Hacktivist - live @ Thekla, Bristol 12/12/2016
This month, Anthony Hunt Photography headed down to Thekla in Bristol’s floating harbour to catch Hacktivist during their 'Outside The Box' UK headline tour with support from Zoax and Bad Sign.
With the boat a little over a quarter full London based rockers Bad Sign get things started. Lead singer Joe Appleford's smooth vocals and heavy tones from his bass resonate throughout the ship. Whilst guitarist Johnathan Harris seems determined to get the venue to capsize with an energetic set of jumps and just generally throwing himself all over the stage. The guys are on point track after despite Joe's case of food poising for which a pool get started thanks to band mate Johnathan as to how long before he passes out. Playing 'The Recidivist' gets the crowd nodding in unison as well as draws them in closer to the stage. With the frontman lasting till the end, both bassist and guitarist jump in to the gathering mass of people to close out the set.
An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Irishman walk on to a stage and there you have Zoax. Adam greets the onlookers with a single finger on his lips as he waits for silence. Without saying a word the band rip in to the opening track 'Ksychia'. The banter between songs goes down just as well as if watching a stand-up comic, With Adam telling people that “I’m a nice guy, come closer” followed closely to him singling out a fan with “why aren’t you singing, you’re wearing one of our fecking shirts!” all of which is met with the laughter it was intended to create. Fans chant back 'The Wave' at an impressive volume, leaving a very clear impression as to why the band consider this to be one of the most iconic tracks from the album along with the very groovy devils dance. Finishing with 'Sián' and leaving the horde with aching sides, Zoax are destined for big things to come after a storming 2016.
Whether you love them or hate them, there little denial that Hacktivist bring an absolute storm wherever they play. Thekla is sent into darkness whilst the intro track plays and the mob cram themselves as tightly to the stage as humanly possible. The mix of heavy, dirty bass tones, screamed and rapped vocals insights an onslaught of mosh pits and stage dives. Vocalist Ben is unfortunately forced to play the role of security due to a physical dispute breaking out in the crowd, yelling to staff to “Get him the fuck out! Everyone else is here to have a good time”. Their cover of Jay-Z’s 'Ni**as in Paris; is always a pinnacle tune which gets this boat seriously bouncing, along with 'Decieve & Defy' and the title track from the album 'Outside the box'. Hacktivist always tear apart the venue they play at and tonight is no exception. Thekla is left just as shook up and bruised as the groups that were caught in the mosh.