Radstock is a brand spanking new festival to hail from Liverpool. Taking place in the O2 Academy there are three stages packed into this venue hosting some of the biggest talents and upcoming stars of the rock world. For it’s first year it has done incredibly well both with it’s line up and with it’s organization. The whole day flowed nicely and it was super easy to get from stage to stage. Some of the bigger festivals may want to take note from Radstock. HTF bring you a detailed guide to why the first festival of the year rocked!
Gnarwolves – Big Deal Clothing Stage
Gnarwolves have been getting a lot of publicity and it’s time we found out why! Due to having to travel all the way back to London to support Dead Swans later that night it’s a shame they had to be on so early when the crowd was minimal. Despite this their set provides the perfect warm up for the day as they smash their way through a fast paced punk rock set. The Big Deal Clothing Stage is essentially on a balcony above the crowd and played nigh on from the ceiling which is a shame for the bands playing it. They seem so far away that it’s hard to get the crowd involved and moving but Gnarwolves make a great attempt.
Natives – Monster Stage
Despite no major releases it’s lovely to see a band with such a following as Natives who now seem to be the go to band for opening festival slots. The New Forest based pop-punks open with ‘Big Plans’ and carry on their clean cut set to an eagerly waiting crowd. They are met with high pitched screams when they do the (what now seems standard) Polaroid picture give away prompting movement and screaming to clinch the money can’t buy photo. A great start to the main stage.
Drive By Night – Big Deal Clothing Stage
It isn’t until over half way through the set that the audience learn that this is Drive By Night’s first ever show as this band. Not a fact that you’d be able to tell, or even believe. The band aren’t put off by the small smattering of applause as they play their moderate rock to the world for the first time. Vocalist Jake Germain has the sort of voice you could listen to forever- rocky with a melodic edge. We’re sure this won’t be the last you hear of this band. Until then head over their page for a free copy of their EP!
Demoralizer – Hard Times Stage
You know those sorts of bands who jut make your insides hurt?! Well Demoralizer are this band. It seems to take them an age to actually start and when they do there is plenty of god damn awful ’hardcore’ dancing- enough to make you want to punch someone. There are quite a few heads bopping and some people singing along but we just don’t seem to get it. Hits such as ‘Checkmate’ and ‘The house always wins’ don’t go down as well as we’d have hoped.
Red Jumpsuit Appartatus – Monster Stage
Red Jumpsuit Appartus seem to be the buzz band of the day so far with the biggest crowd we’ve seen all day. The Florida rockers may not have been on UK shores all that many times but they show why they deserve to be here. Frontman Ronnie Winter doesn’t waste any time bringing out old favourites such as ‘Your Guardian Angel’ as well as premiering some new material. Their melodic rock is just what Liverpool has been waiting for.
Marmozets – Hard Times Stage
Marmozets are another of those bands who seem to be on everyone’s lips. They’re young, they’re fresh and like few other bands have a female screamer. Since last seeing them last year this band have matured and progressed more than we could even have imagined. Becca’s vocals sound exceptional and massively reminiscent of Eva Spence from Rolo Tomasi (a comparison we’re sure they often get!). Their set already features staple tracks like ‘OneManWolfPack’ but tracks from their impending debut album are what excites the crowd. Being the youngest band of the day doesn’t faze them at all but just provides ammunition to prove themselves.
Yashin – Monster Stage
Looking around at the number of Yashin shirts on display it’s clear that they are one of the most anticipated bands of the day. The American fronted Scottish band come out to heavy screams and lots of movement as they go straight into ‘New Year or New York’. Harry Radford is every part the charismatic front man whilst Kevin Miles provides the heavier vocals and together they’re an unstoppable force. Pushing through older tracks like ‘Stand Up’ through to newer tracks like ‘Runaway Train’ but it is when they play a Linkin Park cover that the whole room erupts. A few people may not be bothered by Yashin but everyone loves a Linkin Park track!
Don Broco – Monster Stage
It is impossible to not smile when Bedford lads Don Broco come out onstage. The rise of this band over the past year has been astonishing but not undeserving. They give everything you want from an amazing show. The walk has become a staple opening to their set before bursting into the title track from their debut album ‘Priorities’. It’s the sort of sing-a-long bands can only dream of. The set is exactly the same as many have seen plenty of times before: but why change something that works so well?! The band have had so much practice that their set is flawless whilst ‘Thug Workout’ provides the obvious push up squad entertainment. There are few front men like Rob and few bands like Don Broco.
Blitz Kids – Big Deal Clothing Stage
Blitz Kids have been away for a while, something which is blatently obvious as the band push through their set. There is not a huge amount of interest from the crowd and the pressure just seems too much for the band today. Frontman Joe James is happy to try and get closer to the crowd by jumping over the barrier and balancing unsteadily on the bars plenty of feet above everyone. The new tracks resound around the room and hopefully when the album comes out people will pay a little more attention.
We Are The Ocean – Monster Stage
It seems that the best thing to happen to We Are The Ocean was the departure of Dan. The band have never sounded this good and Liam’s voice has never sounded this powerful before. It’s rare for a band to have a vocalist with such an exceptional voice who channels it in the right way yet We Are The Ocean know exactly what they are doing. Every track played from latest album ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’ sounds anthemic and big. Whilst the re-imaging of older tracks such as ‘Waiting Room’ really get the room going crazy. This band are testament that if you’re good you can move on from losing your front man!
Bleed From Within – Hard Times Stage
Glaswiegan Bleed From Within show exactly what their new album is about by prompting possibly the biggest (and most brutal) pit of the day. With their recent release ‘Uprising’ the band have stepped up a mark and produced some songs which pack all the punches you’d want from metal music. This comes across to a tee in their live set which is heavily charged and Scott Kennedy’s vocals resound around the small room to wrap everyone in.
Straight Lines – Big Deal Clothing Stage
Normally a Straight Lines set isn’t complete without a conga line but due to the stage levels this doesn’t happen today which is slightly disappointing. Nothing Straight Lines do is bad but it all just sounds a little to familiar and a little too much of the same. Their set primarily focuses around their sophomore release ‘Freaks Like Us’. The welsh lads provide a solid effort as closing band for this stage, but they definitely soar in more intimate surroundings.
Bury Tomorrow – Hard Times Stage
Due to technical difficulties the band’s set starts 20 minutes late cutting their set list short so there’s little time for messing about. As the opening riffs of ‘Lionheart’ kicks in anarchy follows in the room- there isn’t a person standing still. As front man Daniel Winter-Bates paces the stage and screams through tracks from ‘Union of Crowns’ it’s clear why this band were asked to headline the stage. Now this may not have been the best Bury Tomorrow set we’ve ever seen but this doesn’t stop it from being blindingly brilliant. A short but sweet close to this stage.
The Blackout – Monster Stage
Even after most of the crowd being on their feet for about ten hours at this point The Blackout still seem to get everyone jumping, screaming and moving. The Welsh rockers have quite the back catalogue of crowd favourites from ‘Higher and Higher’ sampling Sean Smith’s rapping skills through to closer and crowd favourite ‘I’m A Riot’. Sean Smith and Gavin Butler’s contrasting personalities and banter keeps this band’s live set always sounding fresh and is only interrupted by a pre-planned marriage proposal. There is no doubt that The Blackout were a fantastic choice to close the first ever Radstock!
Reviewer: Rhian Westbury