Tag Archives: zephyra

Quinphonic Festival

The Tower of Song, Birmingham 8th October 2017.

So a week ago today, we attended the 5th installment of The Quinphonic Festival, which is a festival dedicated to all those bands that consists of five unique instruments, including the voice. It’s not necessarily a celebration of females within metal but they do try to include them within the band, where ever possible, in celebration of the fact that woman can rock too! I for one praise this stance too, as I appreciate woman that rock, in a widely male dominated profession. I mean, there’s only so many hairy sweaty men I can look at though my camera! I appreciate female musicians as much as the next man, if done well. The promoter responsible for putting on these events is a Ian Black, who I got to meet in person today for the first time and I can confirm, his profile picture looks exactly like him! We had a great chat about all thing Quinphonic and the music scene in general. The first thing to strike me about this man is he’s a conscientious promoter, who believes that any band willing to play for him, deserves to get paid for their efforts. We all know this isn’t always the case and many promoters could learn a lesson from this man.

Today’s gig very nearly didn’t go ahead as the original venue, as billed on the flyers, was The Roundhouse in Birmingham, which has since closed only days before this event was to take place, which left Ian in the lurch as he’d already paid to hire the venue! This meant he had to ring around and find a new venue with only four days to go so that Quinphonic 5 could take place. Thankfully, the lesser known Tower of Song venue said they would be willing to host Ian and his five unique bands, who were all still willing to travel a very long way to play this event. Having secured a new venue and all five bands still willing to perform, Quinphonic 5 could still take place. Well done to the venue – ‘I feel they deserve a round of applause, as does Ian for keeping his cool and sourcing a replacement at such short notice, so no one was disappointed’!

Orpheum, were up first and hail from our very own London town and play Gothic Progressive metal. I was suitably impressed with Erin, the bands female lead vocalist and her ability to belt out those high notes. The bass was heavy, the drums were dark and the guitar was loud and when they all combined, they made sweetly depressing music, music which the crowd very much enjoyed. Having no stage, a full capacity of 85 people and no pit, meant taking photos was hard to do but thanks to my spider like abilities, I managed we weave my way through the hoards of people and get a few, half decent shots of this band. The photos actually turned out better than I was expecting to be honest, despite the fact the lights were three inches from the bands faces and an intense array of colours! After this bands set, they were mobbed for merch which does say a lot, to be honest!

For what ever reason, I’ve never associated metal bands and France, other than Gojira, I suppose. It’s not a part of the world I would associate with metal bands, however, the next band, to take to the floor were the wonderfully creative Weend’Ô, who play a blend of progressive rock and metal, with a dash of reggae, courtesy of the bands extremely capable bass player, Maxime. Laetitia, the bands vocalist, keyboard player and band manager is a very hypnotic performer indeed and drew me into believing I like prog music, with her mesmerising and convincing performance tonight. Sure, some of their song went on forever which is to be expected, considering their chosen genre but with every note played, you could see the band were getting more and more into it and when that happens and you see a band who are truly into their music, you can’t help but get involved and enjoy it with them! A triumphant set, loved it!

Having seen Zephyra (yes, spelt it right again!) for the first time at another brummy based promoters event, the wider known Beermageddon, I was thrilled to be offered another opportunity to see this band perform live again, as I was blown away at Beermageddon! In Jim Beerman we trust! Anyway, arse licking aside, Zephyra were by far the heaviest band on the bill and they proved that, with their performance tonight, which is just what the crowd needed to liven things up again after an hour long set of prog music! (No offence!) The bands female lead vocalist Åsa has a great personality and interacts with her audience well. I think she’s great and could watch her perform all day! Her Swedish accent makes for great entertainment, as her English gets a little jumbled up, which does make for great comedy value at times, but lets face it, her English is much better than my Swedish, which is zero by the way. This band are a great metal band and we would love to see them perform here in the UK again!

