All posts by music224.com

Hammerfest VI Day1

Hafan y Mor Holiday Park Pwllheli North Wales.

Day 1 – 13th March 2014.

It’s Hammerfest weekend, YIPPEE, fuelled by sheer excitement and anticipation for the weekend ahead, we made an early start to what can only be described as our annual pilgrimage to the mecca of metal, Hammerfest held in Pwllheli, Gwynedd, North Wales..

Notice I say we, as thankfully this year, I managed to acquire a hitchhiker or better described as a travel companion, who helped to elevate the boredom that I usually encounter travelling some four hours to North Wales. For the purpose of this review, she shall be named Earache…..who came bearing gifts for our journey, Savage Messiah’s new album “The Fateful Dark” which, while listening to it several times over only fuelled our excitement further, not only for their set, but for the rest of the weekends acts that lay ahead.

Over the course of the weekend, I managed to speak with many of the HRH/Hammerfest faithful, to get their opinion on all aspects of this festival. To sum up, many, if not all still hold the original site for this festival, which used to be held in Prestatyn, a much better venue, for access and travelling too, for the stages and how they were set up, for the indoor market, where you buy all your merchandise from and for the food you could get on site. The only aspect that scored higher, here in Pwllheli, is the accommodation. I never attended Hammerfest in its original location, so I can’t possibly comment, but this is what I discovered and thought I’d share, as I found it very interesting.

This review is going to concentrate on what I saw only, as I was busy conducting interviews most of the weekend WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE as personally, I missed a lot of the acts that made up Hammerfest VI. I will, however give you an idea of who was hot and what is of any significance. I did have a man in the field, taking pictures on my behalf, who did however do a stealing job at taking some images, which can be found HERE.

On arrival, as always, we were greeted by the lovely PR girls that work so hard to make this event possible, and for whom we are truly grateful for. As usual, they put a smile on my face, but this time, I’m hoping the large quantity of vodka I gave them as a thank you from us here at www.music224.com helped to put a smile on their faces for a change.

The official start time for the festival was 5pm and kicking off this years festival were SKAM, a band for Leicester, which is only a stones throw away from me, and who, up until now, were not on my radar but after that performance, I’ll be looking out for them again. They were a great opening act, who hit us hard in the face with their groovin hard rock flavour.

SKAM

Next up, were a band we had been tipped to look out for by other media types, and who already know as a great band, Fury, from Worcester.

Fury

I was happy to see them on this years bill as they are a great live band, which was confirmed when they “dropped’” their cover of Drunken Sailor and got everyone in the place dancing an irish jig, linking arms and dancing around in circles – great to see and helped to keep the party atmosphere going. We are keeping our eyes peeled on this lot, as their debut full length album is on the horizon, so check out our interview to find out more!

Al - Fury

I missed both Anihilated and Death Valley Knights sets, so apologies for that, but I did manage to see a band that excites me greatly, Savage Messiah. They are such a great live band, so tight live and who always give 110% and that’s sure to get you feeling good! With their new album now available to buy, the set did feature quite a few tracks from it, which Dave Silver (lead vocals/guitar) helped us understand more by giving us a short synopsis before each track.

Dave Silver - Savage Messiah

I can honestly say, as did so many others who I spoke to over the weekend, Savage Messiah are a band going places, they will be big, how big, that remains to be seen but they are great guys, very level headed and you can find out more about the band in our interview.

Joff Bailey - Savage Messiah

Finishing off the first day was Tragedy, a rock/metal glam cover band to ABBA, who were very entertaining. Their outfits were very colourful and they were very funny to listen to, watch and were enjoyed by all, even if it was ABBA covers!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Voodoo Six

The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton, 12th March 2014.
With support from Santa Cruz and Resin.

 

Voodoo Six
Voodoo Six

Voodoo Six come bearing a hard crunch of rock’n’roll. With impressive solos, thumping beat rhythms and Luke Purdie’s immense powerhouse vocals, they kick out a rugged and rich sound. The powerful combination of Luke Purdie (vocals), Matt Pearce (guitar), Chris Jones (guitar), Tony Newton (bass) and Joe Lazarus (drums) has earned Voodoo Six critical acclaim and secured a worldwide fan base. Their 2010 debut album ‘Fluke?’ was followed up in 2013 with the awesome ‘Songs to Invade Countries To’. And if that was not enough success for one year, they answered the call to tour with Iron Maiden, proving these guys have paid their dues and are now firmly in rock’s big league.

Voodoo Six

 

Santa Cruz

 Finnish rockers Santa Cruz hit the stage and we were back in ’86. Glam hair metal all the way with these guys ! The band members weren’t even born when hair metal had its heyday, but they hammer their instruments like seasoned pros and they have certainly learnt from the masters such as Motley Crue, Guns ‘N Roses and Skid Row, with every one of their songs full of pure adrenaline and big, hook-drenched chorus’s that get your blood pumping and your pulse racing. Having conquered their Scandinavian homeland, Santa Cruz are now ready to take on the rest of the world.

