Hit The Deck Festival 2012

Claire White

With over 45 bands playing across five venues, Hit The Deck truly had something for everyone in Nottingham last weekend.

Ranging from the larger Rock City to intimate Stealth venues, each venue brought a unique atmosphere for festival go-ers with mosh pits in one room to sofas in others, with an outdoor DJ stage and indoor relaxing rooms, you could make the most of the festival but still have time to stop and catch your breath before the next band.

The Rescue Rooms was home to the Front Magazine Stage, first we caught Blackstorm who despite the small crowd, maintained energy throughout. The transition between songs was slick. For a band early in the day, they maintained a good stage presence.

If you were lucky enough to squeeze into Stealth, you could have caught the likes of Polar, Crossfaith, Verses, Bury Tomorrow and Rolo Tomassi. Considering the early start for Polar, the room was packed out with the crowd struggling to fit in. The band portrayed full energy with their strong set, pleasing the crowd and getting them into the full festival spirit.

The early rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the Nottingham crowd as they made their way to each venue. Fortunately, the rain didn’t last and the outdoor RedBull DJ stage provided the soundtrack for those relaxing outside Rock City.

Decade took to the Big Deal Clothing Stage in Rock City’s basement and packed the room out to the door. With great energy once again and strong vocals from Alex Sears, overall the band provided a fantastic set. After their performance at the festival we are certainly to keen to hear more from the band and recommend that you check them out!

Hildamay played the main stage in Rock City and with most pits a plenty, the crowd were fully engaged before any song even began. With a sea of hands clapping and singing along, Rock City certainly made the most of their appearance. In particular track ‘This War Is Over’ was a very popular choice.

Yashin‘s set proved, as the band explained, “exactly why it’s called Rock City”, with the energetic crowd opening mosh pits, singing, clapping and moving along to their full set. The packed out room was in high spirits, with the crowd applauding before the band appeared on stage. With the first song every one was already singing along and the band maintained fantastic band/crowd interaction throughout. An excellent set.

We Are The In Crowd maintained a packed crowd who were full of energy and singing along throughout their set, showing the band’s fans were out in full force. From the beaming smile across front woman Taylor Jardine’s face, you can tell the band were enjoying the experience as much as the crowd. During the set for latest single ‘Kiss Me Again’, Brian Dales from The Summer Set joined the band to sing along. We Are The In Crowd also announced during their time on stage that they will be supporting Young Guns UK headline tour this October.

Another different choice for the alternative festival came from Arizona band The Summer Set. With strong crowd interaction and great set encompassing old and new material, the balance was just right for fans old and new to experience their infectious songs. Tracks ‘Chelsea’ and ‘The Boys You Do’ were crowd favourites with everyone joining in and bouncing along with to the cheery feel-good songs.

Lower Than Atlantis managed to gain one of the largest crowds we experienced during the day. With people struggling to get in, stuck outside the doors of Rock City’s main stage, proving their popularity with ease and the band’s set managed to prove why the anticipation was so high.

Deaf Havana experienced unfortunate sound problems with their lead vocals seeming too quiet for the venue size, with the back of room slightly struggling to hear, yet this did not stop the room filling out with fans signing in force over the vocals. The band provided a good choice of set list to get crowd moving. ‘I Will Try’ was a crowd favourite with everyone engaged.

Special guests for this years festival were Young Guns who had a fantastic turnout, despite the announcement only the day before the event. The Forum was full and security were operating a one-in-one-out policy proving exactly why the band were invited back. The crowd were fully engaged without encouragement needed. Front man Gustav Wood used the stage space with ease, engaging with the whole crowd. With strong bass lines, catchy lyrics and energy full to the brim, the band’s set was one not to be missed.

Other highlights in the day came from Of Mice & Men, Don Broco, The Swellers and Arcane Roots.

Headlining this years festival was Welsh rockers Kids In Glass Houses. With an impressive introduction and with the lighting providing a show of it’s own, they proved why they made perfect headliners for the event. Opening with ‘Sunshine’, a great choice to get the crowd involved immediately. The band sound exactly live as they do recorded proving their talents on stage. Front man Aled Phillips was energetic throughout and at points was climbing on speakers ordering mosh pits and leaning back into the crowd giving them his microphone. The crowd all following his demands with no hesitation. The band know exactly how to work the crowd with arms in the air clapping and singing loudly with their set maintaining full energy and enthusiasm from the word go.

With an excellent range of bands showcasing some of the best up and coming bands the UK has to offer, fantastic venues and an enthusiastic crowd to go along with it all; Hit The Deck was a perfect start to this years festival season.

All we can say now is roll on Hit The Deck 2013!

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