Friday afternoon after a 4 hour car ride we rocked up to Hevy Festival at Port Lymph , Kent where we set up camp with the other 2500 revellers eager for some serious head banging fun although first impressions were unfavourable , names not on press list , no press area, no power supplies to regenerate computers, no showers , no major fair , hardly any food stands ,lots of wasps…….. get the picture …………….so after a quick erection job our campsite is sorted and we go off to the Front Magazine party DJ’d on part by Viki Blow , some cover girl I’ve never heard of and other dudes who play some cracking tunes which keeps the small energetic crowd happy building human pyramids and crashing about . we stay for a while before heading off to buy some t shirts and back to base for sausage sandwiches and a relatively early night alas it turns out to be a pretty sleepless one due to rain and ravers Morning breaks more sausage sandwiches and a drying of sleeping bag session before returning to the arena for the music which is due to start at midday some band called Feed the Rhino take to the main stage thrash metal has started …..the mosh pit is sparse to start with but pretty energetic but grows rapidly as the arena fills security deals with the incoming crowd surfers.
Feed the Rhino is followed by various other thrash metal bands TRC, DEAD SWANS ,ROLO TOMASSI who could be one and the same to my old ears (ok Rolo Tomassi have a female singer ) the kids love them all moshing it up diving headlong into the pit the security coping well although removing the press from the pit earlier than the 3 song rule for our own safety .
Fucked Up take to the stage next well the band do , the singer decides to spend the next 45 minutes 1st on the other stage the in the mosh pit being mobbed ,lifted aloft moshed and basically having a great time this is how rock should be , cheers guys (and gal) for showing me the way again
Comeback kid are tight and very impressive too and pump the now swollen crowd to another level of controlled riotness before ending their set and making way for the main act of the day (for many the weekend) the Gallows
Frontman Frank Carter is known for his outspoken antics and tonight is no exception , insulting various groups , diving into the crowd and basically enjoying his time . The music is raucous loud and hypnotically brilliant and seemingly over way way too fast ending as suddenly as it starts and we all return to the now bulging campsite so much so that the boundry fence has been moved, sleep is not an option the cider fuelled revellers are up to party late into thre night .
Sunday arrives way to early and after a sausage sandwich the now pretty smelly rock worshipers surface and return to the arena for round 2 (or depending on arrival date ronud 3)
Todays music is more rock as I remember it , not one melodic shouting match but loud fast rock with lyrics I can hear Me vs Hero, Failsafe, Canterbury are early bands funny been to hundreds of gigs , never seen so many photographers in a pit for the first few acts three deep crammed up to the stage all getting in each others way no wonder security are not too happy. Young Guns are very impressive , looking forward to seeing them again in a couple of weeks ,as to are the Bassless Madina Lake amazing brilliant energetic 3 over used words but all true .
Over the past few months I have heard great things about The King Blues, somehow managing to miss seeing them live everytime they have played where I have been Hevy Festival corrects this and holy shit thank you very much. This band was , is , will be amazing . The socio and politically-conscious rogues brought their unique concoction of sounds and instruments to Port Lymph, with the frenzied addition of cowbells and whistles riling up the crowd with fist-in-the-air chants and sing-a-longs, showcasing an exuberant amount of energy and passion found at most King Blues shows that sets them apart from the rest. The King Blues still proved why they are repeatedly called the best live band in the UK; an always blisteringly inspiring band live.
The Subways and the Black Dahlia Murder clash on different stages so One song from each is the way to go , The Subways perform their usual flawless set gaining even more followers the Black Dahlia’s are new to me hard core metal straight out the 70’s which like the following, Napalm Death crams the already rammed Marque forcing the temperature skywards and the surfers into the pit 70 in 5 minutes I am informed , 1/2 the stage is fenced of so the ever egotistical Sepultura the 3 hours they require to build their mega drum kit why? ……… although I have to say when they do appear on stage they perform impeccable rock as per their 25 years together would suggest they should.
Rounding off the festival mainstage are Glassjaw who many I had spoken to had been waiting a long time to see . They saunter onto the stage , not sure whether they are sound checking or playing the show. Fronted by Daryl Palumbo this Long Island 4 piece show leaves me wondering why they are such an iconic outfit, they appear a poor Primal Screamish band and do nothing for me , their set finishes as it starts in chaos the band walking off ne goodbyes no encore no nothings, leaving the crowd baying for more, angrily bombarding the stage with bottles , cans anything to hand not the best way to end a festival . During their show one of the Security guys was doing his job saving surfers from headjuries when a freak kick to his head knocked him down leaving him in an ambulance for the rest of the show in severe pain ,hope you are ok mate
The Monday morning campsite stillness is punctured by security waking revellers to eject them from the site “Terry Wake up” is heard over and over , poor Terry eventually emerges still drinking cider still bladdered not sure where he is bless him , we leave him ass out crapping on some ones deserted tent not the best image to leave a festival with …
Hevy Festival overview……. This festival is in its infancy it has its bad points ( why not have the 2 mainstages next to each other like Reading Rock Fest used to ? wasps thousands of them stinging many artists and campers, no showers, toilets uncleaned, lack of stalls ,no press area , unable to return to car during event , cramped camping ) however and despite these there are so many positives (great atmosphere , friendly staff, great line-up, great location ) Hevy deserves success and to grow into an annual event with ever bigger crowds . Well Done James and Co bring on 2011