Rockmantic 3 (Day 1), The Brickyard, Carlisle – 13th February 2015

Rockmantic is becoming an annual event hosted around Valentine’s Day (hence the name) by Raz White. I went to Rockmantic 1 but couldn’t make last year. This year Valentine’s Day fell on on a Saturday so I was looking forward to a bit of Lurve as I braved the Friday 13th traffic and just about made it in time for the first band. Carlisle is a fairly compact city so luckily I didn’t have far to walk from my hotel in the centre. A promising line up beckoned! The Brickyard, is a 320 capacity venue just across the road from Carlisle Castle, formally known as The Richmond Hall it was renovated to reopen as The Brickyard in 2002. I’ve been a few time before and it’s a cracking little venue with reasonable bar prices.

Rusted Hero

The opening band for the third Rockmantic were Rusted Hero a four piece from Blyth, Northumberland. The band was formed by brothers Adam and John-Paul Coxon in 2013, several line up changes along the way Rusted Hero consists of the Coxon brothers, the tall dark (and easy on the eye) bass player Andy Millburn and front-man Dox Docherty, who with his beanie hat and dirty (not literally) blonde hair put me in mind of Kurt Cobain. Opening the event and their set with Way of The World, The Brickyard wasn’t yet full but there was a decent turn out and Andy, a great showman was holding his bass aloft and encouraging the audience to clap. Doing Time had essences of Hollywood by Junkyard and after that Dox said ‘Welcome Carlisle. Thank you for having us we’re Rusted Hero. A bit early but let’s do it’ and Soul Muscle Flex after Hollywood I must have had California on the brain as this one reminded me of The Last Vegas and with a strong bass beat, bullet fast drums, in places, and some great riffage it had people clapping along and Dox thanked us again. ‘Didn’t expect this many, Thanks’ Then came Intervention with bullet fast drumming before Dox announced that the next track would be coming out 1st March on itunes  ‘The Unknown which is about getting off your arse and seeing the world. A popular one with the crowd, judging by the claps and cheers. Closing Time had a Kiss/Motley Crue vibe and had Andy and Adam playing opposite one another before springing apart and bouncing all over the stage. However it wasn’t quite closing time for Rusted Hero as Dox asked ‘Do you want one more? JP’s got something special for you! Thank you for coming out, a nice jumping one,  go for it’ which lead to a funk rock cover of Beatles’ classic Come Together with Dox including some screams and Adam playing the guitar with his mouth at one point. A good set with an interesting mix of sounds, I’m thinking Grunge meets a bit of Glam/Punk. They already have several gigs lined up over the coming months details, of which, can be found on their facebook page.

Rusted Hero

Set List
Way of the World
Doing Time
Soul Muscle Flex
The Unknown
Closing Time
Come Together (Beatles Cover)

Band Members
Adam Coxon – Lead Guitars
John-Paul Coxon – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Andy Milburn – Bass
Dox Docherty – Lead Vocals

Rusted Hero on Facebook:

The 8th Bridge

Next up and all the way from Cardiff in South Wales came The 8th Bridge, a five piece hard rock, metal thrash groove band. First song Another One Down had a Ministry meets Metallica vibe I’m thinking of a Welsh hybrid of New World Order and For the Whom Bell Tolls. Wake or Die an aggressive song, reminiscent of Mastadon say Blood and Thunder came next, and as Gareth was wearing a Mastadon T-Shirt I am assuming they are one of his, if not the band’s influences.  Front-man Sean, whose wrist was heavily bandaged (didn’t affect his singing, just an observation) then said ‘Thank you! Amazing to see so many people, was shitting myself before I got up here!’ Next came a cover of Drowning Pool’s Bodies which suited Sean’s vocals and some of the audience were really going for it, head banging and jumping up and down using the barrier at the front of the stage for leverage.  Sean then told us we were ‘Probably one of the biggest crowds we have played to. Thank you’ No Redemption and House of Cards followed, and one of them. I think it was the latter, but I only got hold of a set list afterwards, reminded me of Sex Type Thing by Stone Temple Pilots in places. After some whistles and cheers  Sean said they had three more songs for us. Guilty, a new one was followed by Endless Sleep which started a bit Hey You by Jimi Hendrix albeit a bit heavier. Then we came to the end of The Eighth Bridge and a ‘Thank you so much’ from Sean ‘You’ve been fucking amazing, we are 8th Bridge from Cardiff’ and the finished with Black which is to be ‘their new single out on 12th March. Sean got a camera to take an audience picture and  a final ‘Thank you very much’ A good hard rocking set from the five guys all the way from South Wales.