Santa Cruz
Resin

 With a hard hitting mix of metal and grunge, Resin certainly tore up the Slade Rooms for the early birds of the night. Throughout their set, the Leicestershire based 5-piece moved seamlessly from rumbling bass lines to thrashing abrasive guitar work that cuts in the best way possible. Combined with immensely and intensely meshed in vocals Resin produce an incredibly powerful sound.

Resin

 

Words and pictures by Stephen Turner

 

Maximo Park

With support from Teleman

Rock City Nottingham 11th March 2014

Rock City bound again but this time its to watch a band that I greatly admire, one for being British and two, they helped to shape and define an era in British musical history, indie pop.

Traffic was an absolute pig getting into Nottingham, but by my side and helping to calm my road rage, I had my wife to be, which was a rare treat in itself as she rarely ventures out to a show, so tonight must be special!

Thankfully, we got to the gig in plenty of time, however, we did wonder if there was a gig on at all, as the first and only support act tonight which came courtesy of Teleman, kicked off proceedings at a later than normal time of 8.15pm when they played a 30minute set. I will point out, the later start time allowed for the ever increasing crowd to have a chance to get to the venue in time, which I applaud.

Tonight was my first encounter with Teleman and in my research, I discovered they have supported a string of well known acts, since the release of their debut album “Breakfast” – acts such as Franz Ferdinand, Metronomy and of course, Maximo Park.

Thomas Sanders - Teleman

Their style of music, is groovy, melodic synth pop, a down beat Hot Chip, if you will. Personally, I thought the band were a little stagnant and each track started to sound like the last, with little variation in their sound. The lead singer had a great voice and the crowd warmed to them, showing their appreciation at the end of each track.. They will be supporting Maximo Park at every show in this current UK tour, so plenty of opportunity to go check them out and make your own mind up.

Pete Cattermoul - Teleman

What’s my view, well how am I suppose to know, write a review, well how objective can I be…… I’ll apply some pressure and start……I had to get that line in here, seeing as its a lyric from one of Maximo Parks better known tracks “Apply Some Pressure” off their first album “A Certain Trigger”

With Rock City filling up fast for the main act, it was nice to see so many young and younger people come out to support Maximo Park who consist of Paul Smith, Duncan Lloyd, Archis Tiku, Lukas Wooller and Tom English, from Tyne and Wear, who’s last outing was back in 2012. The current tour is in support of their fifth studio album “Too Much Information” and is available, everywhere now.

Paul Smith - Maximo Park

Tonight very nearly didn’t happen, as the first two shows of the tour, Portsmouth and Bristol had to be rearranged due to lead singer Paul Smith needing an emergency eye operation. These shows have been rescheduled with the Bristol Academy show moved to the 16th March and Portsmouth’s Wedgewood show moving to the 23rd April. Even with the doctors saying they shouldn’t play tonight, Maximo Park turned up to rock, Rock City, regardless, and all to their credit. Paul did state “I’m not trying to be too cool for school, as if that’s at all possible, but I’m wearing these sunglasses, as a precaution to protect my eyes”. I thought he looked rather dapper as along with his hat and uber cool suit, it seemed to work to his advantage. Tom on drums, however, was rocking double denim, as Paul pointed out – luckily, the crowd agreed it was ok for Tom to do so!

Duncan Lloyd - Maximo Park

As predicted, tonight was to showcase tracks off the new album, but the set had a nice mix of both new and old songs, which seemed to gel very well together. The new album has clearly gone in a different direction compared to their earlier work, in that it’s at a slower pace but you could also say it’s more refined and represents them as the more mature musicians that stood before us today.

Lukas Wooller - Maximo Park

Their hands in the air anthems got the greatest reaction though, when played and I’m talking about tracks like ‘Velocity’, ‘Apply Some Pressure’ and ‘Graffiti’, after which Paul lost the suit jacket and gained a megaphone for the next track, “The kids are Sick Again”. That’s not to say the new stuff is dull, take the tracks “Lydia, the ink will never dry” and “My Bloody Mind” both off the new album and are reminiscent of their earlier work and are both great tracks.

Paul Smith - Maximo Park.

Basically, tonight was a mass sing-along, with everyone in the crowd singing back every word of the older stuff and the majority still singing every word of the new material also! It was nice to see such loyal, almost fanatical fans in support tonight, I say fanatical, the guy in front of me couldn’t stop himself waving his arms in my face, all night, as he chanted every word back at the band, he even conjured up a Wayne’s World style “were not worthy” when Paul came over to our side of the stage…..

Having seen the extent of the current tour, Maximo Park are going to need all the energy they can muster and thankfully, tonight they showed us they still have plenty of energy to give and can still pull some shapes. With still plenty more opportunities to catch these guys out on the road, (T In The Park will be a great show) go check out their website and Facebook pages for more details.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)