Posts in Gig Review
Live Review : FM + The Quireboys + Bad Touch + Vega @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on April 7th 2019

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.

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Live Review : Carcer City + Last Hounds + The Human Veil @ Satan's Hollow, Manchester on April 5th 2019

My experiences at Satans Hollow have always been hit and miss. The venue is one of the best themed night clubs I've ever been in, but gigs here have always been a strange affair on a personal note. The stage is circular in the centre of the room, beneath a vast array of twinkling fairy lights (think Joyce Byers trying to contact the Upside Down). Visually it's stunning. In the past though, I've seen bands here with sound  that... well... sucked.

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Live Review : In Flames + Norma Jean + Light The Torch @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on April 4th 2019

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).

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Live Review : The Quireboys + The Clan @ The Tivoli, Buckley on March 30th 2019

The Tivoli kept up its practice of giving us a local band as opener by tonight presenting The Clan. Rumour had it that they were yet another pub-rock covers band, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that actually they play original (if derived) traditional British blues rock. Think back to the early 80s (if you are old enough) and there were dozens of bands like this all playing their hearts out and dreaming of following in the footsteps of Iron Maiden or Saxon to the charts and being asked to go on TOTP.

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Live Review : Employed To Serve + Raging Speedhorn + Loathe @ Rebellion, Manchester on March 29th 2019

Liverpool’s Loathe explode onto the stage in a whirlwind of limbs and tight taught riffs. They feel like an animal released from captivity and as this is their first show of the year that is totally understandable. Their music is awash with short sharp minimalistic guitar lines, but what makes them so interesting is the way that songs suddenly stop or change shape. This is metalcore but with a massive dollop of experimentation and Loathe seem intent on pushing the boundaries of this usually very conservative musical form.

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Live Review : Jizzy Pearl + B4Time + Wasted Fate @ The Tivoli, Buckley on March 23rd 2019

This is starting to feel like déjà vu, or possibly a second home. Here I am back in Buckley again as the Tivoli is really upping its game in the live music venue stakes at the moment. It’s definitely worth a visit, it’s a cracking venue with a decent stage, well-stocked if slightly expensive bar and good acoustics.

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Live Review : Wolf + Primitai + Shrapnel @ Academy 3, Manchester on March 24th 2019

As we can all personally attest a week is a bloody long time in politics, it also transpire to be long and knackering time in Metal. I easily had the choice of two reviewable shows every single night this week and in reality I managed to attend a neck-aching four gigs, which at my age feels very much too much of a good thing. Therefore the fact that the Academy 3 is deserted comes as no surprise. The pockets of mancunian metalheads are only so deep and after an absolute smorgasbord of metallic goodies on offer this week (as well as HRH in North Wles) something is going to give and sadly it is Wolf and their rather fine undercard that have got the shitty end of the stick.

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Live Review : A Forest Of Stars + Necronautical + Burial @ Academy 3, Manchester on March 23rd 2019

A Forest of Stars shows are rare and special things so it is disappointing to find the Academy 3 pretty empty, especially as rumours of a sell-out had been swirling around the internet. Watching Burial take the stage to less people than A Forest of Stars have members means that either there has been a lot of fake news about the sales for this show or the Black Metal hordes are still in the student bar two floors below enjoying the considerably cheaper beer. 

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Live Review : A Pale Horse Named Death + Transport League @ Rebellion, Manchester on March 23rd 2019

What better way to spend a Saturday night than with Brooklyn based Lords of Doom A Pale Horse Named Death?  When APHND first arrived on the scene in 2011 with their debut album “And Hell Will Follow Me”, they were touted as an absolute must listen for fans of Type O Negative.  Now 8 years on, they are riding the waves of adoration in the wake of the release of their third album “When The World Becomes Undone”, a deliciously gloomy journey laced with melancholy.

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Live Review : Kamelot + Evergrey + Visions of Atlantis @ Academy Club in Manchester on March 21st 2019

I have to confess to being a tad over-excited this evening as this is power metal royalty Kamelot’s first ever visit to Manchester. For a band of their stature and longevity that fact is at best an oversight and at worst rather embarrassing, though to be honest not wholly unexpected. You see power metal acts struggle to comprehend that the UK stretches beyond the north circular and visits north of the border (which in their minds lies around Watford) are a rare occurrence.

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Live Review : Electric Boys + Last Great Dreamers + Hollowpoint @ The Tivoli, Buckley on March 22nd 2019

Our evening starts tonight with Hollowpoint, a 5-piece classic rock band from just over the border in Cheshire. They give us mostly original songs and a couple of covers. The sound is very much British blues-tinged hard rock, and they are very competent at making it. They’re probably not going to set the world on fire, but they obviously enjoy what they do even when, as tonight, there is a sparse crowd due to the football being on.

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Live Review : Crippled Black Phoenix + Fotocrime + Weirdwolf @ Rebellion, Manchester on March 20th 2019

It doesn't start well. I leave more people back at me house (not including the cats) than there are at rebellion when I arrive. At first glance it seems that Manchester's post rock massive have decided to stay in and wash their collective hairs tonight rather than brave the rather barmy spring evening. Weirdwolf take the stage to essentially an empty room, what punters there are stand so far back that they practically are falling into the lap-dancing club next door.

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Live Review : The Raven Age + Defences + Choose Your Destroyer @ Rebellion, Manchester on March 21st 2019

You wonder if the mid-week gigging scene is starting to feel the effects of over-saturation when you turn up to a gig and there are less than 10 people waiting for the late doors to open. I guess the truth is that you need to count the bodies in the room by the time the headliners take to the stage (and in this case there were more, but not that many more).

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Live Review : SUMAC + Baptists + ENDON @ The Deaf Institute, Manchester on March 18th 2019

The good old Manchester rain means that by the time we get to The Deaf Institute everyone queuing is soaking wet and reminiscent of the veritable drowned rat. The Music Hall upstairs at The Deaf Institute is a cracking little venue, almost like a tiny theatre, and the steam rising from the amassed crowd up the stairs makes it feel like we’re waiting to enter an underworld gladiatorial arena.

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Live Review : Doro + No Sleep For Lucy @ Rebellion in Manchester on March 12th 2019

Tonight’s support were a bit of an odd choice considering Doro is the Queen Of Metal. No Sleep For Lucy are Swedish, and their style started off as a sort of mish-mash of indiepop and 90’s emo. I’d just written in my notes that they had a bit of a sound of U2 when sure enough they went into a cover of ‘Pride (In The Name Of Love)’.

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Live Review : Tyketto + Kane'd @ Academy Club, Manchester on March 10th 2019

It’s a cold Sunday night tonight in Manchester, so I was quite surprised to see a venue that was not only within a few tickets of being sold out but also full of people right from the start. This meant tonight’s support act, Kane’d, had a job to do to win over those audience members who weren’t familiar with them, and I have to say they did it rather well.

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Live Review : Godsmack + Like A Storm @ O2 Ritz, Manchester on February 28th 2019

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.

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Live Review: Pop Evil + The Fallen State @ Rebellion, Manchester on February 27th 2019

I stumble to the train at Chester station, my mind numb from three days of nonstop IOSH risk assessment training. It’s sent me mildly insane as I now see hazards and risks everywhere I look. Still, I get to the train and try to reset my brain ahead of tonight’s gig. Johann lets me know that it’s just one support and Pop Evil tonight...just two bands, an unusual billing these days I note. It’s a shame they’re not opening the doors earlier and giving a local band or two a slot, but maybe it speaks to the confidence in their respective projects.

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