Posts in Gig Review
Live Review : Haken + Vola + Bent Knee @ Academy 3, Manchester on February 15th 2019

It's modern prog-tastic Friday tonight at the Academy 3 as Haken start a lengthy European tour here in Manchester. Including the excellent supports that they have brought along for the ride, this package is three solid gold examples of why progressive rock is in a healthier form today than it ever was in supposed heyday of the Seventies.

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Live Review : Decapitated + Dyscarnate + Baest @ Academy 3, Manchester on February 12th 2019

Baest are first out of the traps tonight and their name translates from their native Danish as brute which pretty much sums up their very old skool approach to Death Metal. Their heads down lightning fast version of the genre may lack the subtlety and technicality of their touring partners, but for an ageing metal head like me it has a real charm to it.

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Live Review : Behemoth + At The Gates + Wolves in The Throne Room @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on February 9th 2019

Tonight I am like some giddy teenager as this is simply put, my fantasy dream bill. Those hoping for an objective and balanced representation of the evening should probably look elsewhere. Openers Wolves In The Throne Room are in my completely biased opinion the most important thing to happen to Black Metal since its very inception all those blood red moons ago. They have stormed into its hallowed fortress, torn down the jet black drapes and let in the sunlight.

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Live Review : Orange Goblin + PIST + Video Nasties @ Academy 2, Liverpool on February 9th 2019

It’s been a very long time since we had a gig in the Liverpool Academy 2 and thus take as much time organising our entrance as we would for a gig in Manchester.  It’s this size of gig that is particularly fascinating.  Smaller more visceral bands with a more engaged audience are a ROCKFLESH favourite, although the room to photograph get increasingly silly as the room decreases. I’m now onto sickness number three for the month and starting to feel quite Dickensian. 

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Live Review : Obscura + Fallujah + Allegaeon + First Fragment @ Rebellion, Manchester on February 7th 2019

Demands for a second Mister Men book before I depart means that I arrive at Rebellion (still looks splendid after its facelift) just in time for opening act First Fragment final number. As fits the rest of tonight’s bill this is very technical death metal with notes flying all over the places. I may only have one track in which to form a highly biased opinion, but they come across as a highly competent act that sound not dissimilar to Dream Theatre played at double the speed.

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Live Review : Imperial Age + Apparition + Stormrider + Pallas Athena @ Rebellion, Manchester on February 1st 2019

Rebellion has had a facelift. My central Manchester spiritual home is practically sparkling, the bar is, frankly, in a much better position and the whole place feels bigger. But this is not an interior design website so let's get to the important bits.

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Live Review : Buckcherry + Hoobastank + Adelitas Way @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on February 5th 2019

I may (or may not) have overdone it on the gigs the last few weeks, but it's all been completely worth it. Or so I think. I'm early to the venue and actually kind of queasy whilst I chat with co-headliners Hoobastank (full interview to follow). It dawns on me that I'm run down, juggling work, family and charity commitments. The lethargy has cloaked me by the time openers Adelitas Way take to the stage. My head hurts.

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Live Review : SHVPES + The Five Hundred + Death Blooms @ Star And Garter, Manchester on February 2nd 2019

The Star and Garter is one of the true diamonds when it comes to Manchester music venues. It’s a Grade II listed building that oozes the kind of warmth and charm that can't be bought. I'm sat on a long row of seats where the cushion has worn down to nothing and there's burn marks here and there, a reminder of the days you could have a cigarette with your pint (I’m just about old enough to remember smoking in pubs and clubs, having clocked up 3 or 4 years of drinking underage). Tonight we're here for SHVPES, the band I spent November raving about.

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Live Review : The Last Ten Seconds Of Life + Lotus Eater + Gassed Up + Bleach + Cut Short @ Night People, Manchester on January 29th 2019

Everybody in the world went to Parkway Drive. And why not? They are a titan in their field. But the sound check from Lotus Eater alone has burst my ear drums and I am confident I made the right decision coming here at Night People, instead. Maybe I need ear plugs if I am going to insist on standing so close to the bands which I am because I am well known for being an absolute fucking moron.

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Live Review : Parkway Drive + Killswitch Engage + Thy Art Is Murder @ O2 Apollo, Manchester on January 29th 2019

They breed their rock bands hard Down Under, I cannot name a single Aussie metal act who don't look like they could go six rounds with Antony Joshua and achieve the feat without spilling their pint. Thy Art is Murder mean business, they have under thirty minutes to make their mark but over six brutal heavy tracks, they chuck the gauntlet well and truly to the ground. Whilst Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive have embraced the melody, this is pure unadulterated raw primal Death Metal and whilst it may be early, the pit opens accordingly.

