Tag Archives: hils ovation

Hils Ovation

Tonight’s Hils Ovation gig has been a much anticipated one in my gigging calendar, as it is set to mark the release of ‘Torousnew album ‘Mindfield’ and getting this rather special night underway, were the Birmingham/Stourbridge based rock/prog band, Unchanged.

Having already been intrigued by the content of their biography over on the band’s Facebook page, there was clearly a lot more to Unchanged than that which you initially see on the surface. Describing themselves as a concept seems to have opened wide the flood gates for the many musical influences they collectively hold and these varying genres just flow like a raging river through their songs. The bands skill on stage was equally as intriguing and I for one, was definitely left wanting more!

Adam Martin - Unchanged

Our second band of the night were Cause To Effect and over the past few years, these guys have steadily earned themselves a much respected reputation and quite rightly so, as these guys always deliver the kind of hard rockin sound that never fails to leave a great lasting impression. Whilst tonight’s set felt like quite a short one, it still hit the spot and with the band just about ready to play their headlining show over at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton on 20th May, which is also the official launch for the new albumCircumstantial Creatures’, then there’s not too long to wait for some more Cause To Effect!

Ged Green - Cause To Effect

One of the great things that I always love about a Hils Ovation night, is that it gives me the chance to discover some of the great up and coming bands from across the region and our next band of the night, Signs Of Fire, most definitely fall into that specific category! If you could bottle the on stage energy and presence of this band, then you’d never have a bad day again as the vibe that they deliver on stage, is really quite something. With the band currently in the process of recording some new material, I can’t wait to hear the finished product, so I will be keeping my ears and eyes open for more updates on that and wholeheartedly recommend that you do too!

Tommy Smith and Liam Dyer - Signs Of Fire

There is nothing quite like an intriguing band name to get me curious and when presented with a name such as Bad Llama – I’m hooked straight away! Hailing from the Burton In Trent area, Bad Llama have set about creating an all consuming alternative rock sound that carries its own individual stamp which is very easy to get engrossed in. Bad Llama are set to return to the studio shortly to record their second EP, so keep your eyes and ears open for more news from them on that too.

Kyle Jordan - Bad Llama

When our headlining band first came on the scene back in 2014, there was something about them that had me hooked from the very first encounter. For a band such as Torous, there is no limit to the heart, soul and depth that they capture within their music and with each new track that they pen, they always succeed in creating something quite spell binding. Recent months have seen the band busy writing and spending time in the studio with the final outcome being the glittering prize and rather spectacular debut album, ‘Mindfield’, whose launch was now upon us.

Marc Malone - Torous

Torous’s headlining set was very much welcomed by the O2 Academy3 audience and it was apparent from the get go, that ‘Mindfield’ makes for as much of an invigorating live experience as the recorded material does, when it comes pouring out of your home speakers. The set included the album pretty much in its entirety with only a few tracks omitted and Torous more than did it justice – this album will most definitely be a big smash with fans old and new.

Tonight’s set list from Torous consisted of: 1.Sideline (intro track) 2.Frontline 3.I Am 4.Colours 5.Close My Eye 6.Seven 7.Nine 8.Mindfield 9.God Game Suicide 10.Shadow Self

Tonight’s event was the kind of gig that lights up the path for the future of these five great bands and it’s gonna be one that I shall certainly class as a highlight of 2017. Big thanks have to go out aswell to Hils for making it happen and also to the sound engineer for giving us A+ sound and lighting tonight.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Hils Ovation

Tonight’s Hils Ovation gig see’s me heading back to the O2 Academy3 Birmingham for a night in the company of Glory Fades, Inclosure, Beckon Lane, Lynus and the amazing, Captain Horizon! And it was Glory Fades who had the pleasure of getting tonight’s show underway and I can’t begin to imagine what the mix of nerves and adrenaline must have been like for them, as this was also their first ever live performance aswell! In the company of a keen and supportive audience, the bands rock rolled freely and it was easy to be caught up in the great vibe and enthusiasm that was obvious throughout their set. As far as new and up and coming bands go, I think Glory Fades are set for high times indeed and I shall definitely look forward to seeing them again.

Brandon Paskin - Glory Fades

Our second set of the show was delivered by the Birmingham based band, Inclosure and the first thing that jumped out at me about this band, was that for three guys, they pack an impressive punch! Lead guitarist Jordan Parton has the kind of on stage energy that is addictive to watch and he also has the skills to match as tonight, the riffs just flowed from his strings. The band have quite a few gigs coming up over the next few months, so make sure to check out their Facebook page for details of all their forthcoming events!

