The Wildhearts By Request

The Wildhearts Livestream Poster

The Wildhearts By Request
Livestream Presented by Crosstown Concerts
17/04/2021
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, Livestream events (whether they are truly live or not) are all we’ve had to keep us sane over the last year and a half. They are also about the only revenue stream currently available to musicians right now and have become something of a lifeline to many bands. Even though The Wildhearts have a bunch of real dates planned for later in the year, the reality of this actually happening is by no means certain, so doing something like this makes a huge amount of sense. I also personally think these types of events are going to continue to be a part of the furniture moving forward. More on this later however…

This band have had their fair share of ups and downs over the years and the line-up has been something of a revolving door around Ginger, but for many the golden years were that seminal line up of Ginger, CJ, Danny McCormack and Ritch Battersby, so I was delighted to find that that’s what we’ve got for this show. This group of four really are the essence of the act and even though we know in our hearts that this may not always stay stable forever, or that the four of them may not always be “in” The Wildhearts at any given time, but that none of them are ever never truly “out” either…

This event opened with ‘Dislocated’ from the 2019’s ‘Renaissance Man’ album, but being a fan requested show the vast majority of the set list was not going to come as much of a surprise to most. In some ways that’s a shame, as that recent album has some great material on it and is a massive return to form, but thanks to the joy that is Covid it’s not had time to worm its way into the fan consciousness live yet, but I am glad they opened with this song. You get the sense from Ginger’s sometimes caustic comments on the subject during the show that they were hoping for some more obscure requests for material that doesn’t get played live too often, but no, after eighteen months of lockdown, the fans wanted what they knew and love. Ginger refers to the debut “Earth Versus The Wildhearts” record as “The best of the Wildhearts” and that album certainly gets plenty of airplay in this set list with six of the thirteen songs coming from this disc (although with thirty years of hindsight “East West Versus The Wildhearts” would have been a more appropriate title for it). This included what might just have been the final performance of ‘Greetings From Shitsville’, as Ginger made it abundantly clear that he dislikes this one intensely – it’s his nemesis apparently and it’s officially got retired tonight by mutual band agreement, although personally having lived in the ridiculous overpriced squalor that was digs in London around the time this was written I can completely empathise with the subject matter.

The atmosphere of the performance is pure Wildhearts – no large hanger size sounds stages here, or fancy camera work and tableaux, no technical effects or staged gimmickry – this looks and feels like it’s coming from a small rehearsal space. The musicians are all pretty much facing each other rather than assuming stage positions with cameras crammed into the space between in the middle, so the overall feeling is that we’ve been allowed into their private and intimate home. The lighting is bare bones too – a few white par cans with the odd bit of flashing in time with the music, but absolutely nothing fancy at all. A brilliant decision and one that closes the gap of impersonality and distance that is the curse of streamed performances, creating intimacy and immediacy.

It does feel raw and live with no obvious recording gaps, so the banter, occasional instrument retuning and mistakes are as real as they would be in a live venue. The sound is perfect for the effect they are creating – crisp and clear; fat and rich, although the guitars are a bit back in the mix compared to the rhythm section. The filming is of the handheld in your face variety, which captures the atmosphere these guys work best in – a sweaty club with the tangible risk of dripping condensation causing an electrical fire. Now the reality is these events are not truly live, but importantly this one feels ‘as live’, without obvious edits and plenty of shots of tuning fun, inter-song banter and rehydration and all the other stuff you would get if you were in the room with them.

At the end we also get a guest vocal appearance from band friend and Million Dead frontman Frank Turner as Ginger gets his wish for a lead singer on the final two tracks, giving the chance for a cracking layered vocal harmony that would be a challenge otherwise live. Turner also acts as the interviewer for the numerous extras that are available in the deluxe package and his love of their music is tangible. Given that Ginger has moaned a lot over the years about having to be the main vocalist all the time I wonder if we may not see more of his input in the future, as his vocal tone fits a treat with the Wildhearts sound.

At an hour and fifteen minutes run time it was a little on the short side, but short is sweet here and otherwise spot on, although for those with access to the bonus package there was also the chance to hear a new track ‘Splitter’ as a plug for the upcoming album “21st Century Love Songs”. This is now available on pre-order, and the track is a bit more frenetic with time changes aplenty and a lovely slide guitar break from Ginger. It whets the appetite nicely, as indeed would anything recorded by this line up of the band, who are on an absolute creative roll right now.

