Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Graspop Complete...

The line up for belgiums Graspop Metal Meeting 2008 is now officially complete...


Monday, 28 April 2008

Gloomy Sunday etc.

Good To Be Bad....

np: Whitesnake's brilliant new album "Good To Be Bad".
A stunning return to form, Thee Claw eagerly awaits their belgium/uk shows in june and july!!!

Sunday, 27 April 2008


The full complete line up for the Iron Maiden show at Twickenham Stadium on July 5th is Maiden supported by Lauren Harris, Within Temptation, Avenged Sevenfold.
To say Thee Claw is disappointed is a huge understatement.
Maybe it's because all the good bands are busy playing european festivals that day, who knows?

I Cannot Believe...

...that our next scheduled gig attendance isn't until May 8th in Manchester for Gloomy Sunday - then May 10th, for the Heavyfest all-dayer in Bradford.


8th May: Gloomy Sunday (Manchester)
10th May: Heavyfest All-dayer (Bradford)
11th May: Genghis Tron (Leeds)
13th May: Shit & Shine (Brudenell Social Club, Leeds)
17th May: Charger, Mountains Became Machines, Krupskaya (Stoke)
21st May: Today Is The Day (Birmingham)
27th May: Dio (Birmingham)
29th May: Ministry (Manchester)
13th June: KISS (Donington)
22nd June: Melt Banana (Birmingham)
27th - 29th June: Graspop (Belgium)
5th July: Iron Maiden (Twickenham)
11th - 13th July: Supersonic (Birmingham)
12th July: Doom Metal Inquisition (Bradford)
15th July: Whitesnake & Def Leppard (Liverpool Arena)
14th November: Motorhead & Saxon (Manchester Apollo)

Come on OUR CLAW - find some live events for thee boys to attend.

Still not loud enough, Still not deaf enough!

Utter Respect

Thee Claw is united in raising claws and glasses to Torquezine

Friday, 25 April 2008

Suffocation @ Manchester Music Box, 24th April 2008

Last night's Suffocation gig in Manchester was total death metal heaven! What a show, well worth the trip. This was Thee Claw's 25th gig of 2008 and 9th gig in April alone.

I was most impressed by the energy of the band and the way that the crowd really got into the gig. Plenty of pits and stagediving! And I don't think I've seen such a constant crowd surge throughout a gig for a long time.

The setlist was something like:

1) Thrones Of Blood
2) Seeds Of The Suffering
3) Abomination Reborn
4) Catatonia
5) Liege Of Inveracity
6) Surgery Of Impalement
7) Bind Torture Kill
8) Infecting The Crypts
9) Brood of Hatred
10) Entrails Of You
11) Pierced From Within
12) Despise The Sun

I really should leave it to THE SKUM to give you a proper run-down of the gig since Suffocation is one of his favourite bands.

It was great being there with 4 men, 8 claws! Our old friend PETCH joined us for the gig, he is the original claw... and that man sure loves his death metal. Hail to THE PETCH!


Frank Mullen - vocals
Terrance Hobbs - guitar
Guy Marchais - guitar
Derek Boyer - bass
Mike Smith - drums

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Tank 86 - Behold

Whilst away at Roadburn, I was lucky enough to be handed a copy of Behold by Dutch four piece band Tank 86.

It's a CD with five tracks on, all instrumental, with Capricorns being an obvious comparison, as well as some of the other post-rock stuff that's knocking about at the moment, but I hate using that phrase, so I won't do it again!
The bass is quite near the forefront of the mix but this isn't a bad thing, Jochum's basslines helping to define the songs especially during some of the rockier moments, such as on Dmitri and Dust, which builds up to a total fists in the air headbanging section after about three minutes.
Flame shows some influence to my ears of Iron Maiden, after about two minutes you get this maiden-esque riffing, which is never a bad thing. Bluesy solos from Floris and Joost float over the top of the music adding another dimension to the tracks.
After listening to Tank86 the first time, I sat in silence for a few seconds letting it sink in before putting Behold straight back on again. It's pretty much the only thing I listened to all day yesterday, over and over again.
Total instrumental stoner rock goodness that makes you want to spark up and stick your headphones on, I'm going to listen to it again right now!

