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Witch Tripper

With support from Ritual King, 28 Double and Primal.
The Hairy Dog Derby 23rd March 2018.

A week ago, yes it’s taken me this long to write a review, I was personally invited by Witch Tripper to attend their show at the Hairy Dog. Personally, I love this band so obviously I attended! To top it off, we had some great bands in support.

I’m going to assume this was a warm up show for their album launch, soon to take place at The Old Salutation Inn, in Nottingham, which will mark the release of their second album ‘I, of the storm’. We’ve also been granted access to this album, ahead of its official launch on the 14th of April 2018 and it’s a corker but more on that in a bit!

Up first tonight, we had Primal who are a three piece rock band from Nottingham or so their Facebook says – it also says they are from Derby, maybe they moved? I’ve not encountered this band before and they openly admit that their chosen style of music is a little different from the other bands on tonight’s bill. None the less, they do play a style of rock that leans more towards the Deftones, rather than the psychedelic tones of say, Ritual King. I enjoyed what I saw and with a few more shows, maybe even getting on as a support band for a decent tour around the UK, this would offer the band an opportunity to figure out their stage presence and live performance style, which sadly was lacking in parts tonight. Primal currently have a new four track EP out and I would certainly recommend giving it a listen, especially to fans of Rival Sons and Black Keys!

Next up were Derby based, 28 Double, who I first saw a few months ago, again, supporting Witch Tripper and then, I though, ok, they’ve got a style, it needs work but they had potential. Back then, I picked up on the similarities in Nick’s vocal style and sound, to that of Miles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) who he openly admits is one of his idols, vocally. Tonight’s performance was a triumphant success, in my eyes, as they appear to have grown in confidence which showed on stage. Rob’s guitar playing is impeccable and is mesmerizing to watch. Gav’s got his bass face down to a T, along with his instrument! Nick has certainly improved on his stage presence and banter with the crowd, he even had time to pose for selfies, whilst performing on stage! He also appears to have discovered some new dance moves, all be it questionable, as far as dancing goes, but he appeared to be enjoying himself up on stage! Their new music is sounding really good too and if you can, check out their track ‘Grind’ what a banger that is and in my opinion, they need to do more with this track, like releasing a music video or something? Keep it up lads – I thoroughly enjoyed your set!

It’s always a pleasure to see Ritual King (who are from Manchester), appear on a bill and tonight was no exception! In my opinion, this band deserve to be massive! Whilst speaking with the band outside, they told me that their biggest listener base is actually in America! They also announced that they’ll be performing at a HRH event later in the year, not sure if it’s been officially announced yet, so I won’t say which one but I’m sure you can guess though! The first time I saw this band, their regular bassist couldn’t attend so I was keen to see how Dan would fair. Jordan’s well into his guitar playing, which is clearly evident, as are all three band members but when you play stoner, you have to be, I guess! I love their psychedelic sound, it’s still one of my favourite genres at the moment and as you’d expect, these guys are all about the music. Stage presence came courtesy of Dan, who was a box of frogs on stage tonight which helped me get more involved! According to Jordan, if the band manage to write one song a month, they’re happy with that so I suggest getting yourself a copy of the bands latest EP ‘Earthrise’ as you may be waiting a while for a full length album!

As stated, Witch Tripper have their second album coming out, titled ‘I, of the Storm’ on the 14th of April. Not sure why the album title isn’t ‘eye’ of the storm but I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation – I will be sure to ask, the next time I see the band. The album was recorded at Electric Bear in Mansfield, by Phil Abraham and took all of five whole days, to complete, which is pretty impressive. This album has been a labour of love, for Ritchie in particular, who has penned most of the lyrics. I’d love to know where his head was at, when he wrote the lyrics for the track ‘Poonstar’ – or would I, as I’m not sure getting inside his head is a good idea, to be honest with you! Haha!

