No Sleep Till Hellfest: The Battle Commences

No Sleep Till Hellfest, the brainchild of Hellfest Project Manager Nabila Slama, came to Camden Town on an engagingly hardcore night of metal mayhem. Fifteen bands over three nights, all fighting for a chance to play at one of the world’s most notorious festivals, Hellfest. Guitars were slammed, horns were thrown, and the hunger was delectable. Whilst Yur Mum came out as the night’s winner and thrust onto the second stage of the competition, which would be the final, the entire evening was a total silver-spiked success. Granted backstage access to each band as well as front-row moshing rights, MetalTalk indulged in the first night of this fresh competition.

Top Left Club – Phat Problem – Yur Mum – Own Your Life – Broken Jaw

Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024

Words: Monty Sewell

Photography: Steve Ritchie

Top Left Club

Top Left Club - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Top Left Club – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

‘Filthy frequencies and visceral energy’. If there were ever a band description that would give me equal parts curiosity and vim, this would be it. Luckily for us at No Sleep Till Hellfest, that exact band was gracing this particular London stage. And they did not disappoint. Top Left Club was an expeditiously entertaining introduction to the night. Clad in matching 90s-type attire and donning racer-style sunglasses, the band pumped their way through their hard rock synth set with a pinch. It was truly like nothing had been experienced out there yet.

Top Left Club - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Top Left Club – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk


“We don’t fit in anywhere,” the band later commented. “The outfits and the whole attire has evolved and refined itself, like a fine wine.” But to stand out, one must take those leaps. Top Left Club does it with ease as they wrap the audience around their hard-hitting breakdowns and vocal-topped basslines. With a few signature moves thrown in there, there isn’t one person I wouldn’t recommend their gig to.

Top Left Club - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Top Left Club – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk


Being on the French label Beast Records, the guys have been touring everywhere. “We say yes to everything because we are idiots. We just go for it. We can take anything. Play anything, play anywhere, anytime.” Metal Heads, punk enthusiasts, and rock lovers, your next fix of cult classic-type hardcore music is here.




Top Left Club - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Top Left Club – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Phat Problem

When you are walking backstage and passing more than a couple of neon-painted faces, you know you are missing something or onto something. That something was a Phat Problem. Self-described as a “spammy, chaotic thing,” the band chucked everything and more into a set that defined them as the ones on the hardcore punk scene to watch. Switching effortlessly between a reggae-infused middle section before blasting us back with a (seemingly) 260 bpm (I know) part, Phat Problem said it all and said it well.

Phat Problem - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Phat Problem – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk


Speaking with the band after the show, we got to delve into the more personal side of what makes them gel together on and off the stage with such obvious admiration for each other as musicians. “I have written a few more songs half-time,” lead singer Frankie said. “Because I’m transitionin I am on testosterone, and my voice is getting lower so we are all trying to lower all the tunings of the songs.”

Phat Problem - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Phat Problem – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk


“The whole band has been through the same transition. We are all really close, and that becomes a lubricant to the music we write. You have something to express when you are enraged and impassioned about the same causes.”

Phat Problem - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Phat Problem – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk


Their family-like demeanour comes together onstage in one loud fireball of a bang. They all scream the same sound, but with open arms that invite their audience in to enjoy and really hear their music. Phat Problem has a single coming out—with more on the way after—and a support slot for Subhumans on the 1st of April, which will be an absolutely cracking show.

Yur Mum

Yur Mum - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Yur Mum – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

One bass, one drummer. Two players and one singer. A riddle? You ask. No, it’s your mum. The punk rock hardcore duo from Brazil have been hotter than hot on a scorchingly talented scene, and tonight they proved no otherwise. With a sound loud enough to blare out the ears of passersby outside the venue, their music is fresh with depth as singer/bassist Anelise Kunz howls out with such metal shred vocals you just can’t look away.

Yur Mum - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Yur Mum – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

They keep their audience hooked with nifty riffs that tie effortlessly into drummer Fabio Couto’s fills. For a two-piece band, they take on a life force of their own, ramping up the energy on the stage and playing off each other. Kunz uses both microphones on either side of the stage, with their punk edge coming through with each headbang and knee-to-the-sky salute.