Link: Tank 86

Church Of Misery vs Hard Gay

Here's some pics of us with Japanese rockers Church Of Misery, taken @ Roadburn last weekend (20th April 2008).

I love these photos.

For the record, Church Of Misery is:

Hideki Fukasawa - vocals & synthesizers (2004-)
Tatsu Mikami - bass (1995-)
Junji Narita - drums (2003-)
Tom Sutton - guitars (2006-)

I've got plenty of great photos taken during their set at Roadburn last weekend... I would go as far as to say they played the gig of the festival (if you were lucky enough to be able to get into the room to see them play that is!).

C.O.M. Setlist from Roadburn:

1 Killfornia
2 I, Motherfucker
3 Shotgun Boogie (New song)
4 Red Ripper Blues
5 Sick Of Living
6 Candy Man
7 El Padrino (New song)
8 War Is Our Destiny (Saint Vitus cover)
9 Hurricane (Pentagram cover)

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Boris @ Ruby Lounge, Manchester

I almost forgot to write a little something about the Boris gig that we went along to watch on Monday night. It was a strange little gig, held at a strip club in Manchester that is called The Ruby Lounge. This gig was memorable for being our 7th day of gigs in a row. But unfortunately it is also memorable for other reasons, not quite so positive.

You see, this gig seems to have been a little poorly thought out. No wait, let me rephrase that. The *venue* seems to have been a little poorly thought out. There was nothing wrong with the performance from Japanese rockers Boris, they played the same setlist as was used 2 days earlier at the gig in Tilburg at Roadburn. And also we have been to many gigs in Manchester over the past year that have been organised by Lamb & Wolf (the same promoters who arranged using the spectacular Zion Arts Centre for the recent Earth gig that was held there, they also arranged the amazing Boris gig at a small church in Manchester city centre in June 2007), so I know from personal experience that these are promoters of high quality. So I am sure that there must be some other factor involved.

Basically, it was nigh-on impossible to see the band on stage. The Ruby Lounge is used as a strip club (so I am lead to believe anyway) and as such it is set out quite differently than a regular concert venue. The area where Boris played at the Ruby Lounge was sort of in a corner of the venue in an area surrounded by pillars and posts. There is no stage area there meaning that the Japanese band could not be seen by anybody but those lucky enough to be at the front of the crowd or the tallest of people stood no more than 4 or 5 rows back. Everyone else had to be content with simply being there while the gig went on in front of them, yet out of sight. Very frustrating.

I used a sneaky photographer's trick to get close to the action, hoping to get to the stage and snap a few pictures of the band. However this didn't go down very well with the already vexed Mancunian crowd and I was ignored by a lot of them when I asked to be allowed through. I did manage to get way over to the side of the stage for a while, but I found myself stood with speaker cabs obscuring my view of the band. Not one to be put off by speakers, I put my camera out at arm's length - around the back of the amps - and snapped away towards the unseen band. Here's the one decent photo that I was able to get:

The guy in the picture is Michio Kurihara, who is acting as lead guitar for Boris during the current tour. He was their collaborator on the recent "Rainbow" LP, and he also was on stage with them at Roadburn.

By the way, this hasn't been meant as a swipe at the promoters in any way. As I already said, I've been to plenty of the shows that Dave & Selina have put on and they've always been great. I think that maybe they're trying out new venues or something. But, as a result of the strange "stage arrangement" for the show, this might have suited Boris quite well. They are a band who bring out stacks of releases all of the time, often bring out tour only vinyl and sometimes they'll release records that are limited to about 500 copies - ridiculous for a band as popular as they have become. And so I am guessing that playing a gig that no one can actually see would somehow be right up their street.

Current tour setlist:

Laser Beam
Statement (complete with baby-laughing intro)
Floor Shaker
My Neighbor Satan
You Put Up Your Umbrella

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

King Diamond Joins Down!

Photo by the oh-so-awesome Kelly Lee:

Their version of The Family Ghost is a thing to behold!

