It doesn’t seem five minutes since we waving goodbye to the summer and putting our tents and sleeping bags away for another year. However the UK festival season kicks off this weekend as Southampton’s annual Takedown Festival is set to happen. Thankfully you won’t have to grab your tents and sleeping bags but you will need to be prepared to see some of the best and brightest bands the UK alternative has to offer.

The festival is headlined by Mallory Knox and will also see a variety of names from the alternative rock world playing throughout the day; Charlie Simpson, The Blackout, InMe (performing ‘Overgrown Eden’ in full), Arcane Roots, Moose Blood, Fearless Vampire Killers, Decade and many more.

With a plethora of bands set to play across 5 stages, Already Heard has compiled a list 10 bands you can not afford to miss this Saturday.

Arcane Roots
Making a must-see return to Takedown Festival’s main stage, the Kingston-Upon-Thames trio of Arcane Roots have been making more news than ever recently. In the run-up to their second album which will be released later this year, the three-piece have unveiled dates for their biggest UK tour yet. With Arcane Roots fresh off supporting Enter Shikari’s European shows and soon to be back on the road with Muse after a successful 2013 romp through Europe, the first half of 2015 is shaping up to be a frenzied affair. It all kicks off with Takedown this weekend, with the band staring down The Hell and Allusondrugs in one of the day’s more painful clashes. (AL)

When & Where: 18:05 – District Stage

The Hell
On the other side of the clash is an act who have built a reputation on tearing into festival stages in a manner which leaves onlookers with little else to praise quite as high. 2014’s Sonisphere and Nightmare festivals were par for a raucous course, and the year of the ‘Groovehammer’ has left the god knows how many-piece pack of wolves with no shortage of confidence to take this year by storm. The Uprawr stage is playing host to a whole heap of emerging talent once again, but you can bet that the rest of the bill will be stepping up their game in order to keep up with The Hell on the day. (AL)

When & Where: 18:20 – Uprawr Stage

Before Arcane Roots, The Hell or anyone else take to the Takedown stages, it’s likely that many of the festival’s attendees will mark down Zoax as their first band of the day. The task of opening the main stage could not have been given to a worthier group at this point, especially after the London-based outfit’s riotous performance at last year’s event. With ‘Is Everybody Listening?’ released and the quintet in fine form 2015 should likely see them go one better, with the festival’s early arrivals being well-rewarded with a powerful day-starter that there can be little excuse not to catch. (AL)

When & Where: 13:30 – District Stage

On the topic of bands loyal to their Takedown crowds, Dead! have become a staple of the South Coast one-dayer. Making their third appearance at the festival this year, the prospect of a hometown set has once again proven irresistible for the five-piece still rolling off a hectic last twelve months. The release of ‘Tu Me Manques’ has turned out to be a real launchpad for the band, and their two sets at last year’s Nightmare Festival will have certainly helped further spread the word. This year around Takedown Festival may prove to be little more than shore leave for a band who have just finished a run alongside Fort Hope and will surely be back in the studio pretty soon. Even as they go up against The Blackout’s last ever South Coast performance, it’s hard to bet against Dead! pulling in the numbers to the Fearless Vampire Killers-curated Obsidian Stage. As for who ends up reigning supreme, well, that may just be too close to call. (AL)

When & Where: 19:00 – Obsidian Stage

Black Peaks
If there’s any safe bet for what most people will consider their top discovery of the day as they leave Southampton University on March 7th, then Black Peaks are who you’ll want to put your money on. The outfit formerly known as Shrine have already turned heads with impressive showings in support of Arcane Roots last year – it’s unsurprising the trio chose Black Peaks to join them once again on their upcoming cross-country run. Before they get there, however, Takedown is looming, and the Uprawr stage is set to get a serious shock to the system early on if recent form is any indicator. The ‘Closer To The Sun’ EP should serve as a taster of what to expect, but live the group are a quite different beast. If you want a dark horse for band of the day, then you’ve got it in Black Peaks. (AL)

When & Where: 15:20 – Uprawr Stage

Devil Sold His Soul
DSHS have been stalwarts of the British metal scene for about 10 years and their mixture of soaring guitars, complex harmonies and throat ripping vocals have been honed into a craft through extensive touring. Their recently released EP ’Belong ‡ Betray’ has some great atmospheric moments like on ‘Devastator’ and single ’Time’, but there’s plenty more driving tracks in the back catalogue to appeal if you’re wanting something harder and faster. If you’re into things like Between the Buried and Me, Norma Jean or Hopesfall, they won’t disappoint. (HR)

