Category Archives: Recommended

Fear Without Reason

With support from Glory Fades, Wakedown and State Of Ember.
O2 Academy3 Birmingham 1st December 2018.

With the festive season about to commence, this evenings Ovation Music Management event at the O2 Academy3 had that wonderful feelgood vibe about it and why not indeed with a line up including State Of Ember, Wakedown, Glory Fades and the wonderful Fear without Reason who were our headliners tonight.

And getting this evenings event underway were Worcestershire based threesome State Of Ember, who certainly set them sparks flying tonight. With rhythms that combine both pop punk elements and in your face rock, the bands set went down a storm with the audience tonight and a notable highlight of their performance for me, was the skill and precision of Chelsea McCammon’s whirling drumsticks. Be sure to check out State of Ember if you haven’t already, this band are up and coming fast!

Next up were Wakedown and these guys need little introduction as they have certainly made a fair few waves in 2018 with live performances, a debut EP and video releases aswell. All that hard work has served the band well as Wakedown’s rock is rich and charismatic – as was their set and performance tonight. I’m very pleased to say that it won’t be long before the band are back up on stage again in 2019, so be sure to check out their Facebook page for live dates and details yet to come.

With the stage lights dimmed to shades of cool blue, the anticipation increased as our penultimate band of the night Glory Fades took to the stage. It’s been quite a while since I last saw these guys live (shame on me) and it was certainly the first time of seeing them with Justin Griffiths at the mic – and what a power house of a vocalist he is! Their line up as it is, has a blissful feel of longevity about it and this band are a must see for fans of adrenaline fuelled and magnetic rock.

Headlining tonight were Fear Without Reason and from the moment the band took to the stage, the atmosphere both on stage and off was remarkable – when a band are caught up in the moment and also on top form, you’re guaranteed a set to remember!

Fear Without Reason have this wonderful attribute within their music that captures the soul of the beholder and lyrically, they strike an affinity with many, myself included. Songs such as ‘Broken’ and ‘Holding On’ strongly serve to clinch that connection and in my opinion, define the wealth of this bands song writing ability. Tonight’s performance from the band was by far the best I’ve seen them and that in itself is saying something, as these guys always give 110% but from my perspective, Fear Without Reason delivered the jackpot tonight.

Big thanks must go out to Hils for putting on yet another fantastic night for the bands and all present, and also to tonight’s Sound and Lighting Engineer – 11/10 all round!

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr!!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Amplified 2019

HEADLINER AND EXCLUSIVE CONFIRMED ACTS!!

“So as a rather exciting year in the world of rock and metal comes to a close Amplified would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone for all their continuing support.

It’s been one hell of a journey for bands past and present with many achieving great success. Whether getting signed or producing DIY chart entering albums, completing sell out UK tours, getting playlisted on numerous radio stations or just entertaining 10’s of thousands of people at venues across the UK, Europe, America and beyond…it’s been YOUR year!

Our own current Online Video Vote for a chance to join those already confirmed acts at Amplified 2019 is gathering pace and clearly illustrates the immense talent that currently exists out there… So again, massive congratulations to all of you for continuing to follow your dreams with a passion that can be all consuming, but ever so enjoyable at the same time!

With a line up that already includes the likes of JINJER, MUSHROOMHEAD, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, MEMORIAM and CONAN along with old friends UNZUCHT, SULPHER and THE AMORETTES we think its time we ‘unwrap’ and announce some gifts for you this Christmas…

Joining us here at Amplified in 2019 are:

Europe’s biggest crossover band RISE OF THE NORTHSTAR from France bringing their ‘The Legacy Of Shi’ to the UK for the first time as a UK Festival Exclusive appearing on the Red Stripe Main Stage Saturday 20th July.

https://www.facebook.com/rotnsofficial/

ARNOCORPS who are quite simply ‘The Greatest Band In The World’ are here over from the US with a brand new album as a UK Festival Exclusive on the Red Stripe Main Stage Sunday 21st July.

https://www.facebook.com/ArnoCorps/

And we welcome back one of the hardest working DIY bands out there as HANDS OFF GRETEL headline the legendary G’s Stage Sunday 21st July bringing the Amplified 2019 edition to a close…it’s going to be raucous, sexy and a great end to what promises to be the best Amplified yet!!!

https://www.facebook.com/handsoffgretel/

We’re also pleased to announce that amongst all the great bands here at Amplified 2019 over the weekend joining them will be…

The award-winning comedic talents of BOB SLAYER will be roaming the site enthralling you his along with the BLUNDABUS acting as the Exclusive VIP Bar.