As for tonight’s last two performances, courtesy of Alia Tempora and Wildpath, I believe I missed two epic sets due to a family matter preventing me from staying the whole night, so apologies to you!

All in all and considering the odds, Ian managed to pull off the impossible and maintain todays epic day and celebration of international musicians, who also happen to feature a female, within the band. That, in my book is a winner and if we can attend The ‘Quinphonic’ Festival 6 event, due to take place on the 1st of April, 2018, we’d love to!

Festival History:

The Quinphonic Festival is a concept conceived by three friends who have supported the Female Fronted Metal / Rock scene for many years. The idea was to create a festival featuring acts from the UK and Europe in which the five bands taking part, hence the ‘Quinphonic‘, would all have equal billing, all play a full one hour set and be paid an equal share of all the profits made from ticket sales. For more information follow The Quinphonic Festival on facebook.

Connect:

https://www.facebook.com/quinphonicfest/

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Beermageddon

Stoke Prior Worcestershire 26th August 2017.

Beermageddon is now starting to get a very good reputation amongst the more extreme metal bands from across Europe these days, with bands wanting to come and play the festival, which is great for us because when else would we get the chance to see the likes of Zephyra, Godslave, Unlight and Totengefluster (I’ve still no idea how to announce this band name properly), some of which I’ve only ever seen before at Beermageddon, in previous years.

Before the European’s take over the festival, there were four of the best underground British bands from across the UK up first, the first of which was Footprints in the Custard from Manchester, a band I’ve tried to see on several occasions before now but without success, for one reason or another. Dubbed as comedy punk metal, they may like to cross dress a little – which is fine but whilst holding a 12 inch inflatable cock is always better! I believe someone in the crowd through it at Russ, the lead singer, who assumed said person had clearly seen them play before. Song titles are ridiculous and the lyrics which accompany them even more so, which is just the way we like our joke music. Silly, funny and outrageous, we can’t be serious all the time, we go to work for that! When drinking our own body weight in beer, we need the likes of Footprints in the Custard to cheer us all up and start a full day of music ahead, the right way! We needed that and thoroughly enjoyed these guys, thanks for the memories!

Amazingly, the next band on today, Wolfbastard, were also from Manchester and consists of only three members. Where they lack in musicians, they make up for in noise, beautiful black metal noise, to be precise! Fuck knows what genre pub crust is, as stated on the bands FB page but it sounds good? I’ll be honest, I didn’t stick around too long for these guys as the sun was shining and I needed food but what I can remember is, these guy’s don’t take themselves too seriously and appear to have a good time on stage and with the crowd.

Bloodyard hail from Lancashire, generally and it seems like forever since I last saw them play which was back in February when they performed at HRH metal in Birmingham. I was pleased to see them on today’s bill! I would of been pretty gutted if I’d missed this lot to be honest, as I love them. Donna, the bands lead vocalist, is only a pint sized sheila but she can half belt out some death growls! I managed to have a good five minutes chat with Donna before she was whisked away, as is usually the case at these events, but I did learn that due to some very unfortunate events, the band are yet to release their debut album, which has been recorded twice already. I hope for the bands sake, they can get this album recorded soon because we can’t wait to hear it!

Countless Skies, from Hertfordshire, are a new band for me live, yet I’ve known of them for sometime! Getting to see them perform at Beermageddon this year was a real treat, not only because they’re awesome but for me, they were one of my finds of the day and off the back of today’s performance, I would go as far as to say, I’d like to see them headlining the Friday slot next year, but that’s still to be determined by the public vote, which takes place every year. Last year, Outright Resistance won their headline slot for this year and by all accounts, they didn’t disappoint either. Countless Skies commanded one of the biggest crowds of the day and wowed us all with their take on the melodic death metal genre. Ross even pulled some of the best metal faces of the day! As I write this review, I’m listening to the bands debut album ‘New Dawn’ which is helping me power on through! Check it out, it’s on Spotify!

