Bloodstock 2016: The Sunday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2016 by 80smetalman

Sunday, the final day of Bloodstock and while that meant packing up to go home, (I couldn’t stay the Sunday night as I had to be in work for 7:40 the Monday morning), I was determined to make the most of the final day. The two bands at the top of the bill on this day was incentive enough. Therefore, while I didn’t rush things, I still went into the arena fairly early.

Let me declare to the world that I have found the perfect cure for the Sunday morning hangover! It comes in the form of the first band of the day, Ghost Bath. Their brand of what I would call stoner metal definitely soothes the soul and the melody of their music makes it very easy to sway back and forth to with little effort. The vocals basically consisted of the lead singer, he was the one dressed in black, screaming the occasional “Yeah!” down the microphone. Strangely, it went very well with the music. Furthermore, I was intrigued by Ghost Bath’s appearance. Except for the singer, the rest of the band was all in white, sort of like ghosts. Like I said, a great way to get over your hangover on Sunday morning.

Ghost Bath soothing the afflicted

Ghost Bath soothing the afflicted

Going from one extreme to the other, while Ghost Bath were more soothing on the ears, loud vicious wails coming from the New Blood Stage beckoned me in that direction. Needing to investigate, I went into the tent and found the perpetrators, a band by the name of Pteroglyph. They were a well put together quartet of thrash metal mania. Again, like with Witch Tripper, I hope any scouts viewing them this day didn’t pass on a great opportunity. Furthermore, I hoped the older looking appearance of the rhythm guitarist wasn’t a further excuse to ignore this band. He looked close to my age but that could have been the lighting. I was impressed.

Pteroglyph releasing their carnage

Pteroglyph releasing their carnage

Leaving the New Blood Stage, I returned to the Ronnie James Dio Stage in time for the second band of the day, Heart of a Coward. I had seen a picture of this band before and they reminded of the typical English men who go out on a Saturday night, get drunk and then engage in a good punch up. However, from the sounds they were creating on the stage, I get the impression that they put all of their aggression into their music and the sound resulting from that is fantastic. In between the power notes, there was some good intricate guitar work to be heard as well. This leaves me to conclude that the band’s name is a good catchy hook because there is nothing cowardly about this band. Thinking about it, Heart of a Coward with Pteroglyph in support would make a cool concert on its own.

Heart of a Coward proving they weren't

Heart of a Coward proving they weren’t

Having fully been metalized for the Sunday morning, duty called so I had to return to tear down the tent and pack away. Fortunately, tearing down the tent wasn’t nearly as difficult as putting it up. Even though, we had less to carry back the car as we did when we arrived three days earlier, it wasn’t an easy task. That was probably down to my determination to get it all done in one trip. I did use a bit of ingenuity when we got to the edge of the car park. We grounded our gear and went and brought the car around to load it, thus saving a lot of effort. It allowed us to get back in plenty of time to see Dragonforce, who Teal and Joe were raving about.

At first, I was going to give Dragonforce a miss because Anthrax had arrived in the signing tent and getting their autograph would have been a dream come true. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending how you view it, I had to wait in a mile long queue to get an autograph. That line wound in view of the main stage, so when Dragonforce appeared, I got the best of both worlds. Dragonforce’s brand of progressive metal, (they reminded me of Stratovarius), was quite enjoyable. It calmed my frustration brought on by standing in a line that wasn’t moving. If I had known that I would never even get close to seeing my heroes Anthrax, I would have ventured closer to the stage because they seemed to have a good presence. Dragonforce eased the disappointment ten-fold.

Closest I got to Dragonforce

Closest I got to Dragonforce

I should have gotten closer

I should have gotten closer

I figured that I should go see one last band on the Sophie Lancaster Stage before I went home and Dragonforce’s departure from the stage provided that opportunity. Ditty bopping over into the tent, I was treated to the powerful music coming from Vecktor. Here was another band that had some great guitar and progressive interludes in between lashings of pure power. They definitely had me head banging away to them along with most of those who were in the Sophie Lancaster tent at the time. I could feel the powerful climax to the night rapidly building up.

Vecktor putting on a cool performance

Vecktor putting on a cool performance

With the two bands most of Bloodstock I was waiting to see, I thought I would get close to the main stage in preparation. I’m glad I did. Not because I was going to be in a good position for Anthrax but also because I got to see the predecessors, Symphony X. While I only saw about twenty minutes of their time on stage, I thought it was well worth it. They were a natural progression from Dragonforce and Vecktor and would prove to be a good bridge for what was to come after. Power chords melded with some good melody backed by competent keyboards always makes a good listen and Symphony X ticked all of those boxes. By the time they had left the stage, I was a volcano waiting to erupt.

