WACKEN OPEN AIR 2017

 

 

 

The Festival:-

”One of the festivals on the European metal/alternative circuit that i have always wanted to go to is the Wacken Open Air festival which is 50km north of Hamburg in the state of Schleswig Holstein. Over 3 days in August over 130 bands from various different metal subgenres will play on numerous stages to thousands of dedicated metal pilgrims, many of whom will be making their annual pilgrimage from all over the globe. It will be a time to party, to catch up will old friends,meet new ones and listen to some of the finest music created by some of the most influential acts from all over world, established acts and also new ones too!! All sub genres are catered for, from Hair Metal to Nu Metal all the way through to Black, Death, Thrash, Industrial etc etc! The average age of attendees is around 27 years old and 84, 000 tickets roughly are sold every year and for the past few years all the tickets have been sold out within 24/48 hours of them going on sale which is usually the day after the current festival ends. A nice touch is that  approximately 1800 residents  of the village of Wacken get free passes which is only fair considering that the village has to cater to thousands of people for 3 days, acting as guides, offering accommodation, catering/beer etc and of course putting up with a disruption to their peace and tranquillity!! In 2011 expansion to the festival was halted so as to not abuse the hospitality of the village and also for safely and logistical purposes. I personally think that was a good idea, obviously you want your event to be popular and grow but there comes a point at which the bigger you get the more problems you  encounter and the unique vibe that makes an event what it is can end up being watered down and being totally ruined!!”

 

The History:-

”The Seminal Wacken commenced on the 24th August 1990 with a band called Skyline and finished the following day with 5th Avenue, Ax’n Sex, Motoslug, Sacred Season and Wizzard (I assume this was not Roy Woods Wizzard but Wizzard from Sweden who were formed in 1985) The 26th Edition in 2016 commenced on Thursday 4th August and finished on Saturday 6th August and bands that played that year included Iron Maiden, Henry Rollins, Ministry, Borknagar and Twisted Sister Amongst others. In the intervening years there have been many bands that i have never heard of playing on the bill with plenty of familiar faces that have included the likes of Dimmu Borgir, Black Dahlia Murder, Motorhead, Cradle Of Filth, Therion, Saxon, Iced Earth, Celtic Frost, Gorgoroth, Mayhem and Amon Armath. This years iteration will include Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Lacuna Coil and the Cavalaera Brothers to name but a few. So, in 26 years we’ve gone from humble beginnings with a handful of bands to the pulsing behemoth we have today with hundreds of artists who are part of the global metal family. May this years  festival be a roaring success  and for many years to come.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LINKS:-

All travel and accommodation information can be found here. Please do your research carefully and thoroughly, i shall not be held responsible for your mistakes!!:-

http://www.wacken.com/en/

https://www.facebook.com/events/165108507250281/

 

WAVE GOTIK TREFFEN 2017

WGT Banner

Venue:- The city Of Leipzig, Eastern Germany.

”Its that time of year again when the annual pilgrimage of Goths all converge on the city of Leipzig for 4 days of dark chicanery!! There will be bands, exhibitions, clubs, lectures, theatre and movies in over 50 venues across the four corners of the city. And there will be free travel on the trams and buses with your event pass as well, which means more bucks for your booze!!!! I will be here for a second time after an enjoyable jaunt last year. This year i shall get to see many new bands and old favourites and i’ll get to go to the venues i did not get to last year!! I said in a previous review that you need to go twice to get the full experience of the event plus the sights of Leipzig itself!! I remember last year getting lost a few times on the transport system and ending up taking a long trip to a venue that i could have gotten to more easily if only i’d taken a tram, ie The Felsenkeller. On the bright side i got to travel on a different rail line which will be handy for future use!! Who’s playing at this event i hear you ask!! Well we have a large assortment of sonic confectionery that includes The Mission, Desperate Journalist, Saigon Blue Rain, The Agnes Circle, VNV Nation, Revolting Cocks and Sex Gang Children to name but a few!! And of course loads of bands i’ve never heard of like Black Nail Cabaret and Bloody Dead and Sexy!! ” As of writing there are over 145 bands confirmed for this years festival, more will be added/or deleted as the events nears!! And again as of writing i do not know of what parties/clubs or DJ’s will be on the roster as yet but that should change over the coming days and weeks!!”

