Valentine’s Day loomed bright but breezy in Carlisle and after a day opening all my cards, erm make that looking round Carlisle Cathedral, Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, the market every charity shop I passed and several fine cafés I’d built up an appetite for Rockmantic 3, Day 2. With Massive Wagons and Die No More‘s last album releases getting five star reviews here on PlanetMosh I was anticipating a good show! Our new reviewer Jo Crosby covered the acoustic set in the afternoon, read all about it here, as much as I love music, an evening event is enough to review if you want to do all the bands justice so here goes!
The event started promptly as THEIAuk the opening act of night were just starting as I walked in, but literally just starting so I didn’t miss anything. THEIAuk are a very young, three piece hard rock band from Burton Upon Trent and I missed seeing them at NLC/RAPCA last year due to a bad headache (yeah, I know I’m a wuss). Front-man Kyle looked like a Brian Johnson throwback at the top with his flat cap and Lemmy at the bottom with his stunning pair of black and white cowboy boots. When I say throwback he must be young enough to be either one’s grandson. ‘Good Evening Carlisle’ announced Kyle.’ We are THEIAuk – rock n Roll’ and they immediately got down to the business of playing some Rock and Roll which had two guys at the from jumping manically from the oof, and lo and behold it was the same two hard core culprits who had been rocking out insanely the night before. I wonder if the set up camp for the night to maintain their position at the front of stage. It’s good to see people enjoying a show though – I’m not knocking them.
Kyle and Paul on bass were singing and playing together before springing around in time to the musicBass/singing together playing then springing round in time to the music. Kyle asked ‘Give us a cheer if you’ve seen THEIA before’ and there were a few cheers ‘Are you enjoying Rockmantic so far?’ lead to more cheers then they played Overthrown which riffage reminded me of Jailbait by Motorhead in places with some added bullet fast drumming. Afterglow slowed the pace down a little followed by Bitch then We’re Alive a faster one which has Kyle and Paul bouncing around before Kyle jumped down into the audience and ran around and back on to the stage. I noticed a fair few feet tapping to this one and a few people singing along. Paul asked us ‘How are you doing? I said how are you doing? I’m normally crap at talking I leave it all to him!’ and it was over to Kyle to announce their last song ‘I’ll leave you with these words in your head. Whoop Dee Doo‘ a great catchy rock n roll tune, with a Queen’s Tie Your Mother Down vibe, about people who always want more ‘You want to be a model’ ‘You wanna be a star of reality tv’ ‘You want a lot of things and you want them all for free’ ‘Whoop Dee Fucking Doo’ and Kyle said ‘You’re the reason we’re up here, you’ve got to do some work, you’ve gotta sing Whoop Dee Fucking Doo’ and people were singing along. I got the impression this is one people either loved or hated. I love it, and which ever categotegory you fall into it’s one of those songs which will stick in your head for ages and once heard you won’t forget it so ‘Whoop Dee fucking Doo’ ended a good set from the young guys from the Midland. I’m looking forward to seeing them again at Rockin’ For the Children at The Maze, Nottingham in May.
Ride On (Note I got hold of a copy but Ride On had a line threw so not sure if played or not)
Back In Line
Whoop Dee Fucking Doo
Kyle Lamley – Vocals & Guitars
Paul Edwards – Bass Guitar & Backing Vocals
John Tolley – Drums
Next up local lads Cumbrian four piece Thirteen Stars who describe themselves on their FB Page as playing Southern Rock with hints of Country and Blues. The string guys looked typical of that genre – think ZZ Top/Blackberry Smoke which made stick man Andrew stick out with more of a clean cut male model look! Although looking a pics on their FB page the hair cut seems to be recent – suits you sir! Hoss even seemed to speak with a South American drawl as he asked ‘Good Evening The Brickyard. How are ya doing? Good?’ He then said he could hear those at the front but not the back and said he hoped those with significant others had treated them well today and that those without had treated themselves well. Then he advised that we were going to get a ‘Good old fashioned Rock ‘n’ Roll show’
First song Right For Wrong followed by Tired of Waiting and The Drifter Rides one of which was about being a gigging musician, eating a lot of takeaways and MacDonald’s. Although I’m not sure which one as I only got a set list after and I didn’t listen that intently to the lyrics. So far so good with the Southern Rock vibe evident then came the faster Speed King with riffage reminding me of Whitenake’s All Your Love Tonight in places. I thought Hoss said ‘If You’re Gonna break My Heart’, which was the title of the next song but a when a shout of ‘Me’ rang out from the audience perhaps it had sounded like ‘Who’s gotta broken heart’ and Hoss quickly replied ‘Oh you poor darling! Come up if you like we’ll auction you off’ but no one leapt on to the stage to be auctioned to the highest bidder and the song had an I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness vibe.
