Posts tagged Review
Live Review : Touché Amoré + Deafheaven + Portrayal Of Guilt @ Academy 2, Manchester on October 2nd 2019

Unfortunately, thanks to a crash on the M56, I miss the opening act on tonight’s bill (sorry Portrayal of Guilt!). I put a positive spin on the situation by thinking that it might help the cause; co-headline gigs, especially those with intense bands such as Touché Amoré and Deafheaven, can sometimes be hard work. How wrong I am, as both bands tonight deliver masterclasses in their art.

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Live Review : Volbeat + Baroness @ O2 Apollo, Manchester on October 1st 2019

Be careful what you wish for, it may well come true. For literally years I have bemoaned that fact that the UK never seemed to succumb to the utter joy that is Volbeat. As they graduated to stadium and festivals headliner status on the continent, in this country it felt that they had become caught in a groundhog day loop of club gigs and mid-afternoon second stage slots at Download. Tonight, however, things may have finally changed. The Apollo is literally bursting out the seams and the entire tour has been sold out for months, so why oh why, do I have reservations?

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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: OTEP + Psycho Village + My Own Ghost + tHOLA @ The Bread Shed, Manchester on February 15th 2019

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.

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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 : Steel Panther + Gus G @ Academy, Manchester on February 11th 2019

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.

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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 : 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 : Skindred + Sonic Boom Six + Scare Tactics @ O2 Academy, Liverpool on December 15th 2018

Why is everyone at Def Leppard tonight? Don’t they know the real party is on Hotham Street? Newport “Ragga Metal" pioneers Skindred are back with their “That's My Jam" tour, and I’m ever in the mood for the kind of fun packed shenanigans that the band routinely bring to their live shows. I flew out the house without my bank card and my train home has been cancelled, but even that doesn’t dampen my spirit. I might just have to walk 17 miles home, that’s all.

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Live Review : Uriah Heep + Von Hertzen Brothers @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on December 12th 2018

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.

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Live Review : Spock's Beard + The Flower KIngs @ Academy Club, Manchester on December 10th 2018

I regularly dip my toe into Prog and my signed vinyl copy of ‘Misplaced Childhood’ would be the thing I would save in a fire, but tonight I may be out of my depth as I am in serious hardcore Prog devotee territory. This is top shelf, sold in a brown paper bag, hundred percent proof, not for lightweights full strength stuff and this is an audience of devotees and connoisseurs, very much not the ‘I heard one song on the radio I thought I would check them out’ crowd. 

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Live Review : TesseracT + Between The Buried And Me @ Academy 2, Manchester on November 28th 2018

Welcome to Clash of the Titans: the polyrythmic, ever shifting time signatures edition. If you like your metal complex, intelligent and highly technical then this is probably the finest double header you will find. First out the gates are Between the Buried and Me and without wanting to get a reputation as the reviewer always moaning about the sound, Tommy Giles Rogers Jnr's vocals are just about audible. Now usually this would annoy the hell out of me but, truth be told, I would be gushing lyrically about Between the Buried and Me even if our Tommy did his entire vocal delivery via the medium of mime.

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Live Review : The Dead Daisies + Massive Wagons @ O2 Academy, Liverpool on November 13th 2018

One of the most startling developments of the last few years has been the re-emergence of heavy, bluesy rock as a dominant force in our musical world. Classic (or you can call it hard, heavy, bluesy or commercial it really doesn’t matter) rock was seemingly dead and buried ten years ago or at least only worth a dollop of tongue in cheek irony (The Darkness, I’m looking at you). But now there is a virtual Smorgasbord of young whipper-snappers playing the type of infectious guitar-driven danceable rock that was last in vogue before any of them were glints in the soundman’s eye.

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Live Review : Slayer + Lamb Of God + Anthrax + Obituary @ MEN Arena, Manchester on November 9th 2018

It was only in 2010 that I saw Slayer headline a three quarters full Academy, just eight short years later they pretty much filled the Arena. But this is no bog standard Slayer gig, this is, apparently, the end and everyone wants to get one last look at Slayer before its all over. Because the truth is at some point over the last decade Slayer replaced Black Sabbath as being the officially recognised dictionary definition of Metal. They have become metal's spirit and essence distilled into one band. And now they are going away.

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Live Review : Shining + Alithia + Countless Skies + Saurr @ Satan's Hollow, Manchester on November 4th 2018

It’s been that long since I jumped in the Johann’s Crimson, German death wagon that I have changed career paths, got past a serious medical scare (not mine) and watched Johann jet-set about Europe.  Going to a unvisited venue is always exciting.  Aside form the new things too write about each venue has its own character.  Satan’s Hollow is off the beaten track a little, situated in the back roads between Oxford road and Piccadilly it sits askew to its corporate surroundings.  A large, dark, heavy gate greets the visitor, a portent of things inside?  We traverse the usual entry problems, god help us if Johann forgets his phone.  Once inside we can see an unusual layout.  It’s a small venue, 500 people would see this uncomfortable. The stage is a small penned garden of metal right in the centre of the oddly shaped room. Shining have wrapped a large banner around one side of the pen creating a temporary backdrop to the normally circular stage.  The room is intimate but has space for two separate bars.  

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