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Live Review: Hit The Deck Festival, Nottingham – 21/04/2013

Festival time of the year is upon us and this time it’s Hit The Deck Festival. We headed along to Nottingham to catch as many bands as we could. Check out what we thought of the day here.

2013 marks the year of expansion for Hit The Deck Festival as the traditional day turns into 2. Nottingham was the obvious choice to go to though, tried and tested over the years and all. Covering seven stages across four different venues there’s plenty of music to see and definitely not enough time to see it all. HTF went along to catch as many bands as we could across the day: so check out what we thought of the bands right here.

Mallory Knox – Main Hall – Words: Rhian Westbury

Despite it still being light outside and Mallory Knox being one of the first bands on of the day the main room almost hit capacity. The room seemed the busiest it got all night (barring maybe just Don Broco) something this band truly deserve. A busy year of touring and a quite simply amazing debut album meant their upgrade from last years Basement show propels them in with the big guns. There are no surprises with today’s set as Mikey Chapman powers through tracks from ‘Signal’s including ‘Beggars’ and ‘Death Rattle’ whilst finishing on an explosive version of ‘Lighthouse’. Mallory Knox have a massive future ahead of them and if their recent signing to Sony is anything to go by then it will happen sooner rather than later. 9/10

Natives – The Rescue Rooms – Words: Rhian Westbury

Natives seem to be the go to band at the moment with their name being thrown around everywhere: hopefully 2013 will be their year! The band push through their bouncy pop-punk set with ease, like playing festivals is what they do every single day. The room is sadly still pretty empty as the band play out but there are still a handful of screaming girls jumping up and down. Hopefully 2013 is the year Natives get what they deserve. 7/10

Max Raptor – Rock City Basement – Words: Rhian Westbury

It’s been a while since Max Raptor released their mini-album ‘Portraits’ but 2013 is the year that their debut full- length album will hit our ears. The Burton based band show off their punk rock fuelled music treating fans to newer tracks including ‘Breakers’. Wil Ray does his best to keep the crowd going despite the early hour and by the end of their set it’s possible both could have quite happily carried on. The punchy vocals and pulsing beats show off what’s in store for the future of the band. 7/10

Hand Of Mercy- Stealth- Words: Amber Carnegie

To say we were crammed around an indoor stage Hand Of Mercy brought back the feeling of being at an outdoor festival, with the crowd closing around the stage the band ripped the room apart from the second they picked up their instruments. Akin to a young Parkway Drive and Bury Your Dead frontman Scott’s growling shouts are thrown at the crowd. Hand Of Mercy definitely deserve to be here as the rile the crowd and leave them ready for more. 7/10

Empress – The Forum – Words: Rhian Westbury

With the impending tour with Bring Me The Horizon we were expecting high things from Empress, but sadly some sound issues at the beginning of their set majorly let the band down. The sound causes almost all of Ollie Loring’s vocals to be lost within the sound of instruments and it takes quite a while before it all kicks back in. By this point the band seem deflated that the little bit of crowd they did have seem uninterested now. It’s such a shame as they’ve been tipped for big things and hopefully next time their set will show off what they’re about. In better circumstances we’re sure Empress would have been set to impress. 6/10

Evarose – Rock City Basement – Words: Rhian Westbury

Banbury based all female band Evarose are back to Hit The Deck after opening the festival in 2011. After some great support shows to Straight Lines and Blitz Kids there is a lot of curiosity around the band and rightfully so. The girls bound through a set that got a lot of heads bobbing and bodies moving through tracks as ‘Change’ and ‘There’s No Such Thing As Something For Nothing’. Everything about these girls screams talent. The polished instrumentals and beautiful vocals from Dannika show off why girls can do it just as well as guys! 8/10

This or the Apocalypse- Stealth- Words: Amber Carnegie

Bringing a damn good time to the Hard Times Clothing stage This or The Apocalypse pull together their catchy lyrics and riffs with the crowd chanting back. The band keep up the momentum of the room with deep screaming vocals almost pulling the gathering mass into a haze of their brand of melodic hardcore. At points it felt that This or The Apocalypse were constricted by the small stage, but this added an intimate feel to their set, allowing no one present to be a bystander.  8/10

attack attack us

Attack Attack! (US) – Main Hall – Words: Rhian Westbury

Attack Attack! have been splitting opinions across the music industry for as long as they’ve been a band and with so many lead vocalist changes it’s hard to keep up. Phil Druyor is the new main with the microphone but in between their set at Hit The Deck and now the band have decided to call it a day and begin new projects: start afresh as a new band. The screaming is deep and pulsating but sadly the cleaner vocals just don’t seem to have gelled perfectly today. Older tracks like ‘The Peoples Elbow’ certainly provoke some crowd participation. But keep your eyes open for future ventures from these guys. 6/10

Devil Sold His Soul – The Forum – Words: Amber Carnegie

Devil Sold His Soul have this intense ability to overwhelm you, drawing you in melodiously and throwing it back with their eclectic set. DSHS’s diversity means no track sounds the same, you are jerked from lulling arrangements to chaotic scenes with the more recent tracks riling up the crowd. The seamless set of beautiful tracks drew to a close with a thanks and unspoken admiration as Nottingham bared witness to their last taste of this line-up. 9/10

