Martin’s 60th Birthday Badass-Bash @The Maze

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On January 27, 2014
Last modified:February 19, 2014


.@planetmosh @themazenotts @sophie_charity


Martin Short’s  60th birthday ‘Badass Bash’. Full credit to Martin as he organised one hell of an all day-all night event!! All the proceeds from the night are going to two chosen charity’s that Martin has interests in. chART UK (Children’s Hospice Arts) & the S.O.P.H.I.E. foundation.


A little about our host on the night…….

Martin is a well known face on the rock music scene as a promoter of new underground and unsigned rock bands, and is very well respected and loved by all who come into contact with him. To have put this all together, getting the right venue then the bands, all the logistics involved with advertising promotions, press releases, raffle, food etc, it must have been a nightmare. But it all culminated into a well organised, run like clockwork mini festival of a rock n roll extravaganza! With twelve bands consecutively playing over 13 hours of almost non-stop music, the guests, fans and general punters were treated to the most varied line up of groups so far this year, and all in one location!!


It all kicked off  at 12:45pm with the magnificent Steroid Freak Pussy. Cranking it up with the first track of the day ‘Precognition‘, and then they ‘Unleash Hell ‘ on the gathered masses with yet another top track. An absolute blinding song ‘Suicide Nation‘ followed, which set us up for ‘Hollywood ‘ ( a Thin Lizzy Cover ). With  ‘D.O.R.’, ‘High Priest of Love‘ ( Zodiac Mindwarp Cover), ‘If it Ain’t Broke‘ took us through to the last song of their epic set ‘Pussy Blowout‘. Every fan who saw them play this live set, both old and now new, felt the electric buzz that boomed out from the Maze stage from the Wakefield based group. 

Twisted Species. This grunge/metal/rock group came all the way from Market Drayton in Telford especially for Martin’s bash. Making an impact right from the go with the song ‘Innocence Lost’, they began a set of mega hard rock. Next track on the list was ‘Dead Behind The Eyes ‘, then ‘Bleed 4 Me’ Black Label Society cover ). I must admit that Grunge metal is not really my thing, but that aside these guys really put on a great show for Martin, and went down a storm with the audience which is what it’s all about. The next songs that followed were ‘Descened ‘, and they finished off with ‘Hold Me Down. All of their songs were from the current available album ‘GENUS ‘. Apart from the cover song!

Power folk/rock duo Steel Threads were originally booked to play in the interval between the 12 bands but due to a cancellation they were given a 40 minute vacant slot and certainly made the most of their opportunity. Laura Wilcockson on fiddle/backing vocals and Neil Wardleworth on lead vocal/acoustic guitar and kick drum played an uplifting selection of songs from their 2 studio albums ‘Timing Is Everything ‘ and ‘For Those Who Are Left ‘ followed by 2 inspired covers of ‘Ace Of Spades ‘ and ‘Born To Be Wild ‘ with Laura putting a twist on the Ace Of Spades guitar solo. Neil has a hard rocking voice and Steel Threads fitted in nicely between the metal bands on the bill. One of many quips by Neil was that the band thought they were only asked along to draw the raffle! Very enjoyable set and drew some of the loudest.           (Dennis Jarman,

Now followed a flurry of activity as the bands swapped over. With drums, amp’s and various other musical equipment being shuttled in and out of the venue room, we finely settled down to hear the next bandTwo guy’s, two girl’s lots of coloured hair, beards and one massive bass guitar! this was DakesisA strong contender for the band of the day. The best way I could describe them would be a female fronted Iced Earth with touches of Manowar. Their set went far too quickly as they tore through a selection of songs from their debut album Trial By Fire‘ (2011). Song of the set was a bombastic ‘On Wings Of Steel ‘ featuring some furious fretwork from lead guitarist Matt Jones, soaring vocals from Gemma Lawler, pounding drumming from Adam Harris and pummeling 6 string bass runs from Amie Chatterley. Power metal heaven and the crowd lapped it up! \m/    (Dennis Jarman)

After the now usual break while the bands changed over, around 4:20pm rock band Kaine, who had come all the way from Essex just for Martins birthday bash now burst into life with. ‘Entropy‘ an instrumental track that set us all up for the following great songs. The Lost Sages Tower’. Singing ‘Solidarity’ bass player Dan Mailer took front stage on this track and did a real nice job of it. Next song up was ‘Resistance’ and then they finished off the set with the brilliant track,‘Witchfinder General’. Yet another amazing young underground rock band we need to see more of! 