Symphony X

Symphony X

With Symphony X departed from the stage, I maneuvered my way down to the front of the stage, this time removing my glasses first and waited. Time flew by it seemed but watching the crew carry out the final checks only served to heighten the tension. Then it happened, Anthrax were on stage. I don’t know what song they opened with but I didn’t care, especially as they followed up with “Caught in a Mosh” and predictably, a huge pit opened nearby. Now, my only complaint when I saw them in 2013 was that they didn’t play any songs from the “Spreading the Disease” album. This time, they rectified it with the fourth song. Predictably, it was “Madhouse” but that didn’t stop me from singing along. Also, the first time I saw Anthrax was 30 years ago, but they, especially Frank Bello and Scott Ian, moved about the stage as if they hadn’t aged at all. In fact, I never saw Frank quite so animated. He was all over the place. “Indians” proved to be the perfect climax to the show as all those in the pit started a war dance. They were on stage for a little more than an hour but the energy they showed, it seemed like only twenty minutes. Time does fly when you’re having fun.

Anthrax assert their dominance

Anthrax assert their dominance

Ian and Bello proving that age has little effect on metal.

Ian and Bello proving that age has little effect on metal.

Rob Craggiano managed to get close enough for me to take a picture of him

Rob Craggiano managed to get close enough for me to take a picture of him

With Anthrax done and dusted, the only ones left for the festival was headliners Slayer. Not wanting a repeat of Saturday, I drifted to the back but made sure I had a good viewing point. Slayer came out and wowed the crowd with great lights and music. The problem with so many lights, it hampers good photos but nonetheless, I tried. Anyway, Slayer granted my request and played not one but two songs from the “Show No Mercy” album, the title track and “Die by the Sword.” While the played a good mix of material, they played the same two songs from “South of Heaven” they played three years earlier, “Mandatory Suicide” and that title track. However, I didn’t care that much about trivial things like that as Slayer clobbered everyone in the crowd with what they do best. They did disappear on two occasions for a few brief minutes and I never could figure out why. When they returned, their absence was quickly forgotten. However, I wonder if that’s why they never came out for an encore. At least it seemed that way. Nevertheless, when Slayer left the stage, I was completely satisfied with them, the Sunday and the whole weekend!

Slayer come out to fire and light

Slayer come out to fire and light

Slayer, a class headline act

Slayer, a class headline act

Best shot of Slayer on the night

Best shot of Slayer on the night

This photo wasn't too bad

This photo wasn’t too bad

Explosion of light

Explosion of light

On the journey home, I discovered a conspiracy. For the third time in a row, when coming home from Bloodstock, I hit road detours on the motorways and had to go all around the houses. While it lengthened my trip time, I had the musical delights of Megadeath and “Twisted Forever,” a tribute album to Twisted Sister to make the ride home enjoyable and allowed me to rejoice in the history that I had witnessed over the weekend.

Next post: A Surprise Gig

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2016: Saturday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2016 by 80smetalman

Saturday morning and I wake up having gone to bed about 12:30 thus missing another night of bin jousting and general mayhem. It was on this morning I discovered the advantage of going to a festival for the full three days as opposed to only going for one day. When you only go for the one day, you feel pressured into seeing as much as you can as you want to get your money’s worth for the day. Therefore, you go from stage to stage absorbing all the acts as possible. When you go for three days, there’s not so much pressure to do so and that allows you to relax. So, I was up in the morning with my new Twisted Sister t-shirt on and taking my time over eating as the first act I really wanted to see wasn’t on stage until the early afternoon.

My new t-shirt

My new t-shirt

And the back

And the back

While I didn’t rush to get into the arena, when I finished the necessities, I didn’t really want to sit around doing nothing. So, I made my way to the arena to see what was what. Upon entry, my attention was turned to the Sophie Lancaster Stage where a band called The Raven Age was on. After a re-jog of my memory, I remember liking their brand of melodic metal. I only caught the last couple of songs from their set, but I liked what I heard and saw. Like Friday, I found another good way to start the day.

The Raven Age

The Raven Age

Leaving the Sophie Lancaster Stage following the departure of The Raven Age, I followed my ears to the main Ronnie James Dio Stage. There, I was treated to the thrash of Vallenfyre. I liked the anger and hunger these five guys showed while on stage. Although this wasn’t the band I was planning to see, I was glad that I caught some of their show.

Vallenfyre accosting the stage

Vallenfyre accosting the stage

With some time to kill, I thought I’d saunter back over the to Sophie Lancaster Stage. Upon it was a band called This is Turin. Another five piece thrash band and even more angry than the band I had just finished seeing. However, while I enjoyed what This is Turin had to offer on the day, they did not make me want to stay and miss any of the band I wanted to see on this Saturday. So, I had to say goodbye to them and head back to the main stage.

