Not many bands are brave enough to put on their own music festival, but then again, Fearless Vampire Killers have never shied away from taking risks and breaking the rules. Havoc Festival is absolutely no exception. With a killer line-up of acts including Allusondrugs, Myth City, Zoax and more, the goth quintet took to the stage with one of their best shows yet, complete with enough lights to put the Blackpool Illuminations to shame, smoke machines and an absolutely killer set of songs old and new. All of this viewed through a haze of talcum powder and glitter (a welcome, if dusty, addition to the already pretty crazy proceedings from an equally crazy crowd), made for one hell of an hour of music.
Coming on to a majestic anthem fit for a superhero movie is Laurence Beveridge: Musician by day, Super-Goth by night (Perhaps that could be a new stage alias?), and it’s clear that these boys mean business. Tearing straight into the first single from their most recent album, ‘Neon In The Dance Halls’, there is not a single person in the crowd who is not now leaping like a maniac. This human tidal wave continues through tracks such as ‘Maeby’ and brand new single ‘Braindead’ (which, having been released a matter of days before, is sung by all those in attendance to a degree which can only be described as deafening) with it’s ‘Black Parade’ era My Chemical Romance influence shining through make for an energetic onslaught from the word go.
It isn’t until the ballad-like tones of ‘Fetish For The Finite’ and ‘City Falls To Dust’ come pouring forth in all their pitch-black glory that the band take their feet off the pedal a little. Even with the pace lowered a tad, there is no depletion in the energy of the ongoing performance. With much waving of hands in the air and one or two people going so far as to slow dance in the midst of the havoc (clever use of the festival name totally intentional), it just goes to show that the songwriting here is nothing short of spectacular. Seeing bassist Drew Woolnough taking a break from four strings to smash out some piano melodies is also a welcome change in dynamic and shows off some serious musical chops.
That said, it’s not long until the familiar sounds of ‘Could We Burn Darling?’ comes close to tearing the roof off The Dome, followed by a gloriously camp rendition of the Elton John classic ‘I’m Still Standing’ as an encore, leaving an audience literally begging for more. However, curfew has come and it’s time for everyone to go home. FVK have once again proved themselves as a force to be reckoned with on the UK’s music scene and show no signs of stopping or slowing down. If you gave Havoc Festival a miss, then you only have yourself to blame. Do not make the same mistake twice!