Tag Archives: beermageddon

Beermageddon

Stoke Prior Bromsgrove Saturday 25th August 2018.

Now in it’s seventh year, this festival has sold out every year since its conception and 2018 has been no exception. In one respect this fact is remarkable, especially when you consider the amount of festivals that have fallen by the wayside this year but when you look at what Beermageddon delivers over the three days of the August Bank Holiday weekend, its hardly a surprise that this event is such a success!

Evil Scarecrow’s drum tech likened Beermageddon to a mini New Blood stage reunion and some, I’ll take that! When you look at the quality of bands on offer, the ability to park next to your tent for free and see many of the same people, for a third of the price, it’s a no brainer really! I believe Bloodstock coined the phrase ‘coming home’ when attending a festival and many other festivals appear to be catching on with its meaning but I’ve ALWAYS felt at home when I’ve attended Beermageddon – I love my fellow Geddonites, each and every one of them!

As with the past couple of years, I’ve only be able to attend the Saturday at Beermageddon, as I have to rely on others (the details of which I won’t go into here) but I am eternally grateful to those involved, as it allows me to attend at least one of the three days on offer! My only reason for mentioning this, is to apologies to the bands that played on the Friday and the Sunday, it’s nothing personal, I wish we could have been there to see you all, but alas, it just wasn’t possible!

As the Saturday is Beermageddon’s second day, it was no surprise that the bands started at 2pm, as many attendees would most likely be nursing a hangover from the previous days events! Bang on 2pm and our first offering was primed and ready to rock our socks off and they go by the name Jackal’s Backbone and this quartet hail from North Hertfordshire and just so happen to have a self proclaimed female front woman, who packs a mighty punch, both vocally and through her low tuned bass guitar!

Shall I go into the whole ‘female fronted’ phrase being sexist, or not…….. I will say this, it’s not being sexiest, it’s merely a description that gets to the point as when stated, you can either relate or not but that doesn’t mean the band are any better or worse for the fact, as is the case with male fronted bands. I’m aware people feel very strongly about this topic, but the fact woman are being recognised more and more within the metal community is something I’ve personally championed for a long time! I’m far from being sexiest, believe me, cheeky, maybe, but not a sexiest!

Seven Hells are a bands I’ve enjoyed watching immensely this year, although I’ve only seen them twice. I was instantly blown away when I saw them perform at Uprising this year and I’ve been hearing great things from other people who’ve also seen them play the likes of Bloodstock and of course, here at Beermageddon. Marc Cross is a true inspiration and is someone who never gives up on a dream, which is something I admire greatly about him. It appears, he’s found the band for him and together they are destined to do great things together! I caught up with the band after their extremely well executed set, you can listen to what the band said, here – https://youtu.be/4nW5oDYck9g

Due to conducting my interview, sadly, I missed most of Trivax’s set so apologies to them, however, the last song I did see appeared to be going down very well with the crowd, so I’ll be on the look out for these guys, where ever possible.

Agrona are new to me and this is why I love attending this festival as Beermageddon certainly has it’s finger firmly on the pulse, when it comes to emerging talent, not only domestically, but globally as well. Although this Blackened Metal outfit are from another country (strictly speaking) it’s only as far as Wales, Cardiff to be precise! Although the genre isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, you can’t take anything away from the bands within it and the lengths at which they go to make their live shows as theatrical as possible! I loved this band, they certainly helped to spark my imagination and I’d like to think this showed on the photos I produced.

Twilight Embrace are a band that I discovered at the first ever Beermageddon, way back in 2011 and I distinctively recall how impressed I was with the bands vocalist Andy and the power in which he executed an awe-inspiring set, they blew my socks off! Little did I know at that time but that performance was in fact his first ever with the band. I’ve also learned today that the band have been trying to get rid of him ever since! Only Joking! The band have been very quite of late due to life simply getting in the way, however, when this festivals organisers heard of their re-emergence back to the land of live music, they didn’t hesitate to book them for this years event and I for one, am glad to see these guys back at it. With the promise of a new album currently in the writing process, I hope I’ll get another opportunity to see these guys play again soon!

