Top Ten Photographic Moments of 2019

Top Ten Photographic Moments of 2019
By Beth Jones

Hi Everyone – Rick Here. For her Top Ten, Beth has decided to do something different this year and that’s present you with the favourite music photos that she took this year and to tell you why they are special to her. I’d like to thank her for all the hard work she has put into Ever Metal in 2019, live reviews, album reviews and ever improving photography, as well as getting me to and from all the gigs we have attended and last, but certainly not least, being my fabulous other half and keeping me in check lol!!

This year’s been a funny old year. It started off strongly, with the prospect of a blisteringly full gig calendar, but, for one reason or another, ended up not being quite as full as we’d hoped. Looking back through my pictures from this year has reminded me of the brilliant gigs that we did attend, as well as the amazing people we have encountered along the way. With that in mind, I decided that my top ten photographs from 2019 would not necessarily be the sharpest shots that I caught, but instead would be the pictures that captured something special and mean more than just the image. So here they are; my top ten photographic moments of 2019.

01 Number #10 Evil Scarecrow

#10 Evil Scarecrow
@ The Tivoli, Buckley 31/01/2019

Way back at the beginning of the year, on a cold, snowy evening, my eldest, Sian and I headed over to The Tiv, my old haunt from yesteryear, to watch Evil Scarecrow, Footprints in the Custard, and Ten Foot Wizard. It was an awesome and crazy gig, but also the first outing of my new lens, which is always a fun time for a tog!


02 Number #9 Midnight Prophecy

#9 Midnight Prophecy
@ Pentrefest Summer Sessions, Mcleans Pentre 06/07/2019

Pentrefest, and the Pentrefest Summer Sessions, have both been awesome this year, but Midnight Prophecy’s set took it to a whole new level of awesomeness. We had seen these guys at the end of last year in Manchester and were impressed, but they managed to blow us away even more at this gig. I also chose this photo as bass players just don’t get enough recognition! Ladies and gents, I give you Pete Mansfield, awesome bass man!


03 Number #8 Lullaby For A Unicorn
#8 Lullaby For A Unicorn
@ Bloodstock North Wales M2TM Final, Penny Black / XS Wrexham 07/06/2019

These guys! They are my boys. They didn’t win the final, but as always, they gave it their all in the madcap way that only they know how. They frustrated me at this gig, because they overthought it, but it doesn’t stop them making the list, mainly because they are just great people. This is a picture of their lovely bassist, Anthony Baxter, who is another fabulous bass man!


04 Number #7 Red Method
#7 Red Method
@Rabidfest 2019, The Bullingdon, Oxford 17/08/2019

Rabidfest ended up being our only festival this year, but it was a good one, so that made the pain of missing out on many others more bearable. We met some fantastic people, including, at long last, Ever Metal’s Sheri Bicheno! It also introduced me to my band of the weekend, and probably my favourite performance of the year – Red Method, who absolutely blew my mind, and they were properly nice chaps too.


05 Number #6 Arkdown

#6 Arkdown
@ The G21, The Saddle Tock Bar, Chester 05/10/2019

It was a dreary October night and, once again, Sian accompanied me to Chester to see Scarfoot, In Which It Burns, and Arkdown. We already knew Scarfoot from previous gigs, but it was the first time seeing them with their new bassist, and the improvement in their sound was huge, which really pleased me. In Which It Burns were a new name to me, but I loved them, and Arkdown were another new name and they absolutely smashed it! This was made all the more commendable by the fact that the audience was tiny. I got really mad about this, because they and the performance they gave deserved so much more. If you ever get the chance to get out and see Arkdown, especially if it is round here, please do so, you won’t regret it.


06 Number #5 Severenth
#5 Severenth – The Comeback Show
@The Live Rooms, Chester 05/07/2019

Severenth had been a name that I vaguely remembered from a few years back but hadn’t paid much attention to. When rumblings of a comeback show came about, we decided that we should go and check them out, seeing as they were local. Bugger me, am I glad we did! For a start, the venue was absolutely packed to the rafters, which made for an electric atmosphere! Lullaby For A Unicorn opened the night, then In Depths played as main support, and Severenth headlined. Every act was superb, and I was in awe of Severenth vocalist Peet Bailey, not just for his versatile voice, but also for his epic dreads! Great night!