The setlist that Down have been playing during their 2008 European tour is something along the lines of:

01 Underneath Everything
02 The Path
03 Lysergik Funeral Procession
04 Pillars Of Eternity
05 Three Suns And One Star
06 Lifer (complete with a dedication to Dimebag Darrell)
07 Swan Song
08 Mourn
09 Ghost Along The Mississippi
10 Learn From This Mistake
11 N.O.D.
12 Beneath The Tides
13 On March The Saints
14 Losing All
15 Eyes Of The South

16 Doob Interlude
17 New Orleans Is A Dying Whore
18 Stone The Crow
19 Jail
20 Bury Me In Smoke

At the end of Bury Me In Smoke other people (support bands, drum techs, roadies, etc) take to the stage and play the end of the song while the members of DOWN walk about thanking the crowd and waving their goodbyes. After the stage has cleared ANSELMO returns to the stage and sings the last lines of "Nothing in Return (Walk Away)" with the crowd joining in, signifying the end of the show.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Roadburn 2008 In Photos

In no particular order...

The last photo is of the festival organiser, Walter, in the now infamous guise of Japanese cult figure Hard Gay!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Roadburn Day 3

Sorry about missing out a report about day 2 - we've been kinda busy over here, heh.

Day 3 music highlights:

Boris (with Michio Kurihara)
Dixie Witch
Cult Of Luna
Acid Mothers Temple

Dixie Witch and Kongh are stand-out highlights for me, I've never heard either of them before and they both blew me away. Can't wait to get home and order some stuff by them both. Also I have heard that Kongh are touring in the UK sometime in May so I get to see them again soon.

Each night of the festival has ended up as a big old metal disco, with Orange Goblin as the DJs, lots of rockers and famous faces on the dance floor getting loose and free to some classic rock tunes. It's been a right old knees up!

Ok so it's 4:15 am right now... report over!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Claws On Roadburn

Hello from Tilburg. Ste & Patchie here, Ste at the keyboard, Patchie milling about in the background drinking 7up lager and shaking a lot.

It's Day 2 of the Roadburn Festival today, here's a brief recap of Day 1. (I'm sure you'll get better reviews elsewhere - go to google and type in "Roadburn 2008 review" and enjoy the professionals eye).

We arrived in Holland via plane, then from Schiphol to Tilburg on train. I'm on mentioning this because we had a small incident on the train where we found bullets in our carriage. This wasn't reported to the authorities though because the police might have been involved and we just couldn't be bothered with the hassle of it all!

Next incident: We found that, when we got to the hotel, some fool (I won't mention names to protect the stupid) had booked us in on the completely wrong dates. We arrived on the 17th of April and the booking were made for the 17th of March. Doh! Ok, I will mention names - it was me who got the booking all fucked up. Soz Patchie lad.

Enough of our own problems though. Here's what I can remember from Day 1 of the festival:

  • We arrived about an hour before doors opened and sat in the street outside a bar drinking Dutch beer while watching rock stars mingling with the crowd. Lee Dorrian and Jimmy Bower to name but 2.
  • The event is being held at the 013 club. I was told (by a taxi driver on the way home) that 013 is pronounced as "Nil Derteen club" by the Dutch.
  • There are 3 main rooms for gigs in the venue. I've been watching lots of stuff in the main room so far (Down, Grand Magus, Capricorns) and I saw some in the "Green Room" (Diagonal, The Devil's Blood). There is another room called the Batcave where bands are playing but so far I haven't had a chance to get in there! I think I'll be in there later on today though,
  • You can't buy beer or food with cash at 013. Instead, you need special blue tokens which you can buy at vending machines all around the club. This is how lots of festivals seem to prefer money to be spent these days as it means barstaff won't be tempted to skim a little for themselves from the tills!
  • The merch here is out of this world. They've got a whole floor dedicated to selling you everything that you could possibly want. This includes a cloak room to store your newly acquired swag, haha.
  • Orange Goblin are here, providing a DJ set for people who aren't in any of the rooms watching bands play.
  • No one was allowed to bring cameras to the 013 on the 1st day of the event, at the request of Down. I think it's something to do with a DVD that they're putting together or something. That said, there are people with cameras everywhere at the venue. Who listens to orders in rock and roll huh?
  • The 013 is a smkoing venue. Smokers from England are loving this!
  • They have vegan curry for some reason, and you can buy eggs rolls from vending machines for 2 euros a pop. Patchie is well fed!
  • Today Patchie keeps finding 10 euro notes in his clothes from yesterday, 40 or so euros so far!
  • We've seen lots of friends here - some who we've missed, some who we haven't. Plus we've been making lots of new friends and acquaintances too. You know how it is, Scousers also make friends when they go around the world and there's beer involved.
  • There's a video circulating amongst our group of Kirk Windstein (from Down and Crowbar) being made-up to look like King Diamond. It's Phil Anselmo putting the make-up on him, meanwhile Pepper Keenan is also on the video in the background singing The Family Ghost, hahaha.
  • Our hotel is on the other side of town from the gig, so it's costing a small fortune to get to and from all of these great shows every day!
  • Kirk kissed Patchie on the cheeck and told him he is not allowed to get a shave. Ever.
  • Our limited Dutch is improving. This has just been helped immensly by watching an episode of the A-Team with Dutch subtitles. Mr T used the walls of the elevator to reinforce the inside of a baker's van and they hid guns in the bread.
  • We have also found a supermarket selling minatures bottles of spirits for 2 Euros each; we've been buying up all the Jagermeister and smuggling them in to the gig to feed to Kirk.
  • At the end of the Devil's Blood concert, the singer came back out and doused Patchie with pig's blood.
  • we Lost Toby on the way home and it cost us 20 Euros.

    We've been making a sort of Claw video diary while we've been here, adding stuff all the time and having fun with masks and stuff. This is our idea of fun anyway! Hopefully I'll throw some of the clips up on this page for you to see (and no doubt shake your head at) when I get a chance ok.

    Today (Day 2) of the festival we are looking forward to seeing the following bands:

    Church Of Misery
    and many many more.

    The one negative thing about being here in Tilburg throwing claws at everything and everybody is that Our Claw isn't here to join in with the fun. Really, he's sorely missed.
  • Thursday, 17 April 2008

    Quick Witchcraft Post

    Just a quick one because we are off to Holland in the morning (well in about three hours).
    We've just got back from the Witchcraft gig in Leeds; it was great... more pictures and a review when we aren't parked in the middle of Liverpool stealing someone's Wi-Fi connection to bring this post to you!

    Wednesday, 16 April 2008

    Scream For Me...

    Bruce Dickinson's Chemical Wedding movie will be released here in the UK on May 30th 2008
    I'm sure the rest of Thee Claw will agree that the "Chemical Wedding" album released by Bruce Dickinson ten years ago still remains his best solo album.

    Lemmy Q & A

    QUESTION: Where do baby's come from?

    LEMMY'S ANSWER: Babies come from when a man stands on top of a tall building and jumps off, and a woman catches him before he hits the ground. In her teeth.

    Read the entire Q&A here.

    Pombagira/Lesbian, Manchester Star and Garter, 15th April 2008

    Last night Thee Claw travelled to Manchester to catch the latest stop on a tour by two bands that are (were) new to us: Lesbian from Seattle, and Old London Town's very own Pombagira.
    Actually, there were three bands playing that we'd not heard but I'm trying to forget the first band, Lathe Spirit or something, who buy their shirts exclusively from the Southern Lord webstore, with the exception of the drummer who had on a Burzum shirt and eyeliner.
    As I walked out after ninety seconds of the first song I could hear the sound of Varg Vikernes digging himself a grave so he could spin in it.
    Don't worry lads; even Hellhammer got a one K review back in the day, so you're in good company. Before I forget, here's your very own solitary K.

    Next up where Pombagira, whose vocalist/guitarist Pete explained that the set tonight will have to be instrumental because he has a sore throat.
    Given the fact that only about 15 people had bothered to turn out for this show (quite a few of them were the parents of the first band) I don't blame him for wanting to keep his voice for a bigger audience.