I’ve also recently discovered Ritchie’s love for road markings, hence the track ‘White Lines’ cough! Both of these tracks are belters, but for me, tracks ‘Roll The Dice’ and ‘Hell Bound’ really stand out, as they are 100% Witch Tripper bangers! ‘Roll The Dice’ sums this band up perfectly. Deep, bluesy rock with thunderous bass lines, sumptuous riffs and heavy bashing of the skins that is deep and soulful. Ritchie’s voice suites this track exceptionally well, what with his deep gravel tones. Throughout this album and it’s nine tracks, you are made acutely aware of this bands talents and musicianship. For some reason, when ever I listen to this album, I can’t help but think of Alice Cooper, I can’t imagine why? Although the number of live shows this year are nowhere near as many as last years 86 growlers, Witch Tripper have got some great shows coming up. Obviously, their album launch is fast approaching which promises to be a great night, they’ve also got HRH Ibiza coming up along with Amplified Festival and Facebarmegeddon plus there are many other dates in between aswell, so be sure to catch them at a show real soon! AND BUY THEIR NEW ALBUM, IT’S KILLA! Peace!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Witch Tripper

The Sitwell Tavern, Derby 08.04.17

Tonight was a United in Fuzz event, which is actually the brain child of Witch Trippers very own bassist, Chris Stoff Daughton, which I early learned tonight! I once thought the music scene in Derby, was non existent but tonight’s gig kind of proved me wrong, which I’m happy about. Many local bands, like Raptorgeist turned out to show their support.

Chris Stoff Daughton - Witch Tripper

First up, where another local band who go by the name, Lodestone, who I sadly missed. Anyone who knows me, knows I usually turn up for all the acts on a bill and I’m quite proud of that fact but sadly I missed these guys playing. When quizzed by the band later on, they seemed a little miffed by the fact I wouldn’t be giving them any exposure on our website etc. Truth is, I’ve never heard of these guys, even with them being a local band. If band’s want to get exposure, surely, they should do some homework, know who’s actively promoting bands and make themselves known? All I can do is apologise and hope to catch you at another event, soon!

Following them, where Sound of Origin from Huddersfield. I’ve been reliably informed, these guys are very much in their infancy, however they have a very good base to work from. My initial reaction was these guys reminded me of early Alice in Chains, thanks to the swagger and arrogance of the bands lead singer, John. The bands bassist, Jax, initially looked bored whilst playing his instrument but as soon as I got the camera out, he soon perked up! A solid performance all round and plenty of riffs! There was a particular track that got every bodies attention, sadly I didn’t catch the name of it, but I’ll be sure to try and re-discover it, somehow.

John Bussey - Sound of Origin

I’ve become quite close to the next band up tonight, Black Chapter. Although they too are a relatively new band, they haven’t wasted any time in getting out there to play shows and get known! Earlier today, I’d organised a bit of a promo shoot for the band, such as it is, with the nature of these things, it was fairly impromptu and we made do with some free space in a pub, in Derby. I’m still yet to look at those images, as I’ve been busy getting this review ready but look out for a shoot on the bands Facebook page, we hope anyway!

Darren Hadfield - Black Chapter

I’m familiar with the bands lead vocalist as he’s none other than Carl, who use to front the band Doomsday Outlaw. Since parting ways, this lyric master has been busy working along side Darren the bands guitarist, to form what we have before us today. After a few songs, I started to see a pattern emerging within this bands song structure, which reminded me of the likes of UFO, where you have some rousing guitar solo’s, which wows a crowd and looks good on camera. Well done lads, a band that’s listened to me, for once! I’m sure Darren will love the fact, I’ve just compared him to Michael Schenker!

Carl Batten - Black Chapter

Yes, it’s well known, the sound isn’t all that great at the Sitwell Tavern and I’m aware some bands struggle, but that said, the atmosphere is amazing and the lighting is better than some of the bigger music venues around! I hope to catch these guys again soon, somewhere with a better sound system, so I can hear them properly!

The headliners, Witch Tripper, by now should need no introduction, however, I’ll give them the benefit of doing so for anyone else on the planet, who has yet to see this amazing three piece, rock monster of a band, who hail from sunny Mansfield! Saying that, if you haven’t yet seen these guys play live, there’s a very good chance you might this year, as they are playing every show known to man, all except Bloodstock Festival which they’ve played the past two years in a row. First on the Jagermeister Stage and last year, on the New Blood Stage, as they successfully won the MTTM’s event, for this region. This event, has now moved from The Intake Club, which is now sadly no longer with us, so the competition now takes place at The Maze, in Nottingham. The only other festival Witch Tripper hasn’t played yet, at all, is Download, but the waves these guys are making currently within the rock and roll scene, it’s surely only a matter of time. Less we forget how full the New Blood stage was, back at Bloodstock!!!

