Metal Gods Festival Day 2

26th May 2013 at The Intake Club Mansfield

Day 2 kicked off in spectacular fashion, with Gypsy Heart, another young three-piece band from Lincolnshire. These guys had so much energy, I struggled to capture any pictures of the Bass player, Anthony Trueman. The one shot I did get is a complete blur, being young meant their energy didn’t deteriorate either, so I had no chance. definitely check these guys out, if you can.

3 Second Fuse are 4 friendly giants from Matlock, who’s heavy southern/rock sound sound came at you with a fairly subdued attitude and worked well with the bands that played before them. The bass player however couldn’t stand still for 5 seconds, which isn’t fun to try and photograph. These guys sounded really good, check them out.

Jordan Arkell - 3 Second Fuse

The next band that really caught my attention was, Defy All Reason, who were awesome! I also managed to interview these guys, so be sure to check that out too. This 4 piece band from Wrexham are starting to get quite a bit of media attention, after todays performance, I can see why! These guys are not so much thrash, but another heavy/southern rock sound thats becoming increasingly popular, with their own original spin on it.

Gavin Lee Jones - Defy All Reason

Arceye were very good today, as were Disarm Goliath, who, in my opinion are Iron Maiden’s clone. Front man Steve Bell’s vocals were also very impressive, the man can hold a scream, thats for sure!

Steve Bell - Disarm Goliath

Next up, Black Acid Souls, another band I saw first at Hammerfest V, today however I managed to interview the guys. This interview, although late so sorry for that, was one of my more sensible interviews, until lead/rhythm guitarist Tweak farted hahaha. Todays set was everything and more from that first show. It was so good, I lost all bodily function and started head banging along with the others. A very touching moment was when the guys all sat down part way through a song they dedicated to the Woolwich solider, who was brutally murdered in the street the week before.

Black Acid Souls

The set was nothing less than extraordinary, with their antics and face pulling at full strength and I honestly can’t recommend this band enough. These guys are well worth of a head line slot at any festival but with it being Savage Messiah who had the honour today of bringing this festival to a close, Black Acid Souls certainly got us all in the mood for more.

Gruff - Black Acid Souls

From London, Savage Messiah have been working their socks off in the underground scene for years, only now, it seems their popularity is reaching the level these guys quite rightly deserve. I put this down to the band finally getting 4 like minded individuals who are committed to the cause, that being Savage Messiah. Make sure you check out the interview, both Callum Wood and myself did with these guys as it was a lot of fun and insightful, with some funny moments too. With the aroma of burgers present, it reminded us all of our first interview, conducted in Burger King, this is a tradition i’d like to continue, as its quite funny.

Joff Bailey - Savage Messiah

If Black Acid Souls hadn’t destroyed the neck muscles, then Savage Messiah surely finished me off. I have to say, the whole band are awesome musicians, but the 2 lead guitarists Joff and Dave, with their 2 pronged assault, their weapons of choice being Schecter Guitars is a joy to watch. Each takes it in turns to switch between rhythm and lead to give us a master class in shredding, they truly are great guitarists! Savage Messiah have just announced new tour dates with my good friends (I hope) RSJ in October, but if your not going to Download this year, they are playing the Garage in London on the 14th of June.

Andrea Gorio - Savage Messiah

My conclusion of Metal Gods Festival would be thus. The quality of line up these guys put on the bill every year is awesome, this is the true warm up show for Download, with Metal Gods tickets being 90% less than that for a Download ticket. Every band I saw over the 2 days are worthy of gracing any stage and Download, sorry for not mentioning everyone. You’d be a fool to miss Metal Gods Festival in 2014!

Words and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Metal Gods Festival Day 1

25th May 2013 at The Intake Club Mansfield.