Summerlin – Rock City Basement – Words: Rhian Westbury

Before arriving at Hit The Deck we had no idea this was to be Summerlin’s last ever show but as Drew Lawson sings “every story has it’s ending” on ‘Let Go’ it’s clear it’s what the band want. For their last set the band throw everything in and come out having performed one of the best sets of their careers. The fast-paced pop-punk definitely sends Summerlin out on a high note. 9/10

We Are The Ocean – Main Hall – Words: Rhian Westbury

With every single time we see We Are The Ocean they just go from strength to strength. There seems no stopping the Essex four piece now as they blast through a set mainly of tracks from ‘Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow’ including ‘Young Heart’ and ‘The Road’. Liam Cromby’s voice encompasses the entire venue with every note he sings. The re-inventing of ‘Go Now and Live’ shows how far the band have come in the last year. 8/10

Feed The Rhino – The Forum – Words: Rhian Westbury

Feed The Rhino are known for their blistering live performances and tonight is no exception. Vocalist Lee Tobin can’t keep still (or keep his shirt on!) as he bounds around the stage screaming away to the crowd (sometime’s in their faces at the barrier). They’re constant crowd interaction for movement and pits keeps everyone on their toes as the band crush through tracks such as ‘The Burning Sons’ and generally create a bit of chaos in the packed venue. 9/10

Landscapes – Stealth – Words: Amber Carnegie

As one of the hardest working bands around at the moment Landscapes really prove that it is all worth it with when you are forced to become a part of their set, it is impossible to stand in the crowd and not feel drawn in. This more melodic side of hardcore develops into a connection through Landscapes live performance that allows the band to open up to a more diverse audience and bare themselves on stage. The venue was rammed with people rearing their heads around the corner entrance in hope of seeing what had everyone else so stuck with reverence. Not a fan of hardcore? Landscapes are here to change your mind. 8/10

stick to your guns

Stick To Your Guns- The Forum- Words: Amber Carnegie

‘Stick To Your Guns’ chanted through The Forum as the room fills and never stops rippling. Frontman Jesse has the crowd eating out of his hands but his preaching is not for all tastes, some revel in his words whereas you can read the faces of those who have already heard enough. Regardless, the atmosphere sparks and people move at STYG’s command, they leave the crowd fulfilled and pumped for the next set.  7/10

Bleed From Within – The Forum – Words: Amber Carnegie

Before the Glaswegians even took to the stage the crowd were chanting their name and it is all worth it. They grace the stage and already chests are shaking and people are swaying, the crowd are here to give Bleed From Within everything they’ve got. The band tears The Forum apart with vocalist Scott Kennedy throwing himself into the sweating crowd. The band leaves the heaving venue gagging as the crowd chanted ‘Bleed From Within’ in hope of an encore, possibly one of the best sets of the day.  9/10

We Are The In Crowd – Man Hall – Words: Rhian Westbury

After a successful year for female fronted bands We Are The In Crowd are bumped up the line up after last year. The New York rockers bring a bit of party to the crowd after they are left slightly deflated after Never Shout Never right before. Tay Jardine and Jordan Eckes are both at full volume as the bounce their way through a set including ‘Never Be What You Want’ and ‘Both Sides Of The Story’. The mixture of older songs alongside some newer tracks is the perfect mix for old and new fans alike. 8/10

Bleeding Through – The Forum – Words: Amber Carnegie

The room is ready, rammed and screaming at any movement on stage, they are all on edge for Bleeding Through’s last UK appearance. And as the band storm the stage the room is rife with lyrics being thrown back at the Bleeding Through from start to finish. After over a decade Marta is still windmilling as Derek hulks over the drum kit and the band give their most unforgettable UK performance. Yet as the impending end of the set drew close it was apparent what an emotional set this was for both the band and the crowd. Brandon proves that short and sweet is definitely the way to leave them wanting more speaking humbly, gratefully and simply and the band left the stage desperate for an epic encore. A set to remember and a reprise that will go down in history, Bleeding Through have certainly earned their place in the rock history books. 9/10

Don Broco – Main Hall – Words: Rhian Westbury

This may be the busiest Rock City has been for a Hit The Deck headline act we suspect but it’s true testament to how far the Bedford lads have come in the last year. From the moment the band bound on stage to the beats of ‘Priorities’ to the closing notes of ‘Fancy Dress’ the band blow everyone away. Rob’s onstage banter is sky high as he finds himself sporting a pair of bright blue knickers for a song, alongside some hefty crowd movement and the impressive push up pyramid (yes you did hear right!). Massive album tracks such as ‘Yeah Man’ and ‘Actors’ alongside older tracks such as ‘Dreamboy’ and ‘Beautiful Morning’ culminate in a set people will be talking about for a long time. Tonight wraps up a monumental moment in Broco history. 10/10

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