HTF love to explore the country for lovely little festivals and that is just what Butserfest in Petersfield is, surrounded by beautiful views and fantastic sunshine we were thrilled to be in attendance this year. With an overly impressive line up full of the best up and coming rock talent that the UK has to offer we knew this day was set to be top notch! We did however feel slightly old on site, seeing the festival boasts a ‘alcohol and drugs free’ policy the age range of the crowd was obviously very young. Nevertheless we grabbed our festival hats, purchased the best slush puppies on site and had one hell of a day!
Check out our reviews of some of the bands we caught over the day here below, thanks to Butserfest for the official photos that we got from their Facebook page!
Contraband – Main Stage – Reviewer: Amy Jones
Hailing from a small, sleepy town in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside, you could have been well forgiven for not knowing who Contraband were before their main stage debut. Having won the coveted Live and Unsigned award only a few short months ago with the prize of a slot at this here, lovely festival, Contraband made their mark on the audience with an impressive show.
With a setlist that consisted mainly of the band’s own blend of high energy rock, it was the band’s final track – a cover of Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing In The Name Of’ – that really got the audience’s attention. As a band who are more used to playing local gigs and local festivals, this would certainly have been a real change of pace for the Contraband guys… and they nailed it. It seems unlikely that this will be the last you hear of these guys. Watch this space.
Chick Rides Artist – Second Stage – Reviewer: Amy Jones
Opening up a festival is a daunting task for any band, you are the first point of call and can essentially set the tone for the rest of the day. For the Small Town Records stage, this responsibility was handed to competition winners Chick Rides Artist. The Devonshire act had a tough job on their hands, but from the very first track, it was clear that these guys were more than up for the task!
The band tore through their set which contained each of the tracks from their recently released free-to-download EP ‘Live. Strut. Die.’ while captivating audience with their incredible stage presence and the notable charisma of duo frontmen Luca Berardino and Mark Lloyd. With the performance handled like pro’s it is safe to say that this certainly won’t be the last we hear of these guys.
Floods – Second Stage – Reviewer: Amy Jones
Watching a Floods set is quite an experience to say the least. It could never be said that these guys don’t believe in crowd involvement, to the point that vocalist James Powers chooses to perform almost 99% of the set in and amongst the audience, closely followed at the end by the band’s newest member.
Floods really are a charismatic band, clearly giving their all to every song and ensuring that even if you came to the festival not knowing who Floods were, this certainly wasn’t going to be the case when you left!
Mallory Knox – Main Stage – Reviewer: Amy Jones
This year has seen the formidable Mallory Knox go from strength to strength so it is no surprise that their set on the already impressive main stage was one that has no doubt really stick in minds of everyone who witnessed it.
From new, upcoming track ‘Wake Up’ to current single ‘Death Rattle’, each and every song in their set was a stand out one. Mallory Knox had the crowd in the palm of their hands from the very first note to the very last and, damn, was everyone involved loving it!
Heart In Hand – Second Stage – Reviewer: Steph Knight
Being known for their on stage craziness it was inevitable that Heart in Hand were set to be one of the highlights on the second stage at this years Butserfest. By getting a massive crowd of youngsters to start a circle pit that involves them running outside the tent is clearly going to get them noticed. They smashed their set today and got a great crowd interaction throughout their fist to face set list.
Canterbury – Main Stage – Reviewer: Emma Matthews
Just as we thought this year’s Butserfest couldn’t get any better, with the sun shining and lively crowd throughout the day, Canterbury then hit the stage! This foursome from Surrey managed to wow Butserfest with their exhilarating performance. Playing tracks from both their debut album ‘Thank You’ and new album ‘Heavy In The Day’ the boys got the crowd warmed up and ready to dance.
Butserfest may be small in comparison to other festivals but it sure didn’t stop kids from belting out the lyrics to ‘Friends, We’re More Like A Gang?‘, us included! With eager fans more than willing to help vocalist Mike Sparks out, he continues to impress us with his distinct and dynamic voice. He was able to create the perfect blend of rough and smooth tones which was clearly visible in crowd favourite ‘Peace & Quiet’.
As for their new album material, tracks like ‘Gloria’ and ‘Saviour’ went down a treat with the crowd. These tracks flaunted just how talented the Canterbury boys are with their soaring melodies and fabulous vocal harmonies. Today they provided the festival with some much needed adrenaline! Their stage presence didn’t go un-noticed either; their energetic set was something to be proud of.
