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 album ‘Elected Evil’ late last year. They’ve supported Absolva in Europe, played at Wizzfest in Belgium and have a host of festival appearances lined up starting with Wildfire in Scotland this weekend. I have seen them at venues ranging in size from The Bakers Vaults in Stockport to The Brickyard in Carlise and have always been impressed by their energetic live shows. I was pleased that I could make Manchester Academy 3, for their first headline show with four supporting bands.
Desolate Horizon the opening band of the night were already playing when I arrived and I could hear a relentless pounding of drums as I headed up the stairway to heaven, well not quite, Manchester Academy 3 is a small, dark venue on the second floor of the MUSU building which also houses Manchester Academy 2 and Club Academy with Manchester Academy 1 being in a separate adjacent building. Desolate Horizon are a four piece metal band from Preston, a bit heavier than I tend to listen to at home but I took a particular liking to Ryan’s awesome axe!
Very fast and energetic, I reckon they would appeal to fans of bands like Mastodon and Slayer and they did actually play a Slayer track, and asked the audience ‘If you know this head-bang with us, a Slayer song’ but don’t ask me which song, as I don’t know, and the band were all head-banging up there. At this early stage there were only about 30 people in and I saw a few feet tapping along. I enjoyed what I heard and would certainly see them again.
Ste Byrne – Drums
Ryan Marshall – Guitar & Vocals
Liam Shaw – Lead Guitar
Mike Taylor – Bass
It took a bit of research to find the next band Valyria on Facebook but I did! The reason being that Valyria were formerly called Northern Lights. A power thrash band from Great Harwood, not sure what I was expecting when I saw vocalist Son of Dave in his hoodie but probably not the voice I heard. Amazing vocals, very powerful, almost operatic and an amazing range. For the song The Viking Son of Dave said ‘Luckily we brought one with us’ and pointed to rhythm guitarist Lee ‘The Viking’ Pickup, I’m not sure Jaws t-shirts were the order of attire in Viking times but, with his height and, mane of blonde hair he would certainly make a striking Viking (and that rhymes!). Chris so fast they call him Mansell on drums was indeed playing at speeds of over 100mph! Valyria reminded me of bands CSOD, Chrome Division and October 31. Songs tending towards the mythological, powerful screams, great riffs, a modern Viking and an expressive performance from Son of Dave. A good set from Valyria.
James Ashworth – Bass & Vocals
Lyndon ‘Fingers’ Boyer – Lead Guitar & Vocals
Lee ‘The Viking’ Pickup – Rhythm Guitar
Chris so fast they call him Mansell – “The Drummer”
Son of Dave Lead Vocals
I missed a couple of songs by The Divide a four piece, indie rock band from Manchester, as I was interviewing Die No More but I could hear them, and you can possibly hear a little background noise on the interview! When I got back in to the audience I found them to be a very young band with an eclectic mix of styles. With Brandon on vocals and erm Brandon on lead (this could get confusing) looking like the offspring of Buddy Holiday and Hank Marvin and drummer Tyler in his reverse baseball cap just looking like an extra from an Offspring video. A little different to the two bands who preceded them, I’m not sure they would appeal to the thrash fans of Die No More but they had brought some supporters along and for a band so young they definitely have potential. One song was called Seventeen and Tyler did a bit of rapping on this one. They did some popular covers, Use Somebody, which Brandon (on vocals) said we’d probably all recognise and although I did recognise it I’ve had to check on Google who’s song it is – Kings of Leon. Then we got a bit of Arctic Monkeys, who I do know as they’re my brother’s favourite band with a cover of I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor. A couple of their own songs to finish, their newest as a band, Follow Me, with a great rhythm and some intricate riffage and the last one ‘Fill The Streets’ (I think – could have been Full) which should be released in a few weeks. A band to watch out for.
Brandon – Rhythm Guitar and Vocals
Brandon – Lead Guitar
Matt – Bass Guitar
Tyler – Drums and Backing Vocals
Penultimate band were Diamond Days an alternative pop rock band from Liverpool. After an intro they hit the stage, jumping, with a shout (from Alex) of ‘Manchester, let’s do this!’ New song Dance saw them jumping around and Alex asked the audience to move forward, an invitation which got a few people up to the barrier. They played the first song that they ever wrote Start, a great name for a first song, as every band has to start somewhere. This one started off quite mellow and then sped up and had people dancing. You’re Not alone and a request ‘Let’s see hands in the air’ had people clapping. With a strong bass drum beat this one reminded me of 30 Seconds To Mars.
