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Twisted Ninja Presents

The Haygate Wellington Sunday 1st May 2016.

This Charity Weekender has provided an absolute wealth of great music and also set about raising funds for some well worthy charities and today is set to follow in exactly the same vein. Sunday’s charity of choice is Blesma and here were have an organisation whose mission is to assist veterans who have suffered the loss of limbs or sight, in the course of serving their country. It’s difficult to comprehend the impact that this kind of life changing event can have on a person and their family, but the work of Blesma has been tireless in it’s campaigning and the testimonials on their website shows just how much they have achieved for those in need of Blesma’s support.


With a slight change to today’s line up due to PTO being unable to play, the first band on stage were Black Star Bullet. Due to my late arrival at The Haygate, I missed their set, so apologies to the band for my lack of coverage of their performance.

And with the band Buzzard already in full flight, the Haygate was definitely rocking. Buzzards style of in ya face rock is first class and with songs such as ‘Another Chain’ plus a rather impressive version of ‘Teenage Kicks’ that included Mat from Valous on guest vocals, Sunday was looking to be a very promising day indeed!

Andy Ve - Buzzard

Next up were Wolff and it was good to see these guys again as their debut EP released back in early 2015 left quite an impression – especially the track ‘Lycanthropic Tendencies’, which I was chuffed to hear included in their set today. The band have quite a few dates coming up over the next few months, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for all the latest Wolff news.

What can I say about Torous that I haven’t said already as there really is something about this band that never fails to capture the imagination. Today’s set included some of the unmistakable tracks from their EP ‘Dried Bones’ and also gave us an introduction to the forthcoming new single ‘God Game Suicide’ which has all the attributes of another raging success for the band!

Marc Malone - Torous

Another band that are ever popular at The Haygate are West Midlands based The Black Hounds. The band have a busy time ahead with the forthcoming launch of their new EP ‘Gallows‘ which I can assure you is a bit of a cracker and one that needs to be checked out, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for more details about that!

Tonight’s set from Left For Red was one of the must see performances of the day for me as with Dan Carter planning on a little Paternity leave, tonight’s set was quite possibly the last chance I will get to catch this everlasting line up for a little while. And as always and very much true to great form, Left For Red absolutely nailed it tonight, despite having played three gigs over three nights with a fair few miles travelled aswell.

Rob Hadley - Left For Red

Our next band of the night were the one and only Theia and when it comes down to loads of on stage energy, great rock ‘n’ roll and a performance laced with the fact that these guys are all having a great time aswell, then this band is one that should never be missed. Theia’s set tonight was a combination of some of their timeless classics plus a few of their newer songs and it was so impressive to see once again, a band who never take their musical progression for granted.

With Sunday evening well and truly in full swing our next band of the night were Valous. Recent changes to their line up brings Lee ‘Wilf’ Wilson back again but now on full time bass duties and also Ben Read on guitar, who is the second new addition to the fold. Valous always deliver 110% metal and tonight’s set was once again, a powerhouse performance from Mat and the guys.

Mat Shutt - Valous

With the end of the day fast approaching there was no chance to catch your breath as our penultimate band for Sunday were Worcestershire based, Fury. The stage really is a natural habitat for these guys and forty minutes of epic metal just wasn’t enough, as these guys have the knack of making time fly. With a new album set for release next month, I hope it isn’t too long before Telford see’s them back up here again, as that will be a must go to gig for sure!

Julian Jenkins and Mart Trail - Fury

As far as our headlining band goes, you could be forgiven for assuming upon seeing the name Diamond Head on the poster that it was referring to a tribute band or cover act, as ultimately these guys are not out of place on an arena stage just about anywhere in the world, but I kid you not, we are talking about the real mccoy here!!

Karl Wilcox - Diamond Head

The Haygate simply lapped up the hearty set that Diamond Head delivered, which truly was a great thing to witness as these guys clearly put the full weight of their commitment into supporting this great event and brought an amazing weekend to an end on an incredible high!

This weekend has been one to remember and the amount of preparation and organisation that has gone into making it happen, must truly have been a labour of love and none of it would have been possible without the support of the bands, The Haygate, Stage and Studio Services and of course, The Twisted Ninja Team. Andy, Helen, Becky, Lee and Louise deserve a huge amount of recognition for all of the effort and commitment that they put into this weekend and I’m sure that all the bands will be most happy to raise a glass…. or two, in appreciation of all their tireless support.

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Twisted Ninja Presents

The Haygate Wellington Saturday 30th April 2016

Today marks the second day of Twisted Ninja’s Charity Weekender and what a day it looks set to be! The charity of choice is one close to home for this area, as the Telford Food Bank which is part of Telford Crisis Network has been providing vital support to many since it first opened in 2013, so this really is a worthy cause and a great chance to be giving something back to an organisation that is very much needed.

Telford Crisis Support

With ten great bands set to raise some much needed funds, The Mighty Wraith were first up and much credit going out to these guys for giving us such an energetic start to the day.

Matt Gore - The Mighty Wraith

Our second band for today were XVII who have been taking the metal scene by storm following on from their Metal 2 The Masses regional win last year and subsequent appearance at Bloodstock. Hell hath no fury quite like Vaughn Bennett in full flight and there was certainly no holding him back today!

