Buckcherry – Hoobastank – Adelita’s Way: Live at O2 Ritz, Manchester (UK)

Another early doors gig, as Hoobastank and Buckcherry hit Manchester, with support from Adelita’s Way. A bit warmer than my visit a week or two earlier and time for a chat with joint headliner Hoobastank prior to the gig – with Doug and Dan proving to be excellent company for the almost 30 minutes I end up chatting with them, the results of which will be on an upcoming Ghost Cult Podcast. After the chat, it is back down the stairs to take up what almost feels like my reserved spot at the barrier, ready for some entertainment. Continue reading

Parkway Drive – Killswitch Engage – Thy Art Is Murder: Live At Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham (UK)

 

Parkway Drive has had to deal with their fair share of grief. In the last few years their close friends in The Ghost Inside were involved in a life-altering bus crash that claimed the lives of two drivers. Their good friends and Metalcore cohorts, Architects, lost a brother and founding member, Tom Searle, and Parkway frontman, Winston McCall lost his best friend and faithful companion Monty, his beloved dog who died in his arms. Grief is a powerful motivator, and goes some way to explaining the stylistic shift seen on Parkway’s latest album, Reverence (Epitaph). Continue reading

Mastodon – Kvelertak – Mutoid Man: Live at UEA, Norwich

People so often complain that a band isn’t playing their town on a tour. Every announcement is met with requests to play Billy from Stoke’s bedroom – though that would be sweet – and never satiates the audience size. Spare a thought for the people of Norwich who have had to go for years without seeing the glory of Mastodon in their city. As such, tonight’s event is packed out from the moment doors open, and anticipation is at an extreme high. Continue reading

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Blood Ceremony: Live at O2 Institute, Birmingham (UK)

After being somewhat spoiled with three support acts the previous night at Skid Row in Manchester, it’s a bump back down to a single support for this evening’s fare, with Canada’s Blood Ceremony touring in support of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats at Birmingham’s O2 Institute. The room is not quite sold out, though very busy, with the intimate feel of the venue lending itself to a really good atmosphere. After a far too early arrival, allowing unneeded extra time for snow, it was time for some doom and gloom in my ears to warm me from the cold.  Continue reading

Skid Row – Backyard Babies – H.E.A.T. – Vega: Live at O2 Ritz, Manchester

A four band bill on a cold Tuesday evening seems like the perfect antidote to the winter blues, so with Skid Row bringing the heat… sorry, bringing along H.E.A.T. alongside Vega and Backyard Babies on support on their latest tour, it seemed like the perfect evening. A quick trip across to Manchester later and it was time for the rather early doors.  Continue reading

Architects: Live at Wembley Arena, London

And so, to Architects at Wembley Arena. You start off with one of those angel/devil on your shoulder conversations about how this could be a really great way to spend a Saturday night or, conversely, rather like Roger Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon, you find yourself wondering whether you really are getting too old for this shit; a feeling that seems to continue as you take the tube northbound, past semi-frozen shoppers heading to warm homes and warm food, to the glorified cattle shed that is the SSE Arena, or Wembley Arena, as most of us still know (if not love) it. Continue reading

Enter Shikari – Palaye Royale – Black Peaks: Live at O2 Academy, Leicester (UK)

Putting together a good bill is a difficult task. Sometimes the stars can align, schedules are free and the world gets Trivium with Code Orange, Power Trip and Venom Prison. Other times you get Dizzee Rascal supporting Muse. Yes, that did actually happen. When a band as fluid with genre boundaries as Enter Shikari announces a tour, wild speculation breaks out about who will be joining them, or indeed, why a certain band is on the bill. Tonight is no exception as a varied line up graces the frequently gig-bereft Leicester City. Continue reading

The Subhumans – Knock Off – You: Live at The 100 Club, London

A first gig of the year after a couple of abortive attempts were blocked by train strikes and I finally get to take in The Subhumans in the annual Punk festival in The 100 Club – the scene of a number of good gigs I’ve enjoyed before. A long trip beckoned, but a hopefully worthwhile one nonetheless to finally see a band I’ve quite liked for a number of years now, complete with You and Knock Off in support duty. Continue reading

The Great Old Ones – Audn – Dodecahedron Live At Baroeg

Before true winter besets us and the deep darks of midwinters eve are upon us, in early December I visited a darkness even stranger and deeper than the longest night of the year. In Rotterdam, there was a delectable lineup, granted us mostly by the formidable Season of Mist. So of to the cold harbor, I went to see the dark strangeness that this eve on black metals fringes had to offer. Continue reading