Bloodstock M2TM 2020 – North Wales Heat 2 – Mcleans, Pentre 07/03/2020 – Lullaby For A Unicorn

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Beth Jones. 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.

Bloodstock M2TM 2020 – North Wales Heat 2 – Mcleans, Pentre 07/03/2020

Bloodstock M2TM 2020 – North Wales, Heat 2
Mcleans, Pentre 07/03/2020
Review & Pictures by Beth Jones

We were still dusting ourselves down from the first heat of this year’s Metal 2 The Masses North Wales, when suddenly, quicker than you could say ‘get me on the New Blood stage’, it was time for heat 2! Originally this heat was going to be taking place in Bangor, on the North West Wales coast, but sadly the venue is now an ex-venue. However, because this is North Wales, and the NEW Metal Productions team can handle pretty much anything, it was reorganised to our regular haunt, Mcleans, Pentre!

Five bands were set to take to the stage in this heat, and there were rumblings that this was going to be the toughest heat we had ever seen. Our very own Rick Tilley was asked to stand in as a judge on this heat, as one of the regulars, Phoenix Rising’s John Matthews, was unable to attend. It was pretty certain the judges were going to have a hard task. The ‘order of service’, drawn before we arrived, was Winter Hotel, Thrashatouille, Lullaby For A Unicorn, Krank, and Leatherback. This was going to be fun!

Winter Hotel

Hailing from Bangor, these guys play a hard hitting, modern alternative metal style with a pretty hefty punch. They haven’t been round that long and were using a stand-in bass player. While they had done a fair bit of prep for this, bringing with them printed lyric sheets for the judges, their relative infancy showed in their stage craft, which this year is one of the main things the judges are looking at. Musically they were great, and the charisma of front man, Warren Porter, did shine through. But, in my opinion, they weren’t quite ready, performance wise. However, this is something that will come with practice, and more gigging. They definitely have something exciting to give; they just need to work out how to present it.

https://www.facebook.com/WinterHotelband/

Thrashatouille

We’ve seen these guys a good few times now, including last year’s M2TM North Wales, where they narrowly missed getting a spot in the final. Not to be downtrodden, they decided to return this year to give it another go. It was instantly noticeable that they had a new toy on stage – front man Rob Sutton had a synth that goes boom (not a technical term, but good enough to describe it – I’m old and all this synth trickery goes over my head)! I love the effect that you get out of them, so was looking forward to seeing how he used it, and to seeing how they’d come on since last year. I was not disappointed! From the first chord, to the final boooom, they were bloody brilliant! By far the best we have ever seen them perform. Their madcap food-based death/thrash metal, complete with inflatables, energetic movement on and off the stage from Rob, and a healthy dose of booooooom, was totally something I could imagine going down a storm on the New Blood stage. Epic performance!

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

Lullaby For A Unicorn

After being within touching distance of the New Blood stage, as one of last years’ runners-up in the M2TM North Wales final, it was no surprise to see these guys coming to give it another go. I’ve lost count how many times we’ve watched them play but was still as eager to see them again. They are quirky and have an endearing band personality that makes you feel happy, despite the manic and slightly psychotic look in front man Justin Williams’ eyes! They seem to have a bit of a curse on them in this competition though, and they do have a nasty habit of over thinking it. In this performance, a gremlin had got into the sound, and they were plagued with feedback, which I feel threw them off their game a bit. There was none of the usual party popper madness either, which was possibly like taking away their comfort blanket. I still really enjoyed their set though, as I always do, and I was very hopeful that the audience would see past the gremlins, because I know what their ‘A game’ is like.

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

Krank

We last saw Krank in the M2TM heats two years ago, and back then they just weren’t ready, so I was interested to see how they’d come on. Musically they have definitely come a long way, and they make a very good sound together. Carrying on the theme of the evening, it was quirky, humorous, and heavy. They’d obviously spent a bit of time thinking about their stage show, as they had a projector playing a random video in the background, and they also had a large ‘Doomsday clock’ displayed on a laptop for the audience, and the front man to see, as apparently they have a tendency to run over time! They’d brought a lot of fans with them, so they went down well with the crowd. They threw a load of miniature squeaky rubber chickens in to crowd at the start of the set too, which caused a bit of a gigglesome fracas. Unfortunately, even though I think they’re really good musically, something about the front man’s over the top, bullishness really irks me. I find it irritating. Yes, I’m a grumpy old woman, but I just think he needs to tone it down a bit. Let the music do some of the talking, and please, for the love of god, put your tits away! Oh, and another thing – my daughter has now stolen the squeaky rubber chicken we brought home and will not stop squeaking it! Goddamn you!!

