In a moment of craziness Bring the Noise headed down to the Bath and West Showground in Somerset in the pouring rain to Relentless NASS, apparently to watch some bands. Little did we know we would be some of the only people who were there for the music…
Well, if there’s one thing that’s relentless at NASS 2012, it’s the rain. Yep, we decided that would be our opening line as we sit, watching the rain pour down and waiting for the first band of the day to start, sometime after 3pm. Let’s be honest; the majority of people aren’t here for the music, they’re here for the extreme sports – either to ride, skate or to watch some people who are rather good at it. So, while everyone else is packed into the Pro-Park watching athletes from across the globe beat themselves and their boards/bikes against a series of ramps, we’re taking the opportunity to dry off our mud caked clothes and relax a little.
Friday saw little respite from the rain, so we spent most of the day hiding away in the Front Magazine stage. A venue it seems few others made the effort to reach, which simply meant they missed sets by some of the best up-and-coming bands in the UK, albeit battling with some major sound issues.
Set your Sails, a hardcore band from Portsmouth, put on a lively performance and at least they looked like they were having fun despite the weather and sound problems (6/10) whilst Brighton’s From Afar put on a polished and tight performance (7/10). But it was female fronted Marmozets and Rolo Tomassi who were the highlights of the day. Marmozets’ terrifying vocalist, Becca, lead the way as the whole band flew around the stage while throwing out tight as possible mathcore sounds to the small but keen crowd. (8/10) And even when Rolo Tomassi took to the stage to headline, the tent was still close to empty. Still Eva and friends did a stirling job of pummelling out the best of old and new. (8/10)
It turns out most of the crowd have headed to the main stage for DJ Fresh but we don’t make it in time. Instead we join the queue for the Drum & Bass Arena stage in the hope of pulling out our best dance moves to Roni Size. But after a warm up with some Chase n Status and a few d’n’b classics, we’ve all been dancing far too seriously and managed to all lose each other. No one’s entirely sure what happened after that… (9/10)
On Saturday the Front Magazine stage gets things going with Eager Teeth, but it seems we’re more eager than they are. Today is clearly going to be dogged by the same technical difficulties as yesterday but, although we’re ‘over’ the bad sound, each of the bands has to come to terms with it one by one. Yet despite the frustration, singer Will keeps us laughing with references to the size of the crowd “at least Jade’s enjoying herself…”as they plough through the songs from their yet to be released debut album, highlights have to be Baby, I don’t Wanna Know and Lights Out. If you’re a fan of Glassjaw and you haven’t heard them yet – you seriously need to. (8/10)
In contrast, Cars On Fire approach their performance with seemingly little regard for the size of the crowd. Climbing onto the barrier, Ali is giving it his all, as if he’s playing to a packed out tent. Their alternative rock is just as melodic but with just that bit of a punkier edge with influences poking through from every different direction. No one wants them to stop. (9/10)
Meanwhile over on the main stage Lower Than Atlantis stride on with their typical nonchalant swagger. Mike Duce and co waste no time in throwing themselves energetically into their set. Powering through a string of hits that has seen their popularity explode, including If the World Was to End and Deadliest Catch, the modest crowd is easily won over and respond happily to oblige Mike’s request for more effort; and finally the day’s first crowd surfers appear. (9/10)
Back over on the Front stage, Computers perform to a gradually growing, and innovative audience. Some go as far as producing a skate deck to surf across the swirling pit of mud and hurl themselves energetically around as the band play through a well polished and accomplished set of aggressive, classic punk tunes. Leaving the stage in outfits that started off brilliant white but now look like some kids in a detergent ad, there are more cheers than we’ve heard in this tent all weekend. The band should feel satisfied with their performance, even if the same can’t be said for their dry cleaning bill. (10/10)
The rest of our day is spent over at the main stage where at least we start to appreciate the mud, as we start throwing our best dance moves to Modestep. We’re treated to the likes of Flo Rider’s FeelGood , DJ Fresh’s Louder and a blast of Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name. But more importantly their own hits, To The Stars and a finale of Sunlight is all we came for. (8/10)
And at last it’s time for the one band you would expect to draw the skaters and BMXers from across the site, Sum 41. And now that the competitions are done for the day, that’s exactly what happens. The main stage tent is as close as its ever going to get to being full and has started to resemble the video for Fat Lip. And as the band climax with the one song everyone at NASS wants to see, pit dancing has been replaced by mud wrestling and we all finally end up covered head to foot in the sludge. The band return to the stage for an unfortunately chosen encore of My Direction, and slowly the crowd starts to disperse, either to get their drunken go on the half-pipe, or to rage in the Drum & Bass Arena. (7/10)
While we wander back to the Front stage in time to see While She Sleeps’ singer, Lawrence climb one of the tent’s poles and then be escorted outside the tent by security… At last we see a hint of the destruction we usually associate with Front Magazine!
Written by Lou Howells