I think it’s fair to say that metal bands, local to Chester, that play originals are a rare and unique breed. It’s a real treat then to have one of these young, up-and-coming bands playing a headline set at The Live Rooms in Chester. It’s a shame that more original metal bands, both local and from further afield, don’t get a chance to play this venue more often. As I’ve noted previously, this venue is a little gem of a venue and I’d like the excuse to get down to it more often, especially to see local rock and metal bands starting off on their journeys.Read More
The course of true love never does run smoothly does it?
Metal has been my long time lover, and I find myself putting myself in more and more weird situations in the quest to prove myself worthy in its eyes.
Today it was “Do you want to interview and review Mexican extreme metallers Brujeria and Canadian underground thrashers Aggression?”
Erm... let me think...
Fuck yes of course I want to do that.Read More
So a Manic Street Preachers gig in ROCKFLESH's hallowed pages may seem a little out of character and the fact that it is your friendly neighbourhood Death Metal fanatic covering it should bring accusations of the shark being well and truly jumped. But the truth of it, is that I have had a tempestuous and passionate love affair with these three Welsh men that dates back to when there were four of them and I saw them at the Hop and Grape (Academy 3 to you kids) thirty years ago.Read More
Spending an entire day interviewing people for a new role at my day job is not necessarily the best preparation for a four-band gig, but it's what I've managed to serve up for myself. It means I'm dashing to get to the venue in time for the opening band, which I can hear starting-up from the street outside. I immediately bump into Johann at the downstairs bar as I race through the front door, and get his take on what’s going on upstairs. Truth is we grab a pint at a leisurely pace as I can hear every single note from the bar. It’s going to be loud up there, I think to myself, and once we make our way up there I find out I'm not wrong.Read More
A reverent ‘you can hear a pin drop’ reception is a rare thing for a main support act, never mind one that is third on the bill, but Jo Quail is no ordinary artist. She is a solo cellist and whilst that may sound as far from metal as you can possibly get, the sound she creates is simply astonishing. What Jo does is taps out a sound on her futuristic looking cello and then she loops that sound back so that it becomes part of the backing track, then she does it again and again and again and so on until she has a rich tapestry of textured noise that surrounds her still audible mournfully beautiful cello.Read More
Bank Holiday train engineering works, and the fact I’m feeling tired and emotional (aka a hangover, from my mate’s wedding the previous day), means I’m dashing to make it to the venue for the support band. Fortunately, I manage to make it into the already reasonably full O2 Ritz just as The Amorettes take to the stage. In the ten years since they started, they’ve shared the stage with some impressive names and made genuine professional connections.Read More
In early May 1994, as an enthusiastic but rather rough around the edges reporter I reviewed The Wildhearts playing the Student Union’s Main debating Hall for the Student Paper. I tell you this as here I am twenty-five years later as an enthusiastic but rather rough around the edges reporter for ROCKFLESH reviewing The Wildhearts play exactly the same room (now renamed Academy 2). Many things have changed (how many new buildings does Manchester actually need and where did that bloody spiral staircase come from) but other things have stayed the same; namely I still can’t spell, my social skills haven’t improved, my teeth are still in woeful condition (I remember someone at the ’94 gig commenting on it) and The Wildhearts are touring a stunning album seemingly on the verge of greatness.Read More
My passion is live music and there are many bands over the years that I have championed and talked passionately about to anyone who would listen. However i am very aware that most of the bands that I raved about have been acquired tastes and would never amount to anything more than a cult concern. But then once in a while comes around a band that I feel could and may be huge and have the songs and the presence to rule the universe. Savage Messiah are one of these bands. Tonight is a joyful celebration of both what they have achieved so far and more importantly what they will go on to achieve with the imminent release of their new album “Demons”.Read More