Another of my favourite bands of the day, happened to be the next band on the bill, Zephyra, yes, I’ve spelt it right this time. These ‘super Swedes’ are fronted by another amazing female vocalist, Åsa, who is married to the bands lead guitarist, Tony. Although their FB page doesn’t currently list their bassist or drummers names, I know, from today’s performance that these two positions have recently changed and the two musicians who now make up the band and who we saw before us today, have only recently joined so for them to come over and virtually give their first ever live performance here in the UK and miles away from their homeland of Sweden, must be both a daunting, yet exciting prospect? The bands latest album ‘As The World Collapses’ is an absolute powerhouse of an album, as is Åsa’s vocals on it! To have seen them live is a great honour! Although they live so far away, thankfully I won’t have to wait too long before I see them again, as I’ve been invited to watch them perform at this years ‘The Quinphonic Festival’ which is in its 5th year and takes place at Birmingham’s Round House over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of October, alongside some other great female fronted bands, o yes, I’m super excited for that one! Girls certainly rock. For more info please visit The RoadHouse Birmingham.

Godslave, are an amazing thrash metal band from Germany, who we got to see for the first time at Beermageddon, two years ago now. I’ll happily say these guys are amazing at what they do. No one does thrash better than these guys, well, for an underground thrash metal band, anyway! Their set was epic from start to finish, it even felt like a headlining set if I’m honest, hint, hint! Although they’re from Germany, they appear to be coming over to the UK more and more, while also attending many other European festivals, so they’ve set up a crowdfunding page to help get the funds they need to purchase a new tour van. In exchange you’ll get the opportunity to purchase some rather unique fan packages, which don’t come around all that often. If you’re a fan of this band, like we are, go check out their funding page, at Startnext’s website.

It’s not uncommon to see Mr. Jim Beerman get excited whilst introducing a band playing his festival but the next band up, Unlight, got Jim a little more excited than usual. He even confessed he soiled himself when they contacted him to ask if they could play at Beermageddon this year! Without a moments hesitation, Jim obviously said yes, so what’s all the fuss about then? As the band are from Schwarzwald, which is situated within Germany’s Black Forest, it’s no surprise that this band plays black metal! The region is often associated with the spooky tales from the Brothers Grimm, so plenty of material for them to use within their music, I dare say. I’ll admit, I kinda shit my pants too, when I saw this band take to the stage, what with the 12inch nails all over their arms! They also had that famous mixture of both black and corpse paint decorating their faces, which many of the Scandinavian black metal bands are famous for, so it’s safe to say they looked the part, but did they sound it, HELL YEAH THEY DID! BRUTAL!

Totengefluster, topped today’s bill and are a band who many people struggle to get their name right, when pronouncing it. I still can’t get it right but it’s always interesting to see people struggle with it, when in a conversation. The first and only time I’ve seen this band play live, was back in 2014 now, again at Beermageddon. Since then, the band have changed their bassist, who now appears to be one of the sexiest female bass players I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a few, she also appears to be one of the scariest, I’ve ever seen, which is a deadly combination, I must say! Two years is a long time, yet this band are every bit as brutal as the last time I saw them play live. I’ll be honest, I can’t listen to too much black metal in the car or at home, but I love its energy when played live! The colours, the costumes, the instruments and the people involved go all out to make their music their art and this band are by no means an exception to the rule, a true spectacle and one to behold for yourself. Seriously, don’t dismiss this genre based on first appearances, as there’s so much more to it than you’d think. Tonight’s headliner was a triumphant set and one they should be proud of! Go Totengefluster!

As with every other Beermageddon I’ve attended before, so out of the six there’s been so far, I’ve only missed one of them (through no fault of my own) as with all the others, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, as always. For as long as they invite me, I will attend this festival, year after year, after year, after year, as it is, without a doubt, one of the best, most friendliest and most welcoming extreme metal festivals in the UK today!

We recommend Beermageddon and we follow them on facebook.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)