This is the closest any of us can get to a gig now and frankly I don’t care about whether it’s pre-recorded or not. And neither should you, as these things are currently the only real revenue stream bands currently have and without labels, streaming platforms, promoters, venues and all the other assorted fleas and ticks of Rock’n’roll taking their cut, actually can be a financial life line for the artists, as they are relatively cheap to produce and the band should be getting a much larger slice of the revenue.

That’s why I think they are here to stay – not least from the fact that this pandemic is far from over, but that its impacts are only just getting started, with Brexit and all the woes and costs it adds to touring providing the icing to a shit cake of epic proportions in the UK live scene in particular. Many venues aren’t going to survive this; it’s going to be a while until the touring machine gets going again and in the meantime the bands need to eat. If someone’s ill, physically unable to tour or it’s not simply cost effective then bands are going to realise this delivery method is another trick in their arsenal, and one for which they see a lot more of a slice of the income. It also gives bands a chance to do something different (as Avatar did recently with a four show tour of almost their entire recorded catalogue) and that might not work commercially on tour but works perfectly for the streamed format.

Add to this the deluxe packages on sale can be worth the extra money. In this instance this got fans an event T-Shirt, the new sneak preview from the new album and an hour or so worth of interviews including a very frank and open discussion from Danny about his battles with mental health and drugs (and yes, I may just try CJ’s chicken curry recipe), because let’s face it, live streams are as cheap as chips for us as punters compared to the cost of going to a gig so why the hell would you not spend that extra couple of quid and keep the bands alive?

LINKS:

Wildhearts Live Stream

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black 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.

The Word Alive – Webster Hall, New York City, USA – 30/11/2019

 

A full review of the gig can be found at the following link:

https://ever-metal.com/2019/12/13/our-last-night-i-see-stars-the-world-alive-ashland-webster-hall-new-york-city-usa-30-11-2019/

 

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Andy Jansons. 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.

 

Our Last Night, I See Stars, The Word Alive & Ashland – Webster Hall, New York City, USA – 30/11/2019

00 Tour Poster

Our Last Night – Let Light Overcome The Darkness North America Tour 2019
w/ I See Stars, The Word Alive & Ashland
Webster Hall, New York City, USA
30/11/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

Our Last Night is a Post Hardcore band hailing from Northern US state New Hampshire. Although, for some, they are probably best known as a popular covers band, they are making waves with their own material. Recently the band released a two-part studio album, the first called “Let Light Overcome” and the second part, which came out little more than a month ago, called “Overcome The Darkness”. To promote their latest work they embarked on a month long tour together with Ashland, The Word Alive and I See Stars and although they would all be characterized as sitting in slightly different core subgenres, they all fitted together in a live setting seamlessly.

Due to the early start time I, unfortunately, missed Ashland’s performance, but speaking to fans in the crowd, I was told that it was awesome.

https://www.facebook.com/AshlandOfficial/

The Word Alive were next. These guys from Phoenix, Arizona are seasoned and well known Metalcore artists. Although the set did not include one of their biggest hits ‘Life Cycles’ it still packed quite a punch. ‘Trapped’ and ‘Why Am I Like This?’ were their most popular hits played that night. While the band is now reduced to a four piece after the departure of bassist Daniel Shapiro, that did not impact their sound. Telle Smith widely regarded as one of the best vocalists in metalcore was at peak performance the whole set. Five studio albums into their career and The Word Alive show no signs of slowing down.

01 The Word Alivehttps://www.facebook.com/thewordalive/

Next due on stage were Electronicore giants I See Stars. This music style is a fusion of Metalcore with a hefty dose of electronic sounds. Though not many artists would be attributed to this list, such well known bands as Bring Me The Horizon and Asking Alexandria have lately have made inroads with this style too. A more electronic sound has brought I See Stars a larger following in today’s scene than the truer Metalcore style. For their performance they brought out all heavy hitters – ‘Ten Thousand Feet’, ‘Murder Mitten’, ‘Running With Scissors’ and ‘Calm Snow’. All songs came from their latest albums “New Demons” (2013) and “Treehouse” (2016). There is no word yet when new material will come out!

