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Photo: iNDEPENDENCE Festival Facebook

As Cold Ocean Lies’ thunderous drums fill Southampton’s Engine Rooms, it is evident that iNDEPENDENCE Festival’s weekend is going to be a smashing one.

 

The Birmingham-formed rock band drift through their set, exuding a zen-like coolness which adds to the allure of their talent-doused songs. With numbers varying from Soundgarden-esque chill-grunge in ‘Breathe’ to the indie-rock beast that is their final song, ‘Fade’, Cold Ocean Lies certainly kick the festival off in the right way.

 

Hidden Charms carry on Saturday’s events with a breathtaking set filled with quirky rock ‘n’ roll meets great western sounds with songs such as ‘Dreaming of Another Girl’ and ‘Mona’. The band switch instruments between themselves at the turn of nearly every song which, added with their energetic stage presence, ensure that Hidden Charms leave a lasting impression for the entire weekend.

 

Once a member of Britpop legend’s Supergrass, Gaz Coombes performs a rare acoustic set featuring songs from his latest solo record ‘Matador’, demonstrating that his musical genius transgresses far beyond his former band days. With songs ‘Detroit’ and ‘20/20’, Coombes showcases his brilliant songwriting skills and the ability to give every soul in the room chills.

 

East India Youth mixes up Saturday’s line-up with his experimental EDM set. Featuring his song ‘Turn Away’, the self-proclaimed “song architect” provides 30 minutes of showmanship with his eccentric dancing, orchestrating and manipulating the crowd with his incredible mixing skills.

 

As Saturday’s events started coming to a close, The Sunshine Underground take to the stage with the intention to get the crowd moving with their vibrant synthpop, which they certainly do. However, a great set was soon dampened when the band had to restart their final song three times, killing the buzz they had managed to attain.

 

Saturday’s headliners The Rifles soon pick up the pace again with their crowd-pleasing performances featuring their indie-rock hits ‘She’s Got Standards’ and the aptly named ‘Winter Calls’. Although they provide a good set, some of the days earlier acts would have been better placed further up the bill instead of the days main acts.

 

Kassassin Street stroll out on stage to a chorus of cheers from the crowd as they start their psychedelic set on Sunday, launching into one killer track after another. Vocalist Rowan Bastable shows that he is a real showman with constant interaction with the crowd and evidently enjoying the bands stellar performance.

 

Nottingham’s Kagoule provides iNDEPENDENCE Festival with more alternative rock, ranging from chilled grunge to riot grrrl. Bassist Lucy Hatter leaps around the stage as the band exude their kooky vibes creating an unforgettable show.

 

Penultimate festival act The Wytches kick off their set with their signature gothic sound, starting with a three minute talent-packed jam. The band keep up their gothic persona throughout the night but it soon evaporates between songs when vocalist Kristian Bell thanks fans for being there after nearly every song.

 

TOY finish off the line-up for iNDEPENDENCE Festival 2015 with a varied set sprinkled with fast-paced jams. With songs ranging from mellow indie anthems to swift beasts filled with screeching guitars and synthesizers, the band provide a perfect set to leave iNDEPENDENCE Festival on a high.

 

Martha Gregory @MarthaGregory94

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