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Event Reviews

The major rock and metal festivals and events …reviewed

Stiff Little Fingers – Forum, London – 23rd March 2018

Tonight’s gig is a great lineup – not only do we have the legendary Stiff Little Fingers, we have a great support act in the form of Ruts DC. Born out of the ashes of The Ruts, they split at the start of the 80s before reforming in 2007 and …

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The Kris Barras band – Thousand island, London – 20th March 2018

Tonight’s gig was at the Thousand Island venue. If you’re wondering where that is, the old name is far easier – “Upstairs at the garage”. Yes it’s the small room at the garage, that’s been done up with dozens of glitter balls hanging from the ceiling. Sadly they seem to …

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Sumo Cyco – Craufurd arms, Milton Keynes – 15th March 2018

Tonight’s gig at the Craufurd arms is another visit from Canadian band Sumo Cyco. Support tonight comes from Uk band Skarlett riot. For this tour they’re without their usual bassist, Martin Shepherd so have got Tim Chambers from Sister Shotgun helping them out by taking his place till his return. …

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The men that will not be blamed for nothing – Craufurd arms, Milton Keynes – 18th March 2018

Tonight is a punk night – two punk bands and one punk/steampunk band. The night opened with Jonny and the mental breakdowns, a local band who were a late addition to the lineup. That meant that they were a man short, so the singer had to play bass, which he …

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Rockin the blues – Garage, London – 17th March 2018

Tonight at the Garage was a celebration of Blues guitarists, with several playing this mini tour organised by Provogue records. Gary Hoey, Eric Gales, Lance Lopez and Quinn Sullivan have been playing the various dates, and rotating the running order so there’s a different headliner each night. The events are …

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Venom inc – Islington academy, London – 13th March 2018

Tonight’s Venom inc gig had an early start – always a headache mid-week as it meant I wasn’t able to get there from work till after the first two bands (on a five band bill). Happily though I was in good time to see Brazilian thrash band Nervosa. I’d been …

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Bad Ass Bash 2018 – Black Mass Bar, Wakefield, Day Two

Bad Ass Bash Poster 2018

Ears still ringing from day one, we made our way to the Black Mass Bar for the final day of my best Bad Ass Bash so far and any chance of a quiet band to ease us slowly into the day was thwarted by a feisty five piece from Huddersfield …

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Joe Bonamassa- Genting arena, Birmingham- 16th March 2018

Tonight’s stop on Joe Bonamassa’s uk tour saw him playing to 3000 fans at the Genting arena in Birmingham. As always he plays with no support act and comes on stage at 8pm. Luckily these days most people know he does that but I did spot a few people arriving …

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Night Ranger and Skid Row – Shepherds Bush Empire, London – 11th March 2018

Sadly due to unforeseen transport issues due to idiotic protesters blocking railway lines, I got to the venue just as the first band, Bad Touch, were finishing their set. A shame as I was looking forward to seeing them. Toseland were up first. They’re a good solid band, and former …

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Magnum – Islington assembly hall, London – 9th March 2018

The night kicked off with Rebecca Downes, a blues-rock singer with a fairly powerful voice. She sang the first song while her band played, but after that she strapped on a guitar and played as well as singing. The set tonight included “Believe”, the title track of her last studio …

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Bad Ass Bash 2018 – Black Mass Bar, Wakefield, Day One

Bad Ass Bash Poster 2018

Another year, another Bad Ass Bash summoned up as ever by the superhuman efforts from promoter Martin Short, once again handpicking bands to play for us, all of whom played for no fee with profits totalling £588.42, made up to £600 by Martin for the chosen charity Chart Children’s Hospice …

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Butcher Babies – Craufurd arms, Milton Keynes – 27th February 2018

The night kicked off with Italian band Klogr. It’s heavy alt-rock/metal and sounds pretty damn good as they play a set that includes material from their first two albums as well as their latest one. “Pride before the fall” in particular sounded great. It’s just a shame that the early …

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HRH Metal – Academy, Birmingham – Day 2, Sunday 18th February 2018

Sunday’s main stage lineup kicked off with Fire red empress. More rock than metal they’re still more than heavy enough to be on the bill here and singer Jennifer Diehl does a good job of waking up the slightly sleepy and hungover members of the audience with her powerful vocal …

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HRH Metal – Academy, Birmingham – Day 1, Saturday 17th February 2018

This year’s HRH Metal took place at the weekend in Birmingham. It’s the second year of the event, and the lineup was definitely appealing. The festival appeals to a lot of the same people as Hammerfest but for many people Birmingham is just easier to get to. With three stages …

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Arch enemy – Koko, London – 11th February 2018

Tonight’s sold out show saw fans queueing well before doors opened, and by the time the doors opened the queue stretched a long way. Thankfully the security team did a good job getting people in quickly and by the time the first band, Tribulation came on stage the place was …

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Anvil – Buckley Tivoli, February 16th 2018

Almost two years ago Canadian metallers Anvil played the Tivoli in Buckley for the first time supporting ex Accept vocalist Udo Dirkschneider and to say they gave the headliners a hard act to follow is an understatement and now they return as headliners to a packed out venue on a …

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Accept – Koko, London – 8th February 2018

Support tonight came from US band Night Demon. Their latest album, 2017’s “Darkness remains” is a great album so I was looking forward to seeing them live. A three-piece, they’ve got a real NWOBHM influenced sound although the bands that inspired them had 4 or 5 members, so to have …

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Arch enemy – Trädgårn, Gothenburg – 3rd February 2018

For this leg of their European tour, Arch Enemy have three support acts – Jinjer, Tribulation and Wintersun. Tonight’s gig in Gothenburg is one of the closest they’re playing to their hometown of Halmstad so a good atmosphere was expected. With four bands on the bill, doors opened at 5pm. …

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Cancer On The Rocks – Nantwich Civic Hall, January 20th 2018

Cancer On The Rocks was a great day out, to say the least, in the normally quiet Cheshire town of Nantwich. Local boy Rick Palin, managing director of Skyfire International and owner of Firebrand Radio handpicked ten fantastic rock and blues bands to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Research after …

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Maiden uniteD – Koninklijk theatre Carre, Amsterdam – 27th January 2018

As someone who really doesn’t like tribute bands, going to see Maiden uniteD may seem like an odd choice of gig, but while they only play Iron Maiden covers, unlike most tribute bands, they don’t just try and replicate the originals. Instead, Maiden united rearrange the songs and play them …

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