https://www.facebook.com/krankislife/

Leatherback

The final performance of the evening was a one-man techno/industrial/metal crossover. My first thought was, ‘I hope they’re going to put the stage lights back on, because the photos won’t be much good otherwise!’ I asked the all-knowing Fozzy, and his response was ‘Just wait and see’. Hmmm, I’m not good with surprises! When the performance started, it became clear what Fozzy meant! Strobe… Lots and lots of strobe! It was like being in a 90s rave! Musically, there were samples, synths and pedals being controlled like clockwork by Matt, aka Leatherback. At the same time, he was playing some pretty tight rhythm guitar. Combined with the strobing and colour changing lights, also controlled by the music, it made for a pretty hallucinogenic experience! I had issues with this performance though, both as a lover of old-school, and as a photographer. He does what he does very well, and with a lot of skill, however what he does, and what I like musically are two very different things. My second issue was the lights. I spent so long looking directly at a strobe, trying to actually capture some useable photos, that my eye and the side of my face went completely numb. That was my cue to leave. I’m going to leave it at that. Clever, but not my cup of tea! It did get the audience going, but on a performance level, I don’t think that it would transpose to a big stage like the New Blood.

https://www.facebook.com/leatherbackworld/

So, with all the bands done, it was time to vote. For me, there was one clear winner, who stood head and shoulders above the rest – Thrashatouille. After a short break, for the judges to deliberate and the audience to cast their votes, master of ceremonies, Beany, returned to the stage to announce the results. I totally couldn’t call it, so can imagine how tough it was for the judges.

First to be announced, and winners of the public vote were Krank, which is a good bit of statistical evidence that other bands should take notice of – the more people you bring with you to your heat, the more likely it is that you’ll win the public vote (unless you really suck and all the people you brought secretly hate you!). The band taking the judges vote, because of their musical ability, professionalism, stage craft and preparation (and rightfully so, if you ask me) were Thrashatouille!

This heat had definitely been a tough one, and it was sad that there had to be winners and losers, but, by definition, that’s what competition is. Onwards and upwards my friends, onwards and upwards! Next up! Heat 3, which takes place on 4th April

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/bloodstock/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/m2tmofficial/
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/phoenixrisingrocks/

Disclaimer: This review and photographs are 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.

Pentre Fest 2020 – Day 1 21/02/20 – Lullaby For A Unicorn

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Beth Jones. 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.

Pentre Fest 2020 – Day 1 – 21/02/2020

Pentre Fest 2020 Day One
Mcleans, Pentre, North Wales
21/02/2020
Review by Rick Tilley & Alun Jones
Pictures by Beth Jones

Hi Everyone – It’s Rick.

Before you get into reading about Day One at Pentre Fest I would like send our love to Ian ‘Fozzy’ Forrester of North East Wales Metal Productions. Very sadly, Fozzy’s Mum passed away just before the Festival yet, in what must have been an incredibly difficult time for him and his family, Fozzy was present on both days manning the sound desk on the acoustic stage and running the event in the professional manner to which we have become accustomed. Many of you reading this know Fozzy and what a gem of a bloke he is and I hope you can all join me in wishing him and his family all the very best. This review is dedicated to Fozzy’s Mum!

It doesn’t seem possible that this was our third trip to Pentre Fest, the last two years seem to have gone by in a blur of gigs, photos, reviews, interviews, albums and laughs but, once again, Ian ‘Fozzy’ Forrester, Ian ‘Beany’ North and Frank Williams of North East Wales Metal Productions had assembled a ‘must see’ line-up of bands and acoustic acts who would be appearing over the two days at Mcleans, Pentre. Our gratitude and thanks must go out to them for continuing to persevere at a time when getting people to come out and see original music is something of a struggle. I would also like to welcome our colleague, friend and fellow Ever Metal reviewer Alun Jones who was at the Festival on both days and has kindly submitted his thoughts on some of the bands!

Pentre isn’t a big place and, therefore, Mcleans is somewhat stuck in the middle of The Twilight Zone so, within an hour of arriving on Friday evening, it was wonderful to see that so many people were turning up. This was easily the biggest crowd we had seen at the venue for any event. On top of that we knew pretty much everyone so the atmosphere was amazing!

Oliver Carins (Scarfoot)

Local legend Edd Case, who usually hosts the acoustic stage, wasn’t around on the Friday as he was very poorly, and with us also being in the midst of a series of storms bad enough to get their own names the decision had been made to move the second stage inside so after a small delay, Oliver Carins (Vocalist/Guitarist with Scarfoot) got things underway with a wonderful cover of John Butler’s ‘Ocean’. Personally, I think Oliver’s confidence has grown considerably over the last few months but this was the first time I had seen him playing acoustically and a very talented guitarist he is indeed!

In what seemed like seconds Oliver was done and, suddenly, we were all heading to see Cry For Mercy open things up properly on the Main Stage.

