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WCH Battle Of The Bands

Quarter Finals – Round 2.

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 9th February 2014.

Time seems to have flown by this week as I find myself heading back to The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton once again for Round 2 in The Quarter Finals of WCH Battle Of The Bands. Sadly we are one band down tonight through illness so ‘Get Well Soon’ wishes going out in Morningstar direction. Never the less, we still have a very promising night ahead with Empty Hands, Music Like Lemons, Fat Alice, Adamantium and GlassBullet chomping at the bit and raring to go.

Empty Hands

First band up tonight and raising the flag with their blast of edgy pop punk, were Empty hands from Birmingham. These guys have great regard for breathing the life into a live performance whilst also delivering an air of uber coolness in their manner and by the time their fifteen minute set was done, the empty hands of the audience were pleasingly full of applause.

Music Like Lemons
Music Like Lemons

Next band to take to the stage and hailing from Redditch, were Music Like Lemons who brought along with them a burst of something fresh and delightfully tangy. The crisp and distinctive vocals of Dean Harris made their song ‘50th Floor (Elevator)’ a real stand out moment in tonight’s set and I can highly recommend you check out their Facebook page and take a little listen for yourself.

Fat Alice

With the midway point of the evening upon us, and wasting little time in dishing out some funky punk vibes were Wolverhampton’s very own, Fat Alice. Front man James Danher was quick to get the audience moving nearer to the stage and with a fair bit of love and respect being reflected back to the stage from the audience, it was great to see the band having a good time aswell.


In comparison to last Sunday’s Round, tonight had so far been conspicuous in it’s absence of all things metal, but that was about to change courtesy of Adamantium from Worcester. With a sound that is by no means tame, these guys basked in the rays of melodic metal and soaring guitar riffs which were most ably driven by some hefty drumming. A great set from these guys with a fair on stage chuckles courtesy of a willful cymbal stand.


Last up tonight but certainly by no means least were the Birmingham based band, GlassBullet. This hard rocking foursome made light work of owning their fifteen minutes in both their musical content and performance and if the crowd had had their way, an encore from them would definitely have been the loudest order of the night. A thunderous set from these guys and a great end to Round 2.

With all five contenders having played a great part in tonight’s event, the task of identifying those to put forward into the semi-finals was not going to be an easy one. But the votes were counted and a final decision reached which placed GlassBullet in first place, second place went to Music Like Lemons and this evenings wildcard vote being awarded to Adamantium.

Next stop will be Round 3 on Sunday 16th February – and what another great night that looks set to be!

Words by Sue Wardle and Photography by Stephen Turner.

See all the pictures here.

The Defiled

The Defiled

With Support From The Killing Lights and Butcher Babes.

The Rescue Rooms Nottingham 8th February 2014.

Its Saturday Night, the black hair dye has been applied, the corpse paint has been rubbed all over your face and you’ve found your favourite black t-shirt and black leather jacket, so a night of Nu-metal it is then. Originally this gig was meant to be held in Rock Cities Basement Bar, but due to the popularity it got upgraded to The Rescue Rooms, which is a venue I really like. The question is, did the corpse paint run, as the queue of punters, around the block, waited for the doors to open, in the pissing down rain? This wasn’t going to deter these Defiled faithful though!

Metal Hammer posted that this gig was a “not to be missed event’ on their social media recently, and I agree, especially as this was the first night of “The Defiled’s” Home Coming Tour and after reading about one of the support bands, Butcher Babies, I was looking forward to this one. A big thanks goes out to Sean Larkin for the help ;)

First up, The Killing Lights, or is it Vampires Everywhere billed as the Killing Lights as it turns out, lead singer Michael use to be the vocalist for Vampires Everywhere, but felt he needed a new challenge. Hailing from the bright lights of Hollywood California, these guys are signed to Century Media Records and look the part, tattoos. check, long black hair, check, blistering vocals and wailing guitars check check check. I’ll be honest and say I was slightly distracted during their set, as my camera’s lens was playing up, so I spent most of my time frantically trying to get it to play ball!! What I did see and hear was very good, with lots of fist pumping and I think its safe to say they got the crowd warmed up!

