Pentre Fest 2020 – Day 2 22/02/20 – Severenth

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 2 – 22/02/20

Pentre Fest 2020 Day Two
Mcleans, Pentre, North Wales
22/02/2020
Review by Rick Tilley, Alun Jones and Beth Jones
Pictures by Beth Jones

Rick Here.

Saturday’s Pentre Fest, Day Two review is a collaborative affair between myself, Alun and Beth. I’ve made it clear who wrote what and I would like to thank them for their help, as well as looking after a broken 52 year old (me!) who cannot get around as quickly as he used to!

On the Saturday morning, pleasantly surprised that we weren’t hurting as much as we thought we might, we set off back to Mcleans, pausing only to pick up Powerzone’s Dani Maguire on the way, ready for a full day of Metal and Acoustic performances. It was noticeably quieter upon arriving, but a fair amount of alcohol had been consumed on the Friday, so I imagine there were a few sore heads! However, the always faithful had dragged themselves out of bed to watch the opening band of the day on the main stage…

Cheerfully Undiagnosed

Pop/Punker Cheerfully Undiagnosed (aka Adam Robinson) had also performed early on the Saturday at Pentre Fest the previous year, waking everyone up and putting a smile on our collective faces. Now expanded to a two piece, (with the addition of a drummer) they did the same this year. Vocalist/Guitarist Adam will probably be the first to admit that the material is simple, but he performs it with a huge glint of fun in his eyes and is very comical to boot. Getting a selection of hungover and tired metallers to sing along to tracks such as ‘I’ve Just Been Sick’ and ‘Unsolicited Dick Pic’ was hilarious to watch and take part in and it’s just the sort of thing you need to kick your day into gear!

https://www.facebook.com/Cheerfully-Undiagnosed-1791893794227072/

Edd Case

One person we certainly hadn’t expected to see was Edd Case. In the week running up to Pentre Fest Edd had been taken ill, spending two days in hospital, so to see him turn up on the Saturday with his guitar, looking like death warmed up was a bit of a shock. After telling him off, he proceeded to blow us all away on the acoustic stage with a short set of songs, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play or sound better. His original songs are beautifully written and any covers he plays are turned completely on their head, always recognisable but played in a way only he can. He was excellent but, like Brian, he was still ‘a very naughty boy’ for turning up!

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100014628035630

Stormrider

Next up on the main stage we were due to get our first proper Metal fix of the day from a band I hadn’t seen live before but was really looking forward to, Manchester based NWOTHM four piece Stormrider and ‘by the power of Greyskull’ did they deliver. If, like me, you love a good dose of Trad Metal, mixed up with some Power and Thrash influences, played as tightly as a gnat’s chuff and delivered with the force of a Challenger Tank then you’ll love Stormrider. Their not long enough set was excellent and looking around at the growing crowd it was clear I wasn’t the only one who thought so. Afterwards I immediately went and bought their EP and hope it isn’t too long before we see them again!

https://www.facebook.com/stormriderofficial/

I nipped outside for a breather and immediately got caught up talking to people. For my sins I missed most of the next artist on the acoustic stage but, luckily, Alun didn’t so here are his thoughts on Rhiannon.

Rhiannon Petrou (Why’d You Wanna Know)

Sadly, Pentre Fest suffered a few casualties this year. One such example was on the acoustic stage, where Rachel Sian Roberts, one half of the newly formed duo, Why’d You Wanna Know, was hospitalised and (obviously) unable to perform. But the show must go on: and Rhiannon performed a short but enjoyable set on the acoustic stage. Admittedly out of her comfort zone, playing guitar as well as singing (having only started to learn guitar a month ago) she soldiered on and won plaudits for her effort. Only a few minor mistakes were noticed – and easily forgiven. Possessing a beautiful singing voice she even managed to add a ghostly, ethereal sheen to a cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ – making it sound good for the first time ever!

