The beginning of August marks the beginning of yet more anarchy as HTF head to Kent in sight of all things Hevy. This is our second year at Port Lympne Wildlife Park and we cannot express to you how much this festival has improved since last year. Arguably this year’s line up is not as tasty as their last but the fun factor is definitely plastered all over it. The organisation backstage and onsite was hands down awesome this year, even if the portaloos did yet again fill our minds with dread. A final moan for sound issues all weekend, sometimes it is hard to just block them out when there are so many of them. We understand there are time slots etc but so many bands set got cut this weekend and that really is just not cool. Never the less, HTF had so much fun and hope this is enough to persuade you all to get your butts to Kent next year! For such a small little festival the bands, staff and security that were there this weekend definitely portrayed themselves to be one of the best.
Read our full review of the bands that played this weekend below, and until next year people! We cannot wait!
FRIDAY 3RD AUGUST
Page 44 – Red Bull Stage – Reviewer: Steph Knight
Despite not having a large crowd in front of them today these boys never fail to deliver. It is a shame that a lot of fans attending the festival this weekend could not stop loving hardcore for five minutes and make some time for this four piece from Birmingham. Leading man Adam Vygus never ceases to amaze us with his on stage comedy between tracks, he definitely knows how to work a crowd. As they played their single for their next music video ‘Answers’, we sang along with them and their catchy beats. They might not have been the ‘Hevyiest’ band on the line up today but they certainly know what they are all about, and we love them! 8/10
Trapped Under Ice – Punktastic Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
Baltimore’s finest Trapped Under Ice are the first band of the weekend to really smash Hevy Fest up, and by god, they do it well. As hardcore bands go, Trapped Under Ice are really up there, showing the other bands how it’s done. Frontman Justice Tripp possesses killer energy and passion that other frontmen would die for, and the whole band are a gigantic ball of energy. Fantastic to watch. 10/10
Deez Nuts – Punktastic Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
Deez Nuts have come all the way from Australia, and from the reaction they get from the crowd, they should be the rightful headliners tonight. Frontman J.J. Peters whips the crowd up into a frenzy and they sound absolutely massive. Hits like ‘I Hustle Everyday’ go down an absolute storm, and there’s no doubt Deez Nuts have smashed Hevy up into shreds. 8/10
Napoleon – Red Bull Stage – Reviewer: Steph Knight
Hailing from Devon, these fresh faced hardcore kids definitely brought a crowd with them today; their punchy sound and impeccable drumming is certainly their trademark outfit. Lead vocalist Josh Baker is no doubt completely mental, his on stage enthusiasm for starters is thrilling to watch. He chucks himself around the stage and into the crowd as he throws his vocal force upon us. There is no doubt that these guys have talent, arguably they sound slightly better on a recorded outlet but that is only a matter of opinion. They smash their music directly in your face and at a festival like Hevy this is certainly going to put them down as one to be remembered; keep your eye on these guys, this is only the beginning for them. 7/10
Lower Than Atlantis – Punktastic Stage – Reviewer: Steph Knight
If Lower Than Atlantis can do one thing that is definitely bring the party. The crowd in front of them is massive and not a single fan stood watching did not know at least one of their tracks they performed to us today. Lower Than Atlantis are famous for being phenomenal live and today was just another walk in the park for them. Top notch sound, vocals and overall wow factor yet again from these boys from Hertfordshire.
Highlighting tracks today were obviously some classics from the amazing ‘World Record’ offering, including ‘Beech Like A Tree’ and ‘Deadliest Catch’, with new track ‘Love Someone Else’ lining our stomach of excitement nicely for their new album ‘Changing Tune’ which drops next month. A good LTA tune always contains ridiculously good guitar parts and massive choruses so they cannot really go wrong today: they are a a perfect formula for a cracking British rock band that the audience watching love every second of. Special mention goes to personal track favourite ‘Another Sad Song’, quite simply a beautiful track on CD and live it is utterly mind blowing. 9/10
Deaf Havana – Rocksound Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
Tonight’s headliners are band of the moment Deaf Havana, who have been steadily rising since the release of their outstanding album ‘Fools And Worthless Liars’. Sadly tonight they are not at their best, but that seems to be down to nerves more than anything else.
Performance-wise, they are as great as ever and their setlist of absolute bangers (see ‘Little White Lies’, ‘The Past Six Years’ etc) is flawless. The one thing that lets Deaf Havana down tonight is their attitude – frontman James Veck-Gilodi clearly thinks they are not heavy enough for Hevy Fest – which leads to several self-pitying remarks and a few insults aimed at the audience for their lack of energy.
