2 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 3
w w w.i nt hepit .c o.u k
contents 4 DIR EN GREY
8 BOWLING FOR SOUP 12 HEVY FESTIVAL SPECIAL 16 NO MEAN CITY 26 NEVER MEANS MAYBE 36 SATURDAY 48 SUNDAY 56 EAST STRIKE WEST 66 HEIGHTS 78 GACKT 82 SONISPHERE
Howdy all! First of all, we’d like to give thanks to everyone who read the last issue, the magazine has gone down a treat and I personally love it! Enough rambling on my behalf, in this issue we have my short reviews from both Sonisphere and Hevy Festival, as well as humorous interviews and some J-rock stuff, my favourite kind of stuff . And of course, some fabulous photos from our photographers Chris and Lisa, who are über awesome. We also have a little treat for Dir en grey fans, as Chris has painted Kyo to go along side my review! So look out for that awesome feature. As silly as this sounds, I’d like to thank the bands who I interviewed, simply because they were super duper and really fun, which is great with someone who gets nervous like me, it eases the pressure to have such lovely people to work with. And thanks to promoters and managers, without them, I wouldn’t have had so much fun these past few weeks, so thanks for sparing time to deal with us munchkins. I hope you guys enjoy this issue, we had fun making it! If anyone does want to be featured in the magazine you can contact me on: email@example.com Chantelle/ Chan Chan/ Pain in the Arse
4 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 5
DIR EN GREY
PAINTING : CHRISTEENY.COM
6 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Dir en grey [THE UNWAVERING FACT OF TOMORROW TOUR 2010] @ KOKO Club, Camden, London. 03/08/2010
When it was announced that Dir En Grey would play the Sonisphere Festival date in the UK on August 1st, there were masses of fans disappointed about no mention of a UK date on the 2010 tour. The price of tickets to the festival was too much for some fans, in specific the European fans who would also have to pay for their travel and stop over. After reading Kaoru’s statement on the Sonisphere website, fans were discouraged by the lack of tour dates, but within 1 month, it was announced that they would play the KOKO club in Camden. The release of this one tour date excited fans globally, including fans from even America. People from cities as far as New York queued at the KOKO club for what would have been a long and tiring but rewarding week. The time certainly wasn’t wasted, which was evident as you looked around the crowd to see the smiling faces. This tour date brought together a universal fan base, including people from Germany, Spain, Switzerland, America and of course the British fans. Dir en grey got a fantastic reception and the gig kicked off with the song Sa Bir. When the members came on stage, which was promptly if I do say so, the fans became hyper. The faraway fans surged frequently and harshly, shoving and fighting their way to the front of the crowd. There was bouncing and general chaotic behaviour, which was expected with such a huge fanbase. The gig was definitely cosy and the fans were ecstatic to hear the new single Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami which was performed exceptionally. Usually with bands who have a vocalist as enticing as Kyo, you can prefer their album to their live and vice versa, but after watching them live and listening to the studio stuff, I cannot choose between them. Kyo’s vocal range is stupendous and his performance was outstanding. I would happily challenge anyone who says otherwise. Unlike bands that have been around as long as them, Dir en grey still throw their heart and soul into performances such as this, whereas in general the only thing bands tend to do these days is have an active vocalist. As usual, Toshiya’s playful personality and first-class bass work won the crowd over, especially when he came to the front of the stage, waving and posing. One of the good things about Toshiya’s style is that he slaps the bass, and rarely uses a plectrum, which means that the sound smoothes in with the band’s music and goes well with Shinya’s drumming abilities. Shinya brought what I would deem as an essentially gigantic drumkit, which looks really weird next to someone so delicate but he most definitely used the drumkit to a high standard if not over-using it. Shinya has a whole lot of energy which comes in bursts when he plays, and he appears to smile at the crowd more often than not. Kaoru was his usual self, rocking hard and striding to the front of the stage with Die, both teasing the crowd and causing a few extra surges of the screaming fans, who all wanted to be part of the action. Kaoru’s stage presence isn’t always as overwhelming as Toshiya or Kyo, but when he gets into the moment the stage is his. Kaoru was energetic as always and a pleasure to watch.