A wise person once said ‘be careful what you wish for, it might come true”, so after insinuating that the overlords at ROCKFLESH towers should consider broadening the remit of the assignments they send me on, here I am well out of my comfort zone both geographically and genrely. You see Nu-metal/rap metal (call it what you want) is just not my thing, it emerged at the point where Metal and I were on a break and I was busy seeing others genres and its appeal has ever since failed to land with me especially with my love of death growls and scuzzy doomy riffs. To top it all I’ve crossed the border and am in Liverpool, which as a life-long Manchester City fan feels a rather uncomfortable place to be at present!Read More
Early start at Rebellion tonight as apparently we are being followed by a punk festival. Which is nice! So Gorilla Riot are onstage by 7.30, which I suspect was a shock to their systems as well as mine. This is because Gorilla Riot are a late-night kind of band. They’re bluesy, and sleazy. The kind of band you feel you should be drinking neat whisky and chainsmoking Marlboros to. Oh and none of your Marlboro lights either!Read More
It's Easter, it's a Saturday night and it's the hottest day of the year so far. The O2 Academy 2 is the venue for this evening's visit of Canadian rock Gods Monster Truck. The tour is currently rumbling around the UK in support of their 3rd album “True Rockers” released in September 2018. With their previous releases “Furiosity” and “Sittin’ Heavy” also gathering critical acclaim and having songs used as Ubisoft and EA game music scores, songs used on TV programmes and guest vocalists like Dee Snider on the new album, its set to be an interesting gig to say the least.Read More
Sadly (for me at least) Mike’s current touring support Rob Wylde was unable to make tonight’s show, so we had two local acoustic musicians I wasn’t aware of to open up for us.
First up was Junior Dayvies. He turned out to be a tall man with a twinkly smile, and he played laid-back summery music. Occasionally the lyrics became slightly edgy and there was a [Ben Elton Mode] touch of politics [/Ben Elton Mode} involved, but mostly it was polite, slightly melancholy and very much in tune. He was a nice way to start the evening.Read More
I feel like I live in Rebellion.
I genuinely thought I wouldn't make it to Manchester tonight. As someone who is all about the fun side of metal, Frog Leap have been on my list for a little while. And why not? Leo Moracchioli is famed for his interesting take on pop music and someone I admire hugely, having had my own musical act a number of years ago where I exclusively covered metal and grunge on a piano (think a less talented Tori Amos and you're bang on the money). The creativity needed to envision a popular song in an entirely different genre is nothing short of genius, and I was keen to witness his appearance in Manchester tonight.Read More
Unlike my Liverpudlian and Chester dwelling friends I have it easy and my travels on behalf of ROCKFLESH surmount to falling on and off a tram. However tonight I have wandered further afield, much further afield, infact all the way to the big smoke for a ultra rare performance by Tobis Sammet's star studded side project Avantasia.Read More
I’m still trying to get over the jetlag from my trip to New York, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to take in a rock gig by an original band at my local venue. The Live Rooms in Chester has tended to move away from original rock and metal gigs in recent times, spending more time with tribute, cover and dance/funk acts, so when the chance to see something relevant to ROCKFLESH comes around it has to be jumped on.Read More
It's Tuesday night, United are entertaining Barcelona somewhere on the other side of town and it's not even eight o'clock yet, but they are already having to shoehorn people into a sold out Rebellion. Judging by the number of fake profiles on Facebook trying to scam those desperate for tickets, this is certainly Manchester’s must see metal gig of the week.Read More
When Alpha Wolf are the openers, you know this is going to be a seriously heavy night. 30 seconds in on the front row and I've just been caught by an ill timed spin kick and quite frankly my drink deserves better.
Tonight’s queue was snaking around the side of the venue when I arrived and I felt like the oldest person ever. I mean, I still feel like I am in my early 20s, but my eyes are starting to betray me. Also my back hurts. My knees aren't great. I can't eat pastry anymore. I've got a lot of grey. And so on.Read More
This evening's gig at Manchester’s 02 Ritz is all set to be somewhat of a cracker; a double header of 2 bands celebrating 35 years since their inception. Both The Quireboys and FM have endured a rollercoaster of a ride or two over the past 3 and a bit decades, and these days FM are greying gracefully, yet still releasing quality material and touring regularly, so with support from Vega and Bad Touch, it promises to be a great night in store.Read More