Thrashersaurus

Part One Of

“The Weekend Of Noise”

With the lovely weather on Saturday I decided to join friends at a pub in Norwich. It’s quite a way to go, it took two and a half hours to get there I think although the traffic along the M11 was pretty slow all the way. Why Norwich? Well, it’s not for nostalgia’s sake. I’m pretty certain the last time I was there was in 1989 for an afternoon while I attended cadet camp at RAF Swanton Morley. I remember seeing the cathedral and then having a pizza in a restaurant on a hill with some other cadets. I think Swanton Morley wasn’t really set up for an influx of eighty cadets and we felt starved!

I travelled to Norwich to attend THRASHERSAURUS at the Brickmakers pub somewhere in the Anglian city. I just followed the Sat Nav, I didn’t really know where I was going, although I had checked out parking and the local area using Google Maps, that seems the sensible thing to do.

It seems quite obvious to me but Thrashersaurus is a thrash metal festival for local bands and a few more well known ones on the UK scene. I could only be there for the Saturday and Xentrix were headlining. They are a band I have known about for about 25 years and I even own some of their stuff!

So, I kept notes as the day progressed and now I present them to you. They aren’t comprehensive but they give a flavour of what I thought. The venue was better than I had expected. The two stages were a good size and the clientele were your pretty standard metal heads; all there for a good time and pretty friendly.

Uridium – pretty good, well structured metal songs, like a faster Saxon.

Uridium - Thrashersaurus
Uridium – Thrashersaurus

Crawlblind – on the main stage. Shouty metal/thrash. Whatever.

Crawlblind - Thrashersaurus
Crawlblind – Thrashersaurus

Clownsmasheverything – on the B2 stage. Not thrash. Seemed like fast late 80s rock to me. 10 seconds of really heavy riff that was great.

Vendetta – main stage. Shouty but not growly. A band of short fat men. Reasonably good. Singer running up and down in front of stage.

Cryptic Shift – B2 stage. The fuck!? Experimental wank. Walked out.

Soulborn – main stage. Shouty vocals. Ok. Some good riffs. Only on guitarist. Some off-beat cymbal action. Nice one. Singer forgot his guitar apparently.

Psython – B2. Wailing vocals. Speed metal. From Rotherham?

Killer Hurts – Main Stage. Less technical than Testament but that style. Very 80s style thrash. Ok for what it is. Song : Blunt Force Trauma: Hilarious.

Lifer – B2. From South Wales apparently. Down tuned guitars very heavy slow riffs. Song: Words Of The Wise. Best so far.

Shrapnel – main stage. After a brief sit down went and saw last 20 mins. Quality fast thrash. Early Metallica sounds, but not quite as good and possibly 30 years too late.

Shrapnel - Thrashersaurus
Shrapnel – Thrashersaurus

Dinner time.

Reprisal – B2. Fast. Heavy noise. Not that impressive.

Incinery – main stage. Bit shit. Snare drum sounded really bad. Too much constant drumming, not enough variation. Sat down.

Forgotten Remains – B2 from Chesterfield apparently. Shouty growly vocals, no idea what he’s saying. Fast and loud, no real subtlety to it! Played The Trooper last, speeded up.

Xentrix – main stage. What I’ve been waiting for. Tight, thrash metal. Very well executed.

Xentrix - Thrashersaurus
Xentrix – Thrashersaurus

All this finished at 23:15 and after some goodbyes I had to drive back to Kent to ensure I could take part in the second part of The Weekend Of Noise”.

Infest 2017

After leaving the Lake District I drove down to Bradford. I had known about the Infest music festival for a few years but the bands in previous years had not been enough to draw me, also it’s in Bradford. Smith and I had accommodation booked in the university halls of residence and the festival itself was based in the student union. I arrived, got my keys, found my room and also found somewhere to park the car. Then I waited for Smith to get up from London and wandered the university to get my bearings.

There were three bands, the headliners, that I wanted to see:

Rotersand –  I saw these at M’era Luna and they were bloody fantastic.
Die Krupps – I’ve seen these at M’era Luna too and they were very impressive.
Revolting Cocks – pioneers of the industrial sound and iconic and influential band [although arguably Die Krupps were more important in musical history].