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 7
Die usually lingers around his performance spot (right of the stage from a fans perspective) but he no doubt did more fan service than usual, strolling to the front and even playing off Kaoru. One of the great things was that Die bounced off Kaoru when they played and the fans loved how well their music mixed. The highlight of the performance was most definitely the encore. With the crowd pleasers The Final and Zan, Dir en grey won the crowd all over again. I’ve never before saw a crowd as lively and rowdy, let alone anticipated the chaotic outbursts influenced by the bands choice in song. But it was all good because that’s what Dir en grey intended. Here’s the full setlist from the night:
01: Sa Bir 02: Red Soil 03: Agitated Screams of Maggots 04: The Fatal Believer 05: Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami 06: Stuck Man 07: Gaika, Chinmoku ga Nemuru Koro (凱歌、沈黙が眠る頃) 08: Inconvenient Ideal 09: INWARD SCREAM 10: Dozing Green 11: Rotting Root 12: Shokubeni (蝕紅)/Syokubeni 13: Obscure 14: INWARD SCREAM 15: Bugaboo 16: Reiketsu Nariseba (冷血なりせば) 17: Vinushka Encore: 18: The Final 19: Zan (Re-recorded version from the Hageshisa single, not the original from Gauze) 20: Rasetsukoku (羅刹国) My congratulations go out to Dir en grey for a fantastic performance; I’d rate 10/10. You definitely have to go and see them if you haven’t already, because not only will you make friends with fans from afar, you’ll enjoy yourself to the maximum.
You can check out their website here in English: http://www.direngrey.co.jp/english/top.html Or here in Japanese: http://www.direngrey.co.jp/top.html
8 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
BOWLING FOR SOUP INTERVIEW : AMETHYST MAGENTA
PHOTOS : CHRISTEENY.COM
AS BOWLING FOR SOUP PREPARE FOR THEIR UK TOUR IN OCTOBER W
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 9
WE TAKE A LOOK BACK ON OUR INTERVIEW WITH ERIC BACK IN MAY.
10 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
INTHEPIT: Welcome back to Newcastle ERIC: It’s good to be back INTHEPIT: The last time you were here was tour last year... ERIC: Yeah, October INTHEPIT: How is the acoustic tour going? ERIC: It’s going great you know? Every night in our VIP talks we get asked ‘Why do an acoustic tour?’ Wait! Wait till you see and you will understand. It’s been going really really great and you know and our friend Bob, Bob Schneider from Texas is here with us and the response to him has been absolutely amazing as well. So it’s just been fantastic all round. INTHEPIT: We have been reading some reviews and there have been some great ones so we are really looking forward to tonight. A two hour set though? That is quite gruelling; do you get a toilet break at all? *everyone laughs* ERIC: Actually, yeah, normally about an hour and fifteen minutes every night, Jaret is like ‘I have to pee.’ He takes off I do a song and then he joins in whenever he comes back. Then when we finish that I get up and go and he will do a song by himself till I get back and join in. INTHEPIT: So it’s literally non-stop? ERIC: Yeah INTHEPIT: You’re at Manchester tomorrow and have a few dates after that, are you doing any of the festivals as an acoustic? ERIC: No, We are doing a couple of festivals and we are waiting for confirmation on a couple on others, but its only full band this summer. And you will have to wait till October for the full band tour. INTHEPIT: Your most recent album ‘Sorry for Partyin’ is out now, are you happy with this album? ERIC: Yeah we are really really happy with it, you know as far as we are concerned I think it’s the most kind of focused Bowling for soup album that we have released. We managed to record it in, I think we recorded something like 26/28 songs before it and that actually gave us the opportunity to then pick out the ones that are more cohesive as a group.
