Massive Wagons with Those Damn Crows & Mad Haven, The Live Rooms, Wrexham, 17/11/2018

 

 

A full review of the gig can be found here:

https://ever-metal.com/2018/11/28/massive-wagons-with-those-damn-crows-mad-haven-the-live-rooms-wrexham-17-11-2018/

Social Media:

 

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images – https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/
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.

Massive Wagons with Those Damn Crows & Mad Haven, The Live Rooms, Wrexham, 17/11/2018

Massive Wagons Gig Flyer

Massive Wagons + Those Damn Crows & Mad Haven
Full Nelson Tour
The Live Rooms Wrexham
17/11/2018
Review by Beth Jones & Richard Tilley

Following the recent signs of life in what appears to be the resurgence of the Rock and Metal scene in our little town, we were very happy see that one of the dates on the Massive Wagons ‘Full Nelson’ tour was to take place in our newly revamped Live Rooms Venue. It was the ideal opportunity for us to get out of the house and see what the motley crew from Lancaster were all about. We had seen part of their set at Amplified 2017, and at RockWich 2017, so were eager to catch a bit more of them and see what all the fuss was about.

When we arrived, the doors hadn’t quite opened, but there was a small queue forming, which is pretty unheard of now in Wrexham! This boded well for the audience numbers, and indeed, once the doors were open, people kept on coming.

The first band were a relatively local band, Mad Haven. They were very young and vibrant, with a good Blues /Hard Rock sound. Their songs were catchy and they were getting the audience warmed up nicely. The overall sound was very good too, and the tin roof on the venue didn’t seem to be interfering too much with the quality. Everything was crisp and clear and the guitar had a lovely tone, especially in the solos. For a young band, they did a brilliant job of opening the show, but my only criticism of them would be that their songs ended weirdly – they just, sort of, stopped! It seemed like they had got really good ideas for the intros and main bodies of their songs, but they couldn’t work out how to finish them. This I am sure will be something they will fine tune as they get more experience behind them, and truly master the craft of song writing.

https://www.facebook.com/madhavenrocks/

Our main support for the night was Bridgend hard rockers, Those Damn Crows. I had heard a lot about these guys and was looking forward to seeing them for the first time. Experience showed instantly here as there was an immediate step up in quality when they started. The growing crowd was loving it too, and were joining in with full voice. They oozed charisma and stage presence, and had a whole host of good catchy songs. Some were very hard rock, some were like a heavy Stereophonics but it worked really well. They were having great fun on the stage, and it was creating a really brilliant atmosphere, which was so pleasing to see. With them being that bit heavier, however, the tin roof immediately played its part and distorted the sound somewhat, which is a shame. NOTE TO THE VENUE – PLEASE DO SOMETHING WITH THAT ROOF!!!! Apart from that little niggle though, this set was absolutely cracking, with just the right amount of everything in, and I was very impressed. I look forward to seeing them again soon. To be honest I was now thinking that they would be a pretty hard act to follow, they played as if it was a headline slot.

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

And so, it was time for Massive Waggons. I (stupidly) hadn’t got a photo pass for the night, as I didn’t expect the sort of audience that was, even now, still turning up. I tried to position myself at a reasonable vantage point to be able to get some shots, however once the band came on, it quickly became apparent that my miniature stature was to be my nemesis once more! I spent the next 30 minutes or so cursing and huffing until I finally had a big old artist hissy fit and angrily put my camera away! I don’t lose my shit often, but tonight was one of those rare occasions, so at this point in the review, I will hand you over to the thoughts of Richard Tilley!

Rick’s thoughts:
Respect to Massive Wagons for pulling a huge crowd into The Live Rooms Wrexham, and for coming to our town on their Full Nelson tour. Beth commented it was comparable to when she saw Skindred at the venue in 2013. However, considering how ‘in’ and popular the Wagons are at present, I may not make myself popular with this review.

They are great musicians, there is no doubt, and they whipped said crowd into an apoplectic frenzy, BUT, this is the third time I’ve seen them live now and I cannot, as yet, understand why they are becoming so popular. Perhaps I’m missing something, or perhaps the luck you always need has played its part, or perhaps they know the right people, but I’m simply unmoved when I watch them. They do all the right things with their instruments and make all the right moves on stage, but I found myself thinking of all the bands I have seen who should be at this level but never got the breaks, and that’s not what should be happening when I’m watching a band live.