02 I See Starshttps://www.facebook.com/ISeeStarsMusic/

Main act for the night Our Last Night came out onstage roaring with their mega hit ‘Same Old War’ from 2013 EP “Oak Island”. That track set a tempo and mood for the rest of the show. They continued with new song ‘The Beaten Path’. Altogether they included seven songs in their set from latest double album. During the show they resorted to playing only one cover song, which was American rapper Kendrick Lamar’s song ‘Humble’. Just to clarify, all of their covers are remade in the post hardcore style so it fit their set like a glove! Besides, these covers helped versions them rise above a sea of other aspiring post hardcore bands and reach the top faster.

Brothers Trevor and Matt Wentworth, the bands co-founders, together with Alex Woodrow on bass, provided all the fireworks at the front running and jumping around the stage which is so characteristic of a post hardcore show, while drummer Tim Molloy provided thundering drumming at the back. Their hhow was full of energy and they gave their New York fans a great experience.

Our Last Night finished their tour a few days ago and while no upcoming shows are announced yet we hope to see them on road again soon!

03 Our Last Nighthttps://www.facebook.com/ourlastnightband/

 

 

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.

Buckcherry w/The Treatment & Rocky Kramer – The Tivoli, Buckley, North Wales – 01/11/2019

Gig Poster

Buckcherry
w/The Treatment & Rocky Kramer
The Tivoli, Buckley, North Wales
01/11/2019
Review by Alun Jones

It’s ridiculous how long it’s been since I last wrote a gig review. Time to end that drought with a write-up of a great band in one of my favourite local venues: yes, it’s the mighty Buckcherry at the Tivoli in Buckley, North Wales.

Yes, you read that right – US rock’n’roll giants Buckcherry were playing the Tiv. This legendary venue has welcomed many amazing bands over the years, and happily I’ve seen quite a few of them. Also sadly missed quite a few too, so I was determined not to miss this gig. Tickets were snapped up, super quick style.

The Tivoli was buzzing on arrival, the place was already busy and best of all – the main bar was open! Opening band Rocky Kramer had already started their set, so I grabbed a beer with my compadre, Ben the Swede, and checked them out.

Rocky and his band were very professional, and obviously extremely capable musicians. It was a bit melodic and keyboard heavy for my personal tastes, but they seemed to go down well with the already excited audience.

https://www.facebook.com/rockykramerofficial/

Up next were UK rockers The Treatment. This was a more gutsy affair altogether: their hard rock was energetic and brash; the sound bringing favourable comparisons to a certain massively successful Australian band that I can’t quite remember the name of… It’s a long way to the top if you wanna Rock’n’Roll, but The Treatment put on a great show that carried them far.

https://www.facebook.com/TheTreatmentOfficial/

Buckcherry have never been afraid of rock’n’roll. They seemed something of an anomaly in a post grunge world infested with sportsgear-wearing New Metal, but they stuck to their diamond-encrusted guns. And thank God they did. Opening with a thunderous version of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Head Like A Hole’, their set was overflowing with swaggering anthems.

‘Lit Up’ was obviously a highlight, but the whole gig was an electrifying performance. Sadly, I missed the classic track ‘Crazy Bitch’ when I went to the bar (I know, please shoot me) but made it back for the encore of ‘Say Fuck It’, a gloriously foul mouthed monster that finished the night off.

My only complaint was that the gig seemed maybe 15 minutes too short – hence my poor bar visit timing. I thought we had a good half an hour left. No complaints though, Buckcherry put on a fully entertaining testament to sex, drugs and rock’n’roll that was worth every penny.

https://www.facebook.com/buckcherry/

And finally, well done again to the Tivoli, who managed to stage something of a coup and host yet another world-class band! Thank you!

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

Rick Here:
Big thanks to Alun for this review which was first published on his blog ‘Platinum Al’s Virtual Hot Tub’.

If you fancy reading more Music, Movie, Book, Comic Con etc reviews plus a whole host of other stuff then head over to

https://platinumalsvirtualhottub.com/

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun 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.

 

 

 

Kissin’ Dynamite w/BlackRain & Serpentyne – The Underworld, Camden, London – 18/10/2019

00 Kissin_ Dynamite Gig Poster

Kissin’ Dynamite
w/BlackRain & Serpentyne
The Underworld, Camden, London
18/10/2019
Review by Lotty Whittingham, Picture by Natalie O’Neill

On my way to the venue, given it was the same night as the sold out Gloryhammer show, it was difficult to know what to expect with regards to audience size. The last time Kissin’ Dynamite were in the UK, they were the opening band for Powerwolf. They were now doing their own headline tour and they were making a stop in London. No better place than The Underworld, Camden; the alternative heart of London.