Jordan Parton - Inclosure

With Crimson Star sadly having to step down from tonight’s line up, it was pretty cool to have the Nottingham based band Beckon Lane added to tonight’s bill at such short notice, especially as this was their debut gig in Birmingham aswell. First impressions generally pave the way for future interest and with such a full and resounding heaviness to the bands sound, I think it’s fair to say that Birmingham welcomed them warmly with open arms. May 5th will see Beckon Lane taking part in Nottingham’s Metal 2 The Masses Semi-finals, so all the very best wished to these guys on the road to Bloodstock.

Lewis Phillis - Beckon Lane

Our next band of the night were Lynus and it’s always a pleasure to catch this band live as they really do seem to have found that magic ingredient that simply makes them stand out on just about every stage they set foot on. And tonight’s set from the band had an extra bonus aswell in the form of two new tracks in their set list ‘Feeling Nothing’ and ‘Foot in Mouth’ which are new releases this year and if these songs are anything to go by, 2017 is going to be a pretty outstanding year for Lynus!

Justin Griffiths - Lynus

It’s been said a hundred times over that the West Midlands has a thriving music community but one band whose contribution makes it all that much richer are our headliners of the night, Captain Horizon. With this being their first gig of the year, to say I had been looking forward to it is an understatement but as always, the music was well worth the wait. Tonight’s awesome set list included many songs spanning across the bands nine year existence but the ultimate highlight of the night for me was to hear the title track of their 2011 EP, ’Radiostasis’ as this song really is in a league of it’s own.

Steve Whittington - Captain Horizon

A line up such as the one we saw tonight, is one that simply works well together and I’m pretty chuffed to be able to tell you that you can catch Glory Fades, Lynus and Inclosure all together again, when they will be supporting Free Sun Rising at The Giffard Arms Wolverhampton on May 13th – so get that date in your diary!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Hils Ovation

O2 Academy3 Birmingham 28th January 2017.

Oktopus with support from Netherhall, Brocken Spectre and Sonata Fall. It seems like January 2017 has been an exceptionally long month, so to say I’m just a little bit happy to be heading off to the first Hils Ovation gig of the year, is most definitely an understatement!

And what a little gem tonight’s gig looks set to be as it’s line up offers an intriguing mix of bands both known and previously unknown to me and that definitely warrants a big thumbs up in my book.

Getting tonight underway were Sonata Fall and it quickly became apparent that tonight’s set was to hold great meaning, with this being Simon Tranter’s last gig with the band. Ramped with a profusion of intense guitar licks combined with the rich vocals of Justin Reeves, tonight’s set hit gold for the band and albeit an emotive end to this particular chapter in their career, it delivered one hell of a great promise for the next one!

Simon Tranter - Sonata Fall

Our next set of the night was from the Hereford based band Brocken Spectre and hand on heart, these guys stand in a league of their own! For any band whose music is progressive and purely instrumental, there is a need for that music to completely set the scene and the aura of Brocken Spectre was nothing short of mesmerising! Individually, the level of ability possessed by Phil Rochard (Guitar), Jordan Payne (Drums) and Duncan Edwards (Bass) warrants the title of virtuoso and when collectively delivered in a setting such as this, the best description I can give is to say that this was one of the most awesome live master classes I’ve ever seen.

Duncan Edwards - Brocken Spectre

It has been way too long since I last saw the fantastic band Netherhall, and after watching their set tonight and reflecting back upon that last previous performance, as good as they had been then, their evident evolution over the past twelve months is nothing short of spectacular. The guitar work of Tom Bushell has always been charismatic in both its delivery and content and with Tom positioned pretty much centre stage tonight, I felt that this really brought to the forefront, the immense passion and intelligence that lies within Netherhall’s sound. Netherhall will be back in Birmingham again on the 19th Feb at The Hammer & The Anvil, so give yourself a treat and get yourself along there to see them.

Tom Bushell - Netherhall

Our headliners for tonight were the Birmingham based band Oktopus, who’ve been playing together since 2014 and comprise of Alistair Bell (Vocals/Guitar), Tim Wilson (Drums/Vocals) and Sam Roberts (Bass).

Sam Roberts - Oktopus

Given that I’ve not seen Oktopus play live before and had only heard snippets of their songs, I don’t think I was fully prepared for the experience of their set tonight – and what a truly amazing set it was! The style and progressive sound that Oktopus deliver is fresh, vibrant and through the sheer excellence of the bands ability, they breath the kind of life into their songs that you don’t tend to come across that often.

Alistair Bell - Oktopus

Highlight of their set for me, was the performance of ‘Worlds Apart’ which also happens to be the title of their debut album aswell.

Tonight’s gig certainly blew away those January cobwebs and left me heading for home, one very happy gal indeed!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.