Dates: August 18, 2023– August 20, 2023

Festivals in Scotland are not uncommon. In fact, there are a good number of small and bigger festivals organised each year, though not always catering for the underground or the heavier music fan. There are exceptions of course, such as the various editions of Red Crust Festival in Edinburgh and Glasgow or the upcoming Sonic Dissonance doom/black/death metal festival in Edinburgh this September. Excitingly, a completely new festival is being organised in Glasgow this summer, which certainly caters for the underground but has also booked a number of bigger names to certainly compete with the more established festivals in the UK and Europe this summer. This is core., which takes place from August 18-20 in various venues in Glasgow’s West End. And yes I said “excitingly” as the various line-up announcements made my mouth water with anticipation.

Take the various headliners that have been booked. On the Friday US alt/emo crossover band The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, who will celebrate 10 years of their album Whenever, If Ever. On Saturday Oklahoma based noise-rockers Chat Pile will make their Scottish debut show, and having only recently seen them destroy the 013 Main Stage at Tilburg’s Roadburn Festival a few weeks ago, this will be something to look forward to for sure. Sunday’s headline slot doesn’t need much introduction, with Deafheaven making a return to Glasgow, after releasing their glorious shoegaze album Infinite Granite in 2021.

I’m super excited to see some bands I’ve been wanting to see for ages, such as Haela Ravenna Hunt-Hendrix’s transcendent black metal project Liturgy, giving the genre a great avant-garde spin. I don’t know how I’ve not seen Rolo Tomassi before, but I’m glad I finally get to see these British progressive grinders live, both bands playing on Sunday before Deafheaven’s closing show. French post-metal band Year Of No Light are one of the more exciting bands in the genre, and their Sunday set is one to look forward to for sure. Also coming from France are Celeste, who have a unique sound combining black metal, sludge metal and post-hardcore, delivered live in spectacular fashion.

Belfast’s And So I Watch You From Afar have played Glasgow numerous times over the last 15 years or so, and their instrumental post-rock/metal always goes down a treat on the live stage, don’t miss them when they play on Saturday ahead of Chat Pile. Relative newcomers Pothamus from Belgium are perhaps not super well-known in Glasgow, but their tribalesque sludge-infused post-rock is certainly not something you’d want to miss, check out their remarkable release Raya if you want to get a good idea. Leeds legendary powerviolence band Ona Snop will deliver a furious fastcore set, getting everyone nicely moshed up. Michigan grindcore punks Cloud Rat make a long awaited return to Scotland, after having played here 8 years ago for the last time. Similarly to Ona Snop they will make sure people will be moving and moshing during their set. Belgium shoegazers Slow Crush will be touring with Deafheaven this summer and are known to deliver devastating live performances.

It’s great to see core. giving the opportunity to local Scottish/UK bands and artists as well. On Saturday Orkney-bred, central-based grind-punk titans Fit To Work will play at the Radical Glasgow stage, which they also curate as well. They have invited Belfast queer punk outfit Problem Patterns, local Glasgow bruisers Hard Stare and Goth GF to complete the line-up. Sunday’s Radical Glasgow stage line-up includes Edinburgh powerviolence quartet Endless Swarm, who has been gradually making a name for themselves over the last decade and have played allover Europe this year already promoting their new album Manifested Forms, which they will most likely include in their setlist. Merseyside anti-Fascist anarchist black metal manglers Dawn Ray’d released new album To Know the Light earlier this year receiving many positive reviews. Completing the Sunday bill are local Glasgow noise rockers Civil Elegies and riot grrrl punkers Brat Coven. Elsewhere across the bill, the weekend will also play host to Scottish heavyweights Party Cannon and fast-rising locals Piss Bath, Moni Jitchell and Headcleaner.

Local post-metallers Void of Light will deliver the riffs early on Sunday, and Edinburgh-based Frontierer (though with Missouri-based singer Chad Kapper) are also booked on Sunday to deliver some chaos with their brand of mathcore infused technical deathcore. Also from Edinburgh (though with Germany-based drummer Stefan Pötzsch) are healthyliving, the new project by Maud the Moth’s Amaya López-Carromero and Scott McLean (know from Falloch and Ashenspire), who had their first ever live performance at this year’s Roadburn Festival, presenting their excellent debut album Songs of Abundance, Psalms of Grief, which they will perform live in Scotland for the first time on the Satureday. Elsewhere across the bill, the weekend will also play host to brutal slammers Party Cannon (yes, the metal band with that band logo) and fast-rising locals Pïss Bäth, Moni Jitchell and Headcleaner.

Completing the bill are acts I’m not necessarily very familiar with, but this will add to the excitement of getting to know new names, which is always a great highlight of any festival in my opinion. East London’s Deijuvhs gives the hip-hop genre a more alternative spin, Glasgow indie rockers Jack Brotherhood and Finnish glam rockers Flinch. will warm up the crowd nicely ahead of The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die on Friday. Atlanta based ’68 formed from the ashes of hardcore legends The Chariot and have been making waves delivering their rowdy brand of noisy rock ‘n’ roll. Norway’s Hammok have been building a reputation with their sound combining thrashy noise/hardcore, which should be interesting to see. University’s music is described as “like getting punched in the face by a gorilla but then being cuddled afterwards”, which certainly piques my interest. Lastly, New York punks Cumgirl8 will make their Scottish debut, and they will certainly create a stir with their mix of post-punk, riot grrrl, experimental, dance, and rock’n’roll.

Based on the above, the place to be from August 18-20 this summer is most definitely Glasgow’s West End. Early bird tickets have been sold out for the festival already, but there are still loads of tickets available to purchase through the festival’s website.

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