Hils Ovation

O2 Academy3 Birmingham 28th February 2015.

This year has already seen several new EP and album launches from a host of well know bands from across the West Midlands region and by the end of tonight, Left For Red will have added their new contribution to the local music scene aswell and I‘m just one of many, that simply can’t wait!

With four other bands all ready to lay down some serious tuneage, Out Of Sanity were first up on stage and in front of a very decent size early evening crowd aswell. Not part of the line up originally advertised for this evening so these relative newcomers are to be commended for stepping up at the eleventh hour. Out Of Sanity are also to be commended for getting the night off to a great start aswell, as their set was a hearty combination of both original songs along with an impressive Thin Lizzy cover, all of which saw the band receiving some serious appreciation from tonight’s crowd.

Bradley Weston - Out Of Sanity

Our next band for tonight were Birmingham thrash metalcorers, VeXXen and considering they quite clearly have youth on their side even though this band is well beyond it’s own infancy, it isn’t too much of an assumption to say that this is one young up and coming band with a serious passion for the music they make. VeXXen have quite a unique twist to their metal with a heart that does not beat uniformly but tends to pulse like an ECG with enraged unpredictability. Such an experience seeing VeXXen tonight and one I look forward to repeating it again soon!


And the metal just kept on coming, in the form of I Hate You More who are a band local to the Birmingham area. I first saw IHYM play at one of Hils Ovations gigs last year at The Slade Rooms and I can tell ya for sure, they left their mark way back then so tonight’s set was one I was certainly looking forward to. Thrashed and hardcore was the nature of how it was served up to the O2 by these guys and they were nothing short of brutal – which was clearly just how tonight’s audience liked it. If you’ve not seen IHYM before, do go check them out because these guys do not disappoint!

Phil Kavanagh - IHYM

Our penultimate band for this evening were the London based band, One For Sorrow. It’s always a welcomed opportunity to see a band from outside the region and tonight’s performance from them was to be a first for me. One For Sorrow have been in existence since early 2012, so they’re no newcomers to the metal scene by any means. Musically, their stoner rich doom comes with a dash of devil‘s brew courtesy of the gnarly edged vocals of frontman Joe Thompson. Great performance from these guys tonight and I hope they make the return trip up to the West Midlands again soon.

Joe Thompson - One For Sorrow

I’m no expert on the recording of an album but from what I do understand, it requires a huge commitment of time, effort and determination to come up with the final goods and for our headlining band Left For Red, these past twelve months spent creating ‘All Things Known And Buried’ has been a true labour of love.

Dan Carter - Left For Red

Left For Red’s set was a brilliant showcase for the new album, which is due for national release on 27th April . However, for us lucky peeps in attendance at the O2 Academy3 tonight, we were able to purchase an advance copy – and I tell ya, this is one album you need to have! With songs such as ‘Master Of The Game’ and ‘Reborn’ having that repeat play forming addiction, this is one album with a powerful presence, and tonight’s performance from Left For Red was equally as compelling.

Lc Decoy - Left For Red

With heaps of gigs already in their diary for this year, Left For Red will be out and about and spreading the good word about ‘All Things Known And Buried’, so plenty of opportunities to see and hear it for yourself – Enjoy!

Words and Photography by Sue Wardle.