Cry For Mercy

If you want to open a Festival with a bang then Rock/Blues power trio Cry For Mercy provide it. We’ve now seen them a fair few times over the last twelve months and they never disappoint. Vocalist/bassist Kevin James Plant has a wonderfully soulful voice with just the right amount of gravel (he can sure play the bass well when he wants to as well), guitarist Andy Cutty lets the riffs fly and the solos fly higher and drummer Steven Taylor provides an ultra-solid beat with plenty of smiles. They treated us to some brand new tracks from their forthcoming EP as well as from last year’s “Overload” release and they all ROCK! It struck me a few weeks back that they remind me a little of Mama’s Boys, who I saw play on a number of occasions in the 1980’s and that’s high praise because I’m a big fan of Pat ‘The Professor’ McManus. Cry For Mercy = Excellent!

https://www.facebook.com/cryformercyofficial/

Scarfoot

Back on the acoustic stage it was time for Oliver again but this time with the rest of Scarfoot. They all know how Beth and I feel but I’m going to say it again. Since new bassist Rhys Jones joined them last year Scarfoot have gone from strength to strength. There is a new found confidence in them and it shines through in their performances. This was a first for them as they had never played a ‘stripped back’ set before but it worked very well. As I have become more familiar with their music it’s fair to say that it isn’t your standard fare. It combines many influences and genres and comes across as occasionally schizophrenic (in a good way) and having two vocalists (drummer Phil Eakins also sings) sets them apart. If you’re familiar with the band Primus, imagine a saner version of them and you’ll be on the path that leads to the road that sits on the hill that Scarfoot inhabit. Lovely guys too!

https://www.facebook.com/thescarfootband/

Lullaby For A Unicorn

Off to the main stage again. This time it was for (drum roll) the one…the only…the leg-ends… Lullaby For a Unicorn!! These four guys have become really good friends over the last couple of years and we love ‘em to bits. Before they went on stage we were treated to lots of stories of their antics the previous week when they played the main stage at HRH Metal and predictably they had us in stitches (if you haven’t already then go and seek out the photos online). For this gig they had a new friend on stage…a synthesizer, apparently something they will be using a lot more in the future. It was a superb addition to their arsenal and turned vocalist Justin into a demented looking/sounding Jean-Michel Jarre! There wasn’t a colouring competition this time but we were treated to the usual array of Party Poppers/Cannons and, in an attempt to get the audience to love them even more than they already do, had bought shots for everyone which they dished out mid-set. Never predictable but always fantastic, Lullaby For A Unicorn are totally unique. In an age with thousands of sound-alike bands we should all be very thankful for that!

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

Daniel Moran

After replenishing our drinks (reviewing is very thirsty work I’ll have you know!) we went back to the restaurant…er, I mean acoustic stage, to see the next act, Daniel Moran.

I’ve seen Dan twice before, once with his previous band Ashen Reach and at Beth’s Charity Gig last December with his main band, the wonderful Reaper, but I had yet to see him perform acoustically and what a talent he is, especially for someone so young! He launched into a fabulous set, punctuated with jokes and witty banter and it’s plainly obvious that he lives, eats and breathes music. He has incredible vocal range, is a fabulous guitarist and relishes every moment that he can play and entertain. Finishing with a cover of ‘Why?’ from Devin Townsends’s most recent album “Empath” would be a challenge for most, but not Dan, who pretty much nailed every note and left the audience in awe. He is also a lovely chap so do me a favour and go and watch him wherever you can. People like Dan don’t come around too often!

https://www.facebook.com/DanielMoranMerseyside/

Impavidus

With the turnaround time between the two stages working like clockwork, by the time I’d been to the loo and had a quick vape the mighty Impavidus were already half way through their opening track over on the main stage. It had been more than a year since I had last seen them live, far too long for my liking, and I was soon banging my head as much as my battered spine would allow me to. Vocalist Michelle Adamson has the voice of an angel and devil rolled into one. Her clean singing is haunting but her growl matches Angela Gossow for venom. In fact, classic era Arch Enemy is who Impavidus remind me of most. They may possess huge groove and power and be as heavy as a stampeding rhino but melody plays a massive part in the music and their songs are incredibly catchy. It was also great to see their ex-drummer, the gentleman that is John Badger, fill in for them one last time! Impavidus really should be more well-known than they are!

https://www.facebook.com/impavidusuk/

After the wonderful set from Impavidus I was hurting and in need of a break so I’m now going to pass you over to Alun who went to watch the final act of the night on the acoustic stage.