On the Friday evening I watched:

They Call Him Zone – slow beat goth and boring.

Noyce – band with a violinist, indie style fast beats but with goth lyrics. One of the musicians was playing a saw in a song. Could be improved (!) if the violinist played a melody rather than just holding a chord note for each line.

Accessory – good fast industrial pop, very fucking good.

Rotersand – fucking awesome.

Rotersand
Rotersand

And . . .Friday night was done.

More Rotersand
More Rotersand

We hung around for a while chatting to a few people. The rooms in halls were pretty good although there wasn’t a basin. There were two shower/toilets for four people to share which I guess is OK. It reminded me of my time in student halls at Imperial. Mind you, that particular hall of residence is no more. Bradford halls were based on town houses with four levels, IC halls were a messed up design with spiral staircases which created interesting loyalties.

Saturday morning came and it was time to find food. We wandered Bradford, I was not impressed, and bought some needed liquid latex. Then we found a small cafe and had breakfast at the Smorgasboad Bar. Upon our return to Infest we got changed and I actually felt an unease at being different. I do not get this apprehension in Germany.

Preparation
Preparation Table

Saturday’s bands were:

Riotmiloo –  shouty female singer, microphone didn’t work for quite a while.Started slow, got better as beat increased. Good finish.

Chemical Sweet Kid- French. Female keyboardist and male singer and guitarist. Good, upbeat songs. Quite enjoyable. Slightly formulaic songs. Good version of Paint It Black.

Chemical sweet Kid
Chemical Sweet Kid

Empathy Test – left after two songs. See this review in this communication.

Wulfband – fast electro punk. Singing in German. Guitarist on but only played in last half of songs. Singer had a posed fight with someone during one song. Crazy. Best comment from the crowd:

“I don’t know what you are but I want more.”

Wulfband
Wulfband

Then we had food. My notes say the letter B but I can’t remember what that means!

End.user – DJ type stuff. Bullshit.

Finally to top the evening were Die Krupps – they were heavy and really good.

Die Krupps
Die Krupps

On Sunday morning we wandered around Bradford some more looking at the Cathedral, the Waterstones shop and Little Germany. I’ve just looked at the Google map of the city and it shocked the shit out of me as the University was on the wrong side of the centre. For some reason I had thought it was on the SE of the centre, I was wrong in my head and that explains what the sun was in the wrong place in the sky while I was there. This does happen at times, me being wrong, not the sun being in the wrong place. I should have studied the map a little more while I was in the city.

There’s a Science and Media museum in Bradford. We looked around it. While there was a good collection of cameras it was pretty shit for a museum. Very little science and not a great deal of media. This could be due to the fact that my local museums are all in the capital and generally pretty impressive.

So, Sunday’s bands and my thoughts follow:

Among The Echoes – standard guitar based rock with synth stuff over the top. Not good. Not bad. Quite routine.

Sidewalks and Skeletons – slow ambient DJ type stuff. Industrial noises. Not feeling it.

Vampyre Anvil – good, heavy industrial electronic. Two guys and computers. Distorted singing.

Juggernauts – Left for food after 10 mins. Belgians with shiny helmets. Not sure what was going on.

iVardensphere – upbeat. Heavy bass. Not the easiest to discriminate between all the sounds. Not sure it translates well to live. Still good but not quite same as album music. Drum solo! Really heavy song. Good variation.

iVardenshpere
iVardenshpere

Revolting Cocks – 38, No vocals for first half of song. Change of singers after Big Sexy Land. Last song Beers Steers and Queers. Then encore: If you think I’m sexy (not expected and quite disappointing).

Revolting Cocks
Revolting Cocks

I was somewhat underwhelmed by the Revolting Cocks but that’s probably normal for a band of such stature. I had enjoyed Rotersand and Die Krupps far more. However, it was good to see this seminal collection of people doing their stuff. They are quite influential although Die Krupps win the overall who influenced who competition having influenced many including Nitzer Ebb who then influenced the Cocks!

We both decided that the atmosphere on the Saturday was a little strange and I didn’t get as much of a party atmosphere as when I’m at M’era Luna. Attendance at this little festival of goths and freaks will depend on the acts they book, as it did this year.

