Category Archives: Gig reviews

United In Fuzz

Presents Live at The Hairy Dog Derby.

28 Double, Quiet the Thief, Ritual King, Voodoo Blood and Witch Tipper, The Hairy Dog Derby 30.06.17. Five Bands, for £5, bargain – especially with the quality line-up. I’m glad I made the effort, as it’s been a while since I attended a show at this venue, the last time was when the new stage area was officially opened, so this was some time ago.

The doors opened at 7pm and with the first band not on until 8pm, this gave me an opportunity to annoy a few familiar faces, namely Richie and Chris, of Witch Tripper. It’s always a good laugh when we meet up so the time passed relatively quickly. Thanks for the pint, Richie and for the coolest hand mark I’ve ever received, having paid to enter tonight’s gig (Yes, I don’t always expect to get in for free!) but ‘Buckfast’ though, hahaha, it’s taken me three days to scrub off the permanent marker from my knuckles!

28 Double first up then and I’ve not seen these guys play live before. I did notice the guitarist was wearing last years Beermageddon T-shirt, so after their set I asked if he attended that festival, which he replied, yes I did, but I was in another band, then. I knew I recognised his face but don’t ask me to remember his name though, as I cant! That said, a quick look at the bands Facebook page, reveals the band consists of Rob TallantGuitar/ Backing Vocals, Josh WoodhouseDrums, Nick WardVocals and Gav ArcherBass. I’ve also discovered, that these guys are from Derby and for a little city, we’re starting to produce some pretty cool bands. Having venues, like The Hairy Dog certainly helps, as it’s a great venue and I know that bands enjoy playing here. The bands sound did remind me of Alter Bridge, what with Nick’s voice, sounding very similar and now knowing he’s a massive fan of Miles Kennedy, it all makes sense.

Quiet the Thief next, yay, I spelt their name right this time. These guys are well respected in the underground music scene, of that I’m certain and it’s easy to see why, as everyone in the band are really nice and friendly and up for a laugh. The bands ethos is to do what they enjoy doing, irrespective of whether they win Metal to the Masses, or not. Truth be told, I’m sure every band that enters that competition wants to win, so changing the area you play in, to better your chances, makes good sense, right? QTT hail from Stoke on Trent and I know there’s some stiff competition in that part of the UK. Needless to say, they didn’t get through but that doesn’t bother them, they took part and that’s what matters. Tonight’s gig, was a solitary affair with albeit no more than 10 people, myself included and I’ve no idea why as these guys are fun to watch live. They made light of the situation, which I thought was funny. I really like this band, but, musically, there’s something missing?

Ritual King are another first, for me live. I’ve heard lots of great things about these guys, that said, the bassist tonight, was a stand in, however, I wouldn’t have known this, had someone not told me earlier in the night! I was also informed, whilst conducting an interview, with Voodoo Blood, that they, along with Ritual King, were up for a chance to support the mighty Blues Pills, in Manchester, however these guys won that honour so be sure to get down early, as this three piece can rock. Some bands go for theatrics, some go for stage presence but these guys go for loosing themselves in their music. I think the bass player forgot he was on a stage with people watching, until he looked up inbetween tracks and saw us all gawping in amazement! These guys have got some serious talent and produce some seriously cool riffs! Love this band and I’ll certainly be checking them out again, at the next available opportunity!

