Tag Archives: black ink


With support from Black Ink.
Rock City Basement Nottingham 23rd June 2018.

Tonight doors were scheduled to open at 18.30, but due to traffic conditions (likely the M1) TRC couldn’t make it to the venue in time, so doors got moved to the later time of 19.30. This delay afforded me some time to bask in this glorious spell of sunshine that we’re currently experiencing. It also allowed me the opportunity to discover a great Mexican food place, where I devoured a fat beef burrito!

With only one band in support tonight, it was a nice easy night from my perspective, but by no means less important!

Support came courtesy of Black Ink, who are a local band from Nottingham and as they play hardcore/metal, they are getting some great support slots of late, which is great for them but also show’s that this genre is very popular at the moment! I first saw these guys late last year when they supported non other than Jinjer, who I’m looking forward to seeing again when they play Amplified Festival. They also play Tech-Fest the same weekend, so they’re getting known here in the UK, which pleases me greatly.

On my first encounter with Black Ink, they had a much larger band playing, which consisted of 6 members – 2 vocalists, 2 guitarists, a bassist and a drummer. Tonight, they only had 4 band members, 1 guitarist, 1 bassist, 1 vocalist and a drummer, this reason is evident on their Facebook page, with their latest announcement, so what we see now is the bands full line up, for this and any future events.

Both Kam and Chis, the bands guitarist and bassist, respectively openly admitted to me they were nervous, after the show, which was nice, as it shows they care. They also admitted they’ve been massive fans of tonight’s headliner TRC for some time, like me then!

One thing that strikes me about this band is their vocalist Sam with his big personality, which shines through during their set but above all, it’s the range within his voice that impresses me most. He can go from baritone, to tenor, in no time at all. What a front man and with every show he performs, he grows in confidence. I wish them the best of luck as a 4 piece but with support slots like this, they’re on their way!

I first discovered TRC back in 2012 when they released ‘The Story So Far’ and with tracks like ‘Heartless’, ’Bastard’ and ‘Cocky is Back’, it was very easy to see why these guys were grabbing the attention of big media outlets and festival promoters around the world although these guys have been rocking the underground UK Hardcore scene since 2004. This band are a true DIY success and I love that about them. There are many hardcore metal bands out their at present but these guys are one of the founders of the scene, who clearly stand out with their unique approach to the genre. Their style is like no other and I believe it’s down to their cut throat song writing and lyrical style. Chris, the bands clean vocalist (mostly) is also bit of a celebrity in his own right and appears to be the driving force in the band. I could be wrong, but that’s the impression I get.

After a sustained period of heavy touring between 2012 and 2016, the band took some time off for a couple of years. Thankfully, they’ve released a stunning new EP this year, titled ‘Lifestyle’ which makes me very happy, as I’ve been itching to see this band live for some time as I’m a massive fan. Stand out tracks on this new EP are ‘Moaner’ which they released as an official single earlier in the year and it has a great music video, seriously, check it out on You Tube, it’ll help you to understand that these guys have got a great sense of humour! Also check out ‘London’s Greatest Love Story Part II’ and Scrounger.

During Black Ink’s set, I saw Chris sat over by the merch table. Not wanting to miss the opportunity to meet him in person, I went over and shook his hand. Not wanting to look too much of a fan boy, I left it at that and ran off! haha!

Although older and slightly wiser, they haven’t lost any of that raw energy that these guys have been well known for over the years. It was hard work, trying to photograph the band, to be honest, I literally tried every conceivable angle available to me, in order to capture these guys, but they bounce around like loons – I loved it! The crowd loved it too, especially one guy in particular. Having not toured for a couple of years, I can’t help but think TRC have forgotten how crazy their fans are in the pit. Chris came to the barrier and got the mic shoved up his nose from said fan but no hard feelings, as this is what TRC are all about, helping you lose your shit for an hour and ensuring you have a great time but it shocked him! As this was a very short run of dates, both here and in Europe, I was surprised to see Nottingham on the list, to be honest. I’d love to know why this city was chosen? In all honesty, for a band of this caliber, it won’t take long for word to get about that they’re back and better than ever. Don’t be too surprised to see TRC appear a lot more over the coming months!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)


Rock City, Basement 25th November 2017

I think I can safely say, I along with the rest of the country (those that attended a show that is) are still absolutely buzzing from Jinjer’s brief trip over here to play a number of shows around the UK. Tonight, at the Basement, was their penultimate show, with only Birmingham remaining, before they head back over to Europe for 4 more shows, then a break to prepare for their tour around Europe, with Arch Enemy, who are heading are way after, incidentally, but without Jinjer.

They are heading over to the north of America, like here, for the first time in their career, which is great news for them, as I know they’ve been dying to play shows outside of Europe! That tour starts in March, 2018 and I can’t be happier for the band, as it’s been a long time coming! Fans of the band, in North America, show your support and show them the love they deserve!