https://www.facebook.com/Whyd-You-Wanna-Know-105145631078966/

RipTide

Having seen the end of Rhiannon’s set and thinking what a beautiful voice she had, I headed back to the main stage to get another blast of METAL, this time from Huddersfield Thrashers RipTide, another band I hadn’t seen live before. Now Thrash is one of my favourite genres. I’m old enough to have been around when it all began and saw bands such as Exciter, Exodus, Testament and Destruction etc play when they were starting out. I was also lucky enough to see Sy Keeler’s first gig singing with Onslaught, which still stands as one of the best live performances I’ve ever witnessed. Why am I on a trip down memory lane you may ask? Well, RipTide filled me with that same sense of open-mouthed awe I got as a teenager witnessing my idols for the first time. They possess everything a Thrash band needs and they do it with style. There’s definitely an old-school ‘Bay Area’ element to their sound, but it’s mixed with a modern-day twist and slightly harsher vocals, which brings everything into the 21st Century. They were incredibly tight, playing at break neck speed when they needed to, but slowing down and leaving space for the groove as well. A highlight of the weekend, you must not miss them if they gig near you!

https://www.facebook.com/RipTideThrash/

Mine and Beth’s recent return to Ever Metal, for some reason, seemed to be going down well for many people attending and I got chatting again outside after Riptide. This meant I missed the beginning of Mike West’s set on the acoustic stage. Having seen him before I knew he was good, but Alun hadn’t, so here’s what he thought!

Mike West

If the connection between metal and outlaw country isn’t obvious to any readers, I can only pity you. I’ve never witnessed Mike West before, but his amalgamation of southern rock, dusty country and swampy blues was a delight to my old whiskey-soaked soul. Mike delivers his songs with a hard rockin’ swagger, as if he’s just busted out of Tombstone jail and is riding across the plains, lamenting women and fortunes lost. A great voice and an outstanding presence, Mike is one to catch when you can. Has anyone done a “Wild West” gag yet? If not, there’s a headline for us there!

https://www.facebook.com/mikewest333/

Folorn Hope

After Mike’s great set, it wasn’t long before our Master of Ceremonies ‘Beany’ was rounding everyone up to head back to the main stage. He didn’t have to coerce me because I had been looking forward to seeing Forlorn Hope for about a year. Historical Heavy Metal may sound odd to some (although, it’s never done Sabaton any harm) but Forlorn Hope manage it with aplomb. They have been described as “a musical version of Bernard Cornwall’s ‘Sharpe’ novels” and I couldn’t put it any better myself. They haven’t been together that long, but arrived on stage like a much more seasoned outfit. Their Classic Heavy Metal sound mixed with Military History of the Peninsular War of 1807-1814 lyrics and a little in-between song humour from vocalist/rhythm guitarist Chris Simpson works perfectly and you should really seek them out. If there is one negative it is that keyboard player Jade McKenna doesn’t get more involved or smile. Her playing is more than acceptable, and the keyboards definitely add something to the music, but she looks very ‘stiff’ on stage compared to the rest of the band!

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialForlornHope/

By this point my spine was starting to groan and I needed a break, so I’ll leave you in the more than capable hands of Beth who went to check out Ben MIlford on the Acoustic Stage.

Ben Milford

Normally we’re used to seeing Ben shredding in the shadows, as he’s the super skilled, but incredibly humble, guitarist in OMV. His acoustic performance wasn’t just a new experience for us – it was also the first time he’d done an acoustic set on his own. Talking to him beforehand, we discovered that he was pretty nervous about it, because it meant stepping out of his comfort zone by singing as well as playing. He needn’t have been nervous though, because his performance was brilliant, and he has a lovely voice. On a couple of songs, he had extra vocal support from his band mate Richie, front man of OMV, and the unstoppable Edd Case! To be honest though, he didn’t need it. He did a fabulous job on his own, and we got to see another side of him, which we really liked.

Scars Of Remembrance

Sore back or not, I wasn’t going to miss our friends in Scars Of Remembrance, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made for a long time, so I hope you don’t mind me waxing lyrical! Since vocalist Mike Edwards’ departure from the band late last year, SOR have been without a steady frontman. They’d decided that, for this gig, guitarist Mark Harris was going to sing (he already does backing vocals and has a good voice), but it was clear beforehand that he was in pain. It turns out he had cracked two ribs in a fall and wasn’t able to play guitar, and I think there were nerves within the band as to how this was going to go down.