    We are then treated to a totally instrumental set of total UK sludge, and it's very, very impressive. I love the fact that the type of music Pombagira are playing has the ability to make you lose track of time; it draws me in until I don't know whether I've been listening to it for a few minutes or a few hours.
    Comparisons are lazy; but they're bound to happen, think Ramesses/Electric Wizard style filth, huge riffs and syncopated drumming with roving basslines.
    When they finish their one-track half hour-ish set, I'm already making a mental note to go and see them again, because they must be fucking amazing with vocals if they are this good without them!

    Closing the show are Lesbian from Seattle.

    Lesbian are impossible to pigeonhole, in fact when I got in last night I destroyed any pigeonholes I had around the house and made a big box with "Lesbian" written over the top, and slung all my CDs inside it, and now my girlfriend thinks I'm on PCP.
    Seriously though, I didn't know what was coming next with this band; there's Neurosis-style riffing and then it would break into black metal style blastbeats, and there were a few songs at the end with double-kick action, slow doomy riffs that made me think of demo-era Paradise Lost. Nice use of the Bill Hicks sample too guys.
    They totally blew me away to be honest, big kudos to promoters Wot God Forgot for getting these two to play in Manchester, I'm so glad we went, a shame nobody else could be bothered.

    And is flannel really the National Dress of Seattle?
    Lesbian (Myspace)
    Pombagira (Myspace)
    Wot God Forgot (Promoter)

    Tuesday, 15 April 2008

    Down, Manchester Academy, 12th April

    Here are some of the "best turned out" pics off my phone from Down. Great gig, quite an improvement on the last time they played, no boring rants between songs this time, the new songs sound really good live, Man Of The Match goes to Pepper Keenan!!!

    Monday, 14 April 2008

    Down, Manchester, April 12th 2008

    On Saturday night we went to see Down in Manchester; I'll let SJW or Skum write that one up because they know more about them than I do.
    We weren't allowed to take any photos though.

    Saturday, 12 April 2008

    Currently Listening To...

    Enslaved - Ruun
    Thou - Tyrant
    Deformity - Murder Within Sin
    Dio - Diamonds (Best of Dio)
    Venom - Cast In Stone
    Genghis Tron - Board Up The House
    Last Action Hero OST

    Thursday, 10 April 2008

    Terminal Frost

    Former CELTIC FROST singer and guitarist Tom Gabriel Fischer has issued the following statement regarding his departure from the group:

    "I am devastated beyond description, and I am infinitely disappointed. As the one member of CELTIC FROST who is exposed most dramatically to the feedback by our audiences and the media, I feel troubled and humiliated about being unable to honour the enormous goodwill extended to CELTIC FROST during the past few years and meet the justified expectations of our fans.

    "I have always seen the ’Monotheist’ album as a mere beginning, and a tame one at that. My mind and spirit are full of energy, creativity, and ideas. CELTIC FROST had become the unreserved focus of my life for the second time. I was looking forward immeasurably to working on the next CELTIC FROST album. To me, it needed to be darker, heavier, and more experimental than ’Monotheist’.

    "And yet, CELTIC FROST consisted of three individuals, and I was only one of them. In the end I had to concede to myself that there was no other option.

    "My friendship with and respect for Martin Eric Ain [bass] remain unaffected. Moreover, I am in the process of assessing my options to eventually complete, record, and release some of the ideas I originally created for CELTIC FROST and the planned next album in the course of the past few years, and to take our distinctive music out on the road again.

    "There is no way back."

    Now this is a fucking tour...

    November UK Tour....

    Nov 3/08Wolverhampton, UKWolverhampton Civic Hall
    Nov 4/08Ipswich, UKIpswich Regent
    Nov 6/08Brighton, UKBrighton Dome
    Nov 7/08Newcastle, UKNewcastle Academy
    Nov 8/08Sheffield, UKSheffield Academy
    Nov 10/08Glasgow, UKGlasgow Academy
    Nov 11/08Leicester, UKLeicester De Montfort Hall
    Nov 12/08Southampton, UKSouthampton Guildhall
    Nov 14/08Manchester, UKManchester Apollo
    Nov 15/08Cardiff, UKCardiff University
    Nov 17/08Cambridge, UKCambridge Corn Exchange
    Nov 18/08Bristol, UKBristol Colston Hall
    Nov 19/08Exeter, UKExeter University
    Nov 21/08Norwich, UKNorwich UEA
    Nov 22/08London, UKHammersmith Apollo

    Wednesday, 9 April 2008

    Somebody Tell Me It's Not True....

