Red Hot Chilli Pipers – South Orange Performing Art Center, New Jersey – 06/03/2019

Red Hot Chilli Pipers

Red Hot Chilli Pipers
South Orange Performing Art Center, New Jersey
06/03/2019
Review and Pictures by Stephen Moss

I have to admit, I was sceptical about this show. After the first song however, I was blown away. Let me explain what happened!

Before the show started I had some preconceived ideas about what it would be like. For one, I’m not a big fan of Classic Rock. So, mixing Classic Rock with Celtic music, mmm, I didn’t think I was going to like it.

Celtic music does mix well with Punk, so I tried to keep an open mind. I love bands like Flogging Molly, The Real McKenzies, Street Dogs, and the Dropkick Murphy’s. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are a little different from that, though. They are more on the Celtic side of the spectrum and really stress the bag pipes and make that the highlight.

At the show in Jersey, The Chilli Pipers played a mixture of Classic Rock tracks including ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ by Queen, ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by Journey, ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC, and ‘Eye of the Tiger; by Survivor to name just a few.

One of the coolest things they did was actually a medley mash up of ‘Starlight’ by Muse and ‘Charlie Brown’ by Cold Play. They added more guitar and three bag pipes, and dudes, it worked! They also do cool versions of ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes and put their spin on ‘Jump’ by Van Halen.

In 2007 the Red Hot Chilli Pipers walked away with the top spot on a UK TV show called “When Will I Be Famous.” They call their style of music “Bag Rock” and it has done well for them in the States. The show in South Orange was a sell-out and SOPAC, which is a beautiful Performing Arts Theater just outside of Newark, NJ, was full to the brim!

After the show, I immediately went to Apple Music and bought their albums.
If you’re looking for something new and outside the norm, I definitely recommend checking these guys out. They are currently on a huge world tour so check out their links for dates!

LINKS:
https://rhcp.scot/#
https://www.facebook.com/redhotchillipipersofficial/

https://www.instagram.com/redhotchillipipers/

US Tour Poster

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Stephen Moss 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.

Pentre Fest 2019 Day One – Mcleans, Pentre, North Wales – 22/02/2019

00 Pentrefest 2019 Final Line-Up Poster 3

Pentre Fest 2019 Day One
Mcleans, Pentre, North Wales
22/02/2019
Review by Beth Jones & Rick Tilley
Pictures by Beth Jones

Live music in this area has suffered somewhat of a hammer blow recently, with the closure of yet another venue – The Live Rooms, Wrexham – so it is more important than ever that we as music fans keep supporting our local scene, and vehemently refuse to let live music be taken from our area. Two of the local area’s biggest metalheads, Ian ‘Fozzy’ Forrester and Ian ‘Beany’ North, are great supporters of the local scene, organising a great events diary wherever they can, with Pentre Fest being their annual main event.

This year, as ever, saw a great crowd of likeminded folk from the local area, and further afield, descend upon Mclean’s Bar in Pentre for the third year running, to see what Rick and I personally thought was their strongest line-up to date, strutting their stuff!

Over the course of the Friday night and all-day Saturday, we were treated to some fabulous performances, both on the main stage, and on the outdoor acoustic stage.Friday night was very definitely crazy night, with all the bands on the bill having a zany edge. We were really looking forward to the madness, a perfect way to wind down after a hard week at work!

Mucus
Opening the show in one of their exclusive performances, Mucus did not disappoint. Guitarist, Dan Alexander, also of Lullaby For A Unicorn, had told us that they very rarely gig so this was a real treat, and they were actually very good too! Really tight and well-rehearsed, Mucus played good, solid, no-nonsense Thrash! I would really like to see them gigging more often as they got the crowd going and had a really pleasing sound. They were a fantastic way to start the night!

