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Gig Reviews...Hevy Festival (August 7-8)

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Kent

Saturday 7 August

Blitz Kids, photo by Georgia Rawson

BLITZ KIDS - Red Bull Stage

For the next half hour, The Blitz Kids seems to have the crowd feeding out of their hands as they blare out their infamous catchy yet aggressive melodies with irresistible choruses of 'la, la, la' creating an explosion of pure energy and chaos.

If there's one emotion and feeling present during today's set, it's the feeling of anger, just presented in a slightly more poppy way. Teasing the crowd with his charms and his reruns of delving into the crowd, vocalist Joe is hard to resist both musically and charmingly.

Deep bass lines, pacing drums and unique little tweaks and guitar hooks make Blitz Kids irresistibly catchy. Although the crowd is only made of a few that have enough energy to still dance after the first 1o minutes, tracks such as 'The Comedian' literally send Joe over the front barrier and ends their set by balancing on the heads, arms and any other part of their fans he can support himself on (they will later on get themselves through a full weekend's supply of alcohol in the course of one night).

But Blitz Kids are more than just party starters determined to cause an absolute riot with their antagonism ,but a band that are continuing to grow and develop into a band made of perfectionists determined to make every head turn in their direction with a fun approach. If you have not yet heard of The Blitz Kids, now would be a good time to check them out. 9/10

Deaf Havana, photo by Georgia Rawson

DEAF HAVANA Red Bull Stage

Bassist Lee Wilson literally kicks starts today's set by hurtling his amp into the front row causing an eruption of pure chaos from both band and crowd alike. Deaf Havana find themselves facing one of the largest crowds of the weekend and with their catchy melodies, swift hooks and oh so catchy rhythms, Deaf Havana do not fail to impress.

Tracks such as 'Another Day in This House' and 'Waves' allow vocalist James Gilodi to combine his harmonic, yet remarkably dynamic vocals with the cocktails of slow and heavy breakdowns Chris Pennell's guitar continues to serve causing a mass of liveliness to spread like wild fire.

With it's gentle opening guitar melody and leisurely yet beautiful vocal opening, single 'Nicotine and Alcohol Saved My Life' is definitely the most moving moment in today's set, allowing Gilodi's emotions to pour out in honestly written lyrics of 'there's something that screams this seems so unfair' before the storming choruses reach their peak, slamming down hard into one hell of a breakdown, it is of coarse these dramatic breakdowns that allow the crowd to finally set themselves loose and scream back every lyric in indescribable precision.

Deaf Havana receive a surprisingly good reaction when questioning the audience on their likeliness to have listened to their newest material. This reaction quickly gives way to the gripping guitar melodies, thunderous pound of drums and cymbals, not to mention defined bass lines, as the mentioned demo 'My Life Is Average' echoes through the tent.

This is of coarse, everything but average. Hoaxing the crowd with their charm and determination to leave everyone at a soaring peak of anticipation and adrenaline, Gilodi and co quickly give in to the pleads for one more song….an adrenaline driven, aggressively fun and unbelievably responsive encore of the infamous 'Friends like These'.

Timing is really tested during the encore as drummer; Tom Ogden abandons the kit only to be dive offstage to be swarmed by the sea of arms out stretched ready to catch him, a sense of liveliness not often found in his stern character. Bursting at their post hardcore and stealthy seams, the crowd erupts into one final chorus of 'you'll never know friends like these' on a colossal volume. Nicely done boys.  9/10

Gallows, photo by Georgia Rawson

GALLOWS Headliners, Main Stage

If the crowd won't kick your teeth in, Gallows most certainly will. Injecting a dangerously high level of angst, adrenaline and pure aggression into the audience it doesn't come as a surprise to see with enough threatening and fearlessness, raging front man Frank Carter gets one hell of a riot started.

Not a single band this weekend will sound as raw, heavy or as anthemic as Gallows as they tear through an entire back catalogue of colossal riffs, gang vocal choruses and angst full anthems melting the face off the front row of the audience.

Gallows put in one of the finest performances, if not the finest performance of the whole weekend. Not only are their songs played on full volume, showing off their unique punk tunes as well as being a risk factor for security, but each interval delivers the perfect opportunity for the over confident Frank Carter to provoke the crowd into a wild state creating the biggest circle pit GRTR! have ever laid eyes on.

Gallows definitely conquer Hevy Festival tonight without even breaking into a sweat. But as much as the crowd have gathered for Gallows, unfamiliar audience members, especially Glassjaw's large fan base, still get given their big break as Gallows shred into a more enraged cover of The Clash's 'I Fought The Law'. However the deafening roar when 'Belly of a Shark' is amplified says it all, Gallows have achieved more than expected of tonight's set. 10/10

Lost In Colour, photo by Georgia Rawson

Sunday 8 August

LOST IN COLOUR Local Heroes Stage

Lost In Color may be the poppiest of bands on the bill at 'Hevy' festival and may only draw a few in their direction, but they still perform bloody well.

Pop-punk drowned melodies, hooks and smooth vocals call for LIC to be heard over the crowd's anticipation for Young Guns to finally take to the main stage, but with one final push, LIC are sent soaring over the crowd and send even a few in the far corners of the stadium moving and swaying.

Fall Out Boy and The Maine engineered rhythms keep both Lost In Color and their small gathering on their feet for the next few minutes, something others present on this stage so far have failed to achieve. Fun, precise and remarkably talented, Lost In Color are a band to keep an eye out for…5/10

Me vs. Hero, photo by Georgia Rawson

ME Vs HERO Main Stage

Me Vs Hero kick off this Sunday morning perfectly by delivering the best of their pop punk anthems on full volume, sending a wakeup call across the festival site.

