It was with a sense of trepidation that the first steps into Nottingham's first annual Hit The Deck festival, a heavily sponsored all-day indoor festival focused on the genres of metal, rock, emo and hardcore (both post and present), were made. Side-stepping the scores of already half-comatose late teens sprawling onto the roads and tram-line outside it was hard to leave the comforts of the first day of the year to offer a taste of summer and head into the barely-lit confines of the Nottingham Rock City/Rescue Rooms/Stealth complex in the middle of a glorious Sunday afternoon.
The first Hit The Deck Festival has been marketed as the alternative to Nottingham's other DHP-promoted multi-venue festival Dot-To-Dot, but Hit The Deck is anything but alternative in the true sense of the word. Merely, it is 'alternative' in the corporate branded, Kerrang! TV friendly manner, where metal is mollycoddled and packaged as a fashion; where every riff is filed free of any rawness and spirit, yet still pushed to the point of clipping incase the latest I-pod has a volume limit that doesn't allow for tinnitus without being overridden.