After a seven year run of non-stop planning, organisation and kicking cancer’s arse by assembling live shows and albums with killer lineups, Beat:Cancer is taking a hiatus. Considering the monumental effort that has gone into all the charity organisation’s endeavours, it’s difficult to blame them. Last Saturday, they hosted their final live event for the foreseeable future, in the form of Beat:Cancer Festival 2.0, at London’s Electrowerkz. Not only was it a huge way to end this current chapter on, but it also put their skills to the test.

From the get-go there were issues. iVardensphere, the headlining act, had been due to arrive in the UK well in time to make their appearance. Unfortunately they had flights booked with Lufthansa, and it just so happened that the workers of this particular airline went on strike the day the band were due to fly over. This resulted in the ensemble turning up to the venue last minute, their soundcheck overrunning well into the festival time-slots. After an almost 2 hour delay, the ball finally got rolling. I have to give kudos where it’s due, as the crew and band worked relentlessly to get things started as soon as possible, and, of course, it was well worth the wait!

Their presence was certainly noticeable, showing the hallmarks of true showmen, resulting in a high-octane performance. Vain Machine

Drakenwerks opened up the evening with a bang, their set seemingly blistering past at a lightning pace. That was probably because the duo were so entertaining to watch live. It was easy to tell that they have fun making their music, and this translated extremely well in such a setting. Sonically, there was a vibrant energy to it, yet it captured the gritty essence of industrial music, their style in the same spirit of Skinny Puppy and Funker Vogt in one neat package. Vain Machine were next to take to the stage, and they kept the momentum going. Their presence was certainly noticeable, showing the hallmarks of true showmen, resulting in a high-octane performance. The only time it slowed down a bit was at the half-way point, when they performed their superb cover of Kiss’ “I Was Made For Lovin’ You.” Not only is this a darker take on the track, but it feels like it was always meant to be portrayed in this electro style. Then it was time for Bein-E, and the pace ground to a halt. Not in a bad way, of course, it was just an entirely different beast. The adrenaline pumping high-BPM rhythms were replaced with angsty, twisted ambience, and a menacing tone. It wasn’t quite as impactful as I’d have liked, but they still managed to strike a chord on several occasions. The fact that they didn’t perform any new tracks from their latest record, Monsters, may seem surprising initially, but considering the band are part of the team that runs Beat:Cancer, I doubt they’d have had much time to practice the new material.

They have truly developed and grown in a huge way in such a short space of time, and I see nothing but big things for them in the future. – Promenade Cinema

Speaking of new material, Promenade Cinema were up next. The pair had been busy since their previous show in February, and not only opened with their latest single, “The Arch House”, but also debuted two brand-new tracks (one titled “Cold Fashion”.) These new songs were just as stunningly haunting as the latest single, rich in layers and textures. After hearing these tracks, there’s no doubt in my mind that album two (due next year) will be nothing short of spectacular! It slotted in perfectly with their previous material too, and their confidence, in combination with the mesmerising tones of the music, made for a superb performance. They have truly developed and grown in a huge way in such a short space of time, and I see nothing but big things for them in the future. Then CgynosiC were next, and considering I’d only seen them a week prior in Sheffield, it felt pretty familiar. I don’t know if it was the change of setting, but they seemed to bring more of an energy in this set, and things became quite wild. The beats felt harder, vocals harsher and melodies more addictive than before. Nature of Wires absolutely nailed their set too. Their catchy sound reverberating throughout the venue, not being as heavy, but the groovy feel giving the music the hooks to latch on to. The first part of their slot saw Andrew Stirling-Brown on vocals, before switching to Lady B later on. This was quite a quirky move, which totally paid off, as the contrast in styles lent itself well to the instrumentation on display. Yet the change of lead vocals didn’t hamper the overall feel at all, it was still unmistakably them, which speaks volumes for the quality of their music.

As soon as they started, it was utterly hypnotic, the tribal industrial beats sweeping the audience away into a dance haven. iVardensphere

In yet another case of deja-vu, C-Lekktor took to the stage, who I’d also seen in Sheffield only a week before. They too seemed to have upped their game in the past week, as their show was fantastic, and they owned the stage. Perhaps being higher on the bill increased their enthusiasm. The crowd went into a frenzy for them, the dancefloor alive with movement. It was a great choice for the penultimate act, as it really got the adrenaline flowing, this energy transitioning brilliantly into iVardensphere‘s headlining show. All the band members took to the stage, and what ensued was mind blowing performance! As soon as they started, it was utterly hypnotic, the tribal industrial beats sweeping the audience away into a dance haven. It’s a wonder anyone was able to move at all, with how packed-out the room was, but somehow we all managed it. It would have been rude not to, and it was incredibly difficult to resist the temptation, considering the intensity of the atmosphere. They didn’t miss a beat, and the technical prowess on display was captivating. It was truly the perfect way to end the night on. As a bonus, Izoloscope played a set, which was open to Beat:Cancer attendees. As much as I wanted to stay (the show was a lively, intense party), the night had taken it’s toll on me, and I had to bow out.

Once again, the Beat:Cancer crew pulled of yet another stellar live event. The diversity of the lineup, along with the quality of the acts, resulted in a victory lap that was filled with surprises and excellence. Every time, they never cease to amaze me, and their efforts to run these shows, alongside the enthusiasm of the bands, is unparalleled. The fact that they defied the odds on this particular night, pushing past the difficulties, is a testament to their dedication. They’ve more than earned their rest, and I’ll be sure to attend the next event, whenever they make their return. Until then, rest easy guys, and thank you!