LIVE: Takedown 2012 Review

By Tom Aylott

Don Broco

After a year out, Takedown festival returned to the eyes and ears of music fans in Southampton with a vengeance this March.

At 2pm, the Monster Energy stage saw DEAD! Kick off he day, and the local quintet looked perfectly at home playing what was actually only their second gig as a band. Greeted by an enthusiastic crowd, they gave a confident and lively performance, getting their audience well in the mood for the rest of the day.

MALLORY KNOX were second to hit the stage, playing their first ever festival. With a fantastic reception from a fairly large crowd, eager to sing along and get moving, you couldn’t miss the enjoyment on the band’s faces.

DON BROCO continued to give a phenomenally energetic and explosive set, commanding no less than two walls of death, and naturally front man Bobby D got involved with both. The crowd’s rewards for joining in? A new song (now revealed as new single ‘Priorities’) and a classic DON BROCO ‘Thug Workout’.

As the day proceeded, the Guitar Central stage saw the likes of POLAR and FEED THE RHINO tear Southampton a new one, and as BURN THE FLEET packed out the Big Deal Clothing stage. It’s fair to say that there wasn’t a band playing without a smile on their faces.

Back at the Monster stage, Hampshire grown CANTERBURY began an exuberant set. Arguably one of the most unique bands in the UK at the moment, the indie rock quartet played to a room near bursting, with an audience happy to sing and dance along.

Fans remained after their set, eagerly awaiting LOWER THAN ATLANTIS. Over the past year, the LOWER THAN ATLANTIS set list has evolved into something ferocious and full of crowd pleasures, which wasn’t so good for the over-zealous few who crowd surfed their way to the front, only to be evicted from the venue. Toward the end of the set, vocalist, Mike Duce’s guys vs. girls drink off resulted in guys taking the crown, and the band’s performance left the crowd in high spirits.

By the time DEAF HAVANA took to the stage, the room was truly packed, with one or two at the front being pulled back over the barrier to prevent heat exhaustion. The most striking thing about the early part of their set was introduction of new, and permanent, member of Deaf Havana’s live line up – Matthew Veck-Gilodi – who on name alone needs little further introduction. It’s fair to say that the new addition to the band did exactly what James said he would, pick up James’ slack. The band seem to go from strength to strength at the moment and it was a great set from the rising UK rockers.

On the Southampton Music stage, KID’S CAN’T FLY played to an audience big enough to swamp most of the smaller venues in and around Southampton. Downstairs at the Guitar Central stage, BURY TOMORROW’s new songs, blended into a brutal set, impressed, and BLITZ KIDS kept the Big Deal stage packed until the evening was out. Last but not least, headlining the Monster Energy stage, Newport’s SKINDRED brought the curtain down on the day. Though they’re a band fairly different to anything else on the bill, they still had floods of people queuing to get into the stage thicker and faster than others could get out for air.

SKINDRED’s ragga metal is always real crowd pleaser, and those who made it in partied in a way that only they can inspire. With such a varied set of headliners, everyone’s music tastes were met at Takedown 2012, and not one person left feeling disappointed. Bring on Takedown 2013!