Tag Archives: garganjua

Beermageddon

Stoke Prior Sports and Social Club Friday 19th August 2016.

As summers go, I’ve had a pretty shit one to be honest and with other festivals done and dusted, Beermageddon is the one summer festival that we here at music224 always look forward to with open arms. And long may that continue as we plan on attending every year that this festival is on – providing they want us! Read on to discover why we think this festival is a must in your summer calendar for 2017!

Jim Beerman

Many people arrive on the Thursday now, set up camp and make a holiday of it and why not! Thankfully, the weather is usually pretty good at the end of August, so camping isn’t usually an issue. The on-site facilities at Bromsgrove’s Stoke Prior Sports and Social Club are improving every year but for those who seek plusher accommodation, there are plenty of affordable rooms at hotels close to the venue. I’ve only ever camped at Beermageddon once in the five years that it’s been held and this is something I need to rectify because I miss out on so much of the fun that goes on over the weekend – I’m just shit building a tent! Haha!

Friday is fun day and personally, my favourite day of the weekend as it’s the day everyone makes an effort to dress up. This years theme was Vikings, obviously! As the contestants lined up to be judged, by us the crowd, each was eliminated when Jim asked us to shout the loudest for our favourite costume. I’m aware Clare and Wolfie’s daughter took part this year, this being her first year at Beermageddon but sadly she didn’t win although she came a respectable second. The winner, however, was a deserved winner and the same person that also won the event last year. For his efforts, he won a pair of ticket for next years event (AGAIN), to which Jim asked him, ‘Are you ever going to buy a ticket to Beermageddon?’. Sadly I don’t know the young mans name, but it was a great costume!

At 6pm sharp, Prolapse AD took to the stage to officially open the festival. First though, a rousing speech was delivered from the Master of Ceremonies himself, Mr Jim Beerman, the festival’s organiser and adjudicator. Jim’s even an ordained minister, which is technically a Pagan Priest and he has successfully conducted a wedding, every year on the Sunday, since the festival began five years ago!

Matthew White - Prolapse AD

As you’d expect, the first band on had to make an impression and I think we can safely say Prolapse AD did just that, as the people that I spoke to over the weekend absolutely loved these guys! Primarily thrash, they remind me of Slayer but with a lot more energy and personality! The bands front man, Alex Lewis was a very charismatic and energetic young man, trying to capture him, on camera was hard work but the crowd loved it. These guys were the perfect openers, they even got the crowd moving, with the best mosher winning a t-shirt!

Having never seen The Dead XIII before, nothing prepared me for what I was about to see. The band are from Manchester and I could easily compare these guys to The Defiled in both their appearance and their style of music. The lead singer however, is totally unique and a complete inspiration in my book as I’ve never seen a front man with only one arm, play in a band and stand in-front of the crowd completely comfortable with their appearance as an amputee, and it certainly didn’t prevent him from belting out those songs! Kurt Blackshard, we salute you, you sir are an inspiration, respect!

The Dead XIII

Boy, it’s the half way mark for the bands tonight, so that can only mean one thing, Beerma-Bingo! Last year, the Boat Race was a highlight and a lot of fun so I was looking forward to this! If you can imagine getting 600 people around your house for a party, this is what you get at Beermageddon with everyone having a great time, drinking, laughing, yet someone else clears up the mess! So the rules of this game were simple – those participating had to split into two groups and each person was given a ball with a number on it. When your number got called out, you had to rush to the front and down a glass of mead and the first group to get all their players numbers called out and having downed a glass, won, only it’s never that simple with the Beermageddon lot, which just adds to the fun. Lets just say, a lot of people lost their balls!

