HOP Fest heading to Prince Of Wales in Kettering for weekend of rock, punk and metal

Punk favourites GBH
Punk favourites GBH

Punk legends GBH, Manchester’s Ingested and rising stars Holding Absence will headline HOP Fest which heads to Kettering next weekend.

Taking place over three days at The Prince Of Wales, the event has been organised by House Of Pain Promotions.

HOP Promotions founder Skye Bertram James Day

HOP Promotions founder Skye Bertram James Day

The opening night will be headlined by Ingested, the Saturday by Holding Absence and the Sunday by GBH. All three will be joined by dozens of other bands playing during the event.

HOP promotions founder Skye Bertram James Day said: “After years of running a live music organisation, we wanted to go bigger.

“We’ve been involved running stages at Ctrl Alt Fest Delete and at the Northampton Music Festival but it was time for us to go solo and put our own little party on the map.

“When we first took on the idea, it seemed as though we were going to breeze it, but as everyone knows, the industry always has spanners to throw into the works.

Ingested are among the acts performing

Ingested are among the acts performing

“We had a couple of pull outs, with bands splitting up.

“However, all the bands who were previously booked are attending to see people and with the number of great bands that have come forward to fill those slots we have an amazing line up.”

Manchester death metallers Ingested released their latest album The Architect Of Extinction in 2014 and last year released a remaster of their debut Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering.

They’ll be joined on the Friday by Osiah, Held Beneath, Crow, The Darkhorse, Lay Siege, Casket Feeder, Full Contact, Return to Rome, Dead Sea, Built Upon Hatred, No Witnesses and Azazel.

Saturday night headliners Holding Absence recently played at the Download festival and in July play at the Amplified Festival.

Skye said: “They’re a band that has gone from strength to strength and we’ve jumped in there quick while they’re on the rise.

“They hit you with heavy emotional vibes - their stage show is second to none, a real intimate experience.”

Support is by Black Ink Sun, To Kill Achilles, Dog Tired, Faces Of Eve, Asphodel, Pioneers and numerous finalists in the Metal 2 The Masses competition.

Sunday headliners GBH formed in the late 1970s and the punks were among the forerunners of the UK82 sound, going into influence the likes of Metallica, Rancid, Slayer and Anthrax.

Joining GBH will be The Vile, dragSTER, Hexed, Frown Upon, Face Up, Molotov Souls, Crash Induction, Acolytes, Spring Park, Dead Frequency, Padding Needed and Limehouse Rats.

“To get hardcore punk legends GBH on the bill was an absolute dream come true,” admits Skye.

“They've been going for years now and the fact they considered us for our small independent festival was amazing to see.

“It’s something that has seriously put this festival on the map. They are absolute kings of the punk scene.”

For Skye, HOP Fest will be a welcome return to the Prince Of Wales after branching out to Milton Keynes.

“The Prince of Wales is a second home to us and has been like family since the day we arrived there to put on shows,” he explains.

“Of late, we've been a bit distant but we couldn't think of a better way to come home to the Prince than with our festival.

“The landlady Nina has been there for me not only on a business level, but also on a personal level.”

Looking at the line up as whole, Skye explains is a “tough call” to single anyone out, but explains it’s Lay Siege he is looking forward to seeing play the event.

“I only can speak for myself here, but if I had to pick one band as a stand out that I'm seriously looking forward to seeing it would have to be Lay Siege,” he explains.

“They've been there since day one. They played one of our first ever shows and I enjoy seeing them as much as I did the very first time we put them on at The Horseshoe Inn, in Wellingborough.”

An integral part of the second day is the Metal 2 The Masses competition.

Six bands on the day will be competing for the chance to play at the Bloodstock festival to more than 2,000 people on the New Blood Stage in Derby in August.

“Over the space of nine weeks we host a number of events where 20 bands compete for this,” explains Skye.

“These are all local acts and a representative from Bloodstock and various media outlets will all be there to check out the rising talent in the Northamptonshire area.

“Should they win, they also are entered into a competition for the chance to also play Wacken to about 25,000 people.

“There really is so much opportunity that comes out of this competition.

“It’s something we’re humbled to be a part of and have the backing from Bloodstock festival.”

More than four years on from their first gig at Raffs Bar in Wellingborough, the team behind House Of Pain have gone from strength to strength, putting on around 75 shows a year.

“We’ve put together a team that were passionate about live music,” explains Skye.

“We caught a few lucky breaks along the way and managed to put on some huge acts.

“We rose to the challenge as a team and I can't thank enough people for the position I have been placed in.

“A special thanks definitely has to go to Neil Hudson who due to a few words we exchanged at Big Noise Studios persuaded me to take the dive and do this full time and I've never looked back.”

HOP Fest is on July 7, 8 and 9.

Weekend tickets cost £25 with day tickets £12.50 each.

For more details, visit www.facebook.com/HOPpromotions