This is Turin

This is Turin

I had high expectation of Ackercoke after reading about them on Heavy Metal Overload. The sample track I heard from the post filled me with even more expectation. When they first hit the stage, I wasn’t sure about them. However, it didn’t take long before any potential feelings of disappointment rapidly vanished. Their ability to combine fantasy with power metal bordering on thrash soon captivated me and those who went to see them. Being the first band of the day who I saw in their entirety, the forty minutes they were on stage flew by, thanks to some great metal. Therefore, it’s left to me to say a big thank you to HMO for bringing Ackercoke to my attention.

Ackercoke on the offensive

Ackercoke on the offensive

More Ackercoke

More Ackercoke

At past Bloodstocks, when I ventured past the Jagermeister Stage, I would hear cover bands playing so I wouldn’t pay much attention to them. However, following the exit of Ackercoke, for some reason, I went over to the stage and what I heard was no cover band. Playing was a West Yorkshire band known as Pulverise. Now rap metal was something I could always take or leave but Pulverise has made me think again about the genre. This rap metal sounded very good and most of it was down to the small but very attractive blonde lead singer. This little dynamite had a voice that would put many male metal rappers to shame. Rarely have I heard such power in a voice and I have to say, I was very impressed.

This was the best shot I could get of Pulverise

This was the best shot I could get of Pulverise

Another reason why I hung around the Jagermeister Stage was that it was close to the main stage and I definitely wanted to see the band following Ackerocke. I had heard many things about Greek death metallers Rotting Christ and definitely wanted to check them out. It was the best decision I would make this day. The have honed their death/grind skills into a near art form and it definitely showed on the stage. Apart from the music, they also had a cool stage show, the best I had seen up to this point on the Saturday. Loved the pentogram displays.

Rotting Christ

Rotting Christ

More death!

More death!

For some reason, all the death metal from Rotting Christ made me hungry. So, I decided to take a dinner break and be back for the main events of the night. After a gourmet dinner consisting of tinned spaghetti bolognese with a tin of meatballs, I returned to the arena for the main events. Upon arrival, I managed to catch the last twenty minutes or so of Paradise Lost. Their version of doom metal was a great prelude of things to come for the rest of the evening.

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost

With the possible exception of Twisted Sister, Gojira might have been the band most of those in attendance at the festival were there to see. Fortunately, I managed to get close to the front before the tidal wave of people converged. Gojira came out to the delight of the thousands there to welcome them and they were determined that those who made the effort to see them were going away disappointed. Gojira hammered out their metal, both old and new, to the hungry masses who responded with a large mosh pit and crowd surfing. That’s where I made a personal sacrifice in getting close to them. During the carnage, my glasses were knocked off my face. I looked on the ground for them but some kind young lady picked them up. However, she thought they belonged to a crowd surfer who had just gone by so she threw them over into the security area. I had to wait until Gojira finished playing before I could get them back. Oh the sacrifices one has to make. It didn’t matter that I had to see them for the remainder of their time on stage with my limited vision. I could see them fine and best of all, I could hear them clearly and that’s what I wanted. When they finished to thunderous applause, I concluded they were even better than when I had seen them in 2010. When I got my specs back, the frames were pretty mangled but I managed to fix them so I could wear them.

Gojira are welcomed by their fans

Gojira are welcomed by their fans

Jean Michel Baladie showing off. He did a crowd surf later on in the set.

Jean Michel Baladie showing off. He did a crowd surf later on in the set.

Joe Duplantier hammering out a solo

Joe Duplantier hammering out a solo

The sun has set enough for some cool lighting.

The sun has set enough for some cool lighting.

When Gojira left the stage, I was in a bit of befuddle as to what next. Originally, I wasn’t even going to check out Mastodon because I would rather have seen Acid Reign headline at the Sophie Lancaster tent. Earlier that day, I learned that Acid Reign weren’t going up until after Mastodon finished so I was content on seeing both. In the mean time, I did return to the Sophie Lancaster Stage anyway and caught the black metal of Swedish band, Shining. I found them very interesting to say the least. Like so many great European lead singers, Ghoul, does sing in very good English.

The Shining on stage

The Shining on stage

After the Shining, I was totally pumped on seeing Mastodon, as was the rest of my group, although I didn’t follow them to the front. Mastodon came out on stage with a pretty cool light show, unfortunately, their music did nothing for me. After twenty-five minutes of trying to get into them but being unable, I went back to the Sophie Lancaster Stage so I could get a good place for Acid Reign. In doing so, I got a bit of a treat as did all the men who were there. The Four Deejays of the Apocalypse were spinning some cool metal tunes with two very attractive young ladies dancing on the stage. It was certainly better than Mastodon. I would learn later that Teal, my stepson, was quite disappointed with Mastodon too.

