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.

Rabidfest 2019 – The Bullingdon, Oxford – 18/08/2019 – Day Three

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Rabidfest 2019
The Bullingdon, Oxford
18/08/2019, Day Three
Review by Beth Jones & Rick Tilley

They say that as you get older, time goes quicker. They also say that time flies when you are having fun, so for us oldies having fun, time seems to go very quickly indeed, and in what seemed like the blink of an eye, here we were at the last day of Rabidfest, which again promised a very full, and very heavy line-up back at the Bullingdon. Bring on the metal!!!

King Bolete
The task of opening the final day fell to Oxford based, King Bolete, who offer a fusion of blues riffs, fuzz and groove, and harsh vocals, combining to make a sort of sleazy stoner metal which was very akin to a lazy, and for some, slightly hungover Sunday lunch time. They were the perfect way to start, went down well with the crowd and set the tone for the day ahead.

01 King Boletehttps://www.facebook.com/kingboleteblues/

The Final Clause Of Tacitus
From the moment these guys took to the stage, I could see they had the 90’s written all over them, and this made me pay attention – this was my era!! If you liked Rage Against The Machine and Clawfinger, you will love these guys. Rick already knew about them and really likes them because they had been featured on Ever Metal before. They offered a solid dose of Rap/Funk Metal executed brilliantly. I know this doesn’t happen very often, but I am going to give a special mention to Andy, the bass player (I know right – get the flags out)! He was the epitome of funk and was great to watch – definitely grand master level cool! The guitarist Tom, on the other hand, was a total nutter!! I have never seen someone go quite as bat shit on stage – there was definitely some sort of exorcism brought on by their music I would say! Trying to take his picture was like trying to herd cats! When we spoke to them afterwards, he told us that he had actually passed out on stage not so long back, from all the crazy jumping about! Lunatic! They were, very definitely, one of our highlights of the whole event, and when we got home I ordered both of their EP’s straight away!

02 The Final Clause Of Tacitushttps://www.facebook.com/TFCOT/

Broken Empire
From the old to the new, with a good dose of modern hard rock, Broken Empire! We liked these guys because they are fresh and very current – I could see my teenage daughters going wild to them, especially frontman ‘Ieuan’ with his far-out hairstyle! They have only been together since 2017 but have been gigging regularly and with two EP’s released already they are very well rehearsed and know exactly what sound works for them. Very enjoyable and definitely a band to keep an eye on!

03 Broken Empirehttps://www.facebook.com/brokenempireUK/

Democratus
This was a band that we had been really looking forward to seeing. We had heard a lot about them, and they are Welsh, so that alone makes them better than everyone else by default! They didn’t disappoint! Melodic death metal, with a more than sizable nod to classic metal, they ripped up the room for the entire of their set, with vocal powerhouse Steve Jenkins telling a story with his facial expressions, and engaging the assembled throng with some audience participation! There music was like a checklist of how to make it sound good – soaring power vocals – check, face melting guitar – check, epic rhythms – check, a hangman’s noose – che-wait, what?! Yes readers, you did read that right – towards the end of their set things became slightly more menacing when Steve produced a noose and promptly simulated hanging the other band members then himself, which was fun! (Don’t try that at home kids, not unless you are into that kind of stuff of course!) This was a really great performance and Democratus are now definitely on the list of bands to see again!

04 Democratushttps://www.facebook.com/democratusband/

Bloodshot
I have decided that I am definitely getting old, as here was yet another band that looked like they could be my daughter’s mates! From just up the road in Whitney, Bloodshot brought us some progressive death metal, with tricky stops and cross rhythms, and harsh vocals, on top of intricate guitar work. They were good to bang your head to and two characters in the crowd, who we very originally named ‘Dancing Guy’ and ‘Dancing Girl’, were having an absolute blast to them! I’m going to again mention the bass player, Will, just because he pulled some epic bass faces, a couple of which I managed to capture on camera!

Rick Here, I’m going to add that sometimes I find the harsher, more extreme bands a little difficult to listen along to at home or in the car, but seeing them live is a different thing entirely. To me this is where really heavy music completely comes alive and shines, it’s almost primal and Bloodshot were definitely a band that invaded my brain and intestines in a good way!

05 Bloodshothttps://www.facebook.com/BloodshotUK/

The Five Hundred
Guitars with too many strings alert!! It was time to get technical again with The Five Hundred. Thankfully I have no need to rant about having too many strings just for the sake of it, as the technical prowess of the musicians in this band required the extra strings. They were very very good. Down tuned and powerful riffs, intricate melodies, and on point vocals, mixed with killer drops that made the roof rattle, made their performance exciting and exhilarating. We were at the mid-point of the day, which historically is where I start to flag, however The Five Hundred made sure that this was a break from the norm by really waking me up! Again I am putting these on the ones to see again list!