Richie Barlow - Witch Tripper

Tonight, the guys played a number of new tracks soon to be released on a new album. One track, that struck a chord, with me, was ‘White Lines’ not for its lyrical subject, but more for its musical prominence!

And energy, WOW! You’d never know this band were a three piece as you so busy watching them bounce around, like loons, even Jimmy, the bands drummer gets in on the act! It’s also fair to say, he’s got some mad skills with those drum sticks – I was mesmerized watching him throw them around, yet maintaining his duties as the bands drummer!

Jimmy Collins - Witch Tripper

I can’t wait for the new album and I can’t wait to see these guys play live again soon, they really are a world apart! I’m now off to bed, as I’ve got a terrible disease and I’m likely to die from its causes. I jest, but I do feel like poo, so I’m off to bed!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)


Stoke Prior Sports and Social Club Saturday 27th August 2016.

As people were nursing some severe hangovers after a brilliant nights entertainment (Friday) and the fact that the first band of the day wasn’t until 2pm, ensured that everyone would be up and fighting fit for a full day of fun and frolics!

Witch Tripper were entrusted to kick things off in style and now knowing these guys well, I knew they’d do a great job and thankfully, they didn’t disappoint. This trio from Mansfield are one of those true hard working bands whose material reflects this perfectly. Probably one of the more placid bands on today’s bill so they managed to nurse us in gently, but they are by no means soft – oh no, as they pack a mighty hard rock punch, right between the eyes. Before the show, I managed to have a quick chat with the bands bassist, Chris, who showed me his war wounds, blisters the size of gold balls from all the gigs they’ve played recently. Having played at many festivals this summer, these guys have had a dream year which I’m sure will continue throughout the remainder of 2016 and well into 2017! Thanks for the T-shirt too, I’ll be wearing it with pride, where ever I can!


The name of our next band reflects their style perfectly, Cruel ‘to’ Humanity and my word, they are brutal. They certainly left no one in the room stood still, with their outright assault on the senses! I know I’ve seen this band play before as I recognised the band members, especially the lead singer although saying that, they do come from Derby, which is local to me so it could have been anywhere. Trust me, once you’ve seen this band play, they are extremely hard to forget. I feel suitably warmed up now!


On a personal level, I really enjoyed the next band, Solitary, as they were a full on thrash assault and I like thrash. Not only that, I hung around a little longer to take a few more photos than usual, so that’s always a good sign! Strangely, although the band have been around for over a year and are signed to Corpo Records, I’ve never seen them perform live, until now that is. I must say, these guys are very talented, especially their lead guitarist Andy, well, what do you expect, they’re a thrash band and any thrash band worth their salt, has to have a member of the band who can thrash the f**k out! I’ve just noticed Solitary are playing Hammerfest, next year so if you’re going, make sure you check them out – they are well worth a watch!


Oooooo, it’s that band, Outright Resistance next and who hasn’t heard of this lot, just lately! Sadly (for them) my first encounter with this band was unfortunate as they had all their gear stolen. Metal heads, being the amazing bunch that they are, successfully crowd funded them the necessary funds to replace their missing instruments and enabling them to continue entertaining the masses and let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to see this lot play, they are insanely good! My next encounter with this band, was seeing them perform on the Yagermeister stage at Bloodstock this year, where I believe they managed to start the first ever mosh pit that stage has ever seen, which is no mean feat as it’s tiny. How they all managed to fit on that stage is beyond me, especially after seeing today’s performance as the whole band have so much energy, they couldn’t contain it, the stage just wasn’t big enough today, so they decided to share that energy out in the crowd, which was great to see. Mid song, Paige, the bands lead vocalist, decides to go walk about and generallyy, she’s a polite and delicate flower off stage, but on it, she’s spitting venom and metal heads love her for it! It appears they can relate with her anger, so she can instantly connect with the crowds that come to see her and the rest of the band perform! Seriously, if you’re a fan of metalcore, check out Outright Resistance!