The 8th Bridge

Set List:
Another One Down
Wake or Die
Bodies (Drowning Pool Cover)
No Absolution
House of Cards
End of Sleep

Band Members:
Sean Williams – Vocals
Danny Willicombe – Lead Guitar
Dave Watkins – Rhythm Guitar – @MrFreakSir
Ben Sainty – Bass Guitar – @BASainty
Gareth “Mr G” Rees – Drums – @TheGarethJRees

The Idol Dead (Photo by Mia Metall)

The third of the five bands playing on Day one were the first of the two bands I’ve seen before. The Idol Dead  a five piece glam/punk/rock band from Leeds. They often all wear all black with a fluorescent lime green tie but the only one wearing his tie correctly this evening was Nish, although KC had wrapped his round his arm like a tourniquet! ‘Alright Carlisle’ yelled Polly ‘We’re The Idol Dead and we sound a little bit like this’ and they opened their set with the aptly named Get Your Boots On and I say aptly because Polly had bare feet (with nicely pedicured black toenails). I’ve always found these guys to be full of energy and great entertainers and tonight was proving no different. Polly asked ‘Who’s here for the full weekend? This is off our current album, The Summer That Never Was’ a fast catchy song, which has Polly bouncing all over the stage and KC holding his guitar aloft then a ‘Thank you Carlisle’ from Polly ‘Big cheer for Raz!’ Six Feet Under a Ramones type fast punky song was next and the sound man got up on stage with tape for Polly’s microphone. Polly was down on his knees at one point and after the song finished he shouted out a thank you to the sound man ‘For helping me out being a clumsy bastard. Too old for this shit anyway!’

The Idol Dead

Bar at the Edge of Time another one from their latest album ‘Hollow Point Curses‘ was next and Polly did a bit of Joel O’Keeffe style climbing up on to the exit flat roof, via the speakers, and he stood up there with his arms outstretched before jumping back down. Polly’s surely got to have been a circus acrobat in a past life. Managing to bounce all over and climb the speakers without mishap, he was nearly floored when KC took his guitar off and smacked him in the head with it, accidentally – I think! Luckily Polly was alright and KC handed his guitar over to Polly and picked up an acoustic guitar himself. Polly said ‘Don’t know if Raz  is here, this is for him and his missus. Beyond Redemption with a Cult meets The Senton Bombs vibe think of a cross between Rain and Nine of Hearts,  which had Polly strumming and still managing to bounce around. At the end Polly handed the guitar back to KC (without an added smack round the head!) and said they had two more songs and he hoped we were enjoying ourselves. Travelling Man the penultimate song had KC on the floor, then Polly said ‘One more for you! Thank you for coming out and supporting live music. Enjoy’ and the last song from the Idol Dead was I. D. O. L. and the absence of a real guitar didn’t stop Polly as he did some frantic air guitaring and more bouncing around. .Are you still out there Carlisle?’ asked Polly ‘When I say I. D. O. L. you say D. E. A. D.’ and the audience obliged with Polly managing to do a backward roll, and still sing! An energetic and entertaining performance from the, anything but idle, guys from Leeds!