06 The Five Hundredhttps://www.facebook.com/wearethefivehundred/

Gutlocker
Next up were Groove/Sludge Metal quartet, Gutlocker (or Stomach Padlock as many in the know were calling them!!). Again they were a name that we had heard quite a bit about and were looking forward to seeing. They were groovy, they were sludgy, and front man Craig McBrearty’s vocals were terrifying (in a good way, of course). I don’t know about my guts being locked – the rumbling bass licks were enough to replace all the fibre in my diet in that department – oosh! Again one thing that was not lacking in their performance was energy – a running theme from just about every band over the weekend, and they had the entire room banging their heads good style. Very pleasing indeed!

07 Gutlockerhttps://www.facebook.com/gutlockeruk/

Dog Tired
Coming to us all the way from the wild North, Scotland to be more precise (you know, that place where wild Haggis roam the hills – Rick), were Dog Tired. They were a mix of the brutality of Death Metal with the riffs of good old-fashioned Thrash but also a thundering Groove which, brought together, quite simply makes battle music! It kind of made us want to paint our faces blue, grab a big mother of a sword and stand on a hill shouting FREEEDOMMMMMMMMMM!! They were bloody good. We got a bit of hair envy again though, as guitarist Luke James has a proper mane of Pantene hair which was incredibly flickable! Their whole set was fast paced and full of growl and we loved it! Who’d have thunk that two genres I don’t get on with usually (You’re on your own there Beth, I love Death and Thrash – Rick) could come together to make something pretty frikkin good! Bought the album, listened to it in the car on the way home! Their new album is out in September and it’s a beast, in fact it makes us a want a pet haggis!!

08 Dog Tiredhttps://www.facebook.com/dogtiredmetal/

Bast
This may make me unpopular, so be warned. If you are a fan of doom, these guys are for you. For me, there is only one thing worse than doom, and that’s experimental doom. Bast are experimental doom. Whilst there is no denying that they are talented and competent musicians, and that they work well together as a group, I just don’t get it. I want to feel excited, like the rest of the weekend has built me up to be, but I just couldn’t get into a groove. Admittedly some of the songs were quicker paced than the sort of slow doom that Conan inflicted the night before, but I just couldn’t do the guttural screamed vocals, the melodies that were kind of smudged together, and the weird beats that were impossible to go nuts to. Sorry!

09 Basthttps://www.facebook.com/Bastmusic/

Papa Shango
So, yeah, erm. Papa Shango. It wasn’t what we were expecting! I spent a good few minutes wondering if my Pepsi had been spiked, and if this was a very vivid hallucination! Rick was actually concerned he had overdosed on his medication! Papa Shango are a many many pieced group of complete nutters, who bring together a Day of the Dead-esque shaman, a rock band, and RaRa girls adorned with Day of the Dead make-up, because why not eh? Whilst musically Papa Steve, Papa Dale, Papa Ryan and Papa Barry would be just a normal, half decent rock band on their own, the addition of The Pappettes Shango, and Papa Shango himself, turns them into a very hallucinogenic experience, full of double entendre, crazy naughtiness and hundreds of props! They were such good fun, and most of the musicians, including Papa Shango, spent a lot of time out in the audience! Were they under-rehearsed with some of the change overs? Yes! Did they go completely over the top? Yes! Were they extremely silly? Yes! Did anyone care? Not one bit in the slightest! They were good, light-hearted Sunday afternoon madness and we loved it! If you love the thought of Papa Lazarou from The League of Gentlemen TV Series joining forces with The Rocky Horror Show then Papa Shango will be your bag. They were also a photographer’s dream because of all the vivid colours and beautiful make-up. Awesome!

10 Papa Shangohttps://www.facebook.com/papashangomusic/
https://www.facebook.com/pappettes.shango.5

Desert Storm
After the half hour transportation to the lunatic asylum that had just happened, things got quickly back to normal for our penultimate band of the festival, with the entry of Desert Storm. Another local band, they brought a good mix of sludge and blues into their metal, and they did it very well. The room was full and getting back into the groove. There were definite nods to the old greats such as Sabbath and Zeppelin, but they were very current, and their performance notched up a level for me when there was suddenly a digeridoo type sound which took me aback for a moment – I was wondering who was playing it, then realised that it was actually a technique that vocalist Matt Ryan was using, which was similar to Tibetan throat singing, and was very mysterious and enticing, and gave the whole sound an added depth which was impressive and made them unique. They were a perfect balance of modern and classic, with some really great riffs and melodies, and toe tapping rhythms. I like this sort of stuff because it is clever, but not pretentious. Well done guys! We are Desert Storm converts!