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 11
12 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 13
INTHEPIT: I read somewhere that you guys were thinking of doing a covers album is that still in the pipeline? ERIC: It’s funny you’re the second person to have mentioned that, Yeah it’s something that we have always wanted to do. It just hasn’t made sense to do it, yet and we are due to go back in the studio in June and do a new album so it’s being written as we speak. INTHEPIT: There seems to be a bit of diversity about where your songs have been used, we hear one is on a Sonic videogame? ERIC: Yeah Sonic Unleashed INTHEPIT: We also hear you appeared in Phineas and Ferb? ERIC: Yeah *smiles* and you know Jaret actually has a recurring role. The parents in it have a favourite band called ‘Love Handle’ and he actually voices the lead singer Danny. INTHEPIT: So I’m guessing his kids loved that then? ERIC: Yeah, it’s a great show. I watch a lot of cartoons and the way that they are being made these days, you know they are so unique and intelligent and people our age can get as much out of them as he kids. Actually cos they are written on multiple levels, the guys who created that show actually worked together on the Simpsons and one of them went onto Family Guy and another’s partner done ‘Rocko’s Modern world’ INTHEPIT: One of you songs ‘My Wena’ has been used in the advertisement for the new Shrek movie, how did that happen? Were you approached to do it? ERIC: Yeah, they just actually came to us and we weren’t even aware that was happening, then it was like ‘My Wena is going to be on the Shrek trailers.’ It’s not actually in the movie but for all the commercial trailers there is our song, which is very cool. INTHEPIT: The band also started a documentary on yourselves is that still in the pipeline? ERIC: Well it kinda got put to the side, right now, when we were going to film it last summer and we had just finished recording the album, I had recently moved to the other side of the country. So we for the first time in 15 years couldn’t get all four of us in the same place at the same time for long enough to actually get it done. But we do still plan to do it but it’s just with everything else going on right now it’s been kinda pushed to the side. We still have every intention of do it, basically the idea is to go back to our home town and show everybody where we used to rehearse, this is where we drank, our high school. INTHEPIT: So are you going to do the high school reunion *everyone laughs* ERIC: Noooo, I don’t think any of us have? I think Gary went to his but none of the rest of us has. INTHEPIT: So it’s going to be a real gritty expose on Bowling for Soup? ERIC: ABSOLUTLEY, *laughs* absolutely So good luck with the show tonight and it has been lovely talking to you. Eric: Are you guys staying for the show? INTHEPIT: Oh yeah we are going to be there *everyone laughs* ERIC: See you guys soon and enjoy the show
14 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
AS HEVY FESTIVAL GOES INTO ITS SECOND YEAR WITH A WHOLE WEEKEND FESTIVAL. WE SEND THE TEAM DOWN TO CHECK OUT SOME HUGE NAMES AS WELL AS SOME AMAZING UP AND COMING ACTS.
HEVY MUSIC FESTIVAL SPECIAL
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 15
photos : Lisa Marie Patterson & Christeeny reviews : Lenny Rimspoke / Chan Chan / Christeeny
16 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
NO MEAN CITY Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 17
The first of our interviews at Hevy Festival was with a band called No Mean City. We’ve wrote out part of our interview with Jilly, Joe, Paul and Alfie. The rest of the No Mean City interview can be found on the video in our blog!
18 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
InThePit: First of all you’ve been at a few festivals. How did they go and which was your favourite? Jilly: They’ve all gone pretty well, it’s been the highlight of our career this summer, my favourite was probably Download. Just really nicely organised. Andy is a legend. He’s great at his job. And the weather was amazing! Joe: I liked T in the Park Madness were brilliant! Madness made it! InThePit: You were on tour with My Passion, how did that go? Jilly: That went amazingly, that was pretty up there until we started with the festivals but it is definately one of our highlights. Joe: We’ve been confirmed on their Irish tour dates as well, so things are going well. Jilly: They’re lovely guys you know, and they’re so insane live! Paul: They’re class live, really good. Jilly: They relly suit uslive because we’re really energetic on stage, I think they cream us, Simon - he’s like... Paul: Amazing! Jilly: Yeah, he does the splits and stuff while playing bass like 6foot in the air and we think he’s crazy. Joe: They’re not up themselves, they’re really down to earth and they have the time of day for everybody. Paul: They look good with their make-up and stuff, i didn’t think they would be but err... I don’t normally swing that way. I like women.
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 19
20 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Joe: An exception Paul: I would. Joe: Like how someone would go gay for Johnny Depp Jilly: Sorry boys if you’re watching this, I promise you i won’t let him rape you. I’ll get a bodyguard for you! Paul: Okay i’ll shut up. Jilly: That’s a good idea!
