I do wonder sometimes whether we need to mix things up more at ROCKFLESH Towers and in order to get more partisan and objective reviews start sending Matt, Sarah, Jo and I to see bands that we are not naturally huge fans of. You see I utterly adore In Flames and short of them walking on stage and doing pitch perfect Daniel O’Donnell covers they are going to garner a gushing review from me (spoilers).Read More
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.Read More
Through the never-ending stream of information on social media I manage to decipher that the OTEP gig has been moved from The Factory to The Bread Shed. Apparently, the stage has been removed from The Factory – maybe it’s been stolen, abducted by aliens or lost down the back of the sofa. We may never know. Now you might call me old fashioned but I do prefer a gig venue with a stage. So, with the hope that I haven’t being duped by social media fake news, I venture to The Bread Shed.Read More
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.Read More
I first encountered Steel Panther at Download 2009, they were directly after my beloved Sabbat on the third stage back in the days before it became a pop punk refuge. I stuck around to see what all the fuss was about and found them to be perversely enjoyable, but also felt that their approach was very much a one trick pony and predicted that within the year their star would wane.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Over the course of an hour and a half Evil Scarecrow provide one of the most enjoyable stage shows I have seen this year. There are more props and special effects than most Sci-fi movies and yes its more Plan 9 from Outer Space than Star Wars but that’s part of the charm. We get battling robots, drumming skeletons, aliens, UFO’s, massive slugs, NASA spacemen, robotic crabs, one of those huge inflatable men you get outside car showrooms and guest appearances from Link of Legends of Zelda and Chun-Li from Street Fighter 2. They may all have been lovingly created with Papier-Mache and sticky back plastic in someone’s garage but the effort that Evil Scarecrow go to make their show a riot of colourfulness and wackiness puts most other more ‘serious’ bands to shame.Read More
I venture for Rock far out West tonight to Buckley, a small town stuck between the Town of Mold and the larger Chester. Tivoli is one of those venues you wouldn't expect to do well when it comes to rock concerts purely based on its location. As some of you, my oldest followers will know, I have been many times to Chester's Live Rooms and more often than not, it has been a struggle for them to get 50 people in there. I arrive in good time to The Tivoli, the old theatre/cinema from the 1920's which is rather empty and as I wait patiently for the support band under no less than 6 disco balls, I have grave concerns regarding the demographics and live attendance in North Wales. In a corner, Mind the mental health charity sets up a stall selling CDs to fundraise, I manage to pick up a Stone Sour and a Stereophonics. At the merch stall, the support act from Stoke, Headsticks is offering the most varied items you can put your band name on, while the Wildhearts team is trying to figure out which boxes to open.Read More
The groove has gone. It’s been a month, a long time in rock and roll. Friends have fell out, families argued, jobs have changed and life has stamped it’s leaden boot over everyone. The countdown begins, a tradition that might cut short this escape one day. Johann is agitated, tense probably hungry. There’s a rasp in my voice, I’m lethargic from doing fuck all, all day, every day. I can feel Hyde’s shadow creeping through the axons. I want the bands to be terrible, I want the pressure in my head to burst out of my hands and evaporate the keyboard. It’s at this point Johann points out we have fifty miles in the tank and the coolant is leaking out, but he has a 16 seater death wagon somewhere, lurking in our near future.Read More
Is it getting harder to commute to Manchester or am I getting slower? After my last experience on Tuesday, I decided to set off from Liverpool in good time to ensure I would arrive well before the support act Blackfoot Gypsies were due on stage.
The opening act was not publicised on any of the UK dates, was this meant to create an element of surprise or a last minute decision?Read More
When first informed about Norwegian band TNT’s upcoming 30th anniversary tour of ‘Tell No Tales’ featuring the return of the U.S. born Tony Harnell on vocals following his brief stint in Skid Row, I realised the only way I would get to see them would be to jump on the first plane to their homeland where their popularity remains strong to this day.
Add in the fact that over the last 20 years Tony had been consistently in and out of TNT, his latest return has done little to assure me that it might not be TNT’s last tour. As they were one of the 80′s finest hard rock bands I had yet to see live, I was left with no choice but to head for Drammen, a small town south of Oslo, on a cold dark Saturday night.Read More