So here we are on day 2 of an epic 3 day run, and tonight is a bit of a beast of a line up. It’s 2010’s Imperial Never Say Die! Tour and there’s seven bands playing. That meant early doors. That meant I had to perform an ‘early dart’ from work. That meant I had to call in a favour from da boss. Thankfully, I was allowed to leave work an hour early AND still get an hours lunch for a Pizza Hut buffet. Get in.
So it’s ‘Never Say Die!’ tour time, featuring headliners, and a big fave of mine, Parkway Drive, with Comeback Kid, Bleeding Through, Emmure, Your Demise, War From A Harlots Mouth and We Came As Romans. Bit of a beast of a line up, innit?
Never Say Die 2010 Tour Poster
Having sacrificed the last hour of my working day to the Gods, I went home and did my last minute gig prep – getting CD covers together to get signed. There was a new line-up of attendees in the posse this evening, so myself, Ross and Ben (Who was tonight’s Des) headed off for night 2 at the Academy in Manchester.
Once again, we were later than we should have been and missed ‘We Came As Romans’. Must’ve been really early doors then. Shame, ‘cause I was looking forward to checking them out. Never mind. Ross headed to the bar.
He came back just as ‘War From A Harlots Mouth’ came on, and he was looking pretty happy with himself. Turns out it’s only £1.50 per pint until 8:30. BINGO!!!!!
Now the venue is full(ish) and the beer is cheap (and coming in thick n fast) and ‘War From A Harlots Mouth’ are on. It’s all sounding pretty clear tonight, and very loud! To be honest, this was probably the point of the evening where the sound was best. It all went downhill from here, well, except for ‘Emmure’, but we’ll get there in a bit.
‘War From A Harlots Mouth’ (or ‘View From A Harlots Window’ if you’re Ben) are pretty impressive. Loaded with heavy songs and an abundance of slick technical skills, they’re a damn fine band to watch. They only did a short set though, but lots of bands on so it was expected.
Next up were Brit hardcore mob ‘Your Demise’. I’ve not seen or heard anything by them before, so this was all new to me and I didn’t know what to expect. They were alright. Ross said he’d caught a tune on Kerrang! or Scuzz and thought it was cool, so I thought I’d give em a whirl. I can usually gauge if I’ll like a band if Ross likes it. On saying that, I wouldn’t go looking through his iPod. It can be a terrifying experience for even the most seasoned metaller! But ‘Your Demise’ blazed their way through a swift set of poppy hardcore tunes that seemed pretty catchy. Thought they weren’t bad.
Now I was cock-sure I’d seen ‘Emmure’ before. Pretty sure they played with Caliban and Architects last year, but couldn’t remember anything about the experience. Though at that gig, I was pretty taken aback by ‘After The Burial’. Now there’s an awesome band. Back to Emmure; and one of our mates who we’d bumped into was telling us that they were a tad heavy and really good, so cool, I was now looking forward to it!
Now nothing can prepare you for the sounds that Emmure were pumping from the stage that night. It was sludgy, detuned and ludicrously heavy! I’ve said before that if I find something really cool, I’ll just laugh. I spent the entire of Emmure’s set in tears. There music was immense, something I could really get into, but that wasn’t what had my laughing! It was the bass pulses. They were constant. Every 3 seconds…. BOOOOOOM!!!!!! And your heart was rattling in your chest! I’m pretty sure there should have been a disclaimer stating “Anyone with any form of heart condition should refrain from watching Emmure, through fear of death”. Pretty sure they might have bass-pulse-revived any downed victims too! I enjoyed them though and they’re defo on my ‘must get’ list. Just hope it sounds that heavy on record. As Ben said a day later – “Emmure in 3 words: WHAT. THE. FUCK.”.
Bunch of Muppets
Pretty sure at this point we were rapidly approaching the drink cut-off point of 8:30, so we thought we’d best stock up while it was cheap and headed out to the bar area. We bumped into more friends we hadn’t seen for ages who told me that Emmure sounded better outside as there were less health risks involved! Beered up and back in for Bleeding Through…
I like Bleeding Through. More so since ‘Declaration’ came out, but I like a few other tracks too and I’ve not heard their latest self-titled album yet. The problem I have with these guys (and gal) is that they never seem to play the songs I like live. Ok, they opened with ‘Love Lost In A Hail Of Gunfire’ but I absolutely love great tunes like ‘On Wings Of Lead’ but they never seem to play it. I just seem to hear the songs I don’t know that well, unless it’s from ‘Declaration’. I think I prefer that album to the others as it was the first one they did where the production on the guitars didn’t sound totally shite. Nevertheless, they’re a top live act and I should get into more of their tunes. Shame the sound was crap in the venue. All you could really here was drums and a fuzz that might’ve been the guitars, so you couldn’t really make out any tecchy guitar parts. Sound guy’s fault, not the band! But through the smog of sound, they were good! Ben’s a massive fan of Bleeding Through and he loved ‘em, but did agree the sound was cack!