Shadow Flag were up next and these guys too, have left a lasting impression on me, thanks mostly to their amazing set here today which almost felt like a headlining gig as it seemed to fly by! Hailing from Cheltenham, these guys are a stones throw away from Amplified Festival and knowing this, if I ever get asked, I’d certainly recommend this band to that festivals organisers in a heart beat. In all honestly, that statement would be true for every band I saw here today, as they were all very talented bands!

Greves, a Melodic Black Metal band….I never knew you could get melodic black metal, ah, the wonders of genres never ceases to amaze me – anyway, these four guys win a medal for travelling all the way from North Carolina to be here with us today. They also go down in this festivals history books as they are Beermageddon’s first ever cross Atlantic band and do you know what, they weren’t that bad! Personally, I thought they aired more on the side of a thrash metal band, what with all the fret work produced by David in his jaw dropping guitar solos – I love a good guitar solo, who doesn’t! Their energy was great, they were humble and all round nice guys. To be honest. I wish them all the luck in the world and hope to see them again sometime, when they’re massive and selling out arenas! I wonder if they’ll remember me then? Only time will tell!

Thankfully, Jim saved his ace card for the last band and my word, what a band! MartYriuM come all the way from Malta, that hardened metal music loving nation……hang on, I’ve been to Malta and the people there are as far from the Blackened Industrial Death Metal band I see before me now! Clearly, your origins do not define you or the music you love to produce and these guys are a true testament to that statement!

I quote “MartYriuM’s performances are both aggressive and theatrical, full of dark acts and occult imagery that will unleash infernal chaos from within your wretched soul”. Seriously, if this statement alone doesn’t get you excited, then I hope the images I produced during this bands amazing headline set, will! I’m counting the days to when I can witness this band perform again! Unbelievable, my jaw still hurts from when it hit the floor! Take a bow guys!

Well, after the conversations I’ve had, the bands I’ve seen, the great food I’ve eaten and of course, the beer I’ve drank, it’s just helped to reaffirm my belief that Beermageddon truly is a hidden gem of a festival, just waiting for you to discover it too!

Until next year, keep it metal, the blacker, the better! I’m now off to eat a ham and pineapple pizza!

In Jim Beerman we trust! Beer, Beer, Beermageddon!

To see more photographs from the day, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/music224/albums

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Beermageddon

Stoke Prior Worcestershire 26th August 2017.

So the 6th Beermageddon is upon us and our annual pilgrimage to Bromsgrove is imminent. Sadly, I could only make the Saturday, of this three day event, well four unofficially, as most people arrive on the Thursday to get set up and start the August Bank Holiday early.

As this festival runs until the Sunday, that means everyone gets Monday off, to get home and relax before work on the Tuesday. How thoughtful. As always, the weather was fantastic this weekend but I always find the weather calms down towards the end of summer. If I was to put on a festival, I’d do it towards the end of summer, rather than at the beginning, but that’s because I’ve lived in the UK all my life and know how volatile the British weather can be. You’re safe though, I’m not brave enough to put on a festival, but I’d love to try! haha!

As I was only here for the day, I thought I’d get down early to make the most of it. On arrival, I was greeted with many familiar faces, one such face, I’m always happy to see is our Clare Watkins-Gallar of Project Alpha TV, who took me straight over to the stall, where her husband and master chef had brought two amazing cakes along with him, that he’d baked to raise money for a worthy charity. Naturally I purchased a slice, the orange flavored one, as the other cake was a nine layered monster. I don’t think my stomach could of handled that much cake, but I heard many tried! Well done sir!

Although Beermageddon has sold out every year, since it started six years ago, it appeared busier this year. Maybe that had something to do with yet another amazing line-up. I wish I could have made it down on the Friday, as it sounded like a right laugh.

