All Years Leaving Festival

Hare and Hounds, Birmingham

Is Birmingham two-dayer All Years Leaving the best mini festival held in the second city? On this evidence it may well be. Returning for its second year, the event organised by local promoters This is Tmrw have expanded on last years showcase, turning tiny venue the Hare & Hounds into a Mecca of modern left field guitar music.

The first notable performance of the weekend comes from noise merchants Bad Breeding. The Stevenage quartet play a raucous angst ridden set reminiscent of the fiery brand of guitars spouted by US rockers Pissed Jeans. What is most impressive about the band however is their genius use of radio feedback in between songs, giving the set a feeling of intense continuity. With songs as brutal as singles Burn This Flag and Age Of Nothing, Bad Breeding are ones to watch.

Cheatahs provided one of the most highly anticipated sets of the weekend. Mainly staying with songs from their self-titled debut album, their brand of poppy shoegaze made them easily the loudest band of the festival. They might have been more enthusiastic but we forgive them when we remember their relentless tour schedule.

Arguably the most important British guitar band right now, Eagulls brought Friday night to a close. Playing a chaotic set that fully justified their blossoming reputation as an electrifying live prospect, tracks such as single Possessed and Yellow Eyes proved the highlights. With lead guitarist Mark Goldsworthy’s tone reminiscent of Echo and the Bunnymen being attacked by a chainsaw, they garnered the biggest response of the entire weekend from the sweaty throng packed into the tiny venue.

The biggest surprise of the festival came early on Saturday in Theo Verney. The Brighton man’s heady mix of garage and stoner rock riffs was a great way to kick off the Saturday. With only two E.P.’s thus far to his name in Heavy Sun and T.V.E.P., Verney is building a big reputation for the quality of his live shows.

Hookworms’ Saturday night headline slot was a full vindication of why they’re one of the most innovative new guitar bands working in the UK at the minute. Giving a taster of new material from second full-length album The Hum, it was tracks from breakout release Pearl Mystic that sent the heaving mass of sweaty bodies in front of the speaker stacks into delirium. An awesome live prospect, the demented wailings of front man MJ on album track Form and Function recall the classic British psychedelica of Loop and the imperious Spacemen 3, providing a fitting close to two days of madness in Birmingham.