11 Desert Stormhttps://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk/

Ingested
Here we were at the final band, and it appeared it was going to be Groundhog Day. Once again, on paper, they were a good choice as they have a large following but they just didn’t do it for us. It was an anti-climax. They spent more than twice as long as any other band sound-checking, a large proportion of which was getting their Apple MacBook to work, only for it to stop working three songs in, when they stopped playing half way through a song because most of the song was on samples. Call me old fashioned, but if you rely that heavily on samples, and can’t play it live, don’t put it in. Whilst they did manage to carry on without it after, what I’m guessing was a quick set-list change, I, like a fair proportion of the crowd, had seen enough. I know this will again make me unpopular, but honesty is the best policy and I don’t do blowing smoke up people’s arses. If I reflect on them from a purely musical point of view, yes they could play their instruments well, and the front man did have an angry sort of charisma, and they are indeed slamming death metal, but without the samples it was just another death metal band. If you like death metal, you will love them – so definitely check them out. If you don’t, then don’t. That’s all I have to say.

12 Ingestedhttps://www.facebook.com/ingesteduk/

And that was that. We took some last pictures, said our goodbyes, and headed off for our digs, via our new favourite food place, the Chinese restaurant a bit further down the road for take-two of the night before’s supper. It had been a great three days. We met some absolutely fab people and saw some really cracking bands. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the organisers for having us, and the great team that made the whole event run like clockwork. A huge shout out must go to the in-house sound guys at The Bullingdon, who were seasoned pros and were in control at every second – hats off to you chaps, a great job well done! Also to Mark Gibbs for being mad enough to attempt a three day festival, and to Greg Brown and our own Sheri Bicheno for making the chaos organised, and to the rest of the team for doing all the jobs that needed doing, and being genuinely fab people – we look forward to seeing you all again.

13 The Rabidfest Team (After the last paragraph)

 

LINKS
https://www.rabidfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/rabidfest/

https://www.instagram.com/rabidfest/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones, Richard Tilley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Graham Bonnet Band – Live In Tokyo 2017

Live In Tokyo 2017 Cover

Graham Bonnet Band – Live In Tokyo 2017
Frontiers Music s.r.l
Release Date: 12/07/2019
Running Time: 72:15
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
10/10

Good evening, my flock of the disaffected, the vain, wall eyed and insane. Tonight you are going to witness a man totally lose his shit about a woman. Possibly..!

It is well known I am not a fan of live albums, because the live experience requires a visual component. Thankfully, Graham had this covered for me and has kindly provided me with the footage that goes along with this record, so I hereby offer my thanks and salutations to this mighty and puissant stalwart of metal. The man is a fucking legend…
So, yeah, this is a live recording of Graham and the guys (and gal. Oh, Beth-Ami, be mine. Even your name is perfect. My twisted, shrivelled black heart beats only for you, my proud beauty… sigh) playing some of the more unusual and rare tunes from his days with Alcatrazz, MSG, Impellitteri and Rainbow as well as his stuff with the Graham Bonnet Band. And fuck me crossways, this is good…

I’d even go as far as to say this is fucking classic. This is how metal should sound in the live setting. Alright it’s as Trad Metal as it gets, but nothing touches Trad Metal for riffs and hooks and anthemic choruses. Metal’s most famous accountant’s haircut has assembled a band of uncommonly high talent and it shows through in every single sublime guitar lick from Conrado Pesinato (complete with array of highly amusing guitar solo faces), in Mark Benquchea’s ultra-metronomic drumming (complete with array of highly amusing focused drummer faces) and the legendary Jimmy Waldo hitting the keys like a man possessed (I really don’t want to talk about his face). At the front of it all there’s the Skeggy Boy. A man in command of himself, and his audience! A living legend at the fucking greatest, mightiest height of his powers! A man that makes Corey Taylor look like an amateurish fucking chancer who shouts a lot! A man who demands your attention and your loyalty, and does it so effortlessly you don’t even notice yourself falling to your knees and offering supplication in the form of opening your own veins and spilling your lifeblood at his impeccably shod feet…

And then there is the fragrant, beautiful, heart stopping Beth-Ami Heavenstone. A woman so perfect my heart breaks every time I even look at her. Dark Juan lost his soul to her years ago, but she never even noticed such is the level of her perfection. An angel on Earth with a bass guitar and a smile that makes this hellpriest nearly believe in God. A woman of such magnificence, she makes every other woman within 500 yards of her utterly insignificant. I am not worthy of her attention… No one is, so how did that Lincolnshire howler do it? The absolute bastard! I’ll find out. I will fucking find out and then I’ll bottle it and go and find her…

Sorry, I might have slightly digressed. Yes, the record. Oh my fucking god, the record. This is the best live album I have ever heard. There is not a dropped note in the entire performance and Graham is absolutely at the peak of his powers, effortlessly soaring through his vocal range and reminding us all just what a mighty influence he has been for decades. He looks and sounds like he is enjoying the fuck out of what he is doing and that is infectious. Even I, a notoriously hard and critical man to please with music, have been caterwauling along with every single chorus of every single song. Hodgson Fartpants (one of Dark Juan’s Hellhounds. So named because I could make a fortune out of renting him to dodgy Middle Eastern regimes for chemical warfare purposes…) immediately showed his displeasure with my off key shrieking by fucking off upstairs and going to sleep on my pillows. Plus, the man is a genius level songwriter. Not so much for content, but for the ease with which he crafts such exquisite choruses. You only have to hear Night Games or Samurai once to understand what I’m talking about. And another thing while I am frothing with such incredible enthusiasm… the backing vocals! The harmonies! Oh, the motherfucking harmonies. They hit you at the base of your spine.

