SONDER Festival - The Rock Pit at Aatma
This was very much a last minute invitation to cover The Rock Pit at SONDER Festival 2018, and having had a great time at the smaller launch festival in 2017 I jumped at the chance. Fortunately this time all the bands were in one place, Aatma, the worlds most difficult to find venue, for which I was grateful considering I currently have a torn hamstring as I didn’t want to be darting around like a maniac.
The first band I saw were We Signal Fire with their catchy pop-rock. I’ve wanted to see them for some time but I was forever missing them and I was not disappointed as they played some of the songs off their first EP, When The World Starts To Break.
Although witten over a year ago by the whole band, the words to We Can Be The Change still carries a lot of meaning today with its references to social change and society as a whole. At the other end of the spectrum Let Your Heart Show is probably the closest thing to a power ballad that they perform.
Take Me Away from their new EP is excellent; it is released on 14th October and they have a launch party at The Deaf Institute the same day – another gig not to be missed showing that local rock talent is alive and well.
Sertraline were another beast altogether – melodic and heavy they impressed from the start. Much of their set was taken from their latest EP, Guilty. Fronted by Lizzie whose vocals range from the voice of an angel to the devils growl. It was slick and well presented, Snakes probably being the highlight although, to be fair, everything was good. Got to see these guys again!
I caught the Orchid Hunters a few months back and although musically they impressed with their genre mixing music which I thought was a tad new wave, the sound at that show was not great (not their fault). Tonight they turned up the heaviness and the sound is so much better with all the band members instruments coming through evenly – the sound guy at Aatma is very good – and the band are clearly enjoying themselves.
The music is tight and there was a definite funky groove to be felt under their rocking grungy riffs which surround well crafted and catchy songs; all great fun and foot-tappingly good.
Headliners In Search Of Sun were also completely new to me. Their set pulls from their debut album The World Is Yours and their songs have some serious riffage provided by the twin guitar assault from Rory Kay and David Mena Ferrer, 51 56 being a prime example. The vocals provided by Adam Leader are excellent too, clear and melodic, fitting in perfectly.
Sadly they went on 35 minutes late so I missed the last half of their set as I had to catch the last train - I was gutted about this because they were excellent (warning: overruns seem to be a regular occurrence at Aatma). There will be next time for me seeing this band, of that I have no doubt.
Many thanks to Adam Snape for the last minute access.