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
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
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
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
Hooray. The Nu-Metal generation is alive and well. I've had my suspicions for some time that I wasn't completely alone, but standing here tonight in the crowd at Godsmack, I've got all the verification my baggy pants and chains will ever need.
I am still very much about the Nu-Metal which is probably why Break Stuff has always been my most favourite of all the club nights, even if I struggle to tie “Nu-Metal” and “Nostalgia” into the same sentence. Once I heard Korn on a classic rock radio station (and it was wubwub KoRn with Skrillex if you must know) and I wasn't ok for about 5 years.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
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Johann rocks up to the house, sends me a text “Thanks, Love!”. It’s sweet but I think the sentiment is misguided, I’ll take it though, it’s a harsh world and the cold is eating through my chequered shirt. If K is reading this, I think it was meant for you! We are on the road early; New Years resolutions are being activated early. It’s the new way, Johann assures me. So of course we get to the gig with ten minutes to spare. “Should I move to Manchester?” He jokes, “Manchester people are so much friendlier!” just as he is cut up by an errant Mancunian in a silver Volvo.Read More
There is nothing better than a well-constructed and immaculately curated package tour and tonight's sludgetastic double header of Corrosion of Conformity and Orange Goblin is made even more appetizing by the inclusion of cult stoners Fireball Ministry and Leeds’ Black Moth. The latter are shoved on ten minutes after opening and initially have a mere smattering of a crowd, which is a shame as this is slick doom done remarkably well.Read More
This Thursday led me to the glitzy ballroom of the O2 Ritz for an evening of symphonic metal, courtesy of the Dutch band Epica currently on their UK tour.
As I got to the ticket office to pick up my photo pass, I found out progressive Oceans Of Slumber and Myrkur were the support acts for the evening. I am one of those who do my research post-gig, it allows me to take new bands at face value with no misconception, whatever they may be. Considering that Epica musical genre is far from being mainstream, unbeknown to me, they have acquired a decent following in the UK as the venue is nicely packed early.Read More