Festival season has officially begun – but that’s not the only business going on this month. Once gain, Thrash Hits is casting our eyes over the next four weeks to highlight what you should be paying attention to.
Apparently there’s some festival or another called ‘Download’ or something happening this month. Who knew?
Okay, joking aside, this month sees what is arguably the UK’s biggest weekend for metal: Download Festival 2009. Okay, Sonisphere might be the new boy in town, and it might have ‘tallica as a headliner, but Download is still the one to beat. Tough titties (or tout-time) if you haven’t already got a weekend pass for this year’s Donington bash – tickets have sold out – as the rest of us are already planning our weekend must-sees. We feel sad that we (and we suspect most of the rest of the festival) won’t get to see Meshuggah scorch the earth in the third stage. It doesn’t pay to clash with Faith No More.
But Download’s not the only event happening this month. AC/DC are returning to the UK for a few more shows – we can’t really class stadium shows as “just a tour”. If you missed them earlier in the year, consider this a second chance.
26 London Wembley Stadium
28 Dublin Punchestown Racetrack
30 Glasgow Hampden Park
For those of you still with cash to burn, there is of course the Graspop Metal Meeting, taking place June 26-28 over in Belgium. Okay, so they might not have Faith No More or Metallica on the bill, but the rest of the line-up – dare we say it – combines the cream of the crop from Download with a good chunk of the bands playing Sonisphere. Bloody hell, it looks good, doesn’t it? thrash Hits went to Belgium once and spent a weekend lost in a graveyard in Ypres – Graspop is an immeasurably better way to spent three days.
Today, Earache Records have re-released both Iron Monkey’s full-length albums, their self-titled debut and its incredible follow-up, Our Problem. Thrash Hits is going to have something fairly special to say about these two albums later in the month, so keep ‘em peeled.
Also out today is The Ghost Of A Thousand’s superb new album, New Hopes, New Demonstrations. If you’re in London, make sure you get down to Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes early doors tonight to catch the band doing a free show to mark the occasion. We’ll be there. Buy us a beer if you see us, yeah?
A bit of a make-or-break release, Enter Shikari are releasing their second album, Common Dreads, on June 15. We say make-or-break, as it’s been a few years since they exploded out of St Albans, and whether the kids have stuck with them or moved on to the latest social network-spread music craze remains to be seen.
Lily Allen thinks they’ve ripped off Mike Skinner. Her Twitter told us so.
How can we not recommend Mastodon? Not only do they have the mighty Valient Thorr in support, but for three of their shows they’ve recruited the peerless Winnebago Deal to open up. If you can get down to one of the few shows that hasn’t sold out yet (although at the time of writing, you could count the number of unsold tickets for these gigs on the fingers of one hand), then get yourself some.
Mastodon June tourdates
05 Sheffield Corporation
06 Manchester Academy 2
07 Glasgow ABC
09 London Islington Academy
Our second tour choice this month is Kansas City mathcore types, Coalesce. With their new album, OX. Out on June 15, the four-piece is hitting the UK for three low-key shows mid month. Definitely worth a tenner or so.
Coalesce June tourdates
17 Sheffield Corporation
18 Plymouth White Rabbit
19 London Camden Underworld
Our final choice isn’t really a tour, but a one-off show. Influential hardcore-thrash crossover, Vision of Disorder, are playing a London date later this month. GET IN. At less than £15, consider our tickets booked.
Vision of Disorder June show
19 London ULU