Metal Gods Festival is run by none other than Mick “The Beard” Stanley, who hosts, reviews and interviews for the media group Metal Gods TV – .With Mick’s knowledge and personal taste in music, especially in the metal and trash genres, the bands picked for this festival were incredible. I was very excited when music224 got the go ahead to review this festival, as many of the bands on the bill are headline acts, in my opinion. Acts that caught my attention were, Beholder, Bull-Riff Stampede, Savage Messiah, Lifer, Line of Fire, Black Acid Souls, Incinery, I.C.O.N and Primiti. With over 30 bands playing, in total, spread across 2 stages in 2 days, I was looking forward to discovering some new bands too!

Simon Hall - Beholder

Metal Gods Festival is now in its 3rd year and is held at the Intake Club, Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. As a venue, it has quite a legendary status for putting on shows and is known by most in the metal community. The venue is well equipped, with 2 great bar/stage areas. Stage 2 was in the smaller, front of house area, which is more your traditional pub environment. It even has comfortable sofa’s, which is unheard of at a festival these days! The Main Stage was at the back of the club, with a nice big stage for the bands to run around on and a large area for fans to mosh in, there’s even space for stalls around the edge of the club where bands can sell their mis-spelt merch (One band in particular!!) Hahaha, they take it well ;)

The press and back stage areas are shared, which is nice, as we got to speak to the bands before or after their respective sets, it was great to see the musicians warming up, or calming down after their they had played!

As with previous years, Metal Gods Festival is held during the second bank holiday weekend in May, which proves to be great weather wise, as the previous 2 years have shown. With this track record, or good luck, it’s seems almost a shame the gigs get held indoors. One special mention should go out to the couple who ran burger van, some tasty burgers, all made to their own recipe by their butcher – those ½ pounders kept most of us alive over the 2 day period, so thank you.

As is the case with these larger festivals, there are far too many bands to mention them all, unfortunately. I will, however give you my highs and lows and mention acts that impressed me.

Stage 2 kicked off proceedings, with Stan Smith, this bunch of nutters made the long trip from Jersey and provided, not only a commendable set, but some of the biggest laughs of the festival. One such incident involved the drummer baring a full frontal when posing for pictures, without any one noticing, which made for some censoring on my part, but had everyone in stitches!

Lloyd Downie - Stan Smith

The first act that caught my attention was Wrecklass Necklass, a 3 piece band from Grantham. These were a recommended to me by Kevin Pasco from the Rock Train. Their energy on stage helped to get us all grooving, but their music was what really counted. If i was to compare them to anyone, i’d say The Clash. I could here elements of Punk, Rock even Reggae at one point, brilliant. For saying these guys are relatively young, they have been around since 2010 and in that time they have released 5 EP’s, all well worth a listen.

Josh Horsfall - Wrecklass Necklass

Throughout the day, I managed to get interviews with Kamikaze Hotshot, Lifer, Line of Fire and Incinery, be sure to check them out to hear what we talked about.

Line of Fire gave another great set today, but the Welsh metal heads, Lifer, on the main stage really got my party started. The pure energy, power and passion, I encountered first at Hammerfest V was also present today. I’d even go as far as to say they were better at Metal Gods Festival. Front man Scriv is a real hoot on stage, its refreshing to see a band that doesn’t take life too seriously, love doing what they do and are bloody good at doing it too! I’d love to see these guys playing the likes of Bloodstock, I think they would do really well, fingers crossed guys!

Dave Lamont - Line Of Fire

Next up, 2 bands that have Gelled well and that’s Bull-Riff Stampede and Beholder, who have been on their Coalition Tour. Today’s set was the penultimate show on this tour, with their final show being played in Stoke on Sunday. At the end of tours bands can look tired, but not these guys.

Dave Garnett - Bull-Riff Stampede

Both bands looked fit, full of energy and played their socks off. They have clearly relished this tour and as a result, both bands have become really tight in playing their material. With Bull-Riff Stampede going off on tour in Europe and Beholder playing Bloodstock again this year and going on another tour later in the year, I hope those crowds are ready for them, because its going to be brutal!

Martyn Blackwell - Beholder

Words and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)



With Support From Esme.

Rock City Nottingham 19th May 2013.

