Beermageddon 2021 Day One
Stoke Prior Sports & Country Club
Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove
Review by Beth Jones and Rick Tilley
Before I hand you over to Beth for the Day One review of Beermageddon I would like to say that I did have notes written to add my thoughts but she has done such a good job of not only describing the evening, but also echoing my sentiments, that I’ve just left it alone. I will just say that this was our first Beermageddon, as it had always managed to clash with something else, but we are well and truly converted and will return for, hopefully, many years to come!
Gig, gig, gig, gig, yay, friends, field, music, argh, panic! That’s essentially the best description I can give you of the lead up to our first time venturing out into the world properly since, what I shall lovingly describe as, the Clusterfuck Armageddon that was the last 18 months. So many things, none of them good, but let’s not dwell on that eh? Instead let me tell you about the positively lovely way to make our return from the hermit hole back into a semi functional society that was Beermageddon Festival. A small and close-knit family festival where a whole lot of love happened.
After only making the final decision that I was confident enough to leave the comfort of my sofa the day before the festival, I wasn’t my usual organized self. But, armed with some beer, a brand new and entirely free tent (long story) and negative lateral flow tests, Rick and I, and our willing apprentice (well 14-year-old, but I figured that was a nicer description than ‘moody cow’) set off for our destination El Paradiso…sunny Bromsgrove!
The journey was annoying, but as soon as we arrived at the campsite, it felt like we had come home. Seeing the smiling faces of old friends, and people who would become new friends, was a very welcomed tonic to the numb depressive melancholy. Putting up the tent however was not! Turns out the best coping strategies for erecting your canvas are swearing, sweating, and cider. This is a fact I already knew but had somehow forgotten since it’s been a while. Anyway, now that I looked like a bedraggled swamp thing, it was time for some bands! To ease everyone back in to existing in the same 2-meter space as someone else, without freaking out, there were only 4 bands on the Friday night.
First up, and hailing from Scotland, Cuttin’ Edge provided some great rock to get the party started for the small and slightly terrified looking crowd that had decided it was in for a penny, in for a pound, and taken the plunge to venture indoors! Hi-Octane, dirty riffs and rugged grizzly vocals where the name of the game for these guys. A sort of Motorhead meets ZZ Top feel which blew away some cobwebs and had everyone tapping along as they stood at the bar (yes a real bar, with real life human people, serving real pints – amazeballs), or nodding along down at the front. This was a brilliant way to kick things off. A real tempo setter, that let everyone know that a very good weekend was in store.
Midlands Hard rockers, Shackled, took to the stage next, fresh from a performance on the Jager stage at Bloodstock 10 days or so previously. They kept the pace and crunch going, and had a real groove. Driven by chunky riffs and rumbling bass, and some sumptuous soloing, they continued to remind the gathered crowd, who now looked slightly less petrified, of the joy of actually seeing a band live. And by the looks on their faces, they were having equally as much fun as we were. God it’s so good to be back!
Control The Storm were a late addition to the bill, due to good old ‘Rona striking. Hey, I love CTS but hadn’t yet seen them live, so I was fine with that, and their live performance lived up to their recorded material. Epic melodic metal with more than a hint of synth, they gave us a heavy and full sound that was tight as anything, and exciting. The symphonic strings and vocal harmonies are what make it for me. But the technicality of the guitar riffs and solos are also impressive. And, by that point, everyone had thrown off their woes, and found their groove again. The party was in full swing, and the ale was flowing almost as gleefully as the music.
Putting us to bed were the finest bunch of upstanding gents you’re likely to meet in a field, in Bromsgrove, in August – Wired THC. After winning the public vote in 2019, they returned to headline the Friday this year, and if we thought we’d been partied already that night, they had a thing or two to teach us. A superb Hardcore/Thrash crossover, Wired ripped the entire leafy village of Stoke Prior a new one with this set. The room was bouncing, and full of magical energy for the entire set. Audience participation was the name of the game, and the performance came complete with a couple of guests visiting the stage, including Wired superfan, Jag’s bestie, and one of the nicest people you will ever meet in your life, the legend that is John Matthews! What a way to finish the day.
Rick and the teen had already admitted defeat before Wired had finished, but I stayed to the death, and then wandered back to camp Ever Metal. I was, ironically, far too wired to even think about attempting to crawl into the tent, so I sat in my car for a bit, watching the last of the revellers mingling in the area outside the hall where this wonderful evening had taken place.
And here’s where I take things from larking around, to heartfelt and philosophical. I felt a warmth and comfort that I hadn’t felt for some time sitting there in my car, even though the night air was beginning to chill. The breeze was carrying a sound to my resting place, that brought me a lot of peace. That was the sound of joyful laughter. Of friends catching up after too long apart. Of new friendships being formed after an isolation that no-one had ever had to contemplate or comprehend before. Something special had just taken place and I was so thankful to be part of it. And tomorrow would be another day, and we were looking forward to that immensely…
Beermageddon 2022 Event Page
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones, Rick Tilley, and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.