It was one of the most hotly-anticipated metal gigs of 2011 so far. Over the past couple of years, Maryland metallers Periphery have increased the popularity of Djent – the genre of jarring, one-significant-chorded tech metal that Meshuggah created a quarter of a century ago. British djent stars, TesseracT are signed to the US arm of Century Media and Monuments are being talked about as one of the next big things. Of course we were there!
Bullet For My Valentine are playing in front of about 9,000 people. Slayer did the same thing last month but with a much stronger supporting line-up and over two nights. Some might say there is no justice.
The fact of the matter is that Bullet For My Valentine are a Top 5 charting band in the two most important countries and they sell records to the people that matter – people that actually give a shit.
Bullet sell records to the people that will also show their love for a band by actually turning up to see them play the songs on that record.
Yes, large portions of those people are very young girls, ably escorted by similarly young boys but don’t let that fool you.
Their brand of modern metalcore is absolutely not as true to traditional metal as many demand. That’s what makes is modern rather than traditional. The years don’t start with the number 19 any more, FYI.
This is a band that is going to be around for a while yet. This is no flash-in-the-pan pop band. They write real songs for real people.
Take the chap to my left in his mid-40s, for example. To him, this is as real as any metal band. His hangover, tomorrow morning, is testament to that.
Bullet For My Valentine, Lacuna Coil, Bleeding Through and Black Tide @ Alexandra Palace photo gallery by Graham Pentz
Black Tide: Alex Nunez knows the pose
Black Tide: Nunez has the licks and the tricks
Black Tide: definitely not asleep on the job
Bleeding Through: straight into the crowd goes Brandan
Bleeding Through: spread those legs
Bleeding Through: that’s a nice backdrop
Bleeding Through: someone made Marta laugh – she is so pretty
Bleeding Through: pull my finger
Lacuna Coil: classy, Cristina
Lacuna Coil: less classy
Lacuna Coil: come on now, boys, stop thinking about it
You’d never get an ice cream van at a Slayer gig
Bullet For My Valentine: Matt Tuck
Bullet For My Valentine: Matt Tuck
Bullet For My Valentine: this is pure class
Bullet For My Valentine: PADGE!
Bullet For My Valentine: Jay can gurn
Bullet For My Valentine: that beard is well wizard
This is not just another sausagefest. You’ll never see this many girls at a heavy metal show until next time Bring Me The Horizon roll into town.
Of course, some might argue that BMTH are more metalcore than heavy metal or that they’re not even a little bit metal – it’s just fashion something or other.
It doesn’t matter.
People care about these five boys from Sheffield. People care what BMTH wear; they care what BMTH sound like; they care what kind of people are into BMTH. It all matters.
Standing around watching them play their souped-up metalcore, you hear girls screaming, “I love you, Ollie.” From 40 yards and amidst the cries of hundreds of other girls, they’re screaming, “Fuck me, Ollie.”
As you start to think about turning to hush the young lady, the situation leans toward the embarrassing, but it doesn’t matter.
Bring Me The Horizon’s new material sounds superb when placed alongside their older work. Whether that is a testament to the quality of their new album, Suicide Season, or whether it just means their old material was crap, you can’t be sure.
What you can be sure of, however, is that Bring Me The Horizon are building a legacy and now they definitely have the music to back it all up.
Bring Me The Horizon @ London Astoria photo gallery by Lynsey Wright
BMTH: Ollie stretches that hamstring out one last time
BMTH: “Scream for me London!”
BMTH: That tshirt says, ‘I’M LOSING MY FUCKING MIND’.
After playing a few reunion shows in Ireland in 2007, Kerbdog agreed to play a Kerrang! Awards Show at the Barfly. Lynsey Wright was there to take some photos and report on a welcome return.
The Computers’ set is short, sharp and like a punch in the gut. Shrieks, screams and stop-gap drums make for an exciting show from this Devonshire band.
Second up is alt-rock band, Slaves to Gravity, formed from the ashes of the now defunct band, The*Ga*Ga*s, their power riffs and ballad-like songs can’t help but seem a little wasted on somewhere as small as the Barfly. It’s stadium rock at its best, err… minus the stadium!
After “10-odd years”, as front man, Cormac Battle, puts it, Kerbdog are back. And “who would’ve thought it?!” Yes, quite right Cormac, who would’ve?! It’s been a long time since the Irish trio graced the stage but the fans still flock in their herds to see if they’ve still got the magic.
At the Barfly in Camden they prove that they do. They churn out their best hits to chants of, “UK Tour!” from the audience and are bombarded with cheers before, throughout and after the set.
Crowd-surfers break their glasses and almost their bones as Kerbdog rock as much as middle-aged men can rock on a Saturday night in London.
Middle-aged or not, it’s clear that Kerbdog are still very much in demand.
Kerbdog, Slaves To Gravity & The Computers @ London Camden Barfly photo gallery
We hope they separate their colours from their whites.
When Gallows announced a hastily-organised free gig in East London on one of the hottest days of the year, we made sure we were there. Raziq Rauf reports on the UK punks while Charley Staniforth gets the photos.
After February’s Relentless energy drink-sponsored Educational Crusade UK tour, we all thought that would be the end of Gallows’ partnership with the fizzy ultra-pop but there’s always time for another one.
With temperatures reaching 30°C outside, you can imagine what it’s like inside the relatively unventilated railway arches space. It’s lucky there are high ceilings and enough free Relentless to get absolutely wired.
Indeed, several people are heard muttering about the drink being reclassified as a Class B drug. That’s a joke. It’s quite a pertinent joke as it goes because if you’re watching Gallows, you just don’t need any extra stimulants.
They simply are one of, if not the most invigorating and refreshing young British bands to have emerged since the turn of the century. This show just proved it again.
Frank Carter has always loved hamming his banter up onstage while he’s not in his natural state of charging around the stage like a feral tomcat. But that’s what you pay your money for. You want the extraordinary and Frank is a frontman in the truest sense. He’s a star.
Watch the live video to ‘Abandon Ship’, filmed at The 100 Club, London by Gallows
Within 30 seconds of alarmingly atrocious sound coming from the PA, the Watford punks cut the music. They stop to berate and eject and over-handy security guard. They know who’s important and it’s definitely not the 15 stone of meathead pushing their fans and friends around.
The joy of Gallows is that they’re not limited to a one-man party trick. Whilst Frank’s lunging and clambering into and over the crowd, the rest of the band remain onstage, rocking out in the more traditional sense.
Guitarists Lags Barnard and Steph Carter rule the lip of the stage with calls to arms and guitar wizardry from behind their heads. It’s a schtick they’ve performed since the start but why change when you’re so damn good at it?
A question that everyone’s been asking is whether the new stuff is actually going to be any good. It is. The smattering of new tunes on show tonight showcased an intelligence and desire to create huge songs whilst retaining all the danger.
With the new album being recorded in September with a view to release in early 2009, it’s definitely going to be something to keep an ear out for. If you think you ‘get’ Gallows, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Gallows @ London Shoreditch Village Underground photo gallery