Hit The Floor are reporting for you live from this years Hevy Music Festival, which is taking place in Port Lympne Wile Animal Park in Kent over the weekend (5th – 7th August). We have a jam packed schedule, so we will be giving you all the information on how amazing the bands are over the weekend.
The First – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 05/08/11 – Reviewer: Steph Knight
Firstly we start off with yesterday’s line up where we caught King’s Ling melodic rock five piece, The First. From having recommendations to see these guys in action from HTF faves/friends Mallory Knox we were keen to see what these lads bring to the table.
As they pounced on the stage oozing with energy it was inevitable that their set was going to be both vibrant and entertaining. Leading man Ben Salter has a look that instantly reminds you of The Blackout front man Sean Smith, purely because of his hair cut, but as the band continued with their onslaught it became obvious that their sound has a distinct The Blackout feel to it.
Halfway through their set they opened the crowd up and injected some life into the half dead on lookers in front of them. As the crowd began to bounce it was good to see that they had woken up a bit; it could perhaps of been because it was so early in the day but as they continued to pound out their pop punk sounding anthems it was clear to see their audience enjoyed their performance.
Stand out track was closing number ‘Kicks’, bleeding with your typical ‘woah oh’s’ and crowd participation that your would expect from this kind of band. Overall, The First woke up the crowd perfectly for the day of exceptional music expected.
Straight Lines – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 05/08/11 – Reviewer: Steph Knight
Hailing from Pontypridd in Wales, a famous little town in the valleys, we heard these guys had what it takes but never anticipated for them to blow us away as much as they did. Their genre is so abstract that it is not possible to categorize their sound; it has edge, appeal with a twist of mellow chrous’ and twangy guitar moments that ease their listener into musical bliss.
The dark horse of their thirty minute set list was ‘All My Friends That Joined The Army’, a song that is so indie influenced it was overwhelming to see it go down so well at such a hardcore influenced festival.
Final stand out track of their set was ‘Tired and Lonely‘ which was their closing number of the day. For a band that do not seem to move around the stage so much its impressive that they get such large crowd participation. These guys very much earned a HTF approval today and we urge you to go and check them out, we promise you an impressive listen!
Lower Than Atlantis – Front & Etnies Stage – 05/08/11 – Reviewer: Steph Knight
Lower Than Atlantis were the band on the line up today that all festival goers wanted to see. Band members, press, crew members and the public all headed to the extremely small tent in the cosy arena of this years Hevy Fest and not one person expected to see what we witnessed. After seeing how mental LTA fans were at this years Slam Dunk Festival we perhaps had a small idea of how insane these forty minutes were going to be.
Entering the tent at first was the complete nightmare, security did not know how to handle the utter carnage that was taking place as soon as the band began with their opening track. The sweat that was dripping from the tents ceiling was disgusting but it added to the atmosphere that surrounded the faces of every person in the vicinity.
Every single track that was performed to us was portrayed with utter perfection; these guys really know how to build excitement whilst hammering out their musical gems. Highlighting tracks were some new album classics, ‘Beech Like A Tree’ and ‘Deadliest Catch’. ‘World Record’ is an album full of mixed emotion and when performed has the power to completely blow you away.
A final mention goes to my personal favourite LTA song ‘Another Sad Song’, its such a heart felt record that has the crowd swaying and screaming the lyrics back to front man Mike Duce.
If you have not yet seen Lower Than Atlantis live then do it, go buy their albums and rinse your stereos and show these guys the love they deserve.
(Updated: 06/08/11 – 13.40pm)
Bastions – Jagermeister Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
Amid an air of mild confusion Bastions embark upon the unenviable task of opening up the main stage, at least half the crowd are expecting to see dark hardcore band Hang The Bastard who are still trapped in London. After a exchange of slots it now falls to Bastions to get things moving at a time when ones coco pops have barely settled.
Things are initially a little slow, people aren’t sufficiently awake to be going nuts quite yet, but Bastions take a heads down, all out approach which wins the crowd over. Intense and raw with a loose punk rock swagger it certainly clears a few fuzzy heads.