And the utterly desirable and simply jawdropping Beth-Ami Heavenstone (have I told you how amazing she is yet? No? How remiss of me) has a gutwrenchingly sweet alto that reduced me to a quivering mass of pathetically lovestruck goo within seconds of her singing the backing vocal to the chorus of S.O.S. There are some voices that give you goosebumps. She has one, on top of all her other sublime qualities. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO MAKE YOU NOTICE YOUR MOST ARDENT ADMIRER, BETH-AMI? TELL ME, TELL ME, I IMPLORE! NOTICE ME, SENPAI, NOTICE ME!

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to need to take a cold shower in Antarctica after this one, boys and girls.

…As we wrench ourselves back into the business of actually being useful to you readers and telling you about the record, then. The production and sound quality are far beyond adequate. Every instrument and cymbal is easily heard and the lead vocal, although to the fore of the mix, is not overpowering the rest of the music. The backing vocals are similarly high in the mix but again are not blanketing the instruments. The song choices for this gig are equally inspired. Everything from the ultra-classic Since You’ve Been Gone through to MSG’s Dancer through to the absolute highlight of the record – an extraordinarily sleazy, sexual, filthily orgasmic rendition of All Night Long! The record ends, somewhat bizarrely, with an alternate lyric studio version of The Crying Chair, which, although interesting and a damned fine rock and roll record, jars somewhat with the fucking awesome night we have just had listening to Graham fucking Bonnet live. Yes, I know I am swearing a lot. No, I don’t care. I am expressing joy. Fuck you. It seems like it was almost bunged on there as an afterthought, you know? Kind of like that last sentence!

Ladies, gentlemen and people of all other genders (I’m nothing if not inclusive. I hate everyone equally) we have on our hands here a perfect storm of a live album – superbly played by the musicians, sublime lead vocals from a living metal legend, well produced, well mixed, with inspired song choices, the biggest ever choruses in metal, and Beth-Ami Heavenstone. Have I told you how much she turns me into a quivering schoolboy every time I set eyes on her? How my heart does little flip flops as I gaze at her magnificent bass playing prowess? How I wish those long, elegant fingers were touching me and her cool gaze and tinkling laugh were for my eyes and ears only? No? We could be here for some time, then….

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is cross-eyed with desire right now and actually really needs to take a shower in liquid nitrogen, but has struggled manfully on to award the Graham Bonnet Band 10/10 for an utterly fucking brilliant live record. It really should be like 150/10. It is the finest live album I have ever heard. And Graham Bonnet is a musical hero of mine. And Beth-Ami, I adore you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Eyes Of The World
02. California Air
03. S.O.S.
04. Night Games
05. Stand In Line
06. Into The Night
07. Love’s No Friend
08. Dancer
09. Samurai
10. Desert Song
11. Rider
12. Since You’ve Been Gone
13. Assault Attack
14. All Night Long
15. Lost In Hollywood
16. The Crying Chair (Intended Lyric Version)

LINE-UP:
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Conrado Pesinato – Guitar
Beth-Ami Heavenstone – Bass (You’re going to be hearing quite a lot about her. Sorry, not sorry.)
Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards
Mark Benquchea – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.alcatrazzofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/grahambonnetmusic/



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

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan 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.

NozFest – The 1865, Southampton, UK 10/08/2019

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NozFest
The 1865, Southampton, UK
10/08/2019
Review by Lotty Whittingham

The concert hangover is a common thing amongst the rock and metal community; these usually take place after experiencing an excellent live show. Symptoms can often include sore muscles, pounding heads and ringing ears. The most common of the symptoms is a huge desire to go back and experience it all over again.

I definitely experienced this concert hangover the day after NozFest. This fantastic event took place at ‘The 1865’, Southampton on 10th August. Given it was the same weekend as Bloodstock and Boomtown, lots of people came through the door which was great to see. JodieBowie was the promoter of this event; after running successful Rock Nights around the UK, this was her first festival.

It was clear that the high winds were not going to dampen the spirits of festival goers better known as Nozzers. As the venue began to fill, you could instantly see fans securing their spots to watch the bands, buying their first pints, browsing the band’s merchandise and talking excitedly amongst themselves about what bands they were most looking forward to seeing.