At some point during the weekend we were sitting outside around a table. I was reading a news article on Babylonians and their understanding of trigonometry. I need some head space during the weekends otherwise I get over-loaded. I kinda shut down for a while and enter calmness. A young woman sitting opposite [looking a little smashed] asked me what was wrong with me and why wasn’t I happy. I explained I was fine. She asked again. Smith tried explaining that being quiet now and then was what I do, to reset myself. So, she asked again what was wrong with me. It was one of those situations that happen when you keep getting asked why you are in a mood, when you aren’t. The incessant questioning eventually puts you in a mood.

So, I explained to this woman that I had read a news article about how the Babylonians had possibly figured out trigonometry before Hipparchus and that an interpretation of one of their clay tablets could show a decent base sixty understanding of trigonometric tables. I explained I was a little phased as it wasn’t something I had expected.

Reply – there came none.

M’era Luna 2017

This is now an annual event. Travelling 1000 miles in a weekend to see a bunch of bands and spend time chilling out at a great music festival. Curiously we haven’t really watch any of the headline acts over the three years that we have attended but there are enough excellent bands elsewhere on the bill to make it worthwhile. I would argue that some of the bands I enjoyed should be higher in the playing order but I guess the bosses organise things to fit the mostly German audience.

We chose to try and spread the journey out a little this year. We left the UK on Thursday and drove to Dortmund to stay in a (very) cheap hotel, the bon marché hôtel, Bochum. We arrived there around 2 in the morning but checked in and got our room. It was clean and good value. 336 miles completed so far. When I woke up I was somewhat surprised to see hospital rooms right outside of my window!

Friday morning meant a short trip to Hildesheim Airport to hopefully arrive early and get our choice of camping spot. 166 miles (ish). There were Facebook updates and app updates along the way asking people to hold off arriving because the rain was and had been very bad and the organisers wanted the ground to drain a little before 20,000 campers turned up. We detoured through Hildesheim itself, because in three attendances we haven’t been in to the town centre yet and it is designated a World Heritage Site and looks gorgeous on websites. We decided quite quickly that we would head to the campsite and see what happened. It was raining and we wanted to get our tents set up.

Arrival
Arrival

The weather was mostly light rain, the sort that really gets you wet. The forecast at this point was pretty shit with rain all night and also Saturday. We walked around and checked out the rest of the festival area. Picking out the most convenient [but quiet] toilets. There were some new additions along the runway, a food place, “posh” toilets and a small coffee place that was very stuck in the mud. The campsite was very busy when we arrived so our earlier than normal for us arrival didn’t really help, but with two tents this year we found somewhere suitable.

EDVM Runway
EDVM Runway

We looked around the medieval village and tried to pick out a festival t-shirt before really wanting to call it quits. The rain had got to us along with parking issues [covered elsewhere] and I was fed up and wanted to sleep. The tent beckoned and I pondered which outfit to where in the expected rain on Saturday.

Saturday morning meant finding somewhere for the daily routine. The “posh” loos mentioned already were spacious and didn’t smell. Wood chippings had to be thrown over the waste to stop the smell. These were also clean, but to be honest the receptacle was just a wheelie bin.

Time to get dressed and head to the festival. We had standard photos taken this year next to the M’era Luna sign and the overall joint aim of the weekend was to get our photograph taken and then on websites and in magazines. The costumes were designed to shock and be colourful, anything other than black stands out very well among the 25,000 attendees.

We got a neighbour to take a photo at our campsite area.

Then we had photographs taken at the entrance sign by the pond. You can’t see the mud here but there was tons of the fucking stuff. The rain had ruined the entire area of the festival.

Entrance Photo
Entrance Photo

I guess I out to talk about the music. That is why we were there. It was the music that had attracted us originally to a goth festival in the middle of Germany and the dressing up is just a little bit extra. As I have done in previous years I noted which bands I watched and what I thought on my phone. The following is pretty much what I noted down.

Saturday

Circus of Fools. Main stage. Metal. Black and white outfits. Female singer with male. Circus act. Girls on a ring.

