more fit for the stage than these lads.

Finally, the headline act was Take The Seven, who managed to revitalise the room of its energy and enthusiasm. Molloy, as usual had the crowd in his hands (there aren’t many people who can get 40/50 people to just sit on the floor without question.). Take The Seven swept the floor of their predecessors, who put up a worthy fight, but with the craftsmanship of the band and a frontman as dynamic as Molloy, it’s a point to Take The Seven.

Their radio-friendly rock shadows bands like Young Guns and Mallory Knox. 

Sunday was made up of Trask and Wildman, an acoustic duo bringing a spark of alternative folk to a very hungover crowd.

Next came Little Hell, a City and Colour like, made up of another male duo, and the rest of the day featured hardcore and metal bands such as Skies In Motion and Dead Harts. All very heavy bands, which played too hard on my tiny hungover head.

Thanks go to all the talented bands, who helped put on an excellent weekend.