Fear Without Reason

With support from Glory Fades, Wakedown and State Of Ember.
O2 Academy3 Birmingham 1st December 2018.

With the festive season about to commence, this evenings Ovation Music Management event at the O2 Academy3 had that wonderful feelgood vibe about it and why not indeed with a line up including State Of Ember, Wakedown, Glory Fades and the wonderful Fear without Reason who were our headliners tonight.

And getting this evenings event underway were Worcestershire based threesome State Of Ember, who certainly set them sparks flying tonight. With rhythms that combine both pop punk elements and in your face rock, the bands set went down a storm with the audience tonight and a notable highlight of their performance for me, was the skill and precision of Chelsea McCammon’s whirling drumsticks. Be sure to check out State of Ember if you haven’t already, this band are up and coming fast!

Next up were Wakedown and these guys need little introduction as they have certainly made a fair few waves in 2018 with live performances, a debut EP and video releases aswell. All that hard work has served the band well as Wakedown’s rock is rich and charismatic – as was their set and performance tonight. I’m very pleased to say that it won’t be long before the band are back up on stage again in 2019, so be sure to check out their Facebook page for live dates and details yet to come.

With the stage lights dimmed to shades of cool blue, the anticipation increased as our penultimate band of the night Glory Fades took to the stage. It’s been quite a while since I last saw these guys live (shame on me) and it was certainly the first time of seeing them with Justin Griffiths at the mic – and what a power house of a vocalist he is! Their line up as it is, has a blissful feel of longevity about it and this band are a must see for fans of adrenaline fuelled and magnetic rock.

Headlining tonight were Fear Without Reason and from the moment the band took to the stage, the atmosphere both on stage and off was remarkable – when a band are caught up in the moment and also on top form, you’re guaranteed a set to remember!

Fear Without Reason have this wonderful attribute within their music that captures the soul of the beholder and lyrically, they strike an affinity with many, myself included. Songs such as ‘Broken’ and ‘Holding On’ strongly serve to clinch that connection and in my opinion, define the wealth of this bands song writing ability. Tonight’s performance from the band was by far the best I’ve seen them and that in itself is saying something, as these guys always give 110% but from my perspective, Fear Without Reason delivered the jackpot tonight.

Big thanks must go out to Hils for putting on yet another fantastic night for the bands and all present, and also to tonight’s Sound and Lighting Engineer – 11/10 all round!

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr!!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Amplified 2019

HEADLINER AND EXCLUSIVE CONFIRMED ACTS!!

“So as a rather exciting year in the world of rock and metal comes to a close Amplified would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone for all their continuing support.

It’s been one hell of a journey for bands past and present with many achieving great success. Whether getting signed or producing DIY chart entering albums, completing sell out UK tours, getting playlisted on numerous radio stations or just entertaining 10’s of thousands of people at venues across the UK, Europe, America and beyond…it’s been YOUR year!

Our own current Online Video Vote for a chance to join those already confirmed acts at Amplified 2019 is gathering pace and clearly illustrates the immense talent that currently exists out there… So again, massive congratulations to all of you for continuing to follow your dreams with a passion that can be all consuming, but ever so enjoyable at the same time!

With a line up that already includes the likes of JINJER, MUSHROOMHEAD, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, MEMORIAM and CONAN along with old friends UNZUCHT, SULPHER and THE AMORETTES we think its time we ‘unwrap’ and announce some gifts for you this Christmas…

Joining us here at Amplified in 2019 are:

Europe’s biggest crossover band RISE OF THE NORTHSTAR from France bringing their ‘The Legacy Of Shi’ to the UK for the first time as a UK Festival Exclusive appearing on the Red Stripe Main Stage Saturday 20th July.

https://www.facebook.com/rotnsofficial/

ARNOCORPS who are quite simply ‘The Greatest Band In The World’ are here over from the US with a brand new album as a UK Festival Exclusive on the Red Stripe Main Stage Sunday 21st July.

https://www.facebook.com/ArnoCorps/

And we welcome back one of the hardest working DIY bands out there as HANDS OFF GRETEL headline the legendary G’s Stage Sunday 21st July bringing the Amplified 2019 edition to a close…it’s going to be raucous, sexy and a great end to what promises to be the best Amplified yet!!!

https://www.facebook.com/handsoffgretel/

We’re also pleased to announce that amongst all the great bands here at Amplified 2019 over the weekend joining them will be…

The award-winning comedic talents of BOB SLAYER will be roaming the site enthralling you his along with the BLUNDABUS acting as the Exclusive VIP Bar.

Keeping you all entertained and wandering around on stilts will be members of ELEMENTAL EMPIRE seen here at Amplified 2018 on stage with Evil Scarecrow as well as numerous other Summer festivals bringing fire and sparks to the proceedings and joining them in lighting up the night sky with flames and the sweet smell of petrol will be the awesome talented BELLADONNA HADES troupe who regularly perform at some of the best alternative festivals and club nights here in the U.K.