Circus Of Fools
Circus Of Fools

During this act I had a hayfever attack. I last had one of these in Cyprus and it lasted a few hours. I had a few episodes over the weekend, I think it was mostly to do with the air in the gas mask directed straight at my eyes. I even had an attack in my tent one morning so who knows what caused it. At times I could only wear the gas mask for a few minutes before I couldn’t see anything!

Eden Weint Im Grab. Main stage. Metal with violin and cello.

Ambassador 21. Hangar stage. Fast hardcore industrial. Female singer. Good.

Ambassador 21
Ambassador 21

Left to Unzucht. Main stage. I really enjoyed this band previously and once again they entertained. I really enjoyed their set.

Ost +Front. Main stage. Dita von Teese rip off with red liquid in the champagne glass. German industrial metal. Risqué show. Guitars dirty thrash sound.

We ate lunch at this point. The vegan Indian food stall was very good and most of the people working there remembered us from last year. We had a nice chat with them.

.com/kill on the hangar stage. Good electronic industrial. Could do with being heavier in places?? Less impressive than expected. The front man wasn’t that great and the lyrics were mostly repetitive which meant the singer didn’t do a great deal.

Feuerschwanz main stage from the side. Medieval German rock with violins. I don’t really need to add anything to this description.

Mesh. Main stage watched while getting a drink. Plodding electronica.

Faderhead. Hangar stage. Brilliant. Best act so far. I really enjoyed this set.

Faderhead
Faderhead

Ashbury Heights. Hangar stage. Female singer pretty much had her boobs out. Songs ok but too long and boring. It didn’t really work for me. Lacklustre front man/woman. I need band members to at least look as though they are enjoying themselves, which kinda goes against the Goth image!

Project Pitchfork. Main stage. 3 drummers, why? All seemed to be playing the same thing. Plodding but very well done. Not quite my stuff but glad to have seen them.

Solar Fake. Hangar stage. I put no notes here so I have no idea what I thought about them!

My Favourite Photo
My Favourite Photo

At this point I went to take my Camelbak off. I had filled it with Pimms but I wasn’t really drinking it much and it was annoying me at this point.

Subway To Sally main stage. while waking through. I don’t like this band.

KMFDM hangar stage. Pretty much as excellent as expected. Very guitar orientated sound and almost thrash at times. Played a few songs from the new album. Technical issues.

Food (stuffed bread) while ASP (main stage) technical difficulties meant he was delayed and that also meant that Korn were going to start late. The Saturday entertainment finished around 01:00 on Sunday. I had already left and was asleep. I couldn’t care for Korn and it had been a long day with plenty of rain. The whole site was a mud bath and I wasn’t feeling the happiest.

Sunday

This morning we had to get costumes from the car, which fortunately was “parked” reasonably close. We could also try and take back stuff we wouldn’t need anymore to reduce the load we would carry Monday morning. My inspiration for this costume was a banana republic dictator although it has been pointed out to me that I need some medals. This photo of me captures me unaware, which normally gives good results.

Sunday Uniform
Sunday Uniform

Over the last two days the campsite had been turned into an excellent mud wrestling venue:

Muddy Mess
Muddy Mess

I guess this is the accepted standard of things once it rains a lot. Who would have expected this in August in the centre of Germany though? I’m glad my boots help up to the challenge of keeping my feet warm and dry.

Here’s the run down of the bands seen:

Johnny Deathshadow. Main stage. Metal. Actually good. Good crowd interaction. Good metal.

Give Me Food
Give Me Food

Then I had a vegan breakfast and whiskey with ginger, Of course!

SchwarzerEngel. Main stage. Ok-ish. Metal. Not ok-ish. A bit shit really. Boring plodding metal.

What's Going On?
What’s Going On?

Darkhaus. Main stage. Dies in middle of song. Quite well done Rock-pop. Songs start well but die. This band could have been really good but their musical style just angered me. The songs started really well but then during the bridge they utterly lost all beat and sound. Not good.

Absurd Minds. Hangar stage. Electronica. Upbeat but not quite feeling it.

Versen gold. Main stage. Irish medieval rock. Makes me want to dance. This is really a ceilidh. Couple of songs.

Tyske Ludder. Hangar stage. Good dance industrial with German language. Good. Russian flag waving. Good front man. Really good set.

