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

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 – Krank

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 – 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 – Thrashatouille

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 – Winter Hotel

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.

In Which It Burns w/ Scarfoot and SICK – The Hideout, Wrexham, North Wales 06/03/2020 – In Which It Burns

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.

In Which It Burns w/ Scarfoot and SICK – The Hideout, Wrexham, North Wales 06/03/2020 – Scarfoot

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.

In Which It Burns w/ Scarfoot and SICK – The Hideout, Wrexham, North Wales 06/03/2020 – SICK

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.

In Which It Burns w/ Scarfoot and SICK The Hideout, Wrexham, North Wales 06/03/2020

In Which It Burns
w/ Scarfoot and SICK
The Hideout, Wrexham, North Wales
06/03/2020
Review and Photography by Beth Jones

After a few quiet months on the gig front, we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of a bit of a flurry of local gigs, which is great! Friday 6th March saw us heading into Wrexham, (a brave move some might say) to check out a few bands performing at yet another show put on by our maestros of metal, North East Wales Metal Productions. The venue, previously called Atomic, has now had a name change and somewhat of a rebrand and refurb, especially upstairs, where the gig was taking place. It’s a cosy little space, but now has a small bar, and has had a wall removed to create a little more standing room. It’s not perfect, as because of it’s shape, some parts of the stage can’t be seen properly from the back, but hey ho – it’s a venue, and we have some awesome bands coming there, so who am I to complain!

For this occasion, we were set to be serenaded by, firstly, Liverpool speed rock band Sick, followed by one of our local favourites, Scarfoot, and then South West Wales lads, In Which It Burns.

SICK

These guys haven’t been together very long and play ‘Speed Rock’. This description raised a few eyebrows here at Ever Metal HQ, because it was essentially just Punk. Their relative infancy is telling in their performance. It’s messy. A lot of the songs sound the same, and the drummer, who is also the singer, seems to have a bit of an issue with drumming and singing at the same time. At one point in the set, they announced that they were going to play ‘a slow one’, and the guitars came in at quite a slowed down pace, but then had to speed up to keep up with the drummer, who came in with the same beat that he had done for every song. They were very enthusiastic though, and if you like messy 70’s Punk, then these guys are for you, but personally I think they need to focus on listening to each other more, in order to tighten up their live performance. The bassist stood out for me, as he was a good player and knew how to perform!

https://www.facebook.com/SickBandOfficial/

Scarfoot

We’ve seen these guys so many times in the last couple of years it almost feels like we’re related! To say they’ve progressed recently, after a notable change in line-up, would be understating their improvement. Last time we saw them, there was a new magic that hadn’t been present before.

They’d been on a bit of a shopping trip since we last saw them, adding some lights and a smoke machine to their stage set-up, and we were excited to see what new wizardry they were going to give us. Two words: LEVEL UP!!!!!! Holy hell! It was like seeing a whole new band! It was obvious they’ve really been putting in the practice, and thinking deeper about how they present, as every element of their show is massively improved. Grooves were heavier, riffs and stops where tighter, the energy was on full power, and the addition of the lights and smoke machine really put the pretty smoky blue icing on the rather fine Scarfoot stage show cake! This was by far the best we have ever seen them, and a perfect example of what hard work paying off looks like! If they can do it like that in their upcoming Metal 2 The Masses heat, they will blow the audience’s mind!

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

In Which It Burns

I saw these guys late last year over in Chester at the G21 bar in The Saddle. Rick was laid up that night, so hadn’t been able to come with me, therefore, when this venture to Wrexham was announced, I made certain that we would both get down, because I knew they would be right up Rick’s street!

Hailing from Pembrokeshire, they play a real meld of metal styles in a very tight and exciting way and I absolutely bloody love them! They are all very talented musicians, and down to earth guys to boot, and the little snippets of dark humour that front man Wayne Mayhew injects between songs go down very well. They really deserve to be a much bigger name on the scene than they are.

As predicted, Rick was also suitably impressed with them, and had a long chat with Wayne after their set to tell him that! Seriously, if they are coming to a town near you soon, get out and see them – you will not be disappointed. We are mega happy that they’re coming back up here in a few weeks, playing with Ashen Crown and Incinery at the one and only Mclean’s, Pentre! They also impressed Fozzy and Beany so much that, at the end of their set, Beany announced that they were being adding to the bill for next year’s Pentre Fest, which was met with much cheering!

And, as if that wasn’t enough, I was given an In Which It Burns beany hat, and it is the first hat ever that doesn’t make me look a complete dick!! Happy Beth!!!

https://www.facebook.com/InWhichItBurns/

And with that, we slunk off quietly through the streets of Wrexham which, believe me, are not pretty at that time on a Friday, and headed home to go to bed, because we’re old, and needed our beauty sleep before our next gig adventure, M2TM North Wales – Heat 2, the following day!

LINKS:

https://www.facebook.com/N.E.WMetalProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/GoodforaudioEntertainment/
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.