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 21
InThePit: Where did the name ‘No Mean City’ come from? Jilly: The Oxford Book of Poem, we did the whole... like if you’re deciding to go somewhere and stick a pin in the map - well we kind of did that with the book and this one line, with the words ‘no mean city’ was there. It was a poem by the Irish poet Patrick Macdonogh, and that was the first name we came up with and we liked it. InThePit: You have a few unusually named songs, like DinosaurEatinMan... -Jilly points at PaulJoe: Can you tell which member came up with the names? Jilly: Yeah Paul isn’t really allowed to do interviews or actually generally go out that often because he talks weird mad shit. Basically, he gives me a name, and i have to write a song around it, so i do my best... but i don’t know! It’s funny and i guess it’s just his thing. Paul: I like it. Joe: Yeah you should probably lay low for a while. Jilly: Sorry about this... [It’s totally fine, it’s great!] Jilly: Yeah Joe had a beer bong Joe: It wasn’t a beer bong, it was beer cider and vodka Jilly: And won a competition against other bands. Joe: All that matters is that I won, because i can drink more than them. InThePit: Can you describe your music to our readers. Jilly: umm... Joe: Pop/metal/alternative grunge... Jilly: Ecclectic Alfie: You just said EVERY possible genre. Joe: It is pop metal. Alfie: Erm jazz... Jilly: Yeah it’s very ecclectic, we just... there’s funky riffs, metal riffs, punk riffs... Paul: Everyone loves jazzcore? Jilly: Pop melodies... essentially, it’s all energetic, and a bit strange. Joe: It’s different from what everyone else is doing.
22 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
[It is very different] Joe: So what’s your opinion on it? [I like it, i watched the interview with Trivium as well, I quite like it, I like DinosaurEatinMan] Jilly: that’s my favourite one actually, I think you’ll like Gettin’ Off if you like that one, it’s my other favourite one. [I was quite surprised actually, I thought you’d be more pop.] Joe: We’re like the cheeky girls on acid. -Paul whispers to JillyJilly: No you can’t say that, it’s naughty. [Say what?] Jilly: When we let him interview on his own he said... Joe: He called Steve Tyler a transvestite. Paul: And it got published. [Now it’s gunna be published again haha...] Jilly: Paul accidentally knocked into him and at first look thought he was a transvestite. Paul: Even though they said it was off the record... Jilly: Sorry Steve! Not that you’ll be watching/reading this but if by any chance you do, we love you! InThePit: What are your plans for the rest of the year? Jilly: Record, do more gigs... I mean STRAIGHT AWAY next week we’re doing more gigs. we’re doing 2-3 gigs a week, every week. Like we’ve always done since three weeks of being together. Other than that, there’s some things going on at the minute, we’re not really allowed to talk about it, but if you follow us on myspace.com/nomeancityband - you’ll find out. Joe: Find out very soon. Jilly: Yeah we’ve got a few offers for different things, we’ll hopefully get back to mainland as well for some more gigs ‘cause we’re not here enough yet but if things go to plan in the next few weeks,i think we’ll be able to do it.
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 23
24 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 25
[You should do a full UK tour] Joe: Well that’s in the making. Jilly: That’s the plan. Also, anybody watching this, we will probably be needing some couches because we’re not that rich, and email us, we’d love to come and stay at your house. Umm... we’ll totally not wreck it. InThePit: So have you any plans for a single release soon? Jilly: Well hopefully, ‘cause we did have an unofficial single release called Turn Around, which is no longer in print, so there’s about 300 people out there who have it. Joe: So if you have it, sell it on eBay. Paul: I don’t even have it. Jilly: Yeah me either actually, but... Joe: I have a copy of a copy. I’m so poor, i steal my own band’s stuff haha... Jilly: But if you’re waiting for it, and you haven’t heard our stuff yet, you can probably get our most popular track at the minute, which is a free download. The link for it is on our myspace. You can get it on www.nichart.com. it’ll be under No Mean City in the download section, and it’s called TigerKissRose. Paul: It’s the most popular one, everyone just liked it.