01 Mucushttps://www.facebook.com/MucusBand/

Thrashatouille
We had heard a lot about this band from our learned friend Dani Maguire at Powerzone, so we were looking forward to finally seeing them – I mean what’s not to like – they combine Thrash Metal and food, so its two thumbs good in my book! All dressed in chef’s whites, and with kitchen implements and giant inflatable food dotted round the stage, they were quite a sight to behold. It was obvious from the start that they didn’t take themselves too seriously, but their music was excellent! All themed around culinary delights, and fast paced and zany, they had the crowd really going for it, and even had a crowd surfer, surfing on an inflatable doughnut! With track titles such as ‘Shepherds Pie Squared, Chilli Con-Carnage, Deep Fried Mars Bar and the very non PC ‘Soggy Bottom’ much fun was had. They are definitely good drinking music too, and the beer swilling was kicked up a gear at this point by quite a few people! Unfortunately they couldn’t play their full set because of a small delay, but other than that, this was shaping up to be a pretty crazy evening!

02 Thrashatouillehttps://www.facebook.com/Thrashatouille/

Lullaby For A Unicorn
Just when you thought a peak of nuttiness had been reached with Thrashatouille, up pops our favourite mythical creature based metal band, Lullaby For A Unicorn! With Steven and Eddie the Seagulls both now retired, we were intrigued to see what inflatable creature would join this merry bunch of nutters next. Pretty soon, our questions were answered when the very lovely ‘Tiffany’ the three foot high inflatable unicorn was introduced to us! This along with a bubble machine, crazy lazers and smoke, confetti cannons, party poppers, Dan Alexander’s light up shoes, lead singer Justin Williams’ light up jacket, and the now synonymous unicorn onesie of Bass player Anthony Baxter, made for a spectacularly hallucinogenic experience! And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more bonkers – they introduced the heavy metal colouring competition! The image we will never forget is a room full of slightly sweaty, slightly drunk metalheads all furiously colouring pictures of unicorns like their entire credibility depended on it, accompanied by the madcap sounds of Lullaby! Absolute genius! And musically, these guys get better every time we see them. They have also just secured a massive gig at next year’s HRH Metal weekender in Birmingham – be ready Birmingham, and potentially be a little afraid too!!

03 Lullaby For A Unicornhttps://www.facebook.com/rockmyunicorn/

Mad Spanner
After a short delay for emergency cleaning works following the Lullaby boys, last year’s Metal 2 The Masses North Wales finalists, Mad Spanner, took to the stage. Like Lullaby, we have seen these guys quite a few times now, and have become friends with them off stage too. They are as equally as bonkers as our previous outfit, but in a far more reserved way in terms of costumes and shiny things! Their madcap humour comes through in their song lyrics, their insane speed, and the fact that frontman Michael Randall seems to have springs in his feet and be constantly wired up to the mains, with the amount of bouncing and slightly unhinged facial expressions he delivers in their live performances. This performance was no exception, and we were really surprised to find out after the show that he was actually ill, with suspected Glandular Fever (which thankfully it turned out not to be a few days later). This has to be given some kudos, as most would not have even played, let alone with that amount of energy, if they were that poorly – what a trooper he is! It was really great to watch them perform, as we have watched them grow over the last few months, and the improvement in their stagecraft is immense. They are so much tighter now than when we first saw them and they give a great show. They did a very impressive cover of Sepultura’s ‘Roots’, which always goes down well, and they also had Keiran Scott (Ashen Crown) join them on stage to do guest vocals! Their debut album is out soon and we cannot wait to hear what they have done!

