Junior Battles – 8 Seconds, Gainesville

By Tom Aylott

Junior Battles

A large part of Sunday was spent saying goodbye to American friends who had long drives to start to get back home for work the next day and the large chunk of interviews booked in for around midday. After that, the first band I got a chance to see was THE FLATLINERS, who had one of the most horrifying clashes of the weekend.

I watched a few songs of theirs and left halfway through a Menzingers cover to arrive in time to see THE MENZINGERS playing the end of the same song one venue over. They’d been hotly tipped as the band to see at Fest and due to this they played a few different sets over the weekend. Their Sunday set was the first chance I had to see them, and as the band played a Flatliners cover in a seemingly returned favour, both crowds got the best out of a bad clash.

Next, DEAR LANDLORD stormed through an excellent set in The Theatre, and as they opened up with ‘I Live in Hell’, the crowd were excited from the start of the first vocal line. Thankfully The Theatre has no barriers at the front of the crowd as the security would have had trouble coping with the crowd surfing.

Rounding off the day, and with their album being a regular go to choice as the sound track for my commute each morning, one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend for me was JUNIOR BATTLES. With the band playing late in the day on the Sunday, you could tell they were feeling a little haggard from the sounds of their voices, but you could tell everyone was enjoying it and a guest appearance of a trombone player for the brass part of “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” rounded the set off nicely.

Such is the way of Fest that a there were a few bands I didn’t get to see that I’d have liked to, including NIGHTLIGHTS, who fit in with the melodic punk/lifetime sound revival of bands like Title Fight, RESTORATIONS, who are a Philadelphian band of “grown up punks” with an atmospheric and driving sound carrying elements of shoe-gaze and post-hardcore whilst still remaining in the punk spectrum, and finally Big Eyes, a female fronted punk/rock n roll band.



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