Thursday at Bloodstock this year was busier than any previous year with more and more people arriving on Thursday to pitch their tents and enjoy a few bands, and a lot of beers before the main 3 days. Before the bands started, there was the ceremonial opening of the bar. This isn’t just any bar, it’s been newly named after Lemmy and features a beautiful portait of him as the sign, pictures of him behind the bar, and a blank wall for people to write their tributes to Lemmy on. It’s unveiled by Motorhead’s Phil Campbell.
First up were Sublime eyes, a melodic death/thrash band from Norway. Being the first band on is always a challenge but it’s one these Norwegians handle with ease and it’s not long before they have a circle pit going and a wall of death follows soon after. Definitely a good choice to start the festival off.
Karybdis were next up. A London based metal band they lean towards technical metal or melodic death metal. Singer Rich is a ball of energy and even in the first couple of songs leaps around like a man possessed. It needs a good frontman like Rich to get a crowd going when most of them have spent the afternoon pitching tents in the hot sun and need a bit of energy on stage to help get them partying properly. Karybdis go down very well and I’m sure they made some new fans tonight.
Post-metal band Sumer were next up. If my memory is correct they played the New Blood stage last year, so it’s clear that this is a band on the way up having already been promoted to the Sophie Lancaster stage. “Post metal” is a description that normally puts me off, but these guys really impressed me and I’m glad I stayed to watch their set. Definitely a band to watch out for.
Irish thrash metal band Psykosis were up next. Unusually they had lots of bottles of beer at the front of the stage – not for them but for the audience. They’d made a large batch fo their own home brewed beer and brought it for the fans – a sure way to get them on side even before they play a note. Once they started playing, what they delivered was good old-fashioned thrash metal, and it went down a storm with the crowd. It was a great set – one that I enjoyed more than tonight’s headliner.
Next was tonight’s headliner – Phil Campbell and the bastard sons. It was interesting to see him billing the band as that rather than “Phil Campbell’s allstars” – a name that led to lots of mockery from music lovers wondering how he could callt hem all stars when none of them were stars. It’s unusual to see a covers band headlining a festival, even the Thursday night, but that’s what this is. There’s just one new song, with the rest of the set being covers of Motorhead songs plus songs from David Bowie, ZZ Top, Hawkwind and Black Sabbath. I found the set quite average with a couple of exceptions – the highlight being where Dee Snider came out to pay tribute to Lemmy and to sing “Born to raise hell”. Then there was another tribute, with Phil Campbell and his band covering David Bowie’s “Heroes”.
Straight after the set finished, Bloodstock’s Simon Hall came on stage. He’d been challenged a few weeks earlier by Andy Pilkington of Very metal Art to do a forward roll on stage at Bloodstock in exchange for a donation to the Sophie Lancaster foundation, and what started as a joke ended up raising around £1400, so now was the time. First though he brought on the crews that run all the stages at Bloodstock – a nice touch as they’re the unsung heroes that make the festival run as well as it does. A couple of them demonstrated how to do a forward roll, with Evil Scarecrow’s Monty Blitzfist running on stage, somersaulting and being off stage in a flash. Even one of the festival directors took part – Vicky Hungerford came out and did a forward roll, before Simon Hall eventually did his to great applause. A great fun end to the night.[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157670038112643″ size=”z” count=”100″]