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Live Review : Skid Row + Backyard Babies + H.E.A.T. @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on January 22nd 2019

It’s as regular a night in Manchester as you are likely to find. There is evidence of rain and daytime activities have transitioned into minor night time reveries. The crimson death wagon has sped into Manchester with the grace of a drunk at an open bar. We arrive late, H.E.A.T are just about to go on stage.  Johann makes the scramble to the pit, leaving me at the bar. Apologies to Vega, domestic shenanigans and Manchester never ending roadworks hold us up.

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Live Review : Powerwolf + Amaranthe + Kissin' Dynamite @ Academy 2, Manchester on January 19th 2019

It’s that time of year were the family tries to kill off the weakest member by incubating the most virulent strain of cold, flu or chest infection possible and infecting a member at the most inconvenient possible time.  All attempts to resist are futile, alcohol gel, tissues, exercise and pre-firing (See Call of Duty) day and night nurse are not barrier enough and my wife manages at the very end of her own ordeal to pass the lurgy onto me.  Both myself and Johann’s crimson death wagon cough and splutter into Manchester for a mid-afternoon chat with Johannes (Hannes) Braun, vocal songsmith for Kissin’ Dynamite, more to follow as a separate piece on rockflesh.com.

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Live Review : Avatar + The Mahones + Dylan Walshe @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on January 18th 2019

Avatar's rise has very much been an old fashioned word of mouth occurrence. They haven't been the subject of any kind of media or industry hyperbole and instead they have slowly but surely become a big deal as a result of hard work and the building of a fearsome reputation as an astounding live act. Not only is tonight’s show at the one and a half thousand capacity Ritz sold out, but Avatar have achieved this feat purely on their own merits as the of the bill is head scratchingly odd in its eclecticism.

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Live review : Architects + Beartooth @ Victoria Warehouse, Manchester on January 14th 2019

Tonight feels like a graduation, a celebration, an inauguration and perhaps even an ascension. After fifteen long years, Architects, always the bridesmaid and near the bride of British metal, have finally morphed into the slick stadium bothering juggernaut they always threatened to be. But before I pour platitudes on the newly crowned masters of our metallic world, there is the small matter of Beartooth (due to the indescribably long time it takes a three year to consume sausage and beans I miss openers Polaris. They could well be the greatest band in the multiverse, however due to my sons propensity for eating one bean at a time I will never know).

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Live review : Myrkur + Jo Quail @ Gorilla, Manchester on December 19th 2018

My best mate is as musically obsessive as I am, but his aural drugs of choice are opera, folk and classical. Over the last ten years we have entered into a Faustian pact and have taken each other to shows. He has taken me to the Opera house at Covent Garden to see an astonishing production of Salome, to the Royal Festival Hall to see experimental symphonies and to a tiny folk club hidden in the back streets of London to witness an eighty year old man recite centuries old revolutionary ditties. On the other hand I have taken him to see Dying FoetusAlestorm and the mighty Slayer.

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Live Review : Grá + Damim + Agrona @ Star and Garter, Manchester on December 16th 2018

So after doing a week of mega-gigs courtesy of Nightwish and Def Leppard, here I am back in my element. Namely a dark, dinky poorly lit upstairs room of a pub and also as usual there are probably less than 40 locals joining me, but none of this matters as this for me, is where our music really comes to life.

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Year in Review by Paul Flett

Our life, like the universe, is largely made up of dark matter punctuated by the occasional bright spot.  As we stare into the unnatural canvas of brake lights and computer screens, sat in our prescribed clothing trying to remain within prescribed behaviours, is it any wonder how close our demons lurk beneath this veneer?  Something as simple as the organised vibration of air particles is enough to lure the beasts from all of us, unleashed and unburdened, a second state of you, fist in the air. Screaming “It has to start somewhere It has to start sometime, what better place than here, what better time than now? All hell can't stop us now”.

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Live Review : Clutch + The Picturebooks @ The Academy, Manchester on December 20th 2018

Before I was able to rationale an argument against religion I often found myself as a child, stood behind a lectern reciting a letter from the Corinthians or some such babble to the elderly parishioners of Kirkby.  Now as a young boy I didn’t know much about a rabbits dick, but I’m fairly certain not one person mentioned within the New Testament called Jesus “a shit stained cunt”.  Alas the sheer misery of negotiating Manchester’s gridlocked streets took its toll on Johann.  That was just the start.    

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