Outside for a drink. Megahertz on main stage. A fucking ballad!!

Left to:
Leather Strip in the hangar. Very good EBM. What it’s all about. Still very good today. Really impressive and great fun.

Leather Strip
Leather Strip

Haujobb in the hangar.Moody electronica. Artistic and very well done music but not really for dancing or watching? A little bit of politics!

Caught a little bit of Mono Inc. on the main stage and fuck me they sang a terrible cover of “After the war”.

Front Line Assembly. Hangar. Somewhat lacklustre. Left for a meal at the vegan store.

Went to have some mead. Saw the fish kebab, possibly the most disturbing thing I have ever seen, it looked puke-worthy.

DAF. Hangar stage. Early electronic. Basic like Nitzer Ebb. Probably something really special and transformative but not quite my stuff.

EDVM Tower
EDVM Tower

Came out for Blutengel on the main stage. Witches with fire. Started with “Black” first. Lesbian nuns and a female devil stage show. Girls stripping down to underwear. Is this 2017?? Rock Pop goth. The dancing girls were needed because the front man and woman are really boring.

The Results Of Rain
The Results Of Rain

To medieval village for Rhambrot and an orange flavoured cookie.

De/vision in the hangar, we lasted one third of a song.

Outside to And One headlining the main stage. Clean pop-type electronic. Nothing special really.

And that was it. Favourite bands were Faderhead, KMFDM, Leather Strip and Tyske Ludder. The weather on the Sunday was much better and the general mood was great. Monday morning we woke early [ish] and packed up, got the car loaded and headed home. It was a foggy start in central Germany! This is a last photo of our camping area:

Misty Monday Morning
Misty Monday Morning
Sunrise Over Bora Horza Gobuchul
Sunrise Over Bora Horza Gobuchul

There are reasons the car looks quite lonely in the parking field and these will be covered in another communication. I had some parking issues over the summer and as the summer isn’t currently over I expect a few more to come!

The return journey included a poorly sign-posted diversion around Duisberg and we ended up relying on Apple Maps as Google was failing us at this point! We returned to Calais via the Brussels ring road and Lille. This route has a few more corners and hills along the way! 525 miles.

We got to the tunnel check-in two hours and 2 minutes before our train was due to depart and the woman working there delayed our check in by two minutes so we wouldn’t have to exit and go through the queuing system again. We met up with some friends for a chat at the Eurotunnel terminal and during the return train journey I cleaned my nails. What else are you going to do?

I am already trying to plan costumes for next year although I am not sure how to top this year’s.

That Way Madness Lies

A weekend during August meant it was time to travel to Germany again and the beautiful town of Hildesheim. In 2015 Smith and I went to the M’era Luna festival. This year we had tickets earlier, the tunnel booked earlier and also a plan! Except the plan had to be adjusted as Smith was flying into Brussels on the Friday morning. I spent the Thursday evening packing the car ready for the weekend and got up early on the Friday to head down the M20 to the Channel Tunnel. Last year there were problems with Operation Stack and this year the M20 was fine although the scene of a fallen pedestrian bridge a few weeks later.

After the tunnel I headed to Brussels, which wasn’t that far off the route we needed to get to Hildesheim. There are two main motorway routes that head to the industrial heartland of Germany’s Ruhr Valley and one goes via Brussels, the other via Antwerp. So the first three hours of the journey were completed on my own, with podcasts and talking books for company [I don’t do music on long journeys].

Smith sent a message saying he’d meet me in P1 level 3. Well, I wondered while traversing the Ring if that is what the signs on approach to the airport would say or would they be in another language or missing entirely. Fortunately they did and we found each other easily. A quick adjustment on the iPhone Googlemaps app and we were heading to Hildesheim past Leuven.

Not a great deal of note happened along the way until we got close to Bad Oeynhausen when the app was telling us that there was a 90 minute delay and would we like to go a different route? Well, yes please. So we left the A2 motorway, where speeds reach in excess of 110mph, and headed cross country to Hamelin and then Hildesheim. I think that all in all the journey was about eight hours, which isn’t that bad for five hundred miles. All we now had to do was load up the trolley and walk about a mile from the car to the festival entrance, find a spot to camp, put up the tent, eat food and drink. We camped almost exactly as we did last year, about as far from the main festival as possible. This meant it was reasonably quiet and the toilets weren’t over run.