    ...we are flying to Holland to see them next week!!

    Roadburn Update

    The line up for Sunday's "Afterburner" show at the Roadburn Festival (curated by Current 93's David Tibet) has been updated, due to Rickie Lee Jones having to pull out of playing in Europe with C93.

    David Tibet comments:
    "As many of you will have seen, Rickie Lee Jones has been unable to appear at the Roadburn show. Both I and Rickie Lee want to point out this happened due to bad luck and unforeseen problems. We remain good friends and, although sadly this time the energy was against us, we are both determined to reschedule our working together as soon as we can.

    In the absence of Rickie Lee Jones, Current 93 will now be playing a specially lengthened set and Hush Arbors will also be playing a solo set.
    Current 93's set will consist of material from early albums such as NATURE UNVEILED, DOGS BLOOD RISING, IMPERIUM and CHRIST AND THE PALE QUEENS, as well as our most recent work."

    Decent news though if like me, you're a fan of the earlier Current 93 stuff.

    Revised running order:

    Links: Current 93

    Monday, 7 April 2008

    Bursting Out

    Man I am real excited right now, I can't stop thinking about all the awesome stuff we've got planned for the next few months.

    Me and Patchie are off to Tilburg in Holland next week to see Trouble & Celtic Frost at Roadburn. Meanwhile Our Claw is jetting away to Belgium for the huge Graspop festival - he gets to see Maiden, KISS & Judas Priest, all in one sitting. The lucky fucker!

    Also on the cards, the 3 of us are taking part in a spot of arena rock in July, in the shape of Whitesnake & Def Leppard at the new Liverpool Arena, then me & H will be going back there in October to fulfill boyhood dreams and see Queen in concert. Yeah yeah, not very Claw-ish but still, can't wait for that one.

    And let's not forget the Iron Maiden gig that's happening at the Twickenham cricket ground on July the 5th. Throw into the mix a possible Motorhead UK tour in November and you've got yourself the beginings of a memorable year.

    Stick with Thee Claw kid, you'll go places.


    Currently listening to:
    Thou - Tyrant. I cannot get enough of that record.

    Saturday, 5 April 2008

    Slow Week

    So here's a photo of Thee Claw boys for you.
    I've got some bad cursed-photograph shit going on there, haven't I?
    (This is in the graveyard at the rear of Liverpool Cathedral)


    There's stacks of prospective gig attendence on thee horizon lads... so make sure you've got a little money for the merch table.

    We might not make it to each and every one of the following shows but, god dammit, we'll give it a damn good try!

    9 April - Exodus @ Rio’s (Leeds)
    12 April - Down @ Manchester Academy (Patchie's birthday!)
    15 April - Sick Of It All @ Underground (Stoke)
    16 April - Witchcraft @ Rio’s (Leeds)
    17 April - Roadburn Pre-burner @ Tilburg
    18 to 20 April - Roadburn Festival @ Tilburg
    21 April - Boris @ Ruby Lounge (Manchester)
    24 April - Suffocation @ Jabez Clegg (Manchester)
    25 April - Opeth / Our Jeremy / 3 Inches Of Blood @ Manchester Academy
    27 April - Vader @ Rio’s (Leeds)

    Note to gegs: 3 men, 6 claws. NO HANGERS ON.

    Friday, 4 April 2008

    Freezing Fog, Unsanctum, Zangief, Nowhere Fast, Ocksen, Liverpool Korova 9th May 2008

    I'm working til 9.30, but only around the corner...see you there!

    Roadburn Update

    Another update, another band pulling out.
    This time it's Sourvein, being replaced by the mighty Dorset druids Ramesses!

    Tuesday, 1 April 2008

    Dio @ Birmingham

    Close the city! Tickets arrived today!
    (No, really... This is no April fools shikanery!)