LIVE: Takedown Festival @ University, Southampton (07/03/2015)

Date: March 7th, 2015
Venue: University, Southampton
Website: www.takedownfestival.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/takedownfest
Twitter: www.twitter.com/takedownfest

Rating:

Takedown Festival has returned for its fourth year since its inception at the University of Southampton Student’s Union. Five stages crammed within two buildings, Southampton now has a British rock festival that shows up many others. Over 40 acts took over the Student’s Union for the day, with Mallory Knox set to headline and close proceedings, and together the line-up caused absolute jubliant mayhem.


DISTRICT STAGE

ZOAX
Unfortunately, we were unable to catch and review this act.

EMP!RE – 6/10
Emp!re are the second band to have control of the District Stage, and they bring along a fiery pace. Vocalist Joe Green has an insanely good voice, with a range not dissimilar to Claudio Sanchez‘s of Coheed & Cambria. However, admittedly the venue doesn’t quite suit their ability by hindering the sound quality the crowd received. There’s certainly an exciting a future ahead of them.

INME – 8/10
This incredible 4-piece have been around for nearly two decades. However, the sharpness in which they deliver their debut album ‘Overgrown Eden’ is it was released just yesterday. Given a one hour set in the middle of the afternoon, the crowd welcome the Essex troupe onto the stage. Dave McPherson delivers perfect vocals with the fans helping out whenever possible, although at times his voice gets a little lost within the sound itself.

ROLO TOMASSI – 7/10
Sheffield’s Rolo Tomassi enter the hall to a cinematic feel, building up to a energy brimmed performance that they’ve come to be associated with. Vocalist Eva Spence splits her time between singing smooth harmonies, bellowing out aggressive vocals and making up for the rest of the band’s rare movement. A truly incredible spectacle.

ARCANE ROOTS – 7/10
The trio from Kingston have made a name for themselves over the past couple of years, touring and supporting various big names in rock such as Muse and Biffy Clyro. Coming off that, people are expecting big things, and the boys produce a solid show with little fireworks. No getting away from it, these guys are good live. However, their performance could be spruced up a bit with a tad more energy.

THE BLACKOUT – 9/10
This will be The Blackout‘s last ever festival appearance and show on the south coast, and they can break up knowing that their performance at Takedown Festival was nigh on perfect. A show littered with their major hits from over the years, ‘Higher And Higher’ and ‘Children Of The Night’ certainly pull in the most crowd input. These Welsh rockers have rarely let their followers down over the past 13 years, and it will be sad to see them leave the British rock scene. Good luck to them.

CHARLIE SIMPSON – 7/10
Anyone that has an inkling of knowledge about music knows that Charlie Simpson is one of the best vocalists around. The man radiates confidence, however comes across very graciously. His performance is of great maturity, although it feels like the stage and setting doesn’t quite suit his particular brand of music when set in between the likes of Mallory Knox and The Blackout. An earlier set may have been a little more apt, perhaps swapping with InMe‘s slot.

MALLORY KNOX – 9/10
With one of the best performances of the day, Mallory Knox blow their large following away with a number of hits thrashed out in superb quality. The five-piece are introduced to the stage by the classic anthem ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’, with frontman Mikey Chapman draped in a Union Jack flag. The group from Cambridge put on a hell of a show, with the lighting helping to the incredible sound these guys produced. With all the hits from their two albums being whipped out, no-one is left disappointed.

The guys are very thankful throughout, and aren’t slow to big up the position of British rock music at the moment, and who can question them? Takedown Festival has highlighted this with the variety of acts that have been put on. Closing things off with ‘Lighthouse’, the happy punters leave the hall sweat dripping from their brows.


BIG DEAL CLOTHING STAGE

PROLONG THE AGONY
Unfortunately, we were unable to catch and review this act.

ASTROID BOYS – 7/10
If Beastie Boys and Hacktivist got together and made some music, it would kind of come out like these guys here. Astroid Boys hail from Cardiff and give a performance of massive energy, combined with a snappy rap over a heavy beat. Equipped with a good following of fans, the Welsh outfit are here to please the masses, with ‘Minging’ getting the best reaction from the quickly filling room. A fun act who are definitely worth a watch.

DIRT – 9/10
With this being only their third live performance ever, Dirt produce something none other than imperious. These guys no doubt have a massive future ahead of them after only forming 4 months ago, or so they say. Vocalist Alistair Keenan‘s voice is insanely good, everything compliments each other impeccably, and tracks like ‘Insomnia’ are just beautifully crafted. Dirt are on the path to explode to the masses, there’s not doubt about it.

MILK TEETH – 7/10
Rising four-piece Milk Teeth come onto stage with a big crowd awaiting them. This grungy outfit bring forth a good performance, with elements of hardcore here and there. At times, the sound of the instruments swallow up the Becky‘s vocals, but there’s no doubting the subtleness of the music they rained upon their audience. A few of their songs are a little similar and follow a somewhat set pattern but, being so young, they certainly have time to tighten the bolts and become something truly special.

CREEPER – 7/10
The Southampton based punk band hit the stage knowing that their local fans are here to adore them. Creeper seemingly feel at home on this stage, and enjoy the intimate feel they have with the audience. An honest performance is delivered, however the invitation of stage diving is questionable. The surroundings aren’t suitable for this, but that’s neither here or there. With crowd favourite ‘VCR’ getting the faithful truly going, Creeper fail to disappoint, and earn themselves a few fans whilst they’re at it.

DECADE
Unfortunately, we were unable to catch and review this act.

MOOSE BLOOD – 8/10
A rising favourite in the scene, Moose Blood are arguably the UK’s answer to Brand New. Every song holds the potential for a huge sing along, although the guys need a little bit more confidence about them. They hold quite a shy persona, but with experience this will whittle away and a top notch band will break through.

BABY GODZILLA – 9/10
How can this performance be rated? The performance that is witnessed here from the very first second is no less than absolute carnage. From the right go, Baby Godzilla throw themselves into the crowd and leave bassist Paul Shelley to have the freedom of the stage. This is one hell of a show which few would’ve expected. When either Jonny Hall or Matt Reynolds found their mics, they pushed out deafening screams along with the amazingly unnatural way of playing their instruments. This slot comes across as a jamming session, where the audience were lucky enough to be invited to! No one will ever forget this theatrical masterpiece.


UPRAWR STAGE:

Unfortunately, we were unable to catch and review any acts that performed on this stage.


OBSIDIAN STAGE:

Unfortunately, we were unable to catch and review any acts that performed on this stage.


SOUTHAMPTON MUSIC INTRODUCING STAGE:

Unfortunately, we were unable to catch and review any acts that performed on this stage.


Written by Tom Griffiths