Then Alex told us the next song, was a brand new one which they had never played live before so they were a bit nervous for Love Struck Kids but it was well received so they don’t need to be nervous next time! Nearing the end of their set, a bit of a mosh pit was going on, but as it only consisted of two it was more like two guys trying to impress at a school disco! We came to the last one I rewind and a request of ‘Let’s see the barrier full for the last song’ had people moving forward and Alex yelled ‘Let’s go Fucking Crazy’ and the band were all bouncing around with Tom S getting some pretty impressive jumps in. Diamond Days reminded me of American rock bands like Fall Out Boy and Blink 182. I’d say a British comparison would be Teenage Casket Company. Lively and entertaining and although the crowd had thinned a little people were warmed up ready for the head-liners.
Alex Fearn – Vocals/Guitar
Tom Shepherd – Guitar & Vocals
Tom Jack Jackson – Bass & Vocals
Mark Highdale – Drums & Vocals
Now for the headliners Die No More, who were due to start at 10:15 but didn’t get on stage until about 10.25, but with five bands on and a strict curfew it wasn’t too bad going. Calculations would indicate that the other bands over-ran by two and half minutes each! Tut, tut! Die No More came on and filled the stage straight away, seeming to be constantly moving. Opening with Soul Destroyer from début album ‘Elected Evil’ (reviewed here) then Marc announced the next song as ‘Blood In The Fucking Veins’ with a heavy bass start which evoked a ‘Say hiya to Martyn on bass’ After this one Marc said ‘Thank you very much Manchester’ and asked everyone to give a big round of applause for all the bands and also that they were honoured to headline, The next song was dedicated to ‘A guy who was stabbed for no fucking reason’ and I suspect he was referring to the brutal stabbing of a fourteen year old boy in Carlisle earlier that week, see here, the song being Connection Lost with fast riffs and rhythm.
Next came Oblivious probably my favourite Die No More song, which is on the album and also on first EP ‘Blue Print’ (reviewed here) and the comparison is probably not so obvious as it reminds me of Garden of Eden by Guns N’ Roses with some great riffs and it got a hefty round applause. Marc thanked everyone for coming ‘You keep live music going. Cheers! To those who have seen us a few times we’re going to play a new song this one’s called ‘Save Yourself‘ yet another fast one with some great riffs, and some of their spectacular face pulling! Marc asked the sound man if there was time for two more, the penultimate song being Dark World with a galloping beat, reminding me of October 31, say The Warlock. A few chants of Die No More, Die No More led to the last song Council of War with part of the chorus being Die No More and the disco/mosh pit was back for this one and all too soon we came to Marc’s last words ‘Manchester. Thank you very much. We have been Die No More, you’ve been awesome’ and that was it, bang on the eleven O’clock curfew time so no time for an encore.
A short but sweet set from Die No More and whilst it’s a shame more people didn’t turn out those who did all looked to have enjoyed the show. Chatting to a photographer I discovered that there was a showcase of local bands in the Academy 2 and I suspect a few locals had come from there to see The Divide then headed back. Still it wasn’t a bad turn out and Die No More said they would be at the merch(andise) stand after, but I had to leg it across the road for my last bus and my connection although late wasn’t lost! Hope to see these guys on bigger stages, they always put on a good show and tonight was no exception. They should appeal to fans of bands like Metallica and Slayer and the heavier Guns N’ Roses type numbers. They have a few festivals lined up, see poster below for more info. Anyone going to Wildfire Festival this weekend won’t be dying to see Die No More for long!
Blood In The Veins
Council Of War
Marc Farquhar – Rhythm guitar/vocals
Martyn Simpson- Bass
Steve Orchiton – Drums
Kev Smith – Lead guitar
PlanetMosh interview with Die No More: here
Rocksector Reords: http://www.mwaweb.com/rocksector.htm
Raz White Entertainment: https://www.facebook.com/RazWhiteEntertainment