Southampton University


Southampton University’s student union was completely taken over by 35 bands performing over four stages for the Takedown Festival 2012, the festival has brought together a host of local up and coming bands along with some great major headliners from the world of alternative rock. The Festival organisers should be heartily congratulated as on arrival at the site everything was so easy, no huge queues to collect entry wristbands, great sign- posting to ensure ease of moving around the buildings and most importantly a clear list of when where and what time all bands were playing. The only problem with four stages like with any festival there was always going to be a clash of bands and it was difficult to see every band you wanted.

The Big Deal Clothing stage which was situated in the Student Union bar which was serving reasonable priced drinks and food all day long, as well as the chance of watching some great bands you could also catch up with what was happening in the FA Cup Quarter Final between Liverpool and Stoke which was shown on the bar’s huge screen.

Burn The Fleet
Burn The Fleet: 01

Southampton’s “Burn The Fleet” provided some great early entertainment with a set made of numbers from their soon to be released album which lead singer Andrew Convey proudly announced would be given away free with April’s “Rock Sound” magazine. The local band pretty much had the audience on their side from the start with songs such as the powerful “The Greatest Fire” and the bands crowing glory “Handfuls of Sand” which got a large part of the audience singing along in great unison. Noise and energy levels increased as “Fei Comodo” took to the stage, lead singer Marc Halls whipped the audience into am minor frenzy for a great 30 minute set, giving listeners a showcase prior to a Tour in May for their much anticipated new album “Behind The Bright Lights”.

Sub Source
Sub Source: 01

“Sub Source” certainly raised a few eye brows with a radically different style with original mix of genres that produced something quite outstanding. Their self named “Dub Step punk” infused industrial with dance to give the excited audience a great performance which included their own material such as “On My Video” and a creative reworking of Nirvana’s “Breed” played on an electric double bass coupled with guitar and a live DJ.

Over on the main Monster Energy stage Bedford boys “Don Broco” were whipping up a storm of their own with a large crowd getting energetic with huge circle pits and the chaotic wall of death, actively encouraged by vocalist Rob Damiani who as usual gives 100% . The band performed some new material along side uplifting classics such as “Dreamboys” and “Top Of The World”, giving some perfect evidence that this band are ready to take things up to the next level.

Natives: 01

Southampton band “Natives” who were formally known as “Not Advised” as next up and they do their best to continue in the same vein as “Don Broco”, their time on stage is used to showcase some promising some new material which sadly does not get the same reception as the likes of “Right Now” which gets some of the crowd joining in with the infectious chorus.

Sub Source
Canterbury: 01

“Canterbury” gets a chorus or ahhh’s from all the ladies in the audience as lead singer Mike Sparkes dedicates a song to his Mum who is watching from the back of the hall as it is Mothering Sunday after all. The band put in one of the best performances so far of the day getting the audience on moving along to some new material “More Than No”, and “Ready Yet” which shows some impressive twin guitar work.

By the time “Lower Than Atlantis” take to the main stage the hall is absolutely packed with anyone entering the hall late having to watch from the back, the Herefordshire four piece take things up and really give the crowd one hell of a performance. The band’s clever style of song writing is clearly impressive, with their own material sounding great live which is also coupled with a Foo Fighters medley of “Everlong” and “The Pretender” which really whips up the crowds excitement level. They also set up a little Male v Female beer drinking contest with two members of the audience, necking a beer as quick as they can, the ladies won comfortably.

Sub Source
Deaf Havana: 01

James from “Deaf Havana” seemed genuinely pleased with the reaction from the large excited crowd in front of him as his band take to the stage, they now have swelled into a five piece with the addition of his brother Matthew on guitar. They performed some great tunes from their latest album “Fools and Worthless Liars” with the crowd singing the choruses to “I Will Try” and “I am a Bore, …Mostly”, with the highlight of the set was a rousing emotional version “Hunstanton Pier”.

Sub Source
Canterbury: 0102

So on to the band that virtually everyone has come here to see “Skindred”, up until now the Festival had gone very smoothly, as “Skindred” were about to take the stage a major problem with the guitar delayed their entry. The crowd were patient initially, but as the start time of 10pm came and went, then slow hand claps and chants of “Skindred Skindred” showed their slight impatience. At 10:30pm with the problem sorted the lights dimmed and the intro music of a funked up Star Wars Imperial March hailed the arrival of the Festival Headliners. The reaction was immediate as the whole of the dance floor descended into a mass of chaos, with a mind blowing genre busting mix of Ska, Metal, Reggae, Dance, Rock and even a little Dubstep the band proceeded in blowing each member of the audience away with an amazing performance. The hour long set included so many highlights, lead singer Benji would not anyone in the audience relax, pointing out individuals who were not getting involved. It was very hard to even standstill with songs like “Doom Riff” and “Warning” getting everyone bouncing up and down at a frantic pace, during “Pressure” Benji directed everyone to take off their T-Shirts and whirl them around their heads like a helicopter which worked to great effect. The worthy headliners left the stage after a hour leaving the audience feeling drained and totally satisfied after such a quality performance, so Takedown 2012 was one hell of a success……roll on 2013!!!


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Review, Pictures, and Videos by Dave Chinery (Chinners).

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