While only in it’s third year, Hevy Music Festival has already established itself as the leading outdoor festival in the UK when it comes to hardcore. We sent some of our best men down to cover it – Tomas Doyle to handle the words, and Ben Gibson to sort out our pictures – and even though Friday was the “short” day of the festival, they still managed to get up to mischief…
Six things we learnt on the Friday of Hevy Festival 2011
1) As the TUMBLR generation arrived at Lympne Wild Animal park in sunny Kent for their weekend dose of hipper-than-thou hardcore, metal and punk rock, the first thing most of them were met with was a bloody enormous queue. Searching the bags of every person who wants to enter your campsite to make sure they don’t bring in too much booze might seem like a good idea at the event organiser meeting, but when it leaves people stuck in line for two or three hours in the blazing heat missing bands they paid good money to see it kinda sucks. Bad start.
2) Once inside however the real fun began. This year Hevy boasted a plethora of the hottest buzz bands both domestically and from abroad all laid out in a tiny arena on the site of a FUCKING SAFARI PARK! With Friday effectively a half day it was a great opportunity to re-familiarise with some of the more grass roots acts on offer and Crossbreaker seemed like a damn fine place to start. Their Converge-esque bluster huffed and puffed but they seemed to never quite hit their bone-crushing stride. Perhaps cowed by a relatively early slot and a still filling tent the whole thing felt a little polite and tentative and you sensed that the crowd wanted a little more.
3) And oh boy, get more they did in the shape East Anglian quintet Basement, whose gruff pop punk (think Lifetime and Shook Ones) made them early front runners for highlight of the festival. Tracks from their joyous Songs about the Weather EP rang out to rapturous reception and protestations against the magazine sponsor of the stage they are playing is the most punk rock moment of the weekend by a country mile.
Some guy doing a backflip @ Hevy Festival - Friday, 05 August 2011 c/o Ben Gibson
Friday, 05 August @ Hevy Festival 2011 c/o Ben Gibson
4) Sadly for RoadRunner’s Revoker, they feel horribly out of place on a bill which is characterised by nimble hardcore and modern metallic sounds. Their traditionalist metal leanings see them play to a sparse crowd but they deserve the utmost credit for giving it their all as if they are in front of a packed Wembley arena. Faring far better over on the other side of the arena are perennial Scottish “emo” mob Flood of Red. Despite their career appearing to stall in recent years they still draw a big crowd and their dual vocals, penchant for the bouncy yet atmospheric and relentless enthusiasm leave plenty of the audience with ear to ear grins.
5) Thrash Hits’ relationship with Watford punks Lower Than Atlantis has been somewhat frayed in the past, but we have to admit that the LTA that takes the stage at Hevy is one honed by months of touring, strengthened by a consistent line up and revitalised by the success of their latest album, World Record. The first single from that record, ‘Beech Like a Tree’, sounds absolutely massive tonight, whilst older tracks are dragged into the limelight, benefiting from the hard kick in the backside applied by LTA’s powerful live sound. In Mike Duce they have a front man capable of whipping any crowd into a frenzy and his lost generation rhetoric goes down a storm to a tent packed to the rafters with Lower Than Atlantis shirts and kids who know every word.
6) Closing out Friday night are Tek-One, a collective who appear to have gained popularity amongst the rock fraternity on the basis that they once remixed a Bring Me The Horizon track and their live drummer used to play in Rinoa. Nevertheless, it is testament to the savvy of those attending Hevy that their explosive dubstep is met with a response that is nothing short of insane. The aforementioned mix of ‘Sleep With One Eye Open’ is bowel shaking, whilst ‘Broken String’ threatens to actually end lives with the ferocity of its bass. Ears ringing and hands shanking, we retreat to our tents and await what mayhem will occur on the first full day of Hevy Fest 2011.