As I arrived, it was great to see people there already. Some of them had seen the band on the Powerwolf tour; others were long-time fans of the band who had been waiting to see them in the UK. Whether fans were securing their space to watch the bands, buying their first drinks or browsing the merch; the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement and anticipation.

The first band to take to the stage were London based Serpentyne. Sometimes when a band is a completely different style to the rest of the line-up, this can pay off massively or back fire immensely. Their haunting sound consisted of angelic vocals, brilliant guitar work, some energetic stage antics (one including the guitarist jumping on top of the drum kit) and orchestral pieces on the system. The only criticism I have regarding their set was that sometimes you couldn’t quite hear these orchestral parts, then again, that could have been to do with the sound system. Overall, they were a great choice to open up proceedings.

https://www.facebook.com/Serpentynemusic/

French Hard Rockers BlackRain were the main support act for the night. From the moment they took to the stage, it was clear they weren’t here to mess around. They brought no nonsense Mötley Crüe and Airbourne style rock to The Underworld. This stadium like atmosphere was reinforced by the fact that fans and new listeners were already singing along to their songs. The setlist consisted of a mixture of songs from across their discography, mainly from their latest album “Dying Breed” that was released this year. If closing with a cover of Twisted Sister classic ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ didn’t get them nice and warmed up then who knows what would have?

Regarding headliners Kissin’ Dynamite, I came across them a few years ago through the song ‘DNA’ when casually browsing on YouTube. In turn, I discovered the album “Megalomania” that was released the same year. I was finally getting to see them headline a UK show at one of my favourite venues.

They kicked off the night with anthems ‘I’ve Got The Fire’ and ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’. I’ve Got The Fire is one of my go-to songs when I need to smile and need that morale boost. The power of the song increased when it was performed live and it instantly lifted those spirits.

The thing with stadium shows is that they are built up with magical moments that are unforgettable. I know this wasn’t a stadium show but given the way they performed; you would have thought you were at one. I will never forget their live performance of ‘Heart Of Stone’ with a piano; it was a great way to tone down the wild atmosphere for those few moments. I was also highly impressed that they were able to lug a huge piano down to the stage in a venue with no lifts.

Another was the song ‘I Will Be King’, especially where vocalist Hannes Braun sang whilst sitting on a silver throne and wearing royal garments. Like the piano, getting the throne onto The Underworld stage was impressive. A personal highlight for me was when they performed ‘DNA’; this was the first song that got me into the band so it was great to experience the energetic performance of this song.

I should also mention that Ana Bruner (Exit Eden) joined the band on stage for a few numbers, including their duet ‘Ecstasy’. The title of this song is incredibly apt because of the energy which comes across. When it was performed, this energy transitioned to the crowd. Ana’s powerful voice and her passionate energy on stage made her a great addition to the band.

They closed their remarkable set with ‘You’re Not Alone’ and Ana joined them one last time for ‘Flying Colours’. These gave the audience one last blast before ending the night on a literal high, with Hannes Braun standing on top of a mini pyramid.

I deliberately made the notes after the show as I was busy soaking in every aspect of their mind-blowing performance, sometimes literally soaking from all the sweat. It was clear they worked incredibly hard to pull out all the stops to give The Underworld a stadium like atmosphere. Hannes Braun was in control of the crowd that night, his charisma and passion to give fans an unforgettable show shone through.

Judging from the crowd’s reaction and the band’s mind-blowing performance, it is more than safe to say they will be welcome back to the UK anytime.

LINKS:
https://www.kissin-dynamite.de
https://www.facebook.com/Kissindynamiterocks/

https://www.instagram.com/kissin_dynamite/

https://www.youtube.com/kissindynamiterocks

 

01 Kissin_ Dynamite

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whitingham 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 Natalie O’Neill

(the) Melvins Escape From L.A. Tour – The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ – 11/10/2019

01 Gig Poster

(the) Melvins
Escape From L.A. Tour
The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
11/10/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

It would be hard to argue with someone about American rock bands (the) Melvins legacy and influence with anyone connected to the Grunge and Punk music scene. Far too many legends have mentioned them as an influence, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Tool and Faith No More to name but a few. Originally formed back in 1983 they have released about 27 studio albums, many EP’s, live albums and compilations. Well, regarding studio albums, people have actually lost count as I’ve found that number fluctuating widely, however I counted 27. This shows just how hard the band is working, fully dedicated to their music. There remains only one founding member at this point, vocalist and guitarist Buzz Osborne also known as King Buzzo, although current drummer Dale Crover joined The Melvins shortly after their formation and has been with the band since. He also was part of early Nirvana recordings and helped with their debut LP “Bleach”.

