Gig in Review - Peleton Festival 2021

by Maciej Lewicki

Gig in Review - Peleton Festival 2021

Waking up on the morning of Sept. 11th, the first thought to go through my head was excitement at the upcoming show, Peleton Festival 2021 - originally meant for September of last year, but rescheduled due to COVID, it was the first of its kind, a showcase of the variety of bands on Poland-based Peleton Records. Introduced by their tagline “indie that cares” (it makes sense in Polish I swear, the word for indie and care share a root), which could not be any more accurate - while heavy-leaning, the bands truly had something for everyone - from the most chilled out dream pop to straightforward emo and pop-punk through the heaviest iterations of skramz.

Due to some public transport mishaps (an accident that rendered my line unable to function), I unfortunately got to the show late and missed the first two bands, Deadly Firend, fuzzy, ambient dream pop based out of Warsaw,and Raw Plastic, chilled out surf punk. Thankfully, I got to the club just in time to experience the first of the remaining five bands.

While I had never heard of we watch clouds before, upon entering Hydrozagadka I instantly recognised their guitarist, Artur, who also plays guitar for Zwidy. Despite having no prior experience with the band, I felt right at home with their energetic brand of skramz, blending heavy guitar tones and driving drums into the heart of well-constructed songs. The first few minutes of awkward head nodding off to the side quickly turned to a violent mosh and set the mood for the rest of the night.

What else could follow such a vibrant set if not another skramz band, Brooks Was Here, performing their set in Chmury, the neighbouring club. Upon entering the slightly tinier room (both rooms were close in size to First Unitarian Church and absolutely brimming with people for the entirety of the night), the first thing to stick out was their frontman, Mateusz, donning a neon green ski mask and reading an excerpt for homework. Their guitarist, Majkel, stood ready in the crowd (where he spent most of the set) and shattered all expectations from the first hit to the heavily distorted guitar that, on its own, managed to fill the entire room, and along with the bass and drums, provided a fantastic background to the frontman’s slow, mesmerising vocal lines and screams, reminiscent of cold wave bands like 1984.

Then the time came for Zwidy, one of the bands I had heard of previously and a band I had spent over 2 years waiting for an opportunity to witness. Set apart from the others by their tendency to lean towards cleaner guitar tones and mathier, more complicated song structures, they nonetheless never faltered from the standard prepared for them. At the heart of their sound, Artur’s bright guitar led the way through odd time signatures and catchy riffs that managed to never feel awkward or undanceable. Between losing my voice to songs like Ostatnie Pięć Lat (The Last Five Years) and 4:35 (4:35 AM) and losing all energy to newer, catchy emo punk songs reminiscent of bands like Mechanical Canine, I never once doubted that this was perhaps one of the best sets I’ve ever had the chance to witness. Perhaps the highlight of it all was the quite frankly hilarious (perhaps not as much so on the receiving end) sequence of Artur breaking a string on his SG mid-song and subsequently scrambling to replace it while the rest of the band played him off seamlessly, almost as if the exact moment was prepared and rehearsed for well ahead of time.

What followed was a set by Syndrom Paryski, self described Poznań (a city in the west of Poland) sad boys, an apt title for a band who could easily be named the Mom Jeans of Polish emo - bringing to the table recognisably straight-forward, catchy emo that hits deep, they paved the way for many cathartic moments screaming along to some of my favourite lyrics from songs like Letnie Noce (Summer Nights) and Sygnały Końca Pociągu (End of Train Signals) and losing my mind in the pits that emerged during those choruses.

As the next band, Hanako, rolled around, the insanity of an 8-band bill started to hit me as I tried to balance staying in the nearby park and getting enough set time from the band. Upon my arrival, the room was already filled and I was relinquished to standing on the side, not strong enough to push myself through to the pits. A harkening back to the first two bands, Hanako managed to pull off an insane combo of heavy instrumentation and chilling, screamed duets between their frontwoman Bibi and guitarist Mateusz, reminiscent of a heavier GILT that kept me glued to the room for the remainder of their set. Bibi’s energy was unmatched as she weaned through the crowd with ease.

The last band to play, daysdaysdays, set out to close up with straightforward, catchy short punk songs reminiscent of bands like The Descendents and The Ergs! With a majority of their songs cutting in under two minutes long, there was absolutely no reason to not go crazy through the whole ordeal and that’s just what happened, with the crowd going ballistic to older songs like Serio? (Seriously?) and new, unreleased songs from the upcoming album on Peleton Records.

As my Uber turned the corner and the absolute wall of sound turned to silence with a hint of radio, the tinnitus reminded me of what I had missed for the past two years and I could not have asked for a better welcome back than a show I had been looking forward to for more than a year.

