Padfest 2014

The Hairy Dog Derby 20th September 2014.

Todays metal madness came courtesy of Mr. Paddy O’Malley, guitarist for both Line of Fire and Lawnmower Deth. Today’s celebrations were also in aid of “Beany’s” Birthday, AKA Ian North, head honcho at Rock Against Cancer, Happy Birthday sir, I can’t think of a better way to spend your Birthday than with a bunch of hairy, sweaty men (and woman) on such a day, whilst watching some great live metal bands!

Having been in the music scene since he was a teen, Paddy has certainly played a few gigs in his time. At various show’s he’s got front row seats to some amazing bands that he’s shared the stage with, bands he’s made friends with and admires, so he’s in a great position to ask those bands to come along and play at Padfest and I must say, Paddy can sure pick some amazing bands – some of which, I’m pleased to say, I’ve seen before and totally agree with his selections.

Today’s events kicked off around 2pm and first up were Doomsday Outlaw, a band I admire greatly, a band that took part in this years Metal to the Masses and a band I seem to miss play an awful lot. Much to my disappointment, I missed the start of today’s show, so yep, I missed them playing again, It’s nothing personal guys, in fact, in all honestly, I was desperately trying to finish off writing an album review for Evil Scarecrow’s brilliant third album so my apologies, I’ll get to one of your shows soon, I promise! I also missed Only Time Will Tell’s set, which I too am extremely sorry for as I’m yet to see these guys play!

I did, however, manage to catch Master Charger’s set, who, as I walked through the door, were smashing out some heavy riffs! Hailing from our neighbouring City of Nottingham and consisting of John Parkin – Vocals/Guitar, Craig Linacre – Guitar, Dave Hayes – Bass, Jon Kirk – Drums, these guys are a mixture of heavy stoner/doom and are a great band!

Master Charger

Next up, Pandemik and these guys travelled all the way from Liverpool to play here today and consists of Marc ‘Moses’ M – Vocals, Chris ‘Slag’ H -Lead Guitar/Vox, Lee ‘L-Train’ J – Rhythm Guitar, Mike ‘Dr. Beat’ H – Drums, Alan ‘Anal’ N – Bass/Vox. I thought these guys were very entertaining, Marc certainly has the gift of the gab, hence why he’s on vocals I guess. He was busy chatting to us all, yet waiting for the band to start, he even had to remind them “Come on start” I’m pretty sure they were all waiting for him to finish. Musically, these guys are HEAVY, which they call Regressive metal, I enjoyed it very much! Alan, on bass is a real character and played up to the camera throughout the set. Fair play to this band, as they stuck around for the rest of the days bands, which I’m sure the other bands appreciate greatly!


Many had travelled far and wide to be here today, Liverpool is pretty far, but I am aware of some of Paddy’s South Wales faithful travelled up to Derby for this today. The alcohol had been flowing since about mid day and with a nice 45 minute intermission, this gave us just enough time to walk to Line of Fire’s favourite kebab shop for a bite to eat. Here we discussed true love, marriage proposals and how a certain someone is dynamite in bed……like I said, the booze had been flowing well!

We quickly got back to The Hairy Dog, as the next band up were Internal Conflict, a band I’ve heard a lot about but was yet to see live! I’m aware these guys are hot property right now, what with supporting Orphan Land in November, at the Firebug on the 04.11.14 – a show I hope we can review, as that would be very special! These guys also have Headbangers Balls to look forward to in January, next year, at The Flapper, in Birmingham, where they support the mighty Onslaught! Tonight’s set was a powerhouse display of all that is good with the metal genre metalcore! It’s not usually a sub genre I entertain, but these guys play hard, fast and heavy, making me think I may have to go back and check more of this genre out, thanks to these guys! The band consist of Adam Kyle – Vocals, Sean Rice – Guitars, Matt Hall – Guitars, Dan Laffar – Bass, Dan Robbins – Drums. Whilst talking to Dan, I discovered he had work that very same night and wasn’t planning on going to be, crazy mofo, hope it wasn’t too torturous for you man!