Ryuko

Ryuko presented a couple of surprises on Friday night’s acoustic stage. First off, they were fully plugged in and electric. Second, they play more of an alternative rock sound, which was something of a contrast to the majority of other Pentre Fest bands. Readers may not be aware, though, that I am in fact King of Grunge, with my 90’s credentials well proven. Ryuko’s set included some melody and even jangly pop along with heavier riffs, which was an enjoyable diversion in a Dinosaur Jr/Nirvana style. Well performed, Ryuko just need to test their audience further and throw in additional surprises in either a ‘Negative Creep’ or ‘About a Girl’ vein.

https://www.facebook.com/RyukoBand/

With medication taken, drink in hand and the pain in my back calming down a little bit I returned to the main hall to find our ‘Master Of Ceremonies’ Beany hosting The Tequila Game! This was basically The Jäger Game without Jäger!! It involves a large number of slightly inebriated and good-natured MetalHeads rolling pound coins towards a bottle of booze to see who can get the closest. Winner gets the bottle and the money raised goes to charity. It is always good fun and was the perfect lead in to our Friday night headliner…

Witch Tripper

If you haven’t seen, or at least heard of, Witch Tripper then you must live under a rock at the bottom of the sea. On any given weekend they will be playing somewhere in the UK or Ireland and they never stop. They arrived at Pentre Fest with incredible new drummer, Christopher Reed, in tow and proceeded to do what Witch Tripper does magnificently…blow the roof off. Vocalist/Lead Guitarist Richie Barlow is a manic ball of sweat and hair by the end of the first track and bassist ‘Stoff’ is a slightly more reserved, but no less brilliant rumble of thunder. Together, the three of them play an enticing mix of Stoner, Rock, Metal and Grunge all held together with lashings of heavy groove and they never fail to put a smile on your face, regardless of how many times you’ve seen them. As usual they were on fire and brought the Friday proceedings to a close, just as it had started a few hours earlier, with a bang!

https://www.facebook.com/witchtripperuk/

With an audible sigh, that only happens when every band has played a blinder, the crowd started dispersing to different areas of the pub for another swift pint, a smoke, a chat and to chill before heading out into the horrendous weather (the wind sounded like something out of a Hammer Horror film) to waiting Camper Vans, Hotels or homes. It had been an incredibly successful evening not just from a band perspective but also for the number of people who had turned up. As usual, Beth and I were completely knackered and hurting but we both knew that the line-up for Saturday was going to be brilliant…

…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/LA1Audio/
https://www.facebook.com/evermetal2017/

Disclaimer: This review and photographs are solely the property of Rick Tilley, Beth Jones, 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.

Top Ten Photographic Moments of 2019

Top Ten Photographic Moments of 2019
By Beth Jones

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

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

01 Number #10 Evil Scarecrow

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

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


02 Number #9 Midnight Prophecy

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

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


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

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


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

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


05 Number #6 Arkdown

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

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


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

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


07 Number #4 Twisted Illusion

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

 

 

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

Severenth, In Depths & Lullaby For A Unicorn – The Live Rooms Chester – 05/07/2019

00 Severenth Comeback Gig Poster

Severenth, In Depths & Lullaby For A Unicorn
The Live Rooms Chester – 05/07/2019
Review by Beth Jones

I have to be honest; I don’t really remember Severenth in their original incarnation, which ended six years ago, but I do remember the name (I know, I’m sorry). I was looking forward to discovering what they were all about and was also looking forward to seeing one of our Ever Metal favourites, Lullaby For A Unicorn, and catching the formidable In Depths again. OMV had also been on the bill, but they pulled out at the last minute, so it meant we got a little bit extra from Lullaby and In Depths, which is always welcome.

Lullaby For A Unicorn
Last time we saw these guys was at the M2TM Final. On that night, they overthought their performance way too much, and it stole some of the endearing unicorn magic that we are used to. However, here they were back to their old selves, but minus all the mess! They looked comfortable on the stage and sounded fantastic, there was a good-sized crowd gathering and they all seemed to enjoy the unhinged sounds of the Unicorn, even chanting ‘SHED, SHED, SHED!’ at one point!

The acoustics in the big room at the Live Rooms are really good, and the sound man had got it spot on, making every note crystal clear for the performance – this was something that continued for the whole night – big love to the sound guy!

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

In Depths
Wow! These guys were fired up for this gig, and it came through in their performance. It was brilliant! They are modern metal, with a djenty sound, but lots of nods to classic metal. They are all superbly talented musicians, and vocalist Callum Smith cut a striking figure as he roared, and absolutely owned the crowd, which was now the biggest crowd I have seen at a local gig for a long time.

They played with a terrific pace and ferocity, all kept in check by drummer Aaron Furnival, who is absolutely superb. This was the best we have seen them, very definitely, and I can’t wait to see them again.

02 In Depthshttps://www.facebook.com/InDepths/

Severenth
Playing to an almost sell-out crowd is how you want a comeback gig to be, but not something you see often, so Severenth have to be applauded for pulling that off to start with – the room was absolutely packed, and for a local band that takes some doing, but this was their first outing for six years! They built up the atmosphere with some dark entrance music, and then hammered straight into their first song.

