Enter Shikari

With support from Black Peaks and Palaye Royale
Rock City Nottingham 11.01.2019

“Happy New Year everyone, Who else is looking forward to another eventful year in the music world!” This is our first gig of the year and we’ve noticed that straight after Christmas, there’s usually some great events on offer, just like tonight promises to be! Enter Shikari are a stadium capable band, with a massive following. The last time this band played Rock City was around 2012, so for them to play here again, must be a humbling experience and it’s no surprise to see that tonight’s show was a sell out!

On arrival, we managed to get into the queue and wait for doors amongst some very excited fans, eagerly waiting, in anticipation. This gave us an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and truth be told, despite the many gigs we’ve attended over the 10 years of doing this, we too started to feel excited ourselves! Just goes to show that attending, photographing and watching bands is still as enthralling as ever, which is re-assuring!

Once inside, I was keen to see what the venues new floor looked liked, after their announcement this week made the mainstream news feeds! Must have been a slow news day? If this venue holds a special place in your heart, for what ever reason, you can purchase a piece of the old floor, covered in piss, sick and beer and just for a mere £30 English Pounds! No thanks, but the new floor looks good enough to play netball on without sticking to it, so that’s good!

As this was a Friday night show, there was a club night after so all the bands started relatively early. First up were Black Peaks from Brighton, who are a band on the up, with regular air play on the mainstream Radio 1 Rock Show, so it’s no surprise they’re getting noticed. It’s hard to pigeon hole these guys, so we’re going with modern metal, with it’s angsty, aggressive, progressive sound and a twang of djent thrown in for good measure! Having toured with many great bands, over the years, such as Mastodon, Architects, Deftones and System of a Down, they are no strangers to big events and thanks to the release of their second album, ‘All That Divides’ which was released in 2018, they’ve managed to sign to Rise Records.

Will Gardner, the bands lead vocalist, is a real character and thankfully, is a great showman aswell, as the rest of the band are simply boring to watch, live. Sure their musical talents are of exceptional quality but it’s a good thing Will’s off doing his thing and entertaining the crowd. We’ll be honest, we’d not heard much, if any of the bands music before but after what was heard tonight and what I’ve heard since, we can easily see why this band are turning heads! Loved them, but was a little disappointed with the length of their set! Hoping to see these, for a headline slot, ASAP!

A special mention has to go out to Noise Cartel for getting us in tonight, as they represent the next band on to the stage, the self described fashion-art rock band Palaye Royale. On first appearances, these guys would make Paul Weller, the mod-father, proud, with their post modern mod appearance. It’s evident to see and hear that these guys are a new wave of heart throbs, for hordes of young female fans “Soldiers of the Royal Council” who were in attendance tonight. Despite their screams, the band didn’t acknowledge their fans which was a little disappointing, a quick wave would have made all the difference and their day! Ah well, they’ll learn to appreciate their fans, as it’s these people who buy their music and attend their shows.

From LA, the band is made up of three core members, although there were 5 people in the band tonight. I was impressed with their energy on stage and their sound is very original, albeit an amalgamation of many genres, past and present. Yet another short set, which left their fans wanting more.

The bands latest album ‘Boom, Boom, Room-Side B’ follows on from Side A (Obviously) and was released in 2018 and three tracks off this album, ‘You’ll Be Fine’, ‘Teenage Heartbreak Queen’ and ‘Dying In A Hot Tub’ appear in their top 5 most played tracks on Spotify, which tells us, their fans are loving their latest album. It’s worth mentioning, the media world love this band too, as their music has featured on ad campaigns for Samsung and even featured in a teen horror movie, recently. Let’s just hope fame hasn’t gone to their head and they alienate themselves from other people they work with, which I hear, has been the case recently. Well that’s Rock and Roll, I guess!

We’ve always admired Enter Shikari for their originality and their willingness to experiment with the different sounds and genres that we’ve all grown up with, but maybe not all appreciated, all the while, staying true to their core sound. Having been the darlings of the air-waves for many years, anything these guys touch turns to gold. Sure they’re mainstream and not to everyone’s liking but you can’t take anything away from these four lads from St. Albans, they’ve succeeded in a very difficult industry and many would love to be touring the world and selling out arenas, with every new release! Their latest offering ‘The Spark’ was released in 2017, believe it or not and having listened to it, extensively, we love the track ‘Rabble Rouser’. As with all of ES’s songs, their lyrics are concocted and amalgamated with clerical precision, giving you a wondrous array of imaginary visuals, when listening to their music. The bass lines help, also!

Tonight’s performance was executed as well as their music, with their energy onstage, matched equally by the fans in attendance. The show was also a sell out and it’s easy to see why, these guys are true performers. Loved it! We Stand hear Like Statues….or not, as the case was tonight, far from it in fact!

Seriously, if the January blues are getting you down, get yourself to this tour as it passes through the UK, it’s certainly a mood changer! We feel refreshed and ready for whatever 2019 has to throw at us! Come at me bro! Peace!

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out Music224 over on Facebook.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

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


“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.


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.


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!!!


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!







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

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