The Senton Bombs, one of Blackpool’s resident and rising rock bands were on the ‘Maze Stage’ at about 5:15pm and took us through to the much needed intermission at 5:50pm ( Beer and food! ).They started of their 35 min slot with ‘Tornado’, then gave first class performance’s of  ‘ Experiment, Nine Of Hearts, Medusa, So Cavalier, Nothing Quite Like This, Darkest Horse, No Rest For The Rockin’.  The last song of their set was ‘Jackals’ a hard HARD rock beat that had a definite trace of punk rock feel in it and gave this track a different sort of edgy aspect. A real treat for Nottingham rock fans to hear this group play their first gig of 2014. If you liked them they will be back, but in Derby this time at The Sitwell Tavern on the 7th of March. 

After a break in the proceedings and all were fed and watered, everything got back on track with the second half of the evening starting off with The Idol Dead, a group self described as ‘glam/punk/rock! Lead singer Polly was absolutely on fire, and just simply exploded into action belting out their first song ‘Blue skies’, then followed ‘Six Feet under’, ‘Summer that never was’, ‘Dion vampire’, ‘Buckle n howl’ and ‘ I.D.O.L’. A nice start that got the room warmed up, the punters dancing about and everyone including Martin, having a great time and ready for more bands!

Well Psychobabylon  didn’t disappoint. Yet another great band who’ve been on the rock circuit since 2009, and hail from Selby in North Yorkshire.  They came out running! and kicked off with the song ‘Horror’  then straight into ‘Angels’  a song which had a sound I can’t quite remember what it reminded me of? But on it’s own merits was a real winner anyway. Next song was ‘Trash’, then ‘Insanity’ and ‘Buried Alive’.  During the song ‘Factor 10’, we had a stage invasion by one of the watching audience members. It was K.C. from The Idol Dead who bounded onto the stage and joined the backing singers, much to the delight of everyone! Aint So Different’ was a pure rock sounding song that everyone liked, after which we hadLove and War’. Then a special treat for Martin’s birthday bash , the guys sang a brand new track aired for the first time that night, ‘Babylon’.

The time now at twenty five past eight, saw the amazing personality’s of JD & The FDC’s take the stage by the gonads! The first two songs were blinding, and I took a video to prove it! ( will be available to see soon ) Charismatic lead singer JD is a proper rock band showman and had the Badass Birthday Bashers hanging on his every word. With songs like ‘Ujpest Dozsa‘ and ‘This Ship Is Going Down‘ (the first two songs). These guys are not only a great band but also a great band of lad’s too! One of the highlights was JD getting the excited crowd to go totally quite in appreciation of bass player Joey Strange, not an easy task! Everyone, with hands held high just about managed it for 30 seconds, after which the guys went on to have some banter and ragg the other bands. This was a session of rock n roll with humor, magic and attitude!!

Babylon Fire, are a four member metal band from Manchester. This was something for the real hard core rock fans as they hammered out some brilliant songs such as ‘I Still Remember ‘, a massive nine plus minutes long on the album. But cut down to around seven for the gig. I couldn’t help but watch drummer Mark Cooper’s feet during the ‘Blood In Blood Out ‘ song. UNBELIEVABLE! is the only way to describe the intense power and speed that he was pounding the bass drum set. I,ve never seen anyone do this so fast and still keep in time and rhythm, big respect to this athlete of rock! A fantastic guitar riff from Rishi Mehta during ‘Wrath Of The Fallen ‘, and the big guy on the mike, Mark D was making big sound with ‘The Clarion Call ‘. For me it was a real buzz to be right up with the band feeling the raw energy that was being blasted out from the stage.

