An earlier start with almost twice as many bands as the previous day saw a mad dash for a Wetherspoons fry up before heading off once again to the Snooty Fox Club. On arrival a line up change saw planned third band Cadence Noir opening proceedings as they were two band members short so it was left to guitarist/vocalist Mr.Noir and violinist Lady E to entertain us with some upbeat quirkiness. Unfortunately I unprofessionally missed the opening two numbers as the after breakfast uphill trek took its toll so even though ‘A Reckless Endeavour’ was introduced as a “metal song” by the dry wit of Mr.Noir, it was still lively enough to blow a few cobwebs away from the early arrivals. ‘Dare You Walk’ was a gritty ballad delivered with a Bob Dylan like snarl and tongues were firmly in cheeks for hilarious new track ‘Fuck Fuck Boom Boom’.
Birmingham based punkers Devils were one of two bands today with devil in their name which proves that the devil does have all the best tunes! Considering this was only their fourth gig and only the second with new bassist Keith they were very tight beginning with a Rancid cover titled ‘Last One To Die’ with Big Country like biting guitar lines bringing the sun out in Wakefield. ‘Clumsy Git’ fizzed along on catchy riffs with more risque lyrics than a Carry On film. ‘Gone And Done It’ throbbed along on a bass line that shook the floor followed by a punchy cover of ‘If I Can’t Change Your Mind’ by Sugar. ‘Little Angel’ was the slowest and darkest song of their upbeat set and they finished on a high with quirky Half Man Half Biscuit like ‘Turning Green’.
Liverpool based trio The Devil’s Henchmen were up next and the first thing that struck me were how young they were and after their set I found they were all fourteen! Considering their age they showed no signs of nerves as they opened with ‘Hatred’ that came across as an edgy Black Sabbath with some off kilter time changes. The fuzzed up riffing from lead guitarist Joe Doolan took up the bulk of ‘Slashing And Bleeding’ as it gave way to a souped ending backed up by the rhythm section of Daniel Adkins on bass guitar and Lloyd Reynolds on drums. The heavy doom and turbo charged mid section of ‘Something In The Water’ got my attention straight away mainly for the maturity of their song writing. ‘Darkest Thoughts’ strode along like the rawness of early Motorhead whereas ‘Rot Away’ was the evil twin of ‘Symptom Of The Universe’. The full on metal attack of set closer ‘Claustrophobic’ came all too soon which included a formidable cover of ‘Ace Of Spades’ at the end. Job done as they took their well earned plaudits.
I’m surprised the Snooty Fox Club stage could contain the six members of Resin which contained three guitarists plus Emma Bennett from Cadence Noir putting in her second shift of the day. Malcolm Shipman at the sound desk did an excellent job in capturing every instrument. Their style was mainly grunge to my ears as the menacing rumble of set opener ‘Open Heart Trauma’ reminded me of Mind Funk. Lead vocalist Dave Gandon spent a lot of the set eyes closed as if totally immersed in his lyrics, point proven as he dominated with a rich, soulful vocal over the heavy grooves of ‘Clouds’. Set highlight for me was when the three guitars came to the fore on ‘Never Learn’.
Selby/Leeds based Psychobabylon raged that hard they could also be known as Psycho Babble On mainly due to the motormouth delivery from lead vocalist Rusty D. No prisoners were taken from the off as he berated the crowd from the off, especially super heckler Colin Grainger. The energy levels were raised when set opener ‘Exit Reality’ seemed to raise the venue off the ground as the guitars of Robbie Gray and Andrew Mewse along with bass guitar from Richard ‘Spike’ Cowling and drums from Andy Knott proved that levitation is possible. The crunching hard rock of ‘Horror’ contained nagging guitar hooks and a huge chorus followed by the frenetic sleaze of ‘Dark Valentine’ in the vein of The Throbs.‘Trash’ was adrenaline fuelled proto punk. There was no let up as ‘Malice In Pain’ thundered along like a heavier ‘Rockin In The Free World’ but my highlight and heaviest song was ‘Freak’ featuring Polly Phluid from The Idol Dead on shared lead vocals.
