Sunday, 30 November 2008

On the Death Decks

Aural pleasure this week:
Damascus - Open Your Eyes
Dorsal Atlântica - Antes Do Fim / Dividir & Conquistar
Saxon - Into The Labyrinth (Promo)
Cathedral - The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Sepultura - Beneath The Remains / Schizophrenia
Darkthrone - Goatlord / Total Death
Isengard - Vinterskugge
Lamp of Thoth - Cauldron of Withchery
Motörhead - Another Perfect Day / Orgasmatron

"You black t-shirt fucks, you are all Communists" Global Metal : A Review

As long time readers of Thee Claw will know, for us it's as much about the music as it is about the travel and the stories that go with it.
For years the three of us have been collecting sounds from all corners of the globe, long before the advent of the internet shrinking international boundaries.
(I always smile when I think to a conversation Skum and I had in the pub once:
Patchie :"I'll do you a copy of that live Tormentor stuff"
Skum:"The Hungarian Tormentor or the German Tormentor?")

So, after a long wait to get my hands on it, I finally got a copy of Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn's follow up to (the frankly rather disappointing) Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, the new release being Global Metal.

Starting off in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Scot talks to Max Cavelera (ex Sepultura), Carlos Lopes (Dorsal Atlântica), Rafael Bittencourt (Angra) and a load of academics and journalists about how metal arrived in the country, and what it means to be into metal in that country and how metal is different there to other parts of the world, how their culture has shaped the sound of the bands there (Sepultura's lacklustre Roots album being used as the prime example).
Did you know, by the way that there is a whole mall dedicated to metal in São Paulo? The Grandes Galerias is now on Thee Claw's itenary of must-visit places.
One thing that became even more sadly obvious from this segment of the film is how amazing Sepultura were back in the day, compared to how bad they are now.

From here Scot and Sam travel to Tokyo, highlighting the difference between metal fans in Japan and in the west, mainly that they tidy up after themselves at festivals.
They talk to journalists about Deep Purple's arrival in Japan opening the floodgates for western rock, and Kiss being idols there. Marty Friedman (ex-Cacophony/Megadeth), a resident of Japan, offers an insight into the Visual K phenomenon, and Sigh are also interviewed.
Sadly there is no sign of Japan's greatest (and probably most studio-intensive) metal band, the mighty Sabbat.
Too much jock-metal in this bit for me (Slayer, Lamb of God) and definitely too much Lars Ulrich.
The sight of the businessmen in a bar called "The Blackmore" in their suits singing along to Highway Star, playing air guitar and headbanging is pure metal gold.

The next stop on the journey is Mumbai in India, with an emerging metal scene.
There are some decent bands coming out of a new scene, the non-necro black metal sounds of Demonic Ressurection for instance, and the point is raised that in India, if you are into metal that's it, you are a metalhead. There is no division through religion or caste involved. There are even what Thee Claw know as geg-metal bands in Mumbai, check out Bhayanak Maut. (Or don't, preferably. They even look like SSS)

Travelling from India to China, they seem a bit unsure of what they will find. If there is anything that people with an interest in the history of metal know, it's that amazing metal often finds a way to flourish under Communist rule, need I name all the East German, Polish, Russian, Hungarian etc bands that were underground legends before the Autumn of Nations happened?
Scot talks to Kaiser Kuo from Tang Dynasty, who tells us about the arrival of metal in China.
When bands became "cut-out" of record companies back catalogue, their CDs weren't destroyed, but sent to China. Some decent Chinese Black Metal (Ritual Day) is introduced to the viewer in this segment, and what is becoming more and more apparent through this film is that Metal serves a similar purpose and attracts similar people, no matter the geographical location.

Indonesian metal? Believe it. Some amazing footage in this part of Sepultura playing Inner Self in 1992 (this actually made the hairs on my arms stand up). Max tells a story about playing there, and halfway through the concert the police waded into the crowd and battered them with bamboo sticks, and made twenty thousand people sit still and not make a noise. Can you imagine living in that situation? The difference between the haves and have nots in Indonesia is staggering. Unemployment is at 40%, Barney from Napalm Death mentions that there will be a high rise hotel, the most expensive place to stay, and rigt next to it there will be a shanty town. The injustice of this is painfully etched on the face of Andre from Siksabur when he talks about mountains of diamonds. It makes you realise that these middle class goth kids that I see hanging around the city centre with their scowls... they know nothing. Neither do we.
One kid sold his father's shoes to buy tickets to go and see Metallica in 1993. Think about that.
In fact, James, think about that when you record the follow up to Death Magnetic.