Runway 07L
Runway 07

Friday evening meant wine, Jägermeister and Absinthe. This was possibly a little silly as Saturday was quite hard work for me. Although there is no live music on the Friday evening there is a disco in one of the hangers and plenty of stalls open along with the Medieval Village where you can practise your ax throwing, should you want to.

The weather wasn’t as hot this year compared with 2015. The forecast had 25C or so which suited me fine, the 33C of last year was too much. The night was good and Saturday morning meant a walk along the runway to showers and coffee. Not at the same time but I needed both. The shower marquee was pretty good and had lovely hot water to clean away the hours of travel yesterday. The queues for coffee were pretty long and I wondered whether it was worth bringing a stove to make a coffee each morning but it feels quite sophisticated drinking coffee in the morning sun on the taxiway of an airfield waiting for the outfits and music.

M’era Luna is cheap enough that if you just come along to display your costume and make up abilities then you don’t have to worry about the music. With Download coming in at about GBP200 the GBP80 for M’era Luna seems a bargain. It’s also small enough to feel cosy and pleasant. Getting ready for the day’s activities this year was a little more time consuming this year as Smith and I had plans for costumes, also it appeared there was a naked selfie competition on WhatsApp with a group of friends started by Walshe! These photos still exist in the ether but they are not going to be published anywhere public.

I should probably get on to the music with that being the reason for driving five hundred miles an’ all. But first there was getting an outfit on! Because Suicide Commando wasn’t playing on the Saturday it meant we dressed in white shirts [shock horror!] and Ayria ties bought when we saw her play at Electrowerkz.

And so on to the music. I seem to recall saying last year that the little details disappear from my mind and so what follows is mostly just a list with my thoughts at the time. Some of my favourite bands will appear with more details. There are two stages at M’Era Luna, the main stage and the hanger stage.

Saturday

Shaargot [main stage] – good industrial metal.

Vlad In Tears [hanger stage] – shit.

Erdling [main stage] – goth. shit.

Time for lunch.

Gothminster [main stage] – killing a zombie on stage during the first song. Bat ventriloquism in the second. What the fuck is going on? Left to the hanger stage.

Gothminister
Gothminister

A Life Divided [hanger stage] – caught the last song. pop metal.

Chrom [hanger stage] – the first band I was really looking forward to. I liked the music but they were boring. A shame.

Chrom
Chrom

Stahlmann [main stage] – dressed in silver. female guitarist. slow goth rock. couple of faster ones, ok.

Noisuf X [hanger stage] – three blokes. White shirts. Two drumming. Heavy EBM. Good.

Cassandra Complex [hanger stage] – listened to this stuff before we went. Sounded ok. Turns out that live it’s just goth shit.

Oomph!
Oomph!

Oomph! [main stage] – Good German pop rock. 2 guitars, keyboards, percussion, drummer. Bass and singer.

Hamatom [hanger stage] – from outside hangar. Faster metal. Masks. Ok. A little derivative! Should be more dangerous given masks.

Apocalyptica [main stage] – Pretty good given it’s men with cellos. Too many Metallica covers.

[:SITD:] [hanger stage] – Solid good set. This was actually a pretty good set and they played well. Very good to finally see this band.

[:SITD:]
[:SITD:]
Die Krupps [hangar stage] – Fuck yes! Playing metal pipes. Breaking guitars. Industrial well done.

Die Krupps
Die Krupps

VNV nation [Main stage] – 1 song. Boring. I’ve listened to a lot of this at home and I like it. But only at certain times. It’s gentle music. The sort to put on when having dinner.

Hocico [Hanger stage] – Actually pretty good. Big sound. Two percussionists with black Angel wings!

Sisters of Mercy [main stage] – Bad. Dull.

And there ends the first day at M’Era Luna festival 2016. It was a good day. Plenty to see and the surprises of the day were Hamatom and Oomph! for me. I enjoyed both. Not to say I hated all the others, I just liked these two more. Oh, and Die Krupps were pretty awesome along with [:SITD:]. Hocico made a better impression that when I saw them previously at Electrowerkz, but still didn’t quite manage brilliant.