Red Hot Fever from their third album ‘Way Dju‘ went out to all the redheads in the audience. A catchy one with some great riffs. Hoss gave a shout out to the three bands to follow and said we would have a blast and there was ‘One more before we fuck off’ this one went out to the British Armed Forces Only a Soldier from their second album and Hoss kindly saved me having to find a comparison because he said it had a flavour of Crosby Stills and Nash. Jax came down into the audience for a while but he couldn’t go too far as he was still attached to the lead, which like an elasticated spring then drew him back to the stage and he and Andrew did some foot stamping and guitar hoisting in unison and a drum roll ended a good set from Thirteen Stars who will be supporting Knock Out Kaine at The Vine Bar in Workington on Friday, see here for details.
Right For Wrong
Tired of Waiting
The Drifter Rides
If You’re Going to Break My Heart
Red Hot Fever
Only a Soldier
Matt “Hoss” Thompson – vocals, mandolin, keys, guitar, banjo
Jax Sedgwick – guitar
Andrew Bates – drums/percussion
Matty Eden – bass and vocals
The third band tonight contained the first and only female performer of the evening. Sertraline (which I’ve discovered is an antidepressant see here) from Stoke-on-Trent, comprise four fifths of the band Blue Origin, a great live act who I reviewed a few times. They released a promising debut album Somnium. When original singer Nick Pilgrim decided to leave the remaining members called time on Blue Origin, recruited a female singer Lizzie Parry and embarked on a new project Sertraline. Lizzie, slim and attractive embarked on their set with a shout of ‘Carlisle we are Sertraline! Let’s fucking do this!’ their first song reminding me of Nine Inch Nails song Head Like A Hole. Josh on growly style backing vocals complimenting Lizzie’s more melodic Pink/Alanis Morisette type vocals. I didn’t get a set list but I spoke to the band and they told me they’d played all the songs from their debut EP Bury The Ghosts, which got a four star review from PlanetMosh here hence I just say their first song. I caught the names of several songs but not all.
Lizzie then announced ‘We are Setraline from Stock on Trent, the next is our brand new single Set the World Alight‘ which actually reminded me of The Jam’s Beat Surrender in places, albeit a much heavier version. The two guys at the front were really going for it head banging and jumping! Lizzie then took up a guitar and said they were going to slow down for a minute, or three and half, and asked the audience to get lighters out for Colours from their debut mini album, which was for sale at the merchandise stand. After Colours Josh announced they were going to do a cover and said ‘I wanna see you fucking move’ and the song they chose was Pink’s Let’s Get The Party Started, which suited Lizzie’s vocals. After that they had two songs left Mean to Me which started off fast then mellowed before speeding up again and had come aggressive grunts from Josh. Lizzie was on steps at the side of the stage shaking her head in the direction of the two young guys, who no doubt lapped it up! Lizzie said they would back in May supporting Forever Still and all the details could be found on Facebook. The last song which is, indeed, the last track on the EP All Choked Up stated off slowly, reminded me of Marilyn Manson’s (cover of The Eurythmics) Sweet Dreams, before speeding up Josh punched his guitar strings, Mike held his guitar aloft, Tom threw his sticks down then stood up on the drum stool, making a dramatic end to a short but sweet set from Sertraline.
Mean to Me
Set the World Alight
All Choked Up
Let’s Get the Party Started (Pink Cover)
Lizzie – Vocals
Josh – Guitar
Mike – Guitar
Hendo – Bass
Tom – Drums
The penultimate band to take to the stage were Cumbrian four piece Die No More and at last the drum kit was played by it’s rightful owner. Formed in 2011 and initially calling themselves Dynamo they changed their name to Die No More in 2013 to prevent any possible issues with the magician of the same name. I’ve seen them as both Dynamo and Die No More and reviewed their EP Blueprint (here). Usually a high octane show I was looking forward to their set.
There’s been a line up change since I last saw them with Martyn Simpson now playing the four strings! Martyn looked like a cross between Laurence Lewelyn-Bowen and Frank n Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Like his predecessor he was entertaining to watch. A drum roll started proceedings and Marc shouted ‘Are you guys going to make some noise?’ Die No More opened with Dark World the opening track from latest album ‘Elected Evil’ which got a five star review from PlanetMosh (here). For a slight person Marc has certainly got a powerful set of lungs and he yelled ‘Brickyard get those hands in the air. This song is called Blood in the (fucking) Veins’ Martyn was encouraging some ‘Hey Hey Heys’ from the audience and Marc and Kev were up playing together at front. Marc then asked ‘How are you doing Rockmantic 3? Are you ready for Massive Wagons?’ which generated some loud cheers and the two guys at the front of stage were jumping yet again!
