FESTIVAL REVIEW: RPM Festival 2019

A three-day music festival in the woods with rock, punk, metal, copious amount of drinking, and an undying sense of community… throw that all in a blender with some camping and yard games and you get RPM Fest. The “Heaviest Party of the Summer” and the unofficial end to the summer in the New England metal scene. This was my 2nd year at RPM Fest so I knew what to expect, but at the same time, I didn’t know what to expect. As it is never a repeat of the year prior at this loud and dirty circus. Continue reading

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2019

Now in its nineteenth year, the annual metal pilgrimage to Bloodstock Open Air at Catton Hall in Derbyshire was joined this year by a very special, but highly unstable, guest.

The weather.

Yes, I know it’s England in August, and we should be more than accustomed to inconsistent weather conditions, but this really was something else. Tents too hot to be inside one moment were waterlogged the next. People soaked to the skin by sudden, torrential downpours were suffering sunburn minutes later. Grass turned to mud, mud became rivers, and the unprecedented winds would go on to cause problems all of their own. Continue reading

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Tons of Rock 2019

After six years at the Fredriksten Fortress in at Halden Norway, it was clear Tons of Rock needed more space. So here we are in the biggest city in Norway, Oslo, at the new home for the festival. From my American point of view, this was wonderful to see so many bands I have enjoyed but haven’t made it across the sea. With three stages and forty bands, two of the said stages named in honor of famous Norwegian expressionist artist Edvard Munch. The Scream and Vampire had an electric mix of hard and most styles of metal. In addition to the campgrounds, there was plenty of rides, painted art and music for sale to browse on these bright and sunny Oslo days. Continue reading

SOS Fest XII – Part II – The Longfield Suite, Prestwich UK

The third and final day of SOS is more of a classic rock day, although it features fewer bands for me that I was aware of than yesterday. Today is more of an adventure day, and I’m hoping for some discoveries. Continue reading

SOS Fest XII – Part I: Live at The Longfield Suite

Time for one of the highlights of my year, the rather excellent SOS festival. A festival envisioned 12 years ago by Lynne Hampson of Rocksector Records as an antidote to the plethora of family un-friendly festivals around at the time. Continue reading

Tramlines Fringe Festival Live at Sheffield City Hall

I arrive to find Trigger Thumb just on stage, with a quite busy and appreciative crowd in front of them. The room is already warm and echoing, though neither of these things seems to put off either audience nor band, despite the slight disservice done to Trigger Thumb by this. Even from the third song in, there are noticeably more heads nodding along and more movement in the crowd from earlier, as the Bradford 3-piece start to quickly work over the crowd, with vocalist/guitarist Arron’s self-deprecation between songs raising a number of smiles around the room, as he says, We are Trigger Thumb and we are losers”. Musically, they veer between noisy Math Rock and some quite delicate guitar and vocals, showing an homage, at least, to The Mars Volta, whilst nods to the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Faith No More pop through at various times. They perform their set with a minimum of fuss and thoroughly earned the loud applause they garner at the end of their set.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Download Festival UK 2019

Throughout the journey from my home in the North of England to Leicestershire’s infamous Download Festival, I could be sure of only two things as a first time attendee; that I would absolutely see Tool headline, and that I would have to endure what was to become the muddiest weekend of my life in order to reach that point. Continue reading