Scot strikes a good balance between the fact that he is a metalhead and that he is an anthropologist, but the anthropology becomes more obvious towards the end of the film when he visits Jerusalem, interviewing Allaru and Orphaned Land (who incorporate their culture into their sound). A parallel is shown between Norwegian black metal bands and their love of their mythology with the topics that are often covered by bands in Isreal who are, quite understandably, very pissed off about a lot of things.
Slayer show up again here, the fucking beauts, but where else are you going to get a good mix of views about the lyrics of Angel of Death? And Varg Vikernes sent Salem a bomb in the mail. Fact.

All in all, I came away from this film with two things in my mind.
Firstly, metal is the music of the underdog, anywhere in the world. If you are disenchanted, opressed, whatever, there are people in other countries who are feeling the same thing, listening to the same music and forming their own bands.
Secondly, Sepultura used to be fucking amazing before Chaos AD.
If they had kept their act together they would be the biggest metal band in the world and Max Cavelera would be the Bob Marley of metal. To me, that's stranger than seeing a metal festival in Dubai.
10% agreeable people, 90% dickheads.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Heathen Uprising All-dayer - London, February 7th 2009

Live near London... and love your doom / crust punk? Maybe you are simply looking for a good reason to visit England... and love your doom / crust punk! Either way, the following promises to be a blur-orgy of beer, hair and fists that you simply just won't want to miss!

EVENT: Heathen Uprising All-Dayer
VENUE: The Unicorn, Camden, London
DATE: Saturday February 7th 2009
Centurions Ghost, Hang The Bastard, Dead Existence, Sick To Death, Witchsorrow, Armed Response Unit, Moloch, Flowers Of Flesh And Blood, Trippy Wicked, Hardcore Killface
DOOR TAX: None! Zero! Nil gratis! It's FREEEEEE!

So there you have it, a completely free day of loudness for you to partake in, all being held in "The Big Smoke" that is Old London Town.

If you actually *do* make it along to this great event, be sure to tell them that you heard about this on THEE CLAW webzine - in which case the organisers have agreed that they will let you in for half price!

Sax-On, Sax-Off!!!!...

I have managed to aquire a promo of the new upcoming Saxon album "Into The Labyrinth".
Due out on January 12th, what could possibly be a contender for album of 2009 is already top of my list in 08!!!
Biff and the boys have done well once again, for me personally everything they've released since guitarist Doug Scarrat joined in 1995 has give me a proper sense of "This Is How It's Fucking Done!".
Saxon have amazed since upping the intensity back on 1997's "Unleash The Beast", "Unleash..." followed (in my opinion), a whole bunch of shite saxon albums. The first six or so albums are pure classics, not a single bad song on any of them, but as nearly every uk rock and metal band of the 1980's went all pop and mainstream (priest, leppard etc...) so did Saxon and their popularity vanished because of it.
Every album released since 1995's live classic "The Eagle Has Landed Part 2" has been a true metal masterpiece as were the first six albums all those years ago and it makes me proud of this british metal beast for getting back on track, so onto the new album.

Into The Labyrinth

01. Battalions Of Steel
Close your eyes and you'll swear that you're listening to a young european metal band and that's how fresh the album sounds, this song will be a live favourite for sure, you wont think it's Saxon until you hear the vocals, unmistakably Biff Byford!!!!

02. Live To Rock
Short keyboardy intro reminded me of Turbo by Judas Priest but the song itself is a total saxon anthem, the most british sounding song on the cd, a pure chest pounding singalong!!!

03. Demon Sweeny Todd
You get two types of Saxon on any album, first you get the rock n roll anthem style saxon, and then you get the full on brutal, fast, in your face, double bass infused, heavy fucking metal saxon.
This is my favourite song on the album, I love it when they go full on, think of the last few albums, if you liked "All Guns Blazing", "Witchfinder General" or "Let Me Feel Your Power" then add this to your list!!!!

04. The Letter
Short acoustic intro leading to...

05. Valley Of The Kings
Another euro-ish stlye (i never said power metal style) but if this had any other singer then I'd lump it with bands like Hammerfall etc... but Biff saves this song, he makes it a great song!!!!!