No more beer from now onwards. I refuse to pay double for them ‘cause I’m skint and there’s another gig to go to tomorrow, remember?
Ben with Marta From Bleeding Through
Comeback Kid were on next. They did little to keep my attention. Spent their set chatting wit all the people we’d bumped into, while occasionally catching a few mins of the band. Not really a fan. I can find that punky hardcore style a bit repetitive and boring after a while. The shit sound probably didn’t do them any favours either! It was about now that Ben had spotted Marta from Bleeding Through over at the merch stall. So we just had to go grab a snap of him with her. He loves her, he wants to kiss her….
Now time for the main event. I pray to god the sound is better and Mr. Sound-Man has tweaked the mixing desk. You need a clear sound for Parkway Drive so you can hear all the technical genius guitar playing that these guys can do! When they kicked in… its still sounded a bit shite!
They were, as expected, ace and the sound did eventually improve a bit. It was as if about halfway through, the sound guy realised he’d made a bit of a tits and gone “Ah crap, I’ve had the guitars down all night! – Whoops!” and knocked them up a bit.
Parkway ran through a set of cool songs, like new ones ‘Sleepwalker’ and ‘Home Is For The Heartless’ (although I’m not a massive fan of that one. It’s really catchy, but I don’t think the singy bit works), and old faves and crowd-pleasers like ‘Boneyards’ and ‘Guns For Show, Knives For a Pro’. There’s nothing quite as fun as hearing a room packed with people screaming “Yippie Ki Yay, Motherfucker!” like they’re John Maclane on a very bad day! Genius.
About halfway through the set, the scenery onstage changed. It went from being the backdrop of new CD ‘Deep Blue’, to a sunset sea view, with palm trees and beach balls out in the crowd, like a scene from Home and Away. While on the subject, last time we met Parkway Drive, Ben asked singer Winston if he was from Summer Bay. He took it well, but I reckon it further fuelled the illusion that the Brits get all their Australian geographical knowledge from shite Aussie soaps! Meaning everyone in Australia either lives in Summer Bay or on Ramsay Street and all the female criminals get locked up in Wentworth Detention Centre. Did I go too far with the Prisoner: Cell Block H reference?
Also in this new section, Parkway threw out an Aussie Rules football into the crowd. “Whoever’s holding this by the time it gets to the merch stall gets £50 of Parkway merch!”. Now that was fun to watch. A full-on scrum headed towards us, as people were trying to rip the ball from one another! What was more fun was watching Ross take the entire scrum to the ground. He never got the ball though!
One point that I’m 50/50 on as to whether it was legit or not came near the end of the night. They pulled a kid out of the crowd who was holding up a sign claiming he could play the drums to ‘Romance Is Dead’ and they said “shall we give him a go?” They did. And he nailed it!!! Not just played it through quite well, he played it perfectly! Perfectly to the point where it looked like a set-up! Maybe it was, I dunno. But Channel 4 were there filming for some kind’ve documentary, so was it staged for that? Or was this kid just that. Damn. Good?
Regardless, another room sized chant of “So cry me a fuckin’ river, Biiiiiiiiiitch!” later and the end is approaching. They blazed into my fave ‘Carrion’ and it was ace!
Parkway Drive Live in Manchester
So, shite sound aside, Parkway Drive were on fire! They do technically amazing guitar work in a melodic and well thought out way. I don’t think that their newer stuff is as technical, or musically ‘on par’ with their previous albums, but it’s still cool. They’re a great band to watch and yes, I’ll probably go watch them next time they’re over too. Now all that was remaining was a chip naan!!!
It was late, it was raining AGAIN and I was still stuffed from 7(ish) pints and 15 (ish) slices of Pizza that hadn’t fully digested from the afternoon session in Pizza Hut. Chip naan, disappointingly, just wasn’t on the cards. I just couldn’t handle the stodge! The gut shaking from Emmure’s set probably never helped matters!
That, and with rain stopping play on the meet n greet section, it was time for the off. Nothing worse than getting your CD covers wet!! I’ll try getting some stuff signed tomorrow, and I’ll save some space for a chip naan. It’ll be Saturday night and I’ll need a treat! Onwards to JFAC then!
Episode III – Job For A Cowboy – Saturday 6th November. The Dark Side awaits…:-)