Tag Archives: jinjer

Amplified Festival 2018

Quarrydowns Gloucestershire – Saturday 7th July.

After a traumatic night, feeling ill and having to take a shit in the woods, I kid you not, I started Saturday, rather jinjerly…get it! Yes, today is the day I get to see my favourite band on planet Earth, right now!

Before that though, we had many an amazing band to watch, before hand!

Sadly, the only band I managed to see, on the ‘Legendary G’s Bar Stage’ today was Pretty Addicted” as due to the continuing heat, I didn’t wanna melt. Bear in mind, this stage is in the marque bar which proved as the festivals saviour last year! This area has had an upgrade and now has a proper stage area which works very well, despite the heat. Having seen the only two band members, who bothered to show up this weekend around the festival all weekend, they looked like pretty interesting characters, so I wanted to check them out. Although not a full band, we had a vocalist and the bands bassist who gave us one hell of a show! Great to photograph too! Wonderfully weird and extravagant!

The first band I managed to see over on the ‘Very Metal Art Stage’ were the Derby lads, Fahran, who I haven’t managed to see since their show at Derby Theatre, when the pyro set off the fire alarms and cleared the venue during the first song! Haha! I love their energy, which they had in abundance during their Amplified Festival set today. I also love their sound as it’s very original! These guys are being tipped as the next big thing and mark my words, given the right guidance, they will get there! Someone said to me recently, “we all have a book to write, within us” and this story would most definitely feature within it!

Irish lads ‘Animator’ caught my ear this weekend again over on the VMA Stage. These guys play a great mixture of metal that I’d mostly class as thrash metal, to be honest! Not that that’s a band thing, as I personally love old school thrash. Think Anthrax and you’ve got these guys in a nut shell!

Sadly, X-Method didn’t mange to make it to over to play the festival, so Paul McMonnies, managed to send the band a personal and heart felt ‘Hello’ from all of us here, to make up for it!

I’m also disappointed with the fact that I missed Arron Buchanan as I believe I was interviewing the awesome Evil Scarecrow, at the time. As much as I hate interviewing bands, for this very reason, Evil Scarecrow made it worth while, as it was loads of fun! Check that interview out here – we think this interview was/is hilarious and really helps to give people an insight into the crazy minds, behind one of Britain’s best loved metal bands!

Back to thrash then, courtesy of the AWESOME Bull-Riff Stampede! It’s been a long time since we last saw these guys play a show, in fact I think the last time was when they supported Lawnmower Deth, at their Christmas show down in London at the Underworld! This is apparently only their second performance of 2018 and to be fair, family life is more important than music (but music is life). Certain members of the band are also performing in other bands, like Jay, who plays guitar for Xentrix’s and James, who has recently been announced as Onslaughts new drummer, which is awesome news! As much as I love both of those other two bands, for me, these five individuals ARE Bull-Riff Stampede and should remain that way and yes, that’s me being selfish! I hope to see more of these guys soon, as I love them. P.S, I’m still waiting to hear ‘Mask of Five Skulls’ live fellas, sort it out!

Headlining the VMA Stage today we have the ultra funny Psychostick, all the way from Chicago – America, to entertain us, with their unique style of metal! Funny hats, beards, songs about beer and boobs, what’s not to love! I’ve never seen these guys play before, so was intrigued to see what the Amplified crowd would make of them? To describe into words, if you threw Evil Scarecrow, Alestorm and Gwar into a room and they had an orgy, Psychostick would be the resulting love child and I think it’s safe to say, the crowd loved them! Thanks to the fact that their was no band clashes, between the main stage and the second stage, it meant that there was no excuse for missing these guys, or any other band that you wanted to see. If however, there was a band on the 3rd stage you wanted to see, you were screwed but the festival did try to schedule these bands sensibly. Well done, this worked very well!

Today on the main stage, there was a real mixed bag of music that didn’t follow any one genre or theme, it simply showcased the best in music, today and had something for everyone! It’s worth mentioning that last year, the main stage was on the opposite side of the field, facing the sun. Acoustically, I though this worked well but it didn’t appreciate or take into account the sun as it passed over. I’ll be forgiven for not factoring this in, as we didn’t see the sun last year! With the main stage in it’s new location, it worked very well I thought, ok, the sun was super bright this year, so photography was a challenge in the morning, but as the sun set we were treated to some super cool colours and even managed to capture some cool sunset images in the background, behind the main stage. Acoustics weren’t affected either! Bonus! Going forward, I can see the main stage remaining in this location for future years!

