Tag Archives: netherhall

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.

Hils Ovation

O2 Academy3 Birmingham 28th May 2016.

Tonight’s Hils Ovation gig has the making of a rather spectacular night, with performances lined up from Netherhall, Pelugion, Martyr De Mona and the remarkable Fire Red Empress – and you couldn’t want for much more than that!

Netherhall were our first band of the night and for me, this was a much anticipated experience as I had yet to see them perform live. With the band comprising of two former members of Glassbullet, I was holding my breath as to whether or not I would feel their evolution and for the first ten seconds I did have doubts, but those doubts were quickly erased as not only did they look different but they sounded different aswell. Netherhall’s sound is still heavy but with a deeper emotive edge to it that on occasion sent my mind reminiscing back to the classic strains of Robert Miles and never in a million years would I have expected that! Am I excited about what the future holds for Netherhall – yes, I certainly am as there is something very special emerging here and I can’t wait to see where it takes them!

Paul Berry - Netherhall

It’s been way too long since I last saw Pelugion and shame on me for that but tonight’s set was well worth the wait, as their performance was as wild and untamed as I’d hoped it would be. With their track ‘Serpent’s Mistress’ being a particular favourite of mine due to it’s mesmerizing guitar riffs and the brazen vocals of Andy Sweeney, I was pretty chuffed to hear it played in the bands set tonight. It was also particularly cool and pretty brave of the band to include a cover version of Megadeth’s ‘Symphony Of Destruction’ which was just about ten minutes old but then that’s Pelugion for you – fearless and creative to the point of no holds barred.

Andy Sweeney - Pelugion

Our penultimate band for tonight were Martyr de Mona who have been very firm favorites of the Midlands metal scene for a fair few years now but even with that degree of familiarity for regular gig goers, these guys always deliver a set second to none.

Josh Wooldridge - Martyr de Mona

Tonight’s performance at the O2 was indeed outstanding with the energy both on and off stage radiating an atmosphere that was nothing short of exceptional and the kind of experience that you really don’t want to end. You can catch Martyr de Mona at several great events over the forthcoming summer months, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for all the latest updates.

Louis Hale - Martyr De Mona

Time certainly is flying by for Fire Red Empress with it only being a matter of six short months since Jen Diehl made her debut appearance in the band at last years Midlands Metal Crusade and already Fire Red Empress have a new album which is just about ready for launching. Tonight’s set promised the opportunity to hear a host of new material from it along with a few firm favorites and for me, that was something not to be missed!

Ben Picken - Fire Red Empress

With the stage swathed in fiery red lights, the band were welcomed onto the stage loudly by the audience of a pretty packed out O2 Academy3 and what then followed was a completely addictive set that was nothing short of compelling to see and hear. This band have never lacked in the stage presence department but with Jen Diehl’s character, confidence and vocal ability truly shinning through, I can wholehearted predict that Fire Red Empress are destined for many great things yet to come.

Jen Diehl - Fire Red Empress

I left the O2 Academy3 tonight feeling like I had just witnessed something quite special, as not only had the bands given 110% but there was an atmosphere of excitement in the room which had rolled out across the audience and band members alike. And that my friend, is exactly what the thrill of live music is all about!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.