04 Mad Spannerhttps://www.facebook.com/MadSpanner/

Footprints In The Custard
Bringing the Friday proceedings to a close where Manchester’s favourite comedy metal heads, Footprints In The Custard. These guys bring a slightly more refined version of random to the plate, but are still completely bonkers, and hilariously funny to watch. They play a whole range of catchy, funny songs, and do love a bit of audience participation, especially during their last song of the night, a great metal version of The Weathergirls, ‘It’s Raining Men’, when a wall of death style mass humping is strongly encouraged for those brave enough to participate, it always cracks us up! As usual, their performance here was on point, and the crowd lapped it up. The ever loved ‘Willies Are For Weeing’ song got a great reception, and with Tiffany The Unicorn and a fair few other inflatables coming out to play in the crowd, along with an impressive heavy metal conga going on, the place had a proper party atmosphere, which made everyone smile and be very happy. As a front man, Russ Custard has the brilliant ability to grab a crowd and make them have a good time, and this combined with the whole band’s excellent musicianship means that their performances are always well received, plus no-one can resist seeing guitarist, Ross Vickers, in a mankini, and drummer, Sladen, twerking in some very fetching short short shorts! All in all a great set, expertly executed, to finish off a properly good night of metal madness!

05 Footprints In The Custardhttps://www.facebook.com/Footprintsinthecustard/

And so it was time to head off home for the night, and we left the venue with a smile on our face, and a warmth in our hearts that you can only get from a crazy metal party like this. We were pretty knackered, but were both really looking forward to Saturday’s show…

…To Be Continued!

Links
https://www.facebook.com/pentrefest/
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment/
https://www.facebook.com/McleansPubLive/
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/TheImpactZoneOnRadioDeeside/
https://www.facebook.com/evermetal2017/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley, Beth Jones 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.

All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

Hollywood Undead – The Wellmont Theater, Montclair, New Jersey – 06/03/2019

HU9

Hollywood Undead
The Wellmont Theater, Montclair, New Jersey
06/03/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

Since the release of their fifth studio album “Five”, California Rap Rock giants Hollywood Undead seem to always be on tour. After a worldwide album support tour they have embarked on The West Coast High tour co-headlining with Hip Hop legends Cypress Hill. In the midst of all this they are working on recording a new album slated to be released sometime this year.

Hollywood Undead are one of the cross over bands that are enjoying huge success to both Rock and Rap fans. Their latest album had a hard and heavy hitting track ‘California Dreaming’ and a hip hop style track ‘Black Cadillac’ featuring Cypress Hill front man B-Real. They can easily tour with Hard Rock bands and Rap artists, and enjoy a warm welcome from all music fans.

In the midst of the West Coast High Tour the band performed in the beautiful Wellmont Theater in Montclair, New Jersey. Hollywood Undead hit the stage after performances from Demrick and Xzibit who will be, most likely, unknown to Rock fans.

The first two songs in their set came from “Five”, ‘Whatever It Takes’ and ‘California Dreaming’. The second of those could make any Metal band jealous, arguably one of their heaviest songs to date. They played three more songs from “Five” during their set ‘Bad Moon’, ‘Broken Record’ and, of course ‘Riot’, an excellent song which got the crowd into a frenzy.

Other notable hits played included ‘Day Of The Dead’, ‘Hear Me Now’, ‘Comin’ in Hot’ and ‘Everywhere I Go’.

On ‘Comin’ in Hot’ Charlie Scene (the guys all have stage names) brought a random fan on stage to play the guitar, Anthony was his name, and he did not disappoint. He impressed band members and fans alike. J-Dog also had his family from Brooklyn in attendance.

Hollywood Undead performed the show without masks, as they have taken to do lately and they gave their all. Johnny 3 Tears, Funny Man and Danny were all amazing. Since 2017 they have been using a touring drummer, Matt Oloffson, for their shows and he did one hell of a job!

Whatever your subgenre preference is in Rock, it would be well worth your time to check out Hollywood Undead if you haven’t already done so. This was a great show!

LINKS:

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons 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.

All photographs are courtesy of Andy Jansons.

