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 Festival Fun

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Bogle the Dark Angel
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PostSubject: Festival Fun   Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:16 pm

No holidays for us this year, saving up for the damn wedding ... so instead our summer vacation has been:

Two rock festivals over two consecutive weekends ....


... the music at the festivals was fabulous - managed to watch a whole heap of great bands and found a few more acts that were pretty darn cool (and one or two bands that we shall avoid forever for being utter shyte). Well then - in no particular order, Very mini-reviews as follows:


SONISPHERE, Knebworth.

Rammstein were utterly awesome of course ... my ONLY complaint about them was that they were scheduled to play from 8.45pm - 10.45pm ... and they finished at just after 10.30pm - they coulda got another two songs in ... *sigh* They also went off stage after about an hour so everyone could clap and cheer and yell for them to come back on stage and play more ... IT'S A FESTIVAL - just about everyone in the entire audience has a full timetable of which bands appear on which stage with start and finish times ... most bands only get a wee 30-45 minute slot ... EVERY band should make the effort to fill their allotted time accordingly ... just my humble opinion though I guess ...
Flake took his usual dingy trip over the audience, which was HUGELY well received - there was a bunch of Irish guys next to us who had clearly never seen/heard Rammstein before and one of them nearly died of shock seeing Flake sail by on peoples hands!!!

Iron Maiden - were utterly SUPERB - Bruce Dickinson is GOD!!!
IGGY POP and the STOOGES - were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!! The man is made of leather! He has soooooo much energy, it's almost frightening to watch - he REALLY knows how to work a crowd too!!!!
Henry Rollins Spoken Word - PERFECT start to Sunday morning!! He was on fine form!
The Cult - were ok - a little disappointing - Ian Astbury's voice aint what it used to be, and he's rather a lard-ass these days ... but it was a quite good performance from them.
Motley Crue - should be renamed 'Motley Poo' - they were absolute RUBBISH - luck-lustre performance, sometimes off-key and out-of-time with oneanother ....
Skunk Anansie - threatened to steal the entire day - they were flawless - and Skin was her usual brilliantly scary self - they were really really good - Skin took a stroll out over the audience - LITERALLY walking on peoples upstretched hands, and she was singing perfectly throughout this entire bit! Amazing!
Apocalyptica - got themselves a whole host of brand new fans - I think a large number of people had no clue what to expect from them, and came away quite astonished! Unfortunately they missed a few precious chances to really showcase some of their back-catalogue with three of their old guest vocalists being on the site that day (Till from Rammstein, Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil, and Corey Taylor from StoneSour/Slipknot), yet about half their set was a crowd-pleasing Metallica-covers set, ahh well - they played a couple of new tracks from the forthcoming album, and I played Air-Cello for 45 minutes with complete and utter glee!!!!!!
Lacuna Coil - were fabulous - not seen them before - I love their albums, but they're electric live!
Slayer - never anything but superb live - they ... well ... they SLAYED everything within earshot!!
Placebo - were very good - good fun music to rock out to ...
Bring Me The Horizon - complete and total shyte ... EMO band name, coupled with horrid shouty deth-metal music - ugghhhh - they wuz RUBBISH
Alice Cooper - the guy's in his late 60's and he still rocks it with the best of them - he was amazing!!
Karma To Burn - utterly PERFECT - flawless set ... only down side was that they tried to play on longer than their alloted time (shouldn't have been a problem - they were the last band on one of the smaller stages) ... and the powers-that-be cut them off!!! Booo!!!!!
Skindred - never seen them before - they were absolutely BRILL - Ragga-metal, apparently!! Big black dude with dreadlocks on vocals (from Cardiff!!??!!!!) doing reggae-inflected thrash - he was soooo cool - and soooo good with the crowd - will definetely go see them again some time - hilarious!
Turisas - First band on the first day at Sonisphere ... not heard them before ... and suddenly all the crazy mofu's running around in red-and-black-war-paint started to make sense - these are a group of totally crazy Finnish dudes (and one girl ... on accordion ...!!!!!!) who play Viking-Heavy-Battle Metal!!!! they were FABULOUS ...
Terrorvison - were average ... ok, I suppose, just seemed somewhat uninspired and basic performance from them.
BigElf - I'm really growing to love these guys - they're kinda tripped out prog-rock-style retro band with a very 70's feel to them - excellent fun - saw them at both festivals!! A name to look out for in the future, methinks!
Alice in Chains - a truly mesmerising performance - we saw them on tour last year - they're brilliant live, and the just played a perfect set, getting the crown singing along and all
Anthrax - hugely enjoyable and entusiatic performance from them - they always good live, and they really delivered from us at Sonisphere.
Fear Factory - heavy! Only saw a bit of their set, but they were good.
Papa Roach - very good - didn't see much of them - went off to find food, but what I heard was good.
Soulfly - Heavy, and Max Cavalera is a mesmerising frontman, just not my kinda music - vocals too shouty!
Good Charlotte - Meh ... average and EMO to the core
Pendulum - only heard them, as we went back to the tent for a power-nap before Iron Maiden, but they sounded ok
Europe - It's the Final Countdowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn!!!!!! fabulous ... got EVERYONE singing ... hahahahahahaha!!
The Union - Saw them at both festivals - they're a brand new band, formed out of the ashes of Thunder who split earlier this year - great band - really good rock-n-roll stuff
The Fab Beatles - excellent sing-a-long-a-Beatles 'tribute' band - they finished their set with a Beatles-style Run To The Hills - which was utterly FANTASTIC!!!!!