Beerma-Bingo

Garganjua took to the stage soon after the party games were over and it’s safe to say that people were in high spirits for these guys – well, they were full of mead! Having successfully gone through the MTTM’s final over at Leicester’s successful event ‘Uprising’, this meant the band would play at Bloodstocks, New Blood Stage, which I heard went down very well and having missed them there, I was keen to see how they faired here. Since that gig in Leicester when I last saw them, Garganjua have played many other shows up and down the country and already I could see a vast improvement with the bands ability to play alongside each other. They appeared to be a lot more comfortable on stage, performing with each other and this really showed in tonight’s performance, as they were amazing! However, they don’t like their pictures being taken when they perform, which makes promoting them from a visual perspective very difficult. They opt for all blue lighting and lots of smoke, which sucks for me but I’ve hopefully said enough here to make you want to go see these guys live for yourself, as their music really does do all the talking. By the end of their set, they had the crowd in fits of hysteria, cheering, shouting, clapping, chanting and above all, wanting more. I’m going to predict these guys will be back at Beermageddon in 2017, for more of Doom’s finest!

Scott Taylor - Garganhua

Having played at Beermageddon last year, Gehtika won the right to come back this year and headline the prestigious Friday night, which is a great honour not only for them but also for the Beermageddon masses, as they are one of the best live acts on the circuit today! As this was a headline set, the band got to perform for a whopping 70mins, which enabled them to play tracks that they wouldn’t normally get time to play. This also enabled them to make their show, a show to remember. To help them achieve this, they enrolled the services of Haerken, who played a brilliant part in making this show a show that people will speak of, for a long time to come – lets just say the confetti cannons helped it all go off with a bang! Every member of the band is a born performer, who love every minute they are on that stage, entreating the crowd they so love. They can also get said crowd to do anything they want, within reason. I can safely say, tonight’s set had me smiling from ear to ear throughout. The band even stayed and camped the whole weekend, allowing fans the opportunity to talk to, drink with and take selfies with them over the course of the weekend.

Gehtika

I’m also aware that the band all signed one of Marc’s drum cymbals for a young fan, I only know this, because I photobombed the picture they took with the fan, when they presented them with it… sorry buddy! Respect guys!

Roll on Saturday!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Uprising

Metal to the Masses Final Leicester 2016.

Now Drownload’s out the way, I can sit down and pen some words about this fabulous new event, that is Uprising (Resin Events in association with Firebug & Andy Wright) the brainchild of Matt Kirk and Mr. Simon Yarwood who are responsible for the M2TM’s events in Leicester and its new ‘Goldenboys’, as they managed to pull off the largest and best M2TM’s final to date.

Simon Yarwood - Resin

This all took place at the marvellous De Montford Hall and as I walked from the car park, which is a mere stones throw away from the venue and very reasonably priced at £4 for parking all day, I couldn’t help but notice the grandeur of today’s venue and the grounds in which De Montford Hall is situated are equally as impressive. This lead me to investigate a little more and did you know, De Montford Hall was in fact named after “Simon de Montford” a late Earl of Leicester (c. 1170–1218, confirmed 1207) I shit you not! The Architect was Shirley Harrison and it’s auditorium alone has a seating capacity of around 2000 people, which houses a restored pipe organ, estimated to be worth over £5 million, back in 2014… wish I’d known that before I went!

As grand as it’s setting, the days line up for ‘Uprising’ was equally as impressive as on the main stage alone, we had five great bands (Garganjua, Blood Oath, Final Coil, Conjurer and Temple of Lies) who were all battling it out for a place on the New Blood Stage at this years Bloodstock Festival. We also had five of the biggest and best live acts, currently active in the live music scene today (Internal Conflict, Beholder, Conan, Hell and Phil Campbell’s All Starr Band) and if that wasn’t enough, we had Acid Reign, AGHAST, Morass Of Molasses and SWAMP DELTA over on the second stage, as well as acoustic sets from Resin, James Cull & Rhett Barrow and The Midnight Dogs. And it didn’t stop there either, as we also had some rather alluring Burlesque acts who entertained the masses between the acoustic acts on stage 3.

