03 April 2016

Quinphonic Festival 2 Review

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Review by DJ Scott (host of the Symphonic Sanctum/The Sanctum)

QF2 NewOn Sunday 27th March I attended The Quinphonic Festival 2 at The Roadhouse in Birmingham. For those unfamiliar with this festival, they promote as handpicking 5 international headline acts for their musical brilliance and stage presence. And as the name suggests, the genre was mainly focused on symphonic metal – my personal favourite. The bands scheduled to perform today were Dakesis (From Birmingham, UK), Beneath My Sins (Paris, France), Alwaid (Lille, France), La Ventura (Netherlands) and Wildpath (Paris, France).

I got to the venue 15 minutes before doors were scheduled to open (3pm). I was waiting until 3:15 until we (myself and the group of people outside waiting) realised the doors were already open. While it was nice to be waiting canalside, it would’ve been even nicer if a staff member from the venue let us know we could go in. But let’s move on to the actual show.

Now I should note at this time that local band and scheduled opening act Dakesis pulled out last minute. While it is not unknown why, out of respect I will not disclose the details behind their reason on this review. There wasn’t a replacement for Dakesis so instead of the 5 bands advertised we only got 4.

After the sound checks were complete, Beneath My Sins (formerly Evolvent) took the stage. This was their first show in the UK under their new name. Now I don’t know if it was where I was standing or not (I was more or less right up to the stage and I did move elsewhere after the set) but I couldn’t quite hear their frontwoman Emma’s voice clearly. It seemed to be drowned out by the music. Which is a shame really, from what I could hear she has a beautiful, operatic style voice. Despite that, Beneath My Sins made the most out of it and performed with passion. As Emma sung she mesmerically moved around the stage. Beneath My Sins did a wonderful job opening the show and warming up the crowd.

After a changeover it was time for Alwaid. This isn’t the first time they’ve performed here in the UK and they really brought their A game. Symphonic metal regularly sees the use of “beauty and the beast” style vocals and Alwaid utilises this style to perfection. Also, their lead vocalist Marie showcased her amazing ability to perform both growling vocals and clean singing. Not many vocalists can do that and do it well but she did so here. All in all Alwaid were fantastic this evening and this metalhead is looking forward to their next show in Birmingham (with Orpheum and Suddenlash on Thursday 14th April at Scruffy Murphys, tickets are £3 on the door).

Up next was La Ventura. Full of charisma and presence, La Ventura showcased their brand of metal to the Quinphonic Festival audience and got everyone moving. They had incredible energy and encompassed what the Quinphonic Festival is all about: musical brilliance and stage presence. Their last song experienced technical difficulties and I applaud their not wanting to give less than 110% on stage and so they performed another song for us. A lot of bands would probably just left it at that, but La Ventura left a lasting impression on me that they want to give you the very best performance that they can give. Like Beneath My Sins, this was their first show ever here in the UK and given their performance I am very surprised at this. I hope they come back very soon.

And lastly it was time for Wildpath to take the stage. Wildpath were absolutely fantastic as the headline act. They were verything that you could ask for. They had the crowd with them every step of the way. Their musical style isn’t as heavy as La Ventura’s but their set was just as energetic if not more. Everyone in the band (even the drummer and keyboardist) had this amazing energy that none of them could sit still and this reflected on the crowd and was so wonderful to experience.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the bands performing, they all did a fantastic job. That said, with regards to the festival itself, I do have one issue that slightly took away from the experience. Between the soundchecks/changeovers and the bands performing, there were no formal introductions. This made for a very relaxed atmosphere, a little too relaxed for my liking. Because of this the crowd were slightly confused when bands were soundchecking songs and mistaking them for the actual set. Personally I think the event would have been improved with a host or an MC to welcome the bands on stage and to hype the crowd. I’ve seen the use of hosts at other small festivals and I think it would definitely work here.

Despite that, I really enjoyed myself saw some kick ass bands perform and it was great value for £15. I look forward to the next Quinphonic Festival which has already been announced. The Quinphonic Festival 3 will take place at The Roadhouse on Sunday 9th October 2016 and the lineup announced so far is as follows:

  • Winter In Eden – Symphonic Rock, from England
  • Sorronia, Symphonic / Gothic Metal, from Hungary
  • CLOUD ATLAS, Progressive Rock, from England
  • Last Days of Eden, Symphonic / Gothic / Celtic Metal from Spain

Tickets are £15 in advance at https://www.theroadhousebirmingham.com/?q=node%2F1174 or £20 on the door.

– DJ Scott