27 Days

To kick off the proceedings, Bournemouth based 27 Days were the first band to take to the stage. As the opening act, the pressure is higher than ever to get the crowds warmed up. Especially when it’s early doors and alcohol consumption had barely begun. 27 Days conquered that pressure and showed NozFest what they were made of. Their performance consisted of great guitar solos, brilliant harmonies and infectious energy on stage and their cover of the Darkness classic ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’ went down a treat with the crowd and got them participating. This is another achievement for an opening band to conquer and 27 Days did just that.

01 27 Dayshttps://www.facebook.com/27DaysOfficialPage/

The Wicked Jackals

As the day went on, the venue started filling. With a performance from the next band The Wicked Jackals looming, this couldn’t have come at a better time. Their melodies contained some great hooks that kept the crowd alive and engaged. Their charismatic and passionate stage presence also seemed to win fans over, particularly when the booze gun came out. Advice: be sure to catch The Wicked Jackals when they come to your hometown. Where else are you going to see a water-pistol filled with alcohol?!

02 The Wicked Jackalshttps://www.facebook.com/thewickedjackals/

The Outlaw Orchestra

For the next act The Outlaw Orchestra this was their first hometown show for a long time and given the warm reception they received; it was evident it was an anticipated one. The first thing I noticed with their stage performance was it was clear they were having a great time. This energy and positivity passed onto the crowd alongside their tight live sound as they performed a selection of material from across their EP’s. After experiencing their live show, I instantly felt much happier. I will call this ‘The Outlaw Orchestra Effect’. If you wish to feel this effect, experience hard rock with a country tinge and watch banjo solos then catch them soon!

03 The Outlaw Orchestrahttps://www.facebook.com/theoutlaworchestra/

Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters

There was no beating around the bush when Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters took to the stage. They got straight to the point to play us some no-nonsense Rock and Roll. Their dominant stage presence and excellent live sound meant that audience members were under their control. They performed an eclectic selection of songs from the emotional ‘You & I’ to new drinking anthem ‘Jack & Coke’. With their fire, passion and energy; they could quite easily be the UK’s answer to Halestorm. It’s highly recommended you catch them when they next tour.

04 Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disastershttps://www.facebook.com/BBATBDofficial/

StOp, sToP!

The appearance of StOp, sToP! was baffling at first. It seemed they had dressed as elderly men as they played the first song ‘The Last Call’. As they finished the grey wigs came off and the glam rock outfits were gallantly revealed. The message behind this appearance became clear: rock and roll makes you feel alive, it keeps you young and can turn back the years. A great message told in a fun way. If AC/DC decided to go glam, then StOp, sToP! would fit that category easily. Their live show was fun and energetic, which matches their uplifting music. They are due to play HRH Sleaze in a couple of weeks so if you are attending this, then be sure to catch them and get involved.

06 StOp sToPhttps://www.facebook.com/stopstopofficial/

Marco Mendoza

The name Marco Mendoza is a household name in the Classic Rock community. Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and The Dead Daisies are among the portfolio of bands that he has played alongside. This was the first date of the UK Tour and with his previous work with JodieBowie, it couldn’t be a better date to start the tour on. For this performance, he played his solo material alongside Micky Crystal (Tygers Of Pan Tang) and Kyle Hughes (Bumblefoot). From the word go, it was evident who was in control. The mighty opener ‘Viva La Rock’ got the crowd going instantly, this gave the audience a first taste of his excellent showmanship and tight live sound. His set consisted of solo material and cover songs that went down well with the crowds. His passion for the community shone through during his performance, as he sang and spoke you could feel that heartfelt, genuine, spirit that caught on in the crowd. He is currently on tour so be sure to catch him.

05 Marco Mendozahttps://www.facebook.com/marcomendozaofficial/

Bigfoot

For Bigfoot, this was one of their last performances before they go their separate ways. Whether you are a long-time fan or a new listener, it was the perfect chance to catch them live before they call it a day. It is more than safe to say that this was a great performance from the band. When listening to them, Alter Bridge and The Answer come to mind. Their harmonies were on point and their stage presence was fierce. There was a high amount of passion and energy on the stage. They provided a more chilled out vibe to the evening and were a great warm up for the two main bands of the night. (Rick Here – I will be just one of many very sorry to see them go)

07 Bigfoothttps://www.facebook.com/bigfootukrock/

Those Damn Crows

As the night drew in, the crowd got bigger and the atmosphere was happy, people excited to catch the two main acts of the night. The main support Those Damn Crows are one of the best new up and coming bands. They were fresh from appearing at Download Festival this year and from their live performance it’s easy to see why they are receiving high praise from fans and critics. Their stage presence was incredibly energetic and it was clear that this passed on to the Nozzers that were still standing, bearing in mind some of them had been standing all day. They provided a modern edge to the evening with their sound reminding me of Shinedown. They performed a great selection of music from both their albums. They ended with the new album track ‘Rock And Roll Ain’t Dead’ which was very apt. Those Damn Crows are easily the future of rock and provided the perfect set to get the crowds ready for headliners Massive Wagons.