They needn’t have worried, because within half a song, the now much more healthy crowd was looking at the stage and at each other in astonishment. Regardless of the pain he was in, which must have been very uncomfortable and deserves a medal on its own, no-one could quite believe the voice (both clean and screamed) that was coming from Mark’s lungs. He is a very quiet individual off stage, but this was an absolutely mesmerising performance, and easily the best I had ever seen Scars Of Remembrance play. Having just four of them on stage gives them more space. Bassist Karl Ditcher certainly came out of his shell (he also joined in on backing vocals presenting an excellent bear-like roar), guitarist Daniel Dawson admirably covered the missing guitar with his riffing, and drummer Ben Burke played like a man possessed, thumping the living daylights out of the kit. However, Mark was the star of the show and it’s quite obvious that they don’t need to find a new singer!

Afterwards, many people spent an awful lot of time telling them this, and I really hope they listen. I already thought they were a great band, but this performance elevated them to the next level! My band of the weekend bar none!

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

Back at the acoustic stage it was time for Adam Robinson to play a set and I shall leave Beth to tell you about that.

Adam Robinson (Cheerfully Undiagnosed)

Still stoked from what I’d just seen on the main stage, I headed back to the acoustic room to watch Adam Robinson deliver his second set of the day, this time acoustically and on his own. It was no less cheerful than his earlier offering, and his witty banter and repartee kept the crowd enthralled. Again, his chosen songs weren’t overly fussy or complex, just good fun. He is a great act if the audience need a bit of a giggle and a livener, and his endearing stage persona could warm the hearts of even the coldest of souls!

At this point, along with Dani from Powerzone, we had arranged to interview the bonafide superstar, and absolute gentleman, that is Luke Appleton (Iced Earth & Absolva), alongside Rishi Mehta (Babylon Fire) who would be performing an acoustic set together later that day. While we did that Alun was watching OMV and here are his thoughts!

OMV

On the main stage, OMV entered dressed like a bunch of West Coast gangsters in masks and bandanas. Introduced as “hardcore street metal”, these guys definitely showed some great musical skills and energy. Somewhere between Bodycount, Suicidal Tendencies and Biohazard is where I’d stack them. Either way, OMV delivered some brutal songs and bounced around with massive crossover riffs. They were very entertaining, although hugely confrontational onstage – I wasn’t sure if they were actually going to pistol whip the audience into submission. The music has enough intensity and power to speak for itself.

https://www.facebook.com/omvmetalband/

While I took a plethora of pain killers, washed down with a pint (don’t have a go at me) Beth headed to the acoustic stage to watch the second performance of the weekend from the excellent Cry For Mercy.

Cry For Mercy Acoustic

We’re quickly running out of adjectives to describe these guys, but I’ll have a bash at a few more here, to describe their set on the acoustic stage! We’re big fans of these guys at Ever Metal, and have seen them many times now, but not stripped back like this. As usual though, their performance was a masterclass in how to deliver a great acoustic rock and blues set. Drummer Steven Taylor kept the rhythms going on Cajon, which gave the set that extra acoustic feel, and the grooves were upheld by guitarist Andy Cutty and bassist/vocalist Kev Plant. This set upheld their super-tight musicianship, with all of them on point all of the time. One of the things I like most about them is how comfortable they look when they play. The feel they give to the music is both smooth and charismatic, and you can’t help being drawn into it, making toe-tapping and head nodding obligatory! This set was so chilled that it would not have been out of place on a ‘hideout’ stage at a midsummer festival somewhere in the Texas Deep South. It oozed groove and proved just how versatile these guys are.

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

By now I was going numb so I knew I could manage some more music and I went back to the main stage to watch Son Of Boar, however Alun rather enjoyed their set (I did too), so he’s written this short, but very complimentary review.