I know I’m in the minority and I really don’t mean to sound this negative but I have to say it as I see it; they just don’t give me that exciting, hair standing on end, pit of stomach feeling that many other bands do. In fact, their 2017 Amplified and RockWich sets were better than this showing and, on the night, Those Damn Crows were, for me, the better band. I wish Massive Wagons all the success in the world, they are nice guys, have worked very hard and I will still follow their progress and listen to new material to see if I eventually ‘get it’, but it’s fair to say that I’ve already spent 5 years trying to do that and it hasn’t happened yet!

https://www.facebook.com/MassiveWagons/

My qualms aside plus the fact that the tin roof, very definitely, hampers the sound quality of the bands the heavier the music gets and Beth’s annoyance at not being able to get any good photos of Massive Wagons we both had a fabulous evening. It really is great to see Rock and Metal coming back to Wrexham, it is the biggest town in North Wales, and based on the huge crowd that turned up at the venue I’m very much hoping that many more bands will begin to see that Wales isn’t just Cardiff and Swansea!

Social Media:

 

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/

N.E.W Metal Productions All Dayer – 20/10/2018

N.E.W. Metal Productions All-Dayer
The Live Rooms, Wrexham
20/10/2018
Review by Beth Jones

If there is one thing that I will say about Wrexham, it is that it has always had a good live music scene, however, in recent years that has been heavily dominated by the Indie scene, and whilst there is nothing wrong with that, it just isn’t quite metal enough for me! In recent months however, Ian ‘Beany’ North and Ian ‘Fozzy’ Forrester have been trying to change that, by putting on as many gigs as possible in genre, via their promotion company, N.E.W. Metal Productions, the ‘N.E.W.’ being North East Wales. We were super pleased when they told us that they were taking it one step further and proposing to put on a metal all dayer, not only because this is what has been missing round here, but also because it meant we got to check out the newly refurbished Central Station, which is now called The Live Rooms Wrexham. To add to our excitement, we also had a visitor with us – none other than Rick’s partner in crime on the website, Dawn, who had managed to navigate the rail network from London to get up and see us!

We arrived at the venue a little before kick-off, so that we could check out the adjustments. First impressions were good. The rooms which before had been open plan, were now split, and a small ‘green room’ had been added – and it was quite literally green, complete with astro turf flooring and a woodland scene on the wall! The main stage area was essentially the same and the roof still, in my opinion, requires lagging to get the most out of the acoustics, but it certainly had a more thought out feel about it. In the second area, there was a huge, table shaped, elephant in the room. Now, a table is always a good idea in a venue where it is pretty much all standing, as you need somewhere to put your drinks, but when said table takes up almost a third of the available space, and is pretty much un-movable, it becomes less of a useful thing and more of a thing of mind-blowing annoyance! However, a team of 15 strong gents managed to push it 3 feet to the side, so at least there was a little more room for watching the bands!

So, without further ado, to the bands! Opening the day for us were a new to the scene local band, Scarfoot. They were a good way to start the day, and it was a refreshing change to see a drummer taking on lead vocals too. They are a little bit proggy and a little bit whacky, and a small crowd had already gathered to watch them, which is never a given for all day gigs at the moment! They certainly had a good sound, but for me the songs sounded a little samey. I wanted them to take it a little further and explore a bit more. This will come though I am sure, as they get more experience under their belt. On occasion some of the harmonies were not quite there, and the rhythms were a little shaky, but with more practice and live experiences like this, they will develop that sixth sense that you get from spending a lot of time with the same people!

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

Next, over on the second stage, Bad Earth were ready to do their thing. Last time we saw them was at the Pentrefest Summer Sessions. Thankfully this time, they had a lot more clothes on than they did that day!! They are damn good! They are three guys who really know how to make a song groove. The power of Stephen Coxon’s vocals is excellent, and the sound on the day made them crystal clear. They always put on a brilliant show too, with the whole band being totally in to it. They are just great, solid, ‘meat and two veg’ hard rock, and had the whole room grooving with them. Enough said.

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

We went back to the main stage next, to be in the presence of the aptly named Mad Spanner. In a total contrast to Bad Earth, these guys serve up a huge does of crazy! Their fast paced, heavy as hell, schizophrenic songs are all full of humour and observations on life which completely endeared them to the gathered crowd. They really do look like they have been plugged into the mains, especially front man Michael Randall, who has more energy than all the Duracell bunnies! Ok, they might not be the most technically rehearsed musicians you will ever see, but they are fun, they are mad, and they are a great bunch of guys, who make you feel happy, and I love this.