Michael Vampire - The Killing Lights

Band consists of; Michael Vampire – Vocals, DJ Black – Guitar, Josh Ingram – Drums and Frankie Sil – Bass.

Tonight was a sell out show and everyone was now inside ready to witness the Butcher Babies. I’d literally only just read about this band, two days before in fact and its safe to say I was intrigued! So is the rest of the music industry, it seems, as these guys are hot property right now! The two front woman have been blessed with just that, a good front, but use it to their advantage in an intelligent way, both are well educated with Carla even having a degree in mortuary, so don’t piss her off or you could come to a swift end!  They became despondent with a male dominated industry and decided to form a band with the soul purpose to shock, whilst sticking two fingers up at anyone who disapproves of what they love to do, ROCK!

Heidi Shepherd - Butcher Babes

The Band consists of; Heidi Shepherd- Vocals, Carla Harvey- Vocals, Henry Flury- Guitar, Jason Klein- Bass and Chrissy Warner- Drums.

Also from LA and signed to Century Media Records, a label not scared to promote the more extreme bands, and doing so with great success.

In the article I read, both Heidi and Carla pay homage to a Wendy O’ Williams, who’s sadly no longer with us, saying how much of an inspiration she was to them and is a big contributor to who they’ve become today.

To say these two are extreme is an understatement, their energy on stage is phenomenal and the windmilling of hair is endless! I bet their chiropractor is working his/her fingers to the bone (get it! lol)! Its true, these ladies are utter bombshells and keep themselves in great shape, but don’t let their looks fool you, if you aint prepared to go hard, I suggest you go home!

Butcher Babes

I’m afraid I haven’t got a clue what their set list was tonight, but I imagine most of it came from their debut album, ‘Goliath’ which is, well, as hard as f**k, I love it with my favourite track being ‘In Denial’ and its available now!!!! Be sure to catch this amazing band as they continue on with The Killing Lights and The Defiled throughout the tour in February, if you haven’t got a ticket yet, then I suggest you hurry the hell up!

Love them or Loath them, The likes of Black Vail Brides have paved the way for this new generation of Nu-metallers, however, The Defiled being slightly different are hell bent on taking over the world!

Aaron Curse - The Defiled

The Defiled have been around since 2005, but little of them was known to me until they signed to Nuclear Blast (nearly two years to the day), as it was then I first came into contact with this band. I first took note when I received their promo video “As I Drown” which really kicked me in the balls, so job well done then! The Defiled are much loved by many by their fans and other professional musicians it seems, and have toured with some great bands in the past including Black Spiders, Gorjia, Ghost and Skindred.

Consisting of; Stitch D – Vocals & Guitar, The AvD – Programming/Keys & B. Vocals, Aaron Curse – Guitar, Vincent Hyde – Bass and Needles – Drums.

The AvD - The Defiled

Being known for their chaotic live shows, these fit young men went about the stage as though possessed and in response, the crowd reciprocated and did the same.

A moment that tickled me was when Synth player, known as The AVD addressed the crowd, stating that “The next song goes out to a friend, thanks for stealing all my shit when I gave you a place to stay, fuck you pal!” so I think it’s fair to say AVD is a real character, yet a charmer and true showman, who also dealt with a heckler very well. A guy in the crowd, slightly inebriated kept asking for a kiss, so AVD jumped off stage and did just that, well, it shut him up at least! hahaha!

The venue usually has a strict “No Surfing” policy, but The Defiled, being the rebels they are, were hell bent on destroying the place – just as their name suggests and wanted the crowd to help, so they proceeded to entice them over the barrier with shots of Jagermeister, much to the two security guards manning the barriers delight!

Tonight was an awesome display of power, music and performances – a must see gig for any true Nu-Metal music fan, BOOM!

Stitch D - The Defiled

The Defiled’s set list consisted of; 1. Sleeper  2. As I Drown  3. The Resurrectionists  4. New Approach  5. Black Death  6. No Place Like Home  7. Blood Sells  8. Unspoken  9. Five Minutes  10. In The Land Of Fools  11. Call To Arms.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

WCH Battle Of The Bands

BOTB Update January 2014

Quarter Finals – Round 1.