Son Of Boar

They have a cool name, and they looked pretty cool on stage in matching denim battle-vests. From the very first notes of the bass rumbling on the very first song, I had a feeling that Son of Boar would be something special. I wasn’t wrong. These Bradford bruisers have everything in spades: they’re unfeasibly heavy; they have slow, doomy riffs with a Sabbath-like infectiousness and they have a sludgy, swampy groove that can pack an aggressive punk punch. The best band of Pentre Fest 2020 as far as I was concerned, Son of Boar were superb. I even bought a t-shirt!

https://www.facebook.com/SonOBoar/

At this point Edd Case played a second set on the acoustic stage and it was the one time, all weekend, we missed a performance. However, as we’d seen him earlier in the day and he was still a very naughty boy for even turning up, he’s going to forgive us…aren’t you Edd?

Severenth

Back at the main stage it was time for the awesome Severenth to play and, once again, they showed why it is so good to have them back on the scene. When these guys were around the first time they toured the US and played the hallowed Wacken Open Air, among others and their pedigree shone through from start to finish. Vocalist Peet Bailey is a wonderful frontman, possessing a huge voice and bags of energy, Ben Jones thunders on the bass, guitarists Jack Somers and Adam Sidor are the perfect foils for each other, and drummer Dave Roberts is a mass of arms and rhythm. Together they a make a brutal, but very catchy team, and the sooner they release a new album the better!

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialSeverenth/

We were now heading towards the climax of the Festival, but there were still two performances to go. First up were the headliners on the acoustic stage, namely Luke Appleton (Iced Earth, Absolva) and Rishi Mehta (Babylon Fire) who put on a wonderful performance. As Alun hadn’t seen Luke acoustically before he kindly supplied the write-up of the set!

Luke Appleton and Rishi Mehta

A really fantastic set was delivered by Mr Luke Appleton on the acoustic stage. In truth, this was a duo performance with Rishi Mehta (of Babylon Fire) playing too, and it was a genuine highlight of Pentre Fest 2020. Dubbed “acoustic metal”, the songs were both suitably laidback, yet delivered with a metal edge. Expertly performed, we had tunes from Luke’s solo “Snake Eyes” project, plus of course some Iced Earth and Absolva numbers. Not to mention a bit of Dio and Tenacious D for good measure! A real class act in every sense of the word, and both very talented and down-to-earth gentlemen.

https://www.facebook.com/lukeappletonofficial/

WomenOwar

After a short break, where some of us braved the horrendous wind that was pummelling Mcleans outside (actually, now I think about it, bearing in mind who was due to appear onstage, it could well have been the ‘True Metal wind of Joey DeMaio’s 24 string bass guitar), we headed back to the main stage to witness the climax of Pentre Fest 2020 – WomenOwar!! Now, there had been rumblings (no, not from my stomach) that WomenOwar were threatening to pull out of their performance as there’d been a massive argument between Floss The Boss and Davina Shenkles over who was going to wear the deep blue eyeliner and baby oil, but luckily tragedy was averted! Of course, had this been the real Manowar we would all have been sat twiddling our thumbs calling Joey a complete and utter wan…!

Yes I’m joking, sort of! WomenOwar are an ‘all women, not all women’ Manowar Tribute band and they were absolutely brilliant! Formed for a one-off performance in 2018 they now find themselves in demand, possibly because Manowar really do argue over who is going to wield the He-Man sword and get the best painted on six-pack, but more likely because they are very funny and play the songs superbly!

Made up from members of the awesome Dakesis, Fury and Christgrinder you just knew the musical prowess was going to be top notch, and so it proved to be. Armed with a wig and mascara collection that Steel Panther would be proud of (in fact Manowar would be proud of it as well), they proceeded to blow us all away with a majestic set of Manowar classics that the crowd lapped up! It was the perfect climax to a wonderful weekend. As it says on their website “the band have weathered even the most unconquerable challenges to consistently bring you 100% of the Manowar for 1% of the price of actual Manowar”, and that says everything really. Go see them! You won’t be disappointed, because WomenOwar will actually turn up and play!!

https://www.facebook.com/womenowarband/

So, that’s Pentre Fest wrapped up for another year. In all seriousness, it was incredible and everyone I spoke to enjoyed themselves immensely. Sound was perfect all weekend on both stages and the only thing that let us down was the weather but having the sometimes ‘not acoustic’ stage inside really worked well!