I'm sure I've missed a whole bunch of bands from that weekend ... but I think that covers most of it .... Camping was ok - we stayed on "Tangerine Fields" - a private site beside the standard camping sites. We had pre-erected tents (2 man-tent ... just barely big enuff for us) complete with already blown-up air-bed and sleeping bags ... as this was an exclusive site - you couldn't enter Tangerine Fields without a specific armband on - we had a strip of 5 porta-loos that were purely for our wee site - sure we had to share these with others on the site, but on the whole the loos were surprisingly good, and bearable ...

The weather stayed good - a tiny little bit of spitting rain on the Friday and the Sunday, but otherwise warm and clear. It rained overnight - which is a good thing really, as it drove all the drunken campers away into their tents who had been yapping outside and keeping me awake ... Craig, of course, slept thru pretty much everything ... Sonisphere being at Knebworth, took less than an hour to drive there - then it took longer to walk from the parked car to the tents .... arrgghh!!!!!


Weekend before was HIGH VOLTAGE at Victoria Park, Hackney, London.
No camping allowed in London, so we booked a hotel for the two nights ... and I reckon that was the worst thing - the 'hotel' was nothing more than a large glorified B+B and was rather expensive at £70 a night ... should found a Premier Inn - at least you get a certain standard in those places. This was just utterly BASIC ...
Transport was a little problematic - we were told which buses to get in London, to get to/from the Festival, only London Transport decided to suspend buses around the festival area, and the taxi's we ended up getting on the first day cost a bloody fortune :-((( We took the tube thereafter - MUCH better value.
Festival itself was marvellous - this was the first ever HIGH VOLTAGE festival - there were three stages - Prog Rock Stage, Classic Rock Stage, and Metal Stage ... only complaints here are that the bands overlapped so if you were at one stage, you would miss a band playing elsewhere (it was much better co-ordinated at Sonisphere with no overlaps), and the Prog Rock and Metal stages were too close together and tended to drown oneanother out ... as for the music:

Classic Rock Stage
ZZ TOP - Truly truly brilliant ... just perfect showmen - I absolutely LOVED their set - they were incredible!!
Heaven and Hell - Ronnie James Dio tribute set - the music was sublime, and the whole things was very moving - they had two guest vocalists out in place of Dio - Glenn Hughes (brilliant) and Jorn Lande (never heard of him, but he was excellent too)
Foreigner - hahahaha - ok, yes, they were good ....
Gary Moore - fookin excellent - this guy is just AMAZING live .... sooooo cool
The Union - as per Sonisphere review - I really like these guys - new up-n-coming band - rawk-and-rawll
ELP - I missed their set .... last thing on Sunday - too darn knackered - my feet gave out during the Down set and we trundled off back to the hotel whilst ELP were playing ... booooo!!
Joe Bonamassa - sublime - this is the newest name in guitar - he is AMAZING - flawless performance
UFO - apart from the fact that their PA system was 'fubar'd for almost half of their allotted time, they turned in what was quite possibly the BEST performance by anyone on the Sunday.
Quireboys - opened up proceedings for Sunday - they were absolutely BRILLIANT - got the crowd going, and gave us some awesome rock-n-roll party music