26 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
NEVER MEANS MAYBE http://www.myspace.com/nevermeansmaybe
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 27
28 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 29
InThePit: You played Download and T in the Park. Which was your favourite? Matt: I can’t, I literally can’t tell you a favourite. Drew: They were all so good. Matt: Download is Download. So yeah. So that pretty much puts it up there. Lawrence: It’s Download, so you have to do it. Matt: Since we started, It was like ‘aww we’d love to play Download.’ That would be... I mean T in the Park is the biggest surprise out of them all. Like, we didn’t expect it. We had a couple of thousand people and the tent was huge aswell. We got in there and we were like ‘Oh my God’. Not only are we going to go crazy, but people are not going to be there to see it but... it was great. Lawrence: We really enjoyed all of them. Matt: Sonisphere... was ridiculous. Walls of death, human pyramid, i mean after that it was even crazier in there, wall of death as well. Pretty much... it would be like having to pick your children... Lawrence: But nah, they’ve been so good. InThePit: Have you had any bad experiences at your festivals? Lawrence: I don’t think we have. Have we? Matt: Nah, we’ve been really really lucky. Lawrence: I kind of lost my voice at Underage Festival but that’s about .. that’s about it though. Matt: I was pretty much the same, by the end of the set that we played last Sunday at Underage Festival. Robert: The difference between Sonisphere and Underage was 3 days. Matt: Sonisphere on the Friday and Underage on the Sunday. And then my stag do on the Saturday. Lawrence: It was the stag do that killed us. Matt: Haha... but yeah, so, we had a laugh :) InThePit: How would you describe your music style? Lawrence: It’s like... we would say we have pop elements, like hooks and stuff, and we’ve got hardcore screaming, i’d say pop-core :) just made a genre. Matt: Pop-post-hardcore sort of thing. Lawrence: Yeah. Matt: Yeah we’ve got like big choruses and things like that. Like pop-y bits. But then we’ve got bits where we like... Drew: Bits that people can sing along to and bits that beat the hell out of each other. Matt: That’s pretty much what i aim for, we write songs that people can sing
30 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
to and then punch their mates face. And then pick them up and sing to them. InThePit: Do you like mosh pits and walls of death? Lawrence: Yeah. Matt: I don’t like getting in them, I like inciting them. Lawrence: Yeah well we had one just now, and a wall of death in the tent, we did pretty well. Matt: Yeah. It is pretty crazy like. I think, people do it because it’s also sort of good nature, people just wanna do it just do have a laugh. Lawrence: Yeah people at festivals just wanna have a good time and stuff so... Matt: You see them, and none of it’s like particularly violent, even though it looks really violent when they’re running at each other and it’s definately not as bad as it looks.We don’t really pull in like the hardcore kids so there’s no one busting any jumps or... I mean it’s just good old push moshing. InThePit: Are you excited for the album release? Matt: Yeah. Well.. yeah. Erm yeah no we are, we’ve realised we’ve recorded four songs so far and we’re doing two more, so it’s more like an EP. It’s going out through Fierce Panda, who put out all the Blackout albums and Coldplay. But yeah, we’re really excited for that. We are gunna finish recording our next one so hopefully it’ll come out in about October time. And we’re doing a tour. We’re doing a video, and then we’re gunna tour with the release of the EP. InThePit: Have you got a set of dates? Matt: Yeah, we have one set of dates up at the moment for September. We’re going as far north as Glasgow and then as far south as like .. Gilford. InThePit: Is there a Newcastle date? (Not that we are hinting or anything.) Matt: I’ll be honest.. Lawrence: We’re staying in Newcastle. Matt: Yeah we’re staying in Newcastle, but we’ve tried playing Newcastle and we played in County Durham, [Where abouts?] Matt: I think it was Victoria? It was literally in the middle of nowhere. [I think I know where you’re on about] Matt: It was kind of like a working man’s club in the middle of nowhere. Lawrence: Good gig. Matt: Yeah it was good fun. But Newcastle, we’re trying to get onto. Might try again in December.
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 31
32 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 33
InThePit: Did you enjoy your set? Matt: Yeah, it was crazy man. Drew: Loved it. Absolutely loved it. It was sooo hot, so so hot. [Would it not be better to have taken the hat off? haha...] Drew: Oh I wasn’t wearing a hat. Matt: There’s a lot more people here that’ve heard of us than i thought there would be. Lawrence: Yeah. Matt: I mean we had people like literally coming to the front and singing and stuff so...And you jumped off the stage and threw some mics in peoples faces Lawrence: Yeah. Matt: But nahh it was really really good, I mean like yesterday, I wasn’t entirely sure about what I’d expect really. So it’s a lot busier today than when we got here last night. But yeah the tent was rammed, so I can’t really ask for more than that . InThePit: Do you think that the audience enjoyed themselves? Matt: I think so, yeah. It’s difficult to get them all into the red bull tent. But yeah, they seemed to really get into it, it was really cool. We’ve been really lucky like at the festivals, we’ve had a pretty substantial crowd. And when everyone knows the words and stuff it’s even better. Some people didn’t even know us, and so generally you play us out and when we come out you hope there’s someone you know, where as at festivals it’s kind of like one of the good things because you get to play to people that might be from somewhere else but have came to the festival so you get to play to a bigger..[ spectrum of people? ] InThePit: What do you think of this festival? Because it’s a really small festival... Lawrence: I’m loving it. Matt: I like how professional it is, despite the fact that it is so small. Lawrence: Yeah it’s pretty kind of rock ethic kind of thing. Cool. Matt: But yeah, it’s really well organised. Like so far, it’s like, everything is running on time, and there’s nothing... Lawrence: And we’ve got Glassjaw here. So that’s all you need really. [Absolutely] Matt: If no one else played for like two days, and it was just Glassjaw, everyone would probably still enjoy it. The above is only seven or so minutes of interview material, so if you would like to check out the rest, there is a link to the interview video(s) that will be on our blog soon.
