The Summer Set @ Hit The Deck Festival 20/4/14 ★★★★☆


Pop punkers The Summer Set are far from their Arizona homes as they take the stage at Nottingham’s notorious venue, Rock City.  For the Easter bank holiday weekend, four venues inside the city of Nottingham are taking part in the annual city festival, Hit The Deck.

Over the course of the next twelve hours, HTD’s line-up includes Hawthorne Heights, Kids In Glass Houses and headlining act of the night, Brand New. The variety of bands means these five pop punkers easily fit in with the vibe of the festival, taking up their well deserved spot.

Opening with ‘Rescue’ from latest album Legendary, TSS were immediately met with screams by the ever-growing crowd. The crowd needed little prompting before they were in full swing and singing along with vocalist Brian Dales.

It’s not long before Dales comes down to the barrier, where he is serenaded by teenage girls and their boyfriends. Yet playing HTD is not a easy feat, as the ticket holders appear to consist of an unusual mix of twenty-something post-punk fans and teenage emos; all united through their love of music. However, the band’s impressive following could have only grown from such a crowd-pleasing performance.

Despite the release of their latest album ‘Legendary’ last year, the band stays loyal to their fan base as they perform a couple of their older hits including ‘Chelsea’ followed by newer release ‘Fuck U Over’. Both of which were met by an almost word perfect sing along.

Donning a leather jacket and a shirt bearing the slogan ‘polite as fuck’ Dales was indeed just that, as he continuously thanked the crowd for being there. “It’s pretty punk rock of you guys to come here on Easter Sunday.” These five cuties are possibly the only band who can sing of pop’s power couple Jay-Z and Beyonce at an alternative rock festival and pull it off.

Jess Bowen may only be a petite drummer, but her drumming abilities can easily give any musician a run for their money as she acts as the heartbeat of the performance, which does not go unnoticed by Dales as he gives her a special mention before they dive head first into the energetic ‘Boomerang’.

Interaction amongst the band members is equally as frequent as that towards the crowd. With the guitarists swapping sides on the stage on the final song of the night, they were difficult to miss, especially with guitarist John Gomez wearing his KISS shirt.

Their short but sweet set ended on their latest single ‘Lightning In A Bottle’, and by this point of the set, the crowd had grown a significant amount as their set attracted new fans as well as old.

The Summer Set are the perfect example of a modern  day pop punk band. Over the past seven years as a band, they have perfected the balance of combining their identity, song writing abilities and energetic performance style to create a pop punk band that still have many successes to come.

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