LIVE: Butersfest 2016 @ Butser Hill

By Dave Bull

Butserfest picked the wettest day of the year, unluckily sandwiched between two sunny days to have this year’s festival, with everyone turning up to Butser Hill already soaked from the journey from their car to the entrance. But powering through and not letting it dampen spirits, below are the bands that Punktastic made sure not to miss.

Seething Akira

Opening the Crossroads stage and indeed the festival, Seeting Akira are a two frontman juggernaut of Enter Shikari inspired beats, rap and metal drops. It’s not to everyone’s taste and the full tent is slightly miss representational as the rain is the main reason driving everyone under cover, but the Pompey boys do enough to get everyone in the mood for live music, and that’s a good enough start to any festival.


Unfortunately for Faultlines, their performance is less than perhaps expected and they seem to fall between the cracks. The dual vocals are less cohesive than Seething Akira, with Christina Rotondo’s vocals often wavering when it matters most, and Jake Noakes’ often feeling disjointed and out of place, as well as the delivery being several decibels quieter than required. Despite this, they seem to enjoy themselves and several in the crowd seem happy in return.

The Gospel Youth

Brighton’s The Gospel Youth are the first ray of sunshine on the main stage and do a fantastic job of reeling in punters to the sodden and muddy ground and put on one of, if not the performance of the day. Their songs are catchy, sadness infused emo and frontman Sam Little does the perfect job vocally, his voice immense against the sheet rain with ‘Hurricane’ sounding particularly good. Their brilliant balance of very sad pop emo, sung in most parts perfectly is just an delicious antidote to wet feet. They are the band that will steal many new hearts over the coming months.


If you like your music crunchy and heavy, with a goth-infused black war paint visual, then Griever may be your thing. Probably the heaviest band of the day, the pit quickly gets going as steam from the wet admirers escapes, setting an unexpectedly early atmospheric cauldren. Griever do a decent job, and even have a few very well executed guest vocal slots throughout the set. ‘A Pure Heart’ is a belter, with the backing vocals near perfect. This is what will give them traction to many; the juxtaposition between heavy and the beautifully crafted singalong moments.


If you haven’t seen or heard of ZOAX, then firstly, where have you been over the past twelve months, but also go check them out before they go interstellar. They are a wonderfully strange mix of rock and metal with a delicious topping of vocal stylism not often seen, and infused with a frontman comedy show that helps to steer ZOAX and does nothing but gain increased support. Their energy is relentless as frontman Adam joins in down the front, getting everyone jumping and dancing and generally being rather silly. Everyone leaves covered in mud with big smiles across their faces.

Our Hollow Our Home

The mix of dual vocal metalcore seems to be the new thing and Our Hollow Our Home are flying the flag high. The heavy parts are truly heavy and the softer harmonies are nice on the ears, but there is little to suggest there is much more than the usual chug. Connor Hallisey seems down to earth and genuinely appreciative of the support, and with over a million views on YouTube, they are obviously gaining traction online. If metalcore is your thing, then you’ve probably found your new stalwart in the scene. To everyone else, it kind of blurs into obscurity.


ROAM are up there with fellow pop-punk counterparts in the scene, such as Neck Deep, showing the US how we do it just as good. They are a ball of energy and enthusiasm and get everyone pop-punk jumping up and down for the entirety of their set. Alex Costello is the perfect frontman, possessing that blend of camaraderie that enables him to direct the crowd to pretty much do what he wants. Guitarist and second vocalist Alex Adam goes on a bit too much between songs, but apart from that, they fulfill their potential and set themselves up nicely for their headline tour later this year.

The One Hundred

The One Hundred, if you’ve not been into the scene long, or are from a slightly older generation, are the result of rap infused with the big rock-pop beats of Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit. Frontman Jacob Field possesses a lyrical dexterity that entices his audience, the grime feel as if coming straight out of London’s streets. The pit is the biggest of the day bar none. There are quite a few mums and dads looking perplexed (remember, Butserfest is aimed at 14 to 20 year olds), but it is still one of the performances of the day.

Fort Hope

Wow, those vocals. That’s the main superlative echoed by everyone after Fort Hope’s performance. Even Blood Youth don their hat to Jon Gaskin, who has the voice of an angel. The high notes and clarity are incredible. ‘Plans’ is easily the highlight, the punchy beat and glorious choral moments lifting the Crossroads Stage off its foundations. There aren’t that many watching, but Fort Hope are a special act, and should be appreciated for what they achieve musically.

Blood Youth

Blood Youth are a weird one musically, slotting in somewhere in the melodic emo, hardcore area. This is not to discredit them; they are a great, energetic act, and despite vocalist Kaya not hitting all his high notes as Jon Gaskin had just done, they display heaps of potential. With a mouthwatering headline tour coming up soon with support from ZOAX, this does feel like it’s their time, but they are just taking the scenic route.


And so to Creeper, who have so far had the year that many predicted, sweeping up Best British Newcomer at the Kerrang! Awards and seemingly indoctrinating more and more followers into the obligatory goth-punk get-up, complete with Creeper back patch. The interesting thing about their crowd today is that a good number of them seem to be here solely for Creeper and have taken residence at the back of the Crossroads Stage for most of the day.

‘Misery’ lifts the hairs on the back of the neck with the anthemic “misery never goes out of style” being shouted back at unprecedented decibels at Butser, before ‘Black Mass’, their most popular song, sees the Crossroads tent turn it up a notch. They might not be very different from another goth band fronted by a Mr Havoc, which if you were born in the eighties or nineties you will know well, but Creeper are invigorating a new wave of goth inspired fanaticism.