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

Scars Of Remembrance where our fourth act up. We saw these guys the first time at Wrexfest in July. We thought they were ok then, they all looked a bit nervous, especially their new front man Mike Edwards, as that was his first gig. Well, what a difference a few months makes! They were tight and all looked a lot more relaxed and gig ready, and Mike was on fire!!! He was up on the big table; he was bouncing about in front of the monitors, and on the stage itself, and looked like a man on a mission! It was definitely mission accomplished by the end of their set. It is so great to see a Wrexham based Metal / Metalcore band and I can’t wait to see them grow and progress further. Nice work lads!

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

Carrying on with the heavy theme over on the main stage were Abominate. They really do hit you in the face with heavy. Lead singer, Dave Ballantyne, looked like he was baying for blood! They didn’t seem quite ‘on point’ on the night, although talking to Dave afterwards, I think a heavy few days may have contributed to this. That said, they were still really good and they do what they do really solidly. Their drummer also pulls some quality drum faces!!

05 Abominatehttps://www.facebook.com/AbominateMetal/

Next up were a band that we hadn’t seen before, Ragnarok. They are a good, old fashioned, dirty hard rock band and they are now definitely on our ‘must see again’ list. Their set was laden with powerful riffs and good solid numbers that everyone was moving too. Guitarist Matthew Foulkes did it all with a very cheeky glint in his eye, and they all have an obvious passion for music. If you like bands such as Witch Tripper or The Senton Bombs, you would love these guys. They left us with a political number which was pretty raw and hard hitting given the current climate, and I was very impressed by them, both in their live performance and their song writing skills.

06 Ragnarokhttps://www.facebook.com/ragnarokUK/

The day so far had been superb, and we were now heading into the final three bands, with main stage support, All Consumed, up next and ready to take the heavy up another notch! Blooming heck they are heavy! They are a mix of death and thrash, but with the odd hint of prog – a random combination – a bit like a cheese and jam sandwich! But they are so tight and so well – rehearsed that everything slots together brilliantly. Their drummer, Dave Kenyon, is also insanely good, pulling off some amazingly fast and powerful beats. They had a good group of crazy moshers going hell for leather down the front too! They were perfect main support material.

07 All Consumedhttps://www.facebook.com/AllConsumed/

The second stage headliners were M2TM North Wales winners, Gothic Folk ‘n’ Rollers, and all – round top people, Cadence Noir. What can we say about these guys that hasn’t already be said! They had a bit of a shaky start, when the electrics blew and they lost all power for a few minutes. But this only made for a brief pause, and didn’t knock them off their stride one little bit. They are totally different and that is why I love them so much. They have a bag of folk elements in there, with Emma Bennett’s violin, but they are still heavy, groovy and super lively, making for a proper party atmosphere. This was sustained throughout their whole set. The atmosphere was absolutely on fire by the time they got to their last song, where they stepped it up one final gear to give us an amazing cover of Iron Maiden’s ‘Fear Of The Dark’! WOW! Superb! A couple of clowns in the crowd got a little over excited during this and became a little vigorous for mine, and a fair few others’ liking. There’s always one isn’t there! Hey ho, that aside, what a set this was. It just reaffirmed that they were totally deserving of their M2TM win, and that I, and Rick, will never get bored of watching them perform!

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

And so, the end was nigh, and we had reached the final mosh pit! Our headliners for what had been an awesome day were seasoned pros, Hecate Enthroned. I was excited to see these guys for two reasons. Firstly, who can say no to a bit of banshee like screaming backed up by some awesome blackened death metal riffs; and secondly because my old college buddy and fellow member of ‘The Phreax Table’ gang, Pete White, plays keys for them! If you like your death on the Cradle Of Filth side of things, these are the band for you. Powerful rhythms and pumping bass below manic and technical guitars, with a symphonic element of strings and ethereal choirs provided by the keys and the immense screams of lead vocalist Joe Stamps. Now in their 25th year, Hecate have built up a worldwide following, and it is easy to see why. They have the knowledge and professionalism that matures with age, like a fine wine, and it was an absolute privilege for me to be able to see them playing a hometown gig. For Rick and Dawn, there were a little too many blast beats, for me it was brilliant! When you can feel the beat in your ribcage, and you think your ears may bleed, you know you are having a good time!

09 Hecate Enthronedhttps://www.facebook.com/HecateEnthroned/

What a day! All the acts were great, and the passion that every one of them played with was tangible. It is, by far, the best day of metal that has happened in Wrexham for a long time, and it is fabulous to see things starting to happen here again on the metal side. This is down, largely, to Ian ‘Fozzy’ Forrester and Ian ‘Beany’ North, who have dedicated their time, experience and their own passion of the music to relaunch the scene. Huge thanks must go to them for doing this, and also for the bands who entertained us superbly. Long may it continue! The metal scene in Wrexham is, once again, open for business!

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

 

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.