The Idol Dead

Set List:
Get Your Boots On
The Summer That Never Was
Six Feet
Bar at the Edge of Time
Beyond Redemption
Travelling Man

Band Members:
Polly – Vocals
Tim – Guitar
KC – Guitar
Dan – Bass
Nish – Drums

Hellion Rising a five piece metal band from Newcastle upon Tune were the fourth act tonight. Was that number an omen for them as, with drummer Adam ill with gastroenteritis and unable to play, they were down to four men. Luckily the band have a bit of versatility, and with a bit of reshuffle the line up for Rockmantic saw bass player Kieran take over the drumming stool and lead guitarist Gio on bass.

Hellion Rising (Photo by Mia Metall)

‘We’re Hellion Rising here to play some rock n roll’ announced front man Matt and they opened with Goat Charmer with a good rhythm and Gio looking to be playing the five string bass as though he was on lead guitar. At the end Matt stripped of his t-shirt. The Beast! I don’t mean him, the next song was The Beast! After that Matt thanked everyone for understanding and said ‘We’ve played a few weird situations but nothing like this’ and he said they had prepared some new songs but with their drummer being sick they were not able to play them tonight, so they were going to play some covers and stuff. The next song being a well executed cover of Commando by The Ramones. Matt then said ‘Hats off to our favourite bands Crowbar, Orange Goblin and…. ‘ I didn’t catch the third one and then came Bereavement of the Chimes off their EP ‘Eight of Swords’ this one reminded me of Black Sabbath. The two guys in front of the stage were still really getting into the music, jumping and shaking their hair.

Hellion Rising (Photo by Mia Metall)

Matt said they felt more like a Punk band with only four of them. That’s fine for me I like Punk! Although the next song, which he informed us was the first song the band ever wrote together three years ago Heavy With a Groove, which is on their first self titled EP, is a more funk rock number than Punk rock. However the penultimate song a cover of The Misfits Skulls was a very fast, raw and energetic Punky one.  Then Matt said they were down to our last song ‘Hope you had a good night and your ears aren’t bleeding too much. I know mine certainly are’ and they finished off with Just For Tonight another one from their ‘Eight of Swords’ EP which reminded me a bit of Papa Roach’s Getting Away With Murder in places. Matt thanked us for sticking around and thanked ____ (I couldn’t catch the name) for lending them a bass,  and his final words for tonight were ‘We’ve been Hellion Rising. You’ve been excellent. As I haven’t seen them before I don’t know what they are like as a five piece, but fair play to them for innovation and making sure the show went on. I enjoyed the set and hope Adam has now recovered as I would definitely like to see them as a five piece.

Hellion Rising

Set List:
Goat Charmer
Commando (Ramones cover)
Bereavement of the Chimes
Heavy With a Groove
Skulls (Misfits)
Just For Tonight

Band Members:
Matt Adamson – Vocals
Davey Reay – Guitars
Giovanni Camillo – Guitars
Kieran Cant – Bass
Adam Telford – Drums

The Amorettes (Photo by Mia Metall)

The headliners for the first day of Rockmantic 2015 were The Amorettes an all female classic/hard rock band from over the border in Scotland. Fronted by guitarist Gillian Montgomery with sisters Hannah and Heather Mckay making up the rhythm, Slade’s We’ll Bring the House Down heralded their arrival on stage and they got the house shaking straight away with Rock Me: Roll Me a Suzi Quatro type number and Gill was encouraging everyone to chant ‘Hey’ and at the end of the song said ‘Thank you Carlisle. It’s good to be here. Our brand new spanking album will be out next month. This will hopefully be one of the singles Get What’s Coming’ which was followed by the hard rocking Bull By The Horns with some Remedy by Rose Tattoo style riffage and judging by the cheers was a popular one with the audience. The girls are certainly far more attractive than Angry and the guys in Rose Tattoo! Heartbreaker with a bass start had Gill kneeling at one point, then Gill and Heather at the front of stage with their legs up on the speakers. I have seen The Amorettes a couple of times before and I’ve always enjoyed their shows but so far this was the best I’ve seen them, they seem to look much more comfortable up on the stage and have gained a lot more confidence.

