Rabidfest 2019 – The Wheatsheaf, Oxford – 16/08/2019, Day One

00 Rabidfest logo

Rabidfest 2019
The Wheatsheaf, Oxford
16/08/2019, Day One
Review by Beth Jones & Rick Tilley

After a journey down to Oxford marred with torrential rain, traffic jams, road works, more biblical rain and a fair amount of motorway madness, Rick and I were more than ready for some R & R in the form of epic music. After we had checked into our digs for the weekend, we headed off to The Wheatsheaf on Oxford High Street. Before I start talking about the bands, I want to say a bit about this pub, as it is now my new favourite pub in the world! Down a small alleyway, it crosses the divide between old and modern, and melds them together in perfect quirky harmony. The staff and clientele were friendly, and the beer was good (they really did serve a fabulous pint of Guinness – Rick). It took me back to my youth, and how real pubs used to be, but also made me revel in the wonders of modern technology, when I realised that a Guinness advertising stand on the bar was actually a USB charging hub!! THIS is what every pub should be like, everywhere!

We also finally got to meet Rabidfest and Ever Metal team member Sheri Bicheno who proved to be even more lovely in person than she is on social media. After lots of hugs, selfies and waxing lyrical about the USB charging hub on the bar it was time for some music, so we headed upstairs to see what was on offer!

The Crushing
First up for our delight and pleasure where Oxford based four piece, The Crushing! What a way to start – they were lively and funny and gave a charismatic performance of good, solid and well executed metal. We were really impressed, and they instantly blew away the slightly irritable cloud that the journey had hung over us. Front man Snuffy Walden had such an expressive face that it was difficult to take your eyes off him, and his discourse between the songs was witty and Monty Pythonesque, as was his enthusiastic jogging on the spot whilst playing, that endeared him to the gathered crowd, which was growing by the minute. If the whole festival carried on like this, it was going to be great!

01 The Crushinghttps://www.facebook.com/thecrushingband/

Imminent Annihilation
Next on the bill were Aylesbury’s Imminent Annihilation, bringing to the table a more serious, but equally adept sound, with chunky riffs and rhythms, and powerful vocals! Even though the room wasn’t big (it was long and narrow), there was some serious headbanging going on and the atmosphere was electric! The gruff and raw vocals of Jordan Gray, combined with the power of the music really made your internal organs rattle, which is the sign of a good night in our book!!

02 Imminent Annihilationhttps://www.facebook.com/ImminentAnnihilation/

Fahran
Having seen these guys on a couple of occasions previously, we knew we were in for a good show, and Fahran didn’t disappoint. The energy that every single member of the band always brings to the table is immense, and their style is a unique combination of current and classic which makes them a timeless band that I hope we will enjoy for many years yet. I seem to be going on about vocalists a lot in this review, but thus far, they had all been stunning, and Matt Black’s were no exception – Jesus this guy has some pipes! However, it was bass player Joshua Ballatyne that I found myself following like a hawk here, just for his sheer Tigger level bounciness!! Great performance!!

03 Fahranhttps://www.facebook.com/Fahranmusic/

Troyen
Closing the first day were four fine fellows from Lancashire, Troyen, who have been kicking it for a good while, and reformed in 2014 after a sizable thirty-two-year break!! Rick had really been looking forward to seeing them as he remembers the name from way back but had never seen them live. They bring to the table a very adept and tight hit of NWOBHM, which is always a treat for any classic metal fan. They looked so cool and collected on stage, which showed their experience, and it was impossible not to be drawn in and rock along with them. Like a fine wine, they have aged and matured, and were chilled to perfection making them an incredibly enjoyable end to Day One. Brandy and cigars anyone?!

04 Troyenhttps://www.facebook.com/Troyen14%20/

It was safe to say that everyone in attendance had a fantastic evening and afterwards a bunch of us went in search of the magical thing that is food and, as is usually the case, there was a McDonalds about two minutes away from the venue. After filling our faces we said our goodbyes and Beth and I had a very pleasant walk back to where we were staying. Oxford is a very beautiful place, architecture wise! It was then time to get as much sleep as possible before meeting up with everyone at The Bullingdon venue on the Saturday where a much longer day of Metal and Rock awaited us!

LINKS
https://www.rabidfest.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/rabidfest/

https://www.instagram.com/rabidfest/

Troyen – Rabidfest Day 1 – 16/08/2019 – The Wheatsheaf, Oxford

 

 

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

https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

MEARFEST 4 at THE BORDERLINE, London – 13/08/2016

Mearfest

MEARFEST 4
The Boderline, London – 13/08/2016
Review by Dawn King

I was approached by Brian and Claire Mear well over a year ago to dj their event, organised to help raise money for The Willow Group, a charity that provides support to parents of stillborn babies, and I jumped at the chance. Not only was this a great opportunity to support them in their grief, after losing little baby Molly, but what better way to gather a crowd of metal heads together to raise money for such a worthwhile cause than a day of NWOBHM?

