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Amplified Festival 2018

Quarrydowns Gloucestershire – Friday 6th July.

We attended the first ever Amplified Festival last year and it certainly was a wet one but the spirit of the event couldn’t be dampened and Friday 6th July 2018 saw it return for another bite at the cherry and we’re glad it did as the atmosphere we experienced throughout the weekend suggested that everyone was right behind Gary and the team in willing this festival on to be a success. In contrast to last year, we experienced some of the hottest weather to be encountered at a festival in this country and without a doubt, Amplified can now being dubbed ‘The Extreme Weather Festival’ but this year will be mostly remembered for the killer bands who played there, aswell as the excellent atmosphere that was produced by the metal/music community that we’ve all grown to love!

Sadly, I was covering this event on my own this year, which filled me with both dread and excitement in equal measures as on average, I think I covered around 9 miles each day in the sweltering 31 degree heat and I still have bruises on both my big toes to prove it, but with some of the finest bands that the music industry currently has to offer performing over the three days, it was certainly worth it.

Impavidus opened up proceedings on the Very Metal Art (VMA) stage today and to great effect. Michelle, the bands front woman was a Force majeure that few could match. Full of energy, smiles and some superb metal – what a way to kick off the weekend and they did themselves proud in more ways than one. I saw the whole band throughout the weekend watching their friends in other bands aswell as bands they admire, so credit to them for giving Amplified their all.

The first band over on the Red Stripe main stage, was non other than Torqued and having first spoken with Marc Cleave at last years event, it was good to see that they were invited to perform this year and honestly, these lads have some real energy and passion for both their music and the scene in general. I was impressed to say the least, as these guys are a credit to the industry. Marc also runs corrosive merch which offers some of the best music related items I’ve seen for a while!

I first caught Ashen Crown at this years HRH Metal event back in February and they too impressed me greatly. Over this weekend, I had an opportunity to share a hot dog with Kieran and friends, where he admitted that even he’s surprised at the level of interest and opportunities the band have received since their inception. Personally, I’m convinced it’s down to them having an amazing talent and being a great product that people will enjoy – it also helps that they’re managed by Rachael Harrison, who is one of the best in the business!

I can’t write a review of a music festival without mentioning Footprints in the Custard as these days, it would appear they are everywhere and for a very good reason too as they deliver the feel good factor where ever they perform and festival goers love watching them. They are just good fun and help to lift peoples spirits which is what live music should be about and they are pretty good musicians too, who knew! Today’s performance, saw Ward XVI’s guitarist step in at the last minute, which was greatly appreciated! I for one, love watching these guy – it’s true!

One band who are local to me, are Witch Tripper and these guys are always fun to watch. Great musicians, who also do have a love for the industry so credit to them for that. Whilst hanging with the band and grabbing a breakfast cob, one gig goer suggested the bands name reminded him of someone throwing a bit of wood into a chipping machine, which got us all a little puzzled until I clocked where he was going….wood chipper!!! HAHAHA You had to be there really! On the Saturday, they had to leave to go play a gig in Plymouth but they came back for Sundays antics, which saw me inviting Stoff to come meet Doyle for my interview with him, which he greatly appreciated but what a strange encounter that was – more about that later!

Dust Bolt also caught my attention today over on the main stage and it’s hard to believe that despite these guys having been around since 2007, I’ve only just discovered they exist! They hail from the small Bavarian town of Landsberg in Germany, so god knows who their influences are? It’s no secret, I love a good thrashing and have done so since I discovered the amazing Savage Messiah, who helped to reaffirm my love for this genre! Since then, I’ve discovered a wealth of underground talent within this genre, like Bull-Riff Stampede for example, who also played here this year! It’s not often I fall head over heals for a band these days, but when I do, I fall hard and love them instantly, I just loved the power of their music!

By the time The Dirty Youth came on to close the first day out over on the VMA Stage, the sun was going down and everyone was in excellent spirits, myself included! I don’t wanna take anything away from this excellent band but I honestly think I was high on vitamin D by this point, so these guys sounded even better than I remembered! I loved them so much so, I was screaming like a girl! They did have a very good ‘feel factor’ about them! Odd to see them on this stage, but they did do themselves proud!

SOiL headlined the main stage tonight and seeing them really was bitter sweet. The last time I saw these guys, I was given the opportunity to interview Ryan McCombs who then went on to have a heart attack two days later. Thankfully, he made a full recovery and was back up on the stage, which is great. I thought the rest of the band were great too and what’s more, the lighting tonight was much better than they are usually known for having which was also a bonus! Headliners, yes but in all honesty, not worthy of this spot tonight and this was also the opinion of many others who I spoke to over the weekend!

