Patent Pending @ Hit The Deck Festival 20/4/14 ★★★★★

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The intimate Nottingham venue, The Forum, is one of the four that are participating in the Easter bank holiday weekend of Hit The Deck festival. Here in the city of Nottingham, The Forum is already heaving as Patent Pending take to the small stage.

The American five piece are currently touring across the UK with their latest album. They can only thank themselves and their fans for their success as the majority of their albums have been self-released.

As the restless crowd await, PP opened with the catchy ‘Shake Weights and Moving Crates’ from album ‘Second Family’ and the boys show no mercy as they dive head first into their set, bouncing across as the stage struggles to contain them.

The stage is dominated by front man Joe Ragosta, guitarist Rob Felicitti and Marc Kantor as the three of them give an animated performance as they bounce across the stage. Their energy is infectious and it isn’t long before the entire crowd are forcefully pushing their way to the front to get closer, eager to get involved.

The low stage creates a level of intimacy, which is exaggerated much to the crowds delight as Ragosta and Felicitti decide to partake not in crowd surfing, but in crowd swimming. Through the help of their loyal fans of course, who faithfully hold up the members in a contest between the two.

A cover of Andrew W.K.’s ‘Party Hard’ appropriately squeezes itself nicely into the set, instantly setting the tone for the rest of their performance. Alongside their undeniably catchy ‘Psycho In Love’ and childhood nostalgia ‘Hey Mario’, the band continue to clown around on stage. It is difficult to tell whether the band are enjoying themselves so much because their fans are or visa versa, but either way everyone in the venue is having a pretty damn good time.

However, amongst all the fun and games (quite literally), PP take a quick break to pay a tribute to a friend they lost to suicide. “Don’t even think you can’t handle it or that you don’t belong because you’re fucking wrong. You can handle it. Do what you want. You belong here. Right now.” This inspirational pep talk added a sombre, yet respectful tone as the realisation set in that PP were not just another joke, but gave out a clear, positive message to their listeners.

This led into the heart felt performance of ‘One Less Heart To Break’. Despite some technical microphone problems, the small size of the venue meant that Ragosta was still able to be heard, and if you couldn’t hear him then you could definitely hear the crowd sing it back word for word.

This was followed by ‘Anti-Everything‘ a track from album’Attack Of The Awesome‘. This performance enabled the band to add as many gimmicks and jokes as they could fit into three minutes. This included a surprisingly impressive dance routine between Ragosta, Felicetti and Kantor which ended in Ragosta fake making out with Felicetti, much to the crowd’s amusement. Whilst all eyes were pinned on those two, Kantor snuck off stage and to the back, where he performed a blistering guitar solo to the crowd of twisted necks who managed to tear their eyes away from the stage.

Ending on their classic ‘Douchebag’, of course, Ragosta and Felicitti  crowd surf off the stage despite the ‘no crowd surfing’ signs in capital letters plastered on every wall.

Patent Pending are clearly doing something right, as their interaction with their fans as well as each other proves vital to their performances. It is of little surprise to see men, women and children proudly parading their Patent Pending tshirts or jackets amongst the crowd. It may not be their guitar shredding techniques, impressive drum fills or astounding vocals that earn the boys credit, but Patent Pending sure know how to put on a show that pleases both the fans and themselves.