08 Those Damn Crowshttps://www.facebook.com/thosedamncrows/

Massive Wagons

Having got off an arena tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Status Quo, NozFest headliners Massive Wagons were a hugely anticipated performance for the evening. From the moment they took to the stage and opened with ‘Fee Fi Fo Fum’, it was very easy to see why they were the headliners for the night. They did a fantastic job bringing a stadium like atmosphere to a small venue and they got everyone involved with their performance, even the newer listeners who didn’t know what to expect. This stadium like atmosphere included fans singing along to their anthems such as ‘Ratio’, ‘Billy Balloon Head’ and ‘Red Dress’. Hearing the chants echoing around the venue truly was one of the magical moments of their set. Whether you have two albums or ten albums in your discography, it can be tricky picking the right balance of songs for a setlist.
Massive Wagons got this balance perfectly and showcased songs from each of their albums. This setlist seemed to go down well with the crowd. Their boundless energy on stage was incredibly infectious, so much so that they even got those sitting standing up. They ended with the classic ‘Back To The Stack’ that marked the end of a triumphant set and a successful festival.

09 Massive Wagonshttps://www.facebook.com/MassiveWagons/

It’s now a week after the event and the positivity for the festival on social media is still rolling in. People are already booking hotels and time off work ready for next year’s date. If this doesn’t show how much people and bands enjoyed the festival, I don’t know what will!

NOZFEST LINKS:

https://www.nozfest.org/
https://www.facebook.com/nozfest/
https://www.instagram.com/nozfest/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXPgPYzdzbBn-4JQTvSAPpQ

 

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.

Images Courtesy of Renegadewolf Photography!
https://www.facebook.com/RWConcertPhotography

Jared James Nichols – The Waterfront, Norwich, UK – 16/07/2019

01 JJ Nichols (Top)

Jared James Nichols
The Waterfront, Norwich, UK
16/07/2019
Review by Paul Monkhouse

Jared James Nichols has built up a solid reputation as one of the leading lights in modern blues rock, his firey gumbo of influences winning the hearts of audiences during tours with Glenn Hughes, Lynyrd Skynyrd, UFO, Saxon, Blue Oyster Cult and ZZ Top amongst others. It speaks a lot about the guitarist that he not only held his own against such legendary artists but gave them all a run for their money and on many nights blew away the headliners. His latest tour of the UK is part of a diverse triple band line-up that also includes Toby Jepson’s 70’s style hard rocking Wayward Sons and the topped-billed game-changers Living Colour. Despite the huge talent on show, Nichols opening set was the one that left the most lasting impression and brought the largest number of converts, all of whom stunned by the power of this three-piece.

Despite the early start time, a sizeable crowd was already pushing against the barrier as a siren rang out and Nichols strolled onto the stage, ripping into opening song ‘Last Chance’. This was rock ‘n’ roll as dirty and loud as you could have wished for, the muscular playing reminiscent of Cream at their most forceful but with an edge that spoke of years spent playing in rough bars all over small towns in the States. There was a real ferocity here that screamed to be let loose, all whilst being totally controlled by a band who knew exactly what they were doing. This juxtaposition of the feral and the crafted in their performance was such a fine balance that it equally thrilled and amazed, the adrenaline rush of being strapped into a turbocharged supercar driven by a Nascar champion.

‘Don’t Be Scared’ was a blistering display of heavy blues and saw Nichols flicking his guitar lead to slam and dance across the strings as he played the solo. This wasn’t the only extraordinary thing that struck about the performance as it was impossible not to marvel at how he played with such dexterity and heaviness without a pick, his right hand wrenching and dancing on the frets bereft of a plectrum to take the strain across the tight wound steel strings of his beloved Les Paul. The funky ‘Honey Forgive Me’ dripped with a raw passion and ‘End of Time’ rode along with a loping rhythm whilst conjuring a sound that brought to mind something akin to Jimi Hendrix jamming with Led Zeppelin.

02 JJ Nichols (Middle)

The heads-down boogie of ‘Baby Can You Feel It’ really swung as bass player Ronnie Elvis James and drummer Dennis Holms were watertight, James a study in trucker cool whilst Holms was a mass of flying blonde hair. Nichols himself cuts an imposing figure, standing well over six feet tall and all muscles, tattoos and hair and it’s one of these tattoos that catches the eye: a curled snake on his left arm. Whilst a first glance looking like the one Metallica had on the cover of the ‘Black Album’, this was actually part of the Gadsden Flag, depicting a coiled rattlesnake ready to strike and such it was with the jabs and controlled ferocity of his playing on new single ‘Nails in the Coffin’. The track opened to the sound of rolling thunder and rain and continued in this vein, a brooding and atmospheric track full of dread and dark power, providing an appetite whetting taster of things to come.

