Thursday, 31 July 2008


3 friends of mine are creating a hot spot for REAL TRUE METAL january 30/31 in Kanonhallen, Løren (just outside of Oslo) 2009.

this will be a treat for those of you who are tired of all the trend bands since the early 90s and long for the days of STEEL once again. please do not contact me about this glorious event, but CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LINE-UP:

i will dj there with germany's no 1 metal hero GÖTZ from Rock Hard, but i am not there to talk - just to listen to what we play and bang my head. also you can just forget (as usual) about me playing any 90s stuff, i will just play songs by OMEN, THE BEAST, WARLORD, ATTACKER, MANILLA ROAD, WITCHFINDER GENERAL, BROCAS HELM, BLESSED DEATH, HELSTAR and a shitload of other METAL/THRASH/SPEED/EPIC/NWOBHM stuff.


Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Melvins Euro Tour, Sept 2008

Get on it, Melvins are in Europe this September:

10 GBR Cardiff – The Point
11 FRA Paris – Elysee Montmartre
12 BEL Gent – Voorhuit
14 HOL Eindhoven – Effenaar
16 GER Berlin – Maria
18 GER Munich – Feierwerk
19 GER Schorndorf- Manufaktur
20 AUT Dornbirn – Transmitter Festival
21 AUT Vienna – Arena
23 CZE Prague – Palac Akropolis
24 ITA Milan – Musicdrome
25 ITA Ravenna – Bronson
26 SWZ Fribourg – Frison
27 SWZ Zurich – Rote Fabrik
30 GBR Sheffield – Plug


01 GBR Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
02 GBR Manchester - Academy 2
06 GBR Brighton – Concorde 2

Might try to get to the Cardiff date, that's on my birthday!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Pyaaar Death Metal ...

Prepare for scouse death....

NEUROMA dates...

8th August @ The Giffard, Wolverhampton w/ Anoxia, Necrotize and Left to Bleed

18th August @ Satan's Hollow, Manchester w/ Beheaded, Inveracity, Suffocate Bastard and Fleshrot

5th September @ Hotel California, Birkenhead w/ Diamanthian

24th September @ Korova, Liverpool w/ Acral Necrosis and Burial

A lot of great bands there, go see 'em!!!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Maiden Twickenham... a bit late!

British press Twickenham Stadium show reviews from Iron Maidens official site.

And the moral of this story is Thee Claw knows not what to do if a bird shits on ya!!! (bit of a dickinsonism there!)
I know my post about this gig is a bit late but this was one show where I was truly lost for (losfer!) words, a really special night.

Throughout the years from time to time I find myself getting bored of metal in general and slipping away from it but I can always count on Iron Maiden to lure me back with nights of amazement like twickenham, they did the same thing in 2000, with the album Brave New World and their Earls Court gig a couple of weeks after the albums release, metal faith, NO, MAIDEN faith was restored.
Twickenham was a right proper faith restorer I tell thee!!!!!!

The twickenham gig was my 16th Maiden show since 1990, all amazing shows obviously, sure we had a dull patch between 1995 and 1999 but I can't see Maiden EVER topping twickenham in terms of energy, showmanship and of course the setlist! And man that energy was fucking off the chart, no filler songs, it was all Go from the first song, there was even no shit songs so everybody could stop for a rest, Maiden delivered and the enormous crowd never stopped, not even for the "lifeless lump" chill out bit in Rime Of The Ancient Marinier!!!

My favourite part of the entire show was Heaven Can Wait cos they had a huuuuuge Somewhere In Time landscape on the backdrop and that was my geek out moment, that album and it's artwork blew my head off in 86 and they still impress me now and our own SJW even made an appearance on the big screen as the band came back on for the encores, sporting the mightiest grin I've ever seen haha, well in squire!!!

Bring on a new album and tour lads and also don't forget to keep Revelations and Wasted Years in the setlist for the next tour!!!!!!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

A Video to Pass Some Time

Not much to do at Claw Towers these days other than listen to the mighty Pentagram!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Give Us A Clue

I remember buying Heart Ache by Jesu way back in 2004 when it was released, and I was starting a course about 10 days after it's release where I knew I'd have to travel for an hour or so by train everyday, and I actually put off listening to the CD for that long because I wanted to be able to digest the whole thing in my own time.
Every morning for two weeks I'd travel on the train listening to it, and I wasn't disappointed; I've often said to anyone who will give me half a chance to bore them to death that if I were to be told I was going deaf and I could listen to one piece of music before it happened, I'd pick the first song "Heart Ache" from this CD.
As a (long time) Godflesh fan, this EP was a breath of fresh air; a move away from the more organic sounds that had come into the later releases, this had Justin playing all the instruments himself and the return of a drum machine.

Originally released on Dry Run Records (who later vanished, I believe) Justin has been promising for ages that it's coming out on wax on his own Avalanche Recordings, but for one reason or another it's been getting put back later and later.
Anyway, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel, here's the latest from his blog:

Jesu - 'Pale sketches', Jesu - 'Heart Ache' and Final - 'Afar' vinyl editions on Avalanche Recordings are all being pressed/manufactured now, yes we know they should be available by now but due to initial pressing problems we had to move to another manufacturer, thankyou for your patience. Pre orders will begin in late June, shipping will then begin early July.