Beholder

The whole day was extremely well organised and thoroughly thought out, with everything taken into consideration. For example, outside in a safe and pleasant enclosure we had three types of food vendors to choose from, which I managed to sample two of, For me, the food selection is as important as the bands that play as in my book, I love eating! Motley Brew, who cater for all your caffeine and non caffeine related drinks, for the non-drinkers or those driving (like me) who, incidentally, were an official sponsor of today’s event. I’m sure you’ll spot him about, at a summer event near you, if so, go over and say hi, he’s now one of my festival highlights and saviors, especially the morning after a heavy days drinking! As for drinking, not only did we have the two bars to choose from, but we also had some very fine real ales to choose from but as this event was also sponsored by Hobgoblin, what did you expect!

As you can plainly see, this was a full days entertainment, in a fantastic venue, all for less than £20!!!

As this was primarily a M2TM’s finale, we were very eager to see who would go on to play Bloodstock, as we’ll be attending in an unofficial capacity (we won’t be covering the event as we’ll be getting drunk and enjoying ourselves for once) so it’s probably a good idea to discuss our thoughts on the bands that took part!

Garganjua were first up and are a band we know all too well, as this is a side project for Beholder’s lead guitarist, Scott Taylor! We have in fact reviewed Garganjua’s new album, which is fantastic so we’re aware of the doom-tastic capabilities of this band and wasn’t surprised to see them in this final. Lighting was dark and gloomy, just the way they like it, although difficult to shoot in but it does make for the perfect setting to their sound, so we can’t complain. I’m not 100% certain, but Scott sounded a little nervous in his vocals on the day, I don’t know if that’s because of the scale of this event, or if he’s not quite comfortable being a front man but Where he lacked in his vocal capabilities, he more than made up for with his guitar playing ability, phenomenal!

Garganjua

Blood Oath are probably the first band that I know of to get to a M2TM’s final, having only been a band for eight months, yet their attendance today based on the performance we witnessed, was justified! We can be forgiven for not knowing who this band were going into this event, as it appears very few people do looking at their Facebook page, with only an insulting 259 people following, s that really doesn’t do this band any justice! All I can say is, the few that have heard of this band have very good taste, so when these guys become massive stars, playing their Groovy Death Metal, which was brilliant to watch btw, at least you can say you knew of them, before the fame and the glory. Personally, I love discovering bands like this and watching them grow in popularity! I’ve seen it happen many times now and I’ve gotten pretty good a spotting real talent and potential, so I’m tipping these to be a huge success in the not too distant future!

Final Coil we’re our least favourite band out of the five, that doesn’t mean to say they were rubbish, but in a battle of a bands, you consciously rate bands in some measurable order, based on ability. For us, I felt the vocal were their weakest point, but their musical ability was brilliant and I got into their groove quite well during solo’s etc. This band consists of a great bunch of people though, and their bass player rocks!

From what I can gather, after speaking to people on the day, the next band, Conjurer went into this competition as a firm favourite to win it and their energy and style of music (post-sludge) was faultless on the day. Andy, the band’s Bass player even decided to jump off the massive De Montford stage and jam out in the photographers pit, where he was soon set upon by said photographers – like a swarm they were! Great set, from a very hard working, competent band, who are currently signed to Holy Roar Records and we expect to see more of these guys!

Conjurer

The final band battling it out for a place were Temple of Lies and another band tat we’ve not come across before today but are now happy we can say we’ve seen them play live, as they played out of their skins on the day and we really enjoyed their set. Front man Si Shaw is a born performer and a joy to watch on stage. Signed to Attic Records, I’m certain we’ll be seeing these guys playing again very soon!

All the bands that played in the final are winners in our book, if it was left to us, we would have sent through either Blood Oath or Temple of Lies but thankfully, that responsibility wasn’t ours and we didn’t envy the judges, who’s job it was to decide the winners! That honour went to more distinguished gentlemen, who chose Doomer’s Conjurer as their overall winners, but with a plot twist, they also decided to grant Garganjua a runners up prize, so they too go on to play at BOA this year and much kudos to these guys, we’ll see you all there!