06. Slow Lane Blues
Slow paced, bluesy and rocking like it's 1980!!!!!!! Loving it!!!!

07. Crime Of Passion
A mid paced heavy bastard of a song, i love the guitar sound on this tune, hope they play it live!!!

08. Premonition in D Minor
An intro possibly by Doug, could be Quinny, hard to tell, its got effects on it.

09. Voice
Ballad-ish, still good, heavy riffs, nice mellow parts, a refreshing change!!!

10. Protect Yourselves
Mid Paced and heavy once again, crunchy and riffy!

11. Hellcat
See track 3!!!!!!!!!!!!

12. Come Rock Of Ages (The Circle Is Complete)
Nice saxon rock out, can't remember if they played it in manchester the other week?

13. Coming Home (Bottleneck Version)
Acoustic blues slide guitar version of a song that was on 2001's Killing Ground, I like this version better, hope they do this live like motorhead did whorehouse blues live!!!!!


Friday, 28 November 2008

Hammerfest Festival, North Wales, April 24th & 25th 2009

So I just read about this festival going on in North Wales, called HAMMERFEST. Hmmm, my opinion is that it sounds almost half decent. That is to say 40% decent, 60% not so decent.

The line-up announced so far:

Bullet For My Valentine
Grand Magus
Exit Ten
Trigger The Bloodshed
Dream Evil
Annotations Of An Autopsy

A very "cobbled-together" set of bands there I think you'll agree. Bullet For My Valentine, headlining? I can't relate to that myself. Who exactly is this bill being aimed at? As much as I love SAXON, CATHEDRAL, SABBAT and GRAND MAGUS, this still seems like a bit of a hodge-podge of a bill to me so far. It's entirely possible that they will announce MANOWAR or somebody like that and prove me wrong, but what's the chances of that happening!

The price for the tickets is almost £300 - and that's for the cheapest tickets possible! There's a whole array of different packages on offer, prices for this go up as high as £900 for a ticket that'll get 7 people into the venue for 2 days. This price includes accommodation, fair enough, but still it's a hell of a lot to ask! The organisers of this festival should do something similar to the guys who put together Donington and release a few day passes closer to the day.

The biggest drawback for this festival (as far as THEE CLAW is concerned at least) is that it is being held on the EXACT same weekend as the legendary ROADBURN FESTIVAL in Tilburg, Holland.

Anyways, now you all are aware that there's a big old hard rock / heavy metal festival next April, maybe this sounds like your idea of fun. If so, be sure to find Biff Byford and say hello to him on Thee Claw's behalf! Because it's very doubtful that any of us guys will be able to come along for this particular party.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Nice Day For A White Shotgun Wedding

Congratulations from SJW and THEE SKUM to "Our Claw", AKA PATCHIE, who has had a crash course in brain surgery and popped the question to his soon-to-be missus! Any excuse for a stag do, right?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Satyricon @ Rios, Leeds

I went along to watch Norwegian black metal legends SATYRICON play a show in Leeds this evening, a bit of a journey to get there but it was well worth the effort. They played everything that you would expect them to play; KING, Mother North, Fuel For Hatred and all the rest.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Want that....

Ramesses - Misanthropic Alchemy Double LP / Mantricum Records Dec 2008

Monday, 24 November 2008

Damnation Festival 2008 (Patchie)

So, Saturday saw THEE CLAW head over to Leeds for the annual trip to the UK's most prominent underground metal festival, the 2008 Damnation festival.
This year's trip was a bit different for me than most of the road trips I've been on the with Thee Claw over the years, as I was joined by my girlfriend Becky who is four and a half months pregnant, so I knew there would be no going crazy in pits or getting covered in fake blood on this outing.
I didn't mind much because there were quite a few bands that I wanted to see, so let's get going.

We were also joined on this trip by the living legend that gave birth to the claw (The Claw, not Thee Claw), the godly being "Quagmire Petch". Gaze upon his metal countenance in the above picture and tremble.

After an unenventful trip through the Penines listening to loads of NWOBHM and King Diamond, we met up with the gang who had headed to Leeds from all four corners of this pleasant land, and went for a few pints...the sight of Quagmire drinking a pint of Stella with about two inches of candy letters in the bottom will live long in the memory.