What a sound! Made up of Ben Jones on Bass, Jack Somers and Adam Sidor on Guitar, Dave Roberts on Drums and Front Man Peet Bailey, they ripped into a thrashing show of 90’s inspired modern metal, which was completely flawless. They all looked like they were having so much fun – like being back was the best feeling in the world. With skilled guitar work, insanely tight drumming, rumbling bass riffs and an all-round vocal powerhouse, it begs the question why they haven’t come back sooner?! Peet also has potentially world record breaking dreadlocks, which amazed me! I reckon the longest one was a good five foot!! It has taken me forty years to be that tall!!

The whole crowd was loving every minute of the performance and were dancing and pitting all over the place. Sadly, Rick took an elbow to the back as a pit started up near him, which wasn’t great, and we had to cut our night slightly short to get him home to his pain meds. I have no doubt that those who stayed until the end of the set were treated to more of the same great, commanding performance we had already seen. That is how to do a show everybody! Storming, enthralling and utterly brilliant! I am so glad that they are now a thing again, as it meant I got to find out what I was missing the first time. We are really looking forward to seeing them again very soon, at the Alma Inn in Bolton on 20th July.

03 Severenthhttps://www.facebook.com/OfficialSeverenth/

 

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

 

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.

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, The Grand Final – Penny Black / XS Wrexham – 07/06/2019

00 M2TM North Wales Final Poster

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, The Grand Final
Penny Black / XS Wrexham – 07/06/2019
Review by Beth Jones and Rick Tilley

They say time flies when you are having fun, and that certainly couldn’t be truer about this year’s Bloodstock M2TM North Wales competition. Last Friday saw the culmination of months of work, peppered with smiles and tears, frustration and joy and some challenges that made this night all the more of an achievement, both from the bands and the organisers. It was certainly promising to be a metal extravaganza, with four guest bands, including a headline slot from Damim.

Thankfully the subject of many musings, the great British road network, didn’t let us down, meaning that Bloodstock’s own, Rob Bannister and his awesome better half Sherrell, arrived with us exactly at the time they had planned and we got to the venue just as the first band started.

Our venue for this final was Penny Black / XS bar, in the centre of Wrexham. Comprising of XS bar upstairs, and Penny Black downstairs, this was not a venue that had been used by North East Wales Metal Productions before, and we were all keen to see how it was going to fare. Our first band to perform was one of the guests, In Depths, in the downstairs bar.

In Depths
A local band from just over the border, in Chester, we saw these guys last year and like them. Since then they have gone through a slight line-up change, but they still have a great sound, and a dedicated bunch of followers. They gave a really good performance and warmed the crowd up nicely in readiness for the competition bands. For those that haven’t seen them, they are a modern djent type metal band, who have a really good feel about them. Well worth a watch.

01 In Depthshttps://www.facebook.com/InDepths/

Bad Earth
Our initial trip to the upstairs bar was to see the first of our competition bands, BAD EARTH, who we have been impressed with for many reasons, not least their heavy groovy laden rock/metal. We have been especially impressed with them recently because of the seamless addition of their new bass player, Tim Nicholls, who despite only being a member for about a month, looks like he has been there years! In this performance, he also took on some backing vocals, which added an extra depth to the music. Again, this was a great performance from them, especially as front-man Steven had been struck down with tonsillitis earlier in the week, which didn’t really show. A great way to start the evenings battling!

02 Bad Earthhttps://www.facebook.com/BADEARTH/

Cadence Noir
We always love a bit of gothic folk and roll to clear our heads – I mean, who doesn’t, right? And who better to provide that than the very lovely Cadence Noir, playing in the downstairs bar. As last year’s M2TM winners, it was great to see them back here performing as guests. They played a range of their catalogue, from old to new, and got the gathered crowd moving along at a fair old pace. Vocalist / Guitarist Adrien Perrie is a fabulous front-man who also possesses a dark sense of humour which perfectly matches their music. Add to that the wonderful violin playing of Emma Bennett and an increasingly sharp rhythm section and you have a band that should soon be occupying bigger stages!

03 Cadence Noirhttps://www.facebook.com/CadenceNoir/

Lullaby For A Unicorn
We have come to know by now that when Lullaby For A Unicorn play, shit’s gonna get messy! So, we were very pleased to see that they had brought their trusty Henry Hoover with them to ‘speed up the clean-up’ operation tonight! Back upstairs they were the second competing band, and threw the kitchen sink at their performance. Now you all know that I love these guys dearly, both on stage and off, so what I’m about to say may come as a surprise. I didn’t think this was the best we had seen them and Rick was of the same opinion! I know, I KNOW I’m sorry!! I don’t know what it was – maybe they were just too stoked for it and put too much pressure on themselves, but whilst they were still brilliant, and despite the silly string, party popper assaults and the party cannons, it lacked just a little bit of their usual unicorn charm, which made us a little sad.