I'm taking bets on which release will come first by the way, this, or Domkirke* by sunnO))).

*that's the proper spelling, SJW and I were there when it was recorded. Don't know where they've got this "Dømkirke" business from.

UK Media Frenzy

This photo was taken last week, just before we went to see Iron Maiden at Twickenham, the Maiden article is from the tabloid newspaper The Daily Mirror, the Venom one from the alltogether more pretentious Guardian.

Manchester, soon. (Or, we all love Future Noise)


Second (No Flyer):
Future-noise presents....

"Grind to Groove III" - Sponsored by Zero Tolerance Magazine

The Sontaran Experiment / Stuntcock
They Are Cowards
Jonathan Ross

14th Sept @ The Star & Garter, Manchester
2:30pm till 10pm £8 w/flyer £10 otd

Saturday, 19 July 2008


...To THOR

Anybody out there that likes a bit of Manowar, Saxon or even Grave Digger should check out THOR.
Their "Only The Strong" album and "Unchained" EP in particular.

Cheers to our mate Irish John for finding these true metal rarities and passing them on to me!
I have literally been searching the earth high and low for anything by Thor for years since my dad woke me up late one night when I was about 10 years old to tell me "some of your headbanging lot are on the telly, do you want me to stick a tape in?" to which I said "yeah!" but came down the stairs anyway to catch a guy dressed in spikes, leather and chain blowing up a hot water bottle (with safety goggles!) until it burst then proceeded to play some really cool heavy metal, and when you're 10 years old this stuff is cool as fuck!!! Later in the gig the same guy bent a large steel rod in his mouth then the band played more great music. I thought the name of the band was Thor but it turns out this guy doing all the singing, bottle inflating and bending was actually Thor!!!! Fuck Yeah!!!!

currently playing; Thor- "Thor Against The World"

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Future Noise Update

Home of many great bands that are much loved at Claw Towers, North West collective Future Noise have some dates for us to get booked off work/get out of bed early for/get off the bench in the park and bring our cider to:

As promised, here's the details of our up and coming gigs:

On Thursday 28th August 08 @ The Star & Garter, Manchester, we will not only be celebrating 6 Years of Future Noise, but also the release of Lazarus Blackstar's darkest chapter 'Tomb of Internal Winter' CDEP, bands playing are Lazarus Blackstar, Limbic Riot & Dog Kicked In Half (although these are still to be confirmed). And as a way to thank all those that have supported us through thick & thin over the last 6 years, this gig will be FREE ENTRY, yes you read correct FREE ENTRY!! So you really have no excuse!

The 'Grind To Groove' All Dayer returns for its third installment on Sunday 14th September 08 @ The Star & Garter, Manchester, Esoteric have been confirmed to headline this and we hope to announce the rest of the line up very soon!

On Thursday 13th November 08, we have The Star & Garter, Manchester booked, as yet we're still awaiting confirmation on who is scheduled to play, but we just thought we'd make you aware of this date so you can pencil it into your diary.

And finally, on Tuesday 25th November 08 @ The Star & Garter, Manchester, Ufomammut make there welcome return to the UK bringing with them recording & label cohorts Lento, Malleus will once again be supplying visuals for this gig and support is still to be confirmed.

Phew...we hope that's enough to wet your appetite and as usual, keep an eye on this website or our forum as news as and when its confirmed will be announced.

Can't wait for that new Lazarus Blackstar EP, it's going to be total filth!

The White Album...

Yes, it does look like a pussy!

July's End Worship

Getting me through the days:
Pentagram - Pentagram / Day of Reckoning / Be Forewarned
Lamp of Thoth - Various Demos
Witchcraft - The Alchemist
Storm - Nordavind
Saxon - Strong Arm of the Law / Denim and Leather
Raven - All For One
Darkthrone - A Blaze in the Northern Sky / Soulside Journey / F.O.A.D. / Goatlord Demos

Just a little bit of advice - If you go through a break up, don't listen to Neurosis or Today is the Day!!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Thunder, Whitesnake, Def Leppard- Liverpool Echo Arena 15th July 2008

Finally, Thee Claw got to visit our city's new arena for what was the first proper rock concert to be held there.
Showtime began at 6.45pm, first band on were the semi-legendary Thunder, one of the last true great classic rock bands to come out of this country until the likes of The Wildhearts, The Almighty, 3 Colours Red etc came along and spoilt everything.
Thee Claw all had different tickets for the different entrances so we got split up for a bit, my ticket, which I had bought months ago was for the Riverside entrance which was at the far side nearest the dock, as I entered the arena I couldn't get over how small the place was. As I was showing my ticket to get through to the standing bit Thunder were playing "Dirty Love" off their first album, I got right down the front and within 5 minutes Thee Claw was reunited but unimpressed with Thunder. I recognised all the songs, "River Of Pain", "Low Life In High Places", "Love Walked In" and a more recent one called "The Devil Made Me Do It" and one or two more from the first 2 albums. I really couldn't get into it, I don't really know why, they sounded really tight and Danny Bowes' singing was spot on, some of them don't even look like they've aged except for the singer danny, he looks like Ian Rush now, I thought if this was 1992 I would have been proper banging a fist in the air and singing along to all those songs but the war is over as they say, Thunder have always been an warm up act for the likes of Whitesnake and Def Leppard since they came out.
Verdict on Thunder last night... 6 Claws Down!!!!!!!!

