Chris reels off his five bands to watch at Hevy Fest 2015
As a Hevy Fest virgin, I’m much less sure about what to expect from it than I am our regular Tech Fest fare. Nevertheless, it’s been on my bucketlist almost since it started; much more aggressively aligned than the shows I normally go to, past alumni include an arms-length list of my favourite bands: Glassjaw and Devil Sold His Soul in 2010; The Dillinger Escape Plan, Architects and more recent Monolith favourites Carcer City in 2011; Norma Jean, Converge and The Chariot in 2012; and Finch, TesseracT and The Ocean last year.
And that’s cherry picking a few names from many. As such, we’re stoked to be attending this year, and as is customary, thought we’d give you our picks of the bands attending – so here are my five top tips for Hevy Fest 2015!
The Colour Line
Playing: Saturday – 1pm, 3rd Stage
Fresh from playing UK Tech Fest a month previously, as well as a quick run of dates around the north-east of England, Hull’s own The Colour Line are to play alongside an act who have undoubtedly influenced their stage craft if nothing else. One of Britain’s burgeoning answers to The Dillinger Escape Plan, who play main support to Coheed and Cambria on Friday night, TCL have made a name for themselves over the last couple of years as an exciting and unpredictable quality.
Recently re-jigged as a four-piece, with guitarist Sam Arundell transposing his parts to a six-string bass, songs about Barbara Streisand, Ewoks and Thrash Bandicoot are infused with energy by the limb-flailing, floor-rolling antics of vocalist Sam Rudderforth, and despite the restrictions of a festival stage – in comparison to their normal small club fare – they’ll have no difficulty making it their own.
Just recently signed to Basick Records, and with a new album due out later this year, they’ll be looking to tear Port Lympne a new one. Stage managers beware: they’ll likely give the monkeys a run for their money on your stage equipment.
The Fall Of Troy
Playing: Saturday – 6:50pm, Main Stage
When deciding which underground August festival to attend this month – Hevy or ArcTanGent – reformed Washingtonians The Fall Of Troy could have been a deciding factor. Luckily for all, they’re actually playing both, but Hevy got the nod because the trio are planning to play their seminal 2005 album Doppelgänger in full – almost exactly ten years to the day since it was released (August 16th to be exact, and they’re playing Saturday 15th).
As a technical music n00blet, I was always astounded at the ability for frontman Thomas Erak to play both wildly complicated guitar lines, AND sing, screech and shout in such a wild a varied fashion. Since reforming in 2013, it’s clear that he’s lost none of his potency; keeping busy with stints in Just Like Vinyl, CHON and Chiodos.
An exercise in nostalgia, it will be hard for fans of Doppelgänger to keep the smile from their faces. FOr everyone else, it will be an experience nonetheless; not easy to follow, but likely a pleasant one nonetheless, and certainly something a bit different.
Playing: Thursday – 10:20pm, 2nd Stage
Perhaps better known for his time fronting British rock band Reuben, the wonderfully characterful and electric Jamie Lenman has returned to music in recent years. Charismatic to the core, his dapper style matches the sophistication of his solo work, matching energetic hardcore with jazz-laden folk.
Thursday is all acoustic acts, so whilst he’s normally to be seen sporting an electric guitar, he’ll be just as comfortable with an acoustic. We’ll likely see more of the quieter side of 2013 debut Muscle Memory, but there may be a few cheeky Reuben tracks in there to please long-time fans. They go down a right treat, trust me.
Experienced as he is, there’s little to fault with his stage presence. Jokes, anecdotes and the occasional ribbing are all par for the course, but never at the expense of the music, which will be great to see in a the acoustic format. Alas, this generally means Jamie will be alone on stage, without the support of the fantastic Heavy Mellow Band, but it will no doubt be great all the same.
Playing: Friday – 5pm, 3rd Stage
Forced by a recent cease and desist order to ditch their awesome Baby Godzilla moniker, the newly rebirthed HECK have a reputation to rebuild.
Shouldn’t be too hard; they’re one of the fiercest British live acts around, giving stage managers across the country kittens on a regular basis with their unpredictable and acrobatic antics.
Watching HECK is an exercise in paying attention. Should your gaze drift, or fix on one member for too long, you’ll likely find another in your face before you know it, headstock swinging for your face. Of course, the festival setup will put a bit o a kibosh on this, but this will likely only encourage them to try harder.
Playing: Saturday – 9:30pm, Main Stage
Thrice are my heart’s pick of the weekend; one of my favourite bands, I’ve only seen them once, and am so glad they’re back from their hiatus – however brief it was.
Effortlessly cool and with a mammoth back-catalogue of songs, spanning eight studio albums and fifteen years, the Californians could play pretty much anything and charm the pants off a nun. Their earlier, more aggressive material features crowd favourites like “Deadbolt” and “The Artist In The Ambulance“, which sits perfectly alongside more anthemic material like “Come All You Weary” and “Of Dust and Nations“. The Alchemy Index EPs offer variety in spades, whilst there’s also introspection aplenty from their later tunes.
They’ve done this kind of thing so many times before that it’ll be blindingly tight and incredibly professional, and this is THE set of the weekend not to miss.