Captain Horizon, hailing from Birmingham, it was my first time seeing this band and these guys looked to me like the usual kind of student band who wanted having a crack at the rock scene. Oh boy, how very VERY! wrong was I !!!  They kicked of an awesome set with ‘The Light ‘ with it’s one minute thirty second instrumental intro, then bounding onto the stage came Steve ‘Whitty’ Whittington, the groups energetic front-man / lead singer. By the the end of the next track ‘Shadows & Vampires ‘ I was already a follower of this alternative rock band! What followed after this was ‘ The Silence of Vera, Patch, (new song) Comforting, Stop, My Town, Anxiety Breaks Us All, Torn Up My World ‘ and ‘Radiostasis ‘ at the end of this song all except the drummer, James “Mez” Merrix left the stage to leave us with one brilliant drum solo by this guy. An original way to finish a song and an original sounding band again like nothing we had seen on stage already. It had been real great mix of rock genres, people and bands, and everyone of them had worked their asses off on the night to make Martin’s birthday bash a night to remember. But now it was time for the last band of the night who were running just a tad late to the schedule……..

At around midnight the guys of Exit State who are one of the patrons of the chARTUK, now moved onto the stage. After a slight tech problem with the bass amp, Roy Bright ( Lead singer ) and the guys got into their stride with ‘I know where you are ‘. I spoke with Roy earlier in the night and he said they were going to give the crowd a mixture of old and new songs that he hoped would make everyone happy. With a set list of ‘Bad Days, Sugarcoat, The Pain I Demand, Crystalline, Sun In My Eyes, Die Zombie, Pull The Thread, Tonight Be Free, Elastic, All The Possibilities, Lets See It All, and with an encore  of the fantastic song ‘Death Of A Rockstar‘. I don’t think Roy and the guys had much to worry about! Finishing at around 1:15am those of us who were left standing gathered around to hear our very emotional host thank everyone for helping to make this event so special and memorable. Martin Shorts 60th Birthday Badass Bash will definitely be one I will never forget, we can only hope and pray for a repeat perhaps every five years! Martin???

To see some photos of the bands performing click the image below to start the slideshow.







Selection of band set lists ……..

Steroid Freak Pussy………….. ‘Precognition, Unleash Hell, Suicide Nation, Hollywood (Thin Lizzy Cover), D.O.R., High Priest of Love (Zodiac Mindwarp Cover), If it Ain’t Broke, Pussy Blowout’.

Twisted Species……… ‘Innocence Lost, Dead Behind The Eyes, Bleed 4 Me (cover), Descended, Hold Me Down.

Steel Threads……….’Believe, Hold Me Like We’ll Die Tonight, It Goes On, Nothing To Hide, Ace Of Spades (Motorhead)/Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf) (folk-rock covers ), Let The Wind Blow.

Dakesis ……………’The New Dawn, Liar, On Wings Of Steel,  After The Storm, Into The Light, Valhalla’.

Kaine………………….’Entropy (Instrumental) The Lost Sages Tower, Solidarity, Resistance, Witchfinder General;

The Senton Bombs….’Tornado, Experiment, Nine Of Hearts, Medusa, So Cavalier, Nothing Quite Like This, Darkest Horse, No Rest For The Rockin,’ Jackals’.

Idol Dead………….’Blue Skies, Six Feet Under, Summer That Never Was, Dion Vampire, Buckle n Howl, I.D.O.L’.

PsychobabylonHorror, Angels, Trash, Insanity, Buried Alive, Factor 10, Aint So Different, Love and War, Babylon

JD & The FDC’s.…..’Ujpest Dozsa, This Ship Is Going Down, From The Shadows, The Secret, Switchblade Knife, Mirrors & Wires, Burn This City Down, Stupid Music Played By Idiots’.

Babylon fire‘I Still Remember, Shattered Crown, Blood In Blood Out, Wrath Of The Fallen, Freight Train, Darkness Draws Me In, The Clarion Call‘.

Captain Horizon…..’The Light, Shadows & Vampires, The Silence of Vera, Patch, Comforting, Stop, My Town, Anxiety Breaks Us All, Torn Up My World, Radiostasis’.

Exit State…’I know Where You Are, Bad Days, Sugarcoat, The Pain I Demand, Crystalline, Sun In My Eyes, Die Zombie, Pull The Thread, Tonight Be Free, Elastic, All The Possibilities, Lets See It All’, and the encore was ‘Death Of A Rockstar ‘.

Click the image below for a slideshow of photos of Dakesis




Band Pages……..

About Dave Bradbery

Dave Bradbery. A writer/Interviewer & contributor to My favorite motto is:- "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need!" ( Rolling Stones,1969 ) very true words.