07 Number #4 Twisted Illusion

#4 Twisted Illusion – The Excite The Light Tour
@ The Zanzibar, Liverpool 12/05/2019

Matt Jones is a colourful character, and some people just can’t get on with him because of that, but for me he is not only a really nice guy, but unquestionably one of the most talented musicians and songwriters I have ever experienced. It was a privilege to be at this gig, and the emotion and effort that he put into every single second of this performance had me blubbing like a baby. There is nothing flash about the Twisted Illusion stage show, it is just Matt and his bunch of equally talented musicians letting the music speak, and it is beautiful.


08 Number #3 Fun Times
#3 Fun Times – Pentrefest Summer Sessions 2019
@Mcleans Pentre 06/07/2019

This picture sums up how music, and our little scene, makes us feel. In it are Michael Randall, bassist and resident Tigger impersonator with Mad Spanner, and my wonderful other half, and Ever Metal commander in chief, Richard Tilley. It was a great capture of the mood on that day. Whiling away the hours, listening to great music and having excellent fun with some of the best friends you could wish for. All problems are left at the gate, and life is perfect, for a day at least.


09 Number #2 Inspiration - Will Tudor
#2 Inspiration – Will Tudor
@ The Amplified Press Day 20/04/2019

We all know now that Amplified 2019 didn’t happen, and that was very sad and upsetting for a lot of people. I will admit that I cried a lot, for a long time, and not because I wasn’t going to see the bands, or have fun in a field for a weekend, but because it meant that I missed out on the chance to work alongside, and learn more about our craft from this man; Mr Will Tudor, who over the last two years, since I first picked up a camera, has been an inspiration and a guide for me. So thank you Will, you have no idea how much your input has meant to both Sian and me.


10 Number #1 The Fans
#1 Love Music – The Fans
@ All The Venues On All The Dates 2019

My number one picture for this year was shot at Rabidfest, at the end of Red Method’s blistering set, but it could have been taken at any one of the other gigs and more. It simply sums up the reason that bands make music, and in turn the reason why I get to go out and pursue something I love – photographing bands making music. If it wasn’t for the fans, there would be no bands, and the world would be a much darker place. So, thank you, to all of you, for sharing the passion that we all feel for the music, and getting out to watch it live, which tops off any other feeling in the world!

Peace, love and respect to you all. Merry Christmas x

 

 

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.

Arkdown – G21 at The Saddle Rock Bar, Chester – 05/10/2019

 

 

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Arkdown w/ In Which It Burns & Scarfoot – G21 At The Saddle Rock Bar, Chester – 05/10/2019

00 Gig Poster

Arkdown
w/ In Which It Burns & Scarfoot
G21 At The Saddle Rock Bar, Chester
05/10/2019
Review by Beth Jones

Another Friday, another trip to the G21! This week’s entertainment was being brought to us by a familiar name in the shape of Scarfoot (but with their new bass player) and two names who were completely new to me – In Which It Burns and Arkdown. Sadly, Rick was laid up with his back again, so I took my substitute gig companion and oldest child, Sian.

For those who haven’t been to the G21, it is an intimate venue created from an old stable building at the back of Chester’s best rock venue, The Saddle Bar. It is a great place to spend an evening and this is something that I am going to rant about in a bit, so be warned! First, to the bands!

Scarfoot
Having seen these guys on a number of occasions before, we knew what they were about, and regular listeners will know that I have always said that they were ok, but something was missing. Enter stage right their new bass player, Rhys, and bingo! This was what I had been waiting for from these guys! It felt so much tighter than it was before, and Vocalist/Guitarist Oliver Carins and drummer Phil Eakins, the backbone of the band, looked so much happier and content with the sound. Everything had more depth, more confidence and more groove. They have also filled the gaps between songs and developed more of a stage presence. I am so happy to be able to write this about them – there is nothing more pleasing than seeing a young band find themselves and look genuinely content and relaxed. This enjoyment also rubbed off on the crowd, and they were grooving along with them for the whole set. Whilst they were probably the lightest band on tonight’s bill, they have a chunky sound, enhanced by the gruff dual vocals of both Oliver and Phil. The new bass sound, with little fills, and more complex riffs really complimented this and I am really excited to see where this rebirth takes them next!