Sunday

Morning time means the usual hunt for coffee. Showers and packing up the tent. Sunday’s plan was to pack up camp and then drive a couple of hundred miles after the last band. We had a date with Eurotunnel at about midday on Monday and we definitely wouldn’t make it if we left Monday morning. We walked the mile or so to the car and then got dressed in the costumes. Again we were dressed in white.

And here we have today’s list of acts we watched.

Me The Tiger [hanger stage] – Pretty good. One song. Good.

Aeverium [main stage] – Female main singer, sexy. Heavy. Male singer. Good contrast.

Rabia Sorda [hanger stage] – Rock, a bit pop? Guitar with keyboard sounds over top. Ok. Nothing special.

Rabia Sorda
Rabia Sorda

Heldmaschine [hanger stage] – Ok. Industrial. Correction very good.

Centhron [hangar stage] – Live bassist. Good. Shame we left early.

Combichrist [main stage] – Darn good. Pit. I’ve seen this band many times and they haven’t failed to impress although I do prefer their earlier electronic work! [go to 3:24 in the video and there I am!]

Faun [main stage] – Pagan shit.

Spock [Hangar stage] – Awesome Star Trek pop!

Zeromancer [hangar stage] – Sat at back. Sounds ok.

Eisbrecher [main stage] – Drunk girl talk, orange hair. Late on stage. Very good. Speaks too much. Liked the set and the black suits. Left early to see:

Suicide Commando [Hangar stage] – Live drummer. Excellent. Including song: Die Motherfucker Die.

Suicide Commando
Suicide Commando

In Extremo [Main stage] – 1 song. Fucking medieval rock.

Had cup of tea. Listened to Within Temptation. Went and got some food. Left.

We travelled just inside Belgium and parked the car up and slept for a few hours before waking, driving to a service station for coffee and then getting to Calais for the Eurotunnel and home. We chatted about music and costumes for next year. I’ve got some ideas but I need to learn about mammal skulls first.

It’s hard to sum up the entire weekend. Almost every aspect of it was brilliant. The journey, the chatting, the alcohol, the food, the vegan food server with her lovely freckles, the coffee, the costumes, the music, just being away and feeling like I was at home.

There may be more to add to this but it has taken a long time for me to get around to writing this so I will publish this communication. Changes and added bits will be noted as such.

Summer Choices

Met with Smith last night and we chatted about which music festival to attend this year. You may have read about M’era Luna from last year. It was a very good time but this year there’s more choice!

Our preferred choice was to head to Munich for the Dark Festival, but this has been cancelled which is a shame. There were a lot of good bands that we would have liked to see there.

So now there are two choices. M’era Luna at Hildesheim again or Amphi Festival in Cologne. Here’s the line up for M’era Luna:

meraluna1

Of the bands in the above list I would really like to see VNV Nation, Eisbrecher, Combichrist, Hocico and Suicide Commando. But there are more:

meraluna2

This list has a few tasty treats: [:SITD:], Noisuf-X and Centhron. So, M’era Luna has a good selection, worth travelling the 500 miles for!

Next up we have the selection from Amphi Festival.

amphi1

The list of bands to definitely see at Amphi is: Aesthetic Perfection, Covenant, Faderhead, Frontline Assembly, Mono Inc, Suicide Commando, Unzucht and [X-RX].

It’s a tough choice. The current preference is M’era Luna. Wait and see.

Alt-Fest [1]

This is my first communication about a music festival in 2014 that I am going to attend. In 2013 I went to the Download festival at Donington Circuit, see here for more information.

So, the basic story:

There’s a pretty good “gig” app on the iPhone called Songkick. It scanned my music library and then lets me know when bands I like are going to tour the UK (and other places) and generally keeps me informed, avoiding the need for me to regularly scan magazines or the web for information.

The phone beeped one day and Aesthetic Perfection had announced they were playing in February. I immediately got in touch with my gig-buddy and he said that he thought he was busy on the London date. After checking it turns out it is his wedding anniversary and so we agreed to pass that particular concert. I had thought about going by myself, when he asked if AP were playing anywhere else in the year. Looking through the app it turns out that they are playing something called Alt-Fest [this was a web link but the site is dead]..

