RedHotVelvet’s David Houssein and Rachael Emily headed to Kent music festival Hevy for a weekend of hardcore and wild animals…
Friday wasn’t the most appealing day in terms of headliners, but there were one or two gems lurking lower down the bill in the form of Scottish hardcore mob Grader [3/5] who, although a little monotonous, pounded out some honest and to-the-point hardcore. Chirpy pop-punks Mixtapes [2/5] can only be given credit for effort as their uninspiring brand of pop-punk was a little out of place.
Marmozets [3/5] were back for their second stint at Hevy, and again showed why these young guns are getting the UK music press all hot under the collar. Hevy have done well to get some upcoming bands on the line-up, and two more who impressed were noisy hard rockers Blacklisters [3/5] and energetic, aggressive metalcore mob Last Witness [4/5].
Hip-hop inspired Aussies Deez Nuts [4/5] closed proceedings on the Punktastic stage with a high-octane blast of hardcore. With a Suicidal Tendancies-esque sense of fun and party atmosphere, you can’t go wrong! This reviewer has never seen the attraction to Deaf Havana [1/5] and their flat performance at Hevy was well received by some of the younger crowd, but didn’t go down well at all with the old-skool hardcore and metal kids.
On Saturday, Devil Sold His Soul [5/5] hit the stage with crushing slabs of metal dripping in melody and emotion, and fired off a set worthy of a headline slot. DSHS are simply outstanding and the most exciting band the UK metal scene has seen in a long time. Pianos Become The Teeth’s [3/5] chaotic hardcore was well received whilst another band the UK should be massively proud of, Rolo Tomassi [5/5] again showed everyone that originality and creativity can thrive in a tough scene. Banging out a varied set from their two full lengths, the highlight was ‘Party Wounds’ and was absolutely in the spirit of the festival.
Punk Rock veterans A Wilhelm Scream [3/5] got the adrenaline pumping once again on the Rock Sound stage, whilst over on the Punktastic stage, Municipal Waste [5/5] melted faces with a sharp injection of rowdy, good-time thrash metal, complete with plenty of comedy and acrobatics. Georgia heavyweights Norma Jean [4/5] executed class set that was hard to follow and would have been far more worthy headliners than long-time bores Glassjaw [2/5], who did suffer from poor sound, but are [unpopular opinion alert!] terminally over rated.
Meshuggah [5/5] ripped the Punktastic stage a new one with a punishing set of technical metal, and they were certainly refreshing in a line-up with a focus on hardcore. Also providing something a little different was Andrew WK [2/5], who may be simplistic and a bit plastic, but knew how to entertain by banging out the usual suspects such as ‘Party Hard’ and ‘She is Beautiful’. AWK was also joined on stage by a dreadful female vocalist who looked like Xena Warrior Princess (apparently his wife!). And quite why they needed 4 guitarists, one will never know!
Sunday morning was off to a poor start; Mallory Knox [1/5] was akin to watching paint dry, and things were far more exciting over on the Red Bull stage with pretty lady-fronted pop rockers Reachback [3/5]. Belgium’s Rise & Fall [3/5] were flying the flag for European hardcore and did not disappoint, but the real party was over on the Rock Sound stage with speedy hardcore mob Cruel Hand [4/5]. It was a little odd that a band of 7 Seconds’ [3/5] stature were so low down on the line-up, but true to their roots they did not complain and put on a good performance. Jon Bunch of Sensefield fame filled in on vocals for OC punks Ignite [4/5] – and let’s give the man credit for learning the songs in a couple of days and the band played a blinding set. Chaos reigned again when The Chariot [4/5] hit the stage and showed a total disregard for the barriers as they tore through a set of frenzied hardcore.
The highlight of the day belonged to vintage New York hardcore veterans H2O [5/5]. Frontman Toby Morse performed two songs from the comfort of the circle pit, inviting the crowd to sing along with him. However, the best was yet to come and things got extra special when Freddy Madball joined H2O on stage for a rendition of their classic ‘Guilty By Association’. Hundred Reasons [2/5] were one of the most highly anticipated acts at Hevy, but aside from a few of their big songs, they were fairly unremarkable.
Overall, Hevy is a great festival and good value for money. This reviewer would like to see a bit more variety and definitely a lot metal. Still, can’t complain about a weekend at a wild animal park! Tunes + tigers + beer = good times!
– David Houssein
Photos by Rachael-Emily.com