We headed over to the venue just in time to buy some completely overpriced beer (£3.95 for a can of Tuborg? it's 90p a can in the shop at the bottom of my street!) and get a good position to watch the first band I wanted to see, UK thrash stalwarts Onslaught.
Their set was being recorded for an upcoming live album, which I guess will be pretty good to get a copy of to give to the baby when it's older, this being it's first gig and all! (as a side note, the little one had been asleep all day but immediately woke up and started kicking when Onslaught came on! Thrash baby on it's way!).
Onslaught played a mix of material encompassing their career, as you would expect from a band recording a live album.
They sounded top notch, Si's voice sounding as peircing and brutal as it does on The Force and Killing Peace.
Lots of people seemed to be using this time to get themselves decent positions for Carcass, who were headlining this room later, but when Onslaught had finished we went for a little walk.
Well, when I say went for a little walk, I mean we walked around in circles for about an hour, ending up in the Jagermeister room over and over again, bumping into people here and there.
We decided to sit down around now, get something to eat and get me a couple of drinks, before heading into the Rock Sound stage to check out Ramesses.
The other Claw Brothers weren't too bothered about seeing them as they were going to see them with Grief the day after so I left Becky and the bump relaxing on one of the sofas at the back and headed down just in time to hear them tear into "Master Your Demons"....I sweated a bit in that crowd and threw some total CLAWS, Adam looking menacing as fuck in an ancient Godflesh Streetcleaner shirt, and Mark hammering his drums to peices in the way only he can....amazing.

After this we headed over to the Terrorizer stage to catch Napalm Death... there were so many people in the room it was ridiculous, and when they started, all hell broke loose!
Becky and I were stood right at the back of the room (we could literally touch the rear wall) but we were getting shoved and jostled so much that we didn't want to take any chances and went back to the Rock Sound stage so I could get another drink. Devil Sold His Soul were on in here; we suffered their insipid Mr Fancy Pants Matalan Outfit Plastic Metal for half an hour or so, but at least we got amazing seats on the balcony (really a six foot hight wall at the side) next to the PA for a good view of Cathedral. DSHS - sub-par-cod-Isis-clone-mania. Avoid at all costs, unless you are going to kill them. And if you are, give me a call so I can film it. Geg-rock at it's finest.

I hadn't seen Cathedral since 1992 in Liverpool, so the whole disco-doom era passed me by in a live setting, and I was desperate to see them, with The Garden of Unearthly Delights being one of my favourite albums of recent years.
They didn't dissapoint!
Opening with Utopian Blaster (HUGGY BEAR OOOOH YEAH!) and going into Enter The Worms...I was leaning over the balcony with claws in the air!
When Lee Dorrian introduced North Berwick Witch Trials I abandoned my place and ran headlong to the front of the stage, meeting up with Thee Skum and SJW! Quagmire was off watching Carcass, so he missed Corpsecycle the airing of new song Open Mind Surgery. During Equilibrium I nipped out for a breath of air *ahem* and had a peek in the near empty room were Pitchshifter were going through the motions with their also-ran nu-metal.
Nice lads Pitch Shifter, but they should have stuck to the Godflesh worship.
Cathedral finished their set with a one-two of encores Ride and crowd favourite Hopkins (The Witchfinder General)....amazing setlist although I was pretty dissapointed there was no room for Soul Sacrifice.

All in all a brilliant day out, I just wonder how they will top it next year!!
I am reliably informed that Carcass DESTROYED all-comers at this festival. Songs from EVERY release were played, including, I believe, stuff from Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment. Ken Owen came out and played a little drum solo; apparently as soon as the room was full nobody was allowed in or out. Good on you Carcass, local boys come good.

If you are in Stockholm...

...and I know some of you are, you could do a lot worse than get along to this:

The Devil's Blood are revered at Claw Towers, get along for some occult fuzz rock!

Ramesses, Korova, 23/11/08 (H)

A quick one about last nights gig at korova.
I managed to catch Goatspeed, Dragged Into Sunlight and Ramesses.
Grief supposedly had tyre trouble in the channel tunnel and somebody said that Trap Them were with them so they were both a no show, Grief are apparently playing korova for free on thurdsay but I thought the bands I caught were well worth the 8 quid!
Goatspeed played fast hardcore style metal with a few grooves, not bad!
Dragged Into Sunlight brought a pure grim atmosphere with smoke and flame and a pretty good nasty mix of allsorts of old black/death metal styles. They were great!
Ramesses were basically Ramesses, jamming out and dooming on, good shit!!!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Damnation 2008 (SJW)

SJW here, this is "live from the gig" update from this years Damnation Festival in Leeds. These things rarely work out, updating during the event I mean, but here goes anyway.