Over the years, I’ve come to accept the fact that there are bands out there who just work with certain festivals and the regulars that generally go to a specific festival. Demons of Old Metal, or DOOM for short, are such a band, here at Beermageddon. The fans love them and they love the fans and as it has a great family vibe here, it’s easy to see why they would love it so much, as I feel exactly the same about Beermageddon. Although the band wear masks, mostly to protect their anonymity, it does help to give them a sense of theatrics which works well with their style of metal. Truth be told, everyone knows who they really are and what they really look like,but shhh, don’t tell anyone! This band are a real crowd pleaser, so I’m hoping to see them perform at a few more festivals in the future.


When I saw Old Corpse Road announced to play Beermageddon, I was extremely happy and excited at the prospect of seeing them perform live. This band are one who I love listening to at home and based on that fact, I knew I’d enjoy them live.. but sadly that wasn’t the case. Although they are extremely theatrical and tend to tell stories about all manner of things in their songs, their performance was lifeless. I do love this band and I do love their music, but after seeing the amount of energy the other bands before them had put into their performances, Old Corpse Road left me feeling just that, dead and discarded at the side of the stage. This is a little harsh and I don’t mean it to be because as I say, I love listening to them but live, they did nothing for me. If ever opinions were to be split down the middle, these guys would be the ones to do it. Most of the crowd loved seeing these guys play live and that is what matters as they appealed to some, but not all. You can also catch them at Hammerfest and if you do, let me know what you think!

Today, I mostly saw people wearing Kambrium T-shirts, so I was eager to see what all the hype was about. Having missed them at 2014’s event, I listened tentatively to those who did see them and the majority thought very highly of these guys from Germany. After a delayed start, mostly down to the amount of electronic gadgetry they’d brought with them, they eventually exploded into an ore inspiring set, mostly consisting of death metal! The band couldn’t wait to get back to play Beermageddon and they made it count, which the crowd appreciated immensely! As they were the penultimate act before Saturday’s headliner, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be anyone else. As the crowd cheered the bands name, over and over again, I could clearly see the crowds appreciation for this bands efforts, as they gave their best cheers of the weekend.


As this was the fifth consecutive Beermageddon, all of which have sold out including this one, Jim felt it apt to ask the one and the only Def Con One back to headline tonight, as they played the first ever Beermageddon, back in 2011. That year, they actually closed the festival on the Sunday and I distinctively remember falling in love with them, right there and then. Since that show, which blew my mind, I’ve been fortunate to see these lovable Geordie’s a few times since and oddly, I’ve even become quite good friends with these guys too, which doesn’t happen all that often. This gives me a massive advantage when trying to photograph them live on stage, as when I stick my camera in their faces, they usually respond, sometimes in kind, but mostly, they flip me the middle finger. That’s not entirely true, but it does happen! Having headlined the Thursday night, at the prestigious Download Festival, which is officially called the Boardie Takeover, over on the Dog House Stage, it’s definitely a great show to play and as a punter, it’s the only thing worth watching on the Thursday. Just take a look at the pictures that were taken, the tent was rammed for these guys and tonight was no exception. Def Con One gave us exactly what we wanted from a headline show, an excuse to bang our f**king heads!


Sadly, due to personal reasons back home, I couldn’t attend on the Sunday, which is equally as special as the previous two days. I’m pretty gutted I missed Eradikator, Cambion, Haerken and of course Anihilated, but there’s always next time.

Last year, I proclaimed I understood Jim’s thought process behind the bands he chose. It never got confirmed if my prediction was right or not, but I’m going to try again this year, which in all honesty isn’t easy, however, I’m going to state the following. As this was the fifth successful year for Beermageddon, I believe Jim gave us the bands he felt would blow our socks off, the bands we wanted the most, but ultimately the bands he felt would ensure everybody had such a great time that we’d want to come back for the next five years to come. Jim, I don’t think you have anything to worry about mate as every year the line up gets better, the facilities improve and the people all feel like family.

Speaking of facilities, the food was a vast improvement and this is something that every festival should take heed of as seriously, check out Muffin Research’s Utility Kitchen as the food there was sensational! It was real food, consisting of curries, chillies, the best burgers I’ve ever tasted at a festival, wraps, toast and teas, you name it, they did it, AMAZING.

Horns up and see ya next year…. BEER, BEER, BEERMAGEDDON!

Photography and Review by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)