Event Reviews

The major rock and metal festivals and events …reviewed

Opeth – O2 Academy Bristol, 21st November 2017

‘It’s hard to hold a candle in the cold November Rain’ sang Axl Rose on arguably the best song Guns N’ Roses ever did, but whilst his words from 1991 are more poetically inclined, it’s certainly true in Bristol tonight with winter doing its best to make everything as miserable …

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Samantha Fish – Stables, Milton Keynes – 20th November 2017

Things didn’t get off to a great start tonight as the auditorium doors remained closed even a few minutes before the scheduled start time of 8pm. Finally an announcement was made – tonight’s support act, The Rainbreakers, would not be playing. That was a disappointment, but on the plus side, …

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Jonny Lang – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London – 4th November 2017

In contrast to Jonny Lang’s last visit to the Empire, this was a more sedate affair with floor seating rather than the standing he had on his last visit, which creates a noticeably different atmosphere. I prefer standing myself for blues rock gigs like this and given that we could …

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Von Hertzen Brothers – Garage, London – 16th November 2017

When I arrived at the venue for tonight’s gig things didn’t look good. With just 20 minutes before Toseland were due on stage the venue was almost empty. Happily in the last ten minutes before they came on, the place quickly started to fill up, and by the end of …

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Helloween – Brixton academy, London – 14th November 2017

Tonight’s Helloween gig was due to be something special. It’s part of their Pumpkins reunited tour which sees the current Helloween lineup joined by former members Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske. For many fans this was their first chance to see Helloween with these two members. There was certainly a …

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Unleash the archers – Craufurd arms, Milton Keynes – 8th November 2017

First up tonight was Hanowar. As the name suggests, they’re a Manowar tribute act. Sadly they were a bit of a disaster. They did explain that they were short of one member that night and said “he’s the one with the talent”, and presumably they weren’t joking. They started the …

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Delain – Koko, London – 1st November 2017

Tonight’s gig is sold out, and fans are there early – as I arrived the queue stretched off way into the distance, and it’s no surprise. Delain are growing in popularity and have steadily moved up to bigger venues, and after selling out Koko twice recently I think it’s likely …

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Reel big fish – Forum, London – 16th October 2017

Tonight was the first of two London shows as part of the Fireball tour. Sponsored by Fireball, they had people handing out free shots to the audience, which certainly went down well – free booze vs O2 academy bar prices is always a winner. It’s a packed bill with 5 …

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Seether – Forum, London – 16th October 2017

The night started with Sons of Texas. Taking to the stage quite early on at 7.30, the venue was only half full but it did fill up steadily during their set. The Texas based band played material from their 2015 debut album (Baptised in the Rio Grande) and their new …

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Inglorious – The Robin 2, Bilston – 02/10/17

Gypsy Heart were unexpectedly good, singer Heather has a good, gutsy rock voice with a hint of knocking on the door of Lzzy Hale. The songs ‘Vultures’ and ‘I Don’t Know You’ the latter of which was written with Inglorious’ guitarist Andreas, show the contrast in their song writing and …

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Alter Bridge, Ulster Hall, Belfast, 8th Oct 2017

After selling out shows in Dublin and Belfast back in June, such was the demand for tickets from local rockers, Alter Bridge returned to Belfast on Sunday night to play a welcome second show as part of The Last Hero Tour.     In contrast, it was opening act As …

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Grimm Up North Fest – Bury, September 30th/October 1st 2017. Day two.

After a hearty cooked breakfast, we wobbled over the road to the Elizabethan Suite for day two of Grimm Up North Fest. Even at 13.00pm a dedicated number of rockers had assembled for opening act SYZ. Formed in 1981 and fronted by the perpetually entertaining Roy Hinson, they rocked out …

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The Kentucky Headhunters – Robin 2, Bilston – 2nd October 2017

With The Kentucky Headhunters’ Richard Young having combatted his fear of flying when he came to see and open for his son’s band Black Stone Cherry in summer 2016; 2017 sees the band return to the UK and being reunited with the same support band, the UK’s Bad Touch, for …

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Grimm Up North Fest – Bury, September 30th/October 1st 2017. Day one.

Yes, that is spelt correctly. Not grim up North, but Grimm Up North! So called as it was a two day heavy metal festival in Bury, Manchester, organised by Kevin Wynn to raise funds for ongoing medical bills for Steve Grimmett, lead vocalist with Grim Reaper. On a South American …

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Dan Reed – St Pancras old church, London – 14th September 2017

Tonight was my first time seeing one of Dan Reed’s solo shows. With his band, Dan Reed network the shows are full of energy, but his solo material is quite different. Tonight’s sold out show was at the lovely St Pancras old church, just behind St Pancras station. It’s a …

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Ayreon – 013, Tilburg – 15th September 2017

When Arjen Lucassen announced on Facebook earlier this year that for the first time in 22 years, Ayreon would play some live shows, the fans understandably went nuts. With no promotion or advertising, the two dates at 013 in Tilburg sold out within the hour (that’s 6000 tickets sold with …

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Rockwich Festival – Lostock, Sunday, 27/08/2017.

Another year, another stupendous Rockwich returns! Organised by Prometheus Promotions, they managed to book twelve top quality bands to play in 12 rocking hours. Midday opening act, Wakefield based The Sourheads, fronted by the barefooted ball of energy Jake who looked like he was born to be onstage, ripped through …

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Bloodstock Open Air Festival – Sunday 13/08/2017.

Sunday at Bloodstock Open Air Festival, a bitter sweet one  as it’s the final day but this year it turned out to be the strongest day! A great start came from Kettering based hard rockers  Switch Blade City featuring Sean Seabrook on lead vocals, the best dressed frontman of the …

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