As it fell on the 25th of August, Jim thought it apt to bring forward Christmas, 4 months early, which provided everyone with this years fancy dress ideas. I hear people even managed to cook Christmas dinners with only camping gear, which is pretty impressive but they did it and Beermageddon provided all the trimmings, a tree and even the decorations!

This years game was pass the parcel, which was basically alcohol (like every year) wrapped up. These are just some of the many reasons this festival is so unique.

When everyone’s together it really is like one big happy family, which gets bigger every year!

Many new faces this year, only increasing the family even further. I’ve even seen this years youngest member, at a mere 1 year old, who was actually conceived at Beermageddon 2016……how many festivals can say they’ve had children conceived at their festivals, not many, I bet!

We say, visit Beermageddon online and follow them on facebook.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

 

Beermageddon

Stoke Prior Worcestershire 26th August 2017.

Beermageddon is now starting to get a very good reputation amongst the more extreme metal bands from across Europe these days, with bands wanting to come and play the festival, which is great for us because when else would we get the chance to see the likes of Zephyra, Godslave, Unlight and Totengefluster (I’ve still no idea how to announce this band name properly), some of which I’ve only ever seen before at Beermageddon, in previous years.

Before the European’s take over the festival, there were four of the best underground British bands from across the UK up first, the first of which was Footprints in the Custard from Manchester, a band I’ve tried to see on several occasions before now but without success, for one reason or another. Dubbed as comedy punk metal, they may like to cross dress a little – which is fine but whilst holding a 12 inch inflatable cock is always better! I believe someone in the crowd through it at Russ, the lead singer, who assumed said person had clearly seen them play before. Song titles are ridiculous and the lyrics which accompany them even more so, which is just the way we like our joke music. Silly, funny and outrageous, we can’t be serious all the time, we go to work for that! When drinking our own body weight in beer, we need the likes of Footprints in the Custard to cheer us all up and start a full day of music ahead, the right way! We needed that and thoroughly enjoyed these guys, thanks for the memories!

Amazingly, the next band on today, Wolfbastard, were also from Manchester and consists of only three members. Where they lack in musicians, they make up for in noise, beautiful black metal noise, to be precise! Fuck knows what genre pub crust is, as stated on the bands FB page but it sounds good? I’ll be honest, I didn’t stick around too long for these guys as the sun was shining and I needed food but what I can remember is, these guy’s don’t take themselves too seriously and appear to have a good time on stage and with the crowd.

Bloodyard hail from Lancashire, generally and it seems like forever since I last saw them play which was back in February when they performed at HRH metal in Birmingham. I was pleased to see them on today’s bill! I would of been pretty gutted if I’d missed this lot to be honest, as I love them. Donna, the bands lead vocalist, is only a pint sized sheila but she can half belt out some death growls! I managed to have a good five minutes chat with Donna before she was whisked away, as is usually the case at these events, but I did learn that due to some very unfortunate events, the band are yet to release their debut album, which has been recorded twice already. I hope for the bands sake, they can get this album recorded soon because we can’t wait to hear it!

Countless Skies, from Hertfordshire, are a new band for me live, yet I’ve known of them for sometime! Getting to see them perform at Beermageddon this year was a real treat, not only because they’re awesome but for me, they were one of my finds of the day and off the back of today’s performance, I would go as far as to say, I’d like to see them headlining the Friday slot next year, but that’s still to be determined by the public vote, which takes place every year. Last year, Outright Resistance won their headline slot for this year and by all accounts, they didn’t disappoint either. Countless Skies commanded one of the biggest crowds of the day and wowed us all with their take on the melodic death metal genre. Ross even pulled some of the best metal faces of the day! As I write this review, I’m listening to the bands debut album ‘New Dawn’ which is helping me power on through! Check it out, it’s on Spotify!