I dunno what this place is called yet, but it's a different venue than last year. Much bigger and much better. Kudos to thee promoters! 3 big stages, it's a good set up.


Here's who I watched at this year's event.

Welsh 3-piece, I caught 4 songs by these guys. We were a little late turning up for the event so Taint were already into their set when we first got into the venue and it took us a little while to find The Jagermeister Stage (AKA "The Main Stage"). Their song Drunk Marksman was particularly good.

Some guy just came onstage to announce that tonight performance would be recorded and released as a live album. This keeps happening to us. After a few rounds of "Damnation!" and "Onslaught!" the intro music ushered the band onstage to a rapture of drunken applause.
Whoa - Sy Keeler's vocals are amazing. That voice is peircing! It's just like on Power From Hell. Skum is stood here with me and he doesn't recognize all of the guys in the band... but they're a tight unit, you can't deny that.
Songs included Metal Forces, Planting Seeds Of Hate and Demoniac. Great set.

After some atmospheric intro music, avant-garde metallers Sigh started with a fury. These guys are from Japan and this is their 1st gig in the UK for 13 years. Man, what a display. The 2 vocalists, one guy and one chick, are sharing an almost constant barrage of the singing duties, only he (Mirai Kawashima) was doing the high parts and she (namely "Dr. Mikannibal") was a lower growl by comparison! There's hardly an 8-bar of music without one of them adding a touch more in the way of vocals. It's non stop!
Plus also the good lady doctor is wearing a tiny leather mini skirt and bikini top... I nearly forgot to mention that for a minute! There's lots of flesh on show up there right now. How could I miss out telling you guys about that one? The photographers down in the pit appear to be jockeying for position in order to get the best view up her skirt.

More about SIGH:
The guitarist (Shinichi Ishikawa) has the most awesome bowl-head haircut and is wearing a camo t-shirt for some reason, meanwhile Kawashima-San (male vocalist) is wearing some kind if 19th century style pall bearer costume get-up. It's strange how each band member is dressed for a different genre of music!
I have just noticed that our lovely lady vocalist, Dr Mikannibal, keeps having to fix her bra top in between every song. There's a guy in the crowd nearby to where I am stood who has shouted "Show us your teeets!" about 5 times now, like that's real funny to him or something. I dunno eh!
Also she's playing a saxophone as well, but you cannot hear it so well unfortunately. man, she's the real deal.
Sigh finish their set with a cover of Venom's Black Metal. At the same time that they are covering this black metal classic, Dr Mikannibal is holding what appears to be about a dozen red candles, which are lit, up in the air, directly above her chest and letting the hot wax drip down onto her bare chest! Whoa, what a gal!
SIGH all about the performance - it's awesome!

I've just ran straight across from Sigh's set to catch some of Benediction's set over on the Terrorizer Stage in the next room. Walked in just in time to see a crazy pit being fuelled by tremendously fast thrash! Another well designed room for a metal gig, the outside of the room is raised up while the centre is like a pit, literally. I only got here to see the last ten minutes of their set. Looks like Napalm Death are on in here next, so I am sticking around for that.

Sorry guys but no live review during Napalm... but it's kinda hard to blog from in a pit! That's right, I was one of the bald guys in the pit running about at the front of the Terrorizer stage watching everyone's favourite grind band from Brumingham.

Best gig of the day so far IMO. I knew all of the songs after all! Well 95 percent of them at least (they played a couple of new songs from an upcoming record).
One complaint from during this show - the on-stage bouncers were being rather heavy handed with anyone trying to stage dive during Napalm's set. I understand that these guys have ajob to do (I am a doorman in another line of work, in case you didn't already know), so I know that you have to be firm but also keep safety as a priority. Which is why I got very angry when I saw one bouncer react to a guy who was in mid-air, diving from the stage back into the crowd, he stopped the guy back grabbing him by the arm and pulling him back to the stage! That could have turned out to be a very nasty dislocation! Very unnecessary. And its not as if the band were put off by the stage diving.
Anyway, it wasn't that big a deal I guess.
Something I just learned: N.D. have been going 28 years this year. Imagine that! Speaking of old-school Napalm Death, next band up is CATHEDRAL...


This show was Cathedral's 1st gig in 2 years, or at least Lee Dorrian told us from on stage.
They played North Berwick Witch Trials! I love that song!
It seems that each band gets better as the day goes on at this festival.
Bravo Damnation!

