Stoke Prior Sports & Country Club Stoke Prior 25th August 2019.
August Bank Holiday is always a special time of year for us, as it means we get to make our way to Bromsgrove, for our annual pilgrimage to Beermageddon! Now in it’s eighth year and true to form, it sold out – again!
Sure it’s one of the smaller festivals on the circuit but that doesn’t mean it’s of any less quality! In fact, it’s one of the cleanest, friendliest and safest festivals we’ve ever attended and every year it gets better! It’s like having 500 of your best friends and family camping in a field, consuming your own body weight in alcohol, whilst watching the very best talent that metal has to offer, hand picked by the man himself, Mr Jim Beerman! It’s for this very reason, after watching all the kids running around this year, that I too will bring my own son along to a Beermageddon in the not too distant future, which will be his first ever. Sure, I’ve seen younger kids than he’ll be, but I’m not that brave! This means I’ll get to experience it as a punter for once and enjoy the weekend with him. I may sneak the camera in though, as I won’t be able to stop myself from jumping in the pit for a few cheeky shots, as it’s what I love to do!
For many reasons, this year was a special year as it may never have happened at all, had it not been for the courageous souls in the NHS, saving young Jim Beerman’s life! As many of you know, Jim had a heart attack, the full details I’m not aware of but seeing him make a full recovery and be fit and healthy again in time for this years Beermageddon, was a sight to behold and, if I’m totally honest, a miracle, as so many don’t ever recover fully, let alone live to tell the tale! It’s for this reason and quite rightly so, Jim got a little emotional during the half way point when they held their silent auction to raise money for various charities, one being the hospital ward that helped to save Jim’s life.
Most years, we’ve attended the Saturday, which means we get to buy our official T-shirt but this year, we missed out as we attended the Sunday and they’d sold out, so the collection is now missing two out of the eight, which is annoying. To prevent disappointment next year, we’ve pre-ordered out T-shirt to avoid further disappointment, however, all was not lost, as we got to be a part of the annual group photo, which is our first, yay!
Now onto the days bands, which were far more spread out than with previous years and was great as it’s almost become secondary for us and is merely the icing on the cake when attending Beermageddon, as we love to wander around and talk to everyone we know as much as possible! It was also a welcome respite from the heat, as this year was the hottest Bank Holiday on record! It was hotter inside the venue than out, which says a lot when it was 30 degrees plus outside!
Hands of Attrition were up first and what a way to start! These five West Midlanders fuse groove metal with doom, which is a recipe that our taste buds approve of greatly! They executed their set like seasoned pro’s, so imagine our amazement when we discovered that this was their first ever gig! Jim clearly saw something in these guys which paid off, as they turned out one of the best sets of the day for us!
Voidlurker, are a 3 piece doom band from Birmingham – the home of metal, so we were expecting good things from these guys! We’re big fans of this genre, so every dropped note was welcomed with open arms! They started strong and ended stronger, with little deviation in the middle. A little more variety in their sound would have improved their set in our opinion, but then that would be out of character of the doom genre, so is purely a matter of taste!
Frozen In Shadows were on everyone’s to-do-list today, as they are what you might call a super group and features members/ex-members of Footprints in the Custard, Prognosis, Impavidus, Vice and Godhand! Everyone in the scene knows of Russ, courtesy of his time in Footprints and we’re also aware of his sense of humour, so it was no surprise to hear Elsa belting out ‘Let it go’ as the band took to the stage, only to end in a car crash…. a sign of things to come? Certainly not, their take on the melodic death metal was nothing short of exceptional, perfectly executed with a side helping of humour! Not sure what the significance of the painted cat whiskers was, but hey, nothing surprises us anymore!
Atorc are a band we know of, having seen them at this years HRH metal. I use the word ‘seen’ loosely, as there was so much smoke we couldn’t quite make out who was what! The band deliver battle hardened folk metal which wouldn’t be out of place on the set of Vikings! This genre is ever increasing and is a firm favourite amongst metal heads, as are these guys, as they’ve amassed a huge following of both music lovers and musicians alike! My favourite aspect from this set was the violinist, as it’s now become fashionable to have one in your band! A trend that’s increased in popularity, thanks to the triumphant performance the band Resin have conducted recently! I for one am not complaining, as it’s an instrument that sounds divine!
Kill All The Gentlemen (please don’t) are a well established metal band, from Exeter. Signed to Sliptrick Records, they’ve acquired several accolades and having researched this band after the fact, the most notable being the winners of Hobgoblin’s Online Video Competition which earned them the right to play B.O.A, back in 2014! Although not a band we’ve come across before, we were eager to see how they fared! After a nervous start, they soon found their groove, which they delivered with intensity and prowess and the crowd lapped these guys up in abundance!
Foetal Juice, as disgusting as the name sounds, is one which is a very unique name, especially when putting this bands name into google – as we did and were inundated with links to this bands social content! It all makes sense, when they start playing though, as they’re a death metal band!
Question, did anyone else see the resemblance between Ben, the bands guitarist and Troy of Mastodon, yeah, us too! We even had our Mastodon T-shirt on the day as well! Bizarre!
After a slow start, due to technical issues, once up and running, these guys put the pedal to the metal and powered through an impressive set at 100mph, in true death metal style! I wouldn’t mess with the bands vocalist, Dez either, what a monster of a man! His vocals were exceptional and on point!
Necronautical – we like band names like this, as it conjures up images within our imagination, before we’ve even seen the band! Necronaut is a term derived from the Greek words Nekros, meaning “corpse” or “Dead”, and nautes, meaning “sailor”…. a person who experiments with near death experiences in order to explore the underworld! Let’s face it, this basically sums these guys up, to a T! They were the only band to actually embellish the use of corpse paint as well, which was good! We like corpse paint!
As expected, Jim had again managed to secure the most brutal of headliners possible and worthy of closing this years festival, in ear blistering style!
As the night drew to a close on an excellent days entertainment, the lasting sounds left ringing in the ears was Beer, Beer, Beermageddon! Seriously, how many festival do you know who have their own theme tune! In Beerman, we Trust! Until next year…be good to each other, look after one another and stay metal. Peace!
To see more photographs from the day, be sure to check out music224 over on Flickr.
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)