EMQ’s with LULLABY FOR A UNICORN

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EMQ’s with LULLABY FOR A UNICORN

Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Ever Metal favourites Lullaby For A Unicorn who, by the way, are from the Fantasia land of ‘Funicorn where they reside with Tiffany the inflatable unicorn. Huge thanks to Dan for supplying such wonderfully in depth and funny answers to the questions!

What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Hi, I’m Dan and I play the guitar.
We’ve also got Justin on Vocals, Baxter on Bass and Gaz on Drums.
History of the band? Depends how far back you want to go! 😊
The band officially came into being in August 2017 when we started the Facebook page, which as we all know is the only time things become official. We had been jamming around with songs and generally arsing about for a few months prior to that.
It started from the ashes of another band we were all in that played its last ever gig as the first band on at Pentrefest 2017. I’d got bored of trying to be “edgy” or “different”, so I figured I’d form a doom metal band that didn’t take itself too seriously.
I can’t write doom metal songs.
So, we kind of became the thrash metal type of thing we are now.
After taking a break from music and performing for a while I managed to coax Justin out of retirement on the promise that
a) He wouldn’t have to drive to *all* the gigs;
b) There would be rum;
c) It would be fun
Fortunately for us he said yes!

How did you come up with your band name?

Well, there’s a bit of confusion over that; I think it was Baxter that came up with the name, but I may have misheard him. Someone said it again, everyone laughed, so it stuck.
Coincidentally there is a song called “Lullaby for a Unicorn” by a Canadian band called “Which is Which” and it’s pretty good to be fair, you can find it here: https://wiwmusic.bandcamp.com/track/lullaby-for-a-unicorn

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

Wales, in the UK. There are lots and lots of musicians up our end, but they aren’t very metal. The further along the coast towards England you go the more metal it becomes.
There are some great bands up this end of the world though but there seems to be a general lack of enthusiasm to play anywhere but the local pubs, which is a shame because I think a lot of them would go down really well.
This is one actual decision we consciously made: to not play the local bars that we have been playing for years – we are purposefully going for places that we’ve not been before.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Yeh, we’ve been a bit lazy on that front. There is a live album that was recorded for our first outing to Manchester at the Star and Garter when we played with the phenomenally good Impavidus. It was being recorded and we asked if they could record our set too – so they did.
Being a bit lazy and forgetful we decided to release that as a live album because let’s face it, we aren’t going to finish our actual album any time soon!
We are working on the rest of the songs for “I can’t believe they aren’t better” though, promise!
To be fair though we are having too much fun playing live to sit around our HQ recording drums for hours on end!
Live at the Star and Garter can be found here: https://lullabyforaunicorn.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-the-star-and-garter
And here:
https://open.spotify.com/artist/66iPtz01D9E81T9CtpyIV6?si=EcPr7fs9Tdi5viPDUZIEjg

Who have been your greatest influences?

Personally, that’d be Scott Ian and James Hetfield! I’m a fan of rhythm guitar more than lead, mainly because I’m not too good at the ole’ widdly woo stuff!
I used to jam along to “Among the Living” and “…And Justice for All” when I was just starting out. Also being in Mucus (Dan’s other band – Rick) with such an excellent guitarist as Duncan means that you learn to stand out by being a good rhythm player.
Anyway, I digress…
I’m heavily into melodies, harmonies and crunchy as hell guitars so I’d have to say a lot of my influences are a bit mixed up these days, although “good music is good no matter what kind of music it is”. And I will always be a big ABBA fan!

What first got you into music?

My parents were into live folk music in a big way, so I’d spend most Saturday afternoons in the Kings Arms pub in Bangor watching them and their friends jamming together. That must’ve influenced me somehow!
We’d also go to folk festivals once a year, mainly the one in Pontardawe in South Wales – I have vivid memories of wondering around the camp site talking to hippies, buying rubbish toys and bits of wood with my pocket money and watching all these weird musicians playing the living shit out of their instruments.
The only other thing I can remember listening to is Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” because my Mum liked it, and lots of 80’s pop because my sister was obsessed with it.
Then one day a friend of mine said that I should listen to a band called Metallica – and it all went downhill from there really.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Oh god – I’d hate to do that, I’m no good at thinking on my feet at all so it would petrify me to have to jam with someone that knows what they are doing.
I’m constantly worried that I’ll get found out as a fraud.
Having said that I think it would be cool to collaborate with someone who definitely isn’t metal: Stormzy would be interesting, as would someone like Taylor Swift or Katy Perry – you know, something so completely pop nobody would expect it! 😉
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Ooh, tough one – I’m supposed to say Download or Bloodstock aren’t I? Obviously they would be amazing but…
I think Coachella would be mad – I love California and the line-up can be a bit off the wall, would be fun to do that. Also, Glastonbury would be just an insane experience.
Amplified Festival too – Gary if you are reading this, we are available… still.
As well as making that one conscious decision I mentioned earlier, we did also decide that the goal for this band would be to play festivals. We aren’t that fussed about where on the bill, we just would love to be involved and be part of it all.
There are so many great grassroots festivals going now: Pentrefest, Beermageddon, Badgerfest, Breaking Bands to name just four. Being involved in any of them would be amazing. So far, we’ve done Pentrefest (some of us have done it twice, but we don’t talk about that anymore) which is just amazing and next year there’s HRH Metal which I’m not sure has sunk in yet. We’ll get back to you on that one! 😊