A Southern rock vibe from Newcastle Upon Tyne provided by trio Rusted Hero was welcomed with open arms. Dox Docherty is an instantly likeable frontman who looks like he was born to be onstage as his soaring vocal in set opener ‘Broken’ was backed by a catchy main riff. ‘Liquid Wet’ was introduced as “Our drinking song” as its Free like heavy blues filled up the room. The heavy dynamics and rip roaring guitar solos from Adam Coxon beefed up ‘Mexico’ and the high energy set closer ‘Get Out’ saw Dox take a fall without missing a note much to the delight of the rest of the band.
Stoke based Quiet The Thief were far from quiet as ‘Wake Up The Dead’ tore out of the p.a system with lead vocalist Stig Chell making his mark on our hearing from the off. ‘Hurricane’ was like a heavier and spacier Hawkwind as things got heavier with the chugging riffs in ‘Numb’ which I could feel as well as hear but set closer ‘Feed The Wolf’ must have got the recording levels in the red with its ‘Green Manalishi’ like stomp.
This was my third time seeing Theia and up until now they had not really connected with me but their set finally clicked into place and they were one of my highlights of the weekend. Their set was based heavily on their debut album Take The Pill. ‘Just Go’ was an attention grabbing opener which carried on into the unstoppable grooves of ‘Overthrown’ as the trio locked in tight. The jovial master of ceremonies Kyle Lamley introduced a new song called ‘Paper The House’ with its heads down Quo boogie increasing the party vibe. ‘Electric Witness’ was more of a slow burner that built into a full on heavy jam with Paul Edwards on bass guitar and Jake Dalton on drums. ‘We’re Alive’ was heavy but melodic containing Kyle’s strongest vocal in the vein of classic UFO and their set drew to a close with the bouncy ‘Whoop – Dee – Fucking – Doo’.
Ive never seen The Idol Dead play a bad gig. I don’t think its possible for them to play a bad gig and today was no exception as every member of the band seem to push themselves as hard as they can. The ever moving frontman Polly Phluid must be a photographers nightmare as every inch of the stage is covered many times. ‘Buckle And Howl’ is a barking mad opener as the tempo comes down with slower but ballsier ‘Get Your Boots On’. The Godzilla stomp riffing of ‘Everybody Knows Your Name’ get the crowd in fine voice as the sugar sweet pop vocals in ‘Blackout Girl’ offset the non stop driving riffs. ‘Summer That Never Was’ could of been The Wildhearts at their heaviest as the first ever performance of ‘Heart On Sleeve’ crushed with a hard as nails midsection. ‘Beyond Redemption’ was a rare moment of seriousness followed by my set highlight ‘Pretty Fucked Up’ which was pure punk with a chant a long chorus.
Penultimate band The Senton Bombs played an absolute blinder with shades wearing frontman Joey Class living up to his surname. ‘Medusa’ was an over the top brash opener followed by the seismic riffs that ran through ‘Pretty Tricky’. ‘Thirteen Days’ was delivered at ear bleeding velocity. ‘Dark Horse’ was an early highlight with its power chords backing up Joey’s laid back vocal. The twin guitar delivery from Damien Cage and Johnny Gibbons throughout ‘Tornado’ were aptly described by the song title. ‘Nothing Quite Like This’ hit hard with a huge chorus and their set closed with a supercharged run through of the Supersucker’s ‘Born With A Tail’.
All good things must come to an end with the evening finishing off with headliners The Deep, making the long trek from London. Apart from young drummer Fraser Powell, the rest of the band have been in this game a long time and it shows by the quality of their eleven song set. My notes were kept to a minimum as the front barrier was the only place to be! ‘Premonition’ defined the true spirit of the NWOBHM movement with its vibrant riffs blasting out of the front of stage monitors. ‘The Rider’ was drum driven almost power metal with the ever smiling guitarist Mick Feleppa throwing some shapes in the solos. The tightness of the band shone through during the rise and fall dynamics in ‘All I Want’ with fellow guitarist Paul Smith riffing hard with the rhythm section of Fraser Powell on drums and Phil Reeve providing a foil for the vocal tour de force for lead vocalist Tony Coldham. ‘When The Rains Came’ was a mid tempo epic as ‘Prepare To Rock’ rattled long like ‘Kill The King’ featuring some fast footwork from Fraser. ‘Forsaken’ featured a chorus that pounded like ‘Stormbringer’ as the commercially heavy, hook laden ‘Out Of Touch’ and a vocal tour de force from the band in set closer ‘You Take My Breath Away’ topped off another highly enjoyable Bad Ass Bash. Roll on 2018 so we can do it all over again!