Posts Tagged ‘Manchester’

So here we are at Episode 3 of an eventful weekend of gigs. In this instalment, Anakin doesn’t turn to the dark side, and Yoda doesn’t make himself look like a wimp and exile himself. If you want that Episode III, then shame on you! You shouldn’t be here and don’t get me started on Star Wars.

This is Episode 3 – Job For A Cowboy. Saturday night’s finale to a 3 night gig stint in Manchester and I don’t think the world has ever put 4 more heavy bands on the same line up at any time ever!!

It was Job For A Cowboy, Whitechapel, Annotations Of An Autopsy and Trigger The Bloodshed. That’s heavy. In other good news, the £1.50 per pint until 8:30 offer had filtered through to the Academy 2, so another cheap night of moshing and drinking was on the cards!

Job For A Cowboy Tour Poster

Job For A Cowboy Tour Poster

In yet more good news, due to there being no pissing about leaving work, we arrived on time!! In fact, we got there early, so we nipped to ‘The Oxford’ for a cheeky pre-gig pint. And because Ben was busting for a slash! Makes a change, it’s usually me!! The Oxford is a pretty cool pub where I’ve spent many an hour waiting for a gig. Food’s not bad either.

So just after 7:30 we took a stomp down to the Academy 2, bumping into a bunch of South Wales lads who were on an epic road trip up to Manchester just for tonight’s gig. They seemed a decent bunch and we had a bit of banter with them. Opened that convo up by calling Whitechapel ‘Capel Gywn’ (Which is Welsh for ‘white chapel’) and then Ben got himself corrected on his translation of Lamb of God. Turns out we’ve been calling them ‘Sheep of God’ for quite a while. We’re stubborn though, we’ll stick with ours!

So we got in the venue and headed straight for the bar for a cheeky cheap beer. The rumbling sound from the ceiling was a sure sign that ‘Trigger The Bloodshed’ were just starting, so we headed up.

Seen these guys a few times now (including twice in under 24 hours at the first Hammerfest) and they’re just fast, heavy and brutal! They powered into a set of monster tunes (the names of which I have no clue) and certainly started eth night with a bang. The sound is much better tonight. Smaller venues are generally much better in my opinion!

So we headed back upstairs for the noisy beast that was ‘Annotations Of An Autopsy’ See these guys a few times too and even been on the same bill as them once, but I’ve only recently been paying attention to the music. I’ve only got the album ‘Before The Throne Of Infection’, but it’s spent a few weeks on constant repeat alongside ‘Here Comes The Kraken’ (another heavy as fook, beast of a band you should check out), so I was really looking forward to seeing them. They didn’t disappoint. It was a barrage of in-your-face, pounding metal. Heavy, loud and top quality pit music. Thoroughly enjoyed ’em this time round.

And back to the bar for more cheap beer and a look at the merch stall. Some cool bits there including a class ‘Annotations’ tee in the style of a Stella Artois logo that I should’ve got! Money is always an issue (Not to self: must win lottery asap!)

Then we were back in for ‘Capelgwyn’. If you weren’t reading this earlier, that’s ‘Whitelchapel’ in Welsh. Most of the guys I was with love Whitechapel. They’re heavy, with loads of technical guitars and sludgy riffs that you can get your teeth into! They are pretty good, to be fair. See ‘em once or twice before and they’re great live. They usually do this whole ‘Red Arrows’ formation headbanging thing, with the singer taking point and two guitarists either side, making a ‘V’ shape. They do it in the video for ‘This Is Exile’ and it’s the coolest un-metal move in metal! Their latest CD ‘A New Era Of Corruption’ is really good too. (There’s a track on there with Chino from Deftones, but you wouldn’t say it was him given the sort of thing Deftones are doing these days. Sounds like the shouty Chino from early Deftones stuff.) But, hats off, Whitechapel were on top form tonight. A blistering set of quality riffage. Mint.

Job For A Cowboy. What can I say? They were faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaakin’ brutal. I stayed at the back and enjoyed an immensely heavy set (With my full price pint – grrrrr). These guys were spot on and aided, again, by a much better sound. This was defo the best I’ve seen ‘em play. Last time was supporting ‘Lamb of God’ and they had a tough crowd and a shite sound (it was in the Academy… Shocker!), but tonight was a million times better.

They launched through tracks from all albums. I was a bit disappointed they never played my fave ‘Altered Through Catechization’, but they were still ace. I did charge down the front, dragging Dave along for the ride when they announced last song, and another fave of mine, ‘Entombment of a Machine’. We got right to the front with pretty much no resistance whatsoever and had a good slam about and scream-along for a top set ender.

I caught a drumstick thrown from the stage, which is always cool. I gave it to Ben though, ’cause he bums Job For A Cowboy, and was pestering the life outta their drummer for a stick anyway! He owes me now, so any decent guitar pics found, boyo, and you know where to send ‘em 😉

I only had one thing with me to get signed tonight (not my usual fifty), but we were too hungry and cold to bother waiting. We hit Abduls for the usual, which you should know by now is the mighty Chip Naan (cue heavenly lights and angels singing). Yes, I wasn’t full of Pizza tonight so I could cram one in. Happy days!! And we headed home for a well deserved break!

Just a week off though, and it was time for DevilDriver and 36 Crazyfists. Bring it on!!!!


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

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

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

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

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…:-)

So here’s part one of what was a busy weekend of gigs!