At The beginning of September (the) Melvins embarked on the dubbed ‘Escape From L.A. Tour 2019’, alongside Redd Kross and Toshi Kasai, consisting of a whopping 54 dates running until November 8th when they will wrap it up in California. Basically in two months they will have only a few days off!!

On October 11th these legends came to wonderful South New Jersey venue ‘The Stone Pony’. This is the place where people basically worship Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt, where other New Jersey native bands Bon Jovi and Skid Row played at the beginning of their careers, as well as many big time national tour bands like Green Day and Papa Roach.

I will tell you honestly, this was my first time experiencing (the) Melvins. I did my due diligence to listen to their music before showing up to work on their set, but to listen and see them live was a whole different experience. They opened with three songs called ‘Sesame Street Meat’, ‘Kicking Machine’ and ‘Anaconda’. All three seemed like a good mix of grunge, punk and sludge metal; sometimes bringing out sort of an early Black Sabbath feel too. The tracks had many different tempo changes but guitar solos that all sounded quite similar. This was not an issue with more seasoned fans, who packed the venue to the max. They followed with ‘Queen’ and ‘It’s Shoved’. Their level of play and energy did not show any signs of letting down, despite the gruelling tour schedule. Buzz didn’t do much talking between songs; it was just a continuous music extravaganza. For many older attendees this was almost a trip down memory lane when this place was a regular for punk rock bands, and they enjoyed it fully.

I realised how much I had missed by not listening to (the) Melvins before. Their work is experimental, extraordinary and exceptional. Great music by a great band! Find them in your choice of music streaming platform and take a listen if you haven’t already!

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/melvinsarmy/
https://www.instagram.com/melvinsdotcom/

 

02 (the) Melvins

 

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

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/

The Alma Inn September Showcase 2019 – The Alma Inn, Bolton – 28/09/2019

00 Alma Inn September Showcase Poster

The Alma Inn September Showcase 2019
The Alma Inn, Bolton – 28/09/2019
Review by Beth Jones

There is simply no better way to spend a wet and dreary late September day than listening to live music in a pub full of people. The Alma Inn September Showcase took place in these very conditions – the really fine rain that gets you properly wet was falling when we arrived, and we were glad to get in and grab a pint, sadly not an alcoholic one for me – I was driving, and settle in for another nine bands from the thriving underground metal scene. The line-up was more eclectic than the last showcase we attended, and two of the names on the bill were household regulars for us – Thrashatouille and Scars Of Remembrance, who we always look forward to seeing, however we were also eager to see some new names, and the day was to start with one of these.

OND
This young band from Leeds were here to start the day off in style, and they did just that! Calling their style ‘progressive spooky filth’, they whipped up the crowd with their lively and bouncy tunes that were perfectly fitting for their hyperactive charisma. I would say they were a great example of classic heavy metal, with a more modern and progressive twist. Their look and youthful exuberance took me back to the Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wayne’s World and this made me happy. They are all extremely talented musicians too, and reading their bio on Facebook, I have learnt that they released an EP in 2018, and are currently working on their album, which I shall very much look forward to hearing! What a great way to start the day! Well done lads – four thumbs up from me and Rick!

01 ONDhttps://www.facebook.com/ondband/

Thrashatouille
We have seen these guys on a number of occasions now, and they are always dependable for a tight, but bonkers, food-based show and this performance was no exception. Front man Rob Sutton pulls some of the best faces ever, as he describes to us, through the medium of song, the pain of brain freeze, explosive chilli shits, and his love for red velvet cake. All this is backed up by the rest of the motley chefs, adorned in their chefs’ whites and crunching out banging tunes, which makes for a wonderfully nuts image to behold! I recently reviewed their EP “Rise Of The Bludgeonaise”(read it here: https://ever-metal.com/2019/06/21/thrashatouille-rise-of-the-bludgeonaise-ep/) and I can confidently say they are the same bonkers foodies on stage as they are on recording, and should definitely be a staple in any metalhead’s diet, and even if you don’t like their music, which I very much doubt, it is always immensely pleasurable to watch Rob smash a Red Velvet cake into his face at the end of their set!! Tasty!!

