Tag Archives: evil scarecrow

Amplified

Live review Saturday 22nd July 2017.

Some called it biblical, some called it apocalyptic, either way, I can confirm Friday evenings weather messed everything up but that didn’t stop us from having a great night though, even if things there after didn’t go to plan.

Saturday’s proceedings saw the main stage playing host to a combination of bands from both the Very Metal Art Stage and the Red Stripe Stage, as the VMA stage basically closed for the rest of the festival but thankfully, the guys who ran the main stage managed to get it back up and running safely, and allowing us to continue enjoying ourselves.

Bands who were scheduled were contacted and asked if they still wanted to play and if so, Amplified would try and slot them in, on either the main stage, or the newly adopted second stage over in the beer tent. Sadly, with the pit in the beer tent being very small, access was restricted to the official festival photographers only so I was restricted to the main stage only for today.

That said, there was a great days entertainment to be had on the main stage and first up are a band I have some seriously conflicting emotions with. Outright Resistance are made up of some very talented, yet on stage, very angry young individuals which helps make Outright Resistance, who they are. During today’s set, Paige, the bands lead singer gave several rousing speeches about equality, mental health and other aspects of society and mentioned that if anyone was feeling down, they were free to contact the band, or them personally and talk freely to them about issues they may be experiencing which I though this was commendable.

Press to MECO were up next – we love a good three piece here and these guys didn’t disappoint. There is no question that 2016 was a pivotal year for Press To MECO, building on their unconventional take on riffs, pop hooks and 3-part vocal harmonies that have become a trade mark. PRESS TO MECO have released their new single “If All Your Parts Don’t Make A Whole”, the first track to be taken from the band’s forthcoming album “Here’s To The Fatigueout on 17th November 2017.

Scarsun, a female fronted band, ticked all the right boxes. Jessica’s vocals reminded me of Floor’s – the whole band, in fact had a very similar feel to that of Nightwish, which was enjoyable to listen to. Matt, the bands guitarist, who I’ve known of for a while, appeared to be concentrating very hard, yet the bands bassist, Paul appeared to be a right character, playing up to the cameras, to great effect! I will try and catch this band again!

Welcome Back Delta recently supported Lionize at The Flapper in Birmingham, which was probably a great gig as from what I saw of the in between rain falls, they appeared to have all the right ingredients for an accomplished rock band – antics, great songs and riffs, plenty of riffs and that is always good. Unfortunatley, trying to operate a camera through a plastic bag is in fact a very hard thing to do – so I didn’t!

When an apocalypse is upon you, there’s only one band you need have play and to get you through it and they are Anti-Clone. I simply love this bands music and their live performances which I got to mention to Con, one of the bands guitarists, who said the bands energy and persona on stage was a conscious decision that the band made back when they first formed, as going to shows before hand were boring and lifeless. Yes – a band that gets it as a live show needs to be just that, entertaining! Take a bow Anti-Clone and speaking of which, at the end their set the band played out to a Linkin Park track and whilst doing so, they revealed their true identities for the first time ever out of respect for the recently deceased Chester Bennington. RIP sir, you’ll be greatly missed. Many bands, over the course of the weekend paid tribute to Chester, in one way or another, which was great to see.

Firm favourites, ‘Rain’ of Fury’ brought a little light humour to their set by wearing some super ‘sunnyHawaiian shirts, which made us all feel as though we were somewhere sunny and hot. No such luck, but their set was terrific as per usual. I must say, this bands drum kit reminds me of a porn film though, what with the leopard print on it. ah, the laughs!

Time for a break, so I jumped on over to the Motley Brew tent for another of many cups of tea that I had here, over the course of the weekend. Phil, who runs the best tea stall at any and every festival going is a great bloke, he also makes a mean cuppa! Thanks dude.

Back on the main stage we had Krysthla, who were my surprise find of the day. I’ve received their press releases from Stampede Press over recent months, so I was keen to check these guys out live. Today’s set was a powerful display of metal, which followed on nicely from the previous two bands we’d just witnessed! The bands new album, released earlier this year, titled ‘ Peace In Our Time’ appears to be doing very well, in various music charts and has been well received, by the critics. Be sure to check these guys out, if you can – you won’t be disappointed.