Thursday night I went to watch Stone Sour, Avenged Sevenfold and Hellyeah in Manchester Academy. It was the second night they’d done in the Academy on this tour (they did one about a week or so before) but we decided the second date was better – Thursday November 4th – as it started our 3 night gig run. First Stone Sour/A7X, then the ‘Never Say Die!’ tour with Parkway Drive and ending with Job For A Cowboy. We were sorely tempted to make it a 4 night run, watching Alexisonfire on the Sunday, but checked the cash and thought better of it! Still, a mad mix of music, I’m sure you’ll agree!

So let me start this with the most disappointing sentence possible for this gig. We were late and we missed Hellyeah. Gutted. I walked into the venue just as Vinnie Paul walked out of it. Ah well, shit happens. The show must go on, as a famous man once said. It was Freddie Mercury in Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” if I’m not mistaken!!

As some of you may or may not know, since very early in my gigging days, I’ve been something of an autograph hunter. By assuming the position of hovering about by the stage door or tour bus like a groupie slut, I’ve managed to meet loads of my heroes and fave bands over the years. From Fear Factory, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Sepultura, Deftones, Unearth, Lamb Of God, System Of A Down and more, I’ve done some serious meeting and greeting!

Stone Sour & Avenged Sevenfold UK Tour Poster

Stone Sour & Avenged Sevenfold UK Tour Poster

So, with a gig like this I thought…”Hmm, which CD covers do I need to take tonight to get signed??? Well Hellyeah are there, so that’s Pantera stuff needed for a start off. What else? Mudvayne, Nothingface and don’t forget Damageplan CD’s. Better take some Avenged stuff (only got the one) and some Stone Sour stuff. Ah crap, that means I gotta take some Slipknot bits too! Oh, and whatever Roy Mayorga has been in, like Medication or Soulfly…). You can see that gig prep for me and my mates isn’t just as straight forward as listening to the bands new stuff or warming up for some headbanging. To be honest, I probably should have warmed up!!! By Sunday, I had a bad neck!!

So yeah, we were late, through no other reason than we were just late. I was driving, so can’t really blame anyone! But we missed Hellyeah. To drown my disappointment, we hit the bar (Please note, I was not drink driving. My girlfriend drove home!). A few beers later, and some music from Star Wars (Episode I, methinks) kicks in and Stone Sour take to the stage. Starting proceedings with new track ‘Mission Statement’ and kicking into a set of tracks from all 3 albums. They did a set of decent upbeat tunes, like ‘Made of Scars’ or ‘Digital (Did You Tell)’ and some more melodic moments like ‘Bother’, ‘Through Glass’ and latest single ‘Say You’ll Haunt Me’. It was a decent set. They pulled my fave ‘Get Inside’ out of the bag too. I love that song. Heavy and really ballsy, with a shredding solo! Christ, I wish I could play like that!!!!
Corey seems to talk to the crowd like he’s in a room full of his mates, which is a pretty cool way of doing things. Well, I think anyway. It’s not your stereotypical rock/metal frontman persona, but he comes across as a pretty unique character anyway. So after what seemed like a pretty short, but good set, they finished on ‘30/30-150’. And back to the bar!

Avenged Sevenfold were tonight’s headliners. I’m not a massive fan, so maybe should have come the first night when Stone Sour ended the show, but hey, I was only really there for Stone sour & Hellyeah (Grrrrrr) anyway. A7X were like a bonus. I like a few of their songs, most of which they played. They opened with newbie ‘Nightmare’ which is a decent enough track, and did a set of tunes that sounded alright. They played songs that I do like, such as ‘Bat Country’ and ‘Seize The Day’, the latter of which M Shadows said they didn’t play on the first night. So when he said that, I turned to my mate Ross and said “Picked the right night to come then”, cause we both liked that song. To which he jokingly replied “Yeah, they played that, but they’ll probably drop ‘Beast and The Harlot’ now. Hahahahaha”. Surely not? How shit would that have been???

Anyway, they played a few more songs including my fave ‘Afterlife’. It’s probably the song that made me think they’re not as bad a band as I’d previously thought they were. But we’re near the end of the set now. My girlfriend is bored at this point. She loves Stone Sour, but isn’t a fan of A7X. So I said “They’ll play ‘Beast and The Harlot’ in a sec. You like that one. It’s the one where the girl goes round covering people in black stuff in the video”.

At this point I’m conjuring up cool things to happen at this show. I’m thinking “Avenged cover Pantera’s ‘Walk’. Hmmm. Vinnie fuckin’ Paul is in the building. Will they? WILL THEY?…”. They didn’t. Ah well, another dream shattered!!!

So I’m ready for ‘Beast’ now. “Thank you, Manchester! Goodnight”. Alas, no. No encore. They didn’t play it. I was a bit gobsmacked. I couldn’t fuckiiiiiin believe it. They never played ‘Beast and The Harlot’. I like that song!!!!!

So I left the venue half-cut and in disgust!…

…and straight into the loving arms of an Abdul’s Chip Naan. The perfect comfort food for the disappointed metaller!

As it was, it pissed it down so we didn’t wait around to meet the bands, though we did run into Stone Sour’s Jim Root and Shawn Economacki by the chippy! Anyway, I’ve met a few of them before, so it’s cool. Besides, I’ll save my signing session for tomorrow and Parkway Drive… unless it rains again!

Stay tuned for the second part of the trilogy. Can’t guarantee a better story than ‘Attack of the Clones’, but it can’t be any worse!!

Episode 2: Never Say Die! Tour. Friday 5th November.