Threshold has come by us once again, what a weekend once again filled with some amazing sets and some that seriously blew our minds, here’s our review of Threshold 7.
The weekend opens at Unit 51, the creative hub for all things Threshold and basically the centrepiece of the Baltic Triangle, and our first act is one we’re already keen of. Opening the Yeah Buddy stage we had Disastronauts, the riotous four-piece who power through 90s’ influenced rock pieces.
Disastronauts are already a favourite here at SFN, having played for us back in January and all, but seemingly they keep getting better by every performance, especially opening a festival like this, the word “confident” comes to mind. Their performance was sharp, full of their brand of fun pop-rock, there’s not many bands that sound like this lot.
Following a quick breather, we’re treated by a set from Deathly Records‘ standout Lilium. This time last year, this outfit seemed more garage than their future-selves, throwing out songs that seemed less throughout out, and they were only new at the time. Flashing forward, they’re a tight and almost-flawless band who know exactly what they’re doing.
The energy in the performance drives this thunderous entity through a set of songs that we should remember, and that’s the best thing about Lilium. There’s no portion of their set that shows any flaws, which is hard for still a new band on the road, if all signs are right, they point to this band hitting their mark soon, very soon. Yeah Buddy‘s Krystian Hudson threw out the next night that they were “so good, it’s actually unfair”.
The next act we saw was over at the wonderfully curated Popped Music stage in District. The next act was Coquin Migale, the Newcastle band were a sight to behold, locked into the District with a smaller crowd than we wish they had, the band are a strong force live with a great catalogue, their set ended with frontman Alex Soper climbing the speakers at the side to end in great fashion.
Shortly following, False Advertising arrive to headline the night with their usual taste of modern grunge, they’re a band that is up here quite often but look-to-be hitting their stride in recent months. Their set is good, filled with usual numbers and a surprise newly released single “Not My Fault” but the band were struck with a few errors throughout including a faulty bass that maybe plagued their set, as it wasn’t necessarily a bad set, rather a set that didn’t strike us the way it should have.
Following day, the Saturday at Threshold is always the highlight, this year we decided to pretty much stay where the best music was, the Loner Noise stage at District.
First act of the day, the fun-loving three punk three-piece Salt The Snail took to the stage with a quickly packing room. Here’s the thing about Salt The Snail, it’s all about the entertaining performance.
With frontman (Yeah Buddy‘s own) Krystian Hudson jumping all over the venue, quick-burst punk numbers and letting audience members pick the set list, it’s all about interaction and entertainment, and StS do it so well. The ending of the set is key with Hudson throwing something he bought at the Spar (this time Babybels) and his usual They Live line before the final number. It’s rumbling fun, something not provided by a lot of bands.
Following on, another Society of Losers band arrives on stage, the dark Forever in Debt. Forever in Debt are the fuzzy grunge rockers that seem to be a way more angry and lifelike counterpart to ’90s acts like Smashing Pumpkins, with their deep and melodic racket that holds a bit more than other grunge-punk influenced bands around this way.
Meanwhile Indigo Moon brought their fantastic soul soundings to the creative Red Brick Vintage on Sunday, with lead singer Ashley’s epic lungs booming around the vintage furniture. The crowd loved them, with old and newfound fans moving to the thundering sounds. Their set was a hidden gem of Threshold Festival, but to those who know and were there, certainly got a treat.
After a small break, we arrived back in the midst of a set by God On My Right, an interesting duo that seems to be on the right lines at the moment. They create a industrial soundscape that plunges the District into darkness, they’re the right band for this stage at the moment but sadly, before a good look could be taken, they finished. It’s not often I leave a set thinking that I immediately need to hear more (unfortunately), this was a different sound more like a modern grasp of Year Zero era NIN with a bit more of a fresh taste.
Up next, one of the loudest bands in the city Elevant took centre stage for just over half an hour of brash, hard-striking filthy hitters providing a sound that punches like they and so very few in the city. They’re still a tumbling impactful band that we never get tired of.
Finally, headliners for Saturday night Hey Colossus took to the stage with their multiple band members to preform a standout set with their unified layered fuzz rock that echoes everything the WRONG stage represents, its different yet a beloved set of music, especially with a huge crowd Hey Colossus gained.
The following day, as Threshold comes to it’s inevitable end, a few acts were left on our radar.
The Shipbuilders brought their unique Scouse sounds to Unit 51 on Sunday, their music brought back pangs of original Liverpudlian pop, that reminded us that Liverpool’s historic sound is not dead and still alive and rocking, the band seemed to love being on stage and was thankful to the packed audience in this small venue, thanking them repeatedly.
At the end of our weekend, Queen Zee and The Sasstones to their rightful headline slot in 24 Kitchen Street. Their appearance at the festival had quite a bit of hype to it, not only was it new drum hitter Dave Anis (from Bathymentry and Prowles) but it was also their first headline show. As you would expect from any Queen Zee show it was loud, there was dancing and Zee climbed everything in sight. Blasting out songs such as “I Hate Your New Boyfriend” and their infamous cover of Electric Six‘s “Gay Bar” it was a great way to end an already fantastic weekend.
All words by Jack Cinnamond except for reviews of The Shipbuilders, INDIGO MOON (by James Ainsworth) and Queen Zee (by Phil Johnson). All photography by James Ainsworth and Phil Johnson.