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

We haven’t really received anything from fans in this band. I might have to pass this one on to Justin; he toured extensively in his previous band Skinflick and had some “questionable” fans.
One of the loopiest things that has happened to date is the “mattress actress” Alexxa Vice wearing one of our caps for a selfie on her Instagram, that was a bit of a shock. She’s a cool person though, so having her as a fan would be rather mental!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Worry less, care more.
People get themselves in too much of a state worrying about shit they can’t control. Stop doing that, care more about the things you do and the people you do them with.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Another tough one; recently I think Chester Bennington – that hurt way more than I thought it would and I think he had a lot of songs left in him.
Further back – possibly Dimebag, I think he’d be interested to see the way guitar technology and “tone” has gone since his death. Things like the Line6 Helix (my personal favourite) and the AxeFX would be something he’d be up for messing about with.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Hanging about with friends, socialising, generally being a bit silly and meeting other like-minded people – that’s the best part.
Finding out about new equipment and buying it and then messing around with it and then trying to sell it is also a good part, but at the same time a very bad part of it (everything costs so much damn money).
The worst part of it is hanging around waiting for gigs to start – the hurry up and wait bit. Ugh, nightmare.
I have what I jokingly refer to as Temporal Anxiety – I get a bit wound up when I think I’ll be late for something. If we need to be at a venue by 7pm say and it’s a three hour drive you’d normally start off at 4pm – not me, I must be gone by lunch time so that we get there in plenty of time! It’s becoming a bit of an in joke now* – if we turn up stupidly early for a gig, that’s my fault. But then it does make the worst part of it all last longer! I can’t win!
*I say “in joke” I actually think it is driving Baxter ever so slightly mental.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

There appears to be two sides to the music industry now: there’s the traditional “get a record deal, make an album and tour indefinitely” side and then there’s the home made “record a few songs, do gigs and have a laugh” side of things.
I would like to see more support from the “industry” for the home-made guys but I’m not sure how that would work. As soon as you get industry people involved in things it tends to start becoming a bit more controlled and regimented and sort of ruins the fun. I suspect having a “recording deal” opens a few more doors for bands but some of us don’t want that, but would like other opportunities to get through the same doors… If that makes sense.
There’s an excellent interview with Matt from Evil Scarecrow about the “sovereignty” of his band – how they are their own thing, there’s no record company financing them and they do everything on their own. It was a great insight into how they’ve done what they do, can’t find the damn thing now though.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Oh FFS – one?
Christ on a bike, that’s a hard one (said the nurse to the vicar).
I want to say “Among the Living” by Anthrax, but I haven’t listened to it in years. When Devin Townsend’s “Addicted” album came out I must’ve listened to it constantly for at least a month so that’s got to be on the list somewhere.
Quite a few of my favourite albums are movies

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

Laser Disk FTW!
Vinyl – because of the ceremony of unwrapping it, putting it on the player and having to concentrate on the entire album without being able to skip tracks (unless you want to scratch the shit out of the record).
Downloads – Because they are instantly available, and I can listen to the same playlists wherever I am.
In an ideal world I would buy a new album on Vinyl and squirrel myself away somewhere for an hour or so and listen to it on vinyl. Then I’d put the songs I like onto a playlist on Spotify.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

I think the Christmas Gig we played in Mcleans Deeside with Deified, Second Time Round and Nights Tribunal. That was an insane gig where the planets seem to align, everyone got the humour and joined in.
Bringing free Christmas hats and throwing toilet paper into the audience certainly helped.
I think we are getting a bit of a reputation as being a messy band, so I think I might start bringing my Henry Hoover to gigs with us just so we can clean up the mess afterwards.
One of our worst ones was a gig in Nottingham, but that was because we simply weren’t very good. But it was good for us because we realised what was working and what wasn’t working at that point – so we ditched the capes and the silly hats and decided to concentrate on other funny things to do instead. So that could also be considered one of our best but for entirely different reasons!

