Festival Review - Fort Rox at Newhaven Fort

I haven’t been to Newhaven Fort before, and when I arrive I realise what an amazing venue it is. I walk up a long steep ramp and, after a brief search I find myself in a concrete courtyard, gently sloping down to an immense state-of-the art outside stage, its curved roof providing shelter for the bands from the rain which looks like it might soon join us there. There’s a large grassy bank to my right, and a line of military redbrick buildings to my left. I’m an hour late and I’ve missed the first act, the Starfish band Honeycuts. The second, a solo performer called Jacob’s Stories, has already started. From where I’m sat I can’t see him for the sound desk pile in front of me, and I’m not tempted. It’s a guy producing haunting poetic stuff on a keyboard, which doesn’t really suit the occasion.

A succession of bands play, and I wander into the stage area to take photos of each one as they start their first number. Charlottefield, a Brighton band, produce a thrash metal sound which really doesn’t sound right at lunchtime. They have a drummer with a large ginger beard and a mop-haired guitarist who enjoys hunching into the swirls of liquid nitrogen smoke which occasionally puff out of the machine. I sicken quickly, and retreat to my spot, where various Lewesians have gathered. They’re selling horrendously expensive bottles of Carlsberg in a tent.

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Charlottefield at the Fort: thrash metal for lunch