Having spoken to Barry, the lead singer of Massive Wagons, prior to their set in the beer tent, I’d told him of my disappointment at missing photographing their set due to pit restrictions and thanks to his powers of persuasion, he managed to sweet talk the stage manager into opening the pit up to all of us non-official togs wanting to shoot Massive Wagons. I, of course was first in line, no second, no third, well, I eventually got in the pit to shoot these phenomenal rockers, from Lancashire! I love this band and the guys who make it so awesome are the biggest reason why I love them so much, they are all great guys and very entertaining. Some would even go as far as calling them sexy….ppfft, behave, have you seen them with the lights on? HAHA!

I watched as much of the ‘Massive Wagons’ set as I could but as I heard One Machine starting up over on the main stage, I made a mad dash to catch them as this was the first time I’ve been able to catch this band live. This band features non other than Stefano, on bass, who’s also another fantastic character in the music world, such a nice guy. When ever we’re at an event together, he always says hello and is happy to chat with me, which we do when ever we get the chance. I haven’t seen him performing live since his time in Savage Messiah, which was some time ago now! One Machine, remember this name, I dare say you’ll be hearing it a lot more, from here onwards! Great live band!

With Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons opting to deliver their headlining slot over in the beer tent instead of the main stage, this now meant that Evil Scarecrow would play the Red Stripes stage instead – Result! And as Evil Scarecrow are one of the best performing live bands around, who provide one of the best live shows in the music world today, it was fate. All their usual antics took place tonight, just as you’d expect and as a special thank you to the two contestants of the televised game show, ‘Pointless‘, who’d mentioned the band live on air, stating they’d spend their winnings on going to watch Evil Scarecrow, the band got them up on stage to say thank you and also to show off their winning trophies. The pair certainly appeared to be enjoying themselves, up on that stage, with the band for a song. After which, Dr. Hell stated “now get off my stage” in the nicest possible way, of course!

Evil Scarecrow have recently announced that to celebrate the fact that they started some 15 years ago, to the day (nearly) that they’re heading off to perform at Waken open air festival, which is a dream come true for the band and well deserved too. I wish we could be in Germany to see it, like we have for all of their other major milestones but sadly we’re not, however I know those who are there will have an absolute blast, as will everyone in the band. Enjoy guys.

I’ll now hand you over to Sue for her take on the Sunday here at Amplified Festival. It’s been a blast and I hope that we get to do it all again and see you back at Amplified Festival in 2018!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Evil Scarecrow

The Level Nottingham 2nd June 2017.

Tonight’s show at The Level was, I believe, an end of academic year show, available to both Nottingham University students and the general public alike. Initially, I wasn’t going to go to tonight’s show but the opportunity to shoot at a new venue that I’d not visited before was too great and I’m so glad I did!

Not only because I got to see Evil Scarecrow again – which is always a pleasure but I also got to see two new Nottingham based bands whom I’d yet to see play live. As a venue goes, The Level is of course, The Students Union Bar, which doubles up as a night club, a safe haven for students, which I know serves as an invaluable service for students. It’s very rare for the venue to act as a music/concert venue as both Rock City and the Rescue Rooms are just down the road but I wish there were more live shows held at this venue as it’s got one of the best stage and lighting rigs that I’ve seen in a long time, especially here in Nottingham!!! Seriously, other venues in Nottingham need to visit it to check it out!

Hung Daddy then, as stated, on the night, it’s pronounced as it’s spelt…HUNG DADDY! These guys are a lot of fun and it’s easy to see why they were chosen to support Evil Scarecrow, as their humour on stage, is every bit as good as the Crow’s! Jason Parker, the bands lead vocalist and guitarist also admitted that this was the largest stage and show his band have ever played! Admittedly, Dave Marzec, the bands bassist looked a little lost up on that large stage with so many photographers in front of him – I don’t think he quite knew what to do! It was quite adorable actually – welcome to stardom guys, learn all you can from a show like this and from Evil Scarecrow, they’re use to all this showbiz stuff! Their success may continue as the band have managed to secure themselves a place, at Nottinghams MTTM’s final which will be held at The Maze on 24th of June, where six bands having won their semi final heat, will battle it out for a place at this years Bloodstock Festival. To be honest, they should smash it – their energy is great, they’re very entertaining, but above all, they play heavy!