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Other than the day job, definitely something in the music industry – probably related to my existing skillset which is software development. But as everyone can do that now, I’m not sure.
I’m still picking what to do for my mid-life-crisis, it is a choice between working in a Zoo or being a gardener. It’s a tough one!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

The people I usually invite: Our friends Paul and Antonia who Baxter met at an Evil Scarecrow gig when they got engaged on stage! Paul does our artwork (and I haven’t paid him yet, so I’d maybe not invite him to a dinner party… hmm). Baxter because he always brings Cards Against Humanity. Justin so we could plan some ludicrous stage ideas and/or videos and Gaz because he brings nice beer with him.

What’s next for the band?

I think we might have a dinner party!
Some more gigs this year, trying to stick to one a month so wives don’t get too annoyed with us and our children remember who we are. We are (as everyone is) competing in the M2M, we’ve got through to the next round, but the quality is so good I’m not sure we’ll get through.
We need to finish recording some songs and then do some videos! We’ve also got a photo shoot with your very own Beth to organise soon.
And then we need to start working out what we are going to do for HRH Metal – shit our pants probably.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

We’ve got the usual, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube:
https://www.facebook.com/rockmyunicorn/
https://www.instagram.com/lullabyforaunicorn/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfSD6mFVstRyxZHcDmOOBzw
And our music is currently on Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon – it’s probably elsewhere I chose lots of options with our provider (DistroKid btw).
https://lullabyforaunicorn.bandcamp.com/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/66iPtz01D9E81T9CtpyIV6?si=JEglwOA-Sk2CfEctLaXu4A
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Live-Star-Garter-Manchester-Explicit/dp/B07PS7L8WN/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=lullaby+for+a+unicorn&qid=1555684238&s=dmusic&sr=1-3
We also have an EPK which has a bunch of stuff that promotors might be interested in:
https://tinyurl.com/y9ytkn3c

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

The clue is in the name innit! If they were biscuits they’d be called “Jaffa Biscuits” but they aren’t.
They are called Jaffa Cakes.
Also, apparently, a biscuit is a biscuit because it is baked twice – Jaffa Cakes are baked once and therefore they are cakes.
I won’t go into scones, clotted cream or jam – we might start a revolution.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Well, first of all we’d like to thank Ever Metal for being a lovely bunch of people and taking a genuine interest in this stupid little band we’ve made – it’s quite nice to have people actually like something we’ve done for a change (that’s a story for another day, trust me!).
Also, a shout out to anyone who’s helped us out with gigs: The ubiquitous Badger, the wonderful Che and Alison and countless other people. In fact, this post from the end of last year says it all 😊
https://www.facebook.com/rockmyunicorn/posts/2295543874012178
Cheers
L4U xxx

 

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

 

 

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

00 Pentrefest 2019 Final Line-Up Poster 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…To Be Continued!

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

 

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

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

Beth’s Top Ten Live Acts Of 2018

Beth’s Top Ten Live Acts Of 2018

Hi all, Rick here. As we reach Day One of 2019 here is a last thank you and final top ten list of 2018. Beth is not only turning into a great photographer (she has only been doing it for about 20 months) and has also written some excellent live and album reviews she is also, for her sins, my other half and I really couldn’t put as much time and effort as I do into Ever Metal if it wasn’t for her help, understanding and belief in me so a huge thanks goes out to her.

So, without further ado here are Beth’s top ten live bands/acts of 2018!

This year has been a pretty fine vintage, gig wise, for us. Here is a rundown of my favourite acts of the year.

01 No.10 Scars Of Remembrance10. Scars Of Remembrance.

Local to Wrexham, and new to the scene in their current line up, they really impressed me in the summer with their performance at the New Metal All Dayer at the Live Rooms, Wrexham. It was amazing to see how far they had come in such a short space of time and I can’t wait to see where they take their heavy, Metalcore sound to next.

https://www.facebook.com/scarsofremembrance/


02 No.09 Evil Invaders9.Evil Invaders.

Belgian Thrash at its very best. Their performance at this year’s Amplified festival was superb. I’m not usually big into thrash, but these guys really know how to put on a show. Frontman Joe has a majorly expressive face and a great voice, and the whole performance was buzzing with excitement, and much dry ice!

https://www.facebook.com/evilinvaders/


03 No.08 God Shaped Devil8. God Shaped Devil.

I happened upon this band almost by accident! I was doing photography at Badgerfest and looking forward to a good few of the bands on the line – up but had overlooked these guys. I won’t be making this mistake again! Their performance was electric and their stage presence huge. They all looked like they were having such an awesome time on stage, and their playing skills were totally on point.

https://www.facebook.com/godshapeddevil/


04 No.07 Psychostick7. Psychostick.

I love music. I love clever comedy. I love madcap, slapstick performances. Psychostick have all this, and they entertained us no end at Amplified in the summer. They would have appeared higher in my top ten, but for the sombrero incident, which kind of distracted me as I was worried I might die! But they are so worth a watch if you get the chance. It is like watching the Pythons with guitars!

