Hit The Deck Festival - Five Things We Learned
On Saturday (April 25th) hmv.com headed down to Bristol for a day of very very sweaty rock and roll, hardcore, punk and more besides at Hit The Deck Festival. Here's what we learned from the day-long extravaganza...
Watching live music is the best thing you can do with your clothes on...but it's better with them off!
You'll often see those people in the mosh pits with their shirts off once it gets too hot in there. However ragga metal band Skindred have found their own unique way of incorporating this into their set to glorious results. This is what is referred to as the "Newport Helicopter" and during the breakdown of their song "Warning", the following occurs:
1. Remove your shirt
2. Hold it aloft with both hands
3. Wait for the drop
4. Swing your shirt around above your head in unison.
Seeing a room of over 1,000 people swinging their items of clothing is quite a lot of fun...
The While She Sleeps and Cancer Bats joint headline tour will be the loudest and most intense one you'll see all year...
With both bands releasing stellar albums again in the last couple of months, it really is a great treat to see two of the best metal bands out there at the moment performing together. Cancer Bats are first on and they waste no time at all coming straight out in top gear. Not one track is filler; it really has an impact on the crowd. New songs like album opening 'Satellites' are greatly received by everyone there, however it's their older material like 'Hail Destroyer' and their awesome cover of Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage' that really get the energy going.
This high level is maintained throughout the whole of While She Sleeps set. The Sheffield based metalcore group have only released two albums so far; yet they've been so strong and have been a consistently solid live act that there is a very dedicated fan base here. From the off 'New World Torture' and 'This Is The Six' create the biggest and most energetic pits of the day so far. There are very few acts that are able to be this visceral and enjoyable at the same time.
The British rock and metal scene has never been stronger.
More established bands like Rolo Tomassi, The Xcerts and Tellison have already built up a large following from their critically acclaimed albums over time and are still exciting to watch today. However what's exciting is the wave of new acts now coming through looking to give the rock scene some promising new blood.
Acts like As It Is and Decade are great additions to the pop punk genre and draw in huge crowds at the Thekla. Strong sets from Monuments and Allusondrugs make everybody at the festival spoilt for choice when it comes to great music.
Lunchtime is never too early for a sweaty mosh pit.
The loud music starts at 12:15pm and carries on right through to 11:00pm. South Wales band When We Were Wolves are on very early with a rather short set but they certainly make an impact in the time that they are on stage. Bristol's Fleece already has a lot of people there drinking beer and checking out these new bands.
Likewise at the Academy the first mosh pit of the day occurs during "Idiom's" set and is a trend throughout the rest of the day. If the crowd is told to open up and create chaos, they do so within an instant.
Metal fans really are the best crowds out there...
Every single band who has made the journey today are humbled by the crowds that turn up to each of their shows. Some may not even be aware of their music or heard any of them before however there is always head banging and more often than not moshing. You'll find no heckling or bottling anywhere here just people enjoying themselves.
Being in the mix of everything may seem intimidating, but the matter of fact is that everybody is here to have a good time and you can clearly see that. There are no fights breaking out, no bust ups or arguments; just fans of good music that are welcoming to everybody else.