Lawnmower Deth

The Underworld Camden 13th December 2014.

So it’s that time of year again, Christmas time and my Facebook invites are through the roof with gig offers. Sadly, I can’t attend them all, but tonight’s offering promised to be very special indeed, as it featured four of the best live bands out there today, in my opinion anyway! I’ve grouped them in this paraphrase, which amazingly, works very well… an Evil Bull-Riffed Messiah and his Savage Scarecrow, Lawnmower a Stampede to Deth, we the crowd are the stampede, which isn’t all that far from the truth, now I sit here, writing this review, in the comfort of my own home!!

It’s not often I leave the Shire (Derbyshire) so for me to do so, means it has to be a very special occasion and oh yes, it was! The destination for tonight’s gig, was the fabulous music mecca, that is Camden Town down in London. I left early to get down in plenty of time. The venue tonight was The Underworld, which is a new one for me, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. The venue itself is a great set up and very well known, it is in a great location, but what lets it down for me is the lighting. Being in a basement, meant that even with minus temperatures outside, inside quickly became a sweaty mess, what with tonight being a sell out!

First up were Bull-Riff Stampede, who are a band that I’ve not had the privilege of seeing for some time now. That may be because they are currently locked away in the studio, currently writing and recording a new album which is due to be released in 2015 (touch wood). These guys are full on thrash-tastic and produce a death defying blow to all the senses. I absolutely loved tonight set, all be it too short. This was because the band had another gig that night, on the other side of the country, where they were due to perform for one in a series of fund raising gigs, called Head Bangers Balls, which hopes to raise a lot of money for the Charity that aids the cause for the Teenage Cancer Trust, so well done lads for that!

Dave Shapes

Next up, another band I love, musically and that’s Savage Messiah. What a great year it’s been for these guys, which saw them release their storming new album, ‘The Fateful Dark’. Sadly, that album didn’t feature in my top 10 this year, as there has been so many other great albums released that I simply ran out of space, but it would certainly feature in my top 20! Tonight’s set was as good as any of the previous 10 or so times I’ve seen these guys play, if not better and they certainly set the room on fire tonight. These guys are set to tour with Amon Amarth in January 2015 and that promises to be a tour not to miss. Also, after talking with Mr. Dave Silver (Lead vocals/guitars) there may be a new album on the horizon set to be released in 2015 (nothing has been officially confirmed) but that would make my year, two albums in two years, go, go gadget thumbs!!!!

Savage Messiah

Evil Scarecrow next, who have had one of their best years to date, as far as commercial success is concerned and quite rightly so! To re-cap, they featured on the main stage, Saturday, at Bloodstock festival, which had one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. They finally released a new album, titled Galactic Hunt (cheeky little c**ts) which was all made possible, thanks to the fan funded website, Pledge. This album does feature in my Top 10 albums this year, as its simply fantastic! They also had one of the best write ups, for a Parody band, in Metal Hammer magazine, a stonking four page spread, which was a great read. To top off a great year, they had feature here tonight which is truly well deserved and all in attendance would agree!

Evil Scarecrow

The usual mayhem featured tonight, but the best bit was when the bounciest drummer in the country threw out party poppers into the crowd. Even after Dr. Hell stated there was to be no premature popping, some idiot still had to do it, however, the rest of us, as instructed waited for the intro for “War” to kick in, at which point everyone released their party poppers into the air! Much fun was had during this set, but seeing the band all dressed up in Christmas attire, was priceless, who knew Dr. Hell celebrated Christmas, I certainly didn’t!

Dr Hell

Tonight’s grand finally, were non other than Lawnmower Deth, who have had one of their busiest years to date, as far as gigs and festival appearances go and I can see why. If you go to a gig, you want to be excited about going out and having a party vibe and these guys deliver the fun, in abundance! Fans from all over the globe attended tonight, some flew in from America even, which was clearly appreciated when Pete made a heart felt announcement about the fact! Seeing Pete take to the stage in a snowman onesie was also priceless, I might add!

Lawnmower Deth

The band re-released their biggest commercial album, ‘Ooh Crikey It’s Lawnmower Deth’, on vinyl this year which I had to get a copy of! To celebrate, tonight’s set was a complete rendition of that album, which features a mind blowing thirty five tracks, although several of those are only ten seconds long, haha! Well, if it’s good enough for Linkin Park and Metallica, it’s good enough for these guys! It was chaos, let me tell you! We had crowd surfers a plenty, a guy dressing a Christmas tree live on stage with only ten seconds to do so and we had a guest appearance, from Kremated vocalist, Pete Dee.

Pete Lee

All I can say is, these guys will be out and about in 2015, so watch out for announcements very soon!

That just leaves me to say, Merry Christmas music fans and have a music-tastic new year! P.S buy more vinyl!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Michael Schenker

Rock City Nottingham 12th December 2014.

What with Christmas being only twelve days away, I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do than go to a good ol’ Rock and Roll Show, it sure as hell beats Christmas shopping, or wrapping presents!

Tonight’s show was pre-booked months ago as me and a friend had already organised to buy tickets to this show anyway, so I was going regardless! Having seen both these acts at HRH 8 last month, it had prepared me a little for tonight, as I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to photograph and review tonight’s show.

