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Amplified

Live review Sunday 23rd July 2017.

Sunday dawned dry and sunny which is an excellent start to any festival – add in a host of great bands, great music and good company to look forward to and voila, you have day 3 of Amplified Festival 2017!

So, and without further ado, it was time to head on over to the Beer Tent to get acquainted with my first of many Amplified bands and getting my Sunday well underway, were Hell’s Gazelles. This four piece band had brought a pretty dynamic dose of hard hitting rock ’n’ roll up with them from Oxford and if you like to go check out the up and coming bands who pack a punch, then Hell‘s Gazelles need to be at the top of your list!

My first experience of the Red Stripes main stage came courtesy of Instill and once again, here was a band that were new to me and who really do need to be seen and heard when the opportunity arises.

With 2.30pm fast approaching, it brought along with it the ultimate fear of many a festival goer – the stage clash! I desperately wanted to see Garganjua but I also wanted to see Courtesans aswell, so at times such as this, there really was only one decision to make – go see both.

Having had the great pleasure of seeing Garganjua live on a few occasions over the past eighteen months, I really was quite blown away with the strength and power present today within the bands song content and stage presence. Garganjua’s music sits with the mesmerizing genre of doom, but their style of doom is one of the most animated that I’ve seen and these guys certainly put their life’s blood into today’s performance. Intense and bloody marvelous to say the least!

A quick gallop across the field brought me to probably the midway point of the Courtesans set and immediately it was clear to see why this band are such a talking point for so many. Courtesans posses a thought provoking mix of both beauty and the beast – the element of beauty being obvious to the eye, whilst the beast lies within their music and its lyrical capture of the darker side of life. With both elements combined, Courtesans stand tall in a league of their own and their set today was really quite something to behold.

After a quick break, I headed back on over again to The Red Stripes stage to catch Bad Touch who really seem to be making excellent headway on the live music scene and also brought the sun out with them. The bluesy rock and roll just flows from this band and their set this afternoon certainly delivered that good time festival feel to one and all.

Next up for me were In Search Of Sun and once again, these guys were another must see band of the day. The one thing that I find really interesting about In Search Of Sun is that they manage to span the boundary between hard rock and metal with effortless ease, resulting in songs that can fit whatever your mood or particular preference is and today’s set from them certainly hit the right spot indeed!

As afternoon turned into early evening, it was time to go check out Massive over on the Red Stripe stage and if I were to choose my favourite performance of the day, then these guys would be it. Not only do Massive deliver a colossal dose of great rock and roll but their infectious personalities and humour just fixed the smile on my face from start to finish.

And carrying on in that same vein of big rock sounds – but this time in a more melodic style, were my next band of the day, Vega. I first saw Vega several years back in 2011 at Firefest so it was excellent to see them up on stage again today and clearly at the top end of the melodic rock ranks.

Amplified Festival has given me, and quite possibly many others, the chance to see bands who I haven’t come across before and I have to hang my head in shame and confess that Unzucht were one such band. With a sound and style that is darkly charismatic, their set today was an absolute excursion into the depths of industrial metal and an experience that I will look forward to repeating again!

Today had definitely brought about some pretty impressive performances and with that thought in mind, my next pit stop was Heck but boy oh boy, in no way was I prepared for the madness and mayhem that these guys were about to unleash! Heck are most definitely not for the faint hearted as they pack a punch on par with a charging rhinoceros and that was really quite something to witness.

With daylight finally slipping away into night, our two remaining bands of the day held the honour of bringing Amplified Festival 2017 to a close and with those bands being Reef and Diamond Head, then I just knew that this would be an ending to remember.

With the Red Stripes stage lit to cool blue perfection and ready to rock, 90’s icon’s Reef took to the stage amidst some of the warmest cheers of the day and what a set they gave us indeed. With many of their past iconic songs being given the big seal of approval from the audience, this was a pretty cool trip down memory lane for sure, but I did love the fact that newer tracks were included aswell and hope we will have plenty more Reef to look forward to.

And so, my last band of the day were to be Diamond Head and you just gotta love these guys as they always give 110% with each and every performance and all their great songs, both old and new just kept coming tonight. It certainly seemed like both band and fans alike were set on enjoying the moment and with plenty of dates still in their diary for 2017, do make a point of getting to see them live if you can.

I must add that Jay Hawkin’s had chance to chat with Karl Wilcox from Diamond Head earlier in the day so be sure to check that out here.

Looking back on my day at Amplified, I can only say that it was a great day and an experience that I would happily repeat and recommend. So huge thanks going out the Gary Paterson and everyone whose hard work, can do attitude and helping hands, made this festival something pretty special to be part of. My one regret from today was not checking out the Tavern Stage, so I do give my sincere apologies for that.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle

Massive

Aussie hard rockers MASSIVE have teamed up with Kerrang! for the premiere of their brand new music video for the track “Ghost”.

The track is taken from MASSIVE’s debut album, ‘Full Throttle’, which is available now worldwide on CD, vinyl and digital download.

‘Full Throttle’ was originally released independently in 2013 in the band’s homeland of Australia, before being released in the rest of the world on Earache Records in 2014. The new version features four newly-recorded bonus tracks which weren’t available on the original release, including two brand new original songs plus covers of AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)” and AEROSMITH’s “Rats in the Cellar”.