After a quick trip to the bar it was time to get back down to the front for fucking WHITESNAKE, this band alone are the reason I bought my ticket on the day of release. They were best band on the friday at the graspop festival a few weeks back and once again, they didn't disappoint at all.

"...'Eres A Song For Ya!!!"

Whitesnakes setlist...

Best Years
Fool For Your Lovin'
Can You Hear The Wind Blow
Love Ain't No Stranger
Lay Down Your Love
The Deeper The Love (acoustic)
Is This Love?
A Fool In Love (with fucking excellent guitar solo duel between Aldrich and Beach)
Ain't Gonna Cry No More (acoustic)
Give Me All Your Love
Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night
We Wish You Well (played over the P.A. as they fucked off)

Not a bad setlist but the highlight of the gig was Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach's guitar fight, their duelling solos was amazing as it was in belgium.
Another highlight for me was "Ain't Gonna Cry No More" from the very under appreciated "Ready an' Willing" album, I didn't think they'd do this song here but I was happy to hear this and also "Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City" cos they didn't do that at graspop and it is one of my all time favourites!!!
David Coverdale still has an excellent voice and he made good use of that little stage right in the middle of the crowd, the mic stand got proper wanked out and spun all over the place, he kept coming over to us at the front and acknowledging our claws! Enjoy your yorkshire tea fella, you deserve it, come back soon lads!!!

The only thing I was a bit pissed off with was their new drummer Chris Frasier, he ain't no Tommy Aldridge I tell you, you can tell the difference when it's not Tommy.
I miss Tommy in whitesnake, he proper pounded them drums and his barehand drum solos were amazing last time I saw them with him drumming for them, If, like me, you know you're whitesnake then you know there is only one drummer for whitesnake and it's thee legendary Tommy Aldridge, we miss ya Tommy lad, come back soon!!!

DEF LEPPARD disappointed me at graspop, they just seemed half arsed and at one point it looked like Joe Elliot was lip syncing but that was then...
Last nights performance was an improvement, they had a great setlist and they were fucking LOUD and I mean proper BASSY LOUD, their sound was vibrating through every body in the arena, everybody was talking after the show about how fucking loud it was.
The hits were played a plenty, Rocket, Animal, Make Love Like A Man, Hysteria, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Rock Of Ages, Photograph, and of course Let's Get Rocked and one or two new ones that I didn't know, they also thought it was a good idea to play their 2 main ballads, "When Love and Hate Collide" and "Two Steps Behind" which were obviously low points for Thee Claw.
I turned up at this gig expecting Leppard to be crap and totally got stunned in the process, Phil Collen and Viv Campbell are brilliant guitarists but I wish Campbell got more solos!!!
Oh and another thing, Rick Savage is Thee Snidekite King!

Dunno what the other two thought of this great night but I loved it!!!

H out!!!!!

Portents, Omens & Doom

Thee Claw salivates at the prospect of a full-length from The Lamp Of Thoth!

01) I Love The Lamp
02) Witchcraft & The Law
03) Wings Of Doom
04) The House
05) Blood On Satan's Claw
06) Victorian Wizard
07) You Will Obey
08) Pagan Daze
09) Hand Of Glory
10) Satan's Hammer

Due in August 2008 from The Miskatonic Foundation. Bring it on!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


...we are off to check out Liverpool's new arena (I actually cheated by going there last week with my dad) to see an eighties-tastic, spandex busting line up of Thunder, Whitesnake and Def Leppard.

I plan on leaving a copy of the Crawe demo in the pub before the gig to put the shits up some unsuspecting AOR fan.

You'll Dig It Or Die

(Please note; Patchie would like to make it clear that he will have left by the time Gentlemen's Pistols come on, unless people stop comparing them to Pentagram in the meantime, because they're not, basically)

Saturday 2nd August 2008
3pm - 10.15pm presents...
A massive stoner rock and doom all dayer, plus rock art poster show, at the UNDERWORLD, Camden, London. ( click here for map )

From: Leeds. Ex/current: The Horror, Sex Maniacs. Label: Rise Above. Influences: Free, Pentagram.

From: London. Ex/current: Hangnail, The Winchester Club. Label: Exile on Mainstream. Influences: Voivod, The Atomic Bitchwax.

From: Norwich. Label: Calculon. Influences: Eyehategod, Palehorse.

From: Plymouth. Label: Fury 76 / Catacombs. Influences: Motorhead, Clutch.

From: Swansea. Label: What the Deuce? Influences: Grandfunk Railroad, Alabama Thunderpussy.

From: Leicester. Ex/current: Josiah, The Derailleurs. Label: Elektrohasch. Influences: Cream, Blue Cheer.

From: Leeds. Influences: Pelican, Black Sabbath.

From: London. Influences: Pentagram, Saint Vitus.

From: Sheffield. Ex/current: Bumsnogger, Excelsum Superbum. Label: Calculon. Influences: Keelhaul, Dove.

