FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2021 Part III


Having shown resounding and unequivocal support for every single band so far, the Bloodstock faithful are still raring to go after four full days of partying. As battle commences one final time, highlights on the Sophie Stage include the hard hitting Midlands retro-fuzz of Wolf Jaw, Brighton doomsters Grave Lines, the angry sounding double punch of Vexed and Pist, a debut performance from symphonic death metallers Ghosts of Atlantis, and Manchester black metal mob Necronautical.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2021 Part 2


 

FRIDAY

With energy levels and festival excitement still high, quality acts such as Welsh black metallers Agrona, Norfolk thrashers Shrapnel, Liverpool doom/sludge merchants Conan, and a reinvigorated and retooled Evile invade the Sophie Lancaster Stage, decimating all before them. Birmingham grindcore legends Napalm Death complete the day’s entertainment with a reliably devastating set, the crowd gathered outside the tent almost as huge as the one inside.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Bloodstock Open Air 2021 Part 1



We’re back!

Sure, we might be having to follow a series of new Coronavirus safety protocols which may or not become a regular thing for live shows, but we’re back. And judging by the size of the opening day crowds spilling out from the main entrance, car parks and campsites, not a moment too soon. Since its inception Bloodstock Open Air has always attracted early birds who like nothing more than to arrive long before the gates even open, but this time feels different. Everyone seems to be here early. Coiled springs desperate for release. The festival’s twentieth anniversary isn’t just a celebration of metal this year, it’s a genuine escape.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Damnation Festival 2019: Live at Leeds University


When Axl Rose waxed romantically about cold November rain in back in 1992, he clearly wasn’t singing about Leeds on a Saturday morning. A cold, depressing day darkened by oppressive black clouds showering their misery relentlessly from above, there is nothing romantic about Leeds city centre. However, above the sound of rain pelting against umbrella canopies, and cars splashing through ankle-high lakes of dirty water, there is hope. Somewhere out there is Damnation Festival.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


BLOODSTOCK 2018 Part I – Catton Hall, Derbyshire UK


With people on social media proudly sharing photographs of their recently purchased or newly patched up tents, or cirrhosis-inducing beer supplies during the days and even weeks leading up to the event itself, by the time the big day actually arrives, anticipation for Bloodstock 2018 has already turned into a Christmas-like level of excitement.Continue reading


SOS Festival- Part I: Manchester, UK


Now in its 11th year, Manchester’s SOS Fest is going from strength to strength and firmly establishing itself as one of the very best small festivals going. The key to the festival is family, the whole thing is family run, and has the kids firmly at its heart. For every parent wondering if it’s time to start their kids at a festival then this is the one for you. There are kids everywhere, from playing happily in the kids’ area, performing sets on the acoustic stage, doing press, and generally rocking out it’s clear from the atmosphere that SOS really is THE family festival. Continue reading


Vallenfyre – Implore – Wolfbastard: Rebellion Bar, Manchester


Fun and Black metal aren’t a combination of words you’re likely to hear too often, but Oldham’s Wolfbastard evidently doesn’t hold much stock in the more serious nature of the genre. They did a great job of setting the scene for the night with a rare mix of crust infused black metal and a cracking sense of humour. Comprising mainly of members of other local favourites Burial, their clever song titles and banter between songs, certainly got more than a few laughs from the audience, and managed to instil a real sense of fun in the audience from the start of the gig. Continue reading


August Burns Red – Napoleon: Live At Sound Control, Manchester


Making my way into Sound Control ready for opening act Napoleon the first thing I noticed was it was already rammed to the bright red rafters and dripping with sweat before anyone had even started playing. Continue reading