Category Archives: Gig reviews

Evil Scarecrow

The Lost in Antartarctica Tour.
Rock City Nottingham 6th October 2018.

For tonight’s release party, Evil Scarecrow enlisted the services of none other than cosmic stoners ‘Ten Foot Wizard’ to entertain us before the main event! Although this is certainly our first time seeing these guys, who are all the way from sunny Manchester, the majority in the crowd knew of these guys all too well! The banter between them and the crowd was on point tonight, which served up as much entertainment as their actual performance! I believe boobies got mentioned several times!

It would appear the band have a tour mascot, which got given pride of place next to Gary, the bands vocalist and guitarist, at centre stage! One funny moment was when Gary tried to carry on singing through the mascot, as it was strapped to a mic stand, although it didn’t actually have a mic attached….just a plastic Heron! haha! Personally, We’d love to see these guys performing many more shows, around the UK, like at HRH Doom v Stoner for instance! We think they’d go down a storm at that event and we should know, as that was the last gig we attended!

Ten Foot Wizard continue on tour with Evil Scarecrow, so be sure to get down early to check this incredible band out! Also check out the bands album ‘Sleeping Volcanoes’ which got released in 2015, as it’s incredible!

Although, like everyone else, we’ve seen Evil Scarecrow perform many many times over the years, it never gets old! It probably does for the band though which may explain why they’ve gone to great lengths to shake things up with a completely new stage show and performance, which seemingly fits around the new album! Let’s face it, a giant 20ft slug, that spits milk isn’t going to be dull to watch performing alongside the band, is it!

As ever, crowd participation was key tonight and there was more than usual, it would seem! During ‘War and Seek’ Dr. Hell demanded Kraven Morrdeth get his fat ass into the crowd, to start a death march and was under strict instructions to not make it look like a conga! It did look more like a conga in the end, but 10 out of 10 for effort!

During ‘Hurricanado’ the crowd were given the opportunity to perform their best wacky waving man impressions, complete with authentic wind noises, or in our case, our best fart noises! Much to our surprise, they did in fact have a 50ft wacky waving man, which was hilarious to see!

One thing I have noticed, over the last couple of times I’ve seen the band performing, is their guitar choice these days! I quite enjoyed looking at the various types of Dean guitars, these guys used over the years but it seems they now perform with Jackson guitars! Not that it matters to me, I asked anyway and little did I know but you can no longer obtain Dean guitars here in the UK! So instead, they are endorsing Jackson Guitars! I do know, before they were endorsed by Dean, the band did in fact use Jacksons, so it’s no surprise they’ve returned to this equally great guitar manufacturer! Sad, I know, but I’m aware musicians, especially guitar players, love to compare their instruments and like myself, enjoy a bit of guitar porn!

Let’s face it, live music doesn’t get much better than at an Evil Scarecrow gig! The fact the band have released a new album, is merely a bonus and gives you another excuse to go see them perform live, hear new tracks and witness the chaos that’s bound to happen whilst you’re there! Over 1000 people attended the launch show in the bands home town and I wonder how many others will turn up at the remainder of the tour dates, to support one of Britain’s most loved DIY metal acts? There’s plenty more dates up and coming on this tour, so be sure to catch the Evil Scarecrow carnival, as they roll into a town, near you! AMAZING NIGHT! Thank you for allowing us to be apart of it, yet again!

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)

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.


With support from Black Ink.
Rock City Basement Nottingham 23rd June 2018.

Tonight doors were scheduled to open at 18.30, but due to traffic conditions (likely the M1) TRC couldn’t make it to the venue in time, so doors got moved to the later time of 19.30. This delay afforded me some time to bask in this glorious spell of sunshine that we’re currently experiencing. It also allowed me the opportunity to discover a great Mexican food place, where I devoured a fat beef burrito!

With only one band in support tonight, it was a nice easy night from my perspective, but by no means less important!

Support came courtesy of Black Ink, who are a local band from Nottingham and as they play hardcore/metal, they are getting some great support slots of late, which is great for them but also show’s that this genre is very popular at the moment! I first saw these guys late last year when they supported non other than Jinjer, who I’m looking forward to seeing again when they play Amplified Festival. They also play Tech-Fest the same weekend, so they’re getting known here in the UK, which pleases me greatly.

On my first encounter with Black Ink, they had a much larger band playing, which consisted of 6 members – 2 vocalists, 2 guitarists, a bassist and a drummer. Tonight, they only had 4 band members, 1 guitarist, 1 bassist, 1 vocalist and a drummer, this reason is evident on their Facebook page, with their latest announcement, so what we see now is the bands full line up, for this and any future events.

Both Kam and Chis, the bands guitarist and bassist, respectively openly admitted to me they were nervous, after the show, which was nice, as it shows they care. They also admitted they’ve been massive fans of tonight’s headliner TRC for some time, like me then!

One thing that strikes me about this band is their vocalist Sam with his big personality, which shines through during their set but above all, it’s the range within his voice that impresses me most. He can go from baritone, to tenor, in no time at all. What a front man and with every show he performs, he grows in confidence. I wish them the best of luck as a 4 piece but with support slots like this, they’re on their way!

I first discovered TRC back in 2012 when they released ‘The Story So Far’ and with tracks like ‘Heartless’, ’Bastard’ and ‘Cocky is Back’, it was very easy to see why these guys were grabbing the attention of big media outlets and festival promoters around the world although these guys have been rocking the underground UK Hardcore scene since 2004. This band are a true DIY success and I love that about them. There are many hardcore metal bands out their at present but these guys are one of the founders of the scene, who clearly stand out with their unique approach to the genre. Their style is like no other and I believe it’s down to their cut throat song writing and lyrical style. Chris, the bands clean vocalist (mostly) is also bit of a celebrity in his own right and appears to be the driving force in the band. I could be wrong, but that’s the impression I get.

After a sustained period of heavy touring between 2012 and 2016, the band took some time off for a couple of years. Thankfully, they’ve released a stunning new EP this year, titled ‘Lifestyle’ which makes me very happy, as I’ve been itching to see this band live for some time as I’m a massive fan. Stand out tracks on this new EP are ‘Moaner’ which they released as an official single earlier in the year and it has a great music video, seriously, check it out on You Tube, it’ll help you to understand that these guys have got a great sense of humour! Also check out ‘London’s Greatest Love Story Part II’ and Scrounger.

During Black Ink’s set, I saw Chris sat over by the merch table. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to meet him in person, I went over and shook his hand. Not wanting to look too much of a fan boy, I left it at that and ran off! haha!

Although older and slightly wiser, they haven’t lost any of that raw energy that these guys have been well known for over the years. It was hard work, trying to photograph the band, to be honest, I literally tried every conceivable angle available to me, in order to capture these guys, but they bounce around like loons – I loved it! The crowd loved it too, especially one guy in particular. Having not toured for a couple of years, I can’t help but think TRC have forgotten how crazy their fans are in the pit. Chris came to the barrier and got the mic shoved up his nose from said fan but no hard feelings, as this is what TRC are all about, helping you lose your shit for an hour and ensuring you have a great time but it shocked him! As this was a very short run of dates, both here and in Europe, I was surprised to see Nottingham on the list, to be honest. I’d love to know why this city was chosen? In all honesty, for a band of this caliber, it won’t take long for word to get about that they’re back and better than ever. Don’t be too surprised to see TRC appear a lot more over the coming months!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)