Speaking of heavy, tonight’s next band have got heavy in abundance! Also from Nottingham, The Five Hundred are currently signed to London Road Records and have recently released a new album called ‘The Veil’ which perfectly demonstrates how brutal this band are! I seriously wasn’t expecting these guys to be so brutal. These guys are the perfect example of how music, good music, played live, can provoke some serious emotions within me. When that happens, you know you’ve witnessed something very special and these guys have got the potential to make it all the way to the top. Look out While She Sleeps, these guys are coming for you, in a good way!

Looking at the bands social media page, I can only see that these guys are playing Macmillian Fest on the 3rd September and why they ain’t playing every metal festival up and down the country this summer, is beyond me – unless they’ve neglected to update their page? Seriously, next time these guys are about, be sure to check them out!

The last time I saw Evil Scarecrow was last year at their annual Halloween party which was at Sheffield Corporation. On that occasion, I recall the amazing Anti-Clone were one of the bands supporting. Due to personal reasons, I never got around to writing a review, so sorry for that. I also recall, Evil Scarecrow, allowed me to photograph the whole show whilst using my flash, which to be honest, is pretty rare however, I didn’t need to shoot the whole show as I’ve photographed these guys so many times, I’d rather watch the show live. Evil Scarecrow are my ‘go to’ band, when I need cheering up, yes, I even find the track ‘Blacken The Everything’ uplifting, which got played tonight! As Mr. Russ Russell produced the bands last album, he’s got quite use to the bands sound and how they like others to hear them, so it was no surprise to see him behind the sound desk for tonight’s show. Another surprising feature of the night, was the fact, I think it’s the first time I’ve seen the bands instruments being set up by tech’s, outside of Bloodstock, which was a bit of a shock!

This tells me these guys are getting big, they always were in my eyes but they really have become a very professional band indeed, yet it’s been a long time coming! They now also have some serious backing, as far as endorsements go these days, what with Blackstar Amps standing proud on stage. Costume guitars, courtesy of Dean Guitars, one of the leading names and many artists first choice, as far as instruments go. There are others, guitar strings, drum kits etc. I can’t be arsed to name them all, it’s not like I’m getting paid to mention all these companies, I should like, but hey ho. HAHAHA! Seriously though, I’ve followed Evil Scarecrow now for many years, which is the only endorsement they need really, fans appreciate these guys, for who they are, a truly unique metal outfit who never fail to entertain and who put on an amazing show, which appears to grow larger every time I see them! The band are appearing at several festivals this year, the next one I’m looking forward to is Amplified, providing I get accredited, that is!

Thanks for also supporting and allowing us to come down and see the shows, we love you for it!

Until next time folks, WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU MAM!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Midlands Metal Crusade VI

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 26th November 2016.

There are some events that will never fail to be highlights of my year and The Midlands Metal Crusade is one of them, as events such as this bring together so many of the great bands who are loved and supported throughout the area and ultimately, it is a showcase for the local music scene at it’s finest.

Today’s line up will see eight bands take to the stage at The Slade Rooms here in Wolverhampton and getting this impressive event underway, were Exiles Of Elysium. In the company of an enthusiastic and eager audience, these five guys rolled out an adrenaline packed set with the savage lead vocals of Andy Horton, faultless to the core.

Andy Horton - Exiles of Elysium

And keeping the momentum rising were our second band of the day, Devil’s Playground. When you consider that these guys and gal have only been together since December 2015, the level of admiration and support that they’ve already achieved, speaks volumes about the music and stage presence that this talented band possess. Today’s eight song set from Devil’s Playground fitted the bill perfectly and without any doubt at all, confirmed that these guys are a band to watch out for.