Another band that caught my ear today were King Creature and what a great sound, live. I’ve since gone back and listened to their recorded material but sadly, that same energy which I saw on stage today, appears to have been lost in their recording of ‘Volume One’, which got released last year. Coincidentally and in a conversation I had with Sean, Voodoo Bloods lead guitarist, he admitted many bands fall foul to the modern way of recording an album these days. He agrees that the live, musical element gets lost when each instrument is recorded separately, then layered over the top of one another and suggests, if/when Voodoo Blood get around to recording their debut album, they’d look to record tracks in one take together, like bands used to back in the day! Yes Sean, this will work very well, especially with a band like his, whose live shows sound phenomenal!

The next band that literally blew me away today were non other than Jinjer, who I knew would do just that after seeing them perform at Rock City’s Basement Room back in December 2017. So sure was I of this bands talent, I took a punt and shared one of my images in the Amplified Festival Facebook group, suggesting they book them for this year! Amazingly, Gary messaged me back 24 hours later, stating he’d booked the band and was just waiting on them to sign the contract! Since then, the music industry appears to have opened their eyes and their ears and have taken notice of these guys from the Ukraine, especially after touring with Arch Enemy in Europe and Cradle of Filth in North America!

Jinjer are already massive in Europe, as it’s easier for them to get visas to enter those countries. After speaking with Eugene, the bands bass player and voice, he admitted it’s the UK border control that makes life difficult for them when trying to enter the UK. This problem reared it’s ugly head again after driving from their own country and across Europe to Germany as they needed to get an approval stamp, granting them entry into the UK. Sadly, this process took a whole two days, which meant they had to cancel their appearance at Tech Fest and another show that they had planned to use as a warm up. They did eventually get permission to cross the channel and to enter into the UK, just in time for them to get here and perform for us. Although extremely tired, they put on one hell of a show which clashed with the England quarter final game, which sucked, as the crowd wasn’t nearly big enough for a band of this caliber!! Those that did bother to witness Jinjer’s first and only UK festival performance in 2018 were blown away by it! I know this, because I spoke with many people at the festival over the weekend, who said so! Fair play Gary, you did us proud!

Evil Scarecrow are now a worthy headlining band and after their impromptu headline set at last years event, Gary clearly saw their potential and granted them an official headlining slot for this year. To make their set even more fun, the band had upped the anti, going all out on their performance and features to enhance the spectators enjoyment of the show. Features include pyro, CO2 cannons, confetti and of course, people dressed up in various costumes, relating to their songs! Fair play to the person, who dressed up as Red Riding Hood and who ventured out into the crowd, during the bands performance of the yet to be released track off their fourth coming album due out this October! I thought they were going to slip and fall, but they managed to stay on their feet!

I love photographing this band – it’s true, but I enjoy watching the show even more these days! Although it was an open pit, which meant I could have sat there throughout, taking pictures! Instead, once I got the shots I needed, I raced into the crowd, found my friends and watched the rest of the set with them which for me, was way more enjoyable!

Sadly, after a very long day I made my way to bed so I missed Electric Eel Shock, who, by all accounts, were very entertaining and very funny to watch! Next time guys! Roll on Sunday!

Be sure to visit us over on Flickr for more photos from Amplified 2018. https://www.flickr.com/photos/music224/albums

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)


Rock City, Basement 25th November 2017

I think I can safely say, I along with the rest of the country (those that attended a show that is) are still absolutely buzzing from Jinjer’s brief trip over here to play a number of shows around the UK. Tonight, at the Basement, was their penultimate show, with only Birmingham remaining, before they head back over to Europe for 4 more shows, then a break to prepare for their tour around Europe, with Arch Enemy, who are heading are way after, incidentally, but without Jinjer.

They are heading over to the north of America, like here, for the first time in their career, which is great news for them, as I know they’ve been dying to play shows outside of Europe! That tour starts in March, 2018 and I can’t be happier for the band, as it’s been a long time coming! Fans of the band, in North America, show your support and show them the love they deserve!

As tonights show was on a Saturday, which is a rarity, incidentally, I managed to rope a couple of friends along with me, who also bought a ticket, as I did! They knew I had an interview scheduled with the band, but never did they think they would be sitting in and meet the band, whilst I chatted with them. They even made themselves useful, by monitoring the time on the camera, while I concentrated on the interview. Young Lucy did a cracking job, the best camera hand, I’ve had yet. You can help me again! Masaaki even gave me a great question to ask, which I saved until the end of the interview, which worked well! ;) I feel it’s one of my best yet. Lighting was good, even the sound was good, it’s just a shame I had to be in it, ah well, it’s a necessary evil and a small sacrifice to pay, when I think about it, as I get to meet great bands, like Jinjer and actually get to speak with them, in person, as opposed to just photographing them on stage, where I never actually get the chance to meet the real them! I’ve been a big fan of this band, since I discovered them, back in 2013, so I was super excited, but I kept my cool, for the most part and no, I didn’t fan boy my way through the interview either, I kept him locked up, inside me!