Cool light show but nothing else

Cool light show but nothing else

More like it!

More like it!

I don’t think anyone knew what to expect when Acid Reign came out on stage late on Saturday night. When they did, they bashed those in attendance with a unique brand of speed metal. The only original member of the band on stage that night was lead singer Howard H Smith and he was every bit the show man. Darting around on stage, climbing up on amp stacks, he was full of energy more accustomed to a much younger man. All the while, his new band kept up with him very nicely. They even premiered their new single, “Plan of the Damned,” which reminds me, I need to carry out Smith’s request and get it. Of course, they played some of their material from the late 1980s too. During the set, Howard thanked Mastodon for being their support act. All I could think was, “He’s got that right.” Acid Reign closed the Saturday night out tremendously.

Acid Reign come out under the lights

Acid Reign come out under the lights

Orange jacket with matching shorts, an interesting choice of wardrobe for Howard H Smith

Orange jacket with matching shorts, an interesting choice of wardrobe for Howard H Smith

Howard addresses the crowd from the amp stack

Howard addresses the crowd from the amp stack

Cranking out a guitar solo

Cranking out a guitar solo

Howard changes his clothes for the finale

Howard changes his clothes for the finale

The night didn’t end with Acid Reign. The Four Deejays returned to play more metal only this time, there were ladies dancing with flaming batons. Cool, but I couldn’t get a decent picture of it. Still, it was a cool way to end the night.

Best I could do with the fire dancers

Best I could do with the fire dancers

Next post: Sunday

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2016: Friday- Twisted Sister

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2016 by 80smetalman

Photo0097[1]

Having stood in virtually the same spot for nearly five hours and having to endure things like crowd surfers and mosh pits opening nearby, I was ready for the main event. It wasn’t all bad. I did get to rock out to Behemoth, Venom and Corrosion of Conformity and Venom did give me a present before they left the stage. Now, as I was waiting for the band I would have moved mountains to see, especially since it was the farewell to the UK gig, I couldn’t wait for Twisted Sister to get on that stage!

A nice gift from Venom, I managed to pick one up off the ground.

A nice gift from Venom, I managed to pick one up off the ground.

Let me cut straight to the chase, Twisted Sister were full of surprises this night. The last two times I saw them, they opened the show with “Come Out and Play” and the two other times before, it was “Stay Hungry.” I’m not sure which song it was the first time I saw them in 1983 but it might have been this one. They opened with the first track from their “Under the Blade” album, “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can’t Hurt You”) and both the crowd and I went nuts. Afterwards, they kept the momentum going with “The Kids are Back” rapidly followed by “Burn in Hell.” It was a great way to start the show.

Any speculation that Twisted Sister’s set was going to be dominated by their most successful album, “Stay Hungry,” evaporated very quickly. They played a good mix from their first four albums and I thought they sounded better than ever. If this was their farewell performance, they were certainly going out on a high, an astronomical high! A few songs in, Dee Snider, probably one of music’s best when talking to the audience, explained about this being Twisted Sister’s farewell show. He did point out the likes of The Scorpions, KISS and Ozzy, all of whom said they were retiring only to return two years later. Dee promised that this was definitely the band’s last tour, the skeptic in me says time will tell. Anyway, they followed his words up with my all time favourite TS song, “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll.”

Continuing on with their domination of Bloodstock with that great mix of songs, (I’ll provide the full playlist further on down the post,) Dee again addressed the crowd in his usual manner. This time he was more serious as he highlighted all the great losses heavy metal has had in the recent years. Starting with the legend, Ronnie James Dio, he then went to point out the band’s on personal loss with AJ Pero, who passed away last year. Here Dee introduced Mike Portnoy and thanked him for stepping into AJ’s place. After which, he told about the two most recent losses, Jimmy Bain and of course Lemmy, thanking Lemmy for his role in getting Twisted Sister noticed. Tributes were payed to all four with the most appropriate Twisted Sister song to do it with, “The Price.”

Metal Twisted Sister style rocked the arena for several more minutes with Eddie Ojeda and Jay Jay French hammering out solos, Mark Mendoza beating another bass to death, Mike Portnoy’s drumming and Dee Snider’s vocals and crowd chat. It all seemed to end too soon and Twisted Sister appeared to close out by playing a great Rolling Stones classic, “It’s Only Rock and Roll” and I loved it.