Unfortunately, this lack of confidence really backfires on the band. Deaf Havana need to have a little more faith in their own abilities and show a little more positivity, and then they might just be massive. 5/10
SATURDAY 4TH AUGUST
I Divide – Red Bull Stage – Reviewer: Chris Hines
Considering I was on tour with I Divide when they played the festival I’m probably not the best person to be reviewing them but I think I can put that aside for a second to give a fair review. Ill do my best and hope that anything I say the band agrees with. If not I’m in trouble. Here goes nothing…. *Gulp*
I Divide have been pretty much flawless over the festival season with stunning performances at both Download and Slam Dunk but unfortunately disaster struck for the guys which resulted in a set with 3 broken strings, the bass lead coming out and a faulty microphone. In true professional style though they battled on and soon picked up the energy levels again to deliver a worthy set although maybe with slightly bruised egos (except for drummer Dave Mooney who’s ego stayed intact throughout). Needing a good pick up the guys upped their game and we even saw guitarist Josh Wreford scaling the stage rigging in true rockstar style.
It was great to see a large attendance for their set today as these guys have to one of the hardest working bands I know and even with the technically problems they still left a strong impression. Was it their best show? Honestly, no but was by no means a wash out and they managed to recover well from what was just a bit of bad luck. We blame Dave! He’s the only one that didn’t have a technical problem. Coincidence? We think not! 7/10 (10/10 if the bands reading)
Adelaide – Red Bull Stage – Reviewer: Steph Knight
This is the second time we have witnessed the quintet this festival season and they definitely give off something good: they bleed addictive music and we love it. They sound huge today, with so much improvement since the last time we saw them as lead vocalist Sam Storey is on top form, hitting every note straight on the head. He is backed up perfectly with vocals from bassist Josh Leach and drummer Dave Fees; making them undoubtedly a vocal force to be reckoned with.
The standout track amongst their set today is ‘Falling Under’ – so much love for this tune and its obsessive nature. Live music is what this band do best and today they prove that to us and those watching. Take a bath in their music and we promise you will become just as hooked. 8/10
Bury Tomorrow – Punktastic Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
Bury Tomorrow are undoubtedly one of the best bands in the UK right now, and they prove this every time they set foot on a stage. Unfortunately today’s technical problems mean their set is cut by about 10 minutes, and their last song is cut halfway through, but despite all of this, they put on an absolutely stonking show. The set’s highlight is the mighty ‘Lionheart’, which goes down a storm. Bury Tomorrow have an absolute shedload of potential, and the ability to completely enthrall hundreds of people like they do is one that a million bands would kill to possess. 8/10
Feed The Rhino – Punktastic Stage – Reviewer: Steph Knight
If you attended Hevy Festival and missed these guys we demand that you punch yourself in the face right now. Feed The Rhino are quite simply on a completely different level: their live onslaught is always jaw dropping and one never to be forgotten so why would you want to miss it? With their new album ‘The Burning Sons’ dropping just a few weeks prior to the festival, everyone attending today seemed to be just as stoked as us to see these tracks live in action.
Lee Tobin is perhaps one of our personal favourite frontmen, his onstage persona is by far something special to witness and he has made himself famous for losing his shit directly in front of you. He hypes you up so much while watching him it is impossible to stand still and just watch. The mosh pits are brutal and the guitar riffs coming from the speakers are insane to listen to! ‘Left For Ruins’ is our favourite track today and to be perfectly honest we think their set was not long enough. We could definitely do with another good half hour of mental but that is just what happens when you see this band, no set time is ever long enough. 10/10
Devil Sold His Soul – Punkastic Stage – Reviewer: Steph Knight
If there were a band that everyone was psyched for this weekend it was definitely Devil Sold His Soul. With a new album out next month, the anticipation of seeing a few of these new tracks live was almost too much. As they exploded in front of us performing their smash single ‘No Remorse, No Regrets’ it was obvious they have been missed. ‘A New Legacy’ is definitely a favourite for us today as leading screamer Ed Gibbs shocks everyone with his sick live vocal talent.