Next up on stage were Lynus and I’m a big fan of these guys as they always make rock ‘n’ roll look easy and never fail to make that connection with their audience either. Today they definitely scored a big hit with one of the younger rockers in the audience, with the gift of their set list putting the biggest smile of the day on the face of one very happy little dude.

Justin Griffiths - Lynus

After seeing Cadence Noir performing a semi-acoustic set at last years charity weekender, I was very much looking forward to seeing today’s fully electric set from the band and they were definitely electric in every sense of the word. For those in the mood to dance, jig or just shake their thang, Cadence Noir were exactly what the doctor ordered!

Spreading The Disease or STD as they are affectionately known, are a band whose strong online presence is one that certainly grabs your attention and with this being the first time I’ve seen them live, I have to say that they also own the stage like a boss! Fronting the band is Adam May and whether he be on stage or pacing in front of it, his adrenaline packed persona was relentless. If you haven’t caught the band live yet, make sure you do – you won’t be disappointed.

Ju Riquelme and Steve Saunders - Spreading The Disease

Another band who I’ve heard a lot about but not seen live before were Ronin and whether they’re performing their own material or giving a blinding interpretation of someone else’s song, these guys give 110% on stage. Kit Kinrade on lead vocals brought the kind of energy and enthusiasm to the room that left a lasting impression which in my opinion, made Ronin one of the highlights of my day.

Next up and hailing from the South West of the country were CAMBION and if you want to experience metal that is intensely savage yet bares a melodic soul, then here we have a band that you really need to check out. CAMBION will be clocking up even more miles over the next couple of months with a great list of live dates up and down the country – including The Boardie Takeover at this years Download, so do make sure to check them out first chance you get.

Frank Dennis - Cambion

With only three bands left to play on a day that has truly shone, Hells Addiction were next up and quickly set about delivering some heavy rock of the hardest variety. There is a very strong undertone in their music that ricochets through the same veins as AC/DC and you really can’t fail to enjoy that!

Daylight Robbery were our penultimate band of the day and along with a great catalogue of heavy melodic rock, they also brought a hardcore group of loyal fans with them who certainly know how to enjoy themselves. Daylight Robbery truly have a style and panache that is worthy of such accolade and are a band that I shall definitely be making a point of seeing again!

Tony Nicholl - Daylight Robbery

With the planned end of day having been and gone, no-one was clock watching as our headlining band for today Voodoo Sioux were still yet to play and these guys are so captivating on stage and play such great rock‘n’roll that the party isn’t over until they say so. The bands set went down a storm with The Haygate’s audience, so much so in fact that they played ‘one last song’ twice and if you want to end a great day on a massive high, then Voodoo Sioux are a band guaranteed to do just that.

Nick Flaherty - Voodoo Sioux

Saturday was definitely been a great day to overdose on rock and metal and how Sunday will top that I don’t know but one thing for sure, it still ain’t over yet!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.

Twisted Ninja Presents

 The Haygate Wellington Friday 29th April 2016.

This Bank Holiday weekend see’s The Haygate in Wellington Telford, playing host to a monumental gathering of rock and metal bands all intent on supporting the good cause of three upstanding charities all of whom make a difference to the lives of so many, on a daily basis. The charity of choice for Friday was the Compton Hospice who have been a key figure for the past thirty years in providing much cherished support to those with life limiting illnesses and also to their families, during such difficult times.

Compton Hospice.

And getting tonight’s event well underway were the up and coming Birmingham based band, Devil’s Playground. It’s only been a matter of a few weeks since this band held their debut launch at the O2 Academy in Birmingham and already they’re making a clear headway in the popularity stakes and with a great catalogue of songs already to their name, it isn’t difficult to understand why!

Leanne Nardone - Devil's Playground

Quiet The Thief are another band who have been making a great name for themselves and with tonight’s set giving us an opportunity to hear a track or two off their forthcoming album, I suspect that there will be plenty more good things to look forward to from this band. Make sure to check them out over on Facebook for all their latest news.

Gareth Harding - Quiet The Thief

The midway point of the evening was marked by a band that are definitely no strangers to the West Midlands metal scene, with that band being Our World Below? Tonight’s set from the band was blissfully intense with Dave Riley delivering a vocal performance and presence that was all consuming to witness. We also have a new EP on the horizon from Our World Below? so that will definitely be something not to miss!

Dave Riley and Neil Preece - Our World Below

With a fair size audience now in attendance our penultimate band of the evening, Eradikator, took to the stage. It’s been a pretty epic week for these guys with the launch of their new and much anticipated video for ‘Man Behind The Mask’, and I have to say this track really does harness the brutal energy and blistering guitar work that Eradikator always deliver live – so make sure to check it out folks.

Pat Cox - Eradikator

Friday’s headlining band were the mighty Martyr de Mona, and these guys are always an absolute pleasure to see live. With several years of great metal tucked firmly under their belts, tonight’s set was pure class with songs such as ’Siege Mentality’ going down a storm. And for those of us eager for a repeat live performance, get the 25th May down in your diaries as you can catch Martyr De Mona back on stage at the O2 Academy3 in Birmingham.

Josh Wooldridge - Martyr De Mona

Tonight most certainly marked a great start to this Charity Weekender and with two more days to go and a host of great bands still yet to play – it ain’t over yet folks!

Review and Photography by Sue Wardle.