Tag Archives: voodoo blood

Amplified Festival 2018

Quarrydowns Gloucestershire – Friday 6th July.

We attended the first ever Amplified Festival last year and it certainly was a wet one but the spirit of the event couldn’t be dampened and Friday 6th July 2018 saw it return for another bite at the cherry and we’re glad it did as the atmosphere we experienced throughout the weekend suggested that everyone was right behind Gary and the team in willing this festival on to be a success. In contrast to last year, we experienced some of the hottest weather to be encountered at a festival in this country and without a doubt, Amplified can now being dubbed ‘The Extreme Weather Festival’ but this year will be mostly remembered for the killer bands who played there, aswell as the excellent atmosphere that was produced by the metal/music community that we’ve all grown to love!

Sadly, I was covering this event on my own this year, which filled me with both dread and excitement in equal measures as on average, I think I covered around 9 miles each day in the sweltering 31 degree heat and I still have bruises on both my big toes to prove it, but with some of the finest bands that the music industry currently has to offer performing over the three days, it was certainly worth it.

Impavidus opened up proceedings on the Very Metal Art (VMA) stage today and to great effect. Michelle, the bands front woman was a Force majeure that few could match. Full of energy, smiles and some superb metal – what a way to kick off the weekend and they did themselves proud in more ways than one. I saw the whole band throughout the weekend watching their friends in other bands aswell as bands they admire, so credit to them for giving Amplified their all.

The first band over on the Red Stripe main stage, was non other than Torqued and having first spoken with Marc Cleave at last years event, it was good to see that they were invited to perform this year and honestly, these lads have some real energy and passion for both their music and the scene in general. I was impressed to say the least, as these guys are a credit to the industry. Marc also runs corrosive merch which offers some of the best music related items I’ve seen for a while!

I first caught Ashen Crown at this years HRH Metal event back in February and they too impressed me greatly. Over this weekend, I had an opportunity to share a hot dog with Kieran and friends, where he admitted that even he’s surprised at the level of interest and opportunities the band have received since their inception. Personally, I’m convinced it’s down to them having an amazing talent and being a great product that people will enjoy – it also helps that they’re managed by Rachael Harrison, who is one of the best in the business!

I can’t write a review of a music festival without mentioning Footprints in the Custard as these days, it would appear they are everywhere and for a very good reason too as they deliver the feel good factor where ever they perform and festival goers love watching them. They are just good fun and help to lift peoples spirits which is what live music should be about and they are pretty good musicians too, who knew! Today’s performance, saw Ward XVI’s guitarist step in at the last minute, which was greatly appreciated! I for one, love watching these guy – it’s true!

One band who are local to me, are Witch Tripper and these guys are always fun to watch. Great musicians, who also do have a love for the industry so credit to them for that. Whilst hanging with the band and grabbing a breakfast cob, one gig goer suggested the bands name reminded him of someone throwing a bit of wood into a chipping machine, which got us all a little puzzled until I clocked where he was going….wood chipper!!! HAHAHA You had to be there really! On the Saturday, they had to leave to go play a gig in Plymouth but they came back for Sundays antics, which saw me inviting Stoff to come meet Doyle for my interview with him, which he greatly appreciated but what a strange encounter that was – more about that later!

Dust Bolt also caught my attention today over on the main stage and it’s hard to believe that despite these guys having been around since 2007, I’ve only just discovered they exist! They hail from the small Bavarian town of Landsberg in Germany, so god knows who their influences are? It’s no secret, I love a good thrashing and have done so since I discovered the amazing Savage Messiah, who helped to reaffirm my love for this genre! Since then, I’ve discovered a wealth of underground talent within this genre, like Bull-Riff Stampede for example, who also played here this year! It’s not often I fall head over heals for a band these days, but when I do, I fall hard and love them instantly, I just loved the power of their music!

