Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018

Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018Download Festival Day Three 10th June, 2018

Day three and we are back at Download although we have a slightly slower start to the day.

Dream State.  Unfortunately due to security checks on my car taking much longer than previous days rooting through my very clean car (I’m lying its not clean) we miss the chance to get any photos and see only part of the set.   But we do see CJ surfing atop the crowd though is fairly short lived and acknowledgement for the fans some of which have come to see them  with a welsh flag.  What is quite clear is that they have had a blast.

Ecca Vandal.  Intense energy and several things are going wrong for these guys.  Time to tie laces,  the drum toms breaking and no support to help reattach as the drummer gestures, still thrashing away on the drums until a while later someone races out to try to fix and they are broken!  The lead singer shows off her energy jumping and bouncing around the stage as well as getting down with the fans and security.   The music, if you don’t know already is a very wide blende of hip hop, punk rock, jazz and electronic combined.   Something that the band just want to channel with their emotion.  I found it enjoyable to watch but I wasn’t entirely convinced I’d listen to this post festival, although I will give it another chance.

Puppy always come and deliver a solid performance.  We are here with no bells no whistles just plain old music with a sizeable crowd, what more could you ask for.   For me, a bit more to look at on stage wouldn’t go a miss as I enjoy the visual balance, however they are  musically faultless.  Some good tight riffs and plenty of eye contact with fans from Jock Norton but everyone else is kind of in the moment. The fans are fairly static paying attention and listening and some are i n catching the shade, as it is sweltering out there right now.

California’s own all girl punk outfit Badcop/Badcop grace the Avalanche stage next.    With a quick girlie hand stack before jointly rising them high.   The team bonding exercise over, the girls take their places and tear it up straight into Retrograde.  Linh Le in particular  creates a show of high energy, rocking around the stage and definitely shows all the aggression for the band.   She screams out to fans, gesturing and stamping through Nightmare. They all look fairly comfortable on stage but then they have played an enormous amount of shows over their career, they look better now than ever.

There are several moments of engagement as Linh and Stacey Dee vocals/guitars rock out in front of the drums.  Myra Gallarza beating away ecstatically,  with electric energy giving everything she has including a growl (thanks.  Don’t forget to check them out supporting NoFX next week.

Gloucester based Milk Teeth  are up next and if I had to say anything negative at all, Becky Blomfield (lead vocals) always appears to hide behind her hair.  This aside, they are tight on performance.   Highlights were Opening Nearby Catfight, Brick Work and Swear Jar before finishing the set on Owning Your Okayness. Fans were crowd surfing from start to finish and there are several circle pits pretty much throughout.

I always love watching drummer Oli, as its quite fitting with the band name he’s stands as pale as a milk bottle and his emotion and energy whilst playing with his tongue out and face pulls are great to watch.   The guys look more determined now than ever and more good things career wise are to follow. They released their latest EP back in November, Go Away and we await their new  album launch, hopefully soon.

What a band, these guys look like proper rockers, I first saw them supporting Steel Panther at the Manchester Apollo earlier this year and they rocked. Well, now they are here at Download Festival to do the same. I am still a big fan of Toby Jepson who looks like a real rocker.   They make guitars squeal, they make the drums boom, they play your softer kind of rock n roll.

Some of their music reminds me of the style of  Black Star Riders, but the vocals are far less…Irish (we Love Ricky) far softer.   These guys have just started their careers and their debut album Ghosts of Yet To Come wasrelease almost a year ago. Nic is of particular interest  as he doesn’t stop moving around strutting and swinging his guitar.

Black Foxxes.  A fantastic band with a great slot on the bill here.   They have an interesting blend of music, which is fuelled by emotion.   Joe Marriner doesn’t hold this back especially in Breathe and Manic in Me, the guitars sound really good. Black Foxxes are a three piece but most of the focus is on Joe.   They are well  polished and provide a great performance.  I liked the performance of River, and his aggressive singing and the softer vocals to work with you kind of feel,  the emotion you feel internally as he sings is kind of harrowing.  They have just released their latest album REIðI, launched in March, give it a listen and I’m sure you will agree it’s a belter, in particular Manic In Me.  At the very least check out their previous albums too.  The crowd watched in what I can only describe as a trance like state, lost in the moment, not something often seen at Download.

All Them Witches.  I’m not familiar with the band, although they have a healthy catalogue of albums to be surfing through, the latest being Sleeping Through The War. They have a hypnotic, psychedelic vibe combined with a really soft southern sound. There are some calming guitar riffs, soft vocals and their studio albums makes use of an array of instruments, Today at Download the tent is full as it has been most of the day and this is the place to be to chill out,  Ben McLeod  is fronting and Charles Michael Parks on bass are absorbing most of the focus, though drummer Robby Staebler throws us the odd look and these guys are a nice change from the heavier screaming vocals around.

Jamie Lenman.  This is an odd one for me.  A very busy, very loud and very unexpected 2 piece deliver a solid performance and the Avalanche stage is packed.  His interesting look and hair style adds a level of image and some mystery as to what we’re going to get. He is better known as being from band Rueben, but is now reinventing himself and having some very high profile support slots with Biffy Clyro, Europe and Billy Talent. The show is loud, screaming vocals and tight guitar riffs and fans are once again back to the madness that is crowd surfing and moshing away in their pit. The latest studio album Devolver released  last October.  It is clear to see why he doesn’t move around stage much, but the tone and style changes up and down showing variety and some of the tracks are easily danceable.   This isn’t your heavy screaming but moreso with melody and not unpleasing to the ear.  I suggest you check out Hell in a Fast Car, there is some aggressive stuff here.

Less Than Jake.  This is the highlight of my weekend, the last time I saw Less Than Jake I was a little bit disappointed as I remembered them being so much better. Well, they are, its clearly  going to be a hell of a night as Buddy Schaub (trombonist) warms the crowd up before asking us to roar.   Eagerly we do so as we see Chris DeMakes (lead vocals) and Roger Lima (Bass) join us. We get taken on a high energy ride of Chris posing for us as well as Roger, and they show they are not old and would easily pass for 10 years younger on the energy. The crowd start and don’t stop crowd surfing to Sugar in Your Gas Tank, Roger laughs and rock poses to many of the fans throughout, it’s clear they’re stoked to be here and the reception they receive helps. They have quick and punchy tracks to keep us engaged.

A great performance of The Ghosts of You and Me the vocals whilst of course are different its 15 years old, this makes you realise how long they have been going and they are still rocking fans worlds.  Look what Happened is another that goes down well and this is never going to age badly, I just hope we were as good a crowd to the band as the band were for us.  They ended on Gainsville Rockcity  which was almost like a schools out party of balls amongst the crowd, fans crowd surfing and a moshpit any rock band would be super proud of.

The Hives. One of the highest energy performances from the band and its clear they love themselves as much as we love them. They come out donning black and white suits – half black/ half white, even the shoes. Immediately  they dive straight into Come On! as lead singer Pelle Almqvist jumps before running about the speakers and up the rafters.

Soon security are saying NO!  but you cant blame them for trying!   This is a party, loud, brashy and wild, the fans aide this, in surfing and is the largest crowd this stage has seen all weekend. Everyone was trying to get a look in as its at capacity and many are satisfied sitting along the ground around the outside, who would have thought so many preferred these over Ozzy.

Download 2018 has been massive and enjoyable we can’t wait to see who is on the bill for 2019.


Reviewers: Catherine Verrechia and Chris Bowley

Photographer: Chris Bowley


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