This year, the interest levels in this urban hardcore festival seem to have fallen a little. Punter numbers were down, but there was gems to be unearthed.
Date: April 26, 2015
Venues: Various (Nottingham)
This year, Hit the Deck is smaller. No road closures on Talbot Street, no massive venue jumps; it’s all compacted to Rock City and its basement, Rescue Rooms and Stealth.
With crowd numbers low, Belgian doom-miners Oathbreaker don’t care, and make an unholy clatter at Rock City. Their dark, sludgy death-metal grips you like a malevolent force; the bass ricocheting around your bones menacingly. The front woman screams down her mic, her hair covering her face. They are indeed a faceless presence, like a setting from a horror film, but more unnerving and terrifying.
American Pie’s Kevin is here with his band, The Thomas Nicholas Band, and he’s no shrinking violet. “Hi yeah, I’m Kevin from American Pie “, he proudly announces, as if to get that out of the way. He launches straight into a cover of James’s Laid, the soundtrack to the movie franchise, and as college rock envelops the room, people catch on. “Kevin!”, cries one fan. “You can call me Kevin if you like”, announces Nicholas, realising he’ll probably never shift that period from his life. As an aside, he and his band do a decent job.
In a complete musical contrast, Rolo Tomassi are the definition of hell in musical form. Front lady Eva Spence may look like butter wouldn’t melt, but her attractive frame is a cunning disguise for her guttural yelps and her band’s unpredictable math-core as it swells around her.
Frank Iero used to be part of My Chemical Romance. Now a lone star, his direction hasn’t veered from that course much, and at times, with his black hair flapping over his face, he has similarities to MCR, but only in a good way.
Ticket sales may have been down, with no venue “maxed out”, but the quality, at least, wasn’t spared.