Of course, they came back for an encore, starting with the song I thought they might have opened with and then went into a great song from the first album, have a guess, the answer’s further down. It was after the second song that all four of the original members each spoke to the crowd thanking them for all their dedication over the years. Starting with Mark and then Eddie, but as usual, I thought it strange he hadn’t said much before, Jay Jay brought up a very good point. Using the example of X-Factor, he says how the winners thank everyone for their support for fifteen weeks. He was totally right when he said that fifteen weeks was nothing when compared to bands like Judas Priest and KISS as well as Twisted Sister who have been going strong for forty years or more! Stick that one Simon Cowell. Always to have the last word, Dee thanked everyone, especially Mike Portnoy and explained that Mike had been personally chosen by AJ to replace him if the need should ever arise. No one would have thought it would have been under the most tragic of circumstances. With that, Twisted Sister brought an end to a great night with the best song possible, “SMF.” When they left, I’m sure the 15,000 or so who saw them felt they got their money’s worth.

Playlist:

My memory sucks so the order may be slightly out

  1. What You Don’t Know (Sure Can’t Hurt You)
  2. The Kids are Back
  3. Burn In Hell
  4. Destroyer
  5. Knife in the Back
  6. You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll
  7. The Fire Still Burns
  8. I Wanna Rock
  9. Under the Blade
  10. The Price
  11. I Believe in Rock and Roll
  12. I Am I’m Me
  13. We’re Not Gonna Take It
  14. It’s Only Rock and Roll

Encore

  1. Come Out and Play
  2. Shoot’ em Down
  3. SMF

Photos from this historic night

Twisted Sister come out and play

Twisted Sister come out and play

Jay Jay and Mark in support while Eddie cranks out a solo

Jay Jay and Mark in support while Eddie cranks out a solo

Dee showing he still got the vocals while Mark beats his bass to death

Dee showing he still got the vocals while Mark beats his bass to death

Jay Jay's turn for a solo

Good lighting as well as music

Jay Jay's turn for a solo

Jay Jay’s turn for a solo

The fire still burns

The fire still burns

TS at the best ever

TS at the best ever

Photo0106[1]

And here

And here

The grand finale

The grand finale

I am making a promise here which all of you can hold me to. If Twisted Sister change their minds and do come back again, I will not go see them. Not because of any lies but because I believe they couldn’t do any better than what they did on this night. For me they went out on an ultimate high.

Note: My memory isn’t the greatest and though I took notes of the entire weekend, shit for brains here lost the notepad so my memories may be slightly off. If any of you reading this were there, I would love to read about your versions of this piece of history.

Next post: Saturday

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategcipublishingroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2016: Friday- Well Most of It

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2016 by 80smetalman

Old age had caught up with me just after midnight on the Thursday so I decided to call it a night. Trying to get to sleep, I was disturbed by several loud crashes that went on through the night. When I awoke the next morning, Teal, my stepson, tells me about the latest sports craze sweeping Bloodstock, bin jousting. From what he tells me, you get two large dumpster bins, one or more persons to stand on it and then a group of people to push the bin into that of their opponent’s. Whoever falls loses. I would have definitely done something like that in my youth but these days, nah!

My first morning at Bloodstock, I wolf down my breakfast and head for the arena. With no apparent appearance of anyone on the Ronnie James Dio Stage, I head over to the New Blood Stage. Maybe, I’ll find another band like Black Emerald. At 10:30, a three piece band called Witch Tripper from Mansfield, England ascends the stage and immediately blows me away. They were a great power metal band. The guitarist, who is also the lead singer, can definitely shred and he is supported by a very capable rhythm section. They were that good that they held my attention to the point that I never even noticed the first band of the day on the main stage had begun playing. If there were any record scouts watching these guys play and didn’t make them an offer, then shame on you. Witch Tripper was a great start to the Friday morning.

Witch Tripper made the perfect start to the day.

Witch Tripper made the perfect start to the day.

When Witch Tripper finished, I immediately beat feet to the Ronnie James Dio Stage to catch the second half of Hark. I’m glad I did. Hark’s brand of metal followed very nicely from what I had just seen. They were powerful, fierce and hungry and their performance on the stage showed it. While Witch Tripper might have kicked things off for the day, Hark definitely got the show started on the main stage.

Hark

Hark

It was on Teal’s recommendation that I check out the second band on the main stage on Friday, Gloryhammer. My first impression when I heard them was, “They sound a lot like Hammerfall.” Melodic keyboards, fantasy lyrics and at times, a good power sound, yes, all the elements I know of from Hammerfall. Furthermore, all the mannerisms of the band while they were on stage gave the impression that they were from one of the Scandinavian nations. Even the actions of lead singer, Thomas Winkler, had me thinking they were from said reginon. Well, the last bit was all wrong. The members of the band are from Scotland and Switzerland! In fact, Winkler claims he is the heir to the throne of Fife. Still, their music and stage show was very good. I especially liked when they brought a young lady dressed as a medieval serving wench to refresh them. So, while there was still a definite Hammerfall influence here, they were unique enough to rock the stage.

