Back to the top

wild art fruit collective

PREVIEW: Sabotage Festival

Festival season is just over the horizon and the glitter is already crushed into your eyes, with mattered hair tucked into that old sweatshirt. Before the calamity of the Summer, there are metropolitan festivals and all-dayers to wet the appetite and get the feet pacing. With the likes of Stay Fresh Fest, When In Manchester and TWH All-Dayer, Manchester isn’t short of in-depth music sessions popping up around the city. The newest to the flock is Sabotage, an alternative rock festival with it’s debut on 28th April 2018. The day-long event promises to showcase the latest talent from across the country at Soup Kitchen and Night & Day Cafe, with the likes of Catholic Action, Good Foxy, and more intriguingly fresh acts.

Ahead of the main event and conjuring up the idea that Sabotage won’t be a once-a-year-and-that’s-all-folks occasion, was an evening at The Castle Hotel. If this warm-up/practice/dress rehearsal is anything to go by, Sabotage won’t be anything short of outstanding. The dusky somber setting of The Castle often makes for a gig like none before, with the high, intricate ceilings of a room that you could easily just walk past and not notice. First to the stage were Leeds-based duo: Push. With a hint of inspiration from Drenge, their raw sound oozes straight out of Yorkshire and can be imagined in Huddersfield’s Parish or Leed’s Oporto, with a hive of activity supporting the not-just-another-indie-band twosome. Think of Weirds and Wet Nuns and you’re there. Still young and still set to make their own mark, the pair seem keen to get going and keen to please outside of their York-heavy stumping ground for introductory gigs.

Chasing the pair and not letting down the alt-rock laden evening were the unapologetically scouse rascals, Wild Fruit Art Collective. Airing out their anarchic, divergent psych-rock with self-deprecating laughs and oh-so-rock-n-roll swigs of a wine bottle. The Liverpool band have all the makings of something great, with that hint of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard stirred in with the Sleaford Mods. But, there’s a subtle feeling that they’re not quite there yet, they’ve not hit their pick and not hit the nail on the head. Time will tell whether this rowdy gang will appreciate that they’re good at their craft but need to refine the edges. Headlining the night were Manchester’s own: The Starlight Magic Hour. Their sets each unanimously surpass the last, with growling, deep vocals and an orchestral-like amount of instruments, it’s clear that they’ve renovated their sound in the past year or so they’ve been active and have hit the pinnacle of a spawning band.


No automatic alt text available.

Although this wasn’t one of their larger sets, such as their recent voyage to London’s infamous 100 Club – which saw them play alongside Phobophobes – this was an incredible set all the same. The Castle makes for the perfect alter to the rising success of the alt-rock six-piece, built upon comradery and set to go further afield in achieving their plans for collective-like dimensions. If this warm-up was anything to go by, the main event will be an eclectic occurrence of unmissable proportions. The lineup speaks for itself, with a hive of current alt-rock bands including Glaswegian matriarchs of indie rock who count Rita Ora and The Libertines as fans: Catholic Action alongside Bloody Knees, Husky Loops and our own The Starlight Magic Hour, as well as many more.

Tickets are available for just £13, but you’d best act quickly as Tier 1 and 2 have now sold out – HERE