Frank Turner – 2022 – Credit: Rich Price Photography
Entering Academy 1 just after doors and those of us early attendees were in for a surprise treat, added a few days ago on the tour was an extra support act in the form of Mash P. Introduced by Frank Turner himself who told the story of how he first met Mash in 2017 in Freetown, Sierra Leone where he was living on the street, and visiting the way out arts charity to find his art and his voice.
First time at the O2 Apollo, a lovely, antiquated venue, it has a very old-school theatre vibe to it, and as would become apparent for most sets tonight the sound and lighting were top-drawer. Continue reading →
VOLA playing at Rebellion Manchester Credit: Rich Price
Opening up tonight were Nevada three-piece Four Stroke Baron, a band who are difficult to classify. Heavy slabs of groove-laden prog smash funkily across a packed audience. The set is marred only by the fact that in a couple of songs the singer notably loses his voice and the band without missing a beat goes on to deliver their first instrumental set from the dark smoke-laden stage of Rebellion and its notoriously bad lighting. Handling an awkward situation very well indeed they still delivered a solid and enjoyable set that had the audience’s heads bobbing along in time.
It’s a sight to behold the lengthy queue of hairy Viking looking metalheads snaking around Manchester Albert Hall, assuming of course the snake in question was quite hairy and dressed like a Viking, which I feel is probably stretching the metaphor a bit too far. You’d assume that said hairy, mead quaffing snake (alright, I’ll stop now) was going to be finding its way inside to some sort of very loud and very metal sort of gig. You’d be wrong, as indeed despite the roots of the headliners in Black Metal group Gorgoroth the queue is in fact for the mesmerizing solo cellist Jo Quail, and Nordic Folk legends Wardruna.
After the last few years of false starts and other covid related shenanigans the Manchester Metal 2 the Masses is once again underway. You probably know the drill, across the UK and slightly further afield, there are competitions held by Bloodstock festival. Unsigned bands compete in a battle of the bands format across the regions, and the winners get to play on the New Blood stage at the festival itself.
First time at FAC 251 and it was a little strange. First impressions, it’s a strange little venue, steeped in Manchester history. This is the building that New Order famously built, and the Happy Mondays infamously destroyed. Being largely at the heart of the Manchester party scene it’s not exactly noted for hosting many metal gigs, but with Manchester still in the process of re-opening some of the regular places aren’t quite open yet. Continue reading →
2019 see’s the third installment of what’s becoming an important event in the calendar for the discerning Heavy Metal connoisseur, BadgerFest. The brainchild of the undeniably hardest working man in the Manchester metal scene John Badger, If any qualification of that were needed, aside from it being reiterated by every band of the weekend, as well as their gratitude as to the smooth running, he’s also running the Drumming up Change in November whereby he’ll be playing the drums for the full sets of all ten bands. There’s hard-working and then there’s John Badger. Continue reading →
How do you know if an elephant has been in your fridge? Because there are Footprints in the Custard. Bad Jokes are the order of the day here and following on in a long line of British comedy metal acts such as Lawnmower Deth, Evil ScarecrowFITC are making a name for themselves as an absolutely essential live act capable of making even the most pious of metal head laughing their arse off in record time. Continue reading →
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 →
For a band called Frozen in Shadows, you’d be forgiven for the expectation they might takes things somewhat slowly, no chance. Officially announcing they exist a mere two weeks ago, they’ve wasted no time in self-releasing their five-track debut, and announcing themselves for Badgerfest in October. Somewhat of a Manchester (UK) underground ‘supergroup’ they were formed by members/ex-members of local stalwarts Footprints in the Custard, Impavidus, Prognosis, Godhand and Vice.Continue reading →