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Skindred deliver classic set at Nottingham's Hit The Deck

Live Review

Venue: Rock City, Rescue Rooms and Stealth

Plus: While She Sleeps, Cancer Bats and more bring the ruckus to NG1

Now in its fifth year, Hit The Deck has transformed from a glorified Blue Banana advert into a genuine event that holds its own within a tide of UK festivals. Skindred top the bill in 2015 – Arse Full Of Chips couldn't make it, sorry – and eleven hours of loud music looms before us.

We begin our delectable day of debauch with IDIOM [6]. A band that's been on the cusp of something spectacular for a while, the Southern foursome inhabit the Rock City main stage with their usual charm; Grant Knight perversely tickles his bass like a forlorn lover, while Matt Sharland's voice hops from the acidic screams of a man gargling piss-stained razorblades to, well, clean vocals sounding akin to Butters' Dad from South Park. Still, Braindead is a massive modern metal tune, and this band has plenty left in the proverbial think tank – they just haven't had their 'moment' yet.

Stumbling into Stealth, the supreme power of ZOAX [8] batters our eardrums and rattles our ribcages as if they are abacuses. The bass is uncomfortably loud, so once that's dealt with, we're left with the band's angular 'letlive. for people who don't like letlive.' musings. And it's bloody brilliant. Unpredictable, unabashed and uncontrollably anthemic, Adam Carroll commands the cacophony with a flurry of heart-wrenching croons and screams, spurting quips about The Human Centipede and other random anecdotes; from the floor, the stage or balancing on the barrier, Carroll is an effortlessly cool frontman, and one who will hopefully take ZOAX from the dingy confines of Stealth and stick them on the main stage next year.

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