Brotherhood Of The Lake – Front & Etnies Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
Amid an eerie intro and fog of dry ice South West doom lords Brotherhood Of The Lake unleash their brutal assault on an unsuspecting lunchtime crowd. Equal parts black metal and Sabbath grooves it’s fierce, uncompromising and full of menace. The hooded band members stomp around the stage as they unleash their crushing racket while head axeman Rusty Cleeve goes several shades mental. A lot of people won’t have heard of Brotherhood before today, but they won’t be forgetting them anytime soon.
Arcane Roots – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Steph Knight
After receiving a few recommendations of this trio from Kingston-Upon-Thames, HTF were keen to check them out in a festival environment. As soon as we entered the tent it was blatent to see that everyone else knew how good these guys really were; as soon as they began their set we were taken back and wowed with how satisfying these guys are live.
An obvious comparison is instantly made as soon as you set your eyes upon leading man Andrew Groves, he looks so much like Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil with his epic beard and on stage wow factor it was so intense to witness. The fact he stands stage right throughout their entire set we found interesting and different, compared to your everyday ‘leading guy in the middle’ facade.
They have such a distinctively sharp and clean sound that filled the tent at the beginning of such a miserable day at Hevy. The weather did not seem to bother them as they built up an outstanding atmosphere; the sicking bass instantly captured your eye whilst pounding the hell out of your chest which added to the awe of their performance.
The unpredictable guitar riffs continued throughout their time on stage and it became apparent these guys were a force to be reckoned with today and an exceptional start to a day full of music.
Spycatcher – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Steph Knight
This was the band on the bill today that many people were completely stoked to see. The hype these guys have produced within the industry in the last few months is utterly impressive; there was so much hope that they would deliver the same kind of shock element within their live performance and oh my did they prove themselves worthy.
The set list was perfect as was their sound and the packed out tent that surrounded us was humbling. Most of the on-lookers knew the words to their tracks which seemed to lift the bands spirits as well as add to their phenomenal spectacle.
They performed tracks from their recently released album ‘Honesty‘, which has received countless amounts of glowing reviews. ‘Remember Where You Were’ was probably the stand out track of set list and HTF cannot wait for the new material that is soon to come our way. These guys really set the bar at the festival and it will be interesting to see if anyone can beat them at what they do.
(Updated: 06/08/11 – 19.15pm)
Floods – Redbull Bedroom Jam Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
Ironically as Floods walk onstage the heavens are doing their best to flood the site with a nasty little downpour. It’s not exactly drawing the crowd in, but undeterred frontman James Power launches himself over the other side of the barrier and takes the fight to the audience. The solo security man looks pretty concerned and a crowd quickly gathers to check out the wild man in the rain.
It’s intense and emotional hardcore, dual vocals and melodic breakdowns. Impressive stuff look for these guys moving up the bill rapidly!
All Teeth – Front & Etnies Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Jasmine Sevette
Great things had been said about Californian punk hardcore group All Teeth, so HTF couldn’t resist having a peek when they hit the stage at this years Hevy. Before the group had even finished setting up, the tent was filling up nicely to the edges.
When the music kicked in, heavy bass rumbled through the ground as walking guitar riffs set the beat. Their sound was so fresh; that typical hardcore heaviness with traits of punk throughout. Vocalist, David Kelling has such raw voice which really helps them stand out from other hardcore bands. Melodic break downs set the crowd crazy, with fists and feet flying all over the place. The use of gang vocals also helped draw the awing faces in. It was nice to hear something other than the typical ‘chug chug’.
For a band HTF just wanted to check out, All Teeth really overtook expectations and pulled off a great show.
Page 44 – Redbull Bedroom Jam Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
Mid Saturday afternoon and it’s the perfect time for some highly melodic pop punk; Birmingham’s Page 44 fit the bill perfectly. Multiple harmonies, power chords and big guitar shapes made the recipe for an ideal post lunch treat. These boys play tight and sound massive. If you like your punk rock with a large helping of melody check them out.