Tonight consisted of two support bands, before the main event, the first of which were local band Black Ink, who I’ve not encountered before, but 3 of the 5 band members looked very familiar and that’s because they use to be in a band called ‘Famous for Nothing’. When I asked Kam, the bands guitarist, why this was, he merely replied, we are a new band, with new material and new band members, but I’m sure I recognised some of their tracks! Black Ink have been going since 2013, which surprises me, as I’m sure I’ve shot F4N, since? Anyhow, tonight was a great opportunity for this six piece band, from Nottingham and as they play Metalcore, they were well suited. Having 2 vocalists, sharing in both clean and growls, it helped to give the band an exciting and dynamic approach to a well established genre.

As I write this, a post has appeared on the bands Facebook page, stating their new single ‘Lights Out’ will be played on Alex Baker’s radio show, on Kerrang! Radio, for his feature Fresh Blood. The band certainly are that! If you like what you hear, check out the bands other music, on both Spotify and Itunes. It would appear these guys have got their shit together and are going for it, the right way. Good luck lads, tonights set was a credible performance and I was suitably impressed!

Another first, for me was the band ‘From Sorrow to Serenity’ consisting of 4 lads from Glasgow, who have been the main support band to Jinjer, throughout their visit, here in the UK and man, these guys are off the chain! I generally pride myself, in knowing who the ‘new bands’ are, what with doing this for fun. I receive new music from all over the place, from record labels and PR companies a like, which is ace, as it keeps me well informed, but sometimes, you come across a band and say to yourself, how have I not heard of this band before? In April, this year, they released a new music video called ‘Golden Age’ and so far, it’s managed to rack up 13,000 views on YouTube, which in modern day terms, is pretty impressive. I love YouTube, despite what others might think, it’s a great tool for new bands to get themselves discovered! Check out this video for yourselves, tell us what you think!

Kerrang! Sure summed these guys up well, stating the band are “Metalcore Monsters” which the band appear to be proud of and why not, they do exactly what it says, slay and conquer, in equal measure. Sadly the lighting was terrible for these guys, but I managed to get a few, half decent shots! With a new album and another UK tour to look forward to in 2018, i’ll be sure to keep my beady eye on these guys!

Having already spoken Tatiana and Eugene of Jinjer, I was well and truly hyped to finally witness them live! It’s been a long time coming, 4 years in fact, since I first discovered this band, thanks to Dimitris, who was working for their record label, The Leaders, in Greece at the time the label signed Jinjer, they even distributed the bands first 2 albums, Inhale, Don’t breath, which is one of my favourite albums, of all time. However, as it’s only 8 tracks long (not including the three live tracks) the band class this as their debut EP. Later it was re-released as a full length album, along with the bands 2nd offering ‘Cloud Factory’ which has stand out tracks Outlander, tonights opening track ‘Who’s is Gonna Be the One’ and the title track, ‘Cloud Factory‘ on it!

Having followed this band avidly, I’m aware they’ve been through hell and high water to get to where they are today and they are a prime example of never giving up on a dream. Sure it helps if you’ve got the talent to back it up and a singer who looks and sounds like Tatiana, but what a front woman she is, she is incredible, as are every single one of the bands other musicians, who are a talent, in their own right, but together, they are a formidable force, a force to be reckoned with, for many years to come, as they’ve now only just started to break into new and more lucrative markets, like the UK and the US!

Having been voted best metal band, in their own country of the Ukraine, in 2013 and 2016, they are still relatively unknown, around the world. I’m sure by singing with a renowned record label, like Napalm Records, will help to give them more exposure around the world and knowing they are signed to produce at least another 2 albums for this record label, I’m very excited by this and the bands future prospects!

Tonights show was incredible, from the first note, to the last, the crowd here in Nottingham gave it their all, which we should all be proud of It would appear, so did the crowds that attended at all the other UK shows, from what I can gather, from the crowd videos that are starting to appear on social media feeds, which pleases me greatly. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, in supporting this great band, who are primarily metalcore, with a twist of groove-laden and even death metal, they are very diverse in their sound, which should make them palatable to a wide range of metal fans, what ever their chosen genre, I’m sure Jinjer will cater for a variety of musical tastes, due to their exceptional and energetic style of music, clean and growling vocals! I side with one fans comment, I read recently, which stated the bands set was way too short, approximately 45mins long, which was way too short. The crowd managed to shout loud enough to force the band to perform an encore, which just so happened to be ‘Scissors’ which ended the set perfectly and made me even more happy, than I already was!

If you can, listen to the track Pisces, off the bands new album ‘King of Everything’ for me, this track sums this band up perfectly, in my opinion and demonstrates, what I’ve just said, perfectly! This new album is a great album, that’s for certain, but I’ll always hold Inhale, Don’t Breath as perfection!

Fans of Lamb of God, Opeth and Meshuggah should check out Jinjer.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)