Kid Kapichi, Wooze and Co Bring the Noise to Belgrave for Riff Fest 2022
Returning to Belgrave Music Hall for its annual edition, Riff Fest once again delivered a phenomenal day of roaring melodies and crisp guitar lines, in the iconic setting of Belgrave’s illustrious gig room.
After a whirlwind of last minute line-up changes, ex-Leeds students Dim Imagery were drafted in to open the bill. Following a series of Northern headline shows and their powerful debut single ‘Three Degrees’, frontman Matt told us of the band’s ambitious plans for 2022 and his love for Audioslave, after delivering a masterful set for a relatively new band. Aided by the venue’s inch-perfect sound quality, Dim Imagery’s noise-rock left a clear mark as one of the festival’s standout sets.
The energy of New Meds incited the first mosh pits of the day, with the hardcore outfit taking the heaviness to a new level. Vocalist Nick Cobley darted around the stage and on top of the crowd, bringing an energy reminiscent of a certain Frank Carter, with a number of tattoos to match. The six-piece of Avalanche Party showcased some of their unique song structures, ending their set on an epic amalgamation of noise and nostalgia that drew one of the largest crowds of the day.
But the highlight of the day surely had to be Wooze. Having attended their Headrow House headline show in August, I was well aware of frontman Theo Spark’s effortless talent. Donning a new hairstyle, Theo and drummer Jamie She dominated the stage from top to tail, testing the waters on some new material called ‘Bittersweet Timpani’ as well as the timeless ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’. It is truly a miracle that this band has yet to blow up, as is testament to the complexity of their songwriting and their ability to remain unique and exciting - without sacrificing the riffs.
Finally, for the headliners Kid Kapichi. Jack Wilson’s charisma won over what had become a packed gig room, powering through their set with his audacious, intricate political commentary - including a brief nod to the recent Downing Street party saga. The driving rhythm of ‘Sardines’ and ‘Glitterati’ were particularly memorable, as well as their hit single ‘Working Man’s Town’, where we see their Hastings background and influences come through most vividly. And to put the icing on the cake, they even invited a fan up on stage to sing ‘Death Dips’ - a wholesome yet unexpected way to finish the night.
Riff Fest will surely be a staple of the Leeds gig calendar for many years to come, and keep an eye out for a full highlights video coming soon to Leeds Student Television, featuring interviews with Wooze and Dim Imagery.
By Rishi Shah
Photo credit- Rishi Shah