Metal Hammer Stage
Black Label Society - FANTASTIC - I've never seen them live, but heard only good things about them - they were great ... spoilt only slightly by the huge guitar solo that took up about 8 minutes of their set (unnecessary and self-indulgent), and the fact that they clashed with the Heaven and Hell Dio tribute, which was clearly the one place everyone wanted to be at ....
Down - when they play music, they are utterly UTTERLY untouchably brilliant ...however, I am getting tired of paying good money to go see them live since they waste half of their set time having Phil Anselmo talk inbetween songs, sending out what sound to me like fake platitudes, "oh I love you guys" "you're the BEST crowd ever" over and over .... STFU and play MUSIC dammit!! Doesn't help much that Pepper Keenan has put on heaps of weight over the last few years and has grown a gnarly beard that makes him look like a bloody HOBO ... *sigh*
Saxon - were BLINDINGLY BRILLIANT - possibly my favourite on this stage! Biff Byford still got it .... 'Wheels of Steel', 'Denim and Leather' ... bring it on!!!!!!
Clutch - utterly perfect - they played a full and tight set. Even got the guy from Opeth to come on stage and help out on Hammond Organ, and they played my favourite song!!! Yay!!!
Opeth - unfortunately I missed almost all of their set ... booo ... what I saw was really good though...
Cathedral - again, missed them - shame - woulda love to see them
Orange Goblin - Fabulous!! I love these guys - they were fantastic!!
High on Fire - very heavy, very good, slightly too shouty on the vocal though for my taste ...

Prog Stage
Asia - perfect ... though, being a prog rock stage, all the bands barely had time to play more than one song in their woefully short set times. Technically flawless performance, though
Transatlantic - missed them - I was watching ZZ Top ... oh well
BigElf - fabulous - as per Sonisphere - they were a surprise treat - never heard of them before, yet they were truly excellent - great with the crowd, and perfect summertime music
Focus - missed them .. though could just about hear them playing Hocus Pocus whilst we were getting food
Dweezil Zappa - played a set of his dad's music - Frank Zappa woulda been right proud - he was very good!
Marillion - Missed them - clased with Down (and apparently they were well-and-truly drowned out by Down too ....) - dammit!
Argent - missed them ... woulda been good to see
Uriah Heep - caught a bit - fabulous folky-trippy-prog musing! Marvellous!!
Magnum - Hahaha - ask Craig - he went to see this set whilst I was catching up with my mate Layla....
Steve Hackett - superb, though I only saw a wee bit of their set ...
Wishbone Ash - very good from what little I saw ...
The Reasoning - opened things up on Sunday - they were good, but a little 'formal' and didn't manage to get the crowd going to much - good performance though ...
Pendragon - completely missed their set - boooooo

The weather for High Voltage was very hot and dry ... making the only advantage the fact that our sitting on the grass was not so messy ... next time I'm taking camping chairs - we had them for Sonisphere and it was a total godsend (sheesh - I'm getting old!!) ... there was too much walking back-and-forth at High Voltage, coupled with walking A LOT to get from the venue to the hotel, or to the tube, my feet were in PAIN by the end of the weekend ... hopefully next year will be better organised ... still - it was mostly GREAT ... and mostly I had a FABULOUS time!!

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Haunz

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PostSubject: Re: Festival Fun   Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:45 pm

WOW!

Thanks for the great review! I'm glad you had a good time! You sure listened to quite a lot of pretty damn good music!

Awesome that you liked Skindred Laughing Although their records are getting increasingly worse they are still pretty underrated and unknown!

How was ZZ Top's sound by the way? I have only seen one live concert (in TV) from recent years but their sound was fucking unbelievable! Seriously, Metallica could only wish to have such a live sound!
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PostSubject: Re: Festival Fun   Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:42 am

Hi Haunz!

Yeah - I've not heard ANY Skidred before ... I might go check out their first album now ... but hells bells they're bloody good live!!!! cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers


ZZ Top - like you say - the SOUND!! The sound was perfect - soooo intense ... hahaha - yeah - Metallica should be jealous!! It's always struck me how three people on one wee stage can make SUCH an immense wall of sound - they were just bloody excellent - best band that day, hands down bow bow bow


'k - I'm tired now ... neeeeed sleeeeeeeep!!! Sleep

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PostSubject: Re: Festival Fun   Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:28 pm

You do such a good job with your reviews. At the end of the day, all I can usually muster is "I liked them" or "they sucked".

Sounds like a fun summer!
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