I forget who it was that suggested I should check out the next band, was it Chris Stoff Daughton or was it Darren Hadfield – either way, it was at a previous ‘United in Fuzz’ event at The Sitwell Tavern, which was another good night. Voodoo Blood is their name and they come from Manchester. Having spoken with them, in an interview after their set, (which can be seen here and is well worth a watch) I know these guys and girl have only been producing music together for a year and a half now, which is incredible really, when you consider what they’ve achieved in such a short space of time. I’ve instantly fallen in love with their anabolic blues sound, as they’ve coined it. Their stage presence is second to none, as is their work rate and their entertainment value. Not primarily a metal band, as they draw their influences from the blues but these guys sure do rock out, none the less. This has been noticed by the organisers of Bloodstock, as they participated in the MTTM’s competition up in Manchester and they only went and won it, so be sure to check them out on the Jaegermeister Stage, on the Sunday! Since starting this music journalism adventure, I’ve come across two great bands very similar to these guys – Purson, who are sadly no longer with us but who were an awesome band when they were around and Blues Pills, who have gone on to be superstars. I’m predicting Voodoo Blood will follow in the footsteps of Blues Pills and will eventually take over the world. Such a unique act, so seriously, check them out before they become mega famous and charge a fortune to see them play live! haha! The band are made up of the following, Kim Jennett – Vocals and Guitar, Sean Owens – Guitar, Will Lewis – Drums and Chris Norris – Bass. As stated, exclusively, in our interview nad it pleases me to say, they announced their new single title and date of it’s release, so if you are a fan, watch the interview

Last, but by know means least – Witch Tripper, who finished the night off in the same super fashion as they’ve done at the other thirty nine gigs they’ve already played this year and it’s only July! How much longer they can keep this up before they burn out, remains to be seen but they’re giving it their all and it’s paying off. The crowd seemed to appear from nowhere to watch tonight’s set, which was great to see. This three piece from Mansfield, are super talented and are wowing crowds up and down the country and it’s easy to see why these guys are firm favourites of ours and also with many others in the underground music scene. I think it’s about time these guys got signed to a record label or at the very least, got their music the mass coverage that it deserves. I’m not clear on how many radio stations support this band but more needs to done to help these guys reach a larger audience. I’m doing what I can, by covering as many gigs as possible but this isn’t enough as these guys are superstars, already, in their own right – on and off the stage. Come on music industry, notice this bands potential and get them out there, everyone needs to know who Witch Tripper are! Great guys and a great set tonight, I think I even managed to get a few half decent shots as well, which I’m pretty please with myself about as previous encounters have proven difficult, simply because they don’t stop moving on stage. This is great for the punters and a nightmare for photographers, but I struggle on!

Until next time music lovers, stay cool, in this belting hot summer we’re having! Peace!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Evil Scarecrow

The Level Nottingham 2nd June 2017.

Tonight’s show at The Level was, I believe, an end of academic year show, available to both Nottingham University students and the general public alike. Initially, I wasn’t going to go to tonight’s show but the opportunity to shoot at a new venue that I’d not visited before was too great and I’m so glad I did!

Not only because I got to see Evil Scarecrow again – which is always a pleasure but I also got to see two new Nottingham based bands whom I’d yet to see play live. As a venue goes, The Level is of course, The Students Union Bar, which doubles up as a night club, a safe haven for students, which I know serves as an invaluable service for students. It’s very rare for the venue to act as a music/concert venue as both Rock City and the Rescue Rooms are just down the road but I wish there were more live shows held at this venue as it’s got one of the best stage and lighting rigs that I’ve seen in a long time, especially here in Nottingham!!! Seriously, other venues in Nottingham need to visit it to check it out!

Hung Daddy then, as stated, on the night, it’s pronounced as it’s spelt…HUNG DADDY! These guys are a lot of fun and it’s easy to see why they were chosen to support Evil Scarecrow, as their humour on stage, is every bit as good as the Crow’s! Jason Parker, the bands lead vocalist and guitarist also admitted that this was the largest stage and show his band have ever played! Admittedly, Dave Marzec, the bands bassist looked a little lost up on that large stage with so many photographers in front of him – I don’t think he quite knew what to do! It was quite adorable actually – welcome to stardom guys, learn all you can from a show like this and from Evil Scarecrow, they’re use to all this showbiz stuff! Their success may continue as the band have managed to secure themselves a place, at Nottinghams MTTM’s final which will be held at The Maze on 24th of June, where six bands having won their semi final heat, will battle it out for a place at this years Bloodstock Festival. To be honest, they should smash it – their energy is great, they’re very entertaining, but above all, they play heavy!

