Archive for January, 2011

So, as you’ve seen in previous instalments, 2010 was a pretty busy year gig-wise for me. I think I saw more bands last year than any other year! It was all good fun, but crippled me for cash!

The plan for this year has already been scuppered. It was ‘one festival only’, and as we always go to Download, we were going to Download. To be fair, the line-up isn’t that much to get excited about so far, but it usually gets better as time goes on – a fact that pisses me off royally!! Just announce the majority of the bands straight away so I can decide if your festival is shit! Don’t just feed me drips and drabs for six months ‘til it’s too late to buy a fucking ticket!!! I digress…

So the initial line-up as it stands is System of a Down and Linkin Park headlining. I loved SOAD, but they’ve kinda gone off the boil a bit for me, and Linkin Park just went shit! Others announced were Avenged Sevenfold (who I’ve already said I’m not a big fan of) and Rob Zombie. I know Rob Zombie’ll be cool though, but it’s not the most appealing opening announcement for a festival, is it? let’s see what they come up with on Monday with their next announcement!

So then Sonisphere piped up with their initial announcement. Biffy Clyro and Slipknot to headline. Excellent. A much better start for me! Top that up with some more heavy bands and we have a winner! Then they dropped the bombshell! On the Friday… The Big Four. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax. Looks like we’re off to Sonisphere then!

Other gigs coming up are Rob Zombie’s UK Headline tour which should be mint! Loved White Zombie when they were around and his first few solo efforts were pretty good too! Skindred supporting, so that’s a bonus. Also got tickets for heavyweights Whitechapel. Yeah, saw ’em not so long back, but it’ll be brutal so worth another view!

Debating whether to bother watching Bring Me The Horizon (because I like the new album, remember) in the Apollo. It looks like a good line-up of bands, including Parkway Drive, which is a pretty good selling point. Might go see A Day to Remember at the end of Jan, but we’ll see how the cash is!

First gig of the year’s already under the belt too. Terror, First Blood, Lionheart and Backtrack at Moho Live in Manchester. Some of the songs Backtrack played took me back a few years. The style of it reminded me of when I used to go watch the underground UK hardcore shows back in the late 90’s. Lionheart, First Blood and Terror were all equally heavy hitting. Was a cool show, and a good chance to see some friends I don’t see very often. Glad I stayed clear of the pit though, as there was a rather big chap in there knocking the shit out of everyone, and one of my mates got spin kicked in the face. Which you can see here….

Got some new music over the festive period that I need to get listening to. Now I can finally play MP3 files in the car again, I can get back into making compilations and letting it all sink in as I drive. I’ve picked up new albums by A Day to Remember, Terror, Murderdolls, Fleshwrought and more to check out. One band that’s standing out is Symphony in Peril which came in a batch of new recommendations from Jim (ta la!). It’s heavy, meaty, hardcore/metalcore type stuff so check ’em out if you haven’t already!

While Googling them, I came across a note on wikipedia, saying Symphony in Peril where part of a youtube sensation. Their track ‘Stiletto’ has an epic beatdown that a gang of kids in the States were using as part of their ‘Drive-By Hardcore Dancing’ videos. In which they’d drive up to unsuspecting people and ask if they could help them with directions for somewhere to go for some good music..”like this…”, then they’d blast the song and a gang of them would all jump out and start moshing like fuck to the stiletto beatdown! Made me chuckle! Have a look.

It may be old, but new to me and t’s funny! Anyways, I’ll have some more to report soon! So keep checking back.

Howdy! Apologies that I’ve been away for a while, but it’s been a busy Xmas & New Year – you know the score! Anyways, I’m back now, so how’s about a quick catch up on what I’ve been up to since we last met… (Happy now, Adam?)

Ok, end of November and beginning of December saw a bunch more gigs for me and various members of the crew to attend. Me and the Wife popped along to catch 36 Crazyfists (a fave of mine …and hers) and DevilDriver on their joint UK headlining tour. That was a pretty good show, despite some serious sound problems cocking up 36CF’s set. They had a bit of a moment at the end of the set and stormed off-stage, but they came back out and played “Slit Wrist Theory” to finish though, so it was all good. The sound for that was even worse though. Shame. Great band.