Ghost Of A Thousand – Jagermeister Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Jasmine Sevette
Brighton punk five piece Ghost of a Thousand have been pleasing ears of thousands for years, but sadly this was one show with a damper feeling. The group have decided to call it a day; so it was Hevy that had the honour of hosting the send off show.
The crowd had turned up in their hordes waiting; as soon as the group kicked off into their first song every single person down at the front went mental. A great send off meant an amazing set list, and the band seemed to have this covered by playing a range of songs from the past and present; pleasing the likes of everyone watching.
Although the crowd were clearly enjoying it near the front, towards the back of the vast crowd, music was overlapping with other stages and the full power just wasn’t being received. Overall for us, it was a good show, but unfortunately not the exceptional send off that was expected.
(Updated: 07/08/11 – 12.30pm)
Architects – Jagermeister Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Steph Knight
If there was an official award for the most explosive band on stage, Architects would win it hands down. They completely tore the Jagermeister Stage apart at this years Hevy Festival and blew their entire audience away with their sixty minute spectacle.
It would be impossible to point out a highlighting track as every single song performed was delivered with utter perfection. The way these guys continue with their overwhelming energy is phenomenal for any on looker. Their on stage rapport is filed with everything possible; mind blowing guitar riffs and off the chain vocals from leading man Sam Carter, who looks sensational as he flies about the stage pounding out track after track of classic Architect anthems.
They shocked us all as they play ‘Year In Year Out’ from their most recent album ‘The Here And Now’; this track has never been performed live and as Dillinger Escape Plan front man Greg Puciato mounted the stage our jaws dropped to the floor. Both these front men have their own league of brilliance and whilst witnessing their onslaught we felt like we had seen something overly satisfying.
If you have not yet had the pleasure of seeing these guys in action then more fool you. Their live formula equals something both unique and mind blowing that have your whole body bleeding with musical emotion.
Acoda – Redbull Bedroom Jam Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Steph Knight
Lucky Small Town Records five piece Acoda landed themselves a headlining slot over on the Redbull Bedroom Jam stage on the Saturday night of this years Hevy. They played literally instantly after Architects finished up on the Jagermeister Stage, so most of the crowd stood did a hop skip and a jump five metres to their left to see these guys in action.
They sounded immense and delivered a powerful and raw thirty minute set list which was what everyone watching needed. Hats off for these guys as it was one hell of a task performing directly after some post hardcore legends.
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Jagermeister Stage – 06/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
It’s the end of the night, but it sounds like the end of the world, genre defining legends Dillinger Escape Plan seem intent on searing themselves into the memories of everyone here. Sounds wise it’s a schizophrenic collision of technical riffs, twisted jazz breakdowns and hyper-speed thrashing. Their stage presence is a force to be reckoned with; vocalist Greg Puciato leapt straight into the crowd, while guitarist Ben leaps off every available object in the vicinity. Cathartic energy this raw and real is rare to see in a band as big as Dillinger, no one quite knows what to expect next.
While there’s no dirty protests this time, Greg’s climbing missions to the summit of the stage scaffold and crowd surfing into oblivion with guest vocalist Sam Carter of Architects are enough to keep the rabid crowd happy. They nail the encore with a crowd led cover of Nirvana’s ‘Territorial Pissings’, mission complete as the crowd file off into the night mouths agape and sock blown clean off.
Hildamay – Jagermeister Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
At a time when the good people of the world are finishing brunch and freshly ground coffee, Hildamay are igniting the main stage with their tight, melodic post punk. Packed with raw emotion it’s enough to fire up the early lunchtime crowd, they come out full force and don’t let up for a second apart from the vocalist’s unfortunate trip over the monitors. The rains cleared off, suns out and Hildamay make it a perfect Sunday lunch.