Strangely, people who witnessed Voodoo Blood play G’s Bar and bringing Friday’s event to a close, said that they should’ve headlined! Such an unbelievably talented bunch of musicians, who appear to be great to talk to as people, which was something I had the pleasure of doing earlier in the day. I just hope they stay grounded and not let fame ruin them as it has for so many others before them! Kim, the bands female lead vocalist is an absolute power house but to look at all 4ft 9inches of her, you wonder how the hell she manages to have such a powerful voice!!! Long will their set be cemented within the festivals archives, All hail Voodoo Blood! I’ve also managed to check out their new EP ‘Fresh Hell’ which offers four great tracks but what I really want to see is a full length album next, please!

Roll on Saturday…….if my stomach can handle it!

Be sure to visit us over on Flickr for more photos from Amplified 2018. https://www.flickr.com/photos/music224/albums/with/72157696032365062

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Daughtry

DAUGHTRY SET TO RELEASE
5TH STUDIO ALBUM CAGE TO RATTLE ON 27TH JULY.

Grammy nominated and multi-platinum selling band Daughtry have announced their 5th studio album ‘Cage to Rattle’, which is set for release on 27th July and is available for pre-order now. The anthemic first single “Deep End” is out now and fans who pre-order the album will receive “Deep End” as well as “Backbone” as an instant download.

Listen to “Deep Endhere.

“Deep End” was produced by Jacquire King (Niall Horan, Kings of Leon, James Bay) and co-written by Chris Daughtry.

Cage to Rattle has been the most fun yet most challenging album we’ve ever made,” says Chris. “It’s a musical stew we’ve been cooking up for more than 2 years and we can’t wait to satisfy the appetites of our amazing fans who’ve been patiently waiting for this record!”

Jaquire King states, “the thought of working with Chris really intrigued me. Undoubtedly he’s truly a great singer and we took the opportunity to go on a creative journey with his band to find something new for them. The outcome will showcase new dimension and inspiration that hopefully shows new and old fans the evolution of an artist.”

Additionally, the group announces UK tour dates for later this year (dates below). For special fan club pre-sales and ticket information please visit www.daughtryofficial.com.

UK TOUR DATES

12/10/2018 Bristol O2 Academy Bristol

14/10/2018 Leeds O2 Academy Leeds

15/10/2018 Glasgow O2 Academy Glasgow

17/10/2018 Manchester Manchester Academy

18/10/2018 Birmingham O2 Academy Birmingham

21/10/2018 London Eventim Apollo

Daughtry have released four studio albums, scored four US #1 hits and garnered 4 Grammy nominations. Additionally, the band has sold over 8 million albums and 16 million singles, as well as selling out concerts around the globe. At radio, the band has also earned four #1 singles, including the mulit-format hit # 1 song “It’s Not Over.” Daughtry’s self-titled album was the fastest-selling rock debut in Soundscan history, and its follow up, Leave This Town, marked the quintet’s second consecutive #1 album. The band’s third album, Break The Spell, was certified Gold within four weeks of its release, and their last studio effort, Baptized, produced the certified Gold single, “Waiting For Superman.”

To Pre-Order Cage To Rattle: http://smarturl.it/DaughtryCTR

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The Heretic Order

With support from V0iD, Eradikator and Secrets Of Mariana.
O2 Academy3 Birmingham 23rd June 2018.

It’s Saturday night in Birmingham and once again, the O2 Academy3 is set to play host for another Hils Ovation night, in celebration of the great live music that is to be found in the West Midlands.

So, first up tonight were Secrets Of Mariana and I’ve yet to see a disappointing set from Amy and the band – ever! With such a great mindset within this band, their music and performance just gels and from start to finish, Secrets of Mariana carried the audience along in the thick of a perfect storm. I believe that the band will be taking a little time out to write but will be back up on stage early August, so do make a point of keeping an eye on what they have lined up as Secrets of Mariana are definitely a band you don’t want to miss.

Next up were Eradikator and once again, these guys always deliver one hell of a great set, as thrash metal and Eradikator were just simply made for each other. Fast, fearless and down right ferocious was the nature of this evenings performance which was over way to quickly for mine (and the audiences) liking! Having said that, the band will be back up at the O2 Academy on September 29th when they will be headlining yet another spectacular Hils Ovation night – so be sure to head on over to their Facebook page to find out the ticket details first chance you get.

Our third band of the night and new inductees to Hils Ovations regular live music excursions were V0iD, who hail from the beautiful area of South Wales. V0iD have been out on the road for four dates with The Heretic Order and I have to admit, these two bands are not an obvious match but when a band writes and plays classic hard melodic rock as good as these guys do, its a win win situation all round!

Our headlining band The Heretic Order are fast becoming a regular must go see band whenever they venture up into our neck of the West Midlands and having seen them play live now on several occasions, I always find myself wowed by their pagan persona and outright ability to deliver the most charismatic of metal performances. Tonight’s set saw the band raging amidst smoking yellow and red embers, courtesy of the O2’s finest lighting, which most excellently served to add an opulent atmosphere to their set.

With the bands recently released albumEvil Rising‘ going down a treat and their inclusion in this years Bloodstock line up getting even closer, 2018 is looking set to be a mighty fine year for The Heretic Order!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.