”Apart from the event the city of Leipzig has many things to keep you from descending into the cellar of boredom. You will probably have an exhibition at the central station, there is the Monument To The Battle Of Nations, The Panometer Leipzig, The Grassi Museum and if you are into football then there is the Redbull Arena!! There are Goths into football, i know cos i have met them : )”

See you there folks!!

Below are a few teasers for your aural delectation:-

LINKS:-

http://www.wgt-guide.de

http://www.sadgoth.com/overview-wgtfestival-prewgtmeeting.html

http://www.wave-gotik-treffen.de/english/info/info.php

http://www.hostelworld.com/findabed.php/ChosenCity.Leipzig/

https://www.facebook.com/events/122977274790719/

http://lostinleipzig.com/use-tram-bus/

http://www.bayerischer-bahnhof.de/en

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_to_the_Battle_of_the_Nations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leipzig

VNV NATION LIVE!!

Venue:- The Scala, Kings Cross, London.

Date:- 26th February 2017

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”I am going to write this review without any research, just raw as it materialised from the inner parts of my brain!! I’ve not been to the Scala since the early part of this century and that was to see Brendan Perry, he of Dead Can Dance. It was packed then, it is packed to the rafters now!! I’ve known of the existence of VNV Nation since that latter stages of the 90’s but i have never consciously gravitated towards their music. Sure, i may have heard something at the Slimelight or The Electric Ballroom or Reptile but I’ve not done an internet search or sifted through their Cd’s in a music shop or been drawn towards their  stuff on Spotify etc!!  What can i say about them here? They are the musical equivalent of Black Forest Gateau!! i like Black Forest Gateau, if there is a BFG at a party i’ll gravitate towards it! i will cut myself a slice and consume with glee!! i will quiver at the sugar rush and then go back for  a second slice!! I will do that eye rolling thing and start bellowing ”oh, oh, oh my gosh!!” One mouthful into the third slice and i start to feel sick, the urge feeling in the back of the throat starts to assert itself so i have to put the plate down and walk away from the offending article!! That’s VNV Nation!! Pounding bass drum and textured synth filigree, but the vocals seem samey! i feel that there is no resolution when the vocals go off on a roll, i feel there is a build up of tension but no release!! i personally end up feeling frustrated, it’s like a good thing and getting too much of it, you know what i mean?? The vocalist is a showman though, he can work a crowd! He had the knack of rebooting flagging enthusiasm and getting the crowd to sing at various points. Also i was brought onside at the beginning when he said that people could film/photograph the show but don’t block the view of those who have spent good money to see a band and not see a QHD/AMOLED image of the band on a bloody smartphone screen!! i do find that annoying! Wardruna were saying the same thing when i saw them back in November i think it was, for the most part the crowd respected this request!! As an aside, the crowd were very polite tonight!! Apologising for getting in my way when i took photos, holding doors open, picking things up when i dropped them etc!!”

”To sum up i’d say that VNV Nation are a band that i will listen to on occasions but i do not thing they will become a favourite!!”

7/10

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/VNVNation/

http://www.anachronsounds.de/

WARDRUNA LIVE!!!

Venue:- The Union Chapel, Upper Street, Islington, London.

