UK Hardcore Through The Lens of Photographer Nat Wood

Nat Wood was kind enough to give us a selection of her photographs of the UK's dynamic and exciting hardcore scene.

Survival at Outbreak Fest in 2012. (The Well, Leeds) Outbreak fest is one of the biggest Hardcore fests in the UK and it’s crazy to see how much it’s grown over the years. This is from one of the first ones.
The Flex basement show. This basement has had some wild shows in there. Shout out to The Flex for always providing a Leeds hardcore stomping ground.
The Flex featuring Jess. This is Sam’s (vocalist) little sister, I have still to this day seen nothing cuter than Sam giving her a hand up to the stage and passing her the mic. She smashed it.
Higher Power recording for their 2nd tape release.
Broken Teeth at Snugglefest in 2015. Snugglefest is another Hardcore fest that happens in Leeds, on New Years Eve since 2014. It’s always a sick sell out show with a full UK band line up.
Insist also at Snugglefest.
Malevolence, exploring an abandoned estate in Sheffield when we went out to do some Promo shots.
Broken Teeth promo we did, for press for their most recent LP, At Peace Amongst Chaos.
Big Cheese, this was taken at Venizia Hardcore fest earlier in the year.
Dirty Money reunion, stage invasion at Outbreak 2016. One of the craziest sets for sure.
Blood Eagle. For the metalheads.
Knuckledust LBU. One of the OG’s.
Razorbite a new band from Scotland. Promos for their demo out via Neutral Worlds Records.
Malevolence, playing Newcastle, taken on their most recent headline UK run.
High Vis, not strictly a hardcore band but featuring ex members of hardcore bands carrying the same DIY mentality.
Higher Power playing in Manchester on their run with Basement earlier this year.
Frame of Mind, London, one of my favourite photos I’ve got of these guys.
Leeds hardcore day off.
Arms Race, London.
The stage from the Higher Power release show for their new LP, Soul Structure. DIY in full force for this show, as the venue didn’t even have a stage, so it was left to HP to create one. They build, they rock, they destroy.

We're super-excited about the UK hardcore scene at the moment. It feels like it's full of so much talent right now – creative people, gifted artists and unique bands – and that the thing that unites everyone involved is that they're not waiting on life to happen to them, they're putting their all into whatever it is they do and making shit happen themselves. It's that DIY culture thing you've read so much about, but crucially, in action! IRL! Right now! Today! Cool, huh? You yourself, sitting at home right now, could get involved in this thing at any time, isn't that exciting?

One member of the scene putting her all into what she does is photographer Nat Wood, who has been shooting her friends in hardcore bands for years. She was kind enough to send us a selection of brilliant photos that not only showcase her considerable talent but also feature some of the best bands in the UK right now. So this article's a twofer.

Check out her photos in the gallery above and have a read of what she has to say about the scene and her photography right here:

Hi, Nat! Who are the best hardcore bands in the UK right now?
Some of my faves are: Higher Power, The Flex, Big Cheese, Blind Authority, Frame of Mind and Malevolence. UK hardcore over the last couple of years has massively grown and put itself on the map in a big way. The bar has been set high now, and there’s way more people into it and coming to shows then there ever was. UK bands are finally getting the recognition they deserve. It used to be American hardcore bands selling out shows, and now a bill full of UK bands will sell out just as easy. Hardcore in the UK is a huge, sick community, mates supporting mates. 

How long have you been shooting photos?
I’ve been taking photos since I was a kid, when I was about 13 I got super into it and found myself a job a little later at a photography studio. I started to focus more on photographing shows when I was like 15 or 16, maybe. But over the last five-ish years is when I guess I stumbled across UK hardcore and when I really started concentrating on capturing as much of it as I could. I’m surrounded by a whole load of creative and insanely talented musicians and individuals, and I feel like that needs documenting.

What does hardcore mean to you?
I see the meaning of hardcore as a personal thing I guess, people take a lot of different things out of it. But to me it means unity and a DIY mentally. When I was younger it also gave me a sense of self. Hardcore is something I will always be thankful for.

Check out Nat's site and Instagram for more great flix of great bands!

Also, here's a lil playlist we made of some of the bands in this feature – give it a listen:

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