Fallen State enter the Factory...
On 3rd April, melodic hard-rocking five-piece The Fallen State laid waste to FAC251, the uber cool Manchester music venue redeveloped on the premises of the famed independent record label, Factory Records.
Opening the stage were Black Country alt-rock quintet, Liberty Lies. Big voice and big guitar, I knew that I liked this band from the moment their affable frontman Shaun Richards shouted “Manchester, let me hear you scream”! Having previously supported the likes of Shinedown and Halestorm in Germany, Holland and the UK, Liberty Lies evidently have the chemistry of a well-established rock ‘n’ roll band, despite gaining a new bass player since their last tour brought them to this neck of the woods.
The band played a lively set consisting of tracks from their debut album Reflections and their EP Fracture. There was a little teaser of what was to come from The Fallen State, with a catchy line from the well-known single, Nova, cleverly incorporated into the punchy Russian Dolls. There was also a preview of an as yet unreleased track from Liberty Lies’ new album, before proceedings were brought to a close with the powerful Are You Listening?
Liberty Lies’ performance exuded style and substance and was a real statement of intent as to what to expect from their upcoming headline shows in May and June this year. Thankfully Richards promised to include another trip to Manchester in the tour… as well as bear hugs for all!
Fresh from accompanying RavenEye on the European leg of their recent tour, edgy power-rock trio Psycho Village from Vienna, Austria, impressed the crowd with their unique sound effects and characteristically razor-sharp intros. The crowd obligingly joined in the chorus of laid-back song It’s Okay, before the energy was once again turned up a notch or two.
There was some very fine bass and guitar work at play throughout the set and plenty of movement and interaction between the musicians on stage. Penultimate song Shine On Us really made an impact and the last song saw the lads joined by The Fallen State’s frontman, Ben Stenning, who sang the high-octane finale together with Psycho Village’s Daniel Kremsner.
Having appeared at Planet Rock’s Winter’s End Festival in February, The Fallen State hit the stage running and got the crowd going with an exuberant chorus of “We will, we will rock you”! The band, who are due to release their first full-length studio album later this year, performed songs from their EPs The View From Ruin and Crown Your Shadows, as well as tracks from the new record.
When Stenning commanded “Hands up!”, enthusiastic fist-pumping and moshing spread like wildfire, very aptly in time for Burn It To The Ground. Demonstrating that he’s no shrinking violet, the frontman then yelled “This is why we f**king love Manchester, you’re killing it right now... And so am I!” Also killing it was accomplished lead six-stringer Jon Price, with some outstanding guitar solos.
The set included the usual crowd-surfing by the self-assured singer - which has almost come to be expected - as well as the more unexpected request that everybody crouch down before jumping around like crazy, a bit like a mass of excitable Jack-in-the-boxes!
One of the highlights of the night was of course Nova, which everybody knew and sang along to. For me though, it was the last few songs that really hit the spot, with their heavier sound and through-the-roof energy. A pelting drum solo by Rich Walker sealed the deal and left me in no doubt that this band is going places... fast!