Gig Review

Nass Festival 2012
Royal Bath And West Showground
6th - 8th July 2012

Photo Of Nass Festival © Copyright Neil OliverNass festival set at the Bath & West showground boasts a mixture of sports and music spread over three days. With last year's line up including the likes of Tinie Tempah, We Are The Ocean and Cancer Bats, it caters to a variety of tastes, and this year was no different. With the likes of SUM41, Pulled Apart By Horses and the increasingly popular Lower Than Atlantis as well as the return of Modestep and DJ Fresh performing a Live set, you wouldn't even need a second stage. With NASS festival housing a BMX and Skateboard competition, the trade village filled with brands such as Route One, Big Deal clothing, Demakes Apparel and King Apparel, fairground rides, catering vans, bands and DJ sets spread across six stages, a silent disco and the all new Neon Forest there was more than enough to keep everyone busy throughout the weekend.

Photo Of Lower Than Atlantis © Copyright Neil OliverWith the rain falling down relentlessly on Friday the weekend could easily have taken a turn for the worse, as the ground turned into a muddy mess, but surprisingly the indoor trade village remained fairly empty. As people flooded between stages the unprepared making resourceful attempts to stay dry by wearing carrier bags around their shoes and bin bags as poncho's. By the time the evening set in most people had faces covered in UV paint mud or both. With Skateboard and BMX practice sessions in full throttle featuring Tyler Hendly and returning champion Kelvin Hoefler turning heads. The BMX also drawing a crowd in the park as well as the dirt, with Relentless's Lima as well as Harry Main and Daniel Sandoval sticking out among the competitive crowd.

Photo Of Lower Than Atlantis © Copyright Neil OliverAs well as the sport, Friday saw a number of top notch sets including Great Cynics and Mathcore band Rolo Tomasi filling the Front Stage. The main stage was packed for the set of Chiddy Bang and the crowd was finished off by an outstanding set by DJ Fresh. With the main stage completely packed full of a merry, dancing and singing crowd.

Photo Of The Computers © Copyright Neil OliverWith the bands not kicking off till lunchtime we headed over to the trade village, which saw a few giveaways. with a large crowd filling the corner of the trade village being drawn in by one of the Route One staff with a microphone, resulting in a deck, some t-shirts and a few other bits being thrown into the crowd. After the hustle and bustle of people attempting to get their hands on some free goodies it was time to head off and catch the first band of the day.

Photo Of The Computers © Copyright Neil OliverVerses (4/5)
One of the best things about going to a festival is discovering a great band you hadn't hear d of before. The first of which came on Saturday afternoon, as Verses open the main stage to a crowd of about ten people. With a sound similar to that of Navies (previously called Not Advised) with a bit more bass. It was clear that the strong vocals and tight performance soon won over the crowd, looking comfortable on stage and clearly loving ever second of it.

Photo Of Don Broco © Copyright Neil OliverLower Than Atlantis (3.5/5)
Up next on the main stage were hard hitting Punk band Lower Than Atlantis a band I'd been looking forward to for a while, as we missed them at Slam Dunk festival. With their increasing popularity it was no surprise the main stage was flooded with people as it came time for them to play. Getting an excellent response from the crowd when performing "Beech Like The Tree" and "Deadliest Catch" with many myself included singing along. Whilst the performance was clearly polished and energetic the sound wasn't great, which Mike's vocals slightly lower than they should have been. That being said, this was clearly not the fault of the band nor a lack for vocal strength as Mike could be heard word for word anywhere outside at Slam Dunk. One of the highlights of the set was the Foo Fighters medley including "Everlong" and "The Pretender", and on par with You Me At Six's endeavour.

Photo Of Don Broco © Copyright Neil OliverThe Computers (4/5)
For the second time at NASS we had the pleasure of stumbling upon another fantastic band. After trawling through the muddy showground to the "Front" stage, we were welcomed with lead singer of The Computers sat half over the barrier with a crowd covered in mud from the puddle that had formed in front of the stage. With a the crowd jumping around and even skim boarding along the mud on a skateboard deck in the craziest and most energetic reaction we saw in the entire weekend. The weird mix of swing, hardcore, rock and roll being performed by a band dressed entirely in white, definitely not your ordinary festival experience. "Teenage Tourettes Camp" was a personal favourite and as a reward for fantastic crowd response the lead singer joined them in the mud whilst continuing his shouty vocals.

Photo Of Don Broco © Copyright Neil OliverDon Broco (4/5)
After a great show by The computers Don Broco had a lot to contend with. Having seen the name a number of times at festivals but never managed to catch them I was looking forward to seeing what they had to offer, and even though the sludge leading to the Front tent kept the crowd fairly small it had an intimacy as well as a Woodstock style "what the heck" attitude as we had seen during The Computers set. Unsure what to expect as the alternative rock quartet took the stage, with Tom Doyle playing some incredible bass riffs and Rob Damiani's strong deep voice powering though and making them a definite highlight. As they played through some of the tracks off of their debut studio album "Promises" with a huge amount of energy, with everyone jumping around, the crowd singing along and Rob over the barrier at one point to get up close and personal with the crowd.

