Event Reviews

The major rock and metal festivals and events …reviewed

Mastodon – Belfast, Ulster Hall, 28/06/2015

“I told you we’d be fucking back!”  It may be somewhat unusual to start a review at the end, but drummer Brann Dailor’s closing remarks to the audience are important for contextualizing what had happened over the previous hour-and-a-half or so.  You see, it had only been a little more than …

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Tuska Open Air Festival, Helsinki – Day 3 – Sunday 28/06/2015

It’s Sunday lunchtime and the punters have crawled out of their beds from across the city of HELLsinki to once again descended on Suvilahti for the final day of this year’s instalment of Tuska Open Air Metal Festival. The carnage of the Saturday night after-parties is evident on the faces …

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ZZ Top – Wembley Arena, London – 24th June 2015

Tonight’s gig was ZZ Top’s only UK show, which would normally be more than enough to make this a gig not to miss, but to make it even better, the support act was Thunder, so two great bands on one bill. Coming on stage to the sounds of the ACDC …

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Diamond Head – Belfast, Limelight 2, 27/06/2015

It could be argued that, although they hail from the Midlands of England, Diamond Head share an affinity with Belfast:  after all, it was they who helped shape the sound of the nascent Metallica – a place in history they share with a band from this neck of the woods, …

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Download 2015: Day 3, 14/06/15

The final day of Download, and it’s sunny, rejoice! Well, it isn’t for long, but the optimism of a better day of weather than before really pulls people through. What is in store given the barnstorming set that Muse put on the previous night is anyone’s guess, but let’s find …

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Download 2015: Day 2, 13/06/15

Download 2012’s horrendous weather had led to the year being described as ‘Drownload’, and as Saturday morning breaks it seems likely that this would head the same way; the rain isn’t as heavy but it’s no less relentless. That being said, the arena is open with time to spare before the …

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Download Festival 2015: Day 1, 12/06/15

Ahhh, post-festival blues, don’t you just love ’em? Download Festival 2015 has been and gone and for the 80,000 or so punters that attended, it’s back to society and the grindstone. But for those of you who can’t quite let it go yet, here’s the first day of the madness relived …

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The Pat McManus Band – Belfast, McHugh’s Bar, 26/07/2015

The venue for this evening’s long-awaited return to Belfast by Pat McManus – it has been almost exactly a year since ‘The Professor’ last graced a stage here – is the basement of a pub situated in Belfast’s oldest known building, McHugh’s Bar.  Built back in the 17th century it, like …

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Jared James Nichols – Black heart, London – 23rd June 2015

Tonight’s gig kicked off with a set from the Dave Hanson band.  They’re a four piece band from Leeds, fronted by Dave Hanson on vocals and lead guitar, and play music that is fairly laid back – a mix of blues and funk.  It’s very good but did feel a …

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Tuska Open Air Festival, Helsinki – Day 1 – Friday 26/06/2015

Back in 2004, I had the pleasure of visiting Finland on vacation. On the night I arrived in the Helsinki hostel, I noticed a larger than normal number of heavy metal fans arriving back after a show. I asked one what gig they were at. The answer.. DIO at TUSKA. …

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Eyehategod – Belfast, Limelight 2 24/06/2015

Ah well, here we are… it’s a Wednesday night here in Belfast and it’s officially the start of the week;  well, as far as Team PM is concerned anyway, with the prospect of six gigs over the course of the next five nights, starting with tonight’s long overdue return to …

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Die No More – Manchester Academy 3, 20th June 2015

Die No More a young four piece NWOBHM band from Cumbria formed in  2011, since then they have impressed people with their energetic live shows. They released self-financed, four track, début EP ‘Blueprint’ in 2013 which led to them being signed by Rocksector Records with whom they released their debut …

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Tuska Open Air Festival, Helsinki – Day 2 – Saturday 27/06/2015

It’s an earlier kick-off today at the Tuska Open Air Festival and even though the heavens opened and spilled their disapproval over Helsinki a few hours before the gates opened, it has cleared up and another pleasant day in the concrete cauldron is assured. First up, death metal “open-door supergroup” …

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And So I Watch You From Afar – Belfast, Mandela Hall, 20/06/2015

Summer is here and, as usual, Northern Ireland’s weather just doesn’t know what to do with itself, one minute it’s like being in the Bahamas, the next the Heaven’s open up.  This weekend in particular was a special one, with both Father’s Day and the Summer Solstice happening where thousands …

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Gasoline Outlaws – Ahoghill, Diamond Rock Club 20/06/2015

It hardly seems like less than six months ago that the Gasoline Outlaws came roaring out of nowhere and propelled themselves on to the Northern Ireland rock scene with furious intent.  A series of increasingly impressive live shows later, the quartet have now released their debut album, the massive sounding …

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Lynne Jackaman, Hoxton Bar & Grill, London, Tuesday 16th June 2015

Tonight was the official launch party of ex St Jude singer, Lynne Jackaman’s new E.P ‘No Halo’, although it is not officially released until the 10th July. As well as performing the whole E.P she also debuted new material and performed with a full band. Despite the nerves being evident, …

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Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2015

HMS Hammer set sail for the 13th Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards from her mooring near Tower Bridge with over 400 lucky ticket winners, guests and Vip’s on board. As we started our nearly three hour journey with a quick blast of the horn, Tower Bridge opened up to allow …

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We Are Harlot, Cathouse Glasgow, 16/6/15

Fresh from their Best New Band win at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards, We Are Harlot played a sold out gig at Glasgow’s Cathouse rock club on Tuesday night. There has been a huge buzz around this band, so I was more than keen to see what all the …

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Billy Idol – O2 Academy, Glasgow – 13/06/2015

Despite the doors opening an hour later than advertised, when Billy Idol finally hit the stage, all was forgiven, as he played a stunning two hour set. From the punk era of Generation X hits hit “Ready Steady Go” through to his current stuff like “Postcards From The Past” via …

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Tremonti – 02 ABC Glasgow, 15/6/15.

After reviewing the new Tremonti album Cauterize last week I was excited to get to the O2 ABC in Glasgow last night to see how the live show compared. The venue was quite full for a Monday night, but the crowd that showed up were nothing if not enthusiastic. From the …

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