‘Hardwired’ may have shared a title with the San Francisco thrash giants but this was purely titular as the track came over as the love child of Whitesnake and Ted Nugent, all lascivious guitar work and macho strutting but none the worse for either. Closing the set was a staggering cover of Mountain’s classic ‘Mississippi Queen’, replete with the greatest cowbell playing in rock outside of ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’ and a freshness that captured the vitality of the original but turned up several notches. Closing with such a well-known and much-loved song was a gamble but the fact that their own material can stand shoulder to shoulder and not feel out of place with it speaks volumes. The future, seemingly, belongs to him. All hail the new King of Blues Rock.

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Jaredjamesnichols/

https://www.instagram.com/jaredjamesnichols/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzbfeZRfm79klg5WCSlUWXw

03 JJ Nichols (Bottom)

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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.

 

P.O.D. Full Circle Tour 2019 – The Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ – 21-05-2019

00 P.O.D. Gig Poster

P.O.D.
Full Circle Tour 2019
The Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
21-05-2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

Christian Nu Metal legends P.O.D. (Payable On Death) are currently on their second leg of a North American Tour supporting their tenth studio album “Circles” which was released on November 16th last year. They are supported on this Full Circle Tour by Nonpoint, Hyro The Hero, Islander & Nine Shrines.

P.O.D. is one of the rare bands that has got their original lineup almost unchanged. Founding members vocalist Sonny Sandoval, lead guitarist Marcos Curiel and drummer Wuv Bernardo accompanied by bassist Traa Daniels who joined the band one year later. Marcos left the band in 2003 to return just three years later. All guys showed great chemistry and their performance was seamless.

From the bands that started up the show I was lucky enough to see Nonpoint. This Florida Hard Rock band or as they classify themselves a Heavy Hard Rock, also toured with P.O.D. during the initial Circles Tour and were main support. No matter how Nonpoint classify themselves, they play a very similar style to P.O.D. just without Christian references and they know how to put on a show. If ‘Chaos and Earthquakes’, ‘El Diablo’ and ‘What A Day’ were not enough to blow the roof off, then ‘Bullet With A Name’ which they always play as the last song, did the job. In your face hard rock, played with full energy, with vocalist Elias Soriano fully engaging the crowd set the perfect atmosphere for the nights biggest stars.

P.O.D. came out with ‘Soundboy Killa’, ‘Rockin’ With The Best’ and exploded the place with ‘Boom’! Every song from first to the last was played with tireless energy and the crowd absolutely loved it. They followed up with ‘Rock The Party’ and ‘Panic Attack’ before unleashing one of their heaviest hits ‘Murdered Love.’

Providing a little slow down in the middle of the set with ‘Circle’, ‘Satellite’ and ‘Beautiful’, the bands vocalist Sonny Sandoval brought two boys onto the stage, both in their early teens. Both boys were gifted drum sticks by Wuv Bernardo and stayed on the stage to help singing smash hit ‘Youth Of The Nation;. Fans, and of course the kids parents, loved the scene. These boys will have something to remember for the rest of their lives.

After this cozy feeling the band dropped the beat with ‘Southtown’, their hard knock life anthem from their first major label debut album “The Fundamental Elements Of Southtown”. As always, for the desert (end of the show) they played ‘Alive’, if not their most successful song, then their most admired for the meaning and their Christian motives.

P.O.D. delivered a show full of excitement and positive energy, and maybe even for a moment making a believer from the God forsaken pagan who wrote this review. This band is absolutely a must have for a rock / metal fan to be at least familiar with and see them live at least once, they are really good and talented and will move you with their music.

LINKS:

Main Page



https://www.facebook.com/POD/
https://www.instagram.com/POD/

 

01 pod3

 

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.

Photograph reproduced here with kind permission from Andy Jansons

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:

  • https://hollywoodundead.com
  • https://twitter.com/hollywoodundead
  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYEIC1WKHEJHR971HIySQMg
  • https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodundead
  • https://www.instagram.com/hollywoodundead
  • https://open.spotify.com/artist/0CEFCo8288kQU7mJi25s6E
  • https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/17000

 

 

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.

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

Can’t Swim – (Le) Poisson Rouge, New York City – 01/12/2018

 

A full review of the gig can be found here:

https://ever-metal.com/2018/12/17/cant-swim-le-poisson-rouge-new-york-city-01-12-2018/

 

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Stephen Moss. 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.