Speaking of heavy, tonight’s next band have got heavy in abundance! Also from Nottingham, The Five Hundred are currently signed to London Road Records and have recently released a new album called ‘The Veil’ which perfectly demonstrates how brutal this band are! I seriously wasn’t expecting these guys to be so brutal. These guys are the perfect example of how music, good music, played live, can provoke some serious emotions within me. When that happens, you know you’ve witnessed something very special and these guys have got the potential to make it all the way to the top. Look out While She Sleeps, these guys are coming for you, in a good way!

Looking at the bands social media page, I can only see that these guys are playing Macmillian Fest on the 3rd September and why they ain’t playing every metal festival up and down the country this summer, is beyond me – unless they’ve neglected to update their page? Seriously, next time these guys are about, be sure to check them out!

The last time I saw Evil Scarecrow was last year at their annual Halloween party which was at Sheffield Corporation. On that occasion, I recall the amazing Anti-Clone were one of the bands supporting. Due to personal reasons, I never got around to writing a review, so sorry for that. I also recall, Evil Scarecrow, allowed me to photograph the whole show whilst using my flash, which to be honest, is pretty rare however, I didn’t need to shoot the whole show as I’ve photographed these guys so many times, I’d rather watch the show live. Evil Scarecrow are my ‘go to’ band, when I need cheering up, yes, I even find the track ‘Blacken The Everything’ uplifting, which got played tonight! As Mr. Russ Russell produced the bands last album, he’s got quite use to the bands sound and how they like others to hear them, so it was no surprise to see him behind the sound desk for tonight’s show. Another surprising feature of the night, was the fact, I think it’s the first time I’ve seen the bands instruments being set up by tech’s, outside of Bloodstock, which was a bit of a shock!

This tells me these guys are getting big, they always were in my eyes but they really have become a very professional band indeed, yet it’s been a long time coming! They now also have some serious backing, as far as endorsements go these days, what with Blackstar Amps standing proud on stage. Costume guitars, courtesy of Dean Guitars, one of the leading names and many artists first choice, as far as instruments go. There are others, guitar strings, drum kits etc. I can’t be arsed to name them all, it’s not like I’m getting paid to mention all these companies, I should like, but hey ho. HAHAHA! Seriously though, I’ve followed Evil Scarecrow now for many years, which is the only endorsement they need really, fans appreciate these guys, for who they are, a truly unique metal outfit who never fail to entertain and who put on an amazing show, which appears to grow larger every time I see them! The band are appearing at several festivals this year, the next one I’m looking forward to is Amplified, providing I get accredited, that is!

Thanks for also supporting and allowing us to come down and see the shows, we love you for it!

Until next time folks, WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU MAM!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

While She Sleeps

Rescue Rooms Nottingham 10.05.17

Don’t you just hate it when the venue website says doors open at 18.30, but when you get there it’s actually 19.30, so rushing to get there on time was a complete waste of energy, yeah me too! Still, it gave me an opportunity to hang with some seriously die hard While She Sleeps (WSS) fans, who’d been queuing since 14.30 today – now that’s commitment! As they’d been here all day, they were rewarded with getting to meet their idols and also got the opportunity to take photos and talk with all the members in While She Sleeps!

Lawrence Taylor

Supporting WSS first tonight, we have a band who go by the name of ‘Fizzy Blood’ who, I’ve only just discovered, having received an email from the band earlier in the week, are promoting their new single Pawn’ which has managed to get airplay on Radio 1. 