Cathedral Setlist @ Damnation 2008:

Utopian Blaster
Enter The Worms
North Berwick Witch Trials
Cosmic Funeral
Carnival Bizarre
Open Mind Surgery (New!)
Cathedral Flames
Melencholy Emperor
Upon Azerel's Wings

Okay that's it, end of my "live review". Hope it isn't as bad and as jumbled as I kinda expected it to turn out!
It's been a great great day. Just a shame that the guys who put Damnation together this year weren't able to arrange THEE CLAW a photo pass to get our SLRs in for a few photos. Hell, we asked... I guess maybe we might get lucky in that department next time round. In any case, there's no complaints from our end of the deal - it's been a total ball of a day. Plaudits all round to the organisers, this was one of the best festivals we've been to this year (and we've been to a fair few so we're good judges as far as festival metal goes!).

Now I just hope my car is still in 1 piece and parked where I left in behind the fenton.....

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Listening in November

Destruction - Sentence of Death
Darkthrone - FOAD / Dark Thrones and Black Flags / Soulside Journey
Onslaught - Power From hell / The Force
Witchcraft - Witchcraft

It's getting to that time of year again where I would be putting together some form of Best of 2008 list;
But to be honest there have been so many releases that are worthy this year, and so many amazing gigs that we have been to it's hard to know where to start!
I'll do my best for you though! Probably the next time you hear from me (unless I hear some amazing new album or unearth some lost gem before the weekend - speaking of lost gems, check out NWOBHMBLOG) will be my review from the Damnation Festival.
Till then, keep it trve and ignore young bugs!

\|||/ Patchie \|||/

I very rarely link to download sites, mainly because I feel that proper record/cd collections are vastly superior to mp3s, but most of the links on NWOBHMBLOG are to out-of-print EPs that would be forgotten about if it wasn't for sites like this. If you don't speak the language, use it in conjunction with Encyclopaedia Metallum to unearth some classics.

Monday, 17 November 2008

You can't please all of the people all of the time...

...but it would be nice to please some of them some of the time.

As you can see, the running order of the bands playing at the Damnation Festival in Leeds next weekend have been announced. I apprecite that sorting out the running times for festivals is a bit of a logistical nightmare but, fucking hell.....Sigh, Benediction and Ramesses clashing? Napalm Death and My Dying Bride clashing?
One thing I am glad of though is that Carcass and Cathedral are clashing.
I must have seen Carcass about 15 times in Liverpool between 1990 and 1992, so I'm really not bothered about missing half of Arch Enemy cover Carcass tracks with Bill and Jeff*.
As this is the only UK gig the "re-united" Carcass are playing, hopefully everyone will be in there watching them leaving me plenty of space to enjoy some good disco-doom from Cathedral who I haven't seen since mid 91.  And as for Pitchshifter...what in the name of Fenriz are they doing on the bill? Hopefully loads of kids will be in there watching them.

*I know Carcass have reformed to do these shows for the benefit of Ken Owen who will most likely never work again, let alone play the drums, and I think that's very, very admirable of them, their motives for doing this should never be doubted by any metalhead who has a brain.  I've bought my ticket, so I've done my bit. I just won't be watching them.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Motörhead, Saxon, Manchester (Patchie)

On Friday night we made the short trip over to Manchester to see English/Welsh/Swedish institution Motörhead supported by Saxon at the Apollo.
Due to some major major traffic on the way into town we missed openers Danko Jones, and arrived just in time to run down to the front for Saxon as they finished their opening song Motorcycle Man.
This was my first time watching Saxon, and they didn't let me down.
With an extensive back catalogue to choose from and newer songs that fit well next to them, we were treated to a masterclass in English heavy metal from Biff, Quinny and the lads.
Highlight of the set for me apart from the more obvious ones (747, Princess of the Night and Denim and Leather) was And The Bands Played On, which really lends itself to a good old sing along!
They are back in April apparently, I'm a bit worried about this because I have a lot on that month but I'm going to do my best to get down and see them.
They played a song from their forthcoming album "Live to Rock" called Hellcat - in Skum's words "a bit dodgy".