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

Scars Of Remembrance
Of all the bands who we have seen in this competition, this is the band who had the least confidence in the fact they could be in the running to win. When I spoke to them back at their heat, their plan was turn up, play a good gig and that was were it ended. Their main aim was to give people a show, and they were in complete shock when they progressed in that heat, and then again as the public vote winners in the semi-finals. They approached this gig with the same attitude – they were hungry as hell for it, but still had a humbleness that made them not yet believe. Well, guys, believe. This performance was, again, the best that we had seen them play, and you could see in each and every one of them how much this meant to them. Musically it was tight, it was well thought out, and it was so easy to get lost in the rhythms. Performance wise, they all gave it their all. Mike Edwards, as a front man, is brilliant and draws people in with his stare, and Ben thrashed the drums so hard that he completely sheered off one of his cymbal stands mid-song but carried on without missing a beat. It was a storming set!

05 Scars Of Remembrancehttps://www.facebook.com/scarsofremembrance/

Damim
We headed downstairs and had a short break before watching Guest Headliners Damim. These guys were new to us, and whilst they were not necessarily what I would usually choose, I actually really liked them for the musical ability. As for Rick, well he absolutely loved them! They were so precise it was superhuman, and every member was a stunningly talented musician. We found out afterwards that the guys on rhythm guitar and bass were actually stand-ins for the actual members who weren’t available that night! WOW, that level of talent and commitment cannot be learned, that is just something you are born with. Lead singer Nathanael is the most suave and focused person I have ever seen in Wrexham! He had an aura about him on and off stage which was very impressive. They also had an unfortunate random intrusion from the back of the stage, when one of the local Neanderthals managed to gain entry through the fire escape, however being the consummate professionals they clearly are, they never missed a beat, and the security had the incident under control in a matter of seconds, meaning most of the crowd didn’t even notice it happen. For anyone who hasn’t seen Damim before, and as we haven’t written about them before, their style is blackened thrash, with influences from Morbid Angel, Meshuggah and Death, to name but a few. They are very, very good and well worth checking out.

06 Damimhttps://www.facebook.com/dam.nation.uk/

Navnløs
It was then upstairs again for the final competing band Navnløs. Last time we saw these guys we criticized them for having too long a break between songs and looking slightly lost in said break. They had clearly listened, as the break between songs was much smaller and there was always a bit of guitar or something filling the gap, and it made such a difference – so thanks for taking that constructive criticism and making a positive change guys – it really was an improvement. Their pace was much better, and they were really impressing us, and the crowd. Then they had a bit of a moment – I’m not sure what happened but they had to restart a song twice, and I think at that point they knew what that would inevitably mean. It was a real shame, because they had really stepped it up for the final. I get them, but I don’t at the same time, if you know what I mean! Musically they are all talented, and they have a good sound, but I think nerves hinder their performance, which makes them not quite there yet. Please keep at it though guys. Work on the performance element, because the music is solid. I’m going to shut up now because I am starting to sound like Simon Cowell!!

07 Navnløshttps://www.facebook.com/Navnlosband/

With that, the competition section was over, and we had one last guest band to play whilst Bloodstock’s Rob Bannister, who had the extremely hard task of judging this event, deliberated and collected his thoughts on what he had seen. In my opinion it was between two of the bands, but I couldn’t decide which. We restocked on beverages and settled in for the finale performance from Left For Red.

Left For Red
Rick has been on at me for ages to check these guys out, and I had been looking forward to seeing them. I wasn’t disappointed – a cracking five piece from the West Midlands, they deliver a combination of groove and prog and classic British heavy metal which has an enthralling and almost hypnotic draw to it. Front-man LC is a ball of energy on stage and has a look about him that made me think of Blaze Bayley – to the point that I was like ‘is this Blaze’s long-lost brother?!’ This performance was also slightly bittersweet, as it was one of bassist Dan Carter’s final performances with the band, as he is moving on to different pastures soon. It was a really great way to finish a really great night, and I would definitely recommend checking these guys out too – their new album “Human Complex” has recently been released, and is liked very much by the team at Ever Metal.

08 Left For Redhttps://www.facebook.com/leftforreduk/

So here we were – the result (and no Ant and Dec anywhere in sight!). Rob had deliberated and, based on the performances he had seen his winners were…SCARS OF REMEMBRANCE!! We have to say that we concurred – they gave the best performance on the night, and you could see how much they wanted it, and this was why they won. The look on their faces was an absolute picture – total disbelieving joy, and I have to admit it got me a bit emotional. Having watched them grow since last year, I felt a bit like a proud mum!! Much happiness ensued, involving lots of hugging and love for everyone. Our thanks must be extended to not only the bands, who have slogged it for the whole competition, but also the really good sized crowd that turned up to the final, to Rob Bannister for judging and his lovely lady Sherell for manning the raffle and looking after my bags, to Ian ‘Fozzy’ Forrester and Ian ‘Beany’ North of NEW Metal Productions for organizing the whole thing in the face of some truly challenging times and to Dani & Joe Maguire of Powerzone and John Matthews of Phoenix Rising, for judging the heats and just being awesome people who make you smile when you see them at a gig. This is what happiness is. This is why we do this; the feeling at the end of this gig, the culmination of all that work. If we could bottle that, we would be millionaires. Bring on 2020!!