Gloryhammer fulfilling fantasies

Gloryhammer fulfilling fantasies

More Gloryhammer

More Gloryhammer

Heir of Fife addressing his subjects

Heir of Fife addressing his subjects

Tried to get the serving lady, too many hands got in the way.

Tried to get the serving lady, too many hands got in the way.

With a break in the action on the main stage, I heard loud sounds from the Sophie Lancaster Stage. Going to investigate, I discovered the band Brutai blasting away. Silly cliches but Brutai were brutal. They were loud and proud. So loud in fact that work phoned my mobile during their time on stage and I had to walk a good ways from the tent in order to hear the call. They proved to be an enjoyable bridge between Gloryhammer and the next band to ascend the Ronnie James Dio Stage.

Brutai pounding the Sophie Lancaster Stage

Brutai pounding the Sophie Lancaster Stage

Gloryhammer played melodically to people’s fantasies. The next band on the main stage, Evil Scarecrow, simply scared the crap out of people. Their Halloween make up combined with their aggressive thrash metal was not for the feint-hearted. Evil Scarecrow pulverized the stage and anyone who got near enough to hear them. It must be my sub-conscience masochistic tendencies but I kind of enjoyed what I heard. Still, not one to play when your grandmother is visiting.

I wasn't the only one unafraid of Evil Scarecrow

I wasn’t the only one unafraid of Evil Scarecrow

For some reason, Evil Scarecrow left me feeling a bit hungry. I mean there was no drinking of animal blood on stage or anything like that but my stomach was calling. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to feed my face, down a couple of cans in preparation for the long time I was going to be at the front of the main stage. It was always my plan to see three of the last four bands on the Friday and since the other band was the one on before the headliner, I thought I would see them just so I wouldn’t lose my place for the main event.

The first of those bands was Corrosion of Conformity. I listened to one album of theirs back in the 1980s, but that was all. My memory of them was always them being a thrash metal band but this night, I was educated. While they were definitely metal, I couldn’t help hearing some of their Southern roots in their music. Well, they were announced as being from North Carolina, so I can certainly see where that comes from. Nevertheless, they were metal on this day, through and through. Really loved it when they played “Vote With a Bullet.” They were a great start to the marathon.

Corrosion of Conformity establishing their dominance

Corrosion of Conformity establishing their dominance

Woody Weatherman cranking out a solo

Woody Weatherman cranking out a solo

Corrosion of Conformity wowing the crowd.

Corrosion of Conformity wowing the crowd.

Actually, the wait between bands wasn’t as excruciating as I was fearing. So, it didn’t seem all that long before, Venom emerged. Not to be outdone, Venom hit the stage like a formula one car and only accelerated more as they went on. Playing a good mix, it was only four songs before they played the first of their classics, “Welcome to Hell.” From there, they only created more mayhem on the stage and I have to admit, compared to when I saw them in 1986, Cronus has definitely matured as a musician, singer and showman. Plus, new guitarist, La Rage, was definitely a welcome addition to the band. The only thing I could nit pick was the fact they didn’t play “Women, Leather and Hell” but only a minor disappointment from what was a rather good set, especially when they ended with “Black Metal,” fantastic! At one point, Cronus stated that Venom hadn’t played Britain in ten years but I think that on this day, they earned their place back in the hearts and minds of British metalheads.

Venom comes back

Venom comes back

Cronus proves he still has pipes

Cronus proves he still has pipes

La Rage showing what he can do with a guitar

La Rage showing what he can do with a guitar

I thought that this might have been my first time seeing Behemoth but I now realise that I may have seen them in 2010. I can’t be sure. If I had, back then, they definitely didn’t enter the stage as theatrically as they did on this day. With guitar and bass waiting under a wooden frame while eerie music played, Nergal made his dramatic entry onto the stage and then all pandemonium broke loose. Behemoth’s brand of black metal and death metal provided an interesting gap in what had gone before and what was to come. While I only realised it since coming home from the festival, Behemoth played their latest album, “The Satanist” in it’s entirety. Knowing this and seeing them on stage, has made me want to listen to the album. I have to say, their stage show was quite good except at the end when they released the black confetti, all I could think was that Sabbaton did that last year.

Orion, Seth and Inferno silently wait for things to commence

Orion, Seth and Inferno silently wait for things to commence

Nergal hits the stage

Nergal hits the stage

Behemoth go for it

Behemoth go for it

Cool light show

Cool light show

Black Confetti

Black Confetti

One band was to follow Behemoth on this night. However, you will have to wait til next post to read about them. After all, I did say that I would do a separate post for them alone and trust me, they deserve it.