By the time The Dirty Youth came on to close the first day out over on the VMA Stage, the sun was going down and everyone was in excellent spirits, myself included! I don’t wanna take anything away from this excellent band but I honestly think I was high on vitamin D by this point, so these guys sounded even better than I remembered! I loved them so much so, I was screaming like a girl! They did have a very good ‘feel factor’ about them! Odd to see them on this stage, but they did do themselves proud!

SOiL headlined the main stage tonight and seeing them really was bitter sweet. The last time I saw these guys, I was given the opportunity to interview Ryan McCombs who then went on to have a heart attack two days later. Thankfully, he made a full recovery and was back up on the stage, which is great. I thought the rest of the band were great too and what’s more, the lighting tonight was much better than they are usually known for having which was also a bonus! Headliners, yes but in all honesty, not worthy of this spot tonight and this was also the opinion of many others who I spoke to over the weekend!

Strangely, people who witnessed Voodoo Blood play G’s Bar and bringing Friday’s event to a close, said that they should’ve headlined! Such an unbelievably talented bunch of musicians, who appear to be great to talk to as people, which was something I had the pleasure of doing earlier in the day. I just hope they stay grounded and not let fame ruin them as it has for so many others before them! Kim, the bands female lead vocalist is an absolute power house but to look at all 4ft 9inches of her, you wonder how the hell she manages to have such a powerful voice!!! Long will their set be cemented within the festivals archives, All hail Voodoo Blood! I’ve also managed to check out their new EP ‘Fresh Hell’ which offers four great tracks but what I really want to see is a full length album next, please!

Roll on Saturday…….if my stomach can handle it!

Be sure to visit us over on Flickr for more photos from Amplified 2018. https://www.flickr.com/photos/music224/albums/with/72157696032365062

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

United In Fuzz

Presents Live at The Hairy Dog Derby.

28 Double, Quiet the Thief, Ritual King, Voodoo Blood and Witch Tipper, The Hairy Dog Derby 30.06.17. Five Bands, for £5, bargain – especially with the quality line-up. I’m glad I made the effort, as it’s been a while since I attended a show at this venue, the last time was when the new stage area was officially opened, so this was some time ago.

The doors opened at 7pm and with the first band not on until 8pm, this gave me an opportunity to annoy a few familiar faces, namely Richie and Chris, of Witch Tripper. It’s always a good laugh when we meet up so the time passed relatively quickly. Thanks for the pint, Richie and for the coolest hand mark I’ve ever received, having paid to enter tonight’s gig (Yes, I don’t always expect to get in for free!) but ‘Buckfast’ though, hahaha, it’s taken me three days to scrub off the permanent marker from my knuckles!

28 Double first up then and I’ve not seen these guys play live before. I did notice the guitarist was wearing last years Beermageddon T-shirt, so after their set I asked if he attended that festival, which he replied, yes I did, but I was in another band, then. I knew I recognised his face but don’t ask me to remember his name though, as I cant! That said, a quick look at the bands Facebook page, reveals the band consists of Rob TallantGuitar/ Backing Vocals, Josh WoodhouseDrums, Nick WardVocals and Gav ArcherBass. I’ve also discovered, that these guys are from Derby and for a little city, we’re starting to produce some pretty cool bands. Having venues, like The Hairy Dog certainly helps, as it’s a great venue and I know that bands enjoy playing here. The bands sound did remind me of Alter Bridge, what with Nick’s voice, sounding very similar and now knowing he’s a massive fan of Miles Kennedy, it all makes sense.

Quiet the Thief next, yay, I spelt their name right this time. These guys are well respected in the underground music scene, of that I’m certain and it’s easy to see why, as everyone in the band are really nice and friendly and up for a laugh. The bands ethos is to do what they enjoy doing, irrespective of whether they win Metal to the Masses, or not. Truth be told, I’m sure every band that enters that competition wants to win, so changing the area you play in, to better your chances, makes good sense, right? QTT hail from Stoke on Trent and I know there’s some stiff competition in that part of the UK. Needless to say, they didn’t get through but that doesn’t bother them, they took part and that’s what matters. Tonight’s gig, was a solitary affair with albeit no more than 10 people, myself included and I’ve no idea why as these guys are fun to watch live. They made light of the situation, which I thought was funny. I really like this band, but, musically, there’s something missing?