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/m2tmofficial/
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment/
https://www.facebook.com/Powerzonemetal/
https://www.facebook.com/TheImpactZoneOnRadioDeeside/
https://www.facebook.com/phoenixrisingrocks/
https://www.facebook.com/evermetal2017/

 

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 all 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/

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, Semi Final 1 – Mcleans Pentre – 17/05/2019

00 Event Poster

Bloodstock M2TM North Wales, Semi Final 1
Mcleans Pentre – 17/05/2019
Review by Beth Jones

It doesn’t seem like two minutes since the first heat of this year’s M2TM North Wales competition, and yet all of a sudden, here we are at the business end of proceedings!

The first semi-final promised a definite step up in standards, and we were very much looking forward to it. Sadly, again, one competing band, Mindriot 15, had to pull out due to a family emergency, so we were left with four really good bands to battle for just two places in the final; Favela, Lullaby For A Unicorn, Bad Earth and Scarfoot.

When we arrived at Mcleans, it was great to see a really good turnout, despite road closures and all sorts of other things happening that weekend. The running order was drawn live, and Favela were picked to go on first.

Favela
After seeing these guys in the heat, we knew what they were all about. They are heavy, 90’s inspired, shouty and tight. They certainly put on a performance here, with front man Tom Harrison covering every inch of available stage space in a performance full of energy and vigour. This might make me unpopular, but I actually think I preferred their performance in their initial heat. I don’t even know why! I think maybe they were almost trying too hard here, and it didn’t feel as real as in the heat. Rick however totally disagrees with me! He thought they were really good. Maybe I was just in a bad mood! Hard day at work and all that!!

01 Favelahttps://www.facebook.com/FavelaUK/

Lullaby For A Unicorn
I don’t need to say much about these guys, apart from it is always a pleasure to be in their company and watch them play, and they were on fire for this performance. Even though it was shorter than their usual craziness, they still managed to make a huge mess! Guitarist Dan Alexander also looked like a man possessed. Usually very reserved whilst playing, he was jumping round like a complete nutter and really going for it with his presence and witty banter, which was great to see. They were super good, as always, and super tight. I have a real soft spot for these guys. Luckily, I’m not a judge, so it doesn’t matter if I am biased!

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

Bad Earth
Here is a band who have been through the mill a bit recently, but they have had good news, just this week, with the appointment of new bass player, Tim Nicholls. Having not heard him play before and knowing that he had had just 5 days to learn the set, we were nervous for them, but we needn’t have been. Oh my word, what a show! Big, big kudos to Tim, who did an outstanding job, and seems to have just slotted right in to the band perfectly. Drummer Ren Stefan and Guitarist/Vocalist Stephen Coxon looked so much more relaxed on stage, and their performance was spot on. I spoke to Stephen afterwards and he said that was the best he has felt on stage for a while – that it felt comfortable. We could really tell from out front! A great performance. And, just for Stephen’s benefit, I would like to point out that the lighting was perfect, and they all had the correct number of clothes on 😉.

03 Bad Earthhttps://www.facebook.com/BADEARTH/

Scarfoot
They were definitely up for this performance and put on a pretty good show on the whole. They are very passionate and are great lads, but for me they were lacking in something here, and I can never quite put my finger on what it is. Don’t get me wrong, they have come on a long way from when we first saw them, but I think that they still have more locked up potential that they need to find the key for. Their songs are creative, quite proggy in places, and they perform them well, but it just doesn’t gel quite right sometimes. That being said, they did work their socks off and the crowd were appreciative. They are really lovely guys too.

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

That was the final competing band, and after a swift round of voting, and a trip to the bar, and while the judges went off to deliberate on their choice, we had the pleasure of discovering an interesting bunch from South Wales!

Apathy Avenue
On their Facebook page, these guys say they are Alternative/Hard Rock. The lead singer certainly had a hefty does of alternative flare, a bit like if Dr Who went to Glastonbury stoned out of his tree! They were very tight and well-rehearsed, and had a quirky style. Sections of rap peppered their songs, along with clean vocals and some nice guitar work. Whilst they were not what I was expecting, they were good, and I quite liked them. They weren’t particularly heavy, and I think some of the crowd were in need of something a bit more growly, but the ones that did stay to watch them seemed to enjoy it too.

