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Hils Ovation

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 22nd October 2016.

This evenings Hils Ovation event is set to be quite a night and getting tonight well underway were Koncept from the Tamworth and Telford areas, and here we have a band whose name serves them well, as it describes their metal perfectly. Koncept brings together the experience and influences of Jamie Gibson, Craig Beniston and Sam Evans and tonight’s seven song set provided much food for thought as it captured the bands creative approach well and certainly gave me an appetite for more. The band released their debut album ‘Closure’ back in April of this year and this is a must to check out if you haven’t already!


With a pretty much last minute slot opening up in tonight’s line up, our next band Parkhurst made quick work of stepping up to the plate and even though it’s only been a matter of weeks since their last appearance at one of Hils Ovations night’s, there was no denying how much their confidence had grown over that short time frame. There was also news of a forthcoming EP from the band, although there is no firm release date for it as yet but to echo the words of Jak Bunney, ’Just as long as we get it, that’s all that matters!’


The midway point of the night saw Unhinged take to the stage and in advance of seeing them play live, they’d been described to me as ‘quite a lively bunch’ but even within the first ten minutes of their set, it became blatantly apparent that that description was most definitely an understatement. Lead singer Mike Hodges wears the crown of lead singer and front man exceptionally well with the kind of energy that has you falling over your feet just trying to keep up. And speaking of feet, he is definitely the one and only person I have ever seen lick the soles of somebody’s shoes whilst they’re still wearing them!! The rest of the set saw Mike raising hard punking hell from various positions within the Slade Rooms and by that I mean whilst hanging onto the lighting rig, pacing around the room or precariously sitting on the shoulders of enthused supporters. The bands set was certainly a community affair as many were eager to show their support, including Bryan Hancox from At Dawn We Attack who was game to share the mic for a song or two! I’m not sure whether the bands name (Unhinged) represents their on stage persona or whether it describes the state they leave the audience in, but either way they were excellent tonight and I loved ‘em!


Now by normal standards, Unhinged would be a hard act to follow but with Broken Jaw primed and ready to roll next, normal didn’t even come into it as these guys will never be called shy when it comes to shenanigans! The bands set tonight not only included their self penned songs but also a rather unique cover on ‘Summer Nights’, the memory of which is going to stay with me for a long time to come. And once again, there was no holding back others from joining in with the band and it was pretty cool to see members from the other bands in tonight’s line up quick to join in. Broken Jaw are a fantastic band to go and see live and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do!


Our headlining band At Dawn We Attack are all regular faces on the West Midlands metal scene and having seen them play live before on numerous occasions, it was already a done deal that these guys were going to be worthy headliners tonight.


Amidst the strains of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ and cheers of appreciation, At Dawn We Attack took to the stage and laid siege upon the Slade Rooms with their nine song set that included melodic metal core tracks such as ‘Nooses For Neckties’ and ‘Capitulate’. It was clear that the band greatly value all the support that they receive and Bryan Hancox captured this sentiment perfectly, when he asked the audience to give themselves a round of applause as it was because of them that they got to do all of this.


In addition to the fact that all five individual bands put 100% into their sets tonight – and then some, the one stand out memory I shall carry with me about this gig was the way in which everyone just gelled so well together both on stage and off. Tonight’s event contained the kind of camaraderie amongst the bands that truly was awesome to witness and something that will leave it’s mark for a long time to come.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.