Takedown has become an important part of the festival season - it almost feels like the gun shot which kicks the whole thing off every year. But more than that, Takedown has become an important festival each year for bands on the rise, those who could very well be gracing the higher spots at bigger events in the future. This year was no different, across five stages and kicking off at about 1pm the line up was absolutely dense with bands from across various sub genres so whether you enjoy dancing around to catchy Pop Punk or knocking people out in the pit to a bit of Metalcore, there was always something to enjoy at Takedown.

Hitting up a mid-afternoon slot, Hawk Eyes (10/13), found themselves on the stage curated by Fearless Vampire Killers. Now with this being the case, the stage was pretty much full of stagnant FVK fans who were not really interested in moving around the festival just in case they lost a good spot for their favourite band. In that respect, Hawk Eyes had a bit of a raw deal as far as the crowd were concerned. Considering their music is so different to the other bands sharing the stage that day, it probably might have been expected, but it didn’t mess with the quality of their performance. They’ve always been consistent live, and despite some tech issues bogging down their energy, the band delivered a good set full of tracks from latest album Everything Is Fine which clearly had those actually in attendance to see them in good spirits by the end. Colt 45 (8/13) suffered the same fate as Hawk Eyes did as far as the crowd enthusiasm was concerned, but again they did well to work with what they had. Their catchy breed of Punk translates well on the live stage as the band treated the, albeit small, crowd to tracks from their latest record The Tide Is Turning.

Moving downstairs to the Uprawr Stage, things got a bit heavier and a hell of a lot more aggressive. The Hell (11/13), as usual, triggered a level of chaos that matches their own lunacy. There were a lot of fans of the band in attendance, so a lot of people knew what they were all about, but as will always be the case with The Hell at these festival shows part of the fun is looking around at the people to the sides and the back who have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on. The band tore through tracks from their first album and last year’s Groovehammer with a venomous level of spite, and humour. As It’s The Motherfuckin’ Hell (You Dick) and Everybody Dies opened up the pits, the overzealous security on the day tried their best to ruin the moment, but as Lower Than Atlantis’s Mike Duce appeared out of nowhere to crowd surf from the stage, there was nothing to stop the bedlam. Always so much fun.


Next up on the same stage, was a far more calculated breed of heavy as Devil Sold His Soul (10/13) tore through their set with unbelievable levels of precision - and there was no let up with the crowd and size of the pits opening up with front man Paul Green interacting with them brilliantly. Huge shout out from this set also needs to go to drummer Leks Wood, whose delivery drives the band so well. They’ve got this methodical nature about their music, similar to that of Meshuggah, and they make it seem so effortless. DSHS are so technically tight on the live stage they definitely ended up as band of the day for so many. Bleed From Within (9/13) similarly brought the riff BIG when they hit the stage after DSHS, amplifying once again the quality on the Uprawr Stage this year. The security once again had a hard time trying to contain the level of madness the band were able to stir into the crowd as they threw themselves into tracks new and old. There were some sound issues which unfortunately brought the quality down a notch, but as has been the case in the last couple of years, this feels like a band who are on the cusp of achieving something big, and based on their energy on stage today that feeling is set to continue.


Moving over to the Main Stage for the day, Fightstar’s Charlie Simpson (8/13) was next up and there was no doubt that he had drawn a huge crowd. It was clear watching the set that he was largely enjoying himself, and there were a fair few down the front feeding off that enthusiasm, but the quality wasn’t that high. It was a fun set, but nothing really to shout about, especially in comparison to some Fightstar live shows.

Heading just across the way to the bizarrely positioned Big Deal Stage, Baby Godzilla (12/13) delivered by far and away the most intense thirty minutes of music all day. We noted in our preview feature that with Baby Godzilla, if you’ve been to their show before you know what you’re getting yourself in to - filthy, violent punk fuelled Hardcore, and that was amplified ten times due to the compact setting in which they were placed to perform. The scenes of chaos were frankly unparalleled on the day as each member of the band ventured into the crowd, including the drummer, at least once, becoming themselves embroiled in the pits and madness - it created a tense atmosphere once again with the security detail, who frankly acted moronic across all stages all day. As the band closed with Powerboat Disaster there was this phenomenal sense of unity and defiance as Baby Godzilla well and truly blew most of the other bands on the day off the stage.


High Points: Great atmosphere. Brilliant variation of bands between all stages.
Low Points: Overzealous security.