Plus a rock poster show including the work of:
Jacknife // Luke Drozd // Kate Kamikaze // Drew Millward // Michael Cowell // Graham Pilling // Jemma Treweek // Tom A // Jamie McGregor // Two Ducks Disco // Rhyfer Inc. - Rhys Wootton // Chaos vs. Cosmos // 3D Glasses // Droid

And finally...
Skill Wizard DJs // Mindzap light show // Distros

£8 advance, £10 door. Tickets available from and

Doom Metal Inquisition 2008 (Patchie)

I love the 1 in 12 in Bradford, it's one of my favourite venues.

I think I've said that before like, but there you go.

Decent beer (if you don't buy the Polish lager), a good PA in a decent sized room, and a vegan cafe at the top of the building.

Anyway, we headed off there on Saturday for the Doom Metal inquisition, a yearly gathering run by the druids of The Miskatonic Foundation to bring the best doom to the people who deserve it.

Thee Claw clambered into Thee Clawmobile early on, picking up Paul (of They Are Cowards fame) on the way, and arrived just in time to miss most of the first band.

Grimpen Mire opened up, good solid doom here, natch, with some Frost, but I missed most of their set by bringing too much beer to the venue and having to try and drink it outside whilst saying hello to everyone.

Misericorde next (have a word with the soundman, get them vocals higher in the mix), then Witchsorrow who played a cracking doomed up (or doomed down) version of Mayhem's Freezing Moon. As I was on my way out to the supermarket to buy cheap booze, sorry.

Next up were Yorkshire's Lamp of Thoth, who were one of the main reasons that I wanted to go to thee Inquisition, and they didn't dissapoint.

New track Hand of Glory is fucking killer; I think SJW got a video of it but it's gonna be about ten minutes long.  Definitely one to watch, they could be the new Cirith Ungol. Fact.

Randy Reaper (Lead Guitar) was telling me afterwards that he'd sustained some form of comedy, Carry-On style injury the night before, but you'd have never known it.

The crowd response was fantastic as well, loads of headbanging, fists in the air and flagons of ale being waved about (pint pots at least!)

Next up were Centurion's Ghost, who I have forgiven for soaking me with dirty filthy puddle water when their van drove over a cigarette lighter causing it to explode earlier in the day.

Good solid set of tunes from this mob, great stage presence, Mark - you're terrifying.

And Fed - sorry for getting you mixed up with someone else, I knew you weren't rude to me in Holland because I remember sitting outside Clancy's with you on the Sunday! (they are on tour in the UK with Converge now, so get along, and leave before the star-tattoo-on-the-side-of-your-neck-fest starts)

Warning were next; plagued by technical difficulties at the start of the set (dodgy lead gets my vote, although Paul has the same guitar and says it was the pickup selector) but total melancholy goodness from Pat and the boys.

SJW was in his element, as these are one of his favourite bands, and I'm sure he'll write a great review about their set, but truth be told, I was all set for some of the vegan food that I love so much from this venue that I scarpered upstairs before they really got going, missed Forsaken and got back just in time for the cultest of the cult - Pagan Altar.

If you don't know who Pagan Altar are, you are a false.

End of.

Total underground classic NWOBHM-infused Doom Metal, I was swept along on a black wave throughout their set.  After all these years, they still leave most modern bands in the dust with their songwriting, and the ability to set a mood and get the music across live.

I know that joy isn't something one expects to come away from a doom gig feeling, but after this I did.

Utterly timeless.

The Pagan Altar set went along the lines of:

Pagan Altar / Sentinels of Hate / In The Wake of Armadeus / Judgement of the Dead / Dance of the Druids / Armageddon / The Aftermath / Lords of Hypocrisy / Black Mass / The Cry Of The Banshee / Witches Pathway

Massive hails to all the brothers and sisters from around this green and pleasant isle (and beyond!) that I had the pleasure of meeting with and drinking with.

And Dean - as soon as I find out where in Huddersfield you live, your house is getting burgled for that Upside Down Cross LP!  You lucky bugger!

Dark Thrones And Black Flags

Good news taken directly from Nocturno Culto's Myspace page:

Title: "Finally another album done"
This past weekend Darkthrone finished their 14th album "Dark Thrones and Black Flags". And please don't get carried away with the "darkthrone has gone punk" myth. Metal is heading your way in October I've been told. The album will contain 10 new rotten songs for you to digest. Fenriz and myself are very pleased with the result (just have to mix and add some bass and stuff for the last songs we just recorded) as usual. If we were not pleased with our work, we would have ended the band, we're not stupid (only slighly). More on this later.

Aura Noir is ready for a new release in late August, but I will confirm a date here on MySpace soon. This album will be a killer, and you have all something great coming your way. The few songs I've heard so far is fucking ACE, you better believe it. Abscess is gonna record another album this Autumn, and from what Reifert said......let's just say that I'm a happy fish right now. Also more on this later.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Claw Tour 2008 In Photos (The Story So Far)

As you might have noticed, here at Claw Towers we travel all around Europe & beyond checking out the best (and the worst) that hard rock & heavy metal has to offer in 2008. We recommend that all of our friends (you know who you are!) do the same as we do, set your sights on checking out as much live music as you can and get to a whole stack of gigs. The live concert experience is something that cannot be replicated in the home environment, you can talk about "the good old days" until you're blue in the face - hopefully by now you've worked out that none of that matters to Thee Brothers Claw! All that matters is the next beer and the next gig!

