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Hils Ovation

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 22nd October 2016.

This evenings Hils Ovation event is set to be quite a night and getting tonight well underway were Koncept from the Tamworth and Telford areas, and here we have a band whose name serves them well, as it describes their metal perfectly. Koncept brings together the experience and influences of Jamie Gibson, Craig Beniston and Sam Evans and tonight’s seven song set provided much food for thought as it captured the bands creative approach well and certainly gave me an appetite for more. The band released their debut album ‘Closure’ back in April of this year and this is a must to check out if you haven’t already!


With a pretty much last minute slot opening up in tonight’s line up, our next band Parkhurst made quick work of stepping up to the plate and even though it’s only been a matter of weeks since their last appearance at one of Hils Ovations night’s, there was no denying how much their confidence had grown over that short time frame. There was also news of a forthcoming EP from the band, although there is no firm release date for it as yet but to echo the words of Jak Bunney, ’Just as long as we get it, that’s all that matters!’


The midway point of the night saw Unhinged take to the stage and in advance of seeing them play live, they’d been described to me as ‘quite a lively bunch’ but even within the first ten minutes of their set, it became blatantly apparent that that description was most definitely an understatement. Lead singer Mike Hodges wears the crown of lead singer and front man exceptionally well with the kind of energy that has you falling over your feet just trying to keep up. And speaking of feet, he is definitely the one and only person I have ever seen lick the soles of somebody’s shoes whilst they’re still wearing them!! The rest of the set saw Mike raising hard punking hell from various positions within the Slade Rooms and by that I mean whilst hanging onto the lighting rig, pacing around the room or precariously sitting on the shoulders of enthused supporters. The bands set was certainly a community affair as many were eager to show their support, including Bryan Hancox from At Dawn We Attack who was game to share the mic for a song or two! I’m not sure whether the bands name (Unhinged) represents their on stage persona or whether it describes the state they leave the audience in, but either way they were excellent tonight and I loved ‘em!


Now by normal standards, Unhinged would be a hard act to follow but with Broken Jaw primed and ready to roll next, normal didn’t even come into it as these guys will never be called shy when it comes to shenanigans! The bands set tonight not only included their self penned songs but also a rather unique cover on ‘Summer Nights’, the memory of which is going to stay with me for a long time to come. And once again, there was no holding back others from joining in with the band and it was pretty cool to see members from the other bands in tonight’s line up quick to join in. Broken Jaw are a fantastic band to go and see live and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do!


Our headlining band At Dawn We Attack are all regular faces on the West Midlands metal scene and having seen them play live before on numerous occasions, it was already a done deal that these guys were going to be worthy headliners tonight.


Amidst the strains of David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ and cheers of appreciation, At Dawn We Attack took to the stage and laid siege upon the Slade Rooms with their nine song set that included melodic metal core tracks such as ‘Nooses For Neckties’ and ‘Capitulate’. It was clear that the band greatly value all the support that they receive and Bryan Hancox captured this sentiment perfectly, when he asked the audience to give themselves a round of applause as it was because of them that they got to do all of this.


In addition to the fact that all five individual bands put 100% into their sets tonight – and then some, the one stand out memory I shall carry with me about this gig was the way in which everyone just gelled so well together both on stage and off. Tonight’s event contained the kind of camaraderie amongst the bands that truly was awesome to witness and something that will leave it’s mark for a long time to come.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Hils Ovation

O2 Academy3 Birmingham 24th September 2016.

Tonight see’s the metal spotlight focusing very brightly on the awesome line up over at the O2 Academy3, where Hils Ovation is playing host to XVII, One For Sorrow, Pilla, Construct and Parkhurst.

Getting tonight’s gig underway were the Kidderminster based band, Parkhurst who are making great headway in raising their profile through the deliverance of their homespun and hardcore punk. It is always great to see a band on stage who are enjoying the moment as much as their audience and that was exactly how Parkhurst rolled tonight.


Our second band of the evening were Construct and here we have a band that is definitely built for brutality, as their set tonight was adrenaline packed from the start to finish. Front man Callum Howle has a voice and on stage persona that is made for metal and one thing for sure – Construct were natural born killers tonight!


There are some bands whose performance will leave you with a memorable impression and then there are others who have the potential to scar you for life and our third band of the night, Pilla, sit firmly in that second category! Without doubt, these guys own their metal on stage but the blood thirsty and eerie presence of front man Luke Osborne really is something to experience and I strongly suggest that you do just that, as these guys are in a league of their own!


The last time I had the pleasure of seeing One For Sorrow, it was way back in February 2015 when they played here at the O2 Academy3, so I have to admit I was pretty chuffed to see the band back in Birmingham again tonight. One For Sorrow deliver stoner groove with a fist full of attitude that is always relentless in its delivery and that was exactly what we got tonight!


There is nothing finer than to see a band reap what they sow and over the past few years, the Midlands metal scene has seen tonight’s headliners XVII do just that. XVII posses the kind of raw energy that radiates with a force to be reckoned with and tonight’s set from the band went down an absolute storm.


You can catch XVII live again at the Midlands Metal Crusade on the 26th November over at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton and also at HRH Metal back here at the O2 Academy in February next year, so get those dates in your diary as XVII are not to be missed!


Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.