Solitary, Reaper & Thrashatouille, Atomic, Wrexham, 23/11/2018

Solitary, Reaper & Thrashatouille
Atomic, Wrexham
23/11/2018
Review by Dani Maguire

Hi everyone – Rick here
I was due to be covering this gig but unfortunately my deformed spine had other ideas so I am indebted to POWERZONE Radio Show host Dani Maguire for stepping up to the plate and writing an excellent review of proceedings. Please make sure you tune in to his awesome radio show every Monday from 9-11pm on Calon FM (Links are at the bottom of the review). I shall now hand you over to Mr Maguire!

It was a cold November night in Wrexham town, but luckily those fine fellows at N.E.W. Metal Productions really turned the heat up with a line-up of head-swingin’ balls out thrash metal over at our favourite little venue, Atomic. A short foray into the streets on a mission to get some beer tokens took us to a cash machine some streets away, and the still air and empty town carried the sweet sound of sound checking, it could be heard loud and clearly even at that distance and it was like a siren-song, calling us closer…

…anyway, enough of that gubbins. We hurried to Atomic, ready for a night of good, old-fashioned heavy metal. Atomic is quite the place for it- a bottle bar downstairs (which I speedily emptied out of Hobgoblin) and a small room above with a stage, an excellent sound engineer and room for about 50ish burly metalheads to mosh in. It was the last show of the year here in Wrexham, so we were really up this one!

First up to whet our appetites were a band new to me and with a gimmick the thrash metal scene has been crying out for: THRASHATOUILLE! This young band were formed last year, they hail from Cheshire and play what they like to call ‘chef-based metal’ but in reality, it’s more like raw thrash with a touch of groove and some interesting lyrical concepts. It’s quite unusual to have recipes and songs about fry-up’s blasted out at you with ripping furiousity (it’s not a word, but you know what I mean!), accompanied by some riffs that gave a considerable contribution to my terrible neck pain when I woke the next day. A character was introduced- a psychotic spaghetti called ‘Bludgeonnaise’ who is kind of the bands’ mascot. The band certainly look the part too, wearing their chefs’ whites and chequered keks which does help to make it a little more surreal. The diminutive frontman got out and about into the crowd often and ended up with a hilarious classic cake in the face to close the set (after singing it a love song, naturally).

Now, this whole thing might sound a little silly- and that’s really the point. Thrashatouille are another British band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously, following in the footsteps (or should that be footprints) of Footprints in the Custard, Raised by Owls or Evil Scarecrow and for me, that’s great. Maybe not one for traditionalists (unless they lightened up!) but I’d certainly recommend going to see them. I certainly will be next time they’re near!

Thrashatouille, Atomic Live Clip

https://www.facebook.com/Thrashatouille/

After a brief recess, Liverpool-based thrashers REAPER were pumped and ready to go! These guys came highly recommended from a metal peer and all-round good egg Paul- and I know from experience that when he recommends a band for me, I’ll enjoy them, and this proved to be true once again. They were tight, intense & quite frankly, fast as fook! Lead guitarist Anthony had me slack-jawed with awe at several times throughout their set and the crowd loved it. Frontman Daniel was on top of his game throughout, clinical with his guitar work too, and bassist Elliott plays that finger-picking style that Cliff Burton used to favour- looks cool and sounds superb. It was drummer Anthony’s first gig with Reaper but he slotted into his new role brilliantly, providing the background blast beats to complete their soundtrack of a warzone. A bruising set- I just wish they were able to stick around afterwards as I was planning to buy a patch from them to add to my cut. Ah well!

Reaper, Atomic Live Clip

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialReaperUK/

To round out a great night of thrash, veterans SOLITARY hit the stage and they hit hard. Having seen Solitary a couple of times before, I knew what to expect; sheer brutality. I think these guys have it all- a solid back catalogue, fantastic stage presence, cool merch, and more importantly, songs that make you want to bang your head, repeatedly. It’s a crying shame that they aren’t as recognised in the scene as, say, Evile, when they are clearly on par at least (and don’t tell Evile I said this, but they MIGHT even be a touch better!). They have the brutality of Slayer, the memorable licks of Testament and an aggression all of their own. The Lancashire four piece are sticking to their promise to thrash forever and for that, we salute you. Everybody present was blown away, and personally, I especially enjoyed jumping in the pit with the guys from Thrashatouille throughout the set to those crushing riffs.

Solitary, Atomic Live Clip

https://www.facebook.com/Official.Solitary/

I’m lucky enough to have been to many local gigs this year and have seen more than my fair share of stand-out performances. But on this ‘Thrash Friday’ I could not separate the bands. Every single one of them was spot on and gave us all some serious entertainment. Thank you to them for a night to remember and thank you to Fozzy and Beanie from N.E.W. Metal Productions for putting on yet another show. Here’s to another brutal year ahead!

Links:
North East Wales Metal Productions
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/

Powerzone Radio Show on Calon FM
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/calonfm/

Goodfor Audio Entertainment
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment/

Atomic, Wrexham
https://www.facebook.com/atomicbarwxm/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dani Maguire 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.