North Fest 2021 Review

North Fest 2021 Review

The music industry and well, the whole world came to a halt last year due to the global pandemic. Unfortunately, that meant no gigs, no festivals and you couldn’t even give your nanna a hug. 2021 saw us return to some form of normality though and more importantly for the people of Failsworth, the return of North Fest! Bigger and better venue and an absolutely blockbuster line-up split over two days. This year saw SoundMate takeover the North Fest stage on the Saturday to showcase the rising talent coming from our beautiful city alongside some of Manchester’s greatest tribute acts. Sunday then saw a stellar line-up of DJ’s and a headline slot from the one and only, A Guy Called Gerald.

SoundMate has worked closely with a lot of bands and artists over the last couple of years and North Fest was the perfect opportunity to get them back out there and for some, their very first time! We saw debut performances for pandemic born bands, The Haciendas and The Mantra, alongside Callow Youth boasting their new style in their headline slot. The day was hosted by no other than the legend himself, Dave Sweetmore, the perfect introduction for any mancunian stage-walk. You can read more about each act below…

Scotty Dunning North Fest

Scotty Dunning

Opening the day up was Scotty Dunning, the singer-songwriter from Droylsden. The acoustic set gave us a glimpse into his catchy songwriting which had fans singing along from the beginning. The stand out performance from Scotty was his rendition of ‘Valerie’ which had everyone there joining in, in high spirits regardless of the dull Manchester weather. It was great to have Scotty on board and would be welcomed back with open arms.

The Mantra North Fest

The Mantra

Their debut outing and what a way to get the ball rolling, The Mantra let loose their debut single ‘Time Waster, Attention Chaser’ and amongst a new unreleased track. The very young band have a really bright future and have already managed to gel their own sound together. They topped off their performance with a rendition of an Oasis classic, ‘Live Forever’, not many better ways to finish a set at a festival in Manchester, eh?

The Siennas North Fest

The Siennas

The Siennas were drafted in the day before North Fest to fill in for The Recreation, who unfortunately had to pull out due to a band member isolating. However, what a storm of a show they put on, high energy from the get-go and connected really well with the crowd. After a shuffle with the band line-up recently and the first outing for their new drummer (which you never would’ve known!) The Siennas are an absolute must-see at their next gig!

Broke Casino North Fest

Broke Casino

The band that simply needs no introduction thanks to their full throttle, high energy performances whenever and wherever they play. Orchestrated by the highly likeable and charasmatic front man, Ralph, Broke Casino seriously know how to play a crowd and regardless of a bit of rain certainly made some new fans at North Fest. There was also some amusement in the crowd around their lyrics their  single ‘Wedding’ – “Oh, it’s a lovely day for a wedding, but I’d really love to kick yer’ head in!” Belting lyric.

The Notion North Fest

The Notion

As they introduced themselves as the boys from ‘down the road’, the Failsworth four-piece took to the SoundMate stage and performed their cult classic ‘Crusade’, before we got to take a look at what was at the time unreleased, their new single ‘What Were You Expecting’. Well I know we was expecting a hell of a show from these boys and as always they delivered. Stunning vocals from frontman Kyle and an all round great set, keep your eye on these!

Afternoon People North Fest

Afternoon People

These boys are seriously going places, a great set including both of their singles ‘Soverign’ and ‘Corner Of My Eye’. This was the turning point in the day when the crowd started to reach it’s maximum and the boys certainly played off that, with lots of dancing down the front. A very cool coat to match a classy performance from bassist, Mason, and front-man Finley was firing on all fronts. They supported The Lathums in Liverpool last week which just shows where they are heading, we are really looking forward to watching them grow.

The Haciendas

Another debut and what a way to introduce yourselves. Starting with their debut single ‘It’s Not Too Late’, engaging with an intimate middle piece in their unreleased song ‘All For You’ before following through to fan favourite ‘Joker’. Then to round up their evening with what ended up being the anthem of North Fest 2021, The Haciendas ended their set with their latest single ‘Those Are The Days’ which is all about the return of live music at festivals. Coloured smoke filled up the Anglers Arms crowd and through every gap of smoke there was a singing fan sporting merchandise. Exciting times ahead for The Haciendas.

Callow Youth North Fest

Callow Youth

Headlining the SoundMate stage in style was Callow Youth, bringing a real swagger with their new style material. Following the release of their EP, ‘Straight To The End’ earlier this year, Youth have been very busy in the studio with even more recent releases of ‘Mad Machine’  and ‘Bootleg’. The North Fest crowd managed to get a nice early listen and they did not dissappoint, although now travelling in a new direction, Callow Youth are coming of age and it is really nice to see a young band producing the music they want to play!

Seeing North Fest back after such a torrid time for the music industry, Failsworth community and quite frankly the whole world. It was a well needed coming together which united all ages singing along together for Happy Mondaze and Courtbetweeners tributes in the evening. There was even more flares, people on shoulders and it was just genuinely an amazing event all round which was ended with a bang, quite literally, 200 of them to be precise.

It is without a doubt that Jamie Nokes and SoundMate will be back even bigger and better again in 2022 for yet another big party in our own backyard. In fact, the announcement is just around the corner… See you all next year!

Videography & Photography by Hadfield Digital Media