So, in the best of Claw spirit & for the enjoyment of all our friends and the amazing bands that we've encountered during this year's Claw Tour, we've arranged a collection of our favourite pics that we've taken during the last calendar year's gig frenzy. Just click on the fucking link below and check it out!
Thee Claw - Gallery 2008

SJW, THEE FUCKING SKUM & PATCHIE VON BULLETBELT want to wish all of our Claw buddies out there the best 2008 music experience that you can possibly endure and we extend an open invitation to each and every one of you to get out there and come see some shows with us. Just remember, we don't give free rides to ANYONE so be prepared to make your own fucking way to the gig okay! Get yourself into the touring spirit and be as true as you can be... and don't take any shit from Thee Enemies Of Metal. We sure don't!

PS - Fuck the Nu Metal Bullshit Machine! \|||/

Sunday, 13 July 2008

a message...

OK gang, H here, The comments and thoughts of "The Skum" (me) do not reflect the opinions of the rest of the lads who contribute to this blog!
I got a bit of a bitch rant emailed to me from a band I gave a shitty review to.
Remember now, my opinions are my own and not Thee Claws.
This post has been edited many times cos I just cant be arsed with any grief off anyone, I just tell it the way I see it, I commented on what I thought of the performance, I ain't gonna fucking sugar coat it, you're involved in the wrong genre of music if you can't take a bit of criticism.
Go judge for yourselves, don't judge a band based on what I've said.

The Lamp Of Thoth - The Doom Metal Inquisition @ 1 In 12 Club, Bradford - 12th July 2008

Saturday 12th July 2008: Thee Doom Metal Inquisition, Bradford, England. A very serious day of pagan music, orchestrated by a shadowy organisation known as "The Miskatonic Foundation". They served up a grim feast indeed, including Claw favourites such as Lamp Of Thoth, WARNING and Pagan Altar.

I dunno about thee other 2 guys but I had a blast!

Set of the day goes to Keighley based The Lamp Of Thoth. In fact I reckon that their set at the DMI might have been a contender for Thee Claw's show of the year! I wager that this show is gonna figure somewhere up at the top of our top 10 list of gigs at the end of 2008. And that's some high praise indeed, considering we've already seen bands of the stature of Iron Maiden, Trouble, Judas Priest, KISS, Dio *and* Motorhead!

In our opinion The Lamp Of Thoth should rank spectacularly amongst that list.

It's no exaggeration to say that these guys will one day be as well known and successful as all of the above. Thee Claw loves The Lamp!

The Lamp Of Thoth's set @ The D.M.I. included:
Lamp Of Thoth / Wings Of Doom / Blood On Satan's Claw / Pagan Daze / You Will Obey / Hand Of Glory

More reviews regarding this day's bands to follow from the rest of Thee Brothers Claw, hopefully!

The Lamp Of Thoth myspace page:

Quote from guitarist Randy Reaper (which he called out during their song Hand Of Glory): "Nu Metal is no laughing matter!!"

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Asva & Red Sparrowes @ Liverpool Barfly, 9th July 2008

I haven't seen much drone in action this year - before this show there was just EARTH, GRUEL and CRAWE on the 2008 Claw Tour list.
London based GUAPO were due to be playing a set as part of tonight's bill (at least that's the way I'd heard it), however they were a no show, so local boys ZANGIEF were given a last minute call-up as a noble replacement. Well in lads, a short set but much appreciated nonetheless.
Next up on stage were ASVA from California. I've heard so much about these guys lately and their lastest album ("What You Don't Know Is Frontier") is a fine, yet slow motion, slab of ambient doom. On this occasion they seem to have garnered a lot of attention from the small pocket of Liverpool drone officiandos; it was almost as though they were the headline act. By the way, for this show both ASVA and RED SPARROWES played instrumental sets. ASVA's set was a *very* drone doom affair. Double speed SunnO))) with drums and obligatory Moog incorporated into their sound for extra atmospheric quality. I stood watching them alongside my buddy Paul (guitarist from THEY ARE COWARDS) and afterwards he described the ASVA set as "like taking a bath in warm buddhist marmalade". Hmm, nicely put.
I have wanted to see RED SPARROWES for over a year now, ever since me and Patchie missed out on watching them by 1 day over in Dublin (we were in town to see BRUTAL TRUTH and RED SPARROWES were due to play the next night, after our flight back home). The nearest that I got to them on that occassion was stealing a flyer for their show and taking it home to put on the wall in my bedroom, which is where it still hangs. So tonight I got to scratch their name off the "Claws Most Wanted" list that I carry around with me inside my head. Only MANOWAR, AC/DC and DARKTHRONE to go then! Whereas ASVA were very drone, R.S. are very Post-Rock and their music has more of a tempo to it. Part of the post-rock live experience seems to be the using of an art video as an onstage lighting source (I'm thinking of PELICAN and ISIS when I say that)... although maybe that's just something that I have conjured up in my head, haha. Their set included use of a pedal steel (a horizontal slide guitar-machine-thing fixed to a stand) - didn't expect that!Yet another positive review on Thee Claw... I'm probably not going to win any awards for my reviews on this page, am I? They're almost always positive. I don't know whether that's because I pay to get myself into the gigs that we go to (well usually I pay anyway!). Perhaps more to the point it's probably because nobody pays us to go and pass judgement on bands in concert. That's not what we're about. We go to gigs to check out bands we admire. So if I am at a gig it's because I *want* to be there. In which case, don't expect me to report back say much bad stuff about bands that I am into.Unless, of course, we get to the venue and the guys in the band turn out to be complete prima donna wankers. That's when we finally get to get our claws out and talk some shit on here for a change! Thankfully that doesn't happen that often, but from time to time we do find out that rock stars and their road crew feel that they can afford to be complete assholes towards their long-term fanbase sometimes. Blackie Lawless... I'm looking at you.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Claws On Twickenham