Corrosion of Conformity – The Gramercy Theatre, New York City -13/02/2019

COC Gramercy Theatre 13-02-2019 Poster

Corrosion of Conformity
The Gramercy Theatre, New York City
13/02/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

More than thirty years on from their formation, legendary North Carolina Heavy Metal band Corrosion of Conformity are still going strong and drawing sold out crowds. They are currently on tour throughout the US supporting their most recent album “No Cross No Crown”, which was released on January 12th 2018 via Nuclear Blast. They are being supported on the current tour with the excellent Metal bands Crowbar, Mothership and Weedeater. After February 13th show they will be replaced by The Obsessed. New York Cities, The Gramercy Theatre was almost filled to capacity, with very little room left to move around.

All the support bands did their job perfectly and got the crowd going, with Louisiana rockers Crowbar playing just before C.O.C. giving us that Southern Metal vibe readying everyone for what was to come!

Corrosion of Conformity started their set with ‘The Stonebreaker’ from their seventh studio album “In The Arms of God”, followed by ‘Wiseblood’ and the only song from the “No Cross No Crown” album called ‘Wolf Named Crow’.

They were amazing! COC’s longtime vocalist Pepper Keenan delivered an excellent performance and sounded just like he did in his youth, with a deep southern voice.

Bassist Mike Dean brought full energy to the show with his relentless running around the stage. Another long time band member Reed Mullin was flawless on the drum set whilst the only original band member and founder Woody Weatherman who has been in the lineup throughout the bands existence, delivered a perfect performance on the lead guitar.

The assembled crowd embraced all their songs with excitement, but COC’s hits ‘Albatross’ and ‘Clean My Wounds’ were the pinnacle the of the show!

LINKS:
http://coc.com/
https://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity/

https://www.instagram.com/coccabal/

 

COC12

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons 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.

All photos courtesy of Andy Jansons.

 

Evil Scarecrow, Ten Foot Wizard & Footprints In The Custard – The Tivoli, Buckley – 31.01.19

Evil Scarecrow - Tivoli, Buckley 31-01-2019 Poster

Evil Scarecrow, Ten Foot Wizard & Footprints In The Custard
The Tivoli, Buckley
31.01.19
Review and Pictures by Beth Jones

Ah the Tiv, my spirit home! I had a certain amount of de-ja-vu going to the Tiv for this gig, as once again the weather forecast was pants, and the roads were all snowy and icy! Our last trip to this venue had been the same, in December 2017 to see Mason Hill! Coincidence or are we Jinxed? Only time will tell.

For this gig my partner in crime was not our Ever Metal head honcho, Rick, but instead our trainee and my daughter, Sian, and she was very much looking forward to it!

Thankfully, a good number of people had braved the weather in order to support all the bands on the bill, and as a thanks for that, we were treated to a cracking show. Complete with much silliness, a Mankini, fruit costumes and spontaneous baa-ing from the audience!

Footprints In The Custard where given the job of opening the night and warming up the crowd, which given the sub-zero temperatures, was no mean feat! But as usual they tackled it with ease, pleasing us with such jaunty little ditties as ‘Willies Are For Weeing’, ‘Gail Platter’ and their awesome cover of The Weather Girls, ‘It’s Raining Men’! As usual, they were on top form, and as usual, got semi naked half way through, with guitarist, Ross, sporting a very fetching shiny blue Mankini, and frontman Russ donning his trademark luminous green Tutu! These guys are always a great laugh, with bags of crowd participation, and they did a grand job considering the stage was pretty cramped with the amount of gubbins Evil Scarecrow had ready for their performance! If you haven’t yet experience Footprints, you really need to – there style of crazy metal, mixed with their childlike, ‘naughty school boy’ humour is a must see. Their onstage energy and charisma are impossible not to get hooked on.

