◆ Date: September 11th, 2014
◆ Location: Fab Cafe, Manchester, England
◆ Music: I Am Legendary Robot, Luke Thompson, Seasons, Two Games One Boy (2G1B), Infotoxin, Cfgk24, Auracle, bryface, FirestARTer, JoeBleeps, Blenky, XYCE, PUT90mph DC, J3wel, Meth Pop
◆ Visuals: Dan Hett
◆ View complete photo set: http://bit.ly/1urgTDc
Fab Cafe seemed like the perfect setting for a chip festival pre-party. This underground bar featured framed movie posters of “Revenge of the Nerds 2.” “Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes,” and “Dr. Who and the Daleks” to name a few. Furnished with retro tables and chairs, a blue police box in one corner and retro arcade games in the rear, making it a home away from home for nerds from around the world. The most unique feature was a recessed DJ booth made to look like the command station from Star Trek.
Each performer of the open stage represented the the diversity chip music has to offer and started the festival with a blast of energy and excitement. The night wouldn’t have been the same without the visuals by Manchester’s own Dan Heet. I Am Legendary Robot was first to perform with fast paced drums, guitar and bass. By the third song one of the stings of the guitar broke but they continued to play a fun and lively set. Next up was Luke Thompson from Leeds. His solo act featured guitar, vocals and the game bow. His melodic tunes got the crowd dancing and he later revealed to me that he had lyrics scribbled on his had as he has just written them earlier in the day.
Seasons brought a more mellow vibe with he lack of guitar and use of a novation keyboard. 2G1B (Two Games One Boy) came all the way from Argentina to play a set during the open stage. Ireland based chip musician, Infotoxin, was the only female act of the night and held her own throughout her set. Next up was Cfgk24. His set ways very high energy and felt less like individual songs and more like a narrative including an 8-bit irish jig. Auracle played a single game boy with a silver-colored robot on the table.
bryface traveled all the way from Vancouver, Canada to attend SuperByte and play the open stage. His set was pure passion. This was the first stop on his “The bryface Invades Europe Poorly Tour” which will take him to London on Sept 19th and Paris, France on September 24th. German artist, FirestARTer, brought something different to the stage. He played on his hand crafted device, the “Nerdsynth.” This large handheld sound machine has a gameboy interface but includes additional sound chips form other pieces such as a Commodore64. Although it’s still in development, SuperByte festal goers can play around with the Nerdsynth during the workshops on Saturday.
The next performer was JoeBleeps who had a special introduction as he is the maker of game boy casings. I could tell he was having a lot of fun on stage as he wore a big smile for the entire set.
SuperByte’s lovable photographer took the stage as “Blenky.” He had three game boys going and spent much of his set happily dancing in the crowd. At one point he pulled Simon from the crowd and proclaimed that he was a huge inspiration.
Xyce from the Netherlands was certainly a crowd favorite as the audience danced happily and cheered “Xyce Xyce Baby!”
The next set was the duo PUT 90mph DC which stands for “Pissed Up Terry’s 90mph Death Can.” Both performers whore colored wigs, eye masks and makeup for a unique performance.
J3wel (pronounced “jewel”) from Southampton performed with his iconic neon green game boy.
The night came to a close with Meth Pop. This high energy set squeezed the last drops of energy from the drained crowd who had been dancing all night. They lost their sound halfway through the second song but it was quickly recovered and the crowd danced even harder as if to make up for lost time. A mosh pit broke out almost tipping over one of the speakers. The ended their set with an 8-bit cover of Vanessa Carlton’s hit “1000 miles” in which several people in the crowd took out lighters and waved them in the air.