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

Blood Church
Next up were Blood Church, a blackened death metal outfit from Telford, who we knew of, but had not seen before. They have obviously thought a lot about their look and it is dramatic; Full corpse paint, and blood capsules made their genre instantly recognizable even before they had started playing! Thankfully their music lived up to their look, it was dark and doomy in places, but not dirgy, which was good. They took us through a 30-minute set of chunky, down tuned, roaring tracks which ate into your soul in a pleasurable way! Having spoken to front man Chris Thomas before the gig, it was quite amazing to see the transformation on stage – from a mild mannered and unassuming gent, to a crazed maniac fuelled by carnal rage, savagely emitting guttural roars and screams! I think he was possessed by the ram’s skull effigy with light up eyes that adorned the front of the stage! They were finalists in this year’s West Midlands M2TM and it is easy to see why they made it that far – they put on a very good show and we really enjoyed it!

03 Blood Churchhttps://www.facebook.com/BloodChurchBand/

Today, They Are Older
Today, They Are Older – mathematically correct, but the name didn’t give us many clues as to what they were about! We found out pretty quickly when they fired into their first song! They bill themselves as progressive post hardcore, and that is exactly what they are – djenty rhythms and riffs, and screamo vocals. They were very lively and three members of the band spent a lot of their time playing and pitting in the crowd at the same time, which was fun, but I moved out of the way a little as I didn’t fancy getting impaled on a guitar whilst trying to get a picture of the vocalist – I’m too old for that shit now! Fetch me my slippers and a mug of tea will you?! Whilst this style isn’t really my bag, there is no denying that they were very good and very tight, and I can definitely see the appeal that they have to the younger generation! They are full of anger and rage, and it comes out with a bang in their performance. If you like this style of music, you need to get out and see these guys sometime soon.

04 Today, They Are Olderhttps://www.facebook.com/TodayTheyAreOlder/

Whipcord
We were taken from modern to classic next, with Whipcord, this being their comeback show after a few years’ hiatus, and appearing on drums with them was none other than local legend and workaholic, John Badger! This was the first of two appearances by him today, because organizing shows just isn’t enough is it John? (Think we should rename him Dennis Waterman – ‘Write the feeeme tooooon, sing the feeeme tooooon’ [NB if you haven’t watched Little Britain, look this reference up!]) Anyway, I digress, so this was Whipcord’s come back show and they were here to bring us some classic hard rock, and that is exactly what they did, much to the pleasure of us oldies. With some great harmonies and melodies, they certainly gave the day a different flavour, although they did look a little serious at times on stage but coming back after a break is a tough thing to do, so I will let them off! I would certainly like to see them again.

05 Whipcordhttps://www.facebook.com/whipcord/

Scott Beveridge Project
Again, this is another of those bands that we had heard a lot about but had never seen. This was also Badger’s second outing on the drums – getting in practice for his ‘Drumming Up Change’ charity event coming in a month or so. Scott Beveridge Project (SBP) is the brainchild of front man Scott Beveridge, backed up by a variety of musical heads who appear in other bands too – kind of a supergroup of the Manchester Underground scene! Drawing influence from some of the great heavy metal musicians, their sound is good honest heavy metal, complete with widdly diddly solos, headbanging riffs and Hetfield style vocals. They are the sort of outfit that you know what you are getting, and I like that – it is comforting! We are definitely going to be checking them out again at the earliest opportunity. Loved it!

06 Scott Beveridge Projecthttps://www.facebook.com/ScottBeveridgeProject/

Asylum City Zoo
I was starting to hit the wall a little by this point – I’ll say it again, I’M OLD AND BROKEN OK?! But enjoyed these guys even if my outward persona looked like I had gone into stasis animation! They describe themselves as Beardcore/Stomp/Welly Metal, and I have to agree! I’m not entirely sure what that is, but I can definitely say that they are it! It is kind of early Metallica, with a more modern twist and better vocals! They were very tight, and they have a definite idea of who they are, which is always good to see. This assumption is also backed up when you visit their website, which is very nicely done – I recommend checking it out! I had to duck out and have a sit down about halfway through their set, sorry guys – I can’t hack the pace, but I really enjoyed their sound and next time I see them I promise I will watch the whole thing! In the meantime, I am going to digest a bit more of their music, which is available on their website, as it is right up my street!