Yur Mum - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Yur Mum – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Off the stage, we got to know Yur Mum as more than just a band on the rise. Having released some singles in the last few months, the band will drop their album on the 26th of April. But only as a physical copy until the end of the year, when it will eventually be released on digital platforms.

“It is a push for people to have the physical copy if they want to hear the whole thing. We realised that when people listen to albums online, they usually listen to the first few tracks and completely ignore the other songs, which get lost in the vortex of interest. It is a huge effort to write and record an album, so we thought maybe this way there is the chance it will be appreciated a little bit more.”

Yur Mum - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Yur Mum – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

After the show they gave tonight, it might be time to put in a pre-order for the record indeed. Aside from breaking the current music-releasing norms, Yur Mum is out playing almost every weekend. They will also hit the European road with Belgium, Austria, and Norway later this year. 



Own Your Life

Own Your Life - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Own Your Life – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Hailing from the town of St. Neots, Own Your Life came to No Sleep Till Hellfest with no holds barred. Described as Metallic Hardcore, the guys put on a mighty performance, which once again pushed the competition to the edges. The level of talent that is rife in this country is once again made evident.

Own Your Life - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Own Your Life – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Own Your Life brought an intensely heavy set to the Assembly that saw vocalist Sam Curtin utilize his screams to the fullest as the distortion swung around the venue. Every face was pulled into a gurn. It was a double-kick pedal galore, and nothing is quite as satisfying as when a chaotic time signature drops into a beast of a breakdown section.

Own Your Life - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Own Your Life – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

There was an obvious chemistry between the band members, who spoke fondly of their times together. “When we are onstage together, it just comes out naturally. It is a good release to get out. I think about Sam’s lyrics, their meaning, and the songwriting. What it means to us who have written the music to those words.”

Speaking of writing, Own Your Life is currently working on an album and is coming up hot with the finished project in sight.

Broken Jaw - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Broken Jaw – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

“We have just made a load of merch and CDs, and we just got boosted again by our last EP getting ‘EP Of The Year’ on Screenblast, which was great.” With many exciting things in store for the band, I had to ask about the name’s origins. Curtin was quick to respond, “It basically means what it says. Own your life, take no shit but don’t be a dickhead at the same time.”


Own Your Life - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Own Your Life – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Broken Jaw

As the final band of the night was finalizing their stage setup, I turned for just a moment to grasp the pint waiting for me on the counter. Turning back, I realized all eyes were no longer on the stage but looking next to me and upwards. Joining in, I was momentarily shocked to see the lead singer of the Punk Metal band Broken Jaw standing staunch on top of the bar, microphone in hand.

Broken Jaw - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Broken Jaw – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

The band slammed into a craze-eyed beat of a riff, and then that metal scream came. Now, that is a way to introduce yourself to a crowd. Their entire set is one energetic, Hardcore-filled, wild ride wagon. Their presence is seemingly unobtainable, but Broken Jaw does it with ease. The kind of band who, one minute, you could be having a pint with, then the next you see them thrashing it on an arena size level.

Broken Jaw - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Broken Jaw – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Gorgeously dirty riffs, steel-capped basslines, and just the right amount of snare-pounding, double-kick drum licks to wrap it all in one metal bow. Managing to speak with Broken Jaw after the show, the question of their onstage antics had to be asked. “When we get onstage, whatever happens, happens. It is almost like one of us hits into another then swings back and forth. Kind of like pendulums swinging against each other.”

Broken Jaw - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Broken Jaw – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

With touches of other genres coming into play, their writing process seemed to allow each member to express their ideas. “We have all grown up on different things and are of different age ranges, so we all just put it into a pot, mix it up, and what comes out, comes out. Which just happens to be energetic and fast. Mental crazy chaos.” What to expect when coming to a show? “If you don’t move, we will come and move you.”

Broken Jaw - Camden Assembly, London - 25 March 2024.
Broken Jaw – Camden Assembly, London – 25 March 2024. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Don’t miss the final No Sleep Till Hellfest show this Saturday, 30th March, at the Camden Assembly.

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