Get ‘Full Throttle’ now on CD and limited edition vinyl in Europe at Earache webstore and also available on iTunes

Get more MASSIVE news and info here!

The Treatment

Rock City Nottingham 10th October 2014.

Tonight’s gig was a pretty exciting one for me, as those crazy rockers from the land of Oz were over here touring with Buffalo Summer and The Treatment, which is the first time, that I’m aware of, since I reviewed their fabulous new album “Full Throttle” and was only their fourth ever show in this country. I go into more depth about them, as a band and the album itself in that review.

Having only heard the album and read the reviews, I was eager to see how Massive performed on the live stage, as, lets face it, that’s were the music really matters. Surprisingly they were on first, which must have been an odd feeling for them too as they are usually the main attraction back home in Australia and it showed.

Let me tell you, these guys were rocking from the get go! The whole set consisted of tracks from the new album, which didn’t matter non, as I think the album is a great body of work from start to finish. The band kicked off with ‘Burning the Sun’, then went on to do ‘Hollywood’, ‘Lacey’, ‘Dancefloor’, ‘Ghost’, ‘One by One’ then finished with ‘Now or Never’. In true Australian fashion, fashioned by those nut cases Airbourne, we had plenty of beer drinking on and off the stage and at one point Brad Marr, Massive’s vox man managed to climb onto the Basement Bar, thrash out a few riffs, down someone else’s pint, throw the empty plastic pint cup at me, whilst I was trying to take a picture, then jump back onto the stage for the next song.

Brad Marr - Massive

I’ll be honest, these guys know how to work a crowd and have a party whilst doing so. I appreciated axe man, Ben Laguada posing throughout the set as it really did make for an awesome picture. Aidan Mc Garrigle was more of a shy creature, opting to hide behind his hair throughout most of the set, but I did mange to capture him busting out some moves. On drums we have a stereotypical Aussie look-a-like, surfer dude, Jarrod Medwin, who is super good looking and very charismatic sat behind his kit. I’ll say this about Brad, what he lacks in height, he makes up for in his larger than life personality, which stands tall! He is actually taller in the flesh!! An awesome set, which I thoroughly enjoyed, so much so, afterwards I was ready to go home, as anyone else playing the stage was going to have a really hard time matching that MASSIVE performance, over to you then Buffalo Summer! P.S Massive did suggest they may be back in the UK in 2015 during the festival season, so watch out for them appearing next summer!

Massive

I first saw the adorable Welsh bunch, Buffalo Summer, when they played on Metal Hammer’s first “Lord of the Riffs” tour, which, after seeing them play, again at Rock City’s basement bar, made me fall in love with this band instantly. They do exactly what they say they do, which is feel good rock and roll. As the guys have been touring with Massive and The Treatment, I feel tonight’s performance was a slightly more elevated affair from that first encounter. Having two very energetic bands on the bill, has surely helped them to up their onstage persona to maintain people spirits through their set. To do this, we had four very energetic and entertaining buffalo’s on that stage.

Andrew Hunt - Buffalo Summer

Andrew (vox) posed for the camera’s, which is a rare occurrence at any show, if you ever read this though Andrew, shoving your face straight down the camera’s lens, in low light, isn’t easy to fix focus on and capture, but I did appreciate the gesture. Darren the bass king was in high spirits and he too elevated to new heights and climbed onto the bar for a bit of a bass solo, his horns were being flashed a plenty. Jonny Williams, on guitar was an absolute monster with his axe tonight, hence why they were on the Lords of Riff tour, a pure genius, who was relishing his time on the stage, which is always nice to see. Brother and drummer Gareth Hunt was also very energetic and seemed to be loving performing for us all tonight. I haven’t got long to wait before I see these guys again, as the next opportunity will be in November, at Hard Rock Hell 8 in North Wales, which isn’t too far for these guys to travel, so see you there, you lucky, lucky people!

Jonny Williams - Buffalo Summer

Headliners tonight were “The Treatment” from Cambridge. At first, when they all took to the stage, I though I was on the set of Grease and was gearing up for a showdown with the T-Birds gang, but thankfully the band started playing and I remembered where I was, phew, back on track. All five members are strapping young lads which helped to explain the scantily clad rock chicks, or is that the pink ladies, in the crowd screaming their heads off……..disgusting behaviour, but all good fun and was reminiscent of the days of old, when swagga, style and rock n roll music was a lifestyle choice not a sub genre. Having a 22,000+ following on their Facebook page, these guys are really kicking up a storm amongst the younger generation.

Matt Jones - The Treatment

Lead singer Matt Jones reminded me of Sisters of Mercy singer Andrew Eldritch, with his mirrored Aviator shades, but that’s where the similarities ended. The rest of the band consists of Dee Dammers – guitar, Tagore Grey – guitar, Dhani Mansworth – Drums and Rick Newman – bass. To describe their sound, I’d have to go with AC/DC definitely (but only as far as a style and similarity in music goes) and as far as my own personal taste goes, I couldn’t really get on-board with them but I know many people do like these guys and I certainly respect what they are doing. I have listened to both their albums, ‘This Might Hurt’ and ‘Running With Dogs’ many times, the latter being my preferred choice out of the two, which was only released this year. As they are maturing, their music is becoming more palatable, so there is hope for me yet! Until next time music fans, stay crazy.

The Treatment

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)