Internal Conflict

Next up, Forgotten Remains, a band I first discovered in a Metal 2 the Masses Heat, for Bloodstock this year, up at Mansfield’s Intake Club. These guys managed to secure themselves a place in the finals off that nights performance, but fell short of the asking to make it to this years B.O.A, which is a real travesty. Better luck in 2015 guys, they are certainly a band worthy of a shot at that festival!! The band consists of Sam Marshall – Vocals, Reece Sanderson – Lead Guitar, Luke Glossop – Bass Guitar, Jason Goodban – Lead Guitar, Blaine Wright – Drums and are from Chesterfield. I’ve actually found a new subject I enjoy to photograph in Luke, as he is such an animated character on stage, I could of photographed him throughout the entire set, but that would have been a little weird and maybe a little gay, which I ain’t!

Sam Marshall - Forgotten Remains

Next up, Lifer, from South Wales and these guys are certainly no strangers to us, as I’ve seen them several times now, each and every time is an absolute pleasure. The now quartet consists of Scriv – vox, Web – guitar/vox, Sam Jones bass/vox and The Wardinator – drums. Sadely, Leeroy, the second guitarist, is no longer with the band, not that you could tell though after tonight’s performance, as it was as monstrous as every other time I’ve seen these guys play, but I’d like to see a 2nd guitarist return to the fold, as it does help to give these guys that extra bit of meat to the bones! Scriv was on fine form tonight, sheep jokes featured as always, much to the rest of the bands delight, I’m sure, but there we are! I’ll try and refrain from them in the future, hahaha, sorry! P.S, Make some new music, we want a second Lifer album, pronto!


Finally the headliners, Line of Fire, what with being great friends, lovers of music and massive supporters of, we love to see these guys play at every opportunity! Although these guys are slightly more refrained than Paddy’s other band, the mighty Lawnmower Deth, that doesn’t stop all those in the crowd, who know Paddy from that band, playing around during the set. We had inflatable sheep thrown at them and whilst on stage, Scriv tried to impale one of those said sheep onto a mic stand, without much luck, I might add.

Baz Shaw - Line Of Fire

As ever, we had the crowd dancing around like loons, myself included and head banging a plenty! These guys are starting to drum up some serious support from all corners of the UK and you can see what all the fuss is about with this band, very soon, as they have Fearfest 2014 coming up at the beginning of October (3rd, 4th and 5th) at The Asylum in Birmingham, which looks to be a very heavy weekend indeed. They too also play Headbangers Balls, but in Manchester, on the 8th of November, supporting the mighty Savage Messiah (who are gearing up for their winter tour). So make sure you get yourselves along and support heavy metal and live music in general. These guys never fail to impress, we love them!

Line Of Fire

I believe Padfest will be an annual event, we hope so anyway and can’t wait for next year, until then music fans, stay metal!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)


On The “Rise” With Devilstrip.

Devilstrip - 'Rise'

In a world where new music is obsessed with scenes. Where everything has to end in “core” and adhere to strict fashion guidelines, wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear a rock band that was just aiming to play great music? Yes it would! which is why you need Devilstrip.

The Akron, Ohio three piece, who have just unleashed their debut album “Rise” on the world are unashamedly writing songs that are designed for stadiums, so whilst they are fiercely proud of their home state – their name comes from a local Akron term to describe a grass verge – they have one eye on taking on the world.

With a sound that is at once modern and yet instantly recognisable, their debut has already proved a hit and their incendiary live shows have garnered them a loyal following in their home town.

Bass player Graig Lindgren is rightfully proud of the album: “‘Rise’ has come out exactly like we thought it would and the way we wanted it to,” he beams. “Not only does it rock, it’s catchy!”


More than that, it is the culmination of what has very much been a labour of love for the trio – completed by Marc Wasmund on guitar and vocals and Jimmy Gray on drums – as Graig explains: “We all have families and don’t need to do this…but writing great songs and playing high-energy live shows is what drives us. We WANT to do it! So, when we put this band together we decided that we would do everything 1,000% or don’t bother to do it at all.”

It is that DIY, fearless attitude that has seen them sacrifice their family lives for 12 months to craft the hooks and choruses of the debut: “We put a plan together and have been executing it step-by-step for a little over a year…never scrimping, never cutting corners,” comments Graig.

With their opening single “Go” hitting the airwaves back home to rave reviews, the time has come for Devilstrip to make their mark in Europe. Graig – who counts Tim “Ripper” Owens amongst his friends – says that has long been his dream: “I always felt a deep connection with England,” he says. “I get all the English rock magazines delivered here.”