With their spontaneous energy, heavy up beat melodies, gang choruses and raw power Me Vs Hero take the place by storm. Old timer 'What Seems to Be the Officer Problem?'

Slams down hard with its dramatic breakdowns that allow the crowd to react more than Hevy's usual staleness. With Indescribable precision, Me Vs Hero tears through recent single 'Can You Count Suckers? 'As the thunderous resonance of punk, pop and alternative combine into a detonation of liveliness that could go off at any moment as gang choruses cut in keeping a grin on everyone's faces.

Me Vs Hero have the crowd in the palm of their hands for a majority of their set but before long the crowd's concentration gives way causing the once was liveliness atmosphere to collapse.

But Me Vs Hero is here to perform and close on the perfect note, an adrenaline and passion fueled rendition of their anthemic 'Days That Shape Our Lives' sending one final blow to the stomach of Hevy. A memorably entertaining and punktastic set.  8/10

Young Guns, photo by Georgia Rawson


Young Guns definitely greet a few familiar faces at Hevy Festival, both bands and fans alike. Young Guns have no problem competing with the headliners with their boundless energy, brutal anthems and front man Gustav Wood's natural interaction with the crowd.

Most recent single 'Crystal Clear' clearly (no pun intended there) shows YG's ridiculously hefty recognition with today's crowd leaving the band encouraging their fans to go absolutely insane for the duration of their set. Heavier tracks such as 'D.O.A' and the recent 'Sons Of Apathy' provide the Taylor Brothers more than enough freedom to show just how heavy, raw and anthemic their new riffs are but with enough latitude to allow Simon Mitchell's weighty bass verses.

Woods smooth yet forceful vocals are given a clean cut solo towards the end of the cinematically slow epic 'Stitches' before being lashed with gang vocals to follow on through to the storming choruses of their originally ambitious 'Daughter Of The Sea'.

Young Guns' enthusiasm never seems to wear thin but before long the crowd return to it's stale atmosphere that seems to persist for the rest of the weekend and in desperation of motion causes Wood to spend extensive intervals buried within the front row of the crowd.

Performance wise, Young Guns don't fail to impress but the audience's lack of eagerness and atmosphere creates a frustrating missed opportunity for Young Guns to perform their usual impressive live set.  7/10

Medina Lake, photo by Georgia Rawson


Madina Lake may be one man down (Bassist, Mathew Leone is currently recovering in hospital from a brain operation) but they certainly still deliver a set the remaining three members are capable of performing.

With their catchy and both alternative and pop grown melodies, and unlimited flow of energy, Madina Lake reward the audience for their sympathy and loyalty with their unique hybrid of both older and more recent material.

The guitar interludes, pacing drums and Nathan Leone's pitch perfect harmonies on tracks such as 'Here I Stand' do not fail to get the dispersed crowd going and more dedicated fans are left clinging to every little sound that escapes ML's airways. But slowly growing stale (the audience that is), the audience's attention soon returns to absolutely the middle of nowhere, leaving ML's efforts to be abruptly thrown back in their faces.

An adrenaline and heart driven 'One Last Kiss' is thrashed to pieces as guitarist Mateo Carmigo and drummer Dan Chisel pour themselves out into this one and strike one final blow to the heart of the audience. Despite their heavied up covers of their own material, Madina Lake are not kidding themselves as the audience rudely becomes unresponsive.  6/10

The King Blues, photo by Georgia Rawson


The King Blues may not be the heaviest of bands on 'Hevy' Festival's bill, but these catchy punks are fully festival engineered.

The King Blues play with the just right precision and generates one of the liveliest crowds at the main stage this weekend. In fact so lively, TKB end up fighting off security guards whilst an anonymous crowd surfer is welcomed on to the stage. Recent single 'Head butt' is purely an upbeat affair with the one hell of a catchy guitar opening.

Their performance shows a new era of TKB's sound and each and every lyrical melody is sung back in perfect chorus by the gathering on the side of the stage and the crowd alike. Itch's distinctive and surprisingly tuned vocals surprise the audience with his ability to maintain precision at such a quick tempo.

Future single 'Holiday' is proof that TKB can sustain their festival atmosphere for years to come and when commanded the crowd pleasurably erupts. 'We're going away on holiday' perfectly sums up this summer evening.

However these anarchists still deliver their best punk with the best of antagonism and tracks such as 'The Streets Are Ours' causes near riot outbreaks. A feel of punk that's sonically reminiscent of Rancid's live performances on a smaller scale Security fail to be impressed. TKB never seem to fail at delivering a good old fashioned uprising with enough movement to cause a heart of stone to fracture.   9/10

Glassjaw, photo by Georgia Rawson


The comeback of the classic founders of nu-metal and alternative has been building up anticipation over the course of the weekend, it is however soon to be a let down by the audience's frustratingly unresponsive attitude.

Glassjaw always set out on doing their unique show, and tonight is not an exception as the layout, including bringing the drums to the very front of the stage, causing Glassjaw to come face to face with their fans.

However, despite the lack of reaction, there is plenty of optimism to go around, as front man comments not long into their set 'it's sad to see these lovely photographers go'.

Glassjaw have no intention of rushing themselves tonight and even confronts the audience's frustration with front man's confession of ' I want to start a riot'.

With plenty of time on their hands, Glassjaw deliver a uniquely precise, yet ferocious set. It's not long until they soon live up to their legendary status , 'Tip Your Bartender' sparking a barrage of crowd surfers being carried by the heavy downfalls, twisting melodies and beefy bass lines these gentleman continuously deliver , following on through down into what seems to be an attempt of a pit. But despite their efforts, Glass Jaw is only ever greeted with a mute crowd response as all energy is lost. Some comebacks are never meant to be made.  5/10

Reviews and photos by Georgia Rawson


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