Looking at both the winning bands and the doom metal style they play, this clearly tells us what the festival were looking for this year, it’s true, doom has grown in popularity of late – just look at Desert Fest, for example. Great stuff, the losing bands shouldn’t give up, as the M2TM’s event is a great way to play to a well distinguished organisation and if nothing else, it gets you recognised by new fans!

As for the rest of the day, Internal Conflict were subliminal and it was great to see them playing on a large stage, such as De Montford Hall. These guys are a great example of what a band can achieve going through the M2TM’s event and we love them for it. They’re hard working, produce great ‘energetic’ music and all members of the band are grounded, down to earth guys and who are easily approachable, yet they have ambition and desire to do well, which no one can fault them for!

Internal Conflict

We saw yet another flawless set from Beholder, who’s latest album ‘Reflections’ has been their most successful offering to date and has catapulted them into new territory and stardom. It’s popularity has also earned them a return slot on the Sophie Lancaster stage at this years BOA, so we look forward to seeing them again this year,which must be our fourth time in 2016 alone!

Doom lords, in comparison, Conan, wow’d the crowd with their crushing riffs and these guys were a great compliment to today’s line up and a great choice, as they’ve already played Desert Fest and are soon to embark on their second tour of Australia, which also includes their first trip to New Zealand. These guys are going places in the music world, so to catch a glimpse of them here, at Uprising, was a great honour.

Hell, who hail from rival city Derby (my current place of residence) stole the show today though, with a full stage production, that included all the pyrotechnics you’d expect at a Rammstein gig! Although, this was only our second time seeing Hell, it was in fact our first full show experience, as not every venue you play in can accommodate 12ft flame blasts, which are as hot as hell it’s self – let me tell you! I was under the impression the togs were only allowed in the pit for the first three songs, as only after that, would the flames be fired but nope, I was stood right next to one when it first fired and I shit my pants, quite literally! I survived though, with an experience I’ll never forget as this band are truly amazing. What a show, wish they’d also play Bloodstock this year aswell, nudge nudge, wink wink!

Hell

As the stage was stripped bare in preparation for Motorhead’s own Phil Campbell’s All Star Band, I felt a little sorry for them having to follow on from Hell, but with Phil’s legendary statues and guitar playing, if anyone could pull it off, he could, well, you’d think so anyway. The start of their set seemed to be plagued with issues, with Phil not entirely happy with the sound and few grimacing faces from other band members and the lead singer constantly looking down, to read the lyrics to cover songs. This wasn’t the band I remember seeing a few years back at HRH, when they were excellent! Less we forget, Phil has recently lost a lifelong friend and former band member in Lemmy Kilmister, earlier this year, god rest his soul, so maybe I’m being a little too critical, but as a viewer, it wasn’t the best performance of the day, by any means! As their set went on though, it did get infinitely better and watching Phil shred was a delight – he truly is a master guitarist, of that I’m certain!

Phil Campbell's All Star Band(1)

Mr Yarwood and co. pulled off a truly memorable all day event, of which I’m certain will only grow as I’m aware that the gears are already turning for next years event! We’d like to extend our gratitude, to Resin Events for inviting us to cover their first ever Uprising and certainly hope it isn’t our last, as today was incredible! I feel I’ve waffled on enough, but I’m sure you’ll agree, this event was far from ordinary, it was in fact very special!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Garganjua

A Voyage in Solitude.

I’ve recently been asked by someone I quite admire on a professional level, musically, to review his bands new album, so for me this is quite a daunting prospect as the guy is, in my opinion, a very gifted guitar player, so I hope I can give a credible account of his music and one that doesn’t sound like a five year old babbling on about world politics, as let’s face it, that would be absolute rubbish! If it does, I apologise in advance, but he did ask me to write a review! hahaha!

Garganjua - A Voyage in Solitude

I was first introduced to Scott Taylor through his guitar playing with Beholder, but that is so far from the music he produces with Garganjua that I honestly couldn’t believe it was the same guitarist!