Next post: Twisted Sister at Bloodstock

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloodstock 2016- Thursday

Posted in 1980s, Concerts, Death, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2016 by 80smetalman

It’s Monday, I have returned and sobered up from three and a half kick ass days at Bloodstock. There were highs, there were lows, not many but all in all it was a unforgettable weekend of metal. If I tried to post the entire weekend in one post, I’d be typing til next Friday, so I’ll break it down day by day, starting with the day we arrived, the Thursday.

The trip there was quicker than expected, no traffic hold ups even where I expected them to be. So we got there in great time with music from Axel Rudi Pell, Kill or Be Killed and the Disturbed to serenade us on the journey. After, lugging most of our gear quite a long distance and standing in a long line to get in, we finally found a suitable place and pitched the tent. Thank God we had a trial run with the tent, otherwise it would have been hard going. Once we did that, got the rest of our provisions and fed our faces. We were then ready for the first night’s festivities.

Our tent, it's a wonder it stayed up all weekend.

Our tent, it’s a wonder it stayed up all weekend.

Group photo: Joe, Gemma, Teal and me

Group photo: Joe, Gemma, Teal and me

Our first objective was going to the new Lemmy Bar opened in honour of the legend himself. However, we were briefly sidetracked from some sounds coming out of the Sophie Lancaster tent. Being curious, we investigated and discovered a band called Sumer. We only caught the last song and a half but it sounded good, more hard rock than metal but I liked them. It could have been a good omen on what was to come.

Sumer

Sumer

When Sumer left the stage, there were no further distractions so we immediately proceeded to the Lemmy Bar. It was one of the former Bloodstock bars remodeled and renamed but the change was definitely for the good. Out of tribute to the Heavy Metal God, we all went in and each purchased a ‘Lemmy,’ (Jack Daniels and coke.)

Photo0068[1]

 

Inside was totally dedicated to the God

Inside was totally dedicated to the God

Me enjoying my Lemmy

Me enjoying my Lemmy

I wonder how many Lemmys he had

I wonder how many Lemmys he had

After we drank our Lemmys, music coming from the Sophie Lancaster tent once again beckoned. Going back, we were very fortunate to catch the final couple of songs from Irish thrash metallers, Psykosis. I only might have heard two songs from this band but they left me asking myself why these guys weren’t more known. If you have heard of them, I would love to read your feedback on them. I was impressed!

Pyskosis

Pyskosis

While Sumer and Pyskosis both provided a brief look into things to come that weekend, the main event of the night was still to come. When Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons hit the stage, they did not disappoint. Their musicianship was superb and Phil showed that he can definitely work a guitar but it was the covers performed by the band that got the crowd going. The evening was always going to be about Lemmy and deservedly so but before they got into that, there was a brilliant cover of the Black Sabbath classic, “Sweet Leaf.” The Motorhead covers followed quickly after that and that was when they brought in the big surprise. Dee Snider from Twisted Sister was brought in to sing the Motorhead anthem, “Born to Raise Hell” and it raised the roof. While playing, the band stopped so Dee Snider could say: “This year, we lost a friend, a hero, a heavy metal fucking God!” Obviously, he was talking about Lemmy and also turned out that Pepper Keenan from Corrosion of Conformity accompanied on backing vocals. Other treats included the two Motorhead classics “Ace of Spades” and my all time personal favourite Motorhead song, “Killed By Death.” Campell totally nailed these and his guitar solo on the cover of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” was really cool. Needless to say, a mosh pit formed for “Ace of Spades” and even I went into it. Not long after, the band left the stage and came out with one more surprise. I doubt anyone in the tent was expecting them to play the Hawkwind classic, “Silver Machine.” The tent erupted here and Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons left the stage having wowed the audience.

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Here's a picture with Phil Campbell actually in it

Here’s a picture with Phil Campbell actually in it

Dee Snider moved around the stage so much, I could only catch him when his back was turned.

Dee Snider moved around the stage so much, I could only catch him when his back was turned.

However, the night wasn’t quite over yet. After Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons departed the stage, a bloke by the name of Simon Hall appeared on it. He explained that someone challenged him that if he did a roly poly (somersault,) the challenger said he would give £100 to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation which was set up to combat intolerance of alternative lifestyles. Well, somebody put news of the challenge online and it went viral. By the time Simon did his roly poly on stage this night, £1300 was raised for the foundation.

