10 Bands Not to Miss in 2014’s UK Fest Circuit
April 2, 2014 | By: Martin Said
Thinking about heading out to any of the UK’s major festivals this year? Here’s a small guide to some great bands that we recommend.
Hacktivist – Camden Rocks, Reading and Leeds
If you live in the UK and still haven’t heard of Hacktivist, then something is definitely wrong. Since their inception in 2011, this five-piece have been touring up and down the country, showing off their incredibly honed mixture of filthy Djent riffs and grimy Hip-Hop, and have been welcomed with open arms by…well, everyone. The band has been a huge hit with the rock community, especially when considering their short career thus far, and it’s even more surprising to know that a big part of that quick success is thanks to a Kanye West and Jay-Z cover. Their Djent mash-up of the rap duo’s 2011 hit Niggas in Paris has been a smash on YouTube and the track can be downloaded for free on Hacktivist’s official site. Don’t class these Milton Keynes lads as a one-hit (cover) wonder though, because they’ve also released a 5 track EP, available for purchase on their site, and it is the perfect showcase of what they’re capable of as they knuckle down on their forthcoming debut album. Do not miss them! (And if you needed any more convincing, our very own Ben Roberts recently wrote a very favorable review of Hacktivist’s show at the Forum in Hatfield last month).
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Don Broco – Reading and Leeds
Oh, Don Broco. What a silly bunch. Much like Hacktivist, these lads have been making it big up and down the UK over the past few years, and it’s all thanks to their catchy as hell and ridiculously light hearted alt-rock anthems about girls, girls, and girls. Tongue in cheek “lad-rock” but with enough huge riffs and honest showmanship to bring the crowds to the dance floor (or filthy mud hole in the ground, whatever).
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Devil You Know – Sonisphere Festival
The rather under-appreciated new project from ex-Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones will be bringing its massive metalcore melodies to Knebworth this July, and people should be excited. Howard has definitely landed on his feet after jumping from the KSE ship, as Devil You Know are a band with great potential. Straight up metal, no bullshit – just deep vocals, crushing riffs and drums and big choruses, and we can’t wait to see them hitting UK shores. Their debut full length The Beauty of Destruction is released later this month.
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Itch – Sonisphere Festival
Ex frontman of The King Blues Johnny “Itch” Fox is really making a name for himself in 2014. After releasing two EP’s in 2012, the Camden folk-punk turned “feral street” rapper spent 2013 working on his debut album The Deep End, which was released last month. He took time out from the production of his record to play every show on the USA’s Warped Tour last year, and he did it all whilst in a wheelchair suffering from a broken leg. This guy is dedicated to his art, and a talented song writer. Backed up with beat production by none other than Goldfinger’s John Feldmann, if Itch doesn’t get the crowd moving at Sonisphere then nothing will.
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Tesseract – Sonisphere Festival
One of the big names in the UK Djent scene, Tesseract have rightly earned themselves that title. Mind bending riffs, ambient atmosphere, crashing drums, progressive time signature shifts and clean soaring vocals are shown off frequently over their 10 minute epics, which are pieced together in parts rather than separate songs. An incredibly talented set of song writers. Don’t miss them rock Knebworth this summer.
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Gnarwolves – Sonisphere Festival
Fresh faced up and coming skate punks from Brighton, this is perfect fodder for a hot summer festival. Fast and upbeat 2 minute pop-punk songs with a raw old school edge, excellent for those muddy circle pits and drunk crowd sing alongs. Think The Wonder Years but British. And more gnarly and with more wolves.
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Against Me! – Download Festival
Against Me! have been around for years now, so they might seem to stick out in this list of newer bands. But the truth is, this punk outfit from Gainesville, Florida are almost a completely different band now. In 2012 frontman Tom Gabel came out publicly as transgender and announced that he would begin living as a woman named Laura Jane Grace. A bold move and one that was well respected in the music world. With this personal transformation comes a transformation in Against Me’s music too. The band released their first album with Laura at the helm, Transgender Dysphoria Blues in January, and it proved to be somewhat of a reboot for the long running group. After a couple of band member replacements, they took on more of a folk sound than usual for the new record, and with Laura’s more personal lyrical offerings the band have just increased their crowd pleasing sing-along value. Add in the fact that drum god Atom Willard is now their sticks man and everything points to you joining their crowd this year at Download for a good dance.
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The 1975 – Reading and Leeds, Isle of Wight Festival, T in the Park
Yes, we all know who this band is by now. If you don’t hear their hits Chocolate or Sex everyday then you obviously don’t leave your house. Unfortunately quickly becoming an over played staple of mainstream radio stations, the 1975 are still arguably one of the best group of song writers to come out of the UK in years. Oh and it helps that they’re amazing live too. If you’re visiting any one of the many festivals they’re appearing at this year then give them a watch.
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Bleech – Camden Rocks
We’re big fans of these rising stars from London here at Rock Industry. Their second studio album Humble Sky was released earlier this year, we reviewed it here and loved it. Their heavily Britpop influenced Rock anthems are sure to be a big hit this year as they perform in Camden Town in May, an appropriately gritty concrete jungle to match their gritty garage dance tunes.
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Crazy Town – Download Festival
Just so you can teleport to the early 00’s and chill to this one song. Then bugger off with everyone else.
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