Bangface.. Neo Rave Armageddon or prophecy

by Erin Davies


Music March 20, 2019

“Alexa play pumped up kicks by foster the people” a phrase that will ring through my ears every time I see a pork pie for the rest of my life.. Thanks for that Bangface TV.

Bangface, a weekend festival which starts at 175bpm and just keeps going is held a nice 4 hour drive from London. (6 if the M6 is shut) at the holiday park of Pontins, Leaving London and making that journey does bring back memories of the KLF and as the rain hits, it is grim up north, but 5000 people willing to head to Pontins in Southport, 75% of which come back year after year and 45% come in from outside of the country…

Wait that can’t be right… That is madness. 

Yes… Yes it is… Bangface is madness. 

Belated arrivals aside, finishing off a bottle of Buckfast and running straight in the door for Little Big was an eyeopener if there was one.. I’m sure you have seen the video.. if you haven’t check it below.

This sums up the opening to the weekender for us, and this is only the beginning.  Little big bring insanity to the stage as much as they do their videos and if you have a chance to catch them then I would tell anyone that they are a must watch.Followed by Otto Von Schirach who pushed even further turning the craziness up to 11.

Their are certain acts that will always feature at bang face.. Luke Vibert is defiantly one of them.. With releases across the board under numerous alias what were we to expect.  The answer as with a lot of the weekend is pure jungle greatness. A huge set played to adoring fans…

At this point the question starts to get asked among our mini Hard crew of where are the other rooms?This may have seemed like a simple question but navigating the gigantic 303 and arcade had become a little bit of a task to say the least.

Yet it was done and we found ourselves in a dark room with a man dressed in leather shouting at us and shining the white of a flashlight into our eyes, but it wasn’t just us.. It was a full room.Thats right even though he was on our list of artists to see time had become a distant memory and only a track in did we realise that this was it…. 

With the night a long way ahead of us.. we headed out into the cold to find a chalet party….

The following morning we awoke to bangface tv rolling on from the night before. A spectacle if ever there was one.. Perfectly relating my mental state to a visual and aural experience. A quick call later and our photographer was arriving, so out it was into the stark light and blustery weather to find him and a lot of coffee. 

A coffee and buckfast breakfast later, we headed to the infamous pool party.  

As breakneck beats pounded through the room and the subs shook water out of the pool the photographer decided to jump right in. With inflatable animals overhead and a flash that blinded half the water bound the sight alone was a true spectacle let alone the music, polaroid film came flying out of the pool as the room vibrated with the sounds of Hellish and Kanji Kinetic.

The second night saw the likes of a favourite of ours and a hidden gem under the guise of The Doubtful Guest throw down some serious fun and madness in room two.This was followed by running to the main room to see Posthuman grace the stage with his own visuals.. Head of the infamous I love Acid vinyl series this was one to watch, with his own visuals running riot behind him and 303 baselines for days.The second night itself was heavy on the acid as after Billy Nasty, Ceephax Acid Crew graced the main stage with a live set which, combined with a giant 303 rolling out breaks and baselines at the entrance the acid was in full swing.

Soon there I was, in the middle of Rebekah dressed as a robot courtesy of Posthuman, heavy kicks raining down and strobes illuminating the tiny letterbox that had been cut so that I could see. Note I was lightly informed that the actual costume was made of a sweat suit which I took lightly to start with. After about 10 minutes it felt as if I was in the swimming pool that I had witnessed earlier in the day.Don’t get me wrong I am a huge fan of this costume… When I see other people wearing it. 

Notably this is not the only costume that you will see at Pontins over the weekend. A large majority of the crowd have gone nuts and are dressed in what could only be described as a kids tv show in a nightmare.

A quick trip to watch Billain drop some insane jungle to a dark and sweaty room saw us off to find some chalet parties and an what was thought to be an early night.. turned into something a little more….

By the final morning (or afternoon, time had become a thing of the past) of the festival (for us anyway) it felt like the outside world had vanished. We now existed within a dystopian future where there was nothing but heavy music and the tiny world around us… Our only information came from Bangface TV and had nothing to do with the outside world. This was now our home. There was nothing else and nowhere to go.. Contact with the outside world had been scant due to a lack of phone signal but it felt like it no longer existed so there was no reason left to check…

The coffee had all gone. Our supplies were low and we knew it would all be over soon.

As for the music this could not be further from the truth…. As the darkness of the night once again swept in it was time to see the legendary Mark Archer.. One half and originator of rave duo Altern8 dedicating a full hour of his set to the sadly lost Keith Flint the room exploded to his final track Out of Space. There were hugs and tears and dancing.. If this is what the world looks like after the forthcoming apocalypse then I am happy to be a part of it..

Finally before our departure was Iglooghost.This was special.Words can not describe the combination of sound, visuals and storytelling. It feels like it needs more than I can do here..All I can say is check out iglooghost.. listen to his music, watch his videos and become immersed in the folklore of Mamu…

And then it was done.. we pulled away into the night and made a run back south towards London.

Returning to normal society feels strange… I can proudly say that I survived bangface. Although I’m not sure by how much. It feels as if the weekend has taken something from me although I can’t quite place it…
One thing is for certain. I will be back next year and I will take it back.

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