Wintersun

Wintersun Tour 2013

With Support From Savage Messiah and Bloodshot Dawn.

Rescue Rooms Nottingham 18th July 2013.

As the Great British summer scorches on, so does the great music scene in Nottingham. I start with a bit of a moan, which is unusual for me, but feel it must be said!

If you advertise a gig to start at 7pm, surely the acts should start as scheduled so people have time to get home from work and travel to the gig and not start 15 minutes before? This was the case tonight meaning people missed the start or most of the first support act, Savage Messiah!!!

Fortunately, I got there just in time, coming in mid way through the first of 4 tracks. Both Bloodshot Dawn and Savage Messiah have supported Wintersun throughout this current tour of the UK, which must be a great feeling, especially when you consider how many bands there are out there fighting for said slots. Both are great bands, who have played some great shows over the years, and who compliment Wintersun’s style perfectly, so its easy to see why they got the nod.

I love Savage Messiah, their energy on stage compliments the energy of their music perfectly. People who managed to see them perform tonight went away loving them too, so job done. I can see lead vocalist, Silver has been working on being a more visual front man, as I was loving photographing him tonight, so much so, I nearly forgot about poor Joff, gurning away to my left. Some familiar faces turned up for tonight’s gig, Rod Boston, the legendary metal head and Bull-Riff Stampede’s bass player to name but one.

Dave Silver - Savage Messiah

I didn’t get to interview the entire band, but I did talk to Joff, the guitarist, whilst catching some fresh air outside after their set. We spoke about the tour and I asked how they got their equipment and themselves to shows. His answer was “we hire a van, that travels the speed of snails, but it gets us from A to B before we have to retire! haha! I also asked how the recording of the new album was coming along, which Joff got most excited about, saying “We can’t wait to unleash this album onto the world” errr…..its going to be a long wait, but wait I shall!!!

Stefano Selvatico - Savage Messiah

Set list tonight included: 1. Insurrection Rising  2. Scavengers Of Mercy  3. The Accuser  4. Plaque Of Conscience  5. Iconocaust  6. The Fateful Dark

Next up were another band I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter on more than one occasion, Bloodshot Dawn. Hailing from the Great Waterfront City of Portsmouth, they consist of Josh McMorran – Vocals / Lead Guitar, Benjamin Ellis – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals, Doug Anderson – Drums / Vocals and Anthony Ridout – Bass. With their highly fueled riffs, they rocked Rescue Rooms tonight. These are another band that give the energizer bunny a run for his money! Even with the venue being hot, it didn’t stop them from doing what they do best, belting out ear bleeding vocals (in a good way) and heavy f**king metal!

Benjamin Ellis - Bloodshot Dawn

A fantastic moment, half way through the set, was when Josh addressed the crowd “Thanks for coming, but this is a metal show and I’m yet to see a circle pit! So instead I want you all to part down the middle for a wall of death” The crowd kindly acted on his request and did as he asked and waited for the signal. ONE, TWO………THREE, GO! On which the two opposing sides rushed towards each other, colliding to form a sea of bodies and continued to mosh through the entire track, AWESOME!

Josh McMorran - Bloodshot Dawn

After their set, I asked Josh how they managed to get onto the tour and if they had enjoyed it so far, to which his reply was “we sent our material over to the promoters, who liked our music and signed us up. We have loved every show we’ve played so far and are looking forward to the rest of the tour. We’d love it for the weather to be cooler, but that won’t stop us from rockin out, even with a stream of sweat pouring off us!”

Set list tonight was: 1.Beckoning Oblivion  2.Vision  3.Illusion Aesthetic  4.The Quantum Apocalypse  5.Godless

Wintersun, the headliners have travelled an extremely long way to be here tonight. They are from Finland and consist of Jari Mäenpää (Vocals, Guitar), Teemu Mäntysaari (Guitar) Jukka Koskinen (Bass) and Kai Hahto (Drums).

Formed by Jari, initially as a side project, away from Ensiferum, in 2003. The bands sound is described as majestic, spacey and melodic. After listening to their first album, self titled, released in 2004, I honestly expected to see a keyboardist present tonight, but it seems the band never found one, so that gets layered in via the computer. After eight 8 years, Wintersun finally released their second, long awaited album ‘Time 1’, in 2012, which was started in 2006! It was always meant to be two albums joined together, including ‘Time 2’, but that will be released next year.

Jukka Koskinen - Wintersun

Considering the distance they have traveled may help to explain why the stage was completely cleared of amps, leaving only the drums. Instead they used a single computer to control every instrument used by the band. Sound check was interesting too, know as a silent sound check, which I’ve never seen before! With the wonders of modern technology today, it certainly helps to reduce freight costs for bands traveling the world! However, trying to take pictures of the band was a nightmare, whats with these big furry microphones…..with a band so up on technology, surely its time to throw the 1970’s mics away?

Jari Maenpaa - Wintersun

After the extremely long intro, When time fades away (not fast enough) the band rushed out onto the stage, with Jari carrying his mobile phone, recording the crowds reaction as they did. As with the previous two bands, these guys didn’t hang about when it came to the face pulling, jeering up the crowd and posing for the cameras. Amazingly they didn’t break into a sweat though, it must be because they’re from Finland……super cool!

Tonight’s crowd were like a fifth member of the band, as they sang their way through the entire set, which consisted of a 50/50 split between the new album, which is only 5 tracks and the first album:

Set list included: 1.Sons of Winter and Stars  2.Land of Snow and Sorrow  3.Battle Against Time  4.Sleeping Stars  5.Beautiful Death  6.Darkness and Frost  7.Time  8.Death and the Healing  9.Winter Madness  10.Beyond the Dark Sun  11.Starchild

Words and photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)