After hearing their set tonight, I was suitably impressed with their hard hitting, rock sound, similar to the Indie rock days of the 90’s and it’s safe to say, these guys brought it, well, you’d have to when your primary audience are all WSS fans. Getting on this tour must be great for these guys, getting seen by hundreds of new fans at each and every date on this tour, which has been sold out, most nights. People suggested these guys weren’t heavy enough to support WSS’s, but I thought they held their own and warmed us up well enough, to appreciate the insanity that was about to ensue.

Benji Inkley - Fizzy Blood

These guys are getting some major support, across the media world, so they must have something special about them (or deep pockets). The bands new album ‘Feast’ is out now, via DMF records, check it out. You’ll also get the opportunity to see these guys play Download, alongside many other festival dates, over the summer.

Australian band ‘In Hearts Wake’ up next and if Fizzy Blood failed to get anyone in the crowd going tonight, these guys sure as hell didn’t! Personally, I’m not a massive screamcore fan, but tonight I was one of the converted. I find every track sounds the same but the one thing that goes in this genres favour is the bass drop, I love it, it penetrates your very existence and these guys do it well! So much energy, so much anger but a lot of fun. They even managed to get an inflatable crocodile into the crowd, so that lead singer Jake could go crowd surfing!

Jake Taylor - In Hearts Wake

There’s no disputing that this genre and the bands within it, are defining a generation along with the young men and woman, who follow and support them.

In Hearts Wake’s latest album ‘Ark’, will be released on May 26th and is a great example of Screamcore, done well.

It’s great to see so much support for While She Sleeps on this tour, which coincides with the release of their latest album ‘You Are We’ which was successfully backed, via their pledge campaign, as the lads from Sheffield have decided to release it independently, having grown weary of record labels and the music industry, as a whole.

Also available on that same pledge, is some of the coolest stuff we’ve ever seen, such as visiting Mat & Sav in a private tattoo studio and getting a YOU ARE WE tattoo done by them. This will set you back £100 but it’s a pretty unique opportunity for any die hard fan and I met a few of them earlier today, so I know they exist. The winning pledge offer though, has to be for the guitar string ring, which uses the actual strings used to produce the new album which looks stunning – what a piece of merchandise to own. With quality like this, there is a price tag associated with it but for a true fan, £159+shipping is a small price to pay, right?

Aaron Mckenzie - While She Sleeps

It’s worth mentioning, these guys are now totally independent from any record label funding, so any money they make helps to keep them alive. I spoke with a fan, outside, before WSS’s set and asked why he thinks these guys are getting so much support and what it is the band have done or do, that commands such a loyal fan base? His response what comprehensive and justified, he stated that the band, as a whole are really down to earth guys, who ain’t pretentious douche bags and who have time for their fans. They are also very hard working, have been persistent when things haven’t gone their way, but above all, they don’t give a f**k when they’re on stage, they are there to entertain the crowd and give them a good time.

While She Sleeps

Tonight was insane, as soon as the band took to the stage, Rescue Rooms quite literally erupted into life. With an average song length of 4 minutes, the three tracks we were allocated soon went, so we had to be quick to capture our images, along with avoiding the most amount of people that I’ve ever seen, going over into the pit, crowd surfing. Props going out to the security guys at Rescue Rooms tonight who did their job well and were respectful to the fans, unlike some I’ve seen in the past. As soon as our three songs were up we were ordered out, probably for the best, as I’m sure the chaos was only going to get worse as the set went on. Tonight’s set list, was only thirteen songs but I bet it flew by. I wouldn’t know though, as I wasn’t allowed to stay until the end but what I did see was pure mayhem AND I LOVED IT! It reminded me I was alive and life is about living! Can’t wait to see these guys again, brilliant!

Set list consisted of:

1.You Are We 2.Civil Isolation 3.Seven Hills 4.Brainwashed 5.Empire of Silence 6.New World Torture 7.Wide Awake 8.Our Legacy 9.Feel 10.This Is the Six 11.Silence Speaks 12.Four Walls 13.Hurricane.

The album ‘We Are You‘ is available to buy at While She Sleeps.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)