Mearfests Flame Festival was Essex-based Rising Metal Stars KAINE.

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The Flame show was a huge change from what we had done before over the past 13 years.

We had become for the first time a self-funding event with a new venue and a completely new area of the country

The Queens Hall was fantastic and provided us with an amazing venue to showcase all the nine bands during the day.

Every band on that bill were there for a reason and that reason was friendship.

I became friends with Rage Sadler back in 2015 and Kaine first played for us at our Central London Show at the Borderline in Tottenham Court Road the following year and several times since.

During all those years I’ve enjoyed a great friendship with Rage and have followed the ups and downs of the band, the lows and the highs. The way he held on and rebuilt the band after band members left and how he and he alone held the faith and endured that time in his life.

To see the new lineup with Stephen Ellis from the old lineup replacing Isaac Healy who was sadly unable to attend on Bass for the day was amazing.

Kaine took to the stage with a warmth and confidence that I have never seen before

They have grown immensely over the years and wow they took the place by storm

Their music has broadened and seems to by my ears at least to have become harder faster and technically quite brilliant. Liam’s drumming and love of more extreme music may have been the catalyst for this but at times I felt I could have been watching Testament or any one of the early Bay Area thrash bands.

You will notice on all my reviews I don’t dwell on the individual tracks just the general vibe and feel for the show.

There was a big response for Kaine and I think they fit nicely in that middle ground between the older bands and the new and this puts them in a really strong position and a real asset on any festival lineup.

They like all the bands on the bill seemed to love the stage and used every inch in their energetic performance. Rage was as ever a great frontman and I must admit I have never seen him happier.

Toby Woods is a superb guitarist and combined with Liam Etheridge on drums and Steve O back on Bass the sound was immense

The sound and lighting really made the day and I think every band took full advantage of this and shone bright.

Kaine was brilliant as always and I’m hoping their upcoming UK tour with Riot Act is an unqualified success.

As with every band playing on the day, I felt very proud of the band and as they have always done before they honoured me and Claire. Putting on a quite brilliant performance in memory of Molly.

A Triumphant return to Mearfest and the Circle is complete.

All reactions:

41Jeff Baddley and 40 others

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