Thursday, 4 February 2010

The south is rising...

I have been listening to hardcore, punk and some metal for a long time now, I initially got into punk when I was at school, swapping early Punk-o-rama and Warped Tour albums to find new bands. For me the harder the better and naturally I progressed onto hardcore, I remember the odd track from H20 or Agnostic Front from the Punk-o-rama records I had, but it was after I heard a mix CD by a guy called Graham, who I would later go on to be friends with and who formed the band Raise The White Flag, that I really sank into hardcore. The music clicked with me straight away and had the passion, strength and aggression that I was struggling to find in punk rock. At first I didn't know much about the scene that went with hardcore and for a long time ended up at shows on my own, not knowing anyone and feeling a little outcast. Despite this I felt so strongly about the music that I stuck it out and started making friends. The scene where I'm from has a strong history with some of the UK's best known bands coming up over the years. At the time when I was going to shows the Canterbury scene was at its peak, just before XcanaanX called it a day and bands like The Break In and November Coming Fire were stepping up to take their place. We had regular shows and a chain of solid venues to use, my favorite was the Scout Hut and I saw some of my favorite ever shows there, The Jubilee Hall was another that hosted some awesome bands. I'll always remember the summer games of frizbee outside the Jubie. Sadly like most good things the CT scene began to draw out after trouble with venues after some stupidity at a few shows. This meant we had to travel to find good shows and about this time I was starting Uni in Epsom so I had the London scene within easy distance, all the while making my way to the shows that cropped up in the south. I spent about a year in Epsom then came back to home to Kent. This was about 2004 and On Thin Ice, Hatemail, Raise The White Flag and Out Of Hand were the southern bands making names for themselves. Between 2004-2006 was probably my favorite time for southern hardcore and despite the lack of venues and some small turnouts, I saw some of the best shows I have been too. My favorite still being the Outbreak show at the Harp Club where the roof got torn down. We had some great tours with Hatemail and RTWF's being the most memorable. Seeing the rest of the UK and bands like 50 On Red, Seconds Out, The Cover Up and What Hope Remains made traveling a more regular deal for most of us. Things were strong through 2006 into 2007 with some great touring bands from the US and Europe, but at this point I found myself with so little time to go to shows that I was missing alot and eventually drifted off the map for a while. At that time, my friends who I was seeing through graffiti got me onto UK Hip Hop which I had a feel for anyway from a few albums I picked up here and there. I kept with Hip Hop for about a year but after getting passed a few demos and other records I started to lean back towards hardcore, seeing a few shows and getting a feel for the scene again. About then the Souther Rise scene was building with dudes like Roman and Louis putting on some really good shows at the current venue in Ashford, The Downtown Diner. Since then I have tried to keep on top of things, occasionally taking little breaks when Uni work got hectic but generally keeping the flame burning. Now SRH is at its strongest ever with a bunch of bands high up on the UK's list, Cold Snap, Breaking Point, No Dice(rip), Never Again and Lightbringer all doing really well over the past year or so. There are new bands and new kids showing up all the time helping the scene to keep growing at a steady pace and keeping strong for the future. Myself I feel like I'm where I am meant to be, as part of a group of friends who all share a love of this music and look out for each other where possible. Recently I have been taking my cameras to a lot of shows to try and keep track of some of the shows and capture a bit of the culture I'm involved with. These are some of my recent favorites and each shows what I love about Hardcore music...

1 comment:

  1. some awesome photo's here man.
    i love reading stuff like this, i only got into the local hardcore scene in about 2007, when it seemed like it had almost completely died out other than the downtown diner shows but i could never afford get there!

    it's cool to be able to read about what it was like back in the xcanaanx/break in/ncf days and seeing what it's like today with bands like santa karla and never again still keeping the south east on the map.

    Glenn XXX