34 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 35
36 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
East Strike West The songs were reminiscent of Deftones’ self titled and Hexagram albums and the band have an excellent control of FX and synths. Their track ‘Stumble’ is like a song writtin by the bastard child of the Killers, One Republic and Coldplay. Superb!! track. Although there was a very unstable execution between dynamic changes in songs, they made up for this with an exceptionally confident singer. Never Means Maybe One of the more extremely original bands on the Red Bull stage. Extremly talented and professional musicians. You can tell that they are influenced by a lot of different geners but never really touching upon one specfic one so you cannot compare them. The stage was too confined for these guys i would have loved to see them play the Rock Sound stage as they are clearly quite deserving to be higher up on the bill. Thoroughly enjoyablewith catchy hooks and complex riffs. Check this band out NOW!
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 37
Heights The heights are a 5 piece ‘rank’ (in their own words) hardcore band, with the skinniest singer you have ever seen but with a voice of a monster. These guys really got the crowd going and the tent was heaving. Very talented and competent musicians, who can pull an awesome crowd. These guys have been tipped for big things and we can see it happening.
38â€ƒ BLA BLA BLAâ€ƒ Exero 01, 5555
TRASH TALK Probably the most dangerous band to play on the mainstage this weekend. Microphones went swinging and photographers cameras took the brunt of it. The band went wild and the vocalist even went into the middle of a circle pit. Visually amazing band to watch but you forget they are actually there to play music. ROLO TOMASSI Plagued by sound issues on the day, the band still managed to pull threw. With frontwoman Eva Spence bouncing around the stage like a mad woman. This petite little lady has a growl to make even lions cower in fear and in a split second can sound like a angel. The crowd went wild for these guys, fans of Dillenger Escape Plan should check them out.
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 39
PULLED APART BY HORSES The band were extremly energetic, and can be compared to the Automatic, but less Welsh and more serious. Their song ‘High Five, Nose Dive’ is an instant hit with great dancy pieces but with an awesome overall grunge feel. Frontman has an excellent beard. With their relentless touring and obvious talent can we have them on main stage next year please?
40â€ƒ BLA BLA BLAâ€ƒ Exero 01, 5555
HEXES Marvellous beards, best ones at the festival! Their songs are brutal, yet anthemic with beautifully crafted choruses and oh yeah did we mention the vocalists beard? DEAF HAVANA The tent was overflowing with people trying to cram in and see these guys play, not an inch was spared in the Red Bull tent. Girls were pushing their way to the front and the rest of the crowd was just going crazy, people were not leaving the tent they were being thrown out, it would have made for a decent music video. Down to one vocalist Deaf Havana now focus more on melodic vocals and a lot less screaming, making the band a lot more commercial despite their already catchy hooks. Quite enjoyable band look out for them on their UK tour. DANANANANAYROYD Unfortunetly the band were faced with a smaller crowd than what you woud have expected of a headlining act due to the fact the Gallows were on the mainstage at the same time. The band however treated the crowd to a superb performance put on a show worthy of a headlining act. The dual vocals is very novel but works extremly well, the music was straight up electro hardcore which was a nice change to some of the bands we had already seen. The only complaint was the poor lighting, which hindered the visability of the show, other than that top marks!
