Merthyr Rocks 2012

7f1fbce4-d507-11e1-ae15-fefd616b8533by Kiera Sherlock

It may only be a small field located on the top of a ridiculously steep hill in Wales, but Merthyr Rock is setting out to be one of the best festivals to celebrate up-and-coming (and already amazing) music.
The Friday starts late in the day and doesn’t draw a massive crowd, and when The Undivided take to the ‘James McLaren’ stage only a few heads can be seen bobbing; but as it draws closer to the headline act more fans start to arrive, more dancing begins. Futures are the first band to really get the crowd moving on the main stage, and from there on out, sing-a-longs and drunken dance moves become a common sight. Soon enough it’s time for headlining band Razorlight to take to the stage, and as it’s been a while since we’ve heard from the four piece from London, we’re excited to see what they’v been up to. Apart from some minor crazy outfit choices, it seems Razorlight have returned to their crowd-pleasing ways, with everyone loving hits such as ‘In the morning’ and ‘Back to the start’.
Saturday morning brings us some more sun and a lot more people, and replacement band Falling With Style start the off the day heavy and loud- the day grows in volume from there on out! The Lostprophets takeover is in full swing, and treats us to Astroid Boys who get the crowd going with their rapping, screaming and general laddish banter…think Rizzle Kicks, but metal. Ish. Sonic Boom Six are an instant crowd pleaser, and Gavin Butler and Neil Starr bring us closer to the evening in a beautiful mellow fashion. More people start to arrive just in time for Yashin, who it’s fair to say win over the hearts of the crowd  playing the majority of their newest album ‘We Created a Monster’ and creating many, many moshpits. Lower Than Atlantis in no way disappoint and turn the crowd into a frenzy of jumping, head-banging and singing nutters! Pulled Apart By Horses headline the Lostprophets Takeover stage and get the crowd ready to go the the main act of the night: Skindred. Alongside the amazing music and obvious amounts of dancing, there’s moshpits, and numerous Newport Helicopters. It’s (for want of a better word) mental- In the best of ways, of course! It’s a night that no-one wants to end, with Skindred on top form, playing classics that even people who havent listened to can enjoy.
Sunday finally rolls into our view, and the park is busier than ever before. The day starts of with heavy mixes from both the Main stage and the newly renamed The Blackout takeover stage, with bands like Blowgoat going crazy and falling over the barrier, and Page 44 gaining a following with their pop-punk tunes. Proxies stun the crowd with their mix of rock and dub, and Straight Lines do what they do best while rocking out on the main stage. By the time Marmozets take to the stage, the crowd is already pumped, and they only feed off that energy. It’s carnage, with guitars flying one way and bodies flying another- it’s a miracle they were able to play any songs, but the ones they played, they played amazingly. Don Broco follow shortly after on the main stage and ‘do the walk’ with the biggest smiles on their faces, and definitely set the bar for acts following them. Canterbury play with all their hearts, while We are the ocean and Deaf Havana both do amazing jobs of playing the main stage. The return of A draws a ridiculous amount of people around The Blackout takeover stage, and they play their way into the night with jokes and amazing songs. When it’s time for headliners Kids in Glass Houses to make an appearance, it’s fair to say that ‘anticipation’ doesn’t quite cover the excitement filling the tent. The Welsh boys of course play an amazing show and showcase a brand new song which doesn’t stop their fans from dancing away. There’s moshpits as big at the tents inside, and hats are thrown everywhere- it’s a brilliant way to round off an amazing weekend, and really showcased a ridiculous amount of talent.

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