(Updated: 07/08/11 – 16.40pm)
Man Overboard – Jagermeister Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
Setting the tone for the pop punk flavour of the main stage today are East Coast lads Man Overboard. Unashamedly melodic tunes with huge hooks and the dual vocal attack that seem to be working so well in these bands at the moment, they go down exceptionally well with the main stage crowd. With pop punk riding high on a resurgent wave at the moment these guys are sure to follow in the footsteps of guys like Set Your Goals and on a sunny Sunday afternoon it’s the perfect soundtrack.
Polar – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
Watford crew Polar have been building a reputation for high intensity live shows and today is no exception. They swagger on stage like a gang of prize fighters and whip the crowd into a total frenzy. Rinsing tracks from their new e.p ‘This Polar Noise’ they have a raw energy that is reminiscent of early Gallows and this is the reason people are so excited by these guys. Export strength rock’n’rolling, punk with a hardcore edge, quality stuff.
Touche Amore – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
Touche Amore have been a name dropped by a lot of people this weekend and within thirty seconds it’s clear why; both they and the packed tent go about absolutely bloody nuts. They make the security work for their money with the vocalist climbing the scaffolding, while crowd surfers flood over the barriers like it’s a human Niagara falls. The band have a tangible sense of honesty and catharsis about them that is rare, this is a buzz band that you’ll be hearing a lot more of.
While She Sleeps – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
Northern Metalcore crew While She Sleeps strut on stage like the rockstars they are on the verge of becoming. Big riffs, cheeky solos and the kids go nuts for it. Bassist Aaran Mckenzie leaps around like it’s a Bruce Lee film and then the mighty pits erupt. It’s only a small stage, but WSS’s hammer around like their headlining Donington Park. Bigger stages await these guys, today made that statement obvious.
Zebrahead – Jagermeister Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Jasmine Sevette
After having interviewed pop punk legends Zebrahead about two hours before their set, HTF were pretty intrigued to see what these crazy guys had in store for us. They warned us about their crazy antics, including a masturbating tiger… Which really did happen!
Of course they played classic tunes such as ‘Playmate of the Year’ and ‘Rescue Me’ exceedingly well but the main attraction was the live humour. Everyone in the band was getting involved, even the crew! It was one crazy fifty minutes, including water pistols being shot into the audience, crowd surfing fans jumping on stage and constant jokes throughout. Not to mention having the whole crowd shout the word ‘minge’ and hold their hands up in a triangle. They definitely brightened up the mood at this years Hevy!
Strife – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
For hardcore fans of a certain age, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for all the festival; Strife were one of the most influential hardcore bands of the late 90’s and this is a rare chance to catch them in the flesh. Of course things have changed, frontman Rick Rodney now sports a huge beard that makes him look more like Seasick Steve than a furious hardcore screamer, but as they launch into classic tracks from their legendary ‘In This Defiance’ album it’s clear they’ve still got it.
After a couple of tracks Rick joins the crowd in the middle of the tent and performs the rest of the set from here as a mighty mosh pit circles around him and bodies come wind milling past. There’s always a slight nervous feeling when watching a classic band come back after a long hiatus, but this is no bloated nostalgia trip. Strife still have a vital energy in their performance and this half hour of premium grade hardcore explains why they are still held in such high regard in the scene.
Defeater – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
Massachuets hardcore band manage to do the unthinkable, by combining heart wrenching acoustic ballads with intense raging hardcore. The idea that a rabid crowd of hardcore kids would be softly singing along one moment and swinging from the ceiling the next is a strange one, but it’s the weird reality of a Defeater show.
Vocalist Derek Archambalt faces the packed tent with just an acoustic guitar and strums out the heartfelt ballad ‘I Don’t Mind’, before the rest of the band join him and they launch into the intensely emotional rage of tracks like ‘Dear Father’. The atmosphere in the tent is electric and the front row sing along with every single word. It takes a special band to be able to pull off a delicate mix like this, but Defeater do it in style.