The impression we get today is how emotive these guys are to listen to and as they were about to close their set a wave of anger shot through us. Their sound was cut, which to be honest was downright heartbreaking after waiting so long to see their new material live in action. The crowd obviously erupted in fury, filling the tent full of such a negative roar. They were one of the bands of the weekend for us and to have it ruined by such a minor blip was highly irritating. Merit to the band for taking it on the chin though and just thanking the audience and walking off with no qualms. Top notch though guys, we wait with open arms for your new album. 9/10
This Is Hell – Punktastic Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
This Is Hell seem to have been constantly touring for quite some time now, and their hard work has paid off: today’s performance is something else. They prove that they can command both huge stages and tiny little venues, which is something not many bands can pull off. Frontman Travis Reilly absolutely smashes it, along with the rest of the band. Make sure you check them out while they’re over here, because they will blow you away. 8/10
Brutality Will Prevail – Red Bull Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
South Wales’ finest Brutality Will Prevail headline the Red Bull Stage tonight, and it is quite simply spectacular. BWP are heading for the big time, and their live show is exactly why. If you want to see a band at the top of their game, ripping up every single stage they set their sights on, then you need to watch Brutality Will Prevail. Representing for Purgatory Records and South Wales, they are a credit to both. Smashing out all the hits, plus their new single ‘The Path’ (off forthcoming album ‘Scatter The Ashes’), the crowd goes wild. Mosh pits break out in every crevice of the overflowing Red Bull tent and it’s safe to say this is the most mental Hevy goes for any band this weekend. If you fear for your life at a BWP show, then they’re definitely doing it right. 10/10
Glassjaw – Rocksound Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
This is the moment hardcore Glassjaw fans have been waiting for: the night they perform their (arguably) finest album ‘Worship and Tribute’. Glassjaw can be somewhat hit or miss live, and occasionally they don’t even turn up due to frontman Daryl Palumbo’s struggle with Crohn’s Disease. But tonight they are here and they are on form. This is one of their finest UK performances to date and they sound just as good live as on record. Highlights are ‘Tip Your Bartender’, ‘Cosmopolitan Blood Loss’ and the beautiful ‘Ape Dos Mil’. Their performance is so good that it seems wrong for them to not headline tonight instead of Andrew WK (although our editor would disagree with that!). 9/10
Andrew WK – Punktastic Stage – Reviewer: Chris Hines
So what better way to finish a day off than to party with the ‘God Of Party’ himself, Andrew W.K. With Andrew you know what your getting and thats back to back to back party bangers. It’s delivered like a fist to face. A party fist! Everyone loves a party fist!
Playing the entire of his debut album ‘I Get Wet’ there is no stopping the chaos. When the opening song is called ‘It’s Time To Party’ and then the next ‘Party Hard’ you know shit is going down and shit literally went everywhere (not real shit just like party shit!).
With the happiest mosh pit of the day Andrew WK was welcomed with open, flailing, arms by the sea of party goers. Circles pits were created, crowd surfing commenced and everyone basically partied until they literally couldn’t stand or threw up. If they didn’t party psychically they did in their mind. If they didn’t even party in their mind they fucking suck and should probably go home, sit in their room and rethink life!
Only major downfall of the set was they cut the power before the band could play ‘We Want Fun’ due to curfew. Obviously this didn’t go down too well with the crowd but, being an absolute legend, guitarist Erik Payne took to the stage solo to thrash out some riffs to try and keep the party alive and it was much appreciated! A set cut short but a set of pure party, energy and awesomeness! You can’t kill the party, long live the party! 10/10
SUNDAY 5TH AUGUST
The Jellycats – Red Bull Stage – Reviewer: Chris Hines
Being the odd ones out on the bill and the only ska/punk band this weekend, Red Bull Bedroom Jam semi-finalists, The Jellycats, pushed all that aside and bought a perfect opener to a sunny hungover Sunday morning. The last thing you need when your recovering from a night out is more screaming, so their upbeat and happy ska sounds really were more than appreciated. Sounding like a female fronted Spunge mixed with The Dance Hall Crashers the band skanked their hearts out and showed us that ska/punk is far from dead. Probably not everyones cup of tea seeing we are at a predominately hardcore festival, but the more open minded of us definitely enjoyed their ray of sunshine and they got us ready and raring for the day ahead. If you’re a ska/punk fan you can do no wrong checking them out, so get over to their Facebook do it! Pro Cox approved! 8/10
Reachback – Red Bull Stage – Reviewer: Chris Hines
Female fronted pop-punkers Reachback come out in full force today with arguably one of the best sounding sets of the day on the Red Bull Stage. This being their last festival appearance with the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Experience, of which they got through to the semi finals of, the band gave it everything they had and really left their mark. Tracks such as ‘No One Else’ really highlighted front woman Ruby Williams incredible vocal range as she literally blasted the tents roof off with her pitch perfect awesomeness. She may be small lady but her vocals are huge! All in all a great performance and we hope to see more of Reachback real soon. 9/10
