Live Review: Pop Punk Pile-Up Festival

Selby isn’t a place known for it’s music scene. Most would go as far as suggesting there isn’t one at all and they wouldn’t be too far wrong. What the hell was Adam Ruane of Riff Media thinking then trying to put on a three day, single venue festival in the town – next to a city notorious for being terrible at bringing people to live music (looking at you York)! The answer to that is “I’m not quite sure” but..full credit to the man because he pulled off one incredible weekend with an incredible bill of talent. We were honoured to be there for the Friday and Saturday and this review also signals the start of our brand new review scoring system! Exciting right…

Friday 27th April – Sweet Little Machine Steal the Show

We kicked off our Friday late due to work commitments, but rocketed over to Selby’s The Venue as soon as we could. Arriving in time for Safeguard (HHH) we were well ready for the night to kick off. The York band started the evening session off in style playing tracks from their back catalogue and 2017 EP I’m a Stranger To Myself. Their typical pop-punk style was performed flawlessly with Harbour providing one of the weekend’s highlights. Following on from them were Lyon Estates (HHH) with frontman Jonny Gill leading the way in a powerful performance. Championing two charities, “nice man” Gill brought the real meaning of pop-punk to the Selby crowd, urging people to donate and stand up for what’s right in a time of trouble for the genre.

One of the artists we were most looking forward to that evening was Frank Grimes and the Disaster (HHHH) who did not fail to impress unlike Blood Youth (HH) who seemed like a shouty mess compared to the preceding bands. The evening’s highlight though was without doubt Sweet Little Machine (HHHH) who performed a killer set including several tracks from 2017 EP Monsters. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of Sheffield four-piece’s set. Alex Lantrua Kissack’s vocals were on point and he controlled the crowd with ease and style. The band have a huge future and I’d happily promote them in any city in the UK.

Saturday – Coast to Coast prove themselves as one of UK’s top rock artists

In a fantastic mood following the previous night’s entertainment, Saturday kicked off with Last Chance (HHH) a band we knew little about but ended up getting to know very well (full interview to follow!). The Kettering band were melodic, powerful and had something all pop-punk bands need, guts. A great set and even better lads to chat to. Unfortunately, Ocean Sunset View (HH) couldn’t match the Last Chance set with their generic pop-punk. They were inoffensive, but nothing really set them apart from the rest. Potential to grow though.

Jonny Gill (HHH) as always brought an awesome show to the stage. Backed by Pray for Hayden, who’d played the night before, Jonny brought a rare full band performance to Selby. Jonny’s voice was excellent and the band added a new dimension to his performance, we loved it and would love to see more of Jonny in this setting in the future. One of the performances of the day came from Shaded (HHHH) who were confident, powerful and was memorable for their heavier notes than traditional pop punk. Vocalist Matt East patrolled the stage throughout and was a joy to watch. Certainly won’t be the last time we catch them.

During the day we also had the pleasure of interviewing Grumble Bee (HHHH), without doubt one of British rock’s most exciting talents right now. Playing at a range of festivals this summer, we can’t recommend seeing Jack enough. We’ll have our full interview to follow which was very enjoyable. The Famous Class (HH) struggled to compete with Shaded who preceded them and A Few Too Many (HH) also felt like they were going through the motions. It was a good job then that the next two bands livened up the evening.

Nottingham’s Catch Fire (HHH) brought the party. A rowdy set, crowned by Miles Kent on vocals was one of the day’s highlights and the crowd, which was picking up at this point was clearly enjoying their show. At the end of a mini run of dates, the lads were in fine form and were really great to watch. The day’s highlight though was without doubt Coast to Coast (HHHHH) who blew every other artist out of the water with their interesting style and vocal. Kieran Hyland has a powerful and unique sound that really excels the C2C set and the guys played several songs released in the last year or so. New music is on the way from the Birmingham band as well as a full interview with me so look out for those in the near future.

We loved every minute of this year’s PPPU and hope it continues in years to come. Sadly we couldn’t make the Sunday but we’ve heard only good things from The King Blues and all of the other bands playing on the day.

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