Finishing off the festival season with a bang, the Hit The Floor team headed down to this year’s Butserfest in Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Hampshire. Known for its strong line-up and overly energetic atmosphere the day didn’t disappoint, here’s what we thought about the bands who played…
13:32 – Main Stage – Reviewer: Freya Cochrane
Opening up the main stage of any festival is no easy feat, but fresh faced 13:32 rise to the challenge. The local lads are well received as they attempt to warm up the freezing cold crowd. Taking clear inspiration from Avenged Sevenfold, the metal three piece impress with their wailing guitar solos and thrash sound. Of course, it’s difficult to be an unknown band at a festival, but 13:32 don’t let that deter them and give it a great stab. 7/10
The Bottom Line – Main Stage – Reviewer: Emma Matthews
Despite being faced with the daunting task of opening up the festival, South coast natives The Bottom Line managed to pull a crowd for their somewhat energetic and memorable set. In Blink-182 style, the band’s performance made sure festival goers were on the tip of their toes with a medley of massive pop punk anthems.
Throughout the offering, vocalists Callum Amies and Max Ellis encouraged fans to stay high spirits and forget about the dreary weather by treating them to singing to shout-out-loud choruses and joint harmonies. With their set making it is clear that The Bottom Line are destined for great things, we couldn’t imagine a better band to open up this year’s Butserfest. 7/10
We Start Partys – Main Stage – Reviewer: Emma Matthews
Hailing from the busting streets of Bristol, We Start Partys have slowly but surely developed a dedicated fan base. The trio, who are no strangers to the festival having played there for the past three years, performed an array of catchy pop songs which soon had the crowd dancing.
In crowd pleasers such as ‘Down Like That’ Ben Hawthorne’s boisterous vocals gave the track an upbeat nature, causing fans to dance along with powerful beats provided by drummer Matt Jenkinson. Other classics included the band’s latest single, ‘Superstar’ where we heard bassist David Sully work with Hawthorne to create an instrumental blend of dynamic riffs that were the driving force behind the energetic track. 8/10
Aurora – Glory or Death Stage – Reviewer: Freya Cochrane
Wherever they go, Aurora definitely make themselves known! The Brummie quintet blows away the crowd with their punchy and aggressive sound that’s been wonderfully honed since their formation just over a year and a half ago. Throwing herself all over the tent, pint-sized frontwoman Jessica Calvesbert’s vocals are unfaltering and her presence is unmistakable. She leads the group in a sterling performance that is consistently high octane and definitely brightens our spirits. 8/10
Subsource – Main Stage – Reviewer: Freya Cochrane
Following the bright poppy nature of We Start Partys, Subsource bring their brutal blend of heavy metal and dubstep to the southern crowd. The drizzly weather doesn’t put a downer on their performance, as both the group and their hefty crowd give it their all with barely any time spare to breathe. Oozing with power and originality, Subsource brings something a bit different to the day’s proceedings that certainly goes down a treat. It really is a shame that these guys weren’t higher on the bill, as we just couldn’t get enough of their hybrid sound and dynamic set! 9/10
Hildamay – Glory or Death Stage – Reviewer: Freya Cochrane
Back in the Glory or Death tent, things just keep getting better. Hildamay are next to grab the attention and hearts of the audience and boy do they! Filled with angst and energy, they deliver and melody-driven set that has us singing along from the back of the tent in no time. With their set overlapping with the mighty Arcane Roots, it was inevitable that they were going to have a hard time pulling a massive crowd, but they give it a great go and certainly left us very impressed. 7/10
Arcane Roots – Main Stage – Reviewer: Freya Cochrane
Arcane Roots have had an insane summer supporting Muse in Europe and also appearing at pretty much every festival under the sun, but that hasn’t tired them out! Blasting onstage with their beautifully complex sound, it’s clear that Butser hill is very pleased to see them. Hard to pin to one genre, the trio play through a lot of recent release Blood and Chemistry and in doing so just simply blow us and the rest of the crowd away. For us, these guys are one of THE bands of the summer and their all-too-brief set is a justification of that! 9/10
Natives – Main Stage – Reviewer: Emma Matthews
Gripping the crowd, hometown heroes Natives did nothing but impress us at this year’s Butserfest. Performing an array of catchy, upbeat anthems, the band’s lively nature was just what the festival needed when came to keeping fans on the tips of their toes.