Date:- 17/11/2016

Main Members:-

Einar Kvitrafn Selvik:- Founder/Lyrics/Music/Most Instruments/Vocals

Lindy – Fay Hella:- Vocals

”That was brilliant that was!! I’ve not come out of a gig in a while feeling invigorated and entertained!! It was was not only the hairs on the back of my neck that stood up but also the ones on the small of my back and on the back of my legs!! The Union Chapel, a place I pass most days and is just up the road from where I live, I have lived in Islington for 18 years and it took Wardruna to get me into the venue!! It is brilliant for this type of music!! Music that speaks to your soul, your inner being!! The only other place that Wardruna could have performed in London with this type of music is The Royal Albert Hall, but then again maybe not!! The Union Chapel is just the right size for intimate!! It is cavernous but not mega cavernous, the gothic arches and the oldness meld with the music in a kind of symbiotic pureness!! Wardruna is an experience that commands your attention just like a charismatic preacher in the full flow of a sermon!! The band asked that people did not constantly use their phones during the performance as it was distracting and is irritating to other audience members and to the performers alike! Go old school and absorb the experience in your minds eyes, live the experience and give your memory a work out!! For the most part the audience respected this request and I appreciated the fact that I was at a show where bloody smartphone screens on show were kept to a minimum. As a photographer I am used to going to gigs and being told that I have 3 songs maximum and no flash!! If I can’t get some good shots in 10 minutes or so then there is something wrong with me!! Maybe the audience should be given a 3 song maximum as well, if the band wishes it???

Another thing I like about Wardruna is that the sound is not synthetic!! It is an organic sound created using traditional instruments such as the Kravik lyre, deer hide drums, tagelharps, goats horns and the like. It’s sound that is married to nature, the natural forces, the imagination and ancient ideas and thinking!! It is a sound that entrances and facilitates reverie. This is not shallow music, this is music that strips out the bullshit and gets down to what matters!! It reacquaints you with yourself, its a spiritual cleanser!! Tonight’s set was mainly music from ”Ragnarok” the third album in the RunalJod Trilogy, for those that don’t know the RunalJod Trilogy is 3 album music rendition of the runes of the Elder Fulthark. Gap Var Ginnunga is album one of the trilogy and first graced our ears in 2009, Yggdrasil is number from 2013 and Ragnarok wraps up the trilogy coming out this past October.”Tyr” opens the proceedings with enigmatic horns front lit to enhance the grandness and awe, ”Runaljod” closed said proceedings 90 minutes later with the same feeling!! Lindy – Fay Hella and Einars voices interplaying and interwoven, soft gossamer accented by harsh rope and visa versa, it was  like knotwork crawling around atop the skin before penetration into it, moving around the veins and every pore, intoxicating and openig the doors to the gods!!”

”And then it was all over!! I’ve seen a lot of bands this year but only two have had me leaving a venue with a satisfied feeling of ”WOWWWWW!!! and a cheshire cat grin!! Both are Norwegian!!!”

 

Darkher

Members:-

Jayn H Wissenberg – Vocals, Guitars, Production, sorcery.

Martin T Wissenberg -Atmospheric & Lead
Guitars/Bass

Shaun ‘Winter’ Taylor-Steels – Drums

”A short set of 30 minutes. Very Haunting. I see moorland, cold and desolate and shrouded in fog and mist! One moment I felt lost and then I feel empowered by being lost because I can only find!! In life one minute I know where I am, I know who I am and then the next, as if a switch has been clocked, I feel disorientated and confused, what the hell is this place I stand?? And then, with another click of a switch, I am back!! In places this sounds like Julianne Regan of All About Eve , PJ Harvey, the track ”Hung” and Tori Amos. Take a woman in a long white dress with long hair and  put her in an old chapel and what you also get is a Dante Gabriel Rossetti painting! The track ”Forgone” is the All About Eve sounding track, all tension and foreboding!! Wardruna were the guides who laid the crumbs and I found this!!”

 

 

LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/wardruna/

https://www.wardruna.com

https://soundcloud.com/wardruna/albums

https://www.instagram.com/einar_selvik/

https://www.youtube.com/user/wardruna

http://www.darkher.com/

twitter.com/DARKHERMUSIC

 

KAMPFAR LIVE!!!