01 Footprints In The Custardhttps://www.facebook.com/Footprintsinthecustard

Next up were Ten Foot Wizard. These chaps were a new name to me, but you could tell it was going to be interesting, when they had a microphone lodged in a Heron donned with Hawaiian lei, and a mic stand covered in Ivy! They have somewhat, a penchant for cow bell, oddness, and bright colours, and play a kind of stoner/doom/rock style which comes together to make a pretty hallucinogenic performance. Whilst I’m not a massive fan of that type of music, I have to give it to them – what they do, they do incredibly well. The Bassist was having a few issues with a dodgy lead, but he hid this really well, and managed to get it sorted, whilst the rest of the band played some very nice elevator music, which kept us all entertained! They brought out the big guns for their final song, ‘Covered In Tits’! The Heron microphone, loads of cow bell and a Theremin. I have never seen one of these played live before, so this made me happy!

02 Ten Foot Wizard.jpghttps://www.facebook.com/tenfootwizard

The main event of the evening was Evil Scarecrow. Now reaching the business end of their Lost In Antartarctica tour, it was great to have them play a venue so close to us! The stage was packed to the rafters with gadgets and gizmos and we spent a good few minutes guessing at what songs would be included in the set by which gizmos we could see – we guessed some, but not all! The show started at a rip-roaring pace and the crowd went to the next level. Everyone got a bit over excited when Dr Hell was teaching us the moves for ‘End Level Boss’ and broke out into spontaneous Baa-ing, much to the amusement of the band! Well, when in Wales and all that!

They also had a new member joining them, as Princess Luxury had not been available for part of the tour. Playing a mean Keytar, he was introduced to us all as Chucky The Bastard, and he was indeed a naughty little bastard! At one point he hijacked the drumstick of a rogue Ten Foot Wizard member, who had infiltrated the stage with a cowbell, and beat the poor cowbell within an inch of its life!

The performance included some of their classics; ‘Robototron’, ‘Crabulon’, and ‘Blacken The Everything’ being my favourites, and new songs from their latest album, “Chapter IV: Antartarctica”. You can tell the calibre of a band when the new songs already feel like classics – ‘Hurricanado’, ‘Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Polterghost’ already seeming like mainstays in their show. I particularly like ‘The Ballad Of Brother Pain’ as it is a total departure from what they normally do, and it is a really great song. The audience participation for ‘Cosmic Goth Moth Gong’ was also quite amusing. The stage props where as nuts as ever throughout – with the good old anti-gravity machine (powered by a 13 amp plug), the Robots, UFO’s and Crabulon, as well as some new additions – a giant slug, a severed head with glowing eyes, and one of those inflatable wavy things that you get outside car showrooms!

The night finished with the Ten Foot Wizard boys, donned in oversized fruit costumes and armed with cowbells, joining the Scarecrow gang on stage for a rumpus! How things didn’t get severely broken, including band members, is beyond me!

03 Evil Scarecrowhttps://www.facebook.com/Evil.Scarecrow

You can’t help but smile when you come out of a gig like that – what a top evening! The sound was great, the crowd were great, the bands were all epic, and the venue was brilliant. This was a proper party!! It is such a friendly atmosphere there, which takes me right back to the 90’s and my miss-spent youth. It makes me really happy to see this venue thriving again, and I would recommend anyone who has not been to seriously consider a trip there for one of their upcoming shows.

PS Sian loved it too!

The Tivoli:
https://www.facebook.com/The-Tivoli-Venue-111869355544823

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones 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.

All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

Silverstein + Hawthorne Heights & Guests – Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ – 12/01/2019

01 gig poster

Silverstein – When Broken Is Easily Fixed; 15 Year Anniversary Tour
Silverstein + Hawthorne Heights & Guests
Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
12/01/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

At the end of last year Canadian Rock band Silverstein, from Burlington, Ontario, embarked on their 15th Anniversary tour of their debut album “When Broken Is Easily Fixed” together with special guests Hawthorne Heights, As Cities Burn and Capstan. On January 12th they made a stop in the state of New Jersey to play a show at the Starland Ballroom where we were able to see them live!