The Amoretts (Photo by Mia Metall)

Gill asked ‘Did anyone buy our first album’ and a few people shouted ‘Yeah’ and whilst I didn’t buy it, my ex boyfriend did and I had listened to it several times on long car journeys. Anyway, I digress, Gill said ‘Thank fuck for that! You may know this one Take Cover. Another bass guitar was brought out for Heather and a really fast change over executed mid song! A couple more before the song which is going to be their next single Fire at Will and Gill said they would be touring with Europe dates here. A fast drum start led into Box Ticker with some screaming riffs, a popular one and got lots of claps and whoops.

Two shooting songs next! Shoot From the Hip and Son of a Gun both with more good riffs and Gill and Heather got up on the flat roof above the exit to play up there, before being helped down at which point Gill announced that this was going to be their last one then ‘You have been awesome. Thank you so much’ before asking ‘Is everybody hot? Do you like it heavy?’ which could only be the introduction to Hot ‘n’ Heavy Gill said every time I shout ‘Hot ‘n’ Heavy’ shout it back and the audience obliged, with the two guys at the front shouting the loudest, and then that was it. Again Gill said ‘Thank you so much Brickyard’ and there were shouts for one more song. Shortly the girls came back on stage to whistles and whoops which was apt as the encore song was Whoot Woo a hard rocking one, with some great riffs which got people singing along and the chorus included wolf whistles. A final ‘Thank you so much! Good night’ That was certainly the best I’ve seen The Amorettes play and they have always put on a good show. Getting a support slot to Europe will hopefully lead to bigger and better things. These girls don’t play on their good looks (which they could) but they play good old Rock ‘n’ Roll just as well as, if not better than, the men.

The Amorettes

Set List:
Rock Me: Roll Me
Get What’s Coming
Bull By The Horns
Too Much is Never Enough
Take Cover
Daddy’s Got Money
Give ‘Em Hell
Fire at Will
Shoot From the Hip
Son of a Gun
Hot ‘n’ Heavy
Whoot Woo

Band Members:
Gill Montgomery- Guitar/Vocals
Hannah McKay- Drums/Backing Vocals
Heather McKay – Bass/Backing vocals

Day one over and one sleep ’til Valentines Day or, for some who were out to enjoy what Carlisle has to offer by the way of night life, maybe no sleep! Review of Day 2 to follow after a sleep or two for me!

Review and Images by Louise Swift, additional images by Mia Metall

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Rockmantic 1


About Louise Swift

I first went to a gig in 1981, Gillan at Leeds University. I've been a regular gig goer ever since. I haven't kept count of how many gigs I've been to over the intervening years, but it's a lot! My favourite bands are AC/DC then, in no particular order, Anti-Nowhere League, Slaughter and the Dogs, Towers of London and Dirt Box Disco. I tend to like Glam/Punk and rude offensive lyrics, not sure what that says about me but as Animal would say 'So What!' The question was recently put to me - did I write for any online publications? My reply - No, but I'd like to! Planetmosh was suggested and I found myself offering to review Aces High Festival. Easy peasy I thought! Well not quite, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well! I had sixteen bands to research. I found I actually enjoyed that and it kept me too busy to be making lunatic comments on Facebook! ;) Then I felt a bit inadequately qualified. I mean, who am I to comment on others, when my musical expertise extends to being able to play a mean Greensleeves on the recorder and a passable Annie's song on the flute! Haven't picked up either instrument for years! What I do have, however, is over 30 years of experience as a gig goer, so I can comment on what I like and what I don't! It's only my opinion and, if I don't like a band it doesn't mean they are bad, just not to my own liking. I admire anyone who has the guts to get up on that stage and have a go!
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