DevilDriver were on top form too. Slaying their way through what seemed like a mammoth set! The blazed through some faves like ‘Pray for Villains’, ‘Clouds Over California’ and ‘I Could Care Less’ and sounded awesome. I’m not the biggest fan of the ‘Driver though and got a li’l bored towards the end, having heard all the songs I’d wanted to hear, so we made an early dart for a chip naan. Win.

At some point at the end of November, We went to see As I Lay Dying, Suicide Silence and Heaven Shall Burn too. Now that was a good show. All bands were really good, but Heaven Shall Burn really stood out for me that night. I didn’t know much by them, but the whole show was cool. Music was ace and the footage they had going in the background really made a decent looking stage show. Sylosis played too and they were awesome, but jeez, they got boring to watch live!!

Suicide Silence were their usual impressive selves. Singer Mitch Lucker does some crazy looking moshing and foot stomping!! And As I Lay Dying were on top form! We were hoping for a cheeky Austrian Death Machine track from Tim Lambesis though. “Get to the choppaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

Check out Mitch’s crazy moshing at the start of this Suicide Silence vid, and also keep an eye out for THE MOST INSANE CROWD EVER!!

Early December saw me on another 3 night gigathon in sunny (well, this time it was snowy) Manchester, which I wont go into masses of detail on. An overview should suffice! It started in Style by watching Biffy Clyro at Manchester Central (That’s the G-Mex to some of you). Biffy are another one of those bands I only got into a bit late in the game, but I love ‘em now though! Was a brilliant show. Really enjoyed it, and it was my first time ever in the G-Mex in 15+ years of gigging.

Night 2 was a bit of e let down and a complete waste of money! As a surprise, I booked tickets for one of Jo’s fave bands ’30 Seconds To Mars’. I’m not really a fan, but she likes them, so I thought it’d be nice – I’m good like that!  So, we made a day of it. Went shopping in the Xmas markets, had dinner and drinks and had a hotel booked so no driving required and watched a shite band!! Well, 2 shite bands. Enter Shikari were supporting. Didn’t like that at all! Anyway, 30STM were less than impressive. Musically, the played well, but someone needs to tell Jared Letdown to actually sing his own bloody songs!! I understand the need to get the crowd to sing some bits, but Christ, he hardly did anything! Sand a few words then left the rest to the roomful of kids! Wasn’t just me that though they were a bit sub-par, Jo wasn’t exactly over the moon either! A disappointing end to an otherwise pretty good day!

That night also marked my second visit to the G-Mex! Nowt for 15 years, then twice in 2 days! It’s a cool venue. It’s like a festival in an aircraft hangar. Festival prices too. Robbing bastards!

Home on Sunday, then back to Manchester for belated birthday celebrations with Jim to see the mighty ‘Municipal Waste’. The Waste were on top form, playing loads of quality party thrash tunes and really getting the crowd moving! Jim couldn’t control his urges and went for a surf during ‘Sadistic Magician’ and we all had a sing-along for ‘Born To Party’. “Municipal Waste is gonna FUCK YOU UP!” Indeed.

Twas a real party atmosphere. Really good gig, ace crowd and no-holds-barred crowd surfing and stage diving. There was even a dude dressed as Tarzan taking massive dives from the PA stacks. Classic. A fine way to celebrate your 33rd birthday!

The last gig of the year may have been one of the best. Hatebreed. We were a bit miffed to find it was in the Club Academy (that’s the small downstairs bit of the Manchester SU), but if facts were correct, we knew it’d be a stormer. We weren’t wrong! Hatebreed tore the place a new ‘un, playing songs from all albums (in reverse order) and then bringing out the big popular numbers to finish. From ‘Destroy Everything’ to ‘Live For This’ and on to ‘Burn The Lies’, it was absolute class. It took ‘til the opening riff of ‘Doomsayer’ to shake me into gear, and before he’d said “Your doom awaits you!” I’d charged headlong into a very hot, very sweaty pit. Gotta be the best I’ve seen Hatebreed. Defo the best set they could have played!

And that’s the lot for 2010’s gigs. Check back soon and I’ll add some bits about what I’ve got ‘on the decks’ and gigs and stuff for the coming months!