Capstan and As Cities Burn both gave the anxious crowd a good amount of energy with their terrific and loud performances. After them came Dayton, Ohio Rock band Hawthorne Heights. For them this tour is about supporting their new album that was released in 2018 entitled “Bad Frequencies”. Their performance was amazing. Their songs touched all painful elements of our times like addiction, depression and suicide. Their long-time vocalist and bands founding member JT Woodruff took his time to introduce each song and what issues it touched. Their set included songs Just Another Ghost, Bad Frequencies, Bring You Back and Crimson Sand, just to mention few!

When Canadian rockers Silverstein took to the stage the place exploded. Their set was divided in two. The First half included their debut album “When Broken Is Easily Fixed” played in its entirety and the second half was filled with their greatest hits. Their music was heavy and the singing and screaming by the bands vocalist Shane Told coupled by a spectacular light show was thrilling. This was a fine example of the Post-Hardcore genre. On their last song of the debut album set, whilst performing the title track ‘When Broken Is Easily Fixed’ they were joined on stage by Capstan vocalist Anthony DeMario who supplied deafening unclean vocals. After a short break Silverstein returned to play their hits, including ‘The Afterglow’, ‘Lost Positives’, ‘Retrograde’ and ‘Smile in Your Sleep’. They closed out the show by playing ‘My Heroine’.

Links:
Silverstein:
http://www.silversteinmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/silversteinmusic/

Hawthorne Heights:
https://hawthorneheights.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HawthorneHeights/

As Cities Burn:
http://www.ascitiesburn.net/
https://www.facebook.com/ascitiesburn/

Capstan:
http://capstanband.com/
https://www.facebook.com/capstanband/

 

02 silverstein live pic

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons 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.

All photos courtesy of Andy Jansons

Twisted Illusion + Midnight Prophecy, Equinox (now Ashen Reach) & John Ainsworth – Manchester Academy 3 – 21/12/2018

Twisted Illusion + Midnight Prophecy, Equinox (now Ashen Reach) & John Ainsworth
Manchester Academy 3
21st December 2018
Review by Beth Jones

The 21st of December is always my favourite day of the year, because it is my birthday! So, you can imagine my joy when I discovered that my band of the year was doing a big gig in Manchester on that very day. We had hotly awaited it for months. It got to within one week of the gig and Twisted Illusion dropped the bombshell that Matt McDade and Mark Wagstaff (the brilliant rhythm section of the band) were calling it a day as they felt they couldn’t give the level of commitment that was needed to fulfil their increasing schedule, and frontman Matt Jones got a bad case of laryngitis. I was beyond mortified. I had visions of the show being cancelled and my new favourite band becoming a memory. But being the consummate professionals they are, they insisted that the show would go on!

So off we set to Manchester. Getting there was….err…..fun! If you have never been to the Academy 3 (like me) it is like finding a needle in a very confusing haystack of bus routes and one-way systems. I may have got a ticket for driving in a bit which was busses and taxis only, and I may have ended up on the wrong side of the road at one point and narrowly missed getting hit by an oncoming bus, but Jesus was it worth it when we finally got there! (Rick here – I’m still shaking!!!)

The evening started with a mesmerising solo performance from a young guitarist by the name of John Ainsworth. He is a very slight and unassuming chap to look at, no different from the next person in a crowd, but put a guitar on him and magic happens! What that guy can do with his old, slightly battered semi acoustic is unreal! It is as if he was born with it strapped to him. He makes it sound like a complete band, and his musical creations are as intricate and complex as they are zany and pleasantly disturbing! This blew my mind and reminded me why I love live music so much. What a stunning way to start off the evening.

