Hevy Festival Proves The Brit Rock Underground Is Alive And Well

As the first weekend in August began, I was super excited to attend the tiny but awesome Hevy Festival in Kent for two days of seriously sweaty beards making loud noises in an animal park. I saw thousands of people lose their shit to so many wicked punk, metal, thrash and hardcore bands. It was wonderfully unpretty.

Just in case you lot didn’t make it down, I bought a rubbish camcorder so you too can feel like a stalker. Ready?

Ok, first up are one of my favourite bands in recent years, Trash Talk, who just happened to be having their first ever festival experience. Even though they’ve had some line up changes, written a new (Joby J Ford-produced-therefore-amazing) album and tapped into the brain cells of every music journo in the UK, they remain as raw and explosive as the first time I saw them in a dingy attic somewhere in northern England.

Here’s what they had to say in between being stoned in the woods and getting stung by wasps:

Obviously it was going to end with a trip to the paramedics. Check out their latest single ‘Explode’ with guest vocals from The Bronx’s voice box, Matt Caughthran. It’s taken from their second album ‘Eyes & Nines’ – if you’ve not nabbed a copy yet, you’re missing out.


Then I had a natter with Leeds metal riffers Chickenhawk about their favourite type of alcoholic potion and what they consider to be useful gig tips.

As their set was so full, I couldn’t capture any live footage, so here’s their awesome video for ‘I Hate This, Do You Like It?’ in which even I got covered in strawberry syrup for 10 hours and was consequently almost eaten alive by ants.

That was almost as fun as trying to explain to a taxi driver at 3am why I genuinely did not require an ambulance for transportation. Oh and it just happens to be directed by NME’s very own Danny North

Comeback Kid’s new album ‘Symptoms & Cures’ is released at the end of the month and is brilliant. Like reallllly good. Go buy it. Here’s some words from all round nice guy and the band’s front man, Andrew Neufeld before their set at Hevy.

And here he is having a cold beer with Lee from Trash Talk.  Cosy or what?

Glassjaw headlined the main stage on Sunday night, after watching Napalm Death shred it over at the Rock Sound stage. Daryll (Palumbo, Glassjaw singer) loves them! Here he is waiting for them to start, and certainly not getting beaten up by girls.

The atmosphere for GJ’s show was totally electric. They played brand new material before selling an all-new 7″ vinyl (their first new release in five years). Here is my friend Jax – she travelled all the way from Glasgow to Kent to catch their set.

Is anyone else desperate for the next album?! I wish every band was this epic. Check out their performance here:

And finally, here’s some of my other favourite bits from the weekend including a bowel-shaking set from
Gallows and an excitable introduction to  The James Cleaver Quintet.

Lesson learnt at Hevy? Simple: Britain has got some bloody good underground bands that are about to surface from grubby basement clubs and blow minds. See you next year for round two!