Opening Saturday’s lineup was Back Down or Die who were good dumb fun. Violent slammy death metal, with the frontman interacting with specific audience members by name, which always adds a nice touch of intimacy to a gig.
I had planned on ignoring Evil Scarecrow because I thought their name was stupid; but while ordering a pint at the Bloodstock Arms, their elaborate costumes and props projected up on the big screen caught my eye, and they turned out to be by far the most entertaining and fun band of the entire festival. A large dedicated corps of followers turned up in robot costumes and with appropriate props to match the band’s silly songs about robot/crab hybrids, waltzing cyclopes, sci-fi war and the misery of black metal. They got the crowd to participate to a degree no other band acheived: seeing thousands of metalheads all crab-scuttle from side to side while waving the pincers in the air attests to the skill this band has in getting the audience to do stuff. The music is a good fun fare, symphonic and synthy. They weren’t among the most musically talented bands we saw but the music is really acting as a vehicle for the wonderfully silly and entertaining stage show.