 

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Venue:- The Underworld, Camden Town, London, UK.

Date:- 25/10/16

KAMPFAR!!!!! An Old Norse Battle Cry meaning Odin or Wotan!!

Abraham Ben Jacob:- ”Never before have  I heard uglier songs than those of the Vikings (in Slesvig). The growling sounds coming from their throats reminds me of dogs but more untamed!” 10th Century AD

 

 

”The last time I saw Kampfar was last year when they played at the Dome in Tufnell Park supporting Gorgoroth! They grabbed my attention more than Gorgoroth, the energy was captivating, the rhythm was intoxicating and presence of all the band was stereolithic! A brief biography, the band has been in existence since 1994 when  Dolk  parted ways with his previous band called Mock. The band started as a duo and their first release was a self titled mini cd followed by their first album in 1997 called “Mellom Skogkledde Aaser”. These guys are no wall flowers, you know they are there, they pull your attention and it is kept for the duration of the gig!! I’ve always found Kampfar spine chilling, i’m not fully up to speed with all their catalogue yet but what I have heard is sublime!! ”Mylder”, 6 minutes of raging goodness accented by a teasing airy and somewhat mocking flute, ‘Swarm Norvegicus’, rousing and bombastic, the guitar cutting through you like cheese wire! In fact the whole experience of listening to Kampfar is like listening to an opera whilst being garrotted with cheese wire, and loving it!! Dolks guttural utterances  mirroring your own gurgles as the blood spews out of your neck!!  I was on a bus the day after this gig listening to ”Glory Ablaze” and I was in a trance, a look of insular musings on my face and a propensity for uncontrolled jerking, I had a need to break out and thrash my head about but I could not, I was on a bus! Any one looking at me would have thought I  was mad! I was having an experience, a visceral experience, it was  like an orgasm but better, prolonged!! The set list for tonight gig consisted of tracks from albums, in no particular order:- ‘Kvass’ (2006), ‘Profan’ (2015), ‘Djevelmakt’ (2016). I was listening to ‘Lyktemenn’ whilst writing this, I went into a trance again, sorry!! And the other albums are:- ‘Heimgang’ and ‘Fra Underverdenen’. After skimming through all the albums online I have found some gems to explore in more detail and to be honest although there are some tracks that I don’t like the majority are satisfyingly brilliant, for example ”Hymne” from ”Mellom Skogkledde Aaser” and ”Troll, Dod Og Trolldom”  from the album ”Fra Underverdenen”.

 

”I know what  I like and I like this band!!”

 

SETLIST:-

 

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LINKS:-

https://www.facebook.com/kampfarofficial/

http://www.kampfar.com

 

 

ROB ZOMBIE LIVE!!

robzombiecolor1wickedspins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue:- The Kentish Town Forum, London.

Date:- 17th October 2016

 

”First off, I was bloody disappointed that I did not get a photopass!! But the person who was giving them out went to hospital  so obviously they had more important things to be attending to. I did however get in due to an amenable security guy ushering me in the back way and letting me blend into the crowd in an urgent manner!! The place was packed so I decided to stand near the bar stage right so I could leave my bags on the end of the bar!! I was surrounded all manner of people waiting for the action to start, Rob Zombie clones, tattooed rock chicks, spaced out dread heads and a clown!! The only place where clowns can’t be arrested at the moment, at a Rob Zombie gig!! So, I settled in,  bought a plastic stein of Carlsberg and readied myself!! With bright streaking lights and through a wail of screams, yelps and cheers Rob and band populate the stage and dive straight in to ”Last Of The Demons Defeated” from ”The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser” album. I had not listened to this new album so all the tracks played were unfamiliar!! I did recognise ”Superbeast” , ”Dragula”, ”Living Dead Girl”,  ”More Human Than Human” and ”Thunderkiss 65” Personally ”More Human Than Human” was laboured vocally,  there was no stamina for the rap I felt, I didn’t feel satiated by it so I  didn’t enjoy it that much but The cover Of The Ramones ”Blitzkrieg Bop” and Alice Coopers ”Schools Out” were brilliant, the mix was right and the vocals paced like one wave following another!! There was an allusion to the US election ”But no one is talking about Alien Abduction!!” Rob says, the crowd cheers and then straight in to ”Well, everyone’s fucking in a UFO”, another track from the new album. These tracks don’t seem as strong as those from other efforts, Hopefully they’ll grow on me. Another great track on the night was ”Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga” from ”Venomous Rat Degeneration Vendor” Try singing that after a plastic stein of lager!! I did, I couldn’t lol!!”

