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Undercover Festival – Day 1

Guildford rocked and skanked to bring in the Spring with Undercover Festival XII - Ruth Rae reports on all the action..

Returning to Suburbs at The Holroyd, Guildford from 5th to 7th April for its twelfth consecutive outing, Undercover Festival  brought a fantastic variety of alternative music to the town over jam-packed three days!

Punktuation’s Ruth Rae was present throughout to capture the atmosphere of  this friendly festival, where both fans and bands all enjoy great music together in the pit and over a pint or two!

The British springtime weather held off for opening day, allowing us to use the extensive beer garden in between bands to cool down! Just after 6pm our compere, Radio Woking DJ Keith Woodhouse, introduced first band of the evening Public Service Announcement
 
PSA are riding high following the release of their excellent album ‘Nothing To Lose‘ and give a correspondingly energetic performance. Their 8 song set flew by far too quickly, the crowd loving ‘When We Were Young‘ and recent single ‘Billy Bones‘.
Public Service Announcement - Undercover Festival 12
Public Service Announcement - Undercover Festival 12 - photo by Ruth Rae

The justifiably popular Red Anger took to the stage next, dedicating their set to the memory of Janine Ray, the late singer of Stone Heroes and a friend to many here, who we sadly lost to cancer just last month. “We’re going to wing it” announced frontman Jamie Red, who then proceeded to belt out a choice pick of songs from both the stage and his preferred spot in the middle of the audience!

A short break to get the beers in, and it was time for the mighty Rage DC – on fire as always with their fast and insanely catchy Punk anthems! An array of band T-shirt clad fans lined the barrier to jump and sing to favourite songs including ‘Make A Noise’, ‘Austerity’, ‘I’ve Had Enough’, and set closer ‘RIP Mr VIP’.

Another quick break for a bite to eat, then it’s back down the front for The Blunders, a no-holds-barred Dance-Punk tsunami! Another set which flew by, the Bristol band’s political songs certainly struck a chord with the crowd, while guitarist and lead vocalist Mark Gunstone alternated between singing, spoken verse, hurling out some cracking riffs and utilising his effects pedals to produce amazing sounds.
The Blunders - Undercover Festival 12
The Blunders - Undercover Festival 12 - photo by Ruth Rae

Tonight’s headliners Subhumans completely filled the dancefloor with keen moshers wanting to enjoy the best of this Wiltshire Anarcho-Punk band! Frontman Dick Lucas held them all in the palm of his hand as Subhumans’ 110mph wall of sound got everybody going.

At the end of their set, the sweat-soaked jovial crowd celebrated another top performance from these cracking headliners while the band took pride in a job well done, having conveyed their message to the eager masses.

Subhumans - Undercover Festival 12
Subhumans - Undercover Festival 12 - photo by Steve Whitehouse
Subhumans mosh pit - Undercover Festival 12 - photo by Jim Creith

Tonight’s afterparty band Night Of Treason closed the live music part of the festival with a selection of their own material and a few Clash covers. These guys rarely play, which is a shame as they are so good – it was an honour to welcome them up from Portsmouth. The rest of the crowd agreed, calling for favourites such as ‘Speed and Glue (& Rock ‘N’ Roll)‘ and ‘This is My Town‘, which they duly gave us to everyone’s delight!

Undercover organiser Mick Moriarty took to the mic for ‘White Riot‘ then the whole crowd joined in for a joyful rendition of the Sex PistolsPretty Vacant’!

Those still eager to strut their stuff finished the night dancing to DJ Murph‘s record collection, while I drove home, still buzzing from a marvellous evening of upliftingly good music and friends.

Undercover Festival line up

Main Photo Credit: RUTH RAE

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