01 Scarfoothttps://www.facebook.com/thescarfootband/

In Which It Burns
Because I like to go into things with no preconceptions, I had no knowledge of these guys at all. From their name, I had had a guess at what type of band they would be, and I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like them or not – this is the beauty of actively seeking out new music. From the first riff, my ears picked up, and by the end of the first song, my mind was made up – they were bloody good!! Joining us all the way from Pembrokeshire, these guys deliver heavy grooves and roaring vocals, and would be enjoyed by fans of early Metallica, through to Pantera but also fans of more modern, Djent style Metal. They were really tight and well-rehearsed, and a special mention must be given to drummer Eugene Lowe, who was an absolute machine! I was gutted Rick wasn’t there to see it to be honest, as he would have been falling over himself with superlatives to describe this guy’s rhythms! They all had a great presence, and their personalities and technical prowess stood side by side to create a brilliant performance – they even had a pit going at the front for one of the songs – not an easy thing to start in the G21!

02 In Which It Burnshttps://www.facebook.com/InWhichItBurns/

Arkdown
Our headliners tonight were joining us from Sheffield, and from their logo, I had deduced that they were probably going to be pretty heavy! They got a big tick in my book before they even started playing, as they had brought their own stage lights! Anyone who has followed any of my reviews / photography outings will know my biggest gripe is lighting! The G21 lacks lights and makes me say words my mother would not be proud of, however I was able to snap away to my heart’s content with these guys! They play a brand of modern metal that, in all honesty, has the ability to get right on my tits when it’s not done right, however these guys really know how to do it right and their performance was superb. Everything was like a well-oiled machine, from the stops and changes within the songs, to the programming of the lights, even down to the choreographed headbanging – nothing was out of place, nothing was over or under done and it was bloody spectacular! The shared vocals duties of front man Kyle Dawson and Guitarist Mike Dyson had a kind of call and response feel in parts, which really worked, and their voices blended together well to create a brilliant version of the scream type sound that has become synonymous with the modern metal style. When it is done well, like these guys do it, I love it! I really cannot find anything to criticise about them. Everything was superb. I picked up a copy of their EP “The Calling” and listened to it in the car on the way home, and their stage sound was just as good as the recording. I am so glad I was one of the select few in the audience and I can’t wait to see them again!

03 Arkdownhttps://www.facebook.com/ArkdownOfficial/

Right, so that is my band write up done, now I am going to rant about something that I have kept my mouth shut about up until now, but that came to a head at this gig and really pissed me off (anyone who knows me will know it takes a hell of a lot to piss me off).

Here we had three great bands, who have been playing up and down the country, working their backsides off to bring shows to people, and by the time Arkdown were on stage, they were playing to a handful of people – literally. One of the audience members was me, two were girlfriends of band members, and one was the gig organiser – if you take us out of the equation, the rest of the audience could be counted on one hand, but they still put everything into that performance, and played as if they were playing to a packed out stadium, and for that I have the utmost respect for them, because mentally that is tough.

This is sadly echoed in many town, in many countries globally at the moment, and then people complain when venues shut down – IF YOU DON’T USE THEM HOW ARE THEY GOING TO STAY OPEN DICKHEADS??!!! Don’t bloody complain that you didn’t know it was on, or that you hadn’t heard of the band – ACTIVELY GO OUT LOOKING FOR NEW STUFF!!! In an age of social media, where our entire lives are there at the touch of a button, we have become fucking lazy, and expect everything to be spoon fed to us – STOP IT! Check out your local venues’ Facebook or Twitter to see what is on! Search for your local scene and like any pages that come up that are connected to it, and check them out regularly to see what they are up to! In the old days we used to get the ‘What’s On’ guide somewhere in the back of the local free paper every week, and we would search through the paper to find it, and circle in red, or cut out and stick on the calendar the things we wanted to go to! There is zero reason why we can’t do the same now, using the technology that we all have in our back pockets, but we’re too fucking lazy!!! These bands, and hundreds like them on the emerging and underground scene, deserve more than we are giving them. They are working so hard to entertain us, with entry to their gigs costing the same as a pint, but we can’t be arsed. Please, for the love of music, sort it out!!!!

As I dismount my soap box, I would like to say a huge thank you to the bands for giving me a brilliant evening’s entertainment, and also a huge thanks to North East Wales Metal Productions again, for putting on this gig, and for working tirelessly to reboot the scene around here. And before anyone say “Well you only go because you get press passes” or “You get given CDs for free”, NO – we buy tickets for these gigs to help support the scene, and we buy the CDs to help support the bands, so suck it up, don’t make excuses, and get out to watch bands – you might find something you like! GRRRRRRR!!

LINKS
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/Grosvenor21/
https://www.facebook.com/Thesaddleinnchester/

 

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/