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

The Dandy Warhols – Juniore: Live at Albert Hall, Manchester (UK)

Sub-zero temperatures are the norm at the moment, so after having to cancel a gig last-minute the previous night due to travel issues, I redoubled my effort to make it for The Dandy Warhols, touring for their 25th anniversary. A single support band, in the form of French Psych-Pop outfit Juniore were around to warm up the crowd, so I braved the cold and head on across to Manchester’s Albert Hall for the evening’s entertainment. It’s also my first time at the venue, and being a Grade 2 listed building means that accessibility help is hard for them, but they bend over backwards to help however they can (even when I only asked for help on arrival), which they deserve a lot of praise for, while the setting itself is stunning, providing a great backdrop for the evening’s music.  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

Clutch – The Picturebooks – Inspector Cluzo: Live at Academy, Manchester (UK)

 

A last gig of the year sees me take in the familiar sound of Clutch, with dual support from Inspector Cluzo, a Funk/Soul n’ Roll duo from Gascony, France, and German Blues-Rock act The Picturebooks. After a brief chat with Jean-Paul from Clutch prior to the gig, I took my place up to take in the evening’s entertainment. Continue reading

Nightwish – Beast In Black: Live at Arena, Birmingham (UK)

 

Swapping medium sized venues for full sized arenas can be a big gamble for a band, but after a highly successful show at Wembley Arena in 2015, Finnish Symphonic Metal act Nightwish decided to take the plunge and returned to UK shores for a lengthier three date arena visit in support of their recently released compilation album Decades (Nuclear Blast). Continue reading