07 Asylum City Zoohttps://www.facebook.com/asylumcityzoo/

Scars Of Remembrance
These guys were our North Wales M2TM winners this year, and their sound just gets better and better each time we see them. It was touch and go whether they were actually going to be able to perform here, as vocalist Mike Edwards was delayed, and the band were unsure if he would arrive on time – frantic reorganization ensued including which parts of the vocal duties would be taken on by guitarists Daniel Dawson and Mark Harris, and some nervous pacing from drummer Ben Burke and bassist Karl Ditcher, however Mike made it in the nick of time, and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief! AND they managed to do it again – they turned their anxiety into an absolute stonker of a performance that had the whole place bouncing. They mix together classic and melodic styles, with screamy death vocals, and pepper it with some groove, to create a unique sound that we love. Never be afraid to be different. Spot on guys – top show once again.

08 Scars of Remembrancehttps://www.facebook.com/scarsofremembrance/

Beyond Salvation
Our final band for the evening was Beyond Salvation – again another band we had heard great things about. Fronted by Jon Pedley, of Pedley Art, they are a four-piece technical thrash outfit from Manchester and are a huge part of the Manchester scene. Fast paced and meaty as hell, they make a huge sound that you can’t help but get involved in, with Jon’s roaring vocals and some epic guitar work from both Jon and Arun Kamath hypnotizing you into a thrash trance! As regular readers will know, I am picky when it comes to thrash – some of it floats my boat, most of it doesn’t. I am pleased to say that Beyond Salvation fell on the correct side of my metaphorical fence, and I am very happy about that! We had to duck out a little before the end, as the tempestuous weather was closing in, my body had finally hit the wall, and I still had to drive us back to Wales! But what a smashing performance to finish off a great day – again nice one guys.

09 Beyond Salvationhttps://www.facebook.com/beyondsalvationthrash/

And that was that! We hobbled off to the car, via the kebab shop, and set about the drive home (which was absolutely horrific, and I wanted to cry, I may add!). Yet again we had had another day of fantastic music. The day did have a couple of mild irritations for me though. Firstly, the sound – the whole day was slightly marred with technical issues. A lot of bands were complaining that they couldn’t here themselves on stage, and fiddling with leads and swapping mics became a bit of a theme for the day. That being said, this highlighted the quality of all the bands, as they still gave brilliant performances despite the issues. My only other gripe was the state of the ladies’ loos – I believe the expression is ‘fucking gopping man!’ I’m not posh, but I do like to have some home comforts when I go to a gig, and I can’t do horrid toilets! Sort it out please!

Apart from that, the whole day was great. Thanks again to the venue and organisers, and we look forward to coming back again soon!

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Badgerfestpromotions/
https://www.facebook.com/alma.inn/

 

 

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.

 

Stone Temple Pilots, North American Fall Tour 2019 – The Met Philly, Philadelphia, PA – 19/09/2019

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Stone Temple Pilots
North American Fall Tour 2019
The Met Philly, Philadelphia, PA
19/09/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

Once upon a time, there was a musical movement, it was called grunge. Somewhat forgotten, it lost many musicians to suicide with bands changing their style. Through all that one band has survived and tirelessly worked their way back to stardom. Their name is Stone Temple Pilots. After finding mega success in the 1990’s the band dissolved due to differences. Upon reuniting they lost eccentric and ultra talented lead singer Scott Weiland to apparent overdose and later his ‘replacement’ Chester Bennington to suicide, both considered generational talents. STP’s current vocalist Jeff Gutt has been great in fitting into those shoes, which has helped them to retain their identity. With Jeff on lead vocals the band last year released a brand new self-titled album, which happens to be the second self-titled album STP have released to date.

Their current tour with Rival Sons is somewhat short, just a little under a month, but touches down in most American Metropolitan areas. After this tour STP will play a festival in Mexico and next spring head out to Australia.