05 Guest Headliner Apathy Avenuehttps://www.facebook.com/Apathyavenue/

And so, the results were in. It was going to be a really hard one to call, as every band had upped their game. I knew who I thought it should be, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Progressing to the final were (drum roll please)…………. Bad Earth and Lullaby For A Unicorn! I was very happy with this. It was, in my humble opinion, the right choice. Favela missed out by the narrowest of margins, but it is all about what happens on the night, and Lullaby and Bad Earth just had that edge. Well done to all the competing bands for getting this far, and we shall look forward to seeing all of you, in some capacity, very soon.

Thanks again to all the bands for a great night, and of course to Ian ‘Fozzy’ Paul Forrester and Ian ‘Beany’ North for their constant hard work and dedication to the scene here in North Wales. See you at Semi Final 2, which is going to be even tougher than this one!

LINKS:
Semi-Final 2 Event Page
https://www.facebook.com/events/2350996518296726/
Grand Final Event Page
https://www.facebook.com/events/172760083629491/
https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/m2tmofficial/
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 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.

Witch Tripper, Lullaby For A Unicorn and Bad Earth – Live At G21, The Saddle Bar, Chester – 13/04/2019

00 Poster

Witch Tripper, Lullaby For A Unicorn and Bad Earth
Live At G21
The Saddle Bar, Chester
13/04/2019
Review by Beth Jones

After an interesting heat of M2TM 24 hours previous, we were in the mood for a good dose of proper metal to knock away the lingering winter chill that was in the air and reset our minds! We headed over the border to Chester, and The Saddle Bar, for NEW Metal Productions latest gathering of banging bands. I remember this bar from many years ago, when it used to be one of my haunts in my mis-spent youth, but back then it was called the Chester Bells, and was a bit spit and sawdust, so it was interesting to see what the new owners had done with it. All the reports we had heard had been positive. Tonight, the Saddle was hosting two gigs, a UFO tribute act in the main bar, and our destination, Bad Earth, Lullaby For A Unicorn and Witch Tripper in the old stables out the back, which is now lovingly called the G21 bar!

It was an interesting little space! It looked a bit like the dungeon of Madame Elektra, with red walls, black ceilings and drapes, and elaborate chandeliers! It just needed some whips and a gimp mask for the full effect! The floor was a little uneven, which made it a bit tricky for Rick, but it was still a nice sized space, and full of friendly faces. We have seen all three of these bands on many occasions now, and have got to know them all, and love them all, so we knew it was going to be a good night.

Bad Earth
First on the bill was Bad Earth, now thankfully back to a full quota of members, which was really great to see – they work so well together as a three piece and we are so happy that bassist Rob has managed to come back to the fold. As predicted, they smashed it. The sound was brilliant, and their performance was tight. My only woe was the lighting, in so much as there pretty much wasn’t any! Red walls and no lighting do not make a happy photographer! Considering how red everything was, the air around me was very, very blue I can tell you!!!!

IMPORTANT EDIT – For one reason and another this review is slightly late in being posted to our website and yesterday, 6th May, there was an announcement on the Bad Earth Facebook page that bassist Rob has again parted ways with the rest of the band. We wish them all the best in finding a replacement soon! – Rick

01 Bad Earthhttps://www.facebook.com/BADEARTH/

Lullaby For A Unicorn
Ah, my boys, my boys. What can I say? Yet again a splendid performance, full of chunky riffs, crazy vocals, and mess! Silly string, party poppers and party cannons aplenty were released over the crowd and it really kick started the party atmosphere, as there were at least four notable people in the room celebrating their birthdays that night. These guys are so much fun, and I love them, both as a band, and now as new found friends. They really are my kind of people!

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

Witch Tripper
The North’s hardest working band of the moment gave us another energy packed, full on groove fest! It was by this point incredibly warm in the room and Rick and I had to decamp half way through as he was hurting, and I was getting a touch wobbly, but luckily, we could still hear them from out in the beer garden! They are so good, so groovy, so tight, and their new drummer is amazing, and has brought a new dimension to them as a group. He also has lovely hair!

03 Witch Tripperhttps://www.facebook.com/witchtripperuk/

We decided not so stay for the UFO tribute act, as the main bar was so packed, which was great to see in the sense of people coming out to see live music, but not so great in the sense of being a small person and trying not to get squished to death! Also, there is an old law in Chester that has never (if tales are to be believed) been revoked – if a Welshman is found within the city walls after midnight, they can be shot through the head with a crossbow! I wasn’t up for taking any chances, and having an arrow through my brain would be somewhat of an inconvenient hinderance to my writing and photography! We had had a really fun night and were glad that we had experienced this new venue.

Plusses for me were the fact that the G21 is separate from the main pub, as we didn’t have to do too much fighting through crowds, and also the sound yet again was superb – thanks to Fozzy for this. Minuses with the venue are the flooring, and lack of lighting, but these are both easily rectifiable. A great night was had by all!

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

 

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/

EMQ’s with LULLABY FOR A UNICORN

Lullaby Logo

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

 

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