More Twickenham goodness:

Check back right here later, we recorded a short video message for y'all while we were down in the Holy Smoke to watch thee mighty IRON MAIDEN. I'll be sure to post it up for you to see once I've double checked it for emo losers in the back of shot.

Morbid Angel Master Tapes Anyone?

What the fuck??  Earache sold the masters to Blessed Are The Sick this week, over on ebay.  Idiots!

This listing is for Earache’s original Morbid Angel – Blessed Are The Sick (MOSH 31) PCM1630 master tape from Feb 1991. THIS IS THE ONLY ONE IN EXISTENCE!

All copies of the CD ever made were spawned from this original master tape, which Earache is now willing, due to a lack of storage space, to offer to fans who want to buy an original artefact of the making of a groundbreaking death metal album.

It comes with the original tape logs, with handwritten corrections and times (see photos for details).

This is not a multi-track tape. It’s the original stereo mix, mastered onto a Sony PCM-1630 Digital Audio Processor. The Output from the PCM-1630 was recorded on a Sony DMR-4000 Digital Master Recorder using Ampex 467 Digital Audio Tape.

This was mastered by Rodney Fuller, and created at Fuller Sound in Miama, Florida on 11th Feb 1991. Total tracks 13 – total length 39:30:23.

You will need to source a Sony PCM1630 tape machine to play back this tape.

This listing is your chance to own a piece of Morbid Angel history. We can never sell this again, as the winner of this auction will own the only one ever made!

The copyright in the recordings contained on the tape remain ©Earache Records Ltd, not the buyer. You will not have the rights to mass-produce this recording.

Final selling price: A paltry £330.

As a result of seeing this barbaric act of flagrant musical whoresmanship, I will now be searching ebay regularly for any more such auctions.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Brutal Truth In Bratislava

Check this out:

That's a photo of grind legends BRUTAL FUCKING TRUTH at their recent gig over in Bratislava - look at the state of them, they were totalled! The guy pictured in the photo with them (on the right) is my brother of true metal RADO, he went along to check out BFT and reports back that they played a monster 2 hour set at that particular show, mainly because the crowd were having a ball and kept taking more beer to the stage for the band to drink. They finished their set by saying "We can't play anymore, we're too drunk!".

Maaaaaan, I wish I was at that show. Thee Claw plans to go and visit our good buddy Rado in his home town for some shows real soon - be ready for us dude!!

Check out more of Rado's Brutal Truth photos HERE.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Iron Maiden, Twickenham, 05/07/08

So on Saturday, we set off early for the long drive to London, to see Iron Maiden play at Twickenham, the home of English rugby.
Much fun had on the way down, Skum and myself started drinking pretty early (this led to us falling asleep almost as soon as we got back in the car on the way home, leaving SJW with a five hour drive on his own. Sorry lad, won't happen again) and there was much fun listening to compilation CDs of Maiden B-sides (Reach Out being surely the best song never to appear on a Maiden album), drinking more tinnys and just generally being all excited.

The reason for the excitement, for me at least, was that we knew that on this tour The Boys were playing a full greatest hits set from their "Golden Years", basically from 1982 to 1988 with a couple of other tracks thrown in, and whenever I have seen Maiden in the past they've always been touring in support of a new album and their refusal to play classics on these tours is the stuff of legend.

We met up with the Northy Clan in some pub in Hounslow, had a few pints and something to eat and then headed off to the stadium, taking in a few more pints on the way.
Twickenham truly is an impressive stadium, from the outside it looks like one of the Italian football stadiums like the San Siro, and it's got a capacity of 82 000 seats, so my guess is that full, for a concert, you could probably fit around 90 0000 people in there.
This was also the first time Maiden had played an open air stadium show in the UK.

So, it was buy some shirts (and a scarf that I insisted on wearing over my face like some scally bandit... I thought it was funny at the time), and head inside to see the end of whatever shit band were on and boo them, and then wait for Maiden to come on.
It must be one of the hardest jobs in the world to be a support band for Iron Maiden, similar I imagine to when supporting Slayer and having their name chanted all the way through your set, and having bottles lashed at you constantly.  People were actually filming the stick being handed out to the support bands on their cameras.

So...the stage is set, Doctor Doctor by UFO comes on and we wait for Maiden to take to the stage.
There's a short video showong the band travelling around the world on this tour, shots of Ed Force One and stuff, and then the voice that sends a shiver up the spine of any Maiden fan...
We shall go on to the end.
We shall fight in France
We shall fightover the seas and oceans.
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air.
We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be
we shall fight on beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight on the hills.
We shall never surrender!
 ...and with a huge bang of pyrotechnics, the band run on stage going straight into Aces High. 