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 41
42 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 43
GALLOWS As you would expect of a headline band, the show was energetic with encouragment to stop wasting ‘expensive festival beer’ and make a huge circle pit. Gallows are here and demanding your attention. Playing old and new songs such as ‘London is the Reason’ and ‘In the Belly of a Shark’, the audience sang along with every word, Frank Carter hurled some tame abuse at the audience and they loved it. Although he did somehow start talking about why people shouldnt use Dells and get a macbook instead. Technically speaking the band are not the best, but they did put on one of the best shows of the weekend. The hightlight was when the band covered The Clash song ‘I fought the law,’ or the corwds attempt at a human pyramid which failed miserably
44 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
SINGLE – ANYWHERE BUT HERE – SEPTEMBER 20 ALBUM – ANYWHERE BUT HERE – SEPTEMBER 27 UK CO-HEADLINE TOUR WITH ‘THE MAINE’ – SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 2010
September Birmingham Academy 2 – Thu 30 Sep October Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach – Fri 1 Oct Nottingham Rescue Rooms – Sat 2 Oct Newcastle Academy 2 – Sun 3 Oct Glasgow Garage – Mon 4 Oct
Leeds Cockpit – Tues 5 Oct Manchester Academy 3 – Wed 6 Oct London – Islington Academy – Fri Oct 8 Yeovil Orange Box – Sat 9 Oct Brighton Audio – Sun 10 Oct
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 45
ON TOUR NOW
9 Sep 2010 20:00 Sound Control Manchester 10 Sep 2010 20:00 Aberdeen Drummonds 11 Sep 2010 20:00 Glasgow King Tut’s 12 Sep 2010 20:00 Leeds The Well 14 Sep 2010 20:00Galway, Galway Roi, IRELAND 15 Sep 2010 20:00 The Brog Cork, IRELAND 16 Sep 2010 20:00 Spiritstore Dundalk, Spiritstor
17 Sep 2010 20:00 Ballroom of Romance Dublin 17 Sep 2010 20:30The Lower Deck Dublin 18 Sep 2010 20:00 Clonakilty International Guitar Festival Clon, Clonakilty, IRELAND 20 Sep 2010 20:00 Mello Mello Liverpool 21 Sep 2010 20:00 London 100 Club
Photo by Nozu Chia
46 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
ME VS HERO After seeing Me Vs Hero in November, touring with Elliot Minor, seeing the guys play a huge stage at a music festival was great! These guys were on early and they entered to the Back to the Future theme. When they came to perform, the crowd was huge, the audience was active and the band clearly enjoyed themselves. The vocals were clear and there was a huge use of percussion, with catchy choruses, the band’s performance went down a treat! Me Vs Hero had some nice beats throughout their tracks, which was good for the crowd who appeared to love dancing, as early as it was! Their music was punk-rocky and great for this festival! YOUNG GUNS These guys are really great to watch and listen to, visually and musically stunning. Everyone who had turned up around me appeared entranced by the vocalist, Gustav. The sound quality was amazing, one of the best of the
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 47
weekend. The audience most definitely enjoyed the energy and movement on stage as well as, of course, the genius music work of Young Guns. Gustav talked to the audience which was pretty cool. In general it was a good performance with a fantastic reception. CHICKENHAWK The only way to describe this band is grungy unhinged hardcore that wakens the dead fo’ sho’. Very rifftastic and visually engertic with a hint of chaos. There new album is due out in November, make sure you go buy it.
48 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
NO MEAN CITY One thing you notice is that frontwoman Jilly demands every bit of your attention she has an awesome voice wehich was unexpected from such a small person but she’s a rock chick who knows how to get the crowd going. Her personality bursts out on stage and you can feel it in the atmosphere. She constantly makes eye contact with the crowd yet still maintaining her presence and inacting with the band. Alfie, Joe and Paul all put as much effort into this set as their frontwoman and it was clear through the perspiration that was dripping. No surprise after having such an active performance! The band was great and has a totally unique sound, really fast at times but mellows out leading into choruses and there are some awesome riffs throughout. Definitely worth seeing! MADINA LAKE There was a fantastic atmosphere for Madina Lake’s performance, the support
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 49
from the fans was tremendous! I absolutely loved how friendly the vibes Nathan gave off were, and he thanked everyone for their support over the past few months and the contributions toward his brother and the donations to the charities associated, that everybody has made recently. It was evident that Matthew was missing because there was that little spark that he lit the stage with that was absent. Having seen and met these lovely people who toured with Papa Roach in October, and seeing how far they have came, it’s great to see them still enjoying the hard work, even through hard times like this. Kudos to the guys for still performing and I wish Matthew the best of luck on his road to recovery! BURY TOMORROW Amazingly delicious riffs and both brutal and beautiful vocals, the crowd went wild in the Rock Sound tent. Packed out to the brim, mainstage next year? We think so.
