Its fair to say that Hevy Festival was a resounding success this year. Plenty of ‘partying hard’ was had and the sun shone throughout! With three stages of awesome music, we though we’d bring you the highlights, the bands who really stood out, so that you can be sure to check them out at any future shows or events…
FRIDAY 3rd AUGUST
Described by some critics as ‘McFly with tattoos’, Deaf Havana are a little out of place here, especially coming on as headliners after Deez Nuts. Leaving their original southern hardcore influences behind and filling their set with pop-rock genius, Deaf Havana impress the critics and cynics a like. Old school fans will be a little disappointed that tracks from ‘Fools And Worthless Liars’ dominated, but when James Veck-Gilodi has the balls to perform a beautiful solo rendition of `Friends Like These’, a vulnerable yet triumphant highlight of the festival is being witnessed for all to see.
Trapped Under Ice
With a hench front man and chugging bass lines, basically, you don’t fuck with TUI. The kids are in their element during Trapped Under Ice’s set, these guys know how to do hardcore, everyone is moving, this is the real deal, a blistering combination of punishing punk and a whole lot of fun. Perfect.
Bleed From Within
After a small amount of heckling from the crowd due their strong Scottish accents, Bleed From Within launch into a powerful performance, a master class in modern metal. Front man Scott Kennedy doesn’t stay still for more than a second and gives the set some real guts. Riffs in the vein of As I Lay Dying blow away any remaining hangovers. After a dominating set here and having recently signed to Raw Power Management and Century Media, expect these guys to become metal titans with their next release.
Hevy’s line up is full of hardcore bands. Some bad ones, some average ones and some real treats. Last Witness are right up there with the best. Adrian Cecil goes absolutely nuts on bass whilst the crowd go a even more insane. The bizarre competition to ride an inflatable dolphin on top of the crowd isn’t needed, everyone is two-stepping and surfing over the barrier as it is. The bouncers certainly earned their money during Last Witness’s set.
SATURDAY 4th AUGUST
Seahaven’s emotive post-punk is blissful in the summer sun. ‘It’s Over’ is a calming yet tormenting track that highlights their set. Their melodies are unmatched throughout the whole weekend and fully deserve the recognition they receive from the Hevy crowd.
These guys had a rough deal at Hevy. First off the sound cuts out just as front man Dani Winter Bates launches into his first scream. But ever the charismatic front man, it doesn’t faze him; he interacts with the crowd at ease whilst the techies get to work. Once everything is sorted the set is victorious, Mehdi Vismara performs exquisite solos with the crowd lapping up every note with glee. Catastrophically for the band, the plug is pulled as the set over runs during the time of highest momentum. The last song is cut short and the crowd are left in disgruntled. Bury Tomorrow deserved more than just a 20 minute set, however the cheers that resound long after the band leave the stage emphasizes that Bury Tomorrow are the next big thing in British metalcore.
Despite creating two genre defining albums, recent live outings from Daryl Palumbo and co. have, at best, been mixed. Fortunately, the band delivered a bursting performance of chaotic tracks taken from their back-catalogue, including ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Silence‘ and highlight ‘Siberian Kiss‘.
Finishing the night, we were treated to a masterclass in partying from the king of not giving a shit, Mr Andrew WK. Opening with ‘It’s Time To Party‘, followed by ‘Party Hard‘ and ramming the theme down our collective throats with ‘Party Til’ You Puke‘, we got exactly what we were hoping for from the set. Chaotic, ridiculous but ultimately a insane amount of fun, the night drew to a close as a sea of sweat and smiles.
SUNDAY 6th AUGUST
Despite this being the third festival the band had played this weekend, Leeds bruisers Hawkeyes played one of the most compelling sets of the Hevy. Setting up his microphone in the middle of the audience, singer and guitarist Paul Astick encouraged the crowd to get as close as possible, creating a raucous basement show feel in the middle of the English countryside.
On paper, an experimental spoken-word act stands out on the Hevy line-up, but with the crowed pouring in to witness them at the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage proves they were an inspired booking for the festival. Rousing, affecting and impossible to take your eyes off, Listener are a band to be genuinely excited about.
Although they have put out four albums in their career, Hundred Reasons are destined to be remembered for just one. Fortunately, said album ‘Ideas Above Our Station‘ was one of the finest pieces of British post-hardcore of the noughties. Realistic enough to know that they’ll never recapture that time, yet smart enough to give fans what they want, Hundred Reasons played IAOS in full to incredible effect. Despite the waves of nostalgia, the 12 songs still sounded as fresh as the first time they were played and were delivered with boundless energy, with the excitement of the band only matched by that of the crowd.
Vinne Caruana, the I Am The Avalanche and former Movielife frontman loves to tell a story. So much so that he only managed to play around six songs in the entire set, whilst treating us to tales of New Jersey and his ex-wife. Despite complaining that he’d ruined his voice, the songs he played still held up, with Movielife anthems including ‘Walking On Glass‘ proving a real treat.
After a disappointing return last year, it was great to see the Descendents on incredible form. The Californian legends most definitely deserved to play to more people than they did (sadly, this was a true for a lot of the bands over the weekend), but hearing tracks like ‘Everything Sux‘, ‘Hope‘ and of course ‘I’m The One‘ live will be a memory that anyone who still holds a torch for the band will never forget.
WORDS: Emma Wallace & Joe Parry
PHOTOS: Cat McKenzie