Marc and Martyn have some great expressive faces. Kev in his reverse baseball cap a little more static and although playing well didn’t push himself into the limelight. After Connection Lost received a good dose of applause Marc said ‘Thank you Brickyard, appreciate it. Cheers’ and they played the mellower Absentia with a Metallica vibe. Then Marc was encouraging some ‘Hey Hey Heys’ this time and a fair few members of the audience were pumping their fists in time. ‘Thank you very much Brickyard. We’re going to play some heavy fucking metal! Let’s see those horns in the air!’ was the introduction to Soul Destroyer with some bullet fast drumming. Marc asked again ‘Brickyard how are you doing? Then ‘How’s your Saturday night going? Who was here yesterday? A few whoops indicated a few of us had been ‘We’re honoured to be here’ Then came Oblivious, a fast and furious punk type number and my favourite track on the EP. Marc thanked ‘Each and every one of you for coming out and supporting live music’ before a ‘Oi Oi Oi Ois were encouraged. ‘Ok Brickyard! You’ll love this one C. B. F. H‘ Marc stopped playing his guitar for a time, threw his arms up and got some more ‘Hey Hey Heys’ going before the song end with some bullet fast drumming. ‘Thank you. You’ve been awesome. We have one more song then we’ll be at the back come and say Hi’ Are you ready to do some singing with us? Repeat after me Die No More’ which is the chorus from their last song Council of War. A great one to end their set with, which had Martyn covering the stage well. Marc’s last words ‘Brickyard thank you very much. We’ve been Die No More. You’ve been fucking awesome. Goodnight’ I haven’t seen a bad gig from these guys, and tonight was no exception. Look on their Facebook page for forthcoming shows.
Blood in the Veins
C. B. F. H.
Council of War
Marc Farquhar – Rhythm guitar/vocals
Martyn Simpson- Bass
Steve Orchiton – Drums
Kev Smith – Lead guitar
Headliners for Rockmantic Day Two, which fell on Valentines Day itself this year, came in the form of Massive Wagons a five piece hard rock band from Carnforth, Lancashire. This is a band I’ve seen many times over the past few years and like Die No More before them I’ve never been to a bad Wagons gig. Opening with Rising Tides a track from their latest album ‘Fight The System’, which got a five star review on PlanetMosh here they got straight off to a rousing start with Barry and Adam covering the stage well and Barry throwing the Mic stand around. Next up came a new one Welcome to the World which had a Black Sabbath vibe. The next song, according to the set list, was Dirty Little Underpants, which would have been another new one for me but it sounded remarkably like Dirty Little Secrets the first track on ‘Fight The System’ and another rocking one with more of a Deep Purple feel which saw Barry throwing his hair around and he does have a head of hair to rival that of a younger Ian Gillan.
Buck and Heavy Metal Man from their debut album ‘Fire It Up’, reviewed here came next, the latter song being a tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio. Barry asked if anyone had got the new album and there were a few shouts of ‘Yeah’ to which he replied ‘Thank you very much. One off that Black Witch’ then another new one, ‘Just one word. Jodie’ which reminded me of their track Red Dress. Next cam a cover of Deep Purple’s Highway Star, which was very popular with the audience and many people were either clapping, singing, dancing or a mad combination of all three! Barry then Thanked us and asked for ‘Three cheers for Raz White. Thank you for having us!’
They couldn’t not play the title track to the album ‘Fight The System’ which is also a track on ‘Fire It Up’, although it was re-recorded for ‘Fight The System’ and I just happened to take live footage so you can see if for yourself on YouTube here followed two more tracks from Fight The System, Look Around a mellower one and Red Dress which Barry said was for everybody here and saw many arms pumping or clapping. That ended their main set and Barry said ‘We’ve been Massive Wagons. Thank you very much. Good night!’ Then ‘Do you want another?’ and we certainly did and we got an energetic cover of Status Quo’s Down Down and all the band were bouncing around looking happy to be up on that stage keeping us entertained. A few Oscar speech style Thank you’s came next for the sound man, the photographer Craig and a ‘Special thanks to Raz for having us. We really appreciate it’ and we got one final song a cover of AC/DC’s Highway To Hell and Barry said ‘I know you know the words I want everyone singing’ and it certainly was a popular song to end Rockmantic 2015. Adam took a photo of audience and it really was the end of the event. Barry’s final words ‘We’ve been Massive Wagons. You’ve been awesome. Thank you very much. Really appreciated.’ Look out for a gig near you always a fantastic show and they just seem to get better and better.
Welcome to the World
Dirty Little Underpants (that’s what set list says anyway!)
Heavy Metal Man
Fight the System
Baz Mills – Vocals
Adam Thistlethwaite – Guitar
Carl ‘Flash’ Cochrane – Guitar
Bowz Bouskill – Bass
Alex Thistlethwaite – Drums
Ten bands over two evenings and a Saturday afternoon acoustic set, at £12 for everything it was exceptional value for money. There wasn’t a band I wouldn’t like to see again. Raz has already started planning Rockmantic 4 for the 12th-13th February 2016 with Confess, Heartbreak Remedy, October Ends and The King Lot already booked! I’m looking forward to it already! Definitely worth a trip to just South of the border.[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157648910723134″ size=”z” count=”100″]