Tag Archives: elder

HRH Doom Vs Stoner

O2 Academy Sheffield 29th September 2018.

Now in it’s third year, it’s of no surprise that this particular event just keeps getting better and better! With the wealth of bands available within these genres, the band bookers must have a daunting task when it comes to booking a festival such as this, as they just don’t know how us, the general public will react! I think its safe to say, HRH is one of only a few festival that get it right, virtually every time! This year was exceptional but we were only able to attend the Saturday.

Having seen the line up for the Sunday, which looked even better (if that’s possible), we were feeling a little bummed that we couldn’t attend both days! I’ve now also seen next years line up and my word, it’s going to be an absolute cracker…AGAIN! Monolord headlining, we’re there! Before that though, we wanted to pen a few words about this year, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

Proceedings kicked off around 2pm, which gave us plenty of time to get up to Sheffield, get parked and say our hellos. At first, I thought attendance was a little thin on the ground but as the first band took to the stage, we were virtually crammed to the rafters in both rooms for the duration of the days event.

First up this weekend we had a rather hungover Sedulus – according to them, however that didn’t stop these psychedelic stoners from London, blowing away the cobwebs that had formed since my last outing, which was back in August for Beermageddon! Surprisingly, I even managed to obtain a smile from Rich, one of the band’s guitarists, which is unusual from the first band of the day but it was welcomed non the less. The other guitarist, Amit, hid behind his long black hair, which was more of what I was expecting to be honest, especially considering the genre of bands appearing today! These guys are all about the music, which is fair enough. Luckily for them, I love both these genres, so I persevered!

As Stage 2 hadn’t opened yet, the day continued with the second band on the main stage today, who go by the name Ancestors! These guys had travelled a very long way to be here today, all the way from Los Angeles in fact! The fact it took longer than allocated for them to get set up must of really upset them as it would appear Justin’s guitar was producing more power than it should have and when he tried to pick up his lead, to plug it into his guitar, he let out an almighty scream, as it gave him one hell of a shock! Once they got going, it was no surprise to see most of the stage lights go out, as these guys play a mixture of Post-Metal, Post-Rock, Progressive, Psychedelic, Doom Metal, Space Rock, all rolled into a very hedonistic one hour set! I enjoyed this bands creativity and their experimental sound. Their set also awarded me one of my more dramatic images of the day, with light beams all a glow!

As Desert Storm were up next, I decided to hang about for them! I generally have this band on repeat most days, so to see them play live was a real treat and thankfully, they didn’t disappoint! Matt’s vocals have so much gravel in, he’s practically spitting out sand! He also has the best swagger about him on stage, which suits the bands music perfectly! Even if people weren’t dancing (the majority were) just watching his hypnotic moves would be enough to find yourself swaying along with him! I love this bands bouncy beats as they accompany their riffs perfectly!

Sadly, I had no time to hang about as The Grudge were tearing it up, up stairs on stage 2, so off I swayed to check them out. The Grudge are new to me but after today’s performance, I’m hoping it won’t be the last time I see them – what a band! They had room 2 jumping along with them, especially Javier, one of the bands bouncier guitarists, who I later discovered, after speaking with him, is Spanish! This fact leads me onto four people in particular, who all turned up dressed as priests today! At first I thought they were all dressing up as Brother Pain, from Evil Scarecrow but it turns out they too, were also from Spain and thought dressing up would be a cool way to talk to people! What a great idea and it’s nice to see European fans making the effort to come to a festival, here in the UK!

As Ritual King were on this stage next, I thought I’d stick about! This was my third time seeing this particular band now, the first two of which were in my home town, Derby, when they supported those lovely fellas Witch Tripper, both bands I love! I recall having a conversation about this very show with the band back then and as I’m generally a man of my word (and I think they’re great) here I am, ready and waiting! I have to say, tonight’s HRH performance is the best I’ve see this band perform, as they appeared to go above and beyond, probably to coincide with the energy from the crowd and there was many in attendance! What a band and yet only a three piece! How they manage to create the sounds they do, is beyond me! If I was to hazard a guess, I’d have to say it’s down to the three very talented musicians that make up Ritual King from Manchester! Take a bow guys!

