Down in Shepton Mallet Showground, skaters and skankers, (all wearing bum-bags at inventive angles), brim tents and bust tricks together for four days each year. Having finally scrubbed away all the dirt from Nass, (the UK’s biggest music and action sports festival), it’s time so see if we have any recollection left of the weekend’s greatest moments.
Although drum and bass pioneer Andy C’s pumping headlining set on Friday may have been the more packed slot, indie band Rat Boy put out the more exciting performance. Frustrated with the initially small crowd, lead singer Jordan unleashed an arsenal of antics not dissimilar to what is typical of Tyler, The Creator in order to bring havoc and energy to the set. Firstly, taking a skateboard from the crowd, Jordan landed a kickflip first try as he introduced the next song and urged the audience to clamber onstage to the fury of security. Towards the end of single ‘Sign On’, “That dude in the England hat” was pulled onstage again after he had made it up and dived into the crowd earlier in the show. But this time security snapped and began to use him as a Stretch Armstrong as the band fought to keep him onstage. When a violent tussle broke out between Jordan and security, Rat Boy’s tour manager sprung between them and allowed Jordan to escape up a tower of speakers. The set was cut short but the mood of mayhem had been provoked.
Saturday’s biggest crowd puller might have been grime sensation Stormzy‘s ‘lit’ main stage set. With the UK’s greatest contribution to the world in recent years being the spread of grime music, ‘Stormzy tracksuits’ have begun appearing amongst all demographics. Exclaiming “Hold tight all my Adidas gang” to an eruption of cheers, it was clear that the MC’s sponsorship is paying off for both the artist and the sports brand. The set was explosive as he performed all the expected hits as well as tunes from other grime high-rollers such as Lethal Bizzle and Chip.
the mood of mayhem had been provoked
On Sunday, following a disappointing set from chart favourite Wilkinson, EDM duo Knife Party had to do everything they could to turn attention back to the main stage. Given that both DJ’s were situated on top of a giant hawk with lights and branches striking from the wings, it was set to be the festival’s biggest performance. Delivering an onslaught of drum and bass, dubstep and EDM bangers from their tracklist the DJs brought nothing but an incredible set. In an ode to the members’ previous group Pendulum, they played a remix of ‘Tarantula’ which really got the crowd jamming. Similarly, a remix of Red Hot Chili Pepper’s ‘By The Way’ was another highlight as it brought a sing-a-long element to the duo’s intense set before the hectic drop had mosh pits crashing all over the place.
Being Nass we cannot forget about the insane action sports that also occurred. BMX legend Mat Hoffman made an appearance to take to the vert ramp in a special demonstration where he managed to pull off many of the old-skool and new-skool tricks that he once invented. Likewise, the pro BMX competitions in the park, on dirt, on flatground and the vert ramp were all breath-taking. In addition, both the amateur and pro skaters tore up the park and vert. Moonshine Skateboards’ Jesse Thomas took the cup in the skate pro vert final with incredible runs and a lot of hair. Most impressive however was the run made by the six year old son of Mr Moonshine who endeavoured to drop in on the ramp seven times his height without bailing.
Ultimately, Nass was pretty gnarly. I’m unsure as to whether there was more dizzle or drizzle during the weekend but both the music and action sports were mad.