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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.

Blesma

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.