Massive thanks must go to the team at North East Wales Metal Productions for assembling another cracking line-up of bands and acoustic artists, and especially to Fozzy for getting through what must have been an awful weekend for him.

We were all well looked after by Pat and the staff at Mcleans, they do a sterling job, the bands were friendly and approachable all weekend and, of course, it wouldn’t be the same without all of you who turned up to watch.

Pentre Fest is a wonderful grass roots event and it should be thoroughly applauded. I’m already primed for 2021!

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 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.

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.

The Alma Inn July Showcase 2019 – The Alma Inn, Bolton – 20/07/2019

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The Alma Inn July Showcase 2019
The Alma Inn, Bolton
20/07/2019
Review by Beth Jones

What is the best way to drown your sorrows about not being sat in a field listening to great bands with the best people? That’s easy – go and sit in a pub and listen to great bands with the best people instead! And that is exactly what we did on Saturday 20th July, by making a trek up to Bolton, to the Alma Inn for the Badgerfest Promotions / Alma Inn Presents July Showcase. It promised a cracking day of music, with some familiar names, and some that were new to us, and it didn’t disappoint!

We had never been to the much talked about Alma Inn before, so weren’t entirely sure what to expect. What we found was this: It is a cosy little venue, and really has the feel of a classic metal pub from the 80’s / 90’s, with some spectacular graffiti art in the beer garden, and interesting toilets! But the atmosphere was instantly warm, and the girl behind the bar, whose name I didn’t catch, was great!

Ninety Nine Mercies
First on the bill, and a new name to us, Ninety Nine Mercies kicked off the proceedings. Being the first band up is always a tough job, and their set was delayed by, and then hampered by a range of technical difficulties and sound issues that were beyond their control, so it was difficult really to get a good judgement of them. They were pretty solid, but had a few timing issues in places, but again this may be because they couldn’t really hear properly what each member was doing. I think I need to see them again to make a better judgement of them. They certainly gave it their all, which is always good to see at that time on a Saturday!

01 Ninety Nine Mercieshttps://www.facebook.com/NinetyNineMercies/

Severenth
Fresh from their comeback show after a 6 year hiatus, the Severenth guys put on yet another stonking show here, and gained a whole pub full of new fans in the process! They are exciting to watch and musically they are spot on. Peet Bailey, as a front man, is brilliant. He can scream and do clean vocals with ease, and has a very expressive face, which makes the performance hypnotising to watch. The rest of the band are also not afraid of showing their spirit, and don’t hide in the background. Bass player, Ben Jones, provides some mighty powerful backing vocals, and this, combined with the heavy rhythms of Dave Roberts on drums, and some really technical guitar work from Adam Sidor and Jack Somers make for an all-round package that would not look out of place much higher up on a bill. I cannot wait to see these guys again very soon and would love to see them back on the festival circuit next year.

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

Black Sheets Of Rain
This band had actually recently done an EMQ’s for us, so it was nice to put faces to names and see what they were about. They were very different from what we had seen already today, in so much as they were more a classic hard rock band, so a lot lighter in style. They were very tight, and very good, but my one ask would be that they didn’t look quite so nervous on stage. They all looked slightly terrified, possibly because they were having to follow the Severenth performance we had just seen, but they had no reason to be, as they were very good, and we certainly enjoyed their set!

03 Black Sheets Of Rainhttps://www.facebook.com/blacksheetsofrain/

Lost In Lavender Town
In a showcase, you always like to see a bit of variety, and what better way to do that could there be than to chuck in an instrumental prog band, with three guitarists?! These guys were a bunch of insanely talented musicians who clearly live for noodling! They were like Pink Floyd after a marijuana binge, and it was incredibly relaxing! It was certainly music to chill out too!! I was however disappointed, as they had a brilliant ambient keyboard sound running through each track, but sadly no real life keyboard player, instead opting to use a backing track. Call me an old fuddy duddy if you like, but I do like live music to be 100% live, and if you are going to have keys as an integral part of your music, please use a real keyboard player!