Tonight was a shorter affair than usual, with Western Sand being the only support band. On some of the previous dates of this tour there had been another support band who are now know as Faster Inferno and who feature no other than Tyson Schenker, yep, you guessed it, Michaels son. Sadly, they weren’t scheduled to play in Nottingham, but now I’ve seen the master, I have to see the protégé!

Western Sand

Western Sand kicked things off tonight and as the intro music kicked in, the band all huddled around their drummer Nathan, as it reached its climax, the three front men, Jimmy – guitar, Findlay – bass and Tyler – guitar and vocals burst into life and into their first song “Dark Horse”. On stage these guys look very comfortable as they rocked the room with confidence. Formed in 2008, they’ve had time to master their on stage persona and they’ve got it down to a fine art. At every opportunity, they engaged with the crowd and got them to raise their hands, shake their fists, but above all, made the crowd, myself included, feel as though we were at a live concert, fantastic! What with being the only support tonight, they gave us a forty minutes set on the hallowed stage at Rock City, which must have felt good, but to be supporting the legend that is Michael Schenker, it must of felt even better?

Tyler Hains

As we’ve spoken to these guys in an interview recently, which you can find on our You Tube channel, I know these guys are no strangers and have featured on many tours with other great artists. Watch out for these guys, as they are going places, they may be young, but they are amassing a huge following and people are sitting up and taking note.

Tonight’s Set list:

1.Dark Horse 2.Doing Me Wrong 3.Black Water Resolution 4.Broken Bones 5.Cut You Down To Size 6.Welcome to the Badlands 7.Nothing to Lose

What else can I say about the man, the legend, that hasn’t already been said, a thousand times over! Everyone regards Schenker as one of the all time greatest living guitarists of the modern rock and roll era. Again, tonight, as when I saw him last month at HRH8, Scheker gave us a master class in rock and roll. One thing I noticed tonight, as I had longer to observe him, was how well Schenker can command a room, when he says cheer, everyone says “How high”!

Michael Schenker

Having first performed live at the tender age of eleven, he went on to play lead guitars for the German band Scorpions, he then went on to perform lead guitar for the English band UFO. Having written many of UFO’s greatest hits, Schenker, for what ever reason, formed the MSG group way back in 1978 (ish) and has continued to record and perform his tracks in the band, modeled around him ever since. Tonight was a hit list and a best of as far as anything that’s good in Rock and Roll and everyone in attendance were singing every word back at Schenker, all night long.

Doogie White

A touching moment was when lead vocalist, a legend in his own right, Doogie White (ex Rainbow, La Paz, Yngwie Malmsteen and Praying mantis) said that a song, they were about to perform (I think it was Victim of Illusion, but I’m not too sure) was written in memory of their fallen brother “Ronnie James Dio” who will never be forgotten.

The rest of the band are also all well known members of the rock and roll world and make up and complete the MSG/Temple of Rock group. On drums, former Scorpions drummer Herman Rarebell, on bass it’s another former Scorpions member, Francis Buchholz, and the lineup is completed by Wayne Findlay on guitar and keyboards.

Francis Buchholz

I’ll never forget tonight’s gig, for the simple fact that when I was trying to photograph Schenker, he came to the edge of the stage, right in front of me, and as I was looking through my camera I couldn’t quit gauge how close he was to me, but when he started to swing that distinctive black and white split Dean Guitar at me, I though I was gonna get smashed in the face by a legendary guitarist, so I dropped to my knee, in fear! The fact is, he was know where near me but my perspective was distorted, what with looking through the camera. A memory I will cherish forever but subsequently, that particular image looked rather blurred!

Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock

Set List Tonight:

1.Intro (D-Tone) 2.Doctor Doctor 3.Where the Wild Winds Blow 4.Armed and Ready 5.Natural Thing 6.Victim of Illusion 7.Lovedrive 8.Coast to Coast 9.Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead 10.Lord of the Lost and Lonely 11.Let It Roll 12.
Shoot Shoot 13.Into the Arena 14.Vigilante Man 15.Too Hot to Handle 16.Rock You Like a Hurricane 17.Rock Bottom 18.Encore (Strangers) 19.Lights Out 20.Blackout

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Western Sand

Western Sand

Western Sand release their single and video ‘Dark Horse’ from their latest EP ‘ Cut You Down To Size’

Tyler Hains comments “ Dark Horse was the perfect way to open the EP. It’s upbeat, full of riffs and has a big chorus with plenty of lyrical meaning. It gives you an understanding of what Western Sand is all about. We are really happy with the video, it captures the energy we portray live and has a great old school southern rock feeling.”

Check out ‘Dark Horse’ here.

The band will be on tour as exclusive support for Michael Schenker.

Tour Dates December 2014

10th – Newcastle 02 Academy
11th – Glasgow ABC
12th – Nottingham Rock City
13th – Manchester Ritz
15th – Leeds 02 Academy
16th – Wolverhampton Robin
17th – Norwich Waterfront
19th – Bristol 02 Academy
20th – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire