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Features

Ovni @ Infest, Bradford, 2006
Ovni @ Infest 2006

"Storming!"

Bradford became Cybergoth Central when Infest 2006 came to town and DR DOTT was there taking notes. Take a look back at a weekend of weird sights and weirder sounds! PLUS you can enjoy Simon White's fantastic Infest photogallery...

Take a look at Simon White's fantastic pictures from Infest @ Bradford, 2006 by clicking on the link below. Prepare to be amazed!
Cybergoths invade Bradford! >

Infest 2006 - the ninth electronica festival held in Bradford, and still going strong. Yet again Bradford University gave over its Student Union to a bunch of oddly dressed, but very friendly, Cybergoths, for a long weekend of dancing, shopping, and bouncing around to bands. And how many festivals do you get where half of the bands turn up in the audience to watch the rest, and hang around in the bar area?

Architect @ Bradford Infest, 2006
Architect @ Infest 2006

First band of the festival (which has to be a hard job) were Schmoof. Great name, funky matching outfits (including something for the fan boys), but hardly anything to write home about, and they were mostly ignored as people instead chatted to old friends they hadn't seen since last year. Still, with songs such as Chocolate Boyfriend, they looked like they were having fun, and are said to sound much better on CD!

It wouldn't be Infest without a smattering of Powernoize bands. Think a few blokes, a laptop or two, and a bunch of knobs to twiddle. For lots of bands this means the audience gets to watch not much at all going on on stage as the band bobs up and down to the rhythm, twiddling away. For these bands, watching is normally pointless and dancing essential. Architect (with the most hard-working performer of the festival, Daniel Myer), for example, created their beats live, but had the visual impact of two men playing solitaire or updating their LiveJournals (a must for any self respecting Goth). Taking things to the other extreme were Lab 4. Their set didn't look much like *my* lab, but their climbing frame in the middle of the stage looked like it was fun to play on, and the artists spent most of their time leaning through it, posing and pulling faces (and wow, the main man has a long tongue...). It's a shame the broken cable gave away the fact it was all prerecorded...

Frozen Plasma @ Bradford Infest, 2006
Frozen Plasma @ Infest 2006

Of course, being technically a Goth festival there had to be *some* horror and doom, and the death-style theatrics were provided by Unter Null and Reaper. Reaper? Good name, especially for a band having monks in black habits standing around on stage barely moving. If only they'd shed their hoods and chased the singer off the stage with scythes at the end of the show, that would have livened it up a little...Vasi Vallis, singer from Reaper, joined American artist Erica Dunham (the force behind Unter Null) on stage for the next set for fun with fake blood and songs positively dripping with hate, dread and fear (the latter two instilled in the audience). A very impressive, if somewhat messy and slightly stroppy, performance. Vasi Vallis returned later in the weekend with Frozen Plasma, which started out being synthpop at its worst (think a bad Wolfsheim cover band), but got going later on when they upped the tempo and increased the vocal range for the songs. Definitely one to listen to on CD rather than live.

"You really can't go wrong with a band that sampled the Daleks for their hit song and dancefloor filler Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy."
Doctor Dott on Rotersand @ Infest

Headliners on Saturday night were Rotersand, one of Europe's biggest alternative acts but less well-known here, with the excitement of added guitars and an electric drumkit. You really can't go wrong with a band that sampled the Daleks for their hit song and dancefloor filler Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy. Ask them who their favourite Doctor is, though, and they get confused. They picked the sample because it sounded good, not through knowing the terror of the Daleks! (Doctor Who is virtually unknown in Germany.) The performance was highly energetic, and reports are that a certain photographer narrowly missed a kick to the head in order to get the shots.

Headlining the festival were Front Line Assembly, who brought along their tour support act Stromkern. This band had to be the surprise of the festival - starting off sounding like Linkin Park, they quickly progressed to reach the dizzying heights of being voted band of the festival by five out of six Coventry Goths. The initial impression was confused by the guitar solo, a bit odd at an electronic music festival, but later songs had a more electronic feel - even when mixed with the hip-hop style vocals. We could almost see the guitarist losing weight as he put so much energy into his performance. Storming!

Stromkern @ Bradford Infest, 2006
Stromkern @ Infest 2006

And finally, we had Front Line Assembly, with their first show in the UK for 10 years. They had a lot to live up to, with the hype building for their very short tour of the UK, and frenzied reports of sightings of frontman and industrial pioneer Bill Lieb around Bradford during the day. Amazingly, there were guitars *and* a real live drummer, which brought something extra to the set, along with their new live guitarist Jarhead, introduced by Lieb with an "Isn't he cute?" Ninety minutes and a whistle-stop tour of 20 years' worth of music and the set was over, and the main area was given over to dancers and people flailing for the rest of the evening!

Take a look at Simon White's fantastic pictures from Infest @ Bradford, 2006 by clicking on the link below. Prepare to be amazed!
Cybergoths invade Bradford! >

All pictures on this page used with permission. All pictures Simon White

last updated: 05/10/06
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