Hit the Deck Nottingham 2013 Roundup

By on Tuesday, 23rd April 2013 at 5:47 pm

Photos by Jess Mason (@jessislost)

The sun beat down upon the beautiful streets of Nottingham as hordes of scantily-clad teenagers, sporting piercings aplenty and tattoos in abundance. With a plethora of flesh on show, these skipped giddily towards Nottingham’s rock central, Hit the Deck Festival 2013.

Billed as the UK’s premier indoor festival, the artists are shared among seven venues all within walking distance of each other. It’s still in its infancy, with yesterday’s events being the third time the festival has hit Nottingham. If hardcore, punk and metal are your genres of choice, then Hit the Deck presented a veritable orgy of talent from the UK and abroad to feast your teeth into, from experimental instrumental acts to some pop-punk for the young at heart.

After interviewing a number of lovely bands, with a special mention to the utterly mad Dingus Khan who were interviewed on top of a 16-storey parking garage and partially in a lift, the bands were set upon!

First up were female quartet Evarose, whose energy in Rock City’s sweaty basement was infectious from the off. There is nothing quite as contagious as the energy of a band that is obviously enjoying themselves immensely. The smile plastered across the bassist’s face was testament to this. They may not have been playing the big stages, but they committed themselves 100% to the task ahead of them, which was of course winning the festival audience who had stumbled upon them. The lead vocalist was an abundance of the pop-punky jumpiness you expect from a band like this, and whilst her vocal range let her down slightly, it did seem a case of practice will see these girls come good. (7/10)

In the Rescue Rooms directly afterwards, instrumental five-piece Maybeshewill set upon a bit of mindbuggery with their noodling solos and occasionally heavy breakdowns/beatdowns (take your pick). The crowd were either encapsulated, or thoroughly baffled by the band, as the crowd stood permanently affixed, only breaking their statuesque poses to mark the end of a song with a round of applause.

Instrumental music provides the quizzical question to punters, of ‘where do you look?’ Whilst most bands have a focal point, a frontman of some kind, with Maybeshewill your eyes dart around each members instruments. The set though was tight and enjoyable if you could get your head around the lack of vocals and in an understated fashion they slowly won over the pedestrian crowd. (7/10)

From something understated, to something thoroughly over the top in the form of Attack Attack! was the next move, as the American post-hardcore outfit bounded onto the stage with the exuberance of a group of puppies. Cute and cuddly like puppies? Not exactly! With the groups mix of hardcore bass riffs and techno interludes driving the assembled masses of Rock City into a bopping, bouncing frenzy of flailing flesh and roaring fans.

The mix is eclectic, and works somewhat sparingly, but as the set goes on, the rather formulaic song construction wears slightly thin on my cynical (and very large) ears. However, as a live act, the band exude confidence and frontman Phil Druyor proves to be a bastion of charm, energy and everything a band like Attack Attack! need. (6/10)

Following up from the aural assault of Attack Attack! are one of the most hotly tipped bands on the bill: Essex band We Are the Ocean who, forgive the pun, are riding the crest of a wave after the success of hugely-catchy tracks like ‘The Waiting Room’, ‘Bleed’ and ‘The Road’. WATO are the kind of no frills rock and roll act that I just can’t fail to enjoy.

We Are the Ocean Hit the Deck 2013

Heart on their sleeve choruses and an aversion to wonky time signatures which sees some brilliantly catchy tunes roared from the Rock City main stage. The UK has their very own Gaslight Anthem, and with the reception they received from the crowd as evidence, they will be hearing a lot more of WATO’s charming tunage. (8/10)

After a brief interlude for some of the most delectable cookies I’ve ever had the pleasure to consume it was time for a healthy dose of pop-punk tomfoolery with We are the in Crowd. NOT WE ARE IN THE CROWD, as this annoys them greatly. Trust me.

For a WATIC virgin I was in shock as the American five-piece proceeded to pull tune after tune out of their pockets, whipping the packed room of tweens and teenyboppers into a flurried mass of squealing. Each member of the band brought boundless vitality to the stage, whilst Jordan Eckes vocals soared across the wide expanse of Rock City with ease, before set closer ‘Rumor Mill’ produced easily the biggest and most positive reaction of the day’s proceedings. (8/10)

Next up were a band whom are bound to cause chaos wherever they go and I for one feel for their tour manager. Pure Love, fronted by ex-Gallows troublemaker Frank Carter, the Rescue Rooms was literally torn to bits as the rampaging lead singer leapt into the crowd and made his way to the bar for a vodka Coke.

If that wasn’t enough, lead guitarist and ex-Suicide File axe man Jim Carroll managed two crowd surfs whilst still slamming riffs out during the first two songs. With chaos ensuing, it seemed only right that Frank took proceedings to an even odder stage by putting the bands drum kit in the crowd and orchestrating a swirling circle pit around it. Whilst the theatrics made it an engrossing set, the tunes ensured that this was the set of the festival hands down. Carter remains the emphatic draw he was in his time at Gallows, and I can only see Pure Love going from strength to strength. (9.5/10)

To close the night are the champions of lad rock, kings of (dare I say it) swag and purveyors of some of the most memorable tunes you’ll hear this year and the next! Don Broco look every bit rocks answer to The Ordinary Boys, only not shit, with frontman Rob Damiani resplendent in a Fred Perry polo shirt and with his biceps almost tearing through it.

They open with a belter, in the form of ‘Priorities’, and from then on the tone is set. Damiani struts across the stage with a trademark elegance and swag (god, I said it again). The hits are flying out at break neck pace and even a rather laboured break for the bands fabled push-up patrol, for which they have t-shirts, does not interrupt proceedings. Again, it may be clichéd, but there are BIG things for these boys in the future. They are polite, extremely likable and bloody good looking to boot. What they want to do really is up to them, from the reception they received. (9/10)

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4 Responses

5:52 pm
23rd April 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: Hit the Deck @Hitthedeckfest Nottingham 2013 Roundup: http://t.co/gQdGrAvC8A

6:47 pm
23rd April 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: Hit the Deck @Hitthedeckfest Nottingham 2013 Roundup: http://t.co/gQdGrAvC8A

6:47 pm
23rd April 2013

RT @tgtf: New post: Hit the Deck @Hitthedeckfest Nottingham 2013 Roundup: http://t.co/gQdGrAvC8A

10:57 am
24th April 2013

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