It was classic Maiden track after classic Maiden track, highlights for me being Revelations, Wasted Years (yes, I did go all misty eyed) and strangely, Rime of the Ancient Mariner which I had thought would bore me rigid but was actually pretty cool; the lighting rig at the top of the stage was swaying slightly during the quiet bit, and the with the sound effects of the mariner's ship creaking, it gave the effect of being on a listing ship in the ocean, albeit one with a huge stage and ninety odd thousand people on it!  Bruce running around in a cloak singing this song!
Powerslave was an unexpected surprise, a little bit more theatrics here with Bruce delivering the song in a mask, followed by a trip back to my favourite album, Somewhere in Time for Heaven Can Wait (complete with Bruce Air singalong bridge and a fucking awesome backdrop based on the album cover).
During Iron Maiden a huge mummy Eddie burst out of the back of the stage with sparks flying out of him, and a ten foot tall cyborg eddie came onstage and had a mock fight with the band.

Another nice surprise to round the night of, a one-two from Seventh Son of a Seventh Son  that I didn't expect, Moonchild and The Clairvoyant.

All in all a great day out (apart from upsetting SJW by falling asleep on the way home) but still a few too many I've-heard-this-song-every-time-I've-seen-Maiden-can-I- get-to-the-bar-and-back-before-the-next-song type moments for me.

Twickenham Setlist in Full: 
Transylvania/Churchill's Speech
Aces High
2 Minutes To Midnight
The Trooper
Wasted Years
The Number Of The Beast
Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
Heaven Can Wait
Run To The Hills
Fear Of The Dark
Iron Maiden
The Clairvoyant
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Friday, 4 July 2008

Crawe / Dragged Into Sunlight / Bendal Interlude / Charger @ Korova, Liverpool

Thursday July 3rd, 2008.

Here's some words & photos from last night's gig in Liverpool city centre. This 4 band event was held at a place called Korova which is right in the centre of the city, surrounded by trendy nightclubs full of disco and pop lovers. Korova has a reputation for being expensive and "snobby" but I've been there a few times for gigs now and I love it as a venue.

It seemed like there was a good turn out for the show, but the concert space Korova is such a small area that is can't have been much more than 50 people in total. The people who did turn up seemed to have their favourite bands who they'd turned out to watch and so a lot of they decided to come and go between sets, which is a shame.

4 guys from Yorkshire who are good friends of ours. This is the 1st time that I've seen them play and they did a fine job too... very slow doom with piercing Anal Cunt style vocals. More of the same, please!

Atmospheric black metallers from Liverpool. They played in pitch darkness with lighting from candles and the occassional flash bulb from their crowd's cameras. None of the band wanted to turn and face the audience. Very grim. They were noticably louder than Crawe, but I think that was mainly because the sound engineer had put the board levels right up! I don't know if they just played one long song for their entire set, about half an hour or so of constant black metal riffing.

Another Liverpool band on tonight's bill, they had Foxy from SSS performing vocals with them. A more rock-orientated sound than the 2 bands that preceded them, B.I. had a bigger crowd and shorter songs!

Stoke's favourite Sludge band played a great set in the tiny Korova venue. The crowd pushed right up to the stage for their set so it seemed like everyone was on top of one another.
Approximate setlist: The Pride Of Essex / Shake Baby Shake / Cult Verses Cunt / Ultra Violet Flyer / The Amputee / God Made Us In The Image Of His Ass / The Bereavment Dividend

As you can probably tell I am not one for reviews! Good gig though - 9 hours later and my ears are still ringing.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Graspop Metal Meeting 2008, Dessel, Belgium, June 27, 28, 29

Friday 27th

We got to camp really early in the morning so we could set up two tents and set up our flags then walked over a mile (literally) to the actual festival site where all queues for drink tokens were absolutely huge so after we eventually got our "beer cash" we watched the first band of the festival on the main stage, Tesla, and they were a huge pile of crap, really bog standard US rock with horrible strained vocals and every song was greeted by total silence, a hugely disappointing start to the festival.
After Tesla had bored us all to death we crossed over to the main marquee for Black Stone Cherry, a band that looked english and musicaly sounded english but announced they were from kentucky, BST rocked, sounded quite like a southern version of thin lizzy, boss vocals and excellent guitar work, the drummer was great too, onde to look out for!!!!
After Black Stone Cherry it was back over to the main stage for YNGWIE J. MALMSTEEN
now I write that in capitals cos the guy deserves it, i totally love "Rising Force" but when it's sung by Tim "Ripper" Owens it beats all versions by all who sang it before him. Yngwie's set was proper dogged by guitar malfunctions and watching him cover up his malfunctions and some mistakes was pretty amusing, other than that, the solos ruled and Ripper was his usual excellent self, I should have bought his shirt, the one that said "YNGWIE WHO?" on the front, and "YNGWIE FUCKIN MALMSTEEN, THAT'S WHO!!!" on the back!!!! Yngwie, with his tight as fuck leather pants and girly hair do still made me bang my head, BOSS!!!!
There were no other bands worth bothering with til Saxon took to the main stage and did the english proud once again. Biff Byford is a great frontman, his continuous quotes of "Do you want a new song or an old song?" were always met with a few thousand shouts of "OLD" then before the end Biff said " Are you lot gonna let us play any new stuff or what?", it was all a laugh, Crusader was the highpoint of saxons set, I've always loved the Crusader album! Saxon were "Top Notch" as Lemmy would say, can't wait to see them support Motorhead in november!!!!!!!

Back to the smaller tent for Obituary, only caught half the set due to the amount of people crammed into the tent, we couldn't see any of the band but they sounded amazing, the huge surge of people trying to get out of the tent pissed us off a bit so we got off to get our speck for Def Leppard. "What's still got 9 arms and still sucks?", I though as a huge red curtain was spread across the backdrop of the stage as Joe Elliot announced "Welcome To The Sparkle Lounge" which totally put me off them for life, good setlist though but bad sound, bass and guitars were perfect but those electric drums sounded terible and at some stages it looked like Joe Elliot was miming, just a thought, was good to hear Animal!
Testamentwere on stright after Leppard over in the main tent and they were tight, everything about this set was perfect, even got involved in the pit for the first and only time at the festival, I liked the new songs, Chuck Billy gets man of the match for this, when he wasn't singing he was doing air guitar or air drums, a proper joy to watch!!! They opened up with Over The Wall and it was none stop thrash after that! Testament clashed times with Nile who i really wanted to see again but I'm really chuffed I chose Testament instead!
I left during the last song so I could sort out my place in the crowd for the next band on the main stage, WHITESNAKE!!!
Gotta hand it to David Coverdale and Whitesnake and the comeback of the century. Opening up with "Best Years" and playing lots of oldies like "Fool For Your Loving", "Ain't Gonna Cry No More" Coverdale dedicated "Love Ain't No Stranger" to ex whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley, who I thought must have died, but he actually died the day we got back to england. Absolutely cannot fucking wait for the liverpool show in 2 weeks!!!

Never got to see Morbid Angel in the small tent, the same problems with Obituary were to blame so we hung around for Judas Priest.
It fucking hurts me to say this, after 18 years of listening to Priest since Painkiller came out, Priest were shite, really disappointing, opening up with a new song which was really slow paced compared to the new album version and following it up with a really slowed down version of Metal Gods, watching Rob Halford plod along slowly with no enthusiasm at a snails pace was excruciating. The set that included really slow versions of fast classics Sinner and Between The Hammer And The Anvil was terrible, half arsed and tuned down so it sounds even worse.
Can't say any more really.

A boss day, with a load of good bands to watch but there wasn't much worth bothering with on the other two days.

Saturday 28th

Today was all about KISS, we had a lie in, got up dead late, walked that mile to the festival site and saw our first band of the day on the main stage, Forbidden, who played for about an hour, they were really good and I was surprised they were on the main stage.
I missed a load of bands on this day due to me being a lazy tired cunt, we returned to the tent after Forbidden so most of the day was spent in a deck chair getting sunburnt, I missed Immortal, Dying Fetus, My Dying Bride, Iced Earth, Agent Steel and Valient Thor, bands that for weeks I was dying to watch but at the last minute I just couldn't be arsed. After I got back to the bands, I caught The Cavalera Conspiracy and thought they were good, some old sepultura songs went down well and a version of Troops Of Doom with Max Cavelera's young son on drums, which was cool! Surprisingly a good gig by the cavaleras!!!
The mighty KISS had finally taken the stage at 11.30pm and finished at 1.45am. I can't fault anything Kiss did at Graspop, from the excellent choice of songs to all the fire breathing, gene flying, paul sliding, tommy thayer soloing, eric singer drum solo's and OTT pyrotechnics, the whole kiss kaboodle was an amazing experience, not even the P.A. cutting out 3 times during 100,000 Years could kill the mood, Kiss Ruled, end of, and I hope they play Liverpools new arena next year!!!!

Sunday 29th

Once again, a lie in on sunday morning cos all the opening bands were shite, I mean Lauren Harris was first on the main stage and I wasn't even gonna attemp to go down and get all that shit.
We got to the main stage just in time to catch the opening song "Rock N Roll Outlaw" by ROSE TATTOO!!!! My pick of the festival, thee best band at Graspop, they looked and sounded great, Rose Tattoo have always reminded me a lot of AC/DC with Bon Scott on vocals and Live they're much better, they're just so catchy and awesome, Angry Anderson is a great frontman, always looks like he's up for a laugh!!! Excellent show by them!!!!

Watched a bit of Apocolyptica but they were shite so we went back to the tent to pack it up back into the car and returned much later missing some good bands like Madball and At The Gates in their respective tents.
Mainstage headliners Iron Maiden disappointed me at last years Graspop with their unimpressive set list, this year they blew my fucking head clean off, a simply amazing show, all 6 members reminded me of why I got into this music in the first place, non stop energy and fun, Bruce Dickinson even gave us the football scores in the Spain Vs Germany Euro 2008 final!!!
He announced that the sunday had the record attendance in the history of Graspop, I can't remember the total but it seems they beat Kiss and Priest for attendance and that is fucking boss!!!
Can't wait for Twickenham this saturday!!!!!

We spent another day in belgium getting pissed and went to amsterdam on the way back home, got very painfully sunburnt but it was all worth it, dunno about going next year, let's see who plays first!!!!

See Thee at Twickenham!!!!!!!