Night Verses – Rocksound Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
Today is one of Night Verses’ first shows, which is remarkable considering how bloody good they are live. Frontman Doug Robinson (formerly of The Sleeping) is absolutely fantastic, and the whole band possess a huge amount of energy. Massive shout out to their drummer as well, who is utterly incredible. New single ‘Be Happy With Yourself, I’m Staying Here In Hell’ goes down particularly well. Keep an eye on these guys, because they’re gonna be great. 8/10
Hundred Reasons – Rocksound Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
One of the most highly anticipated sets of the weekend (alongside Glassjaw, of course) is Hundred Reasons playing their beloved 2002 debut album ‘Ideas Above Our Station’. They live up to all the hype by playing a completely flawless show. It’s great to see Colin Doran and co back and on form, sounding just as good as in their heyday. Hits like ‘I’ll Find You’, ‘If I Could’ and ‘Falter’ are glorious. Lovely stuff. 8/10
Madball – Rocksound Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
New York hardcore band Madball have been around as long as this reviewer – since 1988. 24 years is a long time, but you would never guess from their live show: you would think a band who’d been together that long and influenced so many of the hardcore bands around today would sound a little stale, but this feels fresh and new and exciting. The crowd go absolutely mental for them, even more so because of the rumours leading up to the festival suggesting they might not be playing anymore. But they’re here and they do play, and my god, it’s a victory. Bravo Madball, you saved the day. 9/10
The Chariot – Rocksound Stage – Reviewer: Steph Knight
If you like your music loud, shocking and ultimately brutal then The Chariot are hands down the band for you. This weekend there was so much uproar about how they were going to be after the loss of their bassist but let us tell you, this did not seem to be any kind of problem from where we were standing. They are most definitely the definition of onstage insanity as we witness them go completely berserk from the bloodfest that is their moshpits.
They mean business today and definitely did not fail to shock anyone. Leading man Josh Scogin stood on the barriers in front of us with fury in his vocals and so much emotion in his performance; utterly mouth watering to watch. As we expected, they go a bit crazy with their equipment, what they are undoubtedly famous for but that is all part of the fun today. We are hoping that is what the fans thought anyway, as half of them left the tent completely battered. What a set, a highlight of the whole weekend for us that is for sure! 10/10
Converge – Punktastic Stage – Reviewer: Lais MW
Converge have been around almost as long as Madball, and have been just as much (if not more) of an influence on the bands of today. If it weren’t for The Descendents headlining tonight, Converge would have been a very worthy headliner. They manage to pull in the biggest crowd of the weekend, and it’s the first time the gigantic tent that houses both the Rock Sound and Punktastic stages feels like it’s fit to burst. There’s a reason they have so many fans, and aside from the music itself, they are extremely well known for their outstanding live show. Tonight they absolutely do not disappoint, whipping out all the hits from their seven mighty albums. Jacob Bannon has to be one of the best frontmen of all time. Hats off to you, Converge. 9/10
Descendants – Rocksound Stage – Reviewer: Chris Hines
Watching the Descendants was like re-living my youth. I used to have an old cassette tape I was given from a friend when I was about 16 full of bands like Screeching Weasel, Hagfish, The Vandals, Nofx, Sublime, Guttermouth and of course The Descendants. It basically changed my life. No longer was I the long haired grunger into Nirvana, Soundgarden and The Breeders (although I still love those bands); I was to live the lifestyle of the skate punk. Over the years I cut my hair spikey, dyed my hair multiple colours and started a band in the hope one day I could play the Vans Warped Tour. Watching The Descendants tonight bought back all those memories. Classic tracks such as ‘Everything Sucks’, ‘Coffee Mug’ and ‘When I Get Old’ really struck a chord with me in my younger years and hearing them tonight felt as fresh and as exciting as those first listens. Considering the band have been around since 1978 it was great to see them enjoying performing as much as they ever did. Lots of crowd interaction and smiles definitely got the crowd behind them and I hope I’m even half a cool as these guys when I get to their age. Absolute heroes!
The only strange part of their appearance to me was that considering how legendary The Descendants are, and how influential they were to most modern punk-rock bands, I found it strange how little people I spoke to even knew who they were. Many times throughout the weekend I would mention the band to blank faces from festival goers. Luckily this had no effect on turn out and their were more than enough die-hard fans in attendance to make this a great end to what was an awesome weekend. To all those still not educated go grab a copy of ‘Everything Sucks’ and ‘Milo Goes To College’ and get a lesson in ‘Punk Rock 101′! 9/10
Photos: James Archibald and Steph Knight