According to the bands Bio, Garganjua started life as a three piece, probably in a dungeon somewhere in the Midlands amidst a plume of smoke – if I was to go on the bands name alone. Truth is, this project was merely a way for three like minded friends/musicians to pass the time away, playing music they love to play and listen to themselves. As they practiced, they soon realised they were onto something and decided to take it more seriously and started to actively write credible material that could be recorded and played live at a show, fancy that!

Garganjua.

In April 2014, Garganjua travelled to Wales to the legendary Foel Studios to record their first EP. Whilst recording, studio owner and former Hawkwind bass player, Dave Henderson sat in on one of their sessions and commented on how he though their sound would “FREAK PEOPLE OUT”. That debut EP, titled ‘Trip Wizard’, received positive reviews from around the globe, also getting radio air play as far as America and Australia, as well as here in the UK. This helped the band to secure a number of gigs at O2 Academy venues and bigger club shows supporting the likes of Pallbearer, X11 Boar, Bast, Greenhorn and Warlord UK to name a few. Incidentally, the bands debut EP can still be streamed via their bandcamp page if you’re interested, or simply can’t wait for their new release!

According to the band, their style has developed and changed significantly since that first EP was released and now get compared to bands like Yob, Pallbearer and Ahab.

Due to this musical progression and the diverse sound that the band were taking on, they decided the live show also needed to be bigger and more importantly, louder, so they enlisted the help of a long time friend to join as a second guitarist and Garganjua now consists of the following members, in the following roles:

Scott Taylor – Guitar and Vocals
Gareth Owen – Bass and Vocals
Gazz Chambers – Guitar and Vocals
Ben Weston – Drums

With the band now complete, they are set to release the bands debut album and although it’s only four tracks long, these four tracks span a length equal to some albums – forty minutes plus. For some, this may sound odd or boring, but when you consider the fact that Garganjua are a doom/metal band, this no longer seems as ridiculous as it sounds. Some simply don’t get the metal sub-genre of doom and think you have to be as high as a kite to get it, this isn’t strictly true but you do have to be in a particular state of mind to appreciate this style of music, in my opinion!

I, like so many others love all kinds of music and am diverse in my musical tastes, depending on what mood I’m in at any particular time. I listen to music all day and every day, so my moods can be very different in the morning compared with my mood on my journey home from work. After a long/rubbish day, I can honestly say I love to listen to doom and am doing so more and more, as I’m discovering the bands who produce this style of music. I’m sure some people may be able to relate with this, however, doom doesn’t make me feel depressed, quite the opposite in fact.

‘A Voyage in Solitude’ has been playing in my car since I received it several weeks ago. (Sorry for the delay with this review) Within 10 minutes, which is the average length per track, I’ve simply forgotten about my working day and have become so engrossed in the riffs and the mellow tuned down guitars, it’s like I’ve smoked the biggest fattest joint imaginable! (Don’t do drugs kids, they’re bad for you, this is merely hypothetical!)

Garganjua have managed to pull off a truly commendable body of work on this album, earning them the genuine title of riff masters in the highest order, or as they put it, tuned low and played slow. What they do isn’t a new concept, but they are in fact one of the few bands who are actively out there and in circulation today, producing this unique style of music. I can’t pick a favourite track off this album though as it has to be listened to and appreciated in it’s entirety, given the right frame of mind.

I can easily award Garganjua’s debut album “A Voyage in Solitude”, a score of 9 out of 10 for it’s sheer brilliance and technical wizardry and I would urge any true fans of Doom to give this album a listen, you won’t be disappointed. Outstanding guys!

Thanks for asking us here at Music224 to review Garganjua’s new album mate, it means a lot and I hope to see this being performed live, in a venue near me soon!

“A Voyage in Solitude” will be released digitally in January 2016 via Black Bow Records and physically via Hibernacula Records. Album artwork was produced by Alan O’Neill over at Zonument.

Review by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)