01 john ainsworthhttps://www.facebook.com/john12string/

Next up were Equinox. It turns out this was their last gig with that name, as they have now rebranded and become Ashen Reach! By now the room was pretty full, and the crowd were loving the unique, Hard Rock/Melodic Metal sound that was being unleashed from the stage. Their set was full on, lively and fun, and they were all having a ball on stage. Their female drummer, Jess Stanley, was positioned to the front of the stage, which was great to see. Usually it is impossible to get good pictures of drummers from the front, but not here! She was really interesting to watch as she has a very unusual technique, playing open handed a lot and holding the sticks really high up. They were superb! The vocals of Daniel Moran were soaring, but with a great crunchy, growly tone that fitted their style so well. This was a real party. Everyone was smiling and having a great time, all knowing that this was a special night. They brought it down for their last number to say a farewell to their Equinox days in readiness for chapters new, and it was obvious that this was a big thing for the band, with Daniel getting quite emotional. Deservedly so – it was a cracking performance full of heart and spirit. It will be good to see what Ashen Reach now bring to the table!

02 equinox (ashen reach)https://www.facebook.com/EquinoxBandUK/
https://www.facebook.com/ashenreach/

Our main support for the evening was Midnight Prophecy. The best way I can describe these guys is good old bacon and eggs British Heavy Metal. They were basically a brilliant, young, Iron Maiden with lead singer, Craig Cairns, having the sound and power of Bruce Dickinson, but a lot more hair! They were flipping brilliant!! One of their guitarists also looks like a giant Viking and pulls the best guitar faces ever! So much energy, so much stage presence, so much charisma! They have a real connection as a band that is old and wise beyond their years. Their set was fast paced and electrifying, and the audience were bouncing. The evening up until this point had been spectacular and had gone by so quickly that I was almost sad that it would all soon be over.(Rick here again – Based on this performance I’m REALLY looking forward to see Midnight Prophecy again at Amplified Festival in July)

03 midnight prophecyhttps://www.facebook.com/midnightprophecy/

All too quickly came the last performance of the evening, and the reason why most of us were there. Twisted Illusion, with the added extra of a young talent by the name of Saxon Davids (ex Kaine) joining them on guitar, and their ‘roadie on the night’ and occasional extra member, Voodoo Blood’s Chris Norris, joining them on upright bass. We had spoken to Matt Jones earlier in the evening and his voice was still a bit spannered, but he was determined to give us a brilliant show, so called on the services of Craig from Midnight Prophecy to sing some of the songs with them, and he sang harmonies an octave lower. It is scary to try and comprehend the talent of Matt Jones, as him on a bad day was still immense! THIS is what music really is; proper music. I found myself just standing, with my head back and my eyes close, letting the music eat me, with a huge grin on my face. There are a very small number of bands that have this effect on me, notably Queen and Devin Townsend; they are the bands that make me just have to stop and do nothing, just let the music in. Twisted Illusion are now on that list. Every song, new and old was an absolute smasher – ‘Excite The Light’, ‘Hatred Is A Virtue’, ‘Medicated Society’, ‘No Compromise’, the brilliant cover of ‘The Spirit Of Radio’ by Rush (EEEEK it was soooo good), I could go on, but I would end up just listing the whole set list! It has taken me a couple of weeks to be able to organise my thoughts on this gig, because I simply cannot put into words how bloody good Twisted Illusion are. Every single note, every pause, every rhythm change is perfectly placed and there for a reason, and it just makes me so happy to be able to experience it. I can’t even make one of my usual quips about it, because it was too good. Whilst it is extremely sad that Mark Wagstaff and Matt McDade are not continuing in the band, Matt Jones has vowed to carry on in 2019, with a full tour announced, and the release of the remaining parts of the Excite the Light Album Trilogy, and I am super excited for this!

04 twisted illusionhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialTIband/

My words do not do these four fabulous performances justice. Seriously if you get even the smallest chance of getting out to see Twisted Illusion, or any of the other bands on this bill, do it – you will not regret it. All that I have left to say is thank you – a massive heartfelt thank you to all the acts, for making my birthday a very special night that I will remember for a very, very long time.

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones 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.

All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/