Gloryhammer

With support from Beast In Black and Wind Rose at The Rescue Rooms Nottingham 23re October 2019.

Having enjoyed myself more than I ever thought I would the last time I saw Gloryhammer, I jumped at the chance of seeing them again on their latest 10 date UK and Ireland ‘Intergalactic Terrortour’ and with them, they brought some friends along!

Having arrived at the Rescue Rooms early, it enabled me to revel in the atmosphere alongside many eager fans, who were all in high spirits and eagerly awaiting the Rescue Rooms doors to open. I heard many times sporadic outbursts of the word ‘Hoots’ which at first I had no idea what it meant but apparently, the Nottingham branch of Gloryhammer fans are the Robin Hood Hoots and it’s an affectionate way for the band to address their loyal subjects!

As the tour artwork depicts a Unicorn raised on hind legs, whilst shooting lasers from it’s eyes, it was only fitting one punter was offering everyone standing in line a sticker, depicting a mythical creature of some description, namely pink unicorns! Like I say, spirits were high and it was a great atmosphere to be a part of!

Like many other shows on this tour, tonight was sold out! OK, I get that not everyone likes Inter-dimensional space metal or any other fantasy based metal for that matter, but then there are many who do, which tonight and this tour proves.

First up were Wind Rose from Italy, or is it some other far away mystical fantasy land, that they’ve discovered!? As you can probably guess, these guys play power/folk metal, and definitely take their stage roles seriously, as all were dressed up like extras from Lord of the Rings. Francesco, the bands lead singer is an absolute unit of a man, so when dressed as a Dwarf (or was it a Viking warrior), you can only imagine how intimidating he actually is! I enjoyed being a part of their set and witnessing their madness. It was certainly more entertaining than my average Wednesday evening!

Beast In Black next then and wow, what an absolute pleasure it was to see these guys perform, as right from the off I could tell this band were going to be a lot of fun! They played up to the cameras perfectly, which made my life a lot easier although to the point even I started to feel embarrassed as they were spending more time acknowledging the photographers than their fans! I usually only ever shoot the first three songs out of respect of both the band and their fans as there’s nothing worse than a tog blocking your view. As the band were so receptive, I managed to get done in two songs, so I sat to the side to enjoy the show. Talking of fans before these guys took to the stage, I got speaking with a young lady called Natalie, who’s a self confessed mega fan of the band. So much so, she admitted to forking out an obscene amount of cash, to follow the band around the whole of the UK leg of this tour and attending every show! When asked why, her reply was ‘fuck it, I love um!’ Sometimes I just wish I could have that mindset as you only get one life!

The band formed back in 2015 and have released two albums to date. If I was to liken them to anyone, I’d have to say they reminded me of Manowar, who are very much a hot topic at the moment, what with tribute acts like Womanofwar, proving so popular! They originate from Finland, but their lead singer, Yannis, is from Greece. Anton Kabanen, one of the bands guitarists is former Battle Beast supremo and probably the mastermind behind the formation of this band – turns out Anton is an Anime and Manga fan, hence the band name.

Although cheesy as hell, as one of my colleagues described this band, I thoroughly enjoyed Beast In Black from start to finish. I hope to god they get the call to play Bloodstock in 2020, along side tonight’s headliners, Gloryhammer, who’ve already been announced to play at B.O.A, next year. 2020 is going to be the festivals 20th anniversary event, so we’re expecting big things from now until then!

Gloryhole….I mean Gloryhammer are a very colourful and charismatic bunch, who clearly don’t take life too seriously and have made a living out of enjoying themselves. I recall the last time I saw these guys at Hammerfest 2014, when the bands bassist ‘The Hootsman, Astral Demigod of Unst’ was completely the worse for beer by the end of their set. It’s refreshing to see nothing had changed as his beers were still lined up in front of him and as he moved around, he drank everyone else’s beer aswell.

I’m aware some metal fans hate this genre of metal and see there’s no place for comedy within the genre. In my opinion, there isn’t enough of this kind of entertainment featured at British summer festivals as it’s 45-90mins of escapism, fun and humour and that’s something I’m all for these days. Life’s too short, as life keeps reminding me of these days! Get over it, enjoy the time you have on this earth!

Until next time, take care of yourselves and each other!

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

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Press To Meco

With support from Chapter and Verse plus Acoda at The Craufurd Arms Milton Keynes 11th October 2019.

As we entered the Craufurd Arms based in Wolverton, it was great to see a good crowd before the bands were about to play. We caught up with some fans and talked about who they were interested on seeing and the overall response is like ourselves going to a music store picking up an album, going to the booth then playing the album only this is live! It’s great to see the merchandise stands with band members behind them promoting what they love and for the rock society in Milton Keynes being a place to visit.

New blood to our metal scene and already pushing boundaries were Acoda, who flowed with a very fresh vibe. One band member, guitarist Jake Crawford, who I had to nickname ‘Sparky’ as he just seems to explode with energy which kept the crowd alive and engaged. I look forward to seeing where this band will go in the future – bring on the next generation of metal heads!

As our drinks were refreshed, the second band Chapter and Verse took to the stage. I really enjoyed how the lead singer Josh Carter had me glued to his facial expressions, which brought me into the lyrics with to life as if you had lived it. The songs contained a mix of mainstream all the way through to heavy nu metal. Well worth a see!

The last band to hit the stage was Press To Meco, a three piece band that really got the crowd going. It’s obvious why this band is so popular in places like this – great entertainment, musically brilliant, talented and I could really hear their musical influences.

Their recent album release ‘Here’s to the Fatigue‘ is full of ingenuity, feeling and I could relate to a lot of the lyrical catalogue. I can only presume that this was kind of the intention such as going through tough times, coming out the other side maybe not in one piece, but you got out kind of thing.

During their set they got a wall of death enveloped with great catchy sing-alongs and looking across the audience, I couldn’t see one member of the crowd standing still. If you manage to see these guys in your area it will be a great night for sure, you’ll be coming out with a sore neck and feet from all that dancing and head banging. These guys need to be heard for sure!

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

Review by Lucy Greene with Photography by Masaaki Black

Lissie

The Stables Theatre Milton Keynes 21st October 2019.

On a chilly Monday night at the Stables Theater, after a hard day at work, we were particularly looking forward to tonight’s performance. We’d previously read some reviews about Lissie, before tonight’s show and the stand out comments and opinions were all focused on her energy at her live performances and how amazing her voice is!

As I got to the box office to pick up our tickets, we noticed the crowd had got noticeably bigger, as we waited, before heading into the theatre. Every seat was taken, as we were taken to our seats, we could see the stage was prepped with a black polished piano and a stylishly carpeted floor by a microphone stand.

Joe Dudderidge came on stage and played some fantastic songs on the piano to get the crowd ready for the second half of the performance.

After a short interval, on came the fabulous Lissie, who was gracious in her appearance! She started with a couple of well known hit songs and we were immediately taken aback by her beautiful voice! The previous reviews were true! What a talent! She sang every note with pure feeling, all pouring from her heart!

I personally had to almost hold back some tears, it was that moving! I looked around at the crowd and everyone’s eyes were fixed on Lissie. You could sense the warmness in the atmosphere, every song was applauded with the crowds delight. Lissie’s reminded us of a particular Fleetwood Mac performance, at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and we’d liken her to the superior talent, that is Stevie Nicks!

If you didn’t know Lissie before the show, you certainly did by the end of the night! A great performance of the highest degree!

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

Review by Lucy Greene with Photography by Masaaki Black