 

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”This show was a stripped down show with none of the costumes worn at earlier events, just corpse paint, tee shirts and flairs, a few plastic aliens to lob into the crowd and some beach balls!! The lights were bloody bright though, shutter speeds of 1/300 or above would have stopped the action nicely, I tried to get some from where  I was standing near the bar, not bad but not good either as you can see!! The rest of the photos are from my phone which are equally rubbish!! But the event was recorded which is the main thing!!”

 

robzombiebw1wickedspins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

”Anyway, to sum up, 1.5 hours of entertainment, some J5 riffing, plastic aliens and 2 encores, a good night!! I wasn’t keen on the t shirts though, not the price (£25) , if plain black cotton of a lighter gauge with just a small RZ embroidered logo was available I would definitely have bought one, that’s just me!!”

All in all a good show!!

 

4/5

Setlist

1:- The last of the Demons Defeated

2:-Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown

3:- Superbeast

4:- In the age of the Consecrated Vampire we all get High

5:- Demonoid Phenomenon

6:- Wild Thing

7:- Living Dead Girl

8:- Scum Of the Earth

9:- Well, everybody’s Fucking in a UFO

10:- More Human Than Human

11:- Never Gonna Stop

12:- The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore

13:- House Of a Thousand Corpses

14:- John 5 guitar solos

15:- Thunderkiss 65

16:- Schools Out

17:- Blitzkrieg Bop

18:- Thunderkiss 65 reprise

Encore 1

19:- Lords Of Salem

20:- Get your Boots on, That’s the end of Rock and Roll

Encore 2

21:- Dragula

22:- Meet The Creeper

23:- Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Raga Laga

24:- Sick Bubblegum

 

LINKS:-

 

http://robzombie.com/news/

 

 

JOHN 5 LIVE!!!

John 5

John 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue:- The Garage, Highbury Corner, London.

 

”Mesmerising guitar riffery a la Satriani/Malmsteen/Vai/Friedman, a zombie not restricted by one particular genre or style! A journey through the streets of blues, jazz funk, metal, country/hill billy!! The finger speed was sublime and you know what? No vocals were needed for this at all, it would have ruined the vibe!! John 5 is a guitarist not a vocalist so why water down what you are good at??? Usually photographers get 3 songs with no flash, we were allowed flash and for the whole set! If I had known that i’d have taken my flash!! At times I forgot why I was there, to take photos of course, I just stared at the fingers, see those fingers go……….. Anyway I shook myself out of my trance and got on with my job! This was a show enjoyed by band and fans alike, John threw plectrums into the crowd and offered his telecaster to the crowd a few times, they gratefully touched the sacred object which sent invigorated spasms down their collective spines!! I read somewhere that the axes on show tonight were of a limited selection, the rest being in Berlin with Rob Zombie awaiting attentions for his tour, what would we have been party to if this collection had been brought here?? Who knows, next time eh?? The man himself finishes the show with a medley of riffs from well known tunes before departing the stage to gracious applause!!! A good night had by all methinks!!”

 

John 5

John 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John 5

John 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John 5

John 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LINKS:-

JOHN 5 AND THE CREATURES music videos