https://www.facebook.com/Psychostick/


05 No.06 Cadence Noir6. Cadence Noir.

Who knew Gothic Folk ‘n’ Roll was a genre. I certainly didn’t until I saw Cadence Noir going through the heats for Bloodstock M2TM, and then winning a thoroughly deserved spot on the Bloodstock New Blood stage. Their meld of folk fiddle, upright bass, and some really heavy riffs is fantastically nuts and works so well. I am soon to review their long-awaited album “Physical Copy” which was released on 22nd December, and I can’t wait to see them perform again at Pentrefest in February 2019.

https://www.facebook.com/CadenceNoir/


06 No.05 Lullaby For a Unicorn5. Lullaby For A Unicorn.

If you want to party, these are your guys. Again, we have seen them a few times this year, but my personal favourite performance was on 22nd December at Mclean’s Pentre. They turned the fun up a notch, and had the whole place bouncing in Santa hats, covered in party poppers and toilet roll! They are four seasoned musicians who don’t like to take life too seriously, and this comes across so well in their music and their stage presence. Bass player, Anthony, plays in a unicorn onesie, which is hilarious in itself. Guitarist Dan has light up shoes, lead singer, Justin, has a slightly unhinged glint in his eye, and drummer Rageth, well, who knows – each performance is a surprise – for this one he was green and wearing lovely shorts with braces! They certainly have the funny factor!

https://www.facebook.com/rockmyunicorn/


07 No.04 Novacrow4. Novacrow.

These guys made me smile so much at Rockwich this year. They are crazy and funny, but also create some pretty awesome sounds. Their brand of sleazy, horror-inspired hard rock is quite unique, and they have something very special about them! Lead singer Kitty has one awesome set of pipes. They are quirky and interesting to watch live, and love a bit of interaction with the audience, breaking down the fourth wall on more than one occasion with trips out into the crowd which really draws you in to their world, and I will be seeking them out again in 2019.

https://www.facebook.com/novacrowofficial/


08 No.03 StOp sToP3. StOp sToP.

Glam rock is alive and well and lives wherever these guys are. There was makeup, there was spandex, there were tassels, there was big hair, and there was soooo much dry ice and shiny lighting! On performance skills these guys absolutely nail it, and musically they aren’t too shabby either! Their fast paced, pumped up performance at Rockwich was one of my highlights of the year! Anyone who watches them and doesn’t smile has a heart of stone! I so hope I get to see them again very soon. Nothing makes me happier than watching a band completely loving who they are and what they do, and this sums up the StOp sToP boys.

https://www.facebook.com/stopstopofficial/


09 No.02 Callus2. Callus.

It seems unbelievable to me that we only met these guys at Hammerfest in March 2018. We have now become great friends, and it seems like we have known them a lot longer. In the 9 months since we saw them originally, we have seen them again another 3 or 4 times, and they just keep getting better. This is a young band who really know how to work an audience and create a good show, and they are all brilliant musicians to boot. Their debut album is out in about a month and I highly recommend that everyone checks it and them out and gets to see them live at the earliest opportunity, as they do not disappoint.

https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/


10 No.01 Twisted Illusion1. Twisted Illusion.

Just WOW! I TOTALLY LOVE THEM! I first saw these guys at Amplified and they knocked me off my feet with their brilliant prog metal style. We recently attended their Christmas gig in the Manchester Academy 3. It was an emotional night, as Bass player Mark, and Drummer Matt M had decided that they were stepping down from the band, and frontman Matt J had been plagued with a bad throat for the week before the gig, but despite this they were utterly, utterly stunning. I am still trying to write a review of it, but I can’t put my thoughts into a coherent piece, such was the brilliance of their performance. Not many bands make me want to just stand and let the music consume me, but Twisted Illusion are on that elite list. I am so glad that we found them, and I cannot wait to see them again as often as humanly possible.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTIband


This has been a mighty hard list to compile as I have seen so many great artists this year. A few that were very close to making my top ten were, Witch Tripper, Evil Scarecrow, Mason Hill, Jayce Lewis, Impavidus, Footprints In The Custard, Resin, Fahran and Frozen In Shadows, who all deserve a mention for their cracking performances this year.

Writing this has made me realise how lucky we are to have so many great bands floating around at the moment, many of them only small, unsigned and relatively unknown in the grand scheme of things. Music truly is the most wonderful, universal language and I am so thankful that in enriches my life daily. If next year is as good as this year for live music, it’s gonna be awesome!

Thanks for reading and a very happy new year to you all xx

Disclaimer: All photos are the property of Beth Jones, Photograbee and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of all parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.