On a pretty nice and warm September day STP came to America’s Independence home Philadelphia and the show took place in the wonderful Metropolitan Opera House or Met Philly for short. After Rival Sons rocked the house, STP came on the stage a few minutes early, prompting some fans to run to their places while spilling beer along the way!
Stone Temple Pilots opened their set with ‘Silvergun Superman’ and ‘Vasoline’ from their second studio album “Purple”, which will have a 25th Anniversary release later in October. They were mixed in with ‘Wicked Garden’ and ‘Crackerman’ from their debut album “Core”. These two albums were the most represented on the set list this night.

STP’s performance was just like the old days. Brothers Dean and Robert DeLeo were so energetic as if it was still the 1990’s. Behind the drums Eric Kretz was spectacular and his hair was flowing in the wind from a fan to the delight of all the ladies in attendance. Jeff Gutt definitely has his own vocal style, but sometimes there were flashes of Scott Weiland which older fans really appreciated. His vocal range complemented well with all of the band’s songs.

From the latest self-titled album STP played just two songs ‘Meadow’ and ‘Roll Me Under’. Of course they played their most decorated hit single ‘Plush’ (that had won MTV, Grammy, Billboard and American Music Awards) and the show was closed with their banger ‘Sex Type Thing’.

It was a good way to finish because, needless to say, it left the fans wanting more..!

LINKS:

https://www.facebook.com/stpband

https://www.instagram.com/stpband

https://www.youtube.com/user/stptv

 

BOTTOM STP3

 

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.

Speed Queen, Toledo Steel & Skyryder – The Firehouse, Southampton – 13/09/2019

00 Gig Poster1

Speed Queen, Toledo Steel & Skyryder
The Firehouse, Southampton 13/09/2019
Review by Lotty Whittingham

Heavy Metal therapy should be a thing. Think about it; you have had a stressful week or month; you attend a heavy metal show that matches this energy and that helps you get it all out. You also enjoy this experience with likeminded individuals who might be there for the same reason. This was the feeling I got on Friday 13th September when witnessing Speed Queen, Toledo Steel and Skyryder conquer The Firehouse, Southampton.

As the doors opened, it was great to see punters coming in early. Some grabbing a much-needed pint or two from the bar, others finding the ideal spot to watch the bands from and catching up with some friends. It was brilliant to see that support for local music is still going strong. Given that a number of venues are closing all over the country, it’s more important than ever to keep on going to venues and support the scene!

SKYRYDER
The first band to kick off proceedings on this night of pure class heavy metal were the colourful Skyryder! Colourful in stage wear most definitely and in personality too come to think of it. From the energy and passion in their performance, it was evident they were having a great time on stage. This enjoyment was passed onto the crowd who really seemed to take to their set consisting of slick guitar work, on point harmonies and excellent vocal work. Their brilliant musicianship combined with their fantastic sense of humour made them a fantastic opening band!

01 Skyryderhttps://www.facebook.com/skyryderuk/

TOLEDO STEEL
Local boys Toledo Steel were next to take to the stage. I have seen them on previous occasions and they always put on a great show. Friday night was no exception. Their mission is to offer straight to the point, no nonsense Heavy Metal and they did this plus more. Their passion and energy on stage was incredibly infectious. They performed a great selection of songs from across their discography and the crowd got to hear two brand new songs that will be on an upcoming album. A great set of heavy metal goodness from Toledo Steel once again.

02 Toledo Steelhttps://www.facebook.com/toledosteelband/

SPEED QUEEN
From the moment Speed Queen started to play, it was evident the name was more than appropriate, mainly in terms of musical tempo. It states on their Facebook page that they are a mixture of speed and heavy metal mixed with a nasty and sexy stage attitude. Judging from their performance on Friday night, it is easy to see that claim was incredibly accurate. Their mind-blowing performance consisted of finger blistering guitar work, dominant vocals and powerful stage presence. You didn’t need to be a detective to figure out who was in control of the crowd the whole time they were on stage. Let’s hope it’s not long until they come back to Southampton.

03 Speed Queenhttps://www.facebook.com/speedqueenofficial/

If Friday night proved anything, it’s that Heavy Metal is still alive and kicking. There was some solid music and passionate live performances, as well as the comradery from the community. If these bands tour together again, I highly recommend catching this line up in action!

Hyborian Viper Promotions
https://www.facebook.com/hyborianviperpromotions/

Images courtesy of Tomasz Wrobel at TzW Photography
https://www.facebook.com/Tzwphotography/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham 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.