Keeping you all entertained and wandering around on stilts will be members of ELEMENTAL EMPIRE seen here at Amplified 2018 on stage with Evil Scarecrow as well as numerous other Summer festivals bringing fire and sparks to the proceedings and joining them in lighting up the night sky with flames and the sweet smell of petrol will be the awesome talented BELLADONNA HADES troupe who regularly perform at some of the best alternative festivals and club nights here in the U.K.

Providing a whole lot of shaking will be Cheltenham’s very own SYREN ALTERNATIVE BELLY DANCERS back here for a third year to perform wherever the mood takes them.

And one of the South West’s best student alternative club night DJ crews APOCALYPSE will be here providing tunes throughout the day and late into the night after the bands have finished to continue the party.

Alongside all this we’re also pleased to announce that Adam Westgate, a regular stage presence at many alternative events will be here as our compère introducing the bands across all 3 stages so expect to see a ‘blonde streak‘ rushing by as he goes from stage to stage…plus still many more acts for all ages to be announced!

https://www.facebook.com/bobslayer

https://www.facebook.com/ApocalypseSouthampton

https://www.facebook.com/flameandfire666

https://www.facebook.com/belladonna.rawkus.33

https://www.facebook.com/SyrenBellyDancers

https://www.facebook.com/adam.wesgate

With our final Red Stripe Main Stage Headliners still to be announced in the New Year we hope you’ve enjoyed ALL the acts announced so far and are looking forward to a great Christmas with family, friends and loved ones… Look after each other guys; life is precious and live music, as great as it is helping us through the joyous as well as sad times, can only ‘cure’ so much.

“Merry Christmas to you all, Gary and The Amplified Team”

For tickets visit: www.amplifiedrocks.com/tickets

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amplifiedfestivalUK

Twitter: www.twitter.com/amplified_rocks

Instagram: www.instagram.com/amplifiedrocks

Conan

Nottingham Trent Student Union Bar Nottingham 23rd November 2018.

With support from The Media Project and Conjurer, the latter of which continue on throughout the tours remaining dates. The night’s event took place at Nottingham Trent Student Union Bar, The Loft which is a new venue for us, although we did cover an Evil Scarecrow gig in the main hall once, which was fantastic! Although this particular venue is upstairs and has a slightly smaller capacity, it has everything a music fan could want. It’s intimate, close to the stage, with easy access to the bands who sold their wares and the sound was great. My only issue was there was no pit, the stage was low and lighting was a thick mix of reds and blues, which is a combination that fills me with dread but like I say, from the punters perspective, tonight’s show was a great experience.

First up were The Media Project and try as I may, I can’t find any information on social media about these guys! Not something I usually have a problem with these days, I must say! Anyhow, I did discover the band originate from London and consist of a vocalist/guitarist, a bassist, a drummer and a rockabilly esq double bassist. As far as their sound and appearance, for that matter, I’d describe this band as very experimental, consisting of a real mixture of influences. I especially enjoyed the sound of the double bass, which gave them a very rich full sound and plenty of originality.

Next up were the mighty Conjurer, who I first saw at 2017’s Amplified Festival and on that occasion, they impressed me greatly and thankfully, tonight was no exception – if anything, they stepped it up a gear! Predominantly, these guys are a doom metal band, although some might say they’re more of an extreme progressive metal band, what’s the difference? If you’re a fan of early Mastodon, like me, then you have to check these guys out! Not to take anything away from the headliners, as they too are a fantastic band, but on the night, Conjurer literally blew me away!

So much power, so much energy and feeling with every note played. If I was to give any kind of constructive criticism, knowing the type of music they play and as a spectator, I couldn’t help feeling that certain songs could have been stretched out longer as I didn’t want them to end! I was so impressed with their performance tonight that I made full use of the intimate environment of the venue and actually approached the band, talked to them and get them to sign their debut LP, which I actually bought, with my own money! Superb!

Conan are an exceptional band in their own right and a band I was yet to see play live, until tonight that is. As these guys are signed to Napalm Records, I requested my media pass with my usual contact, who also offered me an interview with the band on the night. Sadly, that interview never materialised, nor did I receive confirmation that I could attend tonight’s show, which was very odd. Thankfully, Conjurers PR company did furnish me with the necessary pass, so I could witness these bands play, live.

Conan’s current UK wide tour is in celebration of the band’s latest release ‘Existential Void Guardian’ which continues in the same vain that this band are well known for. Following the raw energy of a band like Conjurer must be very difficult, but Jon, the bands guitarist/vocalist should know that, as he was stood to the side of the stage throughout the bands set and would have seen first-hand, the crowds reactions to Conjurer. The experience of that should have prompted Conan to step it up a gear but sadly not and although a great performance, Conan, for me, failed to show me why they were the headliners!

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)