I’ve been to a fair few festivals but I’ve never attended Southampton’s offering to the circuit, Takedown Festival, held at the University. This year I headed there with the support of Alt Entertanian and camera lady, Christy to see what it had to offer.
I could immediately understand why Takedown is such a popular festival, the atmosphere was electric, the line-up was brilliant and the drinks were cheap too! What else could music lover ask for really? Well aside from some magic of course, and they even had that one covered in the form of Dee Christopher, star of BBC Three’s Killer Magic.
We jam packed our day with interviews with Three Times Over, Dee Christopher, InMe, Forever Never, Colt 45, The Blackout and Mallory Knox and used Clash Finder to plan out who we would get to see live.
After a few interviews we decided to get our bearings and wandered around to find where all of the stages were located. We were both really excited to see some of our favourite bands play. Although sadly we didn’t get to check out all of the stages, so much to see, so little time!
Southampton Music Stage:
We passed this stage throughout the festival but our ears pricked up when a particular band were playing, We Deny.
The five-piece, female fronted pop-punk/rock band from Basingstoke really know how to engage their crowd! We Deny bounced around the stage with wild amounts of energy and lead singer, Loren Mancini had some great banter.
Their music made me want to dance like nobody was watching and their sound is very distinctive and sounds a little like a rockier sounding We Are the in Crowd.
These guys are definitely ones to watch this year!
We were lucky enough to interview the Colt 45 guys as well as see them on stage. They’re an alt-rock trio from Cumbria. Their sound is a mix between the Alkaline Trio’s vocal style and Gaslight Anthem’s energy.
But these guys don’t just have the music, they have the whole package – they’re charming, witty and know how to involve their crowd! We’ll be seeing much more of these guys this year as they’ve already featured in Kerrang and on this stage at such an awesome festival.
Songs worth checking out are Salt Water and O.K.
InMe’s set saw a very packed room; we even struggled to find a good space to stand! Raspy vocals and the fine twang of guitars filled the room as the crowd sang along and went crazy for the legendary rockers.
They played classics from their Overgrown Eden album and it was clear that the crowd loved it! Everywhere I looked there were people in their own worlds listening and singing along to the music.
It was also really great to see so many smiling faces and Mikey from Mallory Knox join InMe on stage for a song together, Faster the Chase. Their latest album is a Pledge campaign, so get behind it and make sure the world can enjoy even more of their great songs!
We especially wanted to see The Blackout perform as this was their last time at Takedown Festival and one of their last appearances as a band (very sad times).
But these are rockers who know how to go out with a bang! We managed to squeeze into the room through the crowds and watch most of the band’s set. Lead singer, Sean Smith is a born entertainer and the crowd love him, which was clear from the chants and screams he got when belting out lyrics at the crowd.
Everyone in the room was excited and jumping around and the band filled the stage and the rest of the room with their energy. I especially love their songs; Start the Party and Wolves, so I was super happy that they played these live.
At the end of their set they went off stage with heavy hearts, and it was clear through their screams that their fans would miss them, as will I.
Charlie Simpson has tried almost everything, Busted, Fightstar and now a solo career. I must say the country twang in his music isn’t to my taste but it was curiosity that caused me to stay for his whole set.
I would probably listen to his songs to chill out but I much preferred him during his Fightstar days. Although it was quite clear from the crowd that had accumulated in the room, that he clearly has a strong following. The one thing he does have though is a mysterious charm that made me want to watch him more.
After a few hours of waiting and some very painful feet, Mallory Knox entered and once again the room was packed and it was buzzing. And yes they did perform that much loved song that’s played on the radio very often, Shout at the Moon and it was awesome!
Everyone screamed along and got lost in their Mallory Knox bubbles. One thing that I do think was a shame was that it was really hard to hear lead singer Mikey, but I’m not sure if that’s because we were right next to a speaker or because the sound wasn’t too good at that point. Either way their set was amazing!
All in all, I think that Takedown Festival had something for everyone. We enjoyed some magic, some great music, some great merch stalls to browse at and an atmosphere that any die-hard festival-goer would bounce off of.
Words and photography by Michelle Stannard