Arts and Culture

Bloodstock Festival 2023: Square Wild bring breath of fresh air to the New Blood stage

Manchester’s Square Wild earned their way to Bloodstock Festival earlier this year when they won Manchester’s wing of the Metal to the Masses competition.

It is safe to say that they made the most of their prize, delivering a set which was a total breath of fresh-air compared to the other acts playing over the weekend.

One element of their uniqueness stems from the simple fact that they aren’t a metal band.

In MM’s interview with the band last June, Square Wild described themselves as “progressive rock”.

“We definitely anchor ourselves to heavy rock but we just play what comes out. Ska, funk, metal, manouche jazz; nothing is off the table!”

With Bloodstock being known for its die-hard metal following, there were inevitably a few eyebrows raised that a non-metal band won.

Most however recognised that Square Wild are a brilliant group, and their Bloodstock crowd were included in that group.

For this half-hour set, mosh-pits were out and Irish dancing was in, as the crowd grooved along to Square Wild’s eclectic and fun style of heavy rock.

Frontwoman Lucy Shevchuk is a force in her own right, and a true star in the making. She oozes charisma, and seems to improve every time I see the band.

Her positive energy and vibe is infectious, dancing as she plays with a massive smile on her face. If Square Wild go onto fulfil their potential, Shevchuk will be a big reason why.

The band in general have an almost unmatched stage presence, which is coupled with a diverse and tight sound featuring some amazing guitar work and vocals.

This is my third time seeing the band live, and it’s really hard to escape the feeling that this is just the beginning for them. An awesome group who are going from strength to strength.

Images used with permission from Bloodstock Open Air Festival.

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