Gnaw 2013Offering everything from stoner grooves to caustic electronica, Newcastle’s Great North Amplifier Worship (GNAW) festival has built up a formidable reputation in recent years… and now it’s back for round three. Richard Holmes reports. 


Taking place one again at Tyneside independent venue, The Star And Shadow Cinema, the event – on Saturday, November 16 – GNAW 2013 will feature a slew of experimental, innovative and downright intense acts, drawn from the North East and beyond.

Headlining GNAW 2013 will be London’s dual bass maniacs Palehorse (pictured), fresh from a European tour and an appearance at Leeds’ Damnation Festival. The band, who released their third full length, Harm Starts Here, earlier this year, promise a “visceral, physical experience” according to drummer Ben Dawson, in a recent interview with RUSHONROCK.

Also appearing at the annual event will be Newcastle’s We Are Knuckle Dragger, just weeks after the launch of their critically acclaimed, Ross Robinson-produced second album, The Drone.

The experimental three-piece, who’ve supported the likes of Meshuggah and The Dillinger Escape Plan in recent years, are returning to GNAW for the second time, after playing at 2011’s inaugural festival.

Completing GNAW’s line-up are North East noise/hardcore trio Tide Of Iron, who delivered an incendiary set at 2012’s event, Leeds-based noise rock quartet Cattle, Newcastle five-piece Waheela, whose largely-improvised, primal assault has made them a must-see live act, and DJ Callan.

Commenting on their forthcoming appearance, We Are Knuckle Dragger guitarist/vocalist Aran Glover said: “We were lucky enough to play the first ever GNAW Fest and it was a marvelous night for all involved. Now into its third year, it’s gone from strength to strength, so it’s safe to say we’re very excited to be a part of it again.

“We’ve just released our second album The Drone and currently our set is playing that in its entirety. We would never do anything in a studio that we couldn’t pull off live so it’s a nice way of demonstrating that. As it’s a hometown show we’ll probably throw in a few older tracks too, and most likely will have a few surprises up our sleeves.

“Bottom line, it will be heavy and it will be loud!”

Glover added: “We love eclectic bills and although this line up shares a theme of all out riff carnage, each band definitely has their own flavour to bring to the table. It’s a very strong line up this year with new bands we’re look forward to experiencing and familiar bands we’ll be thrilled to see doing their thing again.”

Looking ahead to the festival, GNAW organiser and Waheela vocalist Adam Potts stated: “The response to GNAW has been great, and the numbers keep creeping every year.

“I think people are starting to get what it’s about. GNAW isn’t a doom festival, noise fest, metal fest or whatever. It’s just about celebrating all things loud in the North East with one – or in this case two – guests from out of town. But with that being the only remit for GNAW, there is range of things that can happen and be heard. I think that’s exciting.

“Despite obvious differences between all of the bands there seems to be a shared interest in heavy bass, disjointed grooves, and unparalleled energy that will make the night flow. I think the line-up makes perfect sense.

“It’s going to be a night to remember!”

GNAW Festival, Newcastle upon Tyne takes place at The Star And Shadow Cinema on November 16 Search for GNAW Fest 2013 on Facebook, or go to Tickets are priced £5 in advance, £7 on the door.