The idea of conforming to any sort of scene has become a bit of a taboo in recent times and while the idea of inventing new scenes for scenes-sake is a lot of old nonsense, there’s no denying the power a unified sound can have our ability to discover new music.
If nothing else, dubbing a band ’emo’ has always made for far smoother explanation than ‘well sometimes they sound sad, but also charming, then there are slow melodies but also big choruses’. Hmm.
Chances are the same ruling runs right though your local music scene.
Similar sounding bands will rise up together through basement shows and sweaty pub gigs, to slightly less sweaty bar shows and fancy Academy set-ups, often hailed under some form of genre banner. They’ll switch up support acts accordingly and champion each other at every turn.
Which is where Havoc Festival comes in.
“We never benefited from a scene as we never fit into one,” says Fearless Vampire Killers singer Kier Kemp, whose band curated the upcoming one-day event.
The theatrical five-piece decided to take matters into their own hands when it came to influencing a local scene, as they curated their very own festival.
“We have benefited from the extreme kindness of a select few people,” Kier adds. “William Francis (ex-Aiden) being one of them.”
Havoc Festival 2015 sees the Suffolk mob extend the gesture to bands like Zoax, Allusondrugs and Hindsights, as they take over Tufnell Park’s local live music hotspot, The Dome on Sunday 9 August.
“The Dome is just a fantastic venue run by lovely people,” Kier explains. “It was the perfect set up to cater for all our needs.”
If he’s honest, Kier says the UK rock scene has been verging on ‘pretty uninspiring’ of late. “There’s a handful of amazing bands just coming through now but for a long time the financial state of the industry has lead labels to believe that music has to go very middle of the road. Which history dictates it doesn’t to make money.”
The financial strains that the frontman refers to became all too familiar when co-headliner, Glamour Of The Kill, pulled out of Havoc Festival 2015 last month.
“You only have to look at the number of great bands that have also recently decided to call it a day to get an idea of what a sorry state the music industry is in, and we are no exception to this,” GOTK said in their official split statement. Adding: “Music has been no way of us affording to live, pay bills, or do anything functioning human beings do.”
Shifting the focus even more so towards the importance of supporting the bands in whatever scene you fall into, Kier recalls how crucial it has always been for FVK: “It was extremely important. The healthy competition between us and other bands is what drove us to be better and want to be something.
“Local support is essential. You need venues to be able to discover a love of live music; something less sterile.”
In London, The Dome is a brilliant example of how smaller venues can contribute to the growth of the music scene around it. On Sunday 9 August, it’ll be one that centres on slick pop-rock hooks.