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.
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 →
Thanks to the seemingly eternal roadworks in the middle of Birmingham city centre, I managed to miss opening act Deadfilmstar, but luckily arrived just in time for costumed Northern nutters, Ward XVI. Armed with chainsaws, plastic handguns, and bloody knives, the preposterous Prestoners enjoy cutting each other’s throats, eviscerating dead bodies, and enjoying a refreshingly cold glass of blood. For those who witnessed their memorable early morning show at Bloodstock Open Air last year, the Alice Cooper style theatrics will have come as no surprise, but to an unsuspecting Brummie audience expecting some three-minute explosions of shouty horror punk, the avant-garde insanity took a little time to settle in. However, when it did, the crowd visibly loosened up and really started enjoying themselves, some even going so far as joining big-haired female vocalist Psychoberrie in a little Cossack dancing “Circus Pit”. Although the much smaller venue meant their performance wasn’t as instant or explosive as their tent-filling triumph at Bloodstock, Ward XVI were still the band (main act aside) most people seemed to be talking about at the end of the night.Continue reading →