A bit more digging and the line-up looked very interesting and the tickets were very reasonably priced. Andy said he thought he was in Italy during that time. After checking his diary and plans it turns out that Andy is indeed in Italy. I held off buying tickets for a while, thinking it would be unfair to go without him, and he thought about changing his flights.

One Friday morning I caved in and bought a couple of tickets and booked a hotel in Kettering. I’m not going to camp at a festival however lovely all the people there are. I like the idea of electricity and a warm shower and proper toilet.

So, next year I am going to Alt-Fest, which as far as I can gather is a crowd funded festival, they campaigned on Kickstarter and have gone from there. The only problem with that is it will become mainstream after just one season and will have to cope with all the commercial interests of all festival promoters. I hope they do well. There are going to be 50,000 people there and the acts look awesome.

Bands I’m looking forward to seeing:

  • Killing Joke
  • Senser
  • Aesthetic Perfection
  • Marylin Manson
  • Gary Numan
  • KMFDM
  • Blut Engel
  • Fuckshovel
  • Onslaught
  • Cradle of Filth
  • SAM
  • Suicide Commando
  • Concrete Lung

It is going to be good fun.

Download 2013 – My Friday

Friday
I left work and battled through the traffic at the Dartford Tunnel and then the M1 just being busy. I found the hotel easy enough and Andy had left the key under the door mat so that all worked out ok.
Had some rum and got a cab to the festival. It took at good 25 minutes to walk from the taxi rank to the main arena. I tried getting in touch with Andy but with so many mobiles around a concentrated site the signal was appalling.

I'm In
I’m In

Bullet for my Valentine
I could hear and see this band as I was walking around the arena trying to get some food and Jagermeister. They sounded alright. Not really my stuff, but not the worst in the world. I was more interested in seeing the Friday night headliners.

Bullet For My Valentien
Bullet from the Jager tent
More Bullet
More Bullet

 

Slipknot
I have know about this band for a long time. My first contact with them was when they played “Wait and Bleed” on TFI Friday in about 2000 or so. I bought the first album straight after that and then even the next two. I hadn’t bought any more and didn’t really listen to it that often. That will change. They were fantastic. The show was excellent and has made me a huge fan.

 

Slipknot 1
Slipknot 1
Slipknot 2
Slipknot 2

 

Slipknot The End
Slipknot The End

 

After the show it was great to meet with Andy and his parents. On the way back to the guest house we argued about the usual things we argue about!

Excited

Very excited. I just bought my ticket for Download 2013. It’s a heavy metal festival held at Donington Park somewhere in the midlands. Now, I’m not a great fan of festivals and in all reality this will be my first, but, what a beauty it is going to be. I am going with my mate as it is his 40th birthday near to then and this seems to be the perfect way to celebrate.

First things first. I can’t go on the Friday as I have to work. So that means I am going to miss Slipknot. This is not a bad thing. I really am not bothered about seeing them. I will be travelling on the Saturday morning and then returning at a god-awful hour on the Sunday night / monday morning to head into work.

Headlining on the Saturday are IRON MAIDEN. This is good news as they were the first band I ever saw also the birthday boy was there for that one too. That was in 1988 and they were on the “7th Tour of a 7th Tour” tour. What makes this festival rather special is that they are going to be playing pretty much the same set as on that tour. It originally was filmed and released as the “Maiden England” video and I have a copy of that somewhere. Seeing Iron Maiden pretty much play the same set list as I saw 24/5 years ago is going to be brilliant. None of the new stuff will be played which is good as I’ve never really listened to anything recorded by them past about 1990!

On the Sunday the German industrial metal band RAMMSTEIN are going to be playing. This is also a good thing. I saw them a couple of years ago at Wembley Arena and they were brilliant. I am so looking forward to seeing them play again.

The headliners are making me sweat just thinking about it. I am very much looking forward to seeing the rest of the line up released. With a bit of luck Combichrist will be on there with, let’s say, Wolfsbane or the almighty for some real 80s throwback stuff.