Ritual King are another first, for me live. I’ve heard lots of great things about these guys, that said, the bassist tonight, was a stand in, however, I wouldn’t have known this, had someone not told me earlier in the night! I was also informed, whilst conducting an interview, with Voodoo Blood, that they, along with Ritual King, were up for a chance to support the mighty Blues Pills, in Manchester, however these guys won that honour so be sure to get down early, as this three piece can rock. Some bands go for theatrics, some go for stage presence but these guys go for loosing themselves in their music. I think the bass player forgot he was on a stage with people watching, until he looked up inbetween tracks and saw us all gawping in amazement! These guys have got some serious talent and produce some seriously cool riffs! Love this band and I’ll certainly be checking them out again, at the next available opportunity!

I forget who it was that suggested I should check out the next band, was it Chris Stoff Daughton or was it Darren Hadfield – either way, it was at a previous ‘United in Fuzz’ event at The Sitwell Tavern, which was another good night. Voodoo Blood is their name and they come from Manchester. Having spoken with them, in an interview after their set, (which can be seen here and is well worth a watch) I know these guys and girl have only been producing music together for a year and a half now, which is incredible really, when you consider what they’ve achieved in such a short space of time. I’ve instantly fallen in love with their anabolic blues sound, as they’ve coined it. Their stage presence is second to none, as is their work rate and their entertainment value. Not primarily a metal band, as they draw their influences from the blues but these guys sure do rock out, none the less. This has been noticed by the organisers of Bloodstock, as they participated in the MTTM’s competition up in Manchester and they only went and won it, so be sure to check them out on the Jaegermeister Stage, on the Sunday! Since starting this music journalism adventure, I’ve come across two great bands very similar to these guys – Purson, who are sadly no longer with us but who were an awesome band when they were around and Blues Pills, who have gone on to be superstars. I’m predicting Voodoo Blood will follow in the footsteps of Blues Pills and will eventually take over the world. Such a unique act, so seriously, check them out before they become mega famous and charge a fortune to see them play live! haha! The band are made up of the following, Kim Jennett – Vocals and Guitar, Sean Owens – Guitar, Will Lewis – Drums and Chris Norris – Bass. As stated, exclusively, in our interview nad it pleases me to say, they announced their new single title and date of it’s release, so if you are a fan, watch the interview

Last, but by know means least – Witch Tripper, who finished the night off in the same super fashion as they’ve done at the other thirty nine gigs they’ve already played this year and it’s only July! How much longer they can keep this up before they burn out, remains to be seen but they’re giving it their all and it’s paying off. The crowd seemed to appear from nowhere to watch tonight’s set, which was great to see. This three piece from Mansfield, are super talented and are wowing crowds up and down the country and it’s easy to see why these guys are firm favourites of ours and also with many others in the underground music scene. I think it’s about time these guys got signed to a record label or at the very least, got their music the mass coverage that it deserves. I’m not clear on how many radio stations support this band but more needs to done to help these guys reach a larger audience. I’m doing what I can, by covering as many gigs as possible but this isn’t enough as these guys are superstars, already, in their own right – on and off the stage. Come on music industry, notice this bands potential and get them out there, everyone needs to know who Witch Tripper are! Great guys and a great set tonight, I think I even managed to get a few half decent shots as well, which I’m pretty please with myself about as previous encounters have proven difficult, simply because they don’t stop moving on stage. This is great for the punters and a nightmare for photographers, but I struggle on!

Until next time music lovers, stay cool, in this belting hot summer we’re having! Peace!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)