Togetherfest at The Electric Ballroom, London - live review

Hardcore heavies charge the spirit of unity

A shot of togetherfest and the crowd

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Skateboarders don’t stagedive, they spin-kick and somersault into the crowd. “Let’s make security earn their wage,” orders manic TRASH TALK [8] frontman Lee Spielman, inciting an wave of flailing bodies onto the floor.

These Cali thrashcore upstarts are insane, even without the presence tonight of staple riff titan Garrett Stevenson. David Gagliardi picks up the riffs, blasting through one-minute microhook attacks while Lee spits raw verses from inside a circlepit before ending this dizzy trip hoisted in the air by a host of hardcore diehards who’ve ambushed the stage during his last breath of Birth Plague Die. It’s raucous but the message of Togetherfest, curated by hardcore mogul Walter Schreifels, is about unity and respect. Posturing is a no-no and AMERICAN NIGHTMARE’s [7] well-trodden hardcore stance is defined by indelible resolve, precision and groove, which earns them heaps of reverence. YOUTH OF TODAY [7] keep this spirit alive. The straightedge NY crew look like hooligan bruisers but Ray Cappo is solid gold. “Before you love, you need to learn to self-love,” he beams, his affirmations sending ripples of positivity through the Ballroom as they join in unison to Break Down The Walls. It’s a bit rough around the edges but the sentiment is more important than polished product and tonight Youth Of Today are the pinnacle of camaraderie.

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.