The Maze Nottingham 12th July 2014.
Firstly, how’s your summer going music fans? Ours has been pretty quite, due to the fact all the major festivals have rejected our media accreditation requests, so we’ve not really had much to talk about. Tonight, however, we was given access to a very special summer event. The legendary independent record label, that is Earache Records, held a summer party, like no other. Primarily, tonight was to honour the release of a very special beer, brewed by those lovely folk over at Castle Rock Brewery, who are producing guest ales to honour those from Nottingham, one such hero is, non other than the founder of Earache, Digby Pearson.
On arrival, at The Maze music venue, which is legendary in its own right, the first thing to strike you was the heat. Being summer, this is to be expected, however, tonight has to be the hottest night this summer, so a drink was needed! Seeing as tonight was in honour of Pearson ale, It would have been rude not to sample it! If you like your ale, it is a 4.2% American-style red ale with ‘New World’ hops from New Zealand, which are known for their intense fruit and citrus flavours.” right, it tastes great!
I can honestly say, after my first pint, I was suitably merry and raring for tonights entertainment! In all honestly, the first pint blew my socks off, but I managed at least 3 more pints before the end of the night and could still walk, so not a complete obliteration, but a very nice ale, indeed!
Being at the Maze, I knew tonight would be an intimate affair, which isn’t something you usually get at a larger festival, so thats a plus. To help the party atmosphere, most in attendance made the effort to buy a new Hawaiian shirt, I say buy, as this is a metal gig and I very much doubt this kind of attire is a regular feature in a metal heads wardrobe! For our efforts, fans were awarded free gifts from Earache, during an intermission, for the best dressed. Several awards were well deserved, but the fat bloke that dropped his pants to reveal “his” ladies leopard print thong shall remain nameless, for obvious reasons, we were robbed!
Tickets were a mere £3, with all proceeds going to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, so naturally we paid for the privilege to be here tonight, we aint free loaders! A total of 4 acts featured tonight, one more and slightly different to that billed, but all of tonights acts were well suited and each knows how to get the party started!
First up, Dick Venom and the Terrortones, which has to be one of the best band names going! On the side lines, before going on stage, I could see Dick waiting, with only a towel around his waist, I asked if that was how he was going on stage, to which he replied “You’ll see” and see we did, all of us! Whoosh, off came the towel, to reveal a fetching pair of blue speedo swimming trunks! At first I thought, this man is smart, its hotter than hell in here, his lack of clothing will help keep him cool, but it turns out, this is his usual on stage dress code! Primarily a punk band, these guys are as insane as the genre suggests. With some odd shapes being pulled by Dick, tonight surely was a spectacle, one I couldn’t watch for long, there is only so long I can watch a man in underwear! The funniest moment of the set has to be watching a punter rubbing baby over Dick’s back, while he sang, you could say lubing him up, so he could slide along the dance floor, on his back!
It’s worth mentioning, punk is having a bit of a resurgence of late, thanks to the likes of Lawnmower Deth, who feature later on in the night, well, sort of!
After a quick breath of fresh air, it was the turn of the Savage Messiah to entertain us. These guys were recently nominated for Best New Band at the Metal Hammer Awards, this year and its no secrete that I love this bands energy and full throttle metal sound, but live these guys are amazing and tonight was no exception. Being a bit of a sexy mofo, Joff Bailey treated the lady folk in the crowd to a bit of a striptease, which saw him take his t-shirt off, making most of the female contingency weak at the knees and a little more moist than they already were! Thankfully, no mankini this time!
Savage Messiah have just released details of a new tour in the autumn, so be sure to check out their shinny new website http://www.savagemessiahofficial.com for more info. Being an intimate show, I managed to talk to the band at length, backstage, which was very revealing! The bands latest album “The Fateful Dark” was only released in May-ish this year, however the band have already started writing material for their next album, how exciting, we look forward to hearing how that develops!
By now, The Maze is more a swamp party than a summer party, but spirits were still high, as Evil:Deth were up next……..Who, I hear you cry, well, Pete couldn’t make tonights show, but the rest of the band asked legendary front man, Dr. Hell (of Evil Scarecrow) if he’d like to step in for tonight, only, which thankfully he agreed to do and do he did well! This is a first, for the bands, to my knowledge, which, lets face it, is pretty limited, but certainly provided us with a very entertaining set!
All the usual Lawnmower Deth favourites featured in tonight, notable tracks were Devils Trampoline, where a member of the crowd got to get up on stage and jumped around, as if on a trampoline, very entertaining! Another who we shall call “Skinner” actually got to, um, sing, mumble, shout out the lyrics, (loosely translated) “did you spill my pint?” all 51 seconds of it, which he decided to capture in its entirety by strapping a gopro camera to his head. Personally I thought this was a great idea and I can see this catching on! Skinner gave such a great rendition of the track, I’m pretty sure both Pete and Dr. Hell wont be needed for the next Lawnmower gig (I speculate)!
Being an Earache party and the brainchild of Ms Bardill, it was only fair that she too took to the stage, for a track. It was decided she would help sing “Kids in America” having little time to prepare, she managed to write the lyrics down on a piece of paper, which she had to use while on stage to get her through the track, but she did a sterling job, considering! As did Dr Hell, who apparently only had 2 practice sessions before tonight’s show, it was noticed he managed to make less mistakes than Pete, so watch out Pete, if Evil Scarecrow ever let their front man go, he’ll be going for your job!
If having Dr Hell fronting Lawnmower Deth wasn’t enough, Evil Scarecrow decided to gatecrash the party and managed to commandeer their frontman back, to give us a grand finally, in true ES style, mayhem! These guys have the honour of opening the main stage on Saturday, at Bloodstock, this year too. After talking to band members, I can honestly say, its going to be worth getting up early to watch, if you’ve seen an Evil Scarecrow gig before, this will be 10 times better, if you haven’t seen these guys play yet, then what the hells wrong with you?
By far one of the best shows of 2014, at The Maze as well, who’d of thunk it!
Until next time, music fans, have a great summer!
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)