Another of my favourite bands of the day, happened to be the next band on the bill, Zephyra, yes, I’ve spelt it right this time. These ‘super Swedes’ are fronted by another amazing female vocalist, Åsa, who is married to the bands lead guitarist, Tony. Although their FB page doesn’t currently list their bassist or drummers names, I know, from today’s performance that these two positions have recently changed and the two musicians who now make up the band and who we saw before us today, have only recently joined so for them to come over and virtually give their first ever live performance here in the UK and miles away from their homeland of Sweden, must be both a daunting, yet exciting prospect? The bands latest album ‘As The World Collapses’ is an absolute powerhouse of an album, as is Åsa’s vocals on it! To have seen them live is a great honour! Although they live so far away, thankfully I won’t have to wait too long before I see them again, as I’ve been invited to watch them perform at this years ‘The Quinphonic Festival’ which is in its 5th year and takes place at Birmingham’s Round House over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of October, alongside some other great female fronted bands, o yes, I’m super excited for that one! Girls certainly rock. For more info please visit The RoadHouse Birmingham.

Godslave, are an amazing thrash metal band from Germany, who we got to see for the first time at Beermageddon, two years ago now. I’ll happily say these guys are amazing at what they do. No one does thrash better than these guys, well, for an underground thrash metal band, anyway! Their set was epic from start to finish, it even felt like a headlining set if I’m honest, hint, hint! Although they’re from Germany, they appear to be coming over to the UK more and more, while also attending many other European festivals, so they’ve set up a crowdfunding page to help get the funds they need to purchase a new tour van. In exchange you’ll get the opportunity to purchase some rather unique fan packages, which don’t come around all that often. If you’re a fan of this band, like we are, go check out their funding page, at Startnext’s website.

It’s not uncommon to see Mr. Jim Beerman get excited whilst introducing a band playing his festival but the next band up, Unlight, got Jim a little more excited than usual. He even confessed he soiled himself when they contacted him to ask if they could play at Beermageddon this year! Without a moments hesitation, Jim obviously said yes, so what’s all the fuss about then? As the band are from Schwarzwald, which is situated within Germany’s Black Forest, it’s no surprise that this band plays black metal! The region is often associated with the spooky tales from the Brothers Grimm, so plenty of material for them to use within their music, I dare say. I’ll admit, I kinda shit my pants too, when I saw this band take to the stage, what with the 12inch nails all over their arms! They also had that famous mixture of both black and corpse paint decorating their faces, which many of the Scandinavian black metal bands are famous for, so it’s safe to say they looked the part, but did they sound it, HELL YEAH THEY DID! BRUTAL!

Totengefluster, topped today’s bill and are a band who many people struggle to get their name right, when pronouncing it. I still can’t get it right but it’s always interesting to see people struggle with it, when in a conversation. The first and only time I’ve seen this band play live, was back in 2014 now, again at Beermageddon. Since then, the band have changed their bassist, who now appears to be one of the sexiest female bass players I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a few, she also appears to be one of the scariest, I’ve ever seen, which is a deadly combination, I must say! Two years is a long time, yet this band are every bit as brutal as the last time I saw them play live. I’ll be honest, I can’t listen to too much black metal in the car or at home, but I love its energy when played live! The colours, the costumes, the instruments and the people involved go all out to make their music their art and this band are by no means an exception to the rule, a true spectacle and one to behold for yourself. Seriously, don’t dismiss this genre based on first appearances, as there’s so much more to it than you’d think. Tonight’s headliner was a triumphant set and one they should be proud of! Go Totengefluster!

As with every other Beermageddon I’ve attended before, so out of the six there’s been so far, I’ve only missed one of them (through no fault of my own) as with all the others, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, as always. For as long as they invite me, I will attend this festival, year after year, after year, after year, as it is, without a doubt, one of the best, most friendliest and most welcoming extreme metal festivals in the UK today!

We recommend Beermageddon and we follow them on facebook.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)