Here Edge writers Natt Day and Tom Wingrave give a different approach to Takedown Festival.
For those of you who are somehow unaware, the University of Southampton played host to Takedown Festival 2013, which saw the University transformed into a full blown music festival for the day. With a huge number of bands on the four stages across the day it would be impossible to give an opinion on every band, so here’s a few highlights from a very busy day. The first and only band we managed to catch on the Smalltown Records Stage were Hey Vanity who for a band on stage early in the day were actually quite easy to listen to. Their music had elements of pop-punk which occasionally took a heavy turn, and was actually surprisingly good. The next band we managed to see were Subsource who were returning once again to play the Big Deal Clothing Stage. This band claims to be a ‘beat and bass driven live punk rock act’ and despite suffering a few technical hitches they managed to deliver a solid performance, however, we definitely felt that their performance merited a spot on one of the bigger stages.
Max Raptor gave a set absolutely packed with gusto which was even more impressive given that it was only three in the afternoon. The band approached the set at full throttle and full volume which meant it the band were far more intimidating live than on record—which really won me over. Similarly their no-holds-barred set meant it was almost impossible not to get caught up in it and meant it was one of the more energetic sets of the afternoon. Set highlights came in the form of ‘Patron Saint (Of Nothing)’ which was vocally relentless and set closer ‘The King Is Dead’ which was a musical flurry.
Another band returning for a second year were Mallory Knox, who in the year since they last played have come on leaps and bounds, this year they enjoyed a well-deserved elevated spot on the Rock Sound Stage. Mallory Knox gave the performance of the day for me, and despite playing relatively early on in the day they managed to pack out the main stage which as a result became unbearably hot. Ensuring that the main stage stayed sweaty up next were Don Broco, who are a great band and always offer a very energetic live performance, once again they provided an entertaining set.
Fresh off the back of releasing their debut full-length album, Arcane Roots were on unstoppable form. Every single moment was filled with sonic stylings of incomprehensible richness—with multiple different genres lending themselves to each song. With such musical density, it was little wonder that the crowd got so thoroughly involved and caused absolute carnage. Taking a more relaxed position on the main stage were We Are The Ocean who gave an excellent performance. The band have changed a lot recently, with the departure of singer Dan Brown, but in my opinion this has made them more accessible to the public and they deliver a far more relaxed performance. Whilst We Are The Ocean entertained everyone over on the Rocksound Stage, a severely delayed Hacktivist took over The Cube. The slightly compromised soundsystem didn’t seem to faze the band in the slightest however as they brought their rather unusual mix of rock riffs and dubstep rhythms to Southampton. Their take of ‘Niggas In Paris’ was both surprising and highly original; and, notably, saw one of their members scale the soundsystem.
The final band of the day on the main stage were The Blackout, who delivered a good performance, there was plenty of crowd participation in this set with Sean Smith spending most of ‘Start the Party’ in the crowd. The Blackout played a mixture of new and old songs, with songs from their new album sounding far better live than on the record, but The Blackout have always given an energetic and entertaining live performance. A final band of note were a local band from the New Forest called Natives, who last year played a set to a relatively empty main stage. This year they played to a far busier crowd on the Big Deal Clothing Stage, and gave a brilliant performance seeming more at home on the slightly smaller stage. All in all Takedown proved that despite it’s fledgling status, it very much is one of the best one-day alternative festivals out there and was more than worth the ticket prices. Once the little issues are ironed out, it is quite likely that Takedown could become a festival heavyweight in its own right.
For photos from the event check out the Takedown Festival Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Takedownfest