Interview: Kris from Macmillan Fest

Photos: Simon Parfrement
Interview: Paul Klotschkow
Thursday 05 September 2013
reading time: min, words

The annual charity rock and metal festival returns to Stealth and the Rescue Rooms for its fourth year. We spoke to organiser and founder Kris Davis about his choice of charity and which bands you can expect to see on the day...


Why did you pick Macmillan to support?
I wanted to get involved after I found out that my form tutor had a brain tumor and was receiving help from them. Since then I’ve met countless of people who they have supported in one way or another.

What type of work does the charity do?
They give support to people suffering from cancer but their friends and relatives too. The charity doesn’t just financially help them, it also provides practical and medical support.

How much money has the festival raised since 2009?
It’s £5,000 to date and we’re aiming to raise another £2,000 this year.

What was the first Macmillan Fest like?
It was smaller than the others, as it took place at The Central. In some ways it could’ve been seen as a crammed building with far too many bands on the stages and nowhere near enough space to move around freely or store your gear. But it was still lots of fun.

How has it grown since then?
We moved to the Rescue Rooms in 2011 and brought in a new fundraising idea; sponsored head shaving. This year we’ve added ‘The Road to Macmillan Fest’ where bands will be walking from London to Nottingham playing in local towns along the way promoting the festival.

Who’ve you got playing this year?
With acts such as Go-X, Exit Ten and Earthtone9 playing previous events, this year we had to surpass ourselves. We’ve now got some of the biggest acts within the UK’s music scene that have been gracing festivals all over the country, including Jett Black, Lu Cozma and Steve Askew, Emperor Chung, Skarlett Riot, Tesseract, The Algorithm, Violet and Carcer City.

What has been your favourite moment from previous festivals?
A big moment for me was when I first did the head shave. It was like a symbol of a change in my life which will never be forgotten. It was the start of my independence as a person, with a chapter in my life ending and another one beginning.

The gig going calendar is rammed with all sorts of festivals now - why should people come to yours?
Macmillan Fest is a growing, independently ran festival which raises money for a great cause and supports the local music scene. You can expect, raffles, barbecues, head shaving and full body waxes. Basically, if you come you’ll have a lot of fun. This is a day not to be missed...

Heres a rundown of just a few of the bands that will be jumping on stage this Saturday:

Long Dead Signal
Established members of the Notts music scene, they’ll be headlining the Nottingham Live Stage. This five-piece court big, Muse-esque operatic rock, while throwing their flamboyant personalities into the songs and lyrics. Atmospheric, astronomic and affirmational.

The Gorgeous Chans
The FSN 2013 winners proved themselves worthy of the accolade by smashing it at Splendour. With more members and energy than three bands combined, they play charismatic world pop akin to Paul Simon and Vampire Weekend.

Emperor Chung
This heavy rock quintet recently played at Download and dropped their debut album. With years of gigging experience behind them, they combine classic riffs and progressive melodies as expertly as Queens of the Stone Age.

Patriot Rebel
These guys have toured across the UK and have made a name for themselves across the hard rock scene. The right combination of noise and melody to get anyone nodding - or banging - their head in appreciation.

JD and the FDCs
Featuring former members of Comprising Panic, Teenage Casket Company, The Dangerfields, Patchwork Grace and DIP, they’ve got some impressive rock pedigree. Feel-good rock-punk reminiscent of The Wildhearts.

Suicide Tuesday
A high-octane, in-your-face band of Notts scene legends with a mission to bring you dirty eighties rock n roll into the here and now. Don’t forget your air guitar, you’re gonna need it.

This duo made a splash last year with their set being shot live by WAITT Unsigned, firmly establishing them as ones to watch on the underground music scene. Beautiful, soulful acoustic with a bluesy twist.

Hailing from Nottingham they play frantic, growling ale-fuelled rock that is guaranteed to get the Rescue Rooms crowd throwing themselves around.

James Dalby
James became a YouTube sensation with his acoustic cover of R Kelly’s Ignition attracting over one million views, launching the Mansfield lad into international news. James writes quality original material as well. Cheeky, chirpy Ed Sheeran-style acoustic fun.

The Spangle Corps
With a song entitled Go For The Jugular, it’s obvious this lot aren’t the soundtrack to a quiet Sunday picnic. High-speed anthemic rock with big choruses. They recently supported the Eureka Machines at The Old Angel - it’s only a matter of time before they get some big, headline gigs under their belt.

Watch out for some fresh talent in the form of hardcore four-piece I’m a Model Baby, singer/songwriter Adam Zareba, teenage rockers In Hindsight and alt newcomers Adelphia.

Macmillan Fest takes place at Stealth and Rescue Rooms on Saturday 7 September 2013.


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