As Gevaudan were the only other band I saw on stage 2 (sorry Cybernetic Witch Cult) I’ll briefly say, what I saw, I thoroughly enjoyed! They also have an absolute legend in the band ‘Bruce Hamilton’ on guitar, who’s an avid music fan as well as a very talented musician and who I’ve personally encountered many times, over the years! I don’t think he recognised me though! Snigger! The band had great energy tonight and played up to the ladies in the crowd!

Throughout the day and up to the point OHHMS took to the stage, I’d had many conversations with people about this band, all of which said they really enjoyed them and I would too, so I was expecting a lot to be honest. They were certainly one of the most photogenic bands to shoot today, which was great. Musically, they were even better! I noticed the bassist had a child’s shoe strapped to his guitar neck, so later I asked him what the significance of this was. Apparently, it’s one of his four children’s items of clothing, he has attached to various pieces of equipment, which helps him to know he’s thinking of them, which I though was a lovely gesture! The bands vocalist was very charismatic and theatrical, who showed how a front man should be! Great to watch, even better to hear!

Elephant Tree were my find of the day though, having never seen or heard their music before, I was blown away with what I saw and heard. Their performance will live within my memory banks for a long time to come! Something about them appealed to me greatly, I think it had something to do with the great music they produced, yeah that’s gotta be it! Great set today and I can’t wait to see them play again. The sooner the better to be honest! It’s worth mentioning, I saw the bands bassist and lead vocalist having a right old jig during Stoned Jesus’ set! What a character!

Stoned Jesus are phenomenal noise makers, atmospheric and again, another three piece! Just check out their track ‘I’m the Mountain’ to see what I mean! This track is one of my all time favourites and seeing them perform it live was a real treat! Although I can’t attend every gig or festival that I’d like, the ones I do get to attend are all amazing for their own reasons! I’m quite lucky really, when I think about it and it’s truly humbling when I’m given the opportunity to witness a band, such as Stoned Jesus! These guys are future headliners, for sure! I’m aware these guys are currently on tour, so check them out if you haven’t already, although I know at least 45,000 people who have and I now they get these guys, as do I!

As headliners go, they don’t get much better than Elder, to be honest! The funny thing is, I saw both these guys AND Monolord at Dessertfest, opening the days events at KOKO, back in 2016! Now both these bands have worked their way to headlining slots, which is great to see! For their headline set, Elder enforced a three track rule, which I found Hilarious! If you’re a fan of these genres, you’ll know a fourth track equates to a full length album. Anyway, they opened with ‘Dead Roots Rising’ which is an incredible (12 minute) song, which only gets better at the playing time of 9:35! Hearing this track again live and by the time they reached that magical moment, I found I’d been transformed into a space goat and was floating within a mystical void, within my mind! This experience will certainly go down as one of many great musical moments I’ve witnessed over the years!

Thanks yet again to my HRH family, for a truly memorable event! Roll on 2019 and their 4th instalment!

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)


KOKO London 1.5.16

Our attendance for DesertFest this year, was a bit of an unexpected opportunity as I was asked by KOKO London if I’d like to attend and shoot for them! I simply jumped at the chance, as the bands on this years bill were insanely good, sadly, we only got to shoot the bands featuring at KOKO’s venue on the Sunday but the festival took place across three different venues (I actually count 5 on the flyer?) in Camden town, these being Electric Ballroom, The Underworld and KOKO but also hosting bands were The Black Heart and the The Devonshire Arms.

Now in it’s fifth year, they boast to be the UK’s premier independent Stoner Rock, Doom, Psych & Sludge festival and with it’s popularity reaching new heights last year, it continues into 2016 and many more years to come.