Providing a whole lot of shaking will be Cheltenham’s very own SYREN ALTERNATIVE BELLY DANCERS back here for a third year to perform wherever the mood takes them.

And one of the South West’s best student alternative club night DJ crews APOCALYPSE will be here providing tunes throughout the day and late into the night after the bands have finished to continue the party.

Alongside all this we’re also pleased to announce that Adam Westgate, a regular stage presence at many alternative events will be here as our compère introducing the bands across all 3 stages so expect to see a ‘blonde streak‘ rushing by as he goes from stage to stage…plus still many more acts for all ages to be announced!

https://www.facebook.com/bobslayer

https://www.facebook.com/ApocalypseSouthampton

https://www.facebook.com/flameandfire666

https://www.facebook.com/belladonna.rawkus.33

https://www.facebook.com/SyrenBellyDancers

https://www.facebook.com/adam.wesgate

With our final Red Stripe Main Stage Headliners still to be announced in the New Year we hope you’ve enjoyed ALL the acts announced so far and are looking forward to a great Christmas with family, friends and loved ones… Look after each other guys; life is precious and live music, as great as it is helping us through the joyous as well as sad times, can only ‘cure’ so much.

“Merry Christmas to you all, Gary and The Amplified Team”

For tickets visit: www.amplifiedrocks.com/tickets

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amplifiedfestivalUK

Twitter: www.twitter.com/amplified_rocks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/amplifiedrocks

Eyes Of The Raven

With support from Influens, Obzidian, Christgrinder and Rawkas.
O2 Academy3 Birmingham 24th November 2018.

Tonight’s Ovation Music Management gig has all the makings of being one of a kind with a rather fantastic line up that includes Eyes Of The Raven, Influens, Obzidian, Christgrinder and Rawkas – impressive or what!!

Getting this evenings shenanigans underway were Birmingham’s very own Rawkas and just as their name suggests, these guys have a sound that is packed with both raw energy and heaps of magnificent moodiness which certainly hit the spot tonight. With the band having released an EPAll Your Ghosts‘ earlier in the year, tonight’s set was a great taster for it and if you want to check this and Rawkas out for yourself, just head on over to their Facebook or Bandcamp pages for a right proper ear full!

Our second band of the night were Christgrinder and if you enjoy your metal dark, love your metal to have attitude and relish the experience of seeing a band whose performance will have you entranced from start to finish, then PLEASEEEEE go check out Christgrinder! Tonight’s set saw the band suited, booted and grasping Satan firmly by the horns, amidst lashing of sordid guitar riffs, a back line that ricocheted across the O2 Academy3 and vocals that captured the very spirit of black metal. Having not seen or heard these guys before, this first encounter was one I won’t forget and also one I can’t wait to repeat!

The next band to take to the stage tonight were Obzidian and here we have a band whose long standing presence within the metal community stands tall and quite rightly so, as their intensely adrenaline fuelled metal goes way beyond impressive. Front man Matty Jenks truly commanded the stage tonight, with his delivery of the set showing man and music completely enmeshed as one and in my opinion, that takes a very special kind of skill which really was quite something to behold. Sadly, the bands set was cut a little short due to a technical failure but one thing for sure and despite that, Obzidian certainly did themselves proud tonight.

Our penultimate band of the night were Influens and yet again, here we have another well respected and much talked about band within our metal community. Tonight’s set saw the band starting a new chapter of their evolution, now as a three piece. And not only did they raise their tried and trusted flag of groove infused metal, but they also gave us the chance to hear some of their new material and to see the shape of the great things yet to come from Influens.

And finally, we come to our headlining band of this evening, the one and only, Eyes Of The Raven. It’s been quite a while since I last saw these guys however lasting impressions never fade away and having repeatedly watched the video ‘Crown Of Serpents‘ which was released earlier this year, I felt there was something pretty exciting happening here!

Live tonight, Eyes Of The Raven took their music and performance to a whole new level – ABSOLUTELY off the scale in fact! They looked different, their musical precision was in a league of its own and they sounded better than ever. The one thing that did remain unchanged was the straight, honest connection these guys have with their fans, they may not boast about how good they are but the response they received from their audience, most definitely said it all for them.

2019 is already set to be one hell of a year for Eyes Of The Raven and you can catch up with them supporting Orange Goblin at KK’s Steel Mill in Wolverhampton on 8th Feb, HRH Metal O2 Academy Birmingham – which takes place over the weekend of 16th/17th Feb and then 28th Feb, when they are back again at KK’s Steel Mill for Wolverhampton’s M2M first heat – bring it on!

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.