After what seemed like an eternity, Motörhead hit the stage.
Lemmy looks twenty years younger behind the mic with a bass in his hand, Mikkey Dee is a powerhouse behind the kit and Phil Campbell, well, even wearing an identical hat to one that my girlfriend wears can't take away from his legendary awesomeness.
Opening up with Iron Fist the set, much like Saxon's, is a great mix of old and new, songs from the Motörizer album, such as future crowd favourite Rock Out nestling in well amongst surprise inclusion Another Perfect Day (those two were the standout tracks for me) and Be My Baby from Kiss of Death.
Of course we had the usual Metropolis/Stay Clean and Just Cos You Got The Power, I can't help echoing Skum's sentiments in his review that with such a large amount of amazing material in their locker they could throw out some curveballs now and again (Snakebite Love or even something like (Don't Let 'em) Grind Ya Down would be nice. I know it's too much to expect No Class or The Claw!).
An excellent performance from Thee Head, reminding all these young bugs how it should be done.

Top notch! 9.75/10 (0.25 marks lost for not rotating their back catalogue enough!)

On a bit more of a negative note, what the fuck is wrong with some of the people at Motörhead gigs?
As has been mentioned in other reviews on this very zine, 90-odd-percent of people there are only at the gig to hear Ace of Spades, but that's no excuse to act like you haven't been allowed out the house since the 1982 Reading Festival. People who you suspect could very well be your area manager from work soaking you in shitty Australian lager and trying to start "a pit" whilst shouting for Ace of Spades from the start of the show and calling Mikkey Dee a "fat cunt" during his solo.
Grow up lads. You put me off being at gigs there for a bit.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Motörhead and Saxön 14/11/08 by H...

It's that time of the year again, the annual hike up the m62 to attend yet another Motörhead gig. (not counting the missed motörhead show last year ha!)
The UK's most consistent/reliable band treading the boards at the manchester apollo theatre for what seems like the millionth time, manchester is the closest Motörhead's gonna get to a homecoming gig for Lemmy who's originally from nearby stoke.
We missed opener Danko Jones but we weren't to bothered about him to be honest, after a quick technical difficulty on the road we hit the apollo like a ton of bricks cos Saxon were just coming on so we all legged it down as far to the front as we could and sang along to a few classics (And The Bands Played On, Heavy Metal Thunder, Never Surrender, Princess Of The Night, Denim and Leather, 747 Strangers In The Night etc...) and a more recent classics (Witchfinder General!) They also played new material from their upcoming album due out in january and announced a uk tour in april and promised a date in manchester. Saxon sounded great, a little low on volume but still rocking!!! Guitarist Paul Quinn is still a big hero of mine!!!!

When you attend a Motörhead show you have to accept the fact that possibly 70 odd percent of the audience have only turned up to hear fucking Ace Of Spades and Overkill etc, and the other 30 percent are all waiting for them to play obscure songs off Another Perfect Day, Orgasmatron and Bastards!
They played a blinding set which included 2 songs from Another Perfect Day and 1 off Bastards but most people see Born To Raise Hell off the film Airheads and not the Bastards album.

We got a couple off the new album and a few off the last album which was cool because I missed the last tour and was dying to hear Kiss Of Death songs live so it was like 2 tours for the price of one ha!
Motörhead more or less play the same standard classics live every single year, year in year out every tour we get songs like Stay Clean, Metropolis, Going To Brazil and Just Cos You've Got The Power, they need to be dropped for lesser played classics like Bomber and Nothing Up My Sleeve and songs not played for centuries like I'm So Bad Baby I Don't Care, Steal Your Face and Burner (Even "Claw" from orgasmatron would be nice, just a thought!!!)

Same time next year then... and bring this guy with you next time....!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Let There Be Rock...

I took a trip into town last night to see what was probably the best AC/DC tribute band I've ever seen, Live/Wire.
What sets them apart from other AC/DC tribute bands is that they have 2 singers, they offer up two live sets for each vocalists eras, they played a near 2 and half hour set, first hour of the show was all Bon Scott songs, complete with thee best Bon Scott impersonator and a very good selection of their 70's stuff, they had their sound spot on. They took 3 songs from Powerage (my favourite ac/dc album!) which was a nice surprise!
Part 2 was all Brain Johnson songs and they were still spot on! They mixed it up a bit near the end with "Bon" coming out to do duets and to sing a few more Bon tracks, hope they come back soon!

I'm off to see Danko Jones, Saxon and Motorhead in manchester this coming friday night, it shall be a one man pilgrimage to see thee mighty head so expect some pics n shit!!!