Having seen the band play before, the four-piece’s stage presence never seems to go unnoticed with vocalist Jim Thomas encouraging the crowd to dance during summer classics like ‘This Island’. The vibrant feel continued throughout their set with festival goers keen to clap during their latest single ‘Stand For Something’.
Also playing new material, the four-piece treated fans to brand new tracks for their debut album. Sure to be a hit we can’t wait to hear more from the four piece and expect big things from their upcoming release. 8/10
Fearless Vampire Killers – Main Stage – Reviewer: Freya Cochrane
We here at HTF HQ have been backing the Fearless Vampire Killers guys for quite some time now and here on Butser hill they remind us again why we love them! With their signature steam-punk image, they storm on the stage and unleash the madness from the off. We’ve always loved the band’s theatrical and dramatic style, which as ever is out in full force tonight. Sharing lead vocal duties, Laurence Beveridge and Kier Kemp both give it large and bounce off each other perfectly, whilst their chemistry with remaining members Drew Woolnough, Cyrus Barrone and Luke Illingworth is palpable throughout. Leading their dedicated fans in plenty a sing-along, we’re treated to a superb set of our favourite singles and then some. 8/10
Mallory Knox – Main Stage – Reviewer: Freya Cochrane
Having appeared at 2012’s Butserfest, Mallory Knox have had a whirlwind year which has seen them release their critically acclaimed debut album and pretty much live on the road. Their hard work also sees them jump from half way down the bill to main support at the southern event! This is a band that always delivers, and we’re pleased to say that that hasn’t changed for this September show, at which they power through a huge chunk of Signals, as well as some older stuff as a treat to their loyal fan base. Singer Mikey Chapman’s voice remains emotive and powerful, and as always sounds identical to the polished studio versions of their distinct and driven rock anthems. The size of the crowd truly is a testament to these guys’ talent and unmistakable presence and we simply can’t wait to see what the rest of the year and beyond holds for them. 9/10
Bleed From Within – Glory or Death Stage – Reviewer: Freya Cochrane
With the skies dark and air bitterly cold, the Glory or Death Stage is kept toasty and warm by Glaswegian noisemakers Bleed From Within. Since the release of their latest album Uprising earlier this year, the band has been going non-stop and has been on a steep ascent. It looks as though all their hard work has paid off so far, as from even just the first notes the tent grows in density. Keeping the drama high, the Scotsmen tear through a tonne of material during their high-octane set that has us on our toes throughout.
Frontman Scott Kennedy takes excellent command of the growing crowd, who obey his every word without fail. With no time to rest, the insane crowd shows no signs of slowing down and keep up to speed with the quintet as they blast through Uprising with every ounce of passion and drive that went into recording it in the first place. If anyone left the tent after that tent unconvinced that these guys are one of Scotland’s greatest exports we’d be extremely shocked! 9/10
We Are The Ocean – Main Stage – Reviewer: Emma Matthews
Having played numerous festivals this summer, as well as opened up for US rockers Jimmy Eat World, We Are The Ocean caused ripples in the rugged pool of rock and roll at this year’s Butserfest.
Playing a variety of classics from their latest release Maybe Today Maybe Tomorrow, the crowd relished the opportunity to dance and sing along, yelling out the words to catchy anthems like ‘Bleed’ and ‘Machines’.
In Hit The Floor favourite ‘Young Heart’, Liam Cromby’s powerful vocals only added to the brutally honest tale highlighting the ups and downs in life. Unreserved lyrics left fans wanting more as they embraced animated blend of riffs created by guitarist Alfie Scully and bassist Jack Spence.
Getting bigger and bigger, the four-piece’s Butserfest set only emphasised just how far We Are The Ocean have come in recent years and with new material on the horizon there really is nothing stopping them. 9.5/10