A genre that is still very popular with a lot of metal fans, the day boasted four original NWOBHM bands in Troyen, Sacrilege, The Deep and headliners Desolation Angels, as well as Kaine, a younger band heavily influenced by the NWOBHM sound, and up and coming guys Not Fit For Humans.

Held at The Borderline in London, a downstairs venue with a capacity of 300, a bar at one end and a stage at the other, this was the perfect location for an event such as this, its cellar like qualities adding to the atmosphere.

Brian and Claire had a personal connection to this event, and that showed in how well run and organised it was. Having a curfew of 10:30pm, there was a strict timescale to stick to, and this was handled brilliantly by both Brian and the stage manager Kevin Riddles, each band getting on and going off when they were supposed to. The place had a great sound system, although I, personally, thought the microphones of some of the bands needed to go up a touch, and there was a fantastic vibe from the crowd that showed they were all there to have a good time in support of such a wonderful cause.

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The evening kicked off with Not Fit For Humans, a band who have featured in every Mearfest event since its conception six years ago. Although not a metal band, more a punk band, these guys put in a blistering performance for the whole twenty minutes they were allocated. A four piece, they describe themselves as “the best band to come out of Slough EVER!” and they were a great opener, playing a mix of covers and original songs, and as they said to me afterwards…you can’t go wrong with a bit of Motorhead, eh?

Next up were Kaine, a four piece originals band and these guys total brought the house down. Playing older tracks, songs from their latest album The Waystone and new tunes, they put in one of the best performances of the night. The bass player is simply superb and Rage Sadler is the perfect frontman, playing off the crowd as only a frontman should.

Troyen were the next band to take to the stage and I must say I didn’t really know too much about these, despite being friends with at least one of the band members on Facebook. Another four piece, this time hailing from Warrington, they put in a much more subdued performance than that of Kaine before them but this is still a talented band, with a great guitarist and I hope to see more of them in the future.

I had seen Sacrilege a few times before but I must say this was the best I had witnessed them. A crowd favourite, they were full of energy, playing the first half an hour of their set without a break. Bassist Jeff Rollins is the onstage character and Bill Beadle’s voice hit all the notes, even the high ones, every single time. This was another great performance, NWOBHM with a little bit of doom thrown in for good measure.

Five piece, The Deep followed next, kicking off with their version of “The Sound of Silence” as a tribute to Brian and Claire, before launching, steadfast, into their own material. Vocalist Tony Coldham has a fantastic voice, backed by great guitarists, another superb bassist and a young, but talented, drummer. These were another crowd favourite and finished their set with Prepare To Rock, a song written after the atrocities at the Battaclan in 2015.

So that just left us with headliners Desolation Angels. “Purveyors of melodic, face melting, heavy rock riffs” as stated on their Facebook page, these guys have been around since the early 80’s, albeit with various line-up changes, and this was my first time seeing them with ex-Midnight Messiah singer, charismatic frontman Paul Taylor. Playing tracks from their back catalogue, including previously released as a single Valhalla, Desolation Angels were the perfect headliner. Given nearly an hours playing time, they gave 100% to each song, putting in a performance they should be very proud of.

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It was great to see a collection of bands working so hard to achieve what they have. If NWOBHM is a dying genre as some people believe, and after Mearfest 4 I seriously doubt that, then the guys in these bands are doing their best to keep it alive.

All in all Mearfest 4 was a total and utter success. Selling out the 300 capacity and raising £4,000.00 for The Willows Group, Brian and Claire Mear should be extremely proud of what they achieved. They have worked tirelessly for over a year to make sure this event was as great as it was, despite their grief and they truly have turned “loss into legacy”

Here’s to Mearfest 5!!

SET LISTS:

Not Fit For Humans
Blitzkreig Bop (Ramones cover)
Let It Rain
Breaking The Law (Judas Priest cover)
Hell Has A High Price
Suffragette City (David Bowie Cover)
Fall River
Damage Case/ Overkill Outro (Motorhed cover)

www.facebook.com/NotFitForHumans

Kaine
Heaven’s Abandonment
Iron Lady
A Night Meets Death
Justice, Injustice
Fall of Jericho
Afterlife
Voice In Hell
Quality of Madness

www.facebook.com/kaineband

Troyen
Backlash
Dreams Never Lie
Finish What You Started
Don’t Send Me To War
Futures Friend
First Blood
Syrian Lady

www.facebook.com/Troyen14%20/

Sacrilege
In The Arena
Ashes to Ashes
Running Scared
In Hell
Cry Of The Night
Live Another Day
Welcome To The Dragons Den
Rock n Roll With The Devil
The Wraith (we gotta get outta this place)
My Time To Die

www.facebook.com/Sacrilegerock

The Deep
The Sound of Silence
Premonition
The Rider
All I Want
Night Stalker
Out Of Touch
When The Rains Came
Prepare To Rock

www.facebook.com/TheDeepUK

Desolation Angels
Doomsday
Fury
Medusa
Archangel
Valhalla
Only Time Will Tell
Dance Of The Demons
Evil Possessor

www.facebook.com/DesolationAngels

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King 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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.