Tonight’s gig at Rock City, truly was an under the radar event. If it hadn’t been for Evil Scarecrows Manager publiclysuggesting people go watch Purson, I’d probably not given it a second thought – but I’m glad I did. For the ridiculously low price of £3 a ticket to watch these extravagant eccentrics and masters of their craft was a bargin. If you didn’t go, believe me you missed something special and based on just tonight’s performance alone, I predict this band is going to be BIG!

The support act tonight came in the form of Esme, a solo singer/songwriter from Nottingham. A little bit of background infor uncovered states that her musical style is, and I quote ” gothic folk rock, playing a mix of dark self written songs alongside well-known rock and metal hits, with an acoustic twist.” Her influences are clearly Evanessence, but I am aware she’s a big Metallica fan, so that’s something we share.


Esme (SpiderWitch) gracefully took to the stage that had been transformed into her own little Esme Land, complete with her Marshall amp all decorated in fairy lights and her mic stand wrapped up like a Christmas Tree and began her performance tonight. Accompanying her on stage was her sleek black acoustic guitar which she truly mastered and used to it’s full potential, helping to bring her music to life.

Mr Marshall Amp

With such a powerful, hypnotic voice and her beautiful original material, I can easily see the appeal and agree with why people suggested her to support tonight, a true local talent, the experience was an absolute pleasure and I hope to catch another performance soon as Esme certainly cast a magical spell on all of us in attendence tonight.


Set list included: 1. Anymore  2. Lay Me Down  3. Last Supper  4. The Howling  5. Forever Wild

With the night warmed up nicely and the crowds drawing in to listen to, who I’d consider to be a very good prospect, Purson. Noticeably, Purson doesn’t compute, so I did some research and discovered the name in demonology, is given to a great king of Hell… whether that’s relevant or not to the band is another story, but interesting all the same. Purson was formed after Rosie split from the band Ipso Facto in 2009 and sonce then she’s worked towards a new band with different line-ups, eventually becoming Purson in 2011, with the current line up consisting of Rosalie Cunningham on vocals and lead guitar, George Hudson on guitar and BV’s, Samuel Shove on Organ, Mellotron and Wurlitzer, Justin Smith on bass and Jack Hobbs on drums.

Jack Hobbs - Purson

Their debut album ‘The Circle And The Blue Door’, which was released on Rise Above Records, has received rave reviews from the media and all suggesting this band to be something more than just a little bit special so as I knew I was going to be reviewing the band tonight, I obviously did some research of my own.

Justin Smith - Purson

My first port of call was Spotify and here I found two of their previous singles, ‘Leaning On A Bear’ a two track EP, the title of which is a real 60’s throw bacak and an incredible single. The other track was ‘Rocking Horse’, which was a four track EP and included songs such as ‘Hollow’ and ‘Spiderwood Farm’ which really captured my imagination and got me excited about tonight’s show. Incidentlly, being a massive vinyl fan, I was pleased to see them offer a vinyl version of the album. The first two EP’s are currently sold out, but their debut album is still available in black, red or gold vinyl, so I think it may just well be the gold version for me!

Samuel Shrove -  Purson

Personally, I thought tonight was bloody brilliant! Each member of the band knew what they what they were doing, and they all worked and sounded great together. Rosalie is a very attractive woman who can play the guitar extremely well and at one point, she even used the mic stand to run the neck of her guitar down to play! The rest of the band had a retro 60’s look going on and their music has to be likened to that era too and I tend to agree, but with an updated, fresh sound that is very much current.

Rosalie Cunningham - Purson

If you read my reviews regularly, you will know that I try to match bands I’m talking about with others of a similar style and this time, my comparison is a bit of a corker. A friend stated that Purson reminded him of Steely Dan, but I reckon they sound more like Shocking Blue who are known for that track ‘Send Me A Postcard’. If you like your music drenched with guitar riffs, amazing vocals with some obscurely original song writing, then you simply gotta go check Purson out for yourself!


Set list included: 1. Spiderwood Farm  2. Leaning On A Bear  3. Rocking Horse  4. Well Spoiled Machine  5. Sapphire Ward  6. The Contract  7. Two’s and Ones.

Words and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)