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 2nd February 2014.

Finally, after several months in the planning, WCH Battle Of The Bands comes into fruition and tonight see’s the first round of February’s Quarter Finals ready to hit the stage. With three bands from each round being selected to go through to next months Semi-Finals, every minute of their fifteen minute stage time will count – so no pressure there then!

For those that make it through the Semi-Finals, the Grand Final will take place on Friday 25th April at The Wulfrun – and what a night that will be, with the winner scooping up the following prizes:

1. Three professionally recorded tracks by renowned producer Gavin Monaghan at his Magic Garden Recording Studios.
2. A photographic shoot with Jay Hawkins from Music224  –
3.  A professional music video shot by Azenris Pictures.
4.  Artwork, t-shirt and flyer design by professional graphic designer John Williamson.
5.  A collection of merchandise from No Fit State Clothing.
6.  A support spot with an established act, courtesy of WCH Concerts.

Music224 are also chuffed to bits to be part of the team of sponsors and we are so looking forward to bringing you our photos and reviews from each of the rounds as the competition rolls on. Our co-sponsors in this event are No Fit State Clothing and Azenris Pictures, so please do check out the links below to their websites to see all the great services that these guys have on offer to bands.

The six bands all set to play this evening were Caiman, Divided We Fall, The Nics, Lockhart, Husk – UK Heavy Metal and My Great Affliction, and there we have it – a great night of rock and metal to get things started!


Our first band for tonight, were the Tamworth Metalers, Caiman. Being a three piece in number, these guys’ work well together, with both Jamie Gibson and Craig Beniston making mean work of their shared vocal duties and showing no fear either in their respective high standard of skilled fretwork. Tonight’s fifteen minute set gave us a taster of their current EP, with ‘Baggage’ being a track that definitely demands to be heard.

Divided We Fall

 Keeping the metal theme going but bringing a great symphonic tone to it, Divided We Fall were our next contenders in the comp. Rich in synth and dusted with the beautiful vocals of Philippa Ricketts, this band made great work of catching the audiences’ attention. With a new album on its way that is set for release in May, this band clearly has some great plans for 2014.

The Nics

Our next band up on stage, The Nics, marked the halfway stage in this round and time to slip into something slightly more laid back but still very much rocking. With influences such as Led Zeppelin and Foo Fighters, these guys musically packed a big punch that went down a storm with The Slade Rooms audience and raised the bar even higher for those bands still to follow.


A last minute addition to tonight’s heat was Lockhart, who valiantly stepped into the place of Greenacres at very short notice. I’ve struggled to find out any background info about who this band are and what it is that makes them tick, but based on what I saw and heard from their three song set, these guys are metal to the hardcore!


 Home town guys Husk – UK Heavy Metal, were next up on stage and deftly set about serving up their own style of home brewed hellfire and metal damnation. Meticulous fretwork delivered with an abundance of rabid energy, makes Husk a great experience to have and with their next live date set for the 18th February, when they will be supporting the mighty Turisas, these guys are already well on their way into one spectacular month!

My Great Affliction

Our final band in this, the first of the Quarter Final heats, was My Great Affliction. Expertly skilled in the execution of some seriously good rock ‘n’ roll and masters of the good time vibe, The Slade Rooms audience needed little encouragement to sing along to the chorus of ‘Narcissus’ that brought tonight’s competition to an end, very much on a high.

With the judges retiring to add up the combined scores they had individually awarded to each of tonight’s contenders, the next fifteen minutes dragged by. But with no further ado the results were announced, with first place awarded to My Great Affliction, second place to The Nics and the wildcard vote given to Husk – UK Heavy metal. As with any competition, there is always a moment or two of bitter/ sweet reflection from those who performed and those who came along to support but one fact for sure, each band gave their all tonight and no-one need find disappointment from the success in that.

Words by Sue Wardle and Photography by Stephen Turner.

View the full picture set here .