Photo Of Sum 41 © Copyright Neil OliverSum 41 (3.5/5)
As the main headline act Canadian pop punk stars Sum 41 were playing to most of NASS festival, quite a few of whom had probably missed the band recently due to the forced cancelations such as supporting New Found Glory on the Kerrang Relentless tour. This meant they had a lot to make up for, and with six albums a whole lot of material to pick from. Starting with "Reason To Believe" the opening track of "Screaming Bloody Murder" beginning as a slow rock song before dropping into a quicker more pop punk style. This track was quickly followed with "Fat Lip" and two songs later "In Too Deep" for the album that saw the band fly into popularity "All Killer No Thriller" both tracks welcomed with an eruption of jumping and singing from the crowd. To my disappointment there was less energy and immaturity on stage than I had envisioned from a Sum 41 gig, although we only caught the first five tracks of a 20 song set list as we had to rush back to the "Front" stage which had been explosive with energy all day. This meant there was plenty of time for Sum 41 to bring some of the vitality of their video's to the stage so the performance was on par with the sound.

Photo Of While She Sleeps © Copyright Neil OliverWhile She Sleeps (4.5/5)
Returning to the Front stage for the last time of the night, with the crowd reaching the back of the tent all waiting in anticipation for Hardcore band While She Sleeps to start. With what we had witnessed at the Front stage today I wasn't sure the tent would be able to house the crowd. With what can only be described as a wall of sound not to mention the jumping around and head banging they put the likes of All Time Low to shame, with flawless guitar playing and plenty of energy from Sean Long and Mat Walsh and no need for any off stage reinforcement as is far too common nowadays. Lawrence Taylor spinning and tossing the mic stand in between screams, regularly discarding it to leap around the stage or jump onto the barrier with security guards rushing ready to pull him Photo Of While She Sleeps © Copyright Neil Oliverback from the crowd. Lawrence seemed reluctant to be the only frontman not to cross over the barrier and join the crowd, in a mosh pit. With a ton of energy and CD perfect sound While She Sleeps summed up both NASS and the Front Stage perfectly.

With NASS festival being about more than just music, Saturday also saw the Qualifiers, with some of the big names in the Skateboarding failing to get though. With the finals consisting of Austen Seaholm who took the lead spot in the qualifiers as well as Chris Oliver, Tyler Hendly and Kelvin Hoefler.

The BMX field was just as tight, being narrowed to 20 with Kyle Baldock leading the pack with strong consistency and style, closely fooled by Matt Priest and Mark Webb.

Photo Of sum 41 © Copyright Neil OliverAs it came time for the final day of NASS festival, with the two days of music over all that remained was the extremely competitive Skateboarding and BMX finals. With Joshua Young and Chris Oliver taking 3rd and 4th place in the competition. Charlie Blair managed to take the win wowing the judges with his Cali style. Tyler Hendley's colossal hardflip tied with Eric Thomas' frontside feeble for 3rd over at Relentless Energy Drink Street Spots. Lukas Danek's took 2nd with a kickflip into a frontside boardslide down the big rail, but it was no competition for Chilean Braulio Sagas who was crowned champion sticking a frontside smith grind down the kinked rail.

Alex Kennedy left the Relentless Energy Drink Street Spot as champion with a progression of aggressive and imaginative tricks. With Sam Jones and Paul Ryan following close behind. Daniel Sandoval took the cold on the dirt to add to his 3rd place park finish. Rick Mosely taking 2nd with some more chilled Cali moves, and Greg Illingsworth stealing the final podium spot with some huge air, to round off the fun filled weekend in no way slowed down by the poor weather.

Alternative Vision at NASS Festival - By Neil Oliver

Review By Marc Rich
Photos And Video By Neil Oliver

 Nass Festival

Nass Festival 2012
Royal Bath And West Showground
6th - 8th July 2012

 Friday - Main Stage

DJ Fresh
Chiddy Bang
Shy FX
Benny Banks
B Traits
Eye Emma Jedi

 Friday - Front Stage

Rolo Tomassi
Hawk Eyes
From Afar
Set Your Sails

 Saturday - Main Stage

Sum 41
Pulled Apart By Horses
Lower Than Atlantis
Rubber Bandits
Absolute Power
Silent Descent
Impaled Existence

 Saturday - Front Stage

While She Sleeps
Don Broco
The Computers
Cars On Fire
Eager Teeth

 Event Related Links
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?