Winter Storm

At The Robin2 Bilston 16th October 2016.

Tonight I’m feeling very privileged to be in attendance at The Robin2 Bilston in support of the West Midlands based band Winter Storm, who were opening up proceedings for this, the final UK show for the Netherlands based band Stream Of Passion who are bringing their last tour ever, to a close.

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Also included in this evening’s line up and main support for all four UK dates were Awake By Design, so all in all, tonight’s event really looked set to be a jewel in the West Midlands crown.

Winter Storm first formed back in 2008 and are the kind of band whose metal is perfect for all seasons, as it captures the free spirit of a symphonic heart with crystal clarity.

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The bands set tonight transported the audience on a journey laid down within previous recordings and also gave us a glimpse of what is still yet to come, in the form of a track from their forthcoming new album. This track in itself delivers a very powerful dreamscape, enhanced further by the unmistakable vocals of Hannah Fieldhouse and if this is a fair representation of what lies ahead, then the albums release is one to be highly anticipated.

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Despite the restrictions that the confined space on stage presented Winter Storm with, the bands performance lacked for nothing tonight and all in all, delivered an excellent start to the night. Also, and in addition to the familiar faces of Hannah, Wayne and Kim up on stage tonight, there were a couple of unexpected surprise faces aswell, but more about that later.

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After the bands set, I had chance to catch up with Hannah for a quick chinwag and to ask a few burning questions…

Congratulations, that was quite a set tonight – can you tell us a little about the set list and how you decided on which songs to include?

Thank you very much. Well we wanted to include a mixture of our two current albums with fan favourites such as Firedancer and Dark Awakening, but also put something new in there, so we showcased Astral World, which went down very well and was such a highlight of the performance for me personally.

It was great to hear a new song from the forthcoming album, how’s that coming along and can you say yet when it’s likely to be released?

We are still very much in the writing process, unfortunately, so we cannot give any indication about recording or release dates. Its taking a long time because we are really crafting the concept, feel and music. It will mark a new era musically for the band, and a progressed sound.

Tonight’s line up on stage was looking slightly different from usual with a couple of surprise face’s up there aswell – can you tell us a little bit about how that came about?

We recently parted ways with keyboardist doomsday, and had the fantastic Janson Sissons with us, more on that to come. Secondly we now have our previous drummer Richard Marsden back with us. He’s an integral part of our unit and we enjoy working and writing together. Kim Masters our bass player has been with us for a few years too now, surviving well, hahaha!

janson-sissons

What’s next for the band, have you any more gigs lined up?

We have one show on Sat 19th November at Wolverhampton’s Giffard Arms. This is our last 2016 show, and we hope to have some exciting gig announcements soon for you all…

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It was great to catch up with Hannah and Winter Storm tonight and a very big thank goes out to them for inviting us over, I’m sure we’ll be seeing you all again soon!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Psychostick

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 30th Sep 2016.

It’s no word of a lie when I say I’ve been waiting twelve months to see our headliners Psychostick play live, as that’s how long it’s been since this monumental band last graced Wolverhampton with their presence. Reviews and comments made by many about that particular event had left quite a lasting impression – so no pressure there guys in delivering the goods once again tonight!

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But first off and getting this evening under way in a style which was completely their own, were the Birmingham based band DEAD HANDS. These guys and gal make metal mayhem under their own terms and showed no inhibitions when it came to delivering their set out amongst the gathering early evening crowd. This in itself delivers quite an impact, as not only do you get to see the band up close and personal but you are also part of the experience and DEAD HANDS took no prisoners tonight!

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Our second support band of the night were Rawkas and here we have a band whose recent resurgence has already stamped it’s fist firmly down across the West Midlands. The bands set this evening gave Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms a hearty dose of metal groove core, and whilst many of the songs performed were new to some, there was one particular song ‘Black Lagoon’ which was newer than others and for me, this was the highlight of their set. I have a really good feeling about this band and predict we are going to be seeing and hearing a lot more from them in times to come!

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Our headlining band Psychostick, come from the same kind of humble beginnings that are familiar to many – that being friends from way back, who set about writing and playing music that was important to them. But what makes these guys different, is there uncanny knack to find humour and write songs about some of the most bizarre and strangest elements of day to day life and you only need take a wonder through their videos on Youtube to see this for yourself. And with that focus in mind, I left all my confines of normality at the door, as the inner child was up for some fun tonight!

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As the band took to the stage, the sheer sight of them raised a roar of approval from the audience, as their appearance is exceptional to say the least! I’ve never been a great fan of hats – until now that is, as here we had a couple of the finest ever to be worn and if these guys ever decide to call it a day, they will never be short of a job in the millinery business!

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Psychostick’s set tonight was as sublime as their humour and included some of their greatest such as ‘Obey The Beard’, ‘Dogs Like Socks’, ‘Do You Want A Taco‘, ‘Bruce Campbell’ and ‘BEER!’, which all went down a storm as the audience were most definitely up for some fun! And fun was most definitely high on the agenda as the interaction between the band and those present was virtually none stop, with antics afoot at every opportunity.

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So was Psychostick’s visit to The Slade Rooms worth the twelve month wait – hell yes it was and roll on the next visit as that simply can’t come soon enough!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Monster Truck

At The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham 12.10.16.

Tonight was pretty much a joyous occasion, as I was going to be photographing one of my favourite acts of recent times, Monster Truck, whose rise has been swift and justified as they blooming ROCK!

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I first discovered these guys when they played Hammerfest VI back in March 2014. On that occasion, being on the big stage, I was simply blown away by their unique style of rock. Then no more than two weeks later, I saw these guys play again along side Buffalo Summer and Scorpion Child at Rock Cities Basement, which, I believe was a Metal Hammer Lord of the Riffs tour, the first one. Although a much more intimate affair, their quality still shone through, as it did with all of these bands. Since that tour, all three bands have had major success, with each getting a bigger reception every time they come back to the UK.

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With Monster Truck being given a support slot along side giants Nickelback, this will surely boost their popularity even further which is great for them, as everyone I’ve introduced Monster Truck to has instantly fallen in love with them, as I did. So it really is only a matter of time before they start selling out stadiums as big as Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena, which is where we find ourselves tonight. Question is, who would THEY have supporting them on that tour? Buffalo Summer or another of their country men, as Nickelback have with these guys, as both are from Canada? It appears we are being invaded by hard rocking Canadian’s at present, but as stated in a previous review, we ain’t complaining – not when the music’s as good as Monster Trucks!

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Being Canadian and not wanting to sound too much of a stereotype, but it would appear certain members of the band do in fact enjoy playing Ice Hockey and seeing as tonight’s show was being held at the home of the Nottinghamshire Panthers, it was only right that the band took to the ice for a little practice. Check out the bands Facebook page if you’re interested, as it’s worth a watch if you like that sort of thing. Having been given the honour of taking to the ice, band members, Jon (bass and Vocals) and Brandon (Keys and Vocals) wore the home team’s jersey throughout their set as a mark of respect, nice one lads!

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Monster Truck have recently released their latest rock and roll delight, in the form of a brand new LP ‘Sittin Heavy’ and it’s an absolute belter of an album, that continues in the same vane that we’ve become accustomed to from these guys. The rest of their remaining tour dates with Nickelback can be found on their website,  and following on from that, the band will be embarking on a European wide tour but this time with Billy Talent in support, again these dates can be found following the same link. Please, if you love hard rock and you can make one of the remaining shows, then do so, you’ll fall in love with them, as much as me. If not, I’ll give you an ice pop!

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Review by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)