Monday 30 December 2013

2013 Favourites // Hit The Deck Festival Feat. Don Broco

We take a look back at some of the best gigs, festivals and bands of 2013. Next up is Hit The Deck Festival. Est.1987 headed down to the Nottingham leg of the two day festival and as well as catching up with some bands to chat about the festival we also saw some amazing live sets. Click below to read out live reviews featuring Mallory Knox, Vinnie Caruana, Never Shout Never and festival headliners Don Broco amongst others and find out how you can read our interviews with bands including Pure Love, We Are The In Crowd and Bleed From Within...


Attention Thieves- Rock City
They may be one of the very first bands on in Nottingham today, but the Reading four-piece take the main stage by storm and to their credit, pull in a large crowd who are valiantly lively for so early on in the day.   Attention Thieves’ set is filled to the brim with big hooks and catchy riffs, whilst Alex Green’s raspy vocals take charge and guide through songs such as the powerful and anthemic “Can’t See The Light” and “Bring Yourself To Justice”. Their set is spontaneous and exhilarating; it may only be just past lunchtime, but Attention Thieves have already instigated a pit in the heart of Rock City. Definitely a band to watch out for, we’re excited to see what’s next for these guys. 8/10
Interview with Attention Thieves from Hit The Deck HERE

Mallory Knox- Rock City
“How the f**k are we doing?” shouts Mallory Knox’s frontman Mikey Chapman and, with a packed out Rock City to play to, the answer from the crowd pretty much drowns him out. It may be relatively early on in the day, but you wouldn’t know it as both the action on and off stage is electric. Drawing in what would be the largest crowd all day [apart from Don Broco] we were expecting great things and the Cambridge four-piece storm through tracks from debut album “Signals”. Anthemic and upbeat songs such as “Wake Up” and “Beggars” stirs the crowd, not that they need any encouragement. Highlight is closing track and fiery hit single “Lighthouse”. A solid effort and, after recently signing to Sony, it’s certain that this next year is going to be a pretty good one for the boys. 8/10

James Cleaver Quintet- Rescue Rooms
Bringing together punk elements alongside hardcore and melody, the Eastbourne group draw in a substantial and extremely enthusiastic crowd in Rescue Rooms. Songs such as “I Do, You Do, We Do Voodoo” are thrashing and laced with punk rhythms, whilst others are filled with long breakdowns and strong percussive elements. “Thrown To The Lines” is a mix of hard vocals and melodic elements, some of which gets lost in the excitement and energy of the set. The live show was frantic and by the end (as the pit goes wild) front-man Jack is down there with them having beer poured into his mouth. They are definitely more than just the band that sang Feeder in the infamous Lucozade advert. 7/10
Vinnie Caruana- Rescue Rooms Bar
The I Am The Avalanche front-man certainly knows how to pack out a bar and make people feel at home. A breath of fresh air and somewhat of a respite from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the festival, Vinnie Caruana’s set was an eclectic mix of solo material alongside classic The Movelife tracks (“Walking On Glass”) and I Am The Avalanche (“This One’s On Me”). Those who weren’t cosied up in leather booths were cross legged on the floor and, much like the chilled-out crowd Vinnie’s set was perfectly relaxed and open to input as he took requests and chatted to the audience. Ending with the infectious “Brooklyn Dodgers” Vinnie’s set proved to be more than just a great festival interlude. 8/10

Never Shout Never- Rock City
The twee pop songs from the Never Shout Never Missouri three-piece are slightly lost on the large crowd gathered in Rock City. Front man Christopher Drew Ingle himself admits that they are a little different from the rest of the acts on the bill, but the crowd stick around to give them a chance at least  (either that or they’re just waiting for the next band). Never Shout Never deliver upbeat, catchy indie pop tunes played on a dynamic range of instruments, such as “Cheater Cheater BestFriend Eater” and “Piggy Bank” and elsewhere they would have gone down a storm. And that isn’t to say that people weren’t enjoying it with many younger crowd members hanging on every word and the rest bobbing along contently. It just became apparent that the Hit The Deck crowd were after something a little more.  6/10

LostAlone- Rock City Basement
Playing in the Rock City Basement LostAlone definitely turn up the heat down here. Coming out at 100mph they are charging from the off with “Do You Get What You Pray For?” Heavy and fast, by mid-set the crowd are more willing to become involved alongside the band. More melodic songs such as “Creatures” with its ska based elements are mixed alongside heavier tracks and big intricate guitar solos. A valiant effort by the Derby three-piece who are powerful throughout and may not be up on main stage but certainly put as much into their show as if they were. 6/10

We Are The In Crowd- Rock City
Having already established a large and loyal fanbase over here in the UK the buzz for We Are The In Crowd’s set has reached fever pitch. As soon as the female fronted New York five-piece hit the main stage they are non-stop from start to finish. Infectious pop-punk at its best the quintet burst up and down the stage to a mix of old and new tracks including “Exits and Entrances” and hit single “Kiss Me Again”. Even though they haven’t released anything since 2011 to the band’s credit they still pull in large crowds. Filled with fan favourites, each song is as catchy as the next and the entire Rock City bounce along. The crowd can’t help but be pulled along for the ride by this bundle of fun and energy. 8/10
Interview with We Are The In Crowd from Hit The Deck HERE
Bleed From Within- Forum
With the long awaited release of their album “Uprising” finally under their belt The Glaswegian metal band takes to the stage to a packed out Forum. And more than that, a packed Forum that is pumped and ready to whole heartedly become part of the set. Front-man Scott Kennedy holds the crowd from the off, commanding a pit open up immediately. And as Bleed From Within blast through songs taken from “Uprising”, such as “Strive”, the crowd are throwing themselves around at every opportunity. And whilst Scott is hurling himself out into the crowd the rest of the band members are wielding their long hair around on stage. Definitely one of the most vibrant, aggressive and electric sets of the day. A live show worth seeing. 9/10
Interview with Bleed From Within from Hit The Deck HERE

Pure Love- Rescue Rooms
Pure Love may be a relatively new band to the circuit, however, the past projects of members Frank Carter and Jim Carroll provide a wealth of experience allowing them to be worthy Rescue Rooms headliners. By the end of the second song Jim has already surfed over the crowd (whilst perfectly playing guitar) and Frank has found his way to the back of the room in search of a drink. “If you see someone with a phone, knock it out of their hands”, he laughs as pretty much the entire venue is attempting to capture this moment. The English-American rock duo power through songs such as “Bury My Bones”, “Riot Song” and even find time to debut a new song. And as the set reaches its mid point Frank has had the drum kit dismantled and put back together in the heart of the crowd and commands a circle pit around it. Anarchic, anthemic and stirring; you can’t help but become a part of the show. One thing is certain; if you go to a Pure Love show you definitely get a show. 10/10
Interview with Pure Love from Hit The Deck HERE

Don Broco- Rock City
From the opening dance routine of “Priorities” to the final furor of “Fancy Dress” and everything in between (including the slightly risky “Push Up” pyramid marking the one year anniversary of the infamous Push Up Squad created at Hit The Deck 2012) Don Broco’s headline set is phenomenal; a non stop barrage of energy from both crowd and band alike. In typical Don Broco fashion the set is filled with banter, the odd dance move or two and anthems including “Actors”, “Beautiful Morning” and new single “Whole Truth”. There was doubt whether or not the band were rightful headliners, and indeed this was their debut festival headline show. However, the Bedford four-piece are on point from beginning to end, drawing in the biggest crowd of the entire day. A hit album, a sell out tour under their belts, and mainstream radio backing, they really are going from strength to strength; 2013 could be the year of the Broco. 10/10 (The only thing that wasn’t 10/10 about Don Broco’s performance were the knickers thrown up from the crowd that Rob was encouraged to parade around in mid-set.)

Hit The Deck Nottingham Interview Series feat.