Simon Hall with some visitors

Simon Hall with some visitors

He had lots of support

He had lots of support

When we left the Sophie Lancaster tent that night, we were not only blown away by the great metal already experienced, we were also left with great expectations of what was to come the rest of the weekend. Now, I must state that I am writing about my experiences of the weekend and I’m sure there were over 15,000 different ones. If you have been to Bloodstock this past weekend, please share your experiences of this piece of metal history.

Next post; Friday

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Metal Albums of 1983: Twisted Sister- You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2016 by 80smetalman

tsyou

What better way to build up the excitement on the eve of Bloodstock than to post my favourite album from one of my all time favourite bands who will be headlining on the Friday night? Words can’t express how pumped I am to see Twisted Sister’s farewell UK gig. Yes, I’m aware that this might be a hype, after all, Ozzy has had three farewell tours but that doesn’t lessen my excitement.

“You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll” is the second album from Twisted Sister, though it was the first one I heard. I probably said this when I posted about “Under the Blade,” but that album was only available as an import until 1985. Having seen them at Donington that summer, getting this album was a no brainer. Cliches aside, when I got it home and listened to it, I was even more blown away.

I think what I like most about Twisted Sister was many of their lyrics seemed to speak to me personally back then. Starting with the opener, “The Kids Are Back,” okay, I’m only one person but I had only been out of the service a few months and I did walk the streets as a one man tattered army. I too asked myself about others who didn’t appear to be having fun, how could I stop it. Most people back then couldn’t understand that I was able to work hard and play hard. That made the fourth track my response to people. “I am, I’m Me!” and I didn’t take seriously those who looked down on what I believed. Then comes “We’re Gonna Make It.” That song was my driving force come exam time when I was in college. Especially as I found in the service and out that life was mostly a case of “It’s not what you know but who you knowin.” To cap it off, my favourite Twisted Sister track of all time closes the album out and it’s what I say to all those who have a problem with metal, “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll.”

Maybe the other tracks weren’t quite so personal to me but they are all great metal tunes. From the power riffs of “Knife in the Back” to the more ballad like “You’re Not Alone (Suzette’s Song) this album just rocks, plain and simple! I think that Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda play some of their finest guitar solos on this album. Now some have said that “You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll” was the beginning of Twisted Sister’s decent into more commercial sounding metal. Maybe be it’s me but I never had that impression then nor do I have it now. This album for me is just amazing.

Track Listing:

  1. The Kids Are Back
  2. Knife in the Back
  3. Ride to Live Live to Ride
  4. I Am I’m Me
  5. The Power and the Glory
  6. We’re Gonna Make It
  7. I’ve Had Enough
  8. I’ll Take You Alive
  9. You’re Not Alone (Suzette’s Song)
  10. You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll
Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister

Dee Snider- lead vocals

Jay Jay French- guitar, backing vocals

Eddie ‘Fingers’ Ojeda- guitar, backing vocals

Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza- bass ,backing growls

A. J. Pero- drums, percussion

When I saw Twisted Sister at Bloodstock, they played three songs from this album, “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll,” “The Kids are Back” and “I Am, I’m Me.” These are all great songs but since this is their farewell tour I would love for them to play more from it. Definitely, I would love for them to play “Knife in the Back,” “Ride to Live Live to Ride” and “We’re Gonna Make It.” Then again, anything they play from this album will have me screaming loudly as it is my fave. Being the Twisted Sister fanatic that I am, an entire post will be dedicated to their time on stage. We’ll I’ll be off in the morning.

Next post: Bloodstock, the Thursday

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

 

Clarifications and Corrections

Posted in 1980s, Books, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2016 by 80smetalman

It has come to my attention via Facebook, that in my previous post “Great Metal Albums of 1983: Slayer- Show No Mercy,” that I may have stated something that wasn’t entirely accurate. In that post, I said that the mentioned debut album from Slayer may have paved the way for bands like Metallica. I have been informed and I have checked and found it to be so that Metallica’s debut album “Kill ‘Em All” actually came out before the Slayer album. Therefore, if anything, Metallica would have paved the way for Slayer.

Slayer

Slayer

Metallica

Metallica

There is absolutely no excuse for not checking my metal facts! I know that this is no explanation nor is it any attempt to be but I remember reading an issue of “Hit Parader” magazine, (I used to call it Motley Crue magazine) in December 1985. That magazine had an article on Metallica and their album “Ride the Lightning” and it being so late in the year, I assumed that this album was released in 1985 and subsequently the debut album “Kill ‘Em All” in 1984. Why I never checked to be sure is beyond me but it is no excuse.

One thing I have always prided myself was unlike Hollywood, I always got my facts right. It was the same way when I wrote “Rock And Roll Children.” The one thing I can take pride in from that book was that it was historically accurate. Therefore, I must humbly apologize to Metallica and Slayer fans for my error and promise to be more diligent in the future.

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