Category: Gig Reviews


Blaze Bayley – Bannermans, Edinburgh 11/12/11

I’ve been fucking bored of heavy metal these days. I couldn’t even remember what I liked about it. Nothing could pull me out of this depression. Not Manowar’s first Glasgow date in 200 years, not a Priest-Maiden live one-two punch to my ear scrotum, not Joe Elliot performing Animal right at me personally. Shut up, he did. No, the thing that finally restored my faith in the mystical properties of denim & leather was a bald man in his late forties thrusting his beer gut enthusiastically into a half-filled cellar of sweat & beards.

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Clutch & GWAR – ABC, Glasgow 13/06/11

My nigh-overwhelming feelings of excitement & glee turned to one of horror when I was met on arrival at the venue with news that Panic Cell would not be playing. It was with a heavy heart that I put my Luke Bell Collectible Pint GlassTM & Luke Bell Collectible CodpieceTM back in my Luke Bell Collectible Collectible CaseTM & lodged them safely in the cloak-room. Their time will come, Luke. I just know it. [Update : Panic Cell are splitting this weekend so their time won't come. Why, Luke, Why!?]

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Fuck you, Glasgow. Seriously, blame the promoter, blame the venue. I don’t care but this is Soilent fucking Green & you can’t put together a crowd of 60 people on a Friday fucking night. Fuck you right in your lazy, sagging cunts. Anyway, a couple of overpriced pints later we are stood in front of the stage with enough room to swing a particularly large sack of donkeys just in time for London’s newest musical export.

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Manowar – Birmingham O2 Academy 27/03/11

 

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There’s something highly interesting about mosh pits. From the sweaty sense of homo-erotic comradeship to the primitive establishment of alpha-male status, they are a BBC nature documentary series on evolution waiting to happen. Even without the reassuring gravitas of a David Attenborough narration, the sight of 2 fat men butting against each other like a pair of goats and then repeatedly scuttling away to take another run up is almost hypnotic in its simplistic charm. It would obviously take a musical performance of jaw-dropping charisma and super-tight musicianship to draw attention away from the mesmerising circus freak show festivities in the crowd, and, for the most part, Bonded By Blood duly provide.

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The questionable decision of putting Tyrants on 10 minutes after doors open meant that they began their set to an empty room, probably. I wouldn’t know, I was stuck behind a couple of junior Schrödingers who were trying to establish whether thrash was a subgenre of metal or not whilst their bags were searched for Glenns & books on quantum mechanics. Anyway, the second half of their set served as a timely reminder that they need get an album out. To a good majority of the crowd, these tracks are as well known as the headliners & the big sweaty man mess in the middle of room is indicative of their local hero status.

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Damnation, Part 2 – Leeds, 6/11/10

Well, it’s now around 3 years since part 1 & people are probably thinking (correctly) that we are a bunch of lazy, amateur hacks with the organisational skills of an inebriated gibbon but here we go with the thrilling conclusion of our two part serial.

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However well you get on with someone, there are usually things you’re forever fated to disagree on, and for myself and Leave The Hall’s glorious webmaster, Alestorm are one of them. I think they’re marvellous, he thinks they’re a bad joke who’ve outstayed what little welcome they had, so what exactly was I thinking when I agreed to review them for Leave The Hall? The short answer is that I don’t know, other than it probably involved my usual bloody-mindedness and a desire to piss Ewen off.

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Damnation Festival, Part 1 – Leeds, 6/11/10

If Damnation Festival were a body part, it would be a penis. A massive throbbing bellend, waved in the face of conventional booking strategies. Firstly, instead of picking up the latest Metal Hammer, pointing at whichever bloated, irrelevant band are on the front cover, shouting “Want that one!” & dribbling a bit, they put together a diverse, genre-spanning line-up of genuinely interesting bands. Then, rather than charging enough to buy a decent sized, semi-detached house, ask for a very reasonable £27 for a day of mind-mangling metal in the centre of Leeds. We’ve not had a better offer than that all year.

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Fozzy – Studio 24, Edinburgh 13/10/2010

I’ll begin with a disclaimer. This review is packed so full of late nineties wrestling references that those of you who foolishly abstained from watching oiled, steroided superhumans engaging in protracted gay-offs would probably be best just skipping the whole thing & enjoying the shiny pictures.

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