The beginning of April this year saw the very first Resistanz Festival, the success of which astounded not only the hundreds of attendees but the creators too. This diverse industrial music festival took place over two days in Sheffield’s very own Corporation and boasted an amazing line up including futurepop icons Covenant and electro-pop legends And One. With a bill that promised some amazing acts fans were reared up and ready to go and the show did not disappoint…
Kicking off the weekends entertainment were the riotously funny Gothsicles who proudly displayed their geek chic and love of retro games consoles with hits like ‘Konami Code IV’ and ‘One Second Ghost’. This notoriously nerdy group really riled the crowd into a frenzy and definitely started things with a bang. Not only did they play all of their known and loved tracks they also had a treat in store in the form of some new material off their latest album ‘Sega Lugosi’s Dead’ and a special song written purely for the festival entitled ‘The First Band Ever to Play Resistanz Festival (We’re #1)’.
The excitement continued to grow from that point onward. There were so many bodies crowded into the venue that there was hardly room to shake a glow-stick. By the time that Sheffield natives and Corporation regulars Uberbyte took to the stage the place was smoking, sweltering and salacious. Clad in their trademark military gear Uberbyte had the crowd writhing and stomping to their mix of harsh vocals and rhythmic electronic beats. Club classics like ‘Stand Up For Uberbyte’ accompanied tracks off of their forthcoming album.
This fantastic performance coalesced in the show stopping performance of their own anthem ‘Money Shot’. It was purely astounding how much effort the band put into this one track, prior to the performance ‘Money Shot’ energy drinks had been circulating through the crowd and this served to add that extra touch. However, the climax surprised everyone as Uberbyte invited the bands that had preceded them back onto the stage, getting to see The Gothsicles and C/A/T perform with Uberbyte was a brilliant end to a brilliant set.
The hard-hitting industrial reverberations continued with a surprisingly jocular performance from Modulate who satisfied everyone concerned with classic tracks like ‘Buzzsaw’ and ‘Hard And Dirty’. Inter-band performances seemed like they were becoming the theme of the weekend as Modulate invited Caustic’s Matt Fanale on to the stage for their notorious ‘Skullfuck’. Not only were the audience being treated to a plethora of collaborations between the performers, they were also barraged with a multitude of new tracks and material from almost every band. Modulate’s new material was a pure delight as they invited their friend and figurehead of their forthcoming album, Roboto-Chan onto the stage to perform with them. The giant home-made cardboard robot covered in aluminium foil impressed everyone with his cute demeanor and energetic dancing.
The penultimate performance on the Saturday, also fast becoming a Sheffield regular was Faderhead. Vocalist Sammi’s explanation for his repeated appearances at The Corporation was simply ‘This is my favourite place in the world – if you’d have me I’d be here every month’. Wasting no time they dived right into their set, opening with ‘Acquire The Fire’ for which scantily clad women paraded across the stage wielding angle grinders and covering the audience in luminous sparks. Despite Sammi’s showmanship this set was a little disappointing as some of Faderhead’s more widely known and loved tracks were sacrificed so that material from their new album ‘Black Friday’ could be played. The new stuff in itself was enjoyable, but it seemed as though a few more club hits could have been played in order to rile the crowd and excite them for the headliner. Suicide Commando’s late entry was far from fashionable as fans waited with bated breath, but this delay was soon forgiven as he opened his set with the eerie, sinister ‘Severed Head’ from the new album ‘Implements Of Hell’. Marching around the stage with a deranged grimace Johan Van Roy reeled off his tracks like the seasoned performer that he is.
Sunday saw the fans returning to The Corporation with hangovers and headaches after partying until 4am once the bands had finished the night before. Eisenfunk quickly banished this ill feeling, however, with their bouncy, energetic and unique 8-bit sound. This was Eisenfunk’s first show in the UK and they did not disappoint, it was easy to see that some fans had been waiting for a show like this for a long time. Eisenfunk’s trademark tracks like ‘Super Space Invaders’ and ‘Pong’ were received with elation and enjoyment. As an opening act for the second day of the festival this German trio did exceptionally well.
From this point on, it seemed that Sunday’s bands were bringing their A-game in an attempt to outdo the bands that had preceded them. Deviant UK were the first ones to raise the bar as Jay’s deep and haunting vocals made a welcome change to the mostly distorted and coarse vocals heard previously. Jay slipped into his stage persona with great ease and played the perfect showman as he bounded around the stage, his demented grin accentuating his imposing presence. Deviant UK played some of their classic tracks such as ‘Access Denied’ among new material from their latest album ‘Very Bad Things’. Furthermore in order to prove that something was incredibly special about this weekend, Deviant UK surprised everyone when they invited fellow artists Uberbyte onto the stage to perform with them, given the rumoured bad feelings between these two bands, this almost miraculous turn of events had jaws dropping and eyes popping.
Amidst a forest of glowsticks as fans turned out en masse [X] – RX took to the stage like industrial zombies covered in fake blood, but their stage presence was nothing to be scoffed at as the crowd loved their performance. The furor caused by [X] – RX almost matched the energy conjured by the previous nights headliners, they were definitely performing at full capacity and it was obvious that everyone present was enjoying themselves.
Riled up and ready for the patriarchs of future-pop Covenant, the crowd screamed as the iconic trio took to the stage. The energy created by this band was manic; the crowd were so engrossed they were almost animalistic. Hindered on several occasions by technical difficulties Covenant took it in their stride and performed as spectacularly as the fans expected them to. Despite the fact that they seemed to be lacking the enthusiasm of the acts before them, Covenant still delivered a great performance, playing new material like ‘Dynamo Clock’ from their latest album ‘Modern Ruin’. A kind of primal lunacy came over the crowd when Covenant played their well known club hits like ‘Ritual Noise’ and the screams of encouragement when they finished their set with ‘Call The Ships To Port’ was deafening. Considering that Covenant so seldom play in the UK this performance was definitely worth the wait for some.
The final act of the weekend And One are legends in and of themselves and wasted no time on ceremony as they dove straight in to their material. And One frontman Steve Naghavi bounded around the stage with a flamboyance that was evidence enough as to how much he was enjoying himself. This band not only played their own songs like ‘Sometimes’, ‘Men In Uniform’ and ‘Technoman’ but graced the audience with covers like A-Ha’s ‘Sun Always Shines On TV’. The dedication of some of the fans in the audience really shone through as they screamed the band’s lyrics back at them for all they were worth, despite the fact that most of the time said lyrics were in German. The crowd never stopped bouncing as And One belted out hit after hit and the rafters almost shook as screeches and cheers reverberated through the entire establishment as And One closed with ‘Military Fashion Show’. This band were everything they were expected to be and more; a perfect end to what proved to be an immensely enjoyable and very special weekend.