TRC – Jagermeister Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
If the cast of ‘The Only Way Of Essex’ formed a hardcore band they would look a lot like TRC. By far the best groomed band of the weekend, their love of dapper designer wear and headstrong attitude has earnt them their fair share of hate in the UK hardcore scene. However their precise grime influenced hardcore has earnt them just as much love and the vast crowd in front of the main stage is a writhing mass of proof.
Unleashing tracks from new album ‘Bright Lights’ plus a couple of old favourites, it’s clear TRC have raised their game this year, with a dual vocal attack and absolutely massive riffs TRC could easily cross over into a mass audience. With tracks like ‘Define Cocky’ and ‘Haters’ TRC have a ‘f*** you’ attitude that people either love or hate; judging from today there plenty of people loving it!
We Are The Ocean – Jagermeister Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Steph Knight
Yet again a world wind of talent graced the headlining stage of this years Hevy Festival; it was time for one of London’s finest We Are The Ocean. Its clearly impossible for these guys to mess up, they continue to bring so much passion and distinguished talent to their listeners to the point where your jaw aches because its stuck open so wide in shock.
Leading man Dan Brown loves to get involved with the crowd and proves this fact my leaping over the barriers to scream in the faces of the people who love him. He stands silhouetted in the sunshine to hundreds as he urges them to sing with him those special lyrics to heart felt track ‘Confessions’. He then gets crowd surfed back to the stage and we can quite honestly say this was breath taking to watch.
They close with ‘Waiting Room’ and touched the hearts of everyone around them. If these guys are not filling stadiums within the next few years, British music is not respected and supported as much as it should be. This five piece are a treasure that the fans watching today adored.
(Updated: 07/08/11 – 20.20pm)
Stick To Your Guns – Etnies & Front Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Jasmine Sevette
The air was thick with dirt as Californian handcore band Stick to Your Guns jumped on stage. The crowd flipped and turned mental as they slammed into the first track of the night ‘What Goes Around’. The song really shows what the band are about; meaningful lyrics that people can relate to and utterly heavy music. A lot of hardcore bands of the day tend to blend together but STYG still stand out with their own distinctive sound within the scene and the massive crowd turn out supported this.
Throughout the whole set, not one person was standing still. Fists were pumping as mosh pits erupted. The amazingly heavy riffs and breakdowns set the perfect scene for Hevy. Vocalist Jesse Barnett has the perfect voice for this style of music; it’s raw yet has a consistency that flows in the music. ‘Enough is Enough‘ has to be the stand out track of the night, it’s one of their most well known songs and mixes heavy guitars and bass with more melodic traits of singing. Every voice in the room was screaming the lyrics back to the stage. It was a truly spectacular performance.
MakethisRelate – Redbull Bedroom Jam Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Jasmine Sevette
The 3 piece from Glasgow took hold on the Redbull Jam stage moments before legends Funeral for a Friend took to the main next door. It was a perfect slot as people gathered and their music was perfect for leading towards it. Their music was melodic enough to sing a long to but had moments of heaviness to please the hardcore kids watching. Powerful breaks in the songs built up the momentum for an immense chorus.
Despite a lack of people actually in front the their stage, the hordes of crowds waiting next to it were definitely complimented by a great backing track.
Ceremony – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
There have been some crazy moments over the Hevy festival weekend, but Ceremony take the crazy crown by a mile. As frontman Ross Farrar comes on with his denim shorts up round his nipples and begins swaying wildly there’s a thought that perhaps this is some strange comedy set but things rapidly spiral out of control. Farrar gets stuck straight into the crowd who are going absolutely nuts and bodies fly from unfeasible heights.
As the second song kicks in Farrar clambers up the scaffold on the side of the stage onto the top of the lighting rig only a meter wide, security and the stage manager begin to look increasingly concerned. As he comes back down to Earth a fight erupts between him and some over zealous security. Road crew come running across the stage and all hell is breaking loose, but the band keep playing and Farrar is back on the stage again cranking out their old school flavoured hardcore.