Lindgren ran into Black Stone Cherry in the airport with his wife and they set the benchmark: “They were the coolest guys ever,” he smiles. “If we could do what they have, that would be amazing.”

With another Akron export, The Black Keys, set to bother arenas on their UK next year, the blueprint is already there, and make no mistake, Devilstrip are on the “Rise.”

Press release courtesy Of Maximum Volume PR

Virgil And The Accelerators

Army Of Three – Album Review.

Army of Three is the third album for the band after “Radium” which was released back in 2011 and shortly followed by “Live from Marshall”- a fab live album recorded at none other than the world renowned Marshall Amplification in 2012.

Virgil and the Accelerators - Army Of Three

So I was contacted by Jay to listen to and review Virgil and the Accelerators, a wonderfully soulful three piece Blues rock band, with Virgil McMahon, Gabriel McMahon and Jack Timmis.

Virgil is a fantastically talented rock guitarist, and vocalist. Inspired by his father and jamming with Otis Grand at the tender age of 12…! For a young man his sound is beautifully, soulful and could happily sit among some of the greats! His guitar solos are phenomenal, and leave you with no doubt that this guy can play!

Army of Three was always going to be good, but when I saw it has been produced by the legend that is Chris Tsangarides, who has worked with the likes of Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest and Gary Moore…! Well I knew I was in for a treat, and damn! it certainly doesn’t disappoint!

This ten track album, opens with “Take me Higher” which is a feast for the ears, starting with a melodic flow of sounds, gentle, beautiful, it slowly builds like a steam train powering into a bluesy rock monster, with a great guitar riff and an atmospheric edge.

“Army of Three”, takes the band towards the rock and a little away from the Blues that they showed us on “Radium”, but don’t worry the blues are still there. Virgil’s surprisingly mature vocals ensure that soulful bluesy tone remains. I for one prefer the heavier rock sound, those skilful guitar solos are enough to make you stop and just listen!

“Blow To The Head” is exactly that! Heavier rock sounds, sexy guitar riffs and killer blows, bounding through with a definite metal edge! Gabriels’ drums are spot on in this track, keeping you flowing through into each new wave of sound while Jack does his part in equal measure and putting together a great sounding track!

“All Night Long” comes to the fore, just as strongly as Blow to the Head, but it’s pace is faster, the vocals are edgy, the overall sound uplifting and you know what, it made me want to air guitar and jump about… and damn that doesn’t happen often!

Then came, “Love Aggression”… opening softly, the vocals are sultry and perfectly fitting for a song about the uncertainty of love… mid way through, we get a feast for the ears once again with a gorgeously sexy guitar solo! “Love Aggression” shows just what the guys can do, taking you away to something rather different.

The sound changes a little into “Give It Up”, with a more blues/ rock feel. Back to a choppy pace, teamed with Harmonica and with that definite southern blues feel running through the back line. The vocals sit well with the drums making this a great track to lead you back from “Love Aggression” then take you on to “Through The Night”, with its modern softer rock feel. This next track is easy to listen to, vocals and lyrics fit beautifully, and the guitar riff is perfectly timed.

I have to say the sound of the album takes a little turn at Love Aggression, but it’s only a good thing! Then as we get to “It Burns”, we are listening to a heavy melodic, choppy vocal, rock track, with a certain determination!

“Stand Up”, opens with gritty powerful guitar, bring in drums then you are waiting, hoping, yes dare I say, teased a little…. what an intro… vocals come along and “Stand Up” is complete! A joy to listen to, it’s a sexy mix of strong guitar, and good vocals, with a surprise or two, to keep you listening!

Then onto “Anymore” and we are looking at a sultry, rock ballad with great vocals, and strong guitar. A really lovely penultimate track that brings you to my favourite track of the album… A powerfully slow mix of deep lyrics and heavy instrumental, interspersed with those guitar riffs, flows “Free” there is a story here… if you missed it! “Free” is a beautiful tale, of lost love and freedom, wrapped up in a smooth rock ballad, and a fantastic end to, a great album!

Virgil is by far the driving force within the band, but he is far from alone, Gabriel and Jack certainly play their part and the three of them, with the undeniable production of Mr Tsangarides have created something well worth a listen or three…!

Review by Xenia Seurat.