Don Broco – Main Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
Don Broco are undoubtedly one of the UK’s best live acts, and today they just reinforce that fact. The sunshine brings out the best in their incredibly energetic performance and fantastically upbeat songs, and frontman Rob Damiani is on top form (as always). Opening with the massive ‘Priorities’ gets the crowd well and truly pumped up, and there are kids going absolutely wild wherever you turn. Along with the standard circle pits, there are some cracking press ups in the crowd for ‘Thug Workout’, not to mention the mass singalongs for ‘Beautiful Morning’, ‘Dreamboy’ and ‘Actors’. The fact is that Don Broco get better every single time they play. Watch out, because they are going to be huge.
Futures – Main Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
Futures are yet another of the UK’s best bands to grace Butserfest’s main stage today, and they are absolutely flawless. They don’t get the crowd they deserve, but they still have a good turn out of eager fans ready to hear their delightful songs. Songs off the ‘The Karma Album’ are still fairly new, so older hits like ‘Sal Paradise’ and ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf‘ are the ones that go down the best. They prompt mass singalongs, and if their songs don’t make you feel happy out in the sunshine, then it’s safe to say you’re probably heartless.
Yashin – Main Stage – Reviewer: Emma Matthews
Scottish rockers, Yashin, were certainly a crowd favourite at year’s Butserfest. With kids jumping and moshing their hearts out Yashin gave the whole of the festival a burst of energy providing us with an impressive and extremely memorable performance.
Vocalists Harry Radford and Kevin Miles compliment each other brilliantly. The two mix a wide range of distinct tones and raw screams to create a brilliant sound which everyone loved. While performing ‘Runaway Train’, a track from their latest album ‘We Created A Monster’, Yashin were able to show off their fast paced stage dynamics and crowd interaction.
Both vocalists encouraged the crowed to go mental; Kevin pulled himself over the barrier and was greeted with eager kids who welcomed him with open arms, whereas Harry frequently interacted with the crowd causing them to pump their fist and wave lighters.
Throughout their set today we were refreshed at how the band have developed a dedicated ‘family like’ fan base. Everyone watching them today clearly shared a lot of love for the band and the music they create.
Feed The Rhino – Second Stage – Reviewer: Steph Knight
Yet again these guys never cease to amazing us. With such a young crowd in front of them today we were a bit dubious of how they would react to how intense Feed The Rhino are live. They completely demolished any sense of boredom during the hour long wait for them to come on stage, leaving the crowd almost wind swept as they pounded out their flawless set list. Highlighting tracks were the obvious for us today, their new album ‘The Burning Sons’ literally is one of the albums of the year for us. Therefore, inevitably new album title track ‘The Burning Sons’ was amongst the greats within the set list, with ‘Left For Ruins’ nipping at its heels closely behind.
As leading man Lee Tobin quite literally stands in the crowd he punches the nail directly on the head, proving how this band will forever be a driving force for live rock music wherever they play.
Lower Than Atlantis – Main Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
Lower Than Atlantis have been placed high up the bill on today’s line up at Butserfest, and it’s not surprising when you see their performance. With their new album due out a couple weeks from their set today, they undoubtedly have big things ahead of them. They possess a certain kind of stage presence that makes them stand apart from lesser bands, and nights like tonight prove just why they’re the ones getting played on daytime radio.
Frontman Mike Duce is on form and his crowd banter goes down an absolute storm. The band sound incredibly tight, and hits like ‘Far Q’, ‘If The World Was To End’ and newest single ‘Love Someone Else’ are flawless. Give ’em a year or so and they’ll be the ones headlining. Definitely deserved.
Kids In Glass Houses – Main Stage – Reviewer: Steph Knight
As we stood in the dark in the freezing cold, the stage lights warmed the air and it was time for us to enjoy this years headlining act at this years Butserfest. It did not take long for us to get dancing as we welcomed the colourful classics in Kids In Glass Houses set list today. Arguably this was one of the only times the entire crowd sang along with the band today, but to be honest that is just part and parcel of a Kids In Glass Houses performance. If you like great rock music you are going to know at least 1 KIGH tune!
They were the icing on the cake for us today as they performed all their stand out tracks from their discography of cracking hits. First album delights are always the biggest crowd pleasers, with ‘Give Me What I Want’, ‘Easy Tiger’, ‘Fisticuffs’ and ‘Saturday’ all going down a treat! These tracks own ultimate crowd dancing from beginning to end, to the point of not actually caring what you look like as you jump around like a complete lunatic!
To be perfectly honest we could name every track in their whole set list, they all warrant a mention! Even their new track that they whacked in their today for a little tester; it sounds punchy and catchy as ever which is beyond exciting! What will the next page in the KIGH book be like? We think 2013 will tell us, bring it on!