It’s worth mentioning that there’s also a Desert Fest event that takes place the weekend before in Berlin and a lot of the acts that play there also play here, in the UK.

Sadly, I missed all the other acts playing at the other venues, but I can’t complain, as KOKO’s line up was equally as good and I love shooting at this venue.

Monolord are a recent discovery for me and I’ve instantly fallen in love with them! The track that got me hooked was their twelve minute stoner epic ‘Empress Rising’ and is currently the most played track within my playlists! As these guys were kicking off the Sunday, I wasn’t expecting to see as many people as I did from the instant the venues doors first opened at around 15.30, this just says the crowd have excellent taste. So an early start, for four bands, with approx 45mins to an hour change overs which I believe is so that people can walk to and from the various venues to see all the acts, which is pretty good.

Esben Willems - Monolord -

These guys are from Gothenburg and consists of;Thomas V Jäger – Guitars & vocals, Esben Willems – Drums and Mika Häkki – Bass.

Elder next, and these guys were raring to go but had to wait for their actual stage time so that people could get to the venue in time and they came in their hundreds! I even saw the band Wo Fat turn up, a Texan riff monster of a band, who I also love but were headlining at The Underworld for Desert Fest this weekend, which I was gutted about missing, but they came and showed their support. I was also gutted about missing Blood Ceremony, but never mind!

Nick Disalvo - Elder

Elder seemed a little nervous at first, but got immensely better as the set went on and by the end, they had the crowd gagging for more! Awesome, what a musical spectacle these guys were and to witness it at KOKO, just made it all the better! For those who don’t like the repetitiveness of some stoner/doom bands, these are far from boring, highly recommended for anyone who loves riffs and clean vocals!

The guys are from New Bedford MA and consists of; Nick Disalvo – guitars and vocals, Jack Donovan – bass and Matt Couto – drums.

Trouble are a band that have been around since 1979, which is a whole year before I was even born, yet are a band I know very little about. I believe the lead singer is a recent addition to the band, although I am aware that the two guitarist are original founding members.

Kyle Thomas - Trouble

As for the rest of the band, I haven’t got a clue, but it was nice to have a classic band, who have most likely been considered pioneers within their genre. As for their set, it was one of the more enjoyable today, as they interacted and joked with the crowd, but above all, they played some superb twinned guitar Psychedelic/doom rock!

Marko Lira - Trouble

These guys are from Chicago IL and consists of;Kyle Thomas : vocals, Bruce Franklin : guitar, Rick Wartell : guitar, Rob Hultz : bass and Marko Lira : drums.

Tonight’s headliners Electric Wizard, amazingly were the only UK band on KOKO’s bill tonight and they hail from the South West. The band are signed to Spinefarm records, which doesn’t surprise me, as I love these and pretty much all the bands on that record label it seems! Although lighting was scarce for their set, I can only assume the band opted to allow their music do all the talking, although the bands female guitarist Liz, is a bit of a looker if I’m to be completely honest!

Liz Buckingham - Electric Wizard

The band were on fire tonight and although this is my first time seeing them, I really hope it isn’t my last as thankfully, the band are playing many festivals around the world this summer, including Download Festival. They also have a new album on the horizon, due for release around October this year, so hopefully they will conduct an extensive UK tour to promote this. If they do – I’m there!

Justin Oborn - Electric Wizard

The band consist of the following; Justin Oborn – Guitar & Vocals, Liz Buckingham – Guitar & Feedback, Clayton Burgess- Lead Bass and Simon Poole – Drums.

All in all, a very enjoyable day was had running around the warren that is KOKO. I love Camden town anyway, as it’s a mecca for what I and many other like minded music folk enjoy and we go many times within a year. I just wish I could go more, if not for the music that features in this town but for the variety of food on offer in and around the venues! I’m so doing my research to find out how I can attend the whole weekend next year as May Bank Holiday 2017 is gonna rock!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)