Six weeks ago, Irish rockers The Mascara Story had never even played outside their hometown but thanks to Kerrang! magazine, their dip into the big time has come in the form of a slot on the Download bill. Hundreds converge on the Soul Bowl with skating on their minds but many leave with this band's infectious post hardcore-esque sound played strong throughout their half an hour set. Screams are thrown, skins pound, and guitar strings get stretched as the band prove their place here is a worthy one. Good luck to ‘em we say.
As the BMX riders continue, out rock Ellis. After a tempered sound, they thankfully erupt into a more rock ‘n’ roll style but even that can’t hold the bowl crowd. Musically, there’s nothing wrong with these guys but being packed behind a ton of steel (the skate arena) means building an atmosphere is near impossible. But these guys rocked and their guitar heavy sound is one that deserves better. A slot on another stage would have meant a reaction to the sound, but here at the Soul Bowl dare we say, there's no soul!
Female fronted punk machine Tat are up next, but with most the seats empty, the bands punchy mainstream sound falls on deaf ears. Every track (apart from ballad ‘Fuck You’) embodies true quality and the bands ska-influenced sound infects this particular reviewer, but even the beautiful Tatiana’s best vocal and the band’s talent can’t rouse a real reaction from the crowd – the story of the bowl today.
Edgy power-pop punks Fast Lane make their first appearance at Donington this year. Explosive riffs and heavenly melodies blend beautifully in an impressively original set. Worthy of a Download!
Predictable yet punchy Emo-meets-screamo rock is the order of the day for Surrey based 4-piece Days Of Worth. Despite the best efforts of their indignant frontman, audience participation is none-existent – something to do with the stage being the size of a maxi-pad and 50 feet from the crowd perhaps? Encouraging performance nonetheless.