As tonights show was on a Saturday, which is a rarity, incidentally, I managed to rope a couple of friends along with me, who also bought a ticket, as I did! They knew I had an interview scheduled with the band, but never did they think they would be sitting in and meet the band, whilst I chatted with them. They even made themselves useful, by monitoring the time on the camera, while I concentrated on the interview. Young Lucy did a cracking job, the best camera hand, I’ve had yet. You can help me again! Masaaki even gave me a great question to ask, which I saved until the end of the interview, which worked well! ;) I feel it’s one of my best yet. Lighting was good, even the sound was good, it’s just a shame I had to be in it, ah well, it’s a necessary evil and a small sacrifice to pay, when I think about it, as I get to meet great bands, like Jinjer and actually get to speak with them, in person, as opposed to just photographing them on stage, where I never actually get the chance to meet the real them! I’ve been a big fan of this band, since I discovered them, back in 2013, so I was super excited, but I kept my cool, for the most part and no, I didn’t fan boy my way through the interview either, I kept him locked up, inside me!

Tonight consisted of two support bands, before the main event, the first of which were local band Black Ink, who I’ve not encountered before, but 3 of the 5 band members looked very familiar and that’s because they use to be in a band called ‘Famous for Nothing’. When I asked Kam, the bands guitarist, why this was, he merely replied, we are a new band, with new material and new band members, but I’m sure I recognised some of their tracks! Black Ink have been going since 2013, which surprises me, as I’m sure I’ve shot F4N, since? Anyhow, tonight was a great opportunity for this six piece band, from Nottingham and as they play Metalcore, they were well suited. Having 2 vocalists, sharing in both clean and growls, it helped to give the band an exciting and dynamic approach to a well established genre.

As I write this, a post has appeared on the bands Facebook page, stating their new single ‘Lights Out’ will be played on Alex Baker’s radio show, on Kerrang! Radio, for his feature Fresh Blood. The band certainly are that! If you like what you hear, check out the bands other music, on both Spotify and Itunes. It would appear these guys have got their shit together and are going for it, the right way. Good luck lads, tonights set was a credible performance and I was suitably impressed!

Another first, for me was the band ‘From Sorrow to Serenity’ consisting of 4 lads from Glasgow, who have been the main support band to Jinjer, throughout their visit, here in the UK and man, these guys are off the chain! I generally pride myself, in knowing who the ‘new bands’ are, what with doing this for fun. I receive new music from all over the place, from record labels and PR companies a like, which is ace, as it keeps me well informed, but sometimes, you come across a band and say to yourself, how have I not heard of this band before? In April, this year, they released a new music video called ‘Golden Age’ and so far, it’s managed to rack up 13,000 views on YouTube, which in modern day terms, is pretty impressive. I love YouTube, despite what others might think, it’s a great tool for new bands to get themselves discovered! Check out this video for yourselves, tell us what you think!

Kerrang! Sure summed these guys up well, stating the band are “Metalcore Monsters” which the band appear to be proud of and why not, they do exactly what it says, slay and conquer, in equal measure. Sadly the lighting was terrible for these guys, but I managed to get a few, half decent shots! With a new album and another UK tour to look forward to in 2018, i’ll be sure to keep my beady eye on these guys!

Having already spoken Tatiana and Eugene of Jinjer, I was well and truly hyped to finally witness them live! It’s been a long time coming, 4 years in fact, since I first discovered this band, thanks to Dimitris, who was working for their record label, The Leaders, in Greece at the time the label signed Jinjer, they even distributed the bands first 2 albums, Inhale, Don’t breath, which is one of my favourite albums, of all time. However, as it’s only 8 tracks long (not including the three live tracks) the band class this as their debut EP. Later it was re-released as a full length album, along with the bands 2nd offering ‘Cloud Factory’ which has stand out tracks Outlander, tonights opening track ‘Who’s is Gonna Be the One’ and the title track, ‘Cloud Factory‘ on it!

Having followed this band avidly, I’m aware they’ve been through hell and high water to get to where they are today and they are a prime example of never giving up on a dream. Sure it helps if you’ve got the talent to back it up and a singer who looks and sounds like Tatiana, but what a front woman she is, she is incredible, as are every single one of the bands other musicians, who are a talent, in their own right, but together, they are a formidable force, a force to be reckoned with, for many years to come, as they’ve now only just started to break into new and more lucrative markets, like the UK and the US!

Having been voted best metal band, in their own country of the Ukraine, in 2013 and 2016, they are still relatively unknown, around the world. I’m sure by singing with a renowned record label, like Napalm Records, will help to give them more exposure around the world and knowing they are signed to produce at least another 2 albums for this record label, I’m very excited by this and the bands future prospects!

Tonights show was incredible, from the first note, to the last, the crowd here in Nottingham gave it their all, which we should all be proud of It would appear, so did the crowds that attended at all the other UK shows, from what I can gather, from the crowd videos that are starting to appear on social media feeds, which pleases me greatly. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, in supporting this great band, who are primarily metalcore, with a twist of groove-laden and even death metal, they are very diverse in their sound, which should make them palatable to a wide range of metal fans, what ever their chosen genre, I’m sure Jinjer will cater for a variety of musical tastes, due to their exceptional and energetic style of music, clean and growling vocals! I side with one fans comment, I read recently, which stated the bands set was way too short, approximately 45mins long, which was way too short. The crowd managed to shout loud enough to force the band to perform an encore, which just so happened to be ‘Scissors’ which ended the set perfectly and made me even more happy, than I already was!

If you can, listen to the track Pisces, off the bands new album ‘King of Everything’ for me, this track sums this band up perfectly, in my opinion and demonstrates, what I’ve just said, perfectly! This new album is a great album, that’s for certain, but I’ll always hold Inhale, Don’t Breath as perfection!

Fans of Lamb of God, Opeth and Meshuggah should check out Jinjer.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)