The Midlands Metal Crusade first came to fruition back in 2013 and one of the many great bands who have repeatedly supported it, are XVII. Today’s set from the band saw them raging at full throttle with their merciless riffs and vocals making for one hell of a great performance but no surprises there, as anything less than 100% from XVII, just ain’t gonna happen!

Vaughan Bennett - XVII

Our next band of the day were Black Ink Sun and given the speed at which their reputation is growing, this band were one who were definitely not to be missed. Consumed within a turmoil of writhing aggression, their sound and style is rapturously feral and had the audience firmly within it’s grip, throughout the entirety of the set. I can only echo the good words that have already been said about Black Ink Sun and I hope that the new year brings them back up this way again – sharpish!

With the Midlands Metal Crusade having raced past it’s midway point, there was no time or chance to exhale, as the momentum within The Slade Rooms was still rising fast, for the awesomeness that is Haerken. As a wee sproggling, I loved nothing more than to be spirited away by a captivating storybook and for me, Haerken possess that same quality, as within each and every performance of theirs, there is a dramatic adventure to behold. Tonight’s set not only saw Haerken commanding the stage but also gave rise to an Evil Scarecrow and brother in arms, Monty Blitzfist joining them for a song or two, which truly went down a storm.

Laird Logan Haerken

With the event now running slightly behind schedule, not a moment was left to waste and the fast paced thrash of Eradikator was set to drive the night on with exceptional dexterity. Drenched with a torrent of adrenaline, the intricacy and detail of their twin riff attacks was all consuming and tonight’s set from the band saw them on absolute peek form, with the atmosphere on stage rolling off stage aswell and producing a sea of fists pumping the air. For me, this was Eradikator at their finest and an absolute pleasure to behold.

Liam Priest - Eradikator

Over the years, I’ve had the great privilege of photographing and reviewing Martyr De Mona on many an occasion, so for me and many others here at The Slade Rooms tonight, this evenings set from the band was destined to be a bitter/sweet one as after a hefty ten years of making some pretty outstanding music, this was going to be their last performance… ever. To say that emotions were running high is an understatement but true to form, when the going gets tough, Martyr De Mona have always stood tall and tonight these guys owned the stage like giants!

Louis Hale - Martyr de Mona

With former band member Ant Rickett also making a guest appearance, the years rolled back with ease, with the warmth and recognition ringing out in the audiences appreciation at the end of each and every song. With such a wealth of anthems to MDM’s name, it’s hard to imagine how one track could stand out in tonight’s set but their final song of the night ‘Gravity Breaks’ made for the most lasting of memories, because if ever a song was written in the innocence of how poignant it’s lyrics would become, then this song is it. Martyr De Mona will without doubt be missed but here’s wishing that whatever light shines on their future, it will be a very bright one indeed.

The metal genre has produced a wealth of hero’s and amongst that list you can’t fail but find our Crusade headliners, as Evil Scarecrow are what I would classify as legends in their own universe. The live experience of Evil Scarecrow is one which has always left me grinning from ear to ear and quite often speechless, and with that probability fixed firmly in mind, the madness and mirth commenced!

Dr Rabid Hell - Evil Scarecrow

From the moment that Evil Scarecrow set foot on stage, the audience were electric and I think that it’s fair to say that Evil Scarecrow set out to enjoy their time on stage as much as their fans did. Just as I’d hoped, we were all swept up by their all consuming aura and none more so than in the company of ’Crabulon’, which saw the audience pinching the air and furtively scuttling across the Slade Rooms like their lives depended on it! And of all the Crusades that I’ve attended over the years, tonight’s finale was most definitely one of a kind.

This Midland Metal Crusade has definitely been a highlight of my year and when it comes down to making an excellent day like today happen, the contribution of so many is key to it’s success. Thanks must go out to all the bands for getting up there and raising the roof, the audience for keeping live music live, the staff at The Slade Rooms and Wolverhampton Civic for providing an excellent home for the Midlands Metal Crusade and also the Sound/lighting engineers for keeping us all rocking.

Big thumbs up must go out to Tony Gaskin aswell for joining the dots up on stage and of course, to the Mother of Metal herself, Hils, whose tireless commitment to the metal scene is truly awesome. x

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.