Gig in Review - Peleton Festival 2021

by Maciej Lewicki

Gig in Review - Peleton Festival 2021

Waking up on the morning of Sept. 11th, the first thought to go through my head was excitement at the upcoming show, Peleton Festival 2021 - originally meant for September of last year, but rescheduled due to COVID, it was the first of its kind, a showcase of the variety of bands on Poland-based Peleton Records. Introduced by their tagline “indie that cares” (it makes sense in Polish I swear, the word for indie and care share a root), which could not be any more accurate - while heavy-leaning, the bands truly had something for everyone - from the most chilled out dream pop to straightforward emo and pop-punk through the heaviest iterations of skramz.

Due to some public transport mishaps (an accident that rendered my line unable to function), I unfortunately got to the show late and missed the first two bands, Deadly Firend, fuzzy, ambient dream pop based out of Warsaw,and Raw Plastic, chilled out surf punk. Thankfully, I got to the club just in time to experience the first of the remaining five bands.

While I had never heard of we watch clouds before, upon entering Hydrozagadka I instantly recognised their guitarist, Artur, who also plays guitar for Zwidy. Despite having no prior experience with the band, I felt right at home with their energetic brand of skramz, blending heavy guitar tones and driving drums into the heart of well-constructed songs. The first few minutes of awkward head nodding off to the side quickly turned to a violent mosh and set the mood for the rest of the night.

What else could follow such a vibrant set if not another skramz band, Brooks Was Here, performing their set in Chmury, the neighbouring club. Upon entering the slightly tinier room (both rooms were close in size to First Unitarian Church and absolutely brimming with people for the entirety of the night), the first thing to stick out was their frontman, Mateusz, donning a neon green ski mask and reading an excerpt for homework. Their guitarist, Majkel, stood ready in the crowd (where he spent most of the set) and shattered all expectations from the first hit to the heavily distorted guitar that, on its own, managed to fill the entire room, and along with the bass and drums, provided a fantastic background to the frontman’s slow, mesmerising vocal lines and screams, reminiscent of cold wave bands like 1984.

Then the time came for Zwidy, one of the bands I had heard of previously and a band I had spent over 2 years waiting for an opportunity to witness. Set apart from the others by their tendency to lean towards cleaner guitar tones and mathier, more complicated song structures, they nonetheless never faltered from the standard prepared for them. At the heart of their sound, Artur’s bright guitar led the way through odd time signatures and catchy riffs that managed to never feel awkward or undanceable. Between losing my voice to songs like Ostatnie Pięć Lat (The Last Five Years) and 4:35 (4:35 AM) and losing all energy to newer, catchy emo punk songs reminiscent of bands like Mechanical Canine, I never once doubted that this was perhaps one of the best sets I’ve ever had the chance to witness. Perhaps the highlight of it all was the quite frankly hilarious (perhaps not as much so on the receiving end) sequence of Artur breaking a string on his SG mid-song and subsequently scrambling to replace it while the rest of the band played him off seamlessly, almost as if the exact moment was prepared and rehearsed for well ahead of time.

What followed was a set by Syndrom Paryski, self described Poznań (a city in the west of Poland) sad boys, an apt title for a band who could easily be named the Mom Jeans of Polish emo - bringing to the table recognisably straight-forward, catchy emo that hits deep, they paved the way for many cathartic moments screaming along to some of my favourite lyrics from songs like Letnie Noce (Summer Nights) and Sygnały Końca Pociągu (End of Train Signals) and losing my mind in the pits that emerged during those choruses.

As the next band, Hanako, rolled around, the insanity of an 8-band bill started to hit me as I tried to balance staying in the nearby park and getting enough set time from the band. Upon my arrival, the room was already filled and I was relinquished to standing on the side, not strong enough to push myself through to the pits. A harkening back to the first two bands, Hanako managed to pull off an insane combo of heavy instrumentation and chilling, screamed duets between their frontwoman Bibi and guitarist Mateusz, reminiscent of a heavier GILT that kept me glued to the room for the remainder of their set. Bibi’s energy was unmatched as she weaned through the crowd with ease.

The last band to play, daysdaysdays, set out to close up with straightforward, catchy short punk songs reminiscent of bands like The Descendents and The Ergs! With a majority of their songs cutting in under two minutes long, there was absolutely no reason to not go crazy through the whole ordeal and that’s just what happened, with the crowd going ballistic to older songs like Serio? (Seriously?) and new, unreleased songs from the upcoming album on Peleton Records.

As my Uber turned the corner and the absolute wall of sound turned to silence with a hint of radio, the tinnitus reminded me of what I had missed for the past two years and I could not have asked for a better welcome back than a show I had been looking forward to for more than a year.