04 Lost In Lavender Townhttps://www.facebook.com/lostinlavendertown/

Portrayal Of Ruinn
So, now we were all nicely mellow, it was time to get the shit beaten out of us, in a metal sense, by the insanely heavy Portrayal Of Ruinn. There are times when being a gig photographer can make you realise why the sofa and a nice cup of tea are so comforting – this was one of those times! Trying to take pictures when lots of big gents are erupting into pits in a space not much bigger than my living room is, err, interesting shall we say!! That aside, Portrayal Of Ruinn really know how to put on a great show, and delivered a punchy brand of melodic deathcore to the delighted crowd. Frontman Calvin Fayle has a terrifically manic look in his eyes when performing, and this captured the audience. Whilst vocally they are a little heavy for me, I really enjoyed their performance, and I didn’t die, so that’s a win in my book!

05 Portrayal Of Ruinnhttps://www.facebook.com/portrayalofruinn/

Daybreaker
I saw Daybreaker opening last year’s Badgerfest, and was impressed, so I was looking forward to seeing them again today and was glad that Rick also got a chance to see them. Again, they put in a great performance, which produced another lively reaction from the crowd. Bass player Lynden Garrad has a hugely expressive face and looked like he was having a ball on stage, whilst front man Sam Higgins paced the performance area like a man possessed, delivering some hellish hardcore vocals that bang you right in the gut. They are fun to watch. I like them.

06 Daybreakerhttps://www.facebook.com/daybreakerUK/

Kringer And The Battle Katz
Well! This performance was an experience. I want you to imagine The Sex Pistols, but with more musical skill, and heavier, having a crazed party following a month-long binge of mayhem and debauchery, and that kind of explains this performance! They describe themselves as Idiotcore, and are a mixture of punk, groove and deathcore, which bizarrely works pretty well! Even if you didn’t really like the music, it is impossible not to smile and get drawn in by their madcap insanity. They were perfect for this point in the day when us oldies are starting to flag a little – it peps you up and gives you a second wind! Bonkers. That is all!

07 Kringer And The Battle Katzhttps://www.facebook.com/Kringerandthebattlekatz/

Witch Tripper
We have seen these guys almost as many times as we have seen Lullaby For A Unicorn (and that is quite a few!!), but we never get tired of them. They are pure funky groove metal, and playing music is their life – this comes across in every show, and this one was no exception. It was hot, it was sweaty, but it was so much fun. Their all-round performance is always exceptionally tight, and the now packed out venue lapped it up. Their new drummer, Gary-Eric Evans, has really added a further depth to their music, that has enhanced an already superb product, which is brilliant. Add to this the fact that they are all truly lovely chaps, and it is easy to see how they have endeared themselves to so many audiences around the country and further afield.

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

Vice
Finishing off a great day of metal were Vice, a gang of three young and aspirational local lads, who you can’t help but love. Again, we have seen them a few times now, and absolutely loved their first album, “The First Chapter”, and are eagerly awaiting their second. They are superbly polished, and each show is measured and well thought out. They delivered a sterling performance again here, and it was great to see them getting such a warm reception from the crowd. We had to duck out a little before the end again, because we have no staying power! But we left a venue full of very happy people behind us, with big smiles on our faces.

09 Vicehttps://www.facebook.com/Vicemetaluk/

Again, this was another brilliant day created by the seemingly unstoppable John Badger! There had been a few technical and sound issues towards the beginning of the day, which delayed things a little, but the people didn’t care, and it didn’t take away from the day at all in the end. It was great to see so many familiar and friendly faces, and to make some new acquaintances along the way. The metal scene in Manchester is alive and well and totally thriving, thanks to a host of brilliant underground bands, and the tireless work of people like John Badger, and James and Jayne at 0161 Manchester Underground Metal Community, and it really is a joy to be close enough, location wise, to be part of it.

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Badgerfestpromotions/
https://www.facebook.com/alma.inn/
https://www.facebook.com/0161MUMC/

 

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.