When & Where: 19:10 – Uprawr Stage

This punk rock lot with a love of cult and have garnered plenty of interest due to the involvement of Southampton punk alumni within the ranks, but their simple, fast and enjoyable tracks laden with singable choruses and hooks that pull you in are worth the attention in themselves. Tracks like ‘VCR’ sound like a lost alkaline trio classic, and ‘Gloom’ with its gang vocals into the catchy chorus seem tailor made for drunken dancing and singing. Miss only if there’s someone you NEED to see, they’ll put on a great party. (HR)

When & Where: 17:35 – Big Deal Clothing Stage

Milk Teeth
The Bristol four piece bring a little slice of grunge with big fuzz guitar atmosphere, and contrasting vocals that give a new twist on simple 90s phenomenon, and it makes for a change from other throwback bands. They’ve been busy getting festivals sorted for this summer, will be out on tour with Title Fight in May, and with their new EP ’Sad Sack’ out now, we’ll be hearing a lot more from them soon. (HR)

When & Where: 16:35 – Big Deal Clothing Stage

Rolo Tomassi
Over the past decade Rolo Tomassi and their complicated rhythmic craziness have been making festival crowds go wild. Singer Eva has an incredible presence on stage and they are hard to pull yourself away from once you start watching. With some dual personality vocals, jarringly angular sounding guitar riffs clashing against offbeat keyboard parts and intense drumming, the effect is barely controlled chaos. Their last album, the cosmic ’Astraea’ is a good place to start, but they need to be seen to be believed. (HR)

When & Where: 17:05 – District Stage

Allusondrugs do chug-heavy shonky grunge, but with some blissed out vocal harmonies and laid back meandering guitar lead lines. On last year’s eponymous ep they can swing from sounding like earlier brand new to older QOTSA musically to the pixies without losing a beat. The songs are fast paced, short and sharp. Perfect for something to just enjoy without having to be down the front to enjoy, but also easy to head bang along to and jump around to. they’ll get you looking forward to summer. (HR)

When & Where: 18:10 – Obsidian Stage


Main Stage
Zoax 13:30-14:00
Emp!re 14:30-15:00
Inme 15:30-16:35
Rolo Tomassi 17:05-17:35
Arcane Roots 18:05-18:45
The Blackout 19:15-19:55
Charlie Simpson 20:25-21:25
Mallory Knox 22:00-23:00

Big Deal Clothing Stage
Prolong The Agony 13:05-13:30
Astroid Boys 14:00-14:30
Try Me/love Me 15:00-15:30
Milk Teeth 16:35-17:05
Creeper 17:35-18:05
Decade 18:45-19:15
Moose Blood 19:55-20:25
Baby Godzilla 21:30-22:00

Uprawr Stage
Confessions Of A Traitor 13:50-14:20
Dendera 14:35-15:05
Black Peaks 15:20-15:50
Blood Youth 16:05-16:35
Meta-stasis 16:50-17:20
Our Hollow Our Home 17:35-18:05
The Hell 18:20-18:50
Devil Sold His Soul 19:10-19:40
Bleed From Within 20:00-20:40
Heart Of A Coward 21:10-22:10

Obsidian Stage
Miss Vincent 13:30-13:55
City Of Ashes 14:15-14:40
Ugly Love 14:50-15:20
Ashestoangels 15:40-16:10
Hawk Eyes 16:30-17:00
Colt 45 17:20-17:50
Allusondrugs 18:10-18:40
Dead! 19:00-19:40
Fort Hope 20:00-20:40
Fearless Vampire Killers 21:00-21:40

Southampton Music Stage
Circle Of Reason 13:30-13:55
Old Boy 14:10-14:35
Gone By Tomorrow 14:50-15:15
Refuge Of The Fallen 15:30-15:55
Three Times Over 16:10-16:35
We Deny 16:50-17:15
Seething Akira 17:30-17:55
Forever Never 18:10-18:35
Griever 18:50-19:20
More Than Most 19:40-20:10
Create To Inspire 20:30-21:00
Shvpes 21:20-21:50
The One Hundred 22:10-22:40

You can view a clashfinder for Takedown Festival 2015 here.

Takedown Fest will take place at Southampton University on March 7th 2015. Tickets are available for just £30 from

Takedown Fest links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Antony Lusmore (AL) and Heather Robertson (HR).

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