The rest of the set has the feeling of an unexploded bomb, it’s dangerous, unhinged and let’s be honest, highly exciting! No other fists are thrown, but the raw energy doesn’t subside for a moment, if you were security here it was a thirty minute warzone, if you were a kid in the front row it was possibly the best show you saw all weekend!
Your Demise – Front & Etnies Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
It’s a stacked bill on the Sunday evening with huge bands playing every one of the stages, but Your Demise have no problems competing with names like Funeral For A Friend and the like. There’s barely room to move as Ed Mcrae and the boys come bounding onto stage. The mental energy of the crowd is matched by the band as Ed stage dives straight into the crowd while the rest of the guys bounce around like they’re wired up to the mains. Unleashing all the favourites from their massive album ‘The Kids We Used To Be’, it’s clear that Your Demise have kicked down the door of the underground and are ready for big things; stand clear!
Funeral For A Friend – Jagermeister Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Jasmine Sevette
One of the UK’s most influential rock bands Funeral for a Friend took one of the top spots an this years Hevy. With their music being a lot mellower than the typical Hevy artist, HTF were a little cautious about how the crowd would take it, but hell yeah did they prove us wrong! The people flooded in their masses to watch Matt Davies and his crew play all the classic tunes everyone remembered from growing up.
Unforgettable tracks such as ‘Juneau’ spread through the crowd like water. Hundreds of hands raised in the air as the roar of voices flew out with the chanting lyrics. The Welsh band didn’t really need much help getting the crowd psyched as the songs sent everyone giddy. A range of old and new tracks were played, ready to please the air of all fans. Other big hits like ‘Streetcar’ send the crowd wild whilst crowd surfers maneuvered their way though the waves of hands to reach their idols.
The set was spot on and hit all the right notes. FFAF are definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seem them for sure!
Autumn In Disguise – Redbull Bedroom Jam Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Steph Knight
It was criminal that their was not enough people at this festival willing to open their minds to some good new music; unfortunately Scottish wonders Autumn In Disguise were at the top of the bill. It was such a shame that they did not have many watching, seeing they were headlining the Redbull Jam stage you would have predicted otherwise, surely?
Most of the people stood only metres away from them were clearly enjoying their set and nodding along to the sound these guys were producing. HTF however were stood at the front head banging and fist pumping along to their thirty minute invasion, we loved it!
They warmed us up nicely for the headlining act of the Sunday at this years Hevy Festival and wish these guys the best of luck in turning more head in the near future.
The Bronx – Rocksound & Macbeth Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Andrew Ford
Punk rock and hard living rock’n’roll collide when LA legends The Bronx. As they take to the stage, excitement levels are at breaking point and the crowd promptly go mental at the first note. Kids front flip from the tent poles and the stage divers emerge everywhere as all The Bronx classics like ‘Heart Attack American’ & ‘White Tar’ flow out of the speakers.
Vocalist Matt Caughthran works the front row with ease and takes multiple trips into the middle of the tent riding high on the shoulders of the audience. The Bronx have been at this for years and are masters of creating mayhem, yet it never seems forced or contrived, it’s just goodtime carnage at it’s best; the perfect end to a wild weekend for many.
Four Year Strong – Jagermeister Stage – 07/08/11 – Reviewer: Steph Knight
If you had not currently lost your shit to at least one band this weekend then this was the time to now do so. It was a toss up between American hardcore punk rockers The Bronx over on the Rocksound and Macbeth stage, or Massachusett legends Four Year Strong. Half of the HTF crew chose to lose their minds to Four Year Strong who played an hour long set full of classic pop punk beauts.
Top of the pile for us was ‘Catastrophe’; fans and on-lookers went completely insane and threw themselves about within the circle pit throughout the track. Four Year Strong‘s material is so addictable and the lyrics are so catchy it is impossible not to know at least one number from their entire set list.
They were a perfect end to one of the smallest and compact festivals HTF have ever attended. We had so much fun over the three days and will definitely be in attendance next year!
Photographer: Andrew Ford