50 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
THE KING BLUES A huge contrast to the rest of ther bands playing this festival. This unique sounding band has great rhythm and gave an enjoyable performance to anyone who was listen (which was quite a lot with the crowd they pulled). The tracks were bouncy and easy to sing along to. The almost reggae feel to the music made them stand out from the crowd.The performance was really energetic with band members running and bouncing round the stage. The crowd also loved Headbutt and everyone, me included, sang along to the chorus. These guys were awesome! THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER The rockers Black Dahlia Murder were most certainly as loud as they could possibly and legally be, surely they were over the allowed decibel rate given by local councils. Though I did enjoy the loudness, I might add! There was a huge mosh pit which quickly turned into a hardcore dancing ring. The crowd appeared to be rowdy but very pleasant, happy people, all out to enjoy themselves the guy in the mankini crowdsurfing was scary though. It did appear that people weren’t there to see the band, but in fact there to brutalize people who were up for it.
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 51
The vocalist had enticed a new record to be made for the most crowd surfers in one of their songs, and there was madness as a hundred or so people hurled themselves forward so that they could get over and be a part of the whole thing. There was an absolutely huge pit formed within the last three songs and people started moving away because of it. A great performance that thoroughly entertained the crowd that was there. NAPALM DEATH The vocals barely made it through , again the sound was too loud in some areas. The singer did this totally crazy dance which came from nowhere but was definitely enjoyable to watch, though the poor kids who were too busy ‘moshing’ won’t have seen the awesome stint, being too busy beating each other up and all. The instruments were well played and the guitar was pretty epic. The drums were definitely put to good use. The performance would have been more enjoyable if I could have endured the screaming better than I did, since I came out of the tent with ringing ears.
52 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
GLASSJAW What appeared to be a very odd setup, withdrummer facing left on stage front is actually quite normal for Glassjaw. They entertained all the crowd by playing all the classics including my favourite ‘Tip Your Bartender’. The personality of the newer linup is akin to Incubus, they totally bleed musicianship but without all the pointless frills and without their heads up their arses. This was a very well deserved headline spot.
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 53
54 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 55
EAST STRIKE WEST
56 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Eaststrikewest was our third band to be interviewed. We’ve wrote out part of our interview with the guys and the rest of theinterview can be found on the video in our blog! InThePit: I noticed you played stumble in today’s performance and I recalled watching the music video for it not so long ago. Do you guys have a favourite part in the animation? Joseph: It was our concept, it follows the album - bears and wolves and there was a front cover. Tom: We’re not animal rights activists though, let’s make that clear for a start. Ian: Yeah. Steven: Like the RSPCC. Steven: Can we remove Tom? Tom: Sorry. Liam: The question was, what was your favourite part in the video... Steven: We’re getting to that. Joseph: We weren’t 100% happy with the video. Steven: That bit with the cat just randomly in there. Liam: I like the bit with the cat, that’s pretty good. If you look at it carefully enough, there’s a cat in there. Steven: There genuinely is a cat in there. Nothing to do with it at all. Liam: Amongst the bears there is a cat. Tom: The best bit though, was that they made Joe look about 60. James: They had to remove so many wrinkles. Steven: We actually asked for that. Liam: There was a minimum of about 100 creases on each face. Joseph: I mean we like the new video which we’ve go, which we got for free
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 57
58 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
[Is this the architect?]
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 59
Tom: Yes. Joseph: Which they stole! Which we stole from them. What’re you gunna do haha... [I like it] Steven: Cheers. Tom: You know, if people want to make videos for us for free, you know, go ahead. Steven: I don’t wanna pay for anything. Ian: Like free advertising [REFER TO VIDEO] Joseph: Like Aldberg & Austin for example [REFER TO VIDEO] James: Probably one of the best t-shirt companies around. Steven: The best t-shirt i’d forgotten. Joseph: One of the best soft drink companies... [REFER TO VIDEO] Ian: Like the new Coke. Joseph: Yeah, it’ll be around forever. InThePit: Where did you come up with the name of the band? Steven: That came from... can I say this? From an adult video? [Whatever you want] Steven: Gay porn, It was a gay porn. It came from something to do with... I don’t want to go into to much detail because it’s obscene but. Ian: It was communist porn really. Steven: But it was gay porn, i’d like to emphasize. Tom: It was an aggressive Russian porn film. Erm... Steven: It was east and ... i don’t really want to go into it. Tom: And the effect it had on the westerners... ripple effect. Steven: I certainly enjoyed it. And I don’t want to go any further. Ian: Not really comfortable talking about it. InThePit: Is there a reason why the bears are dominant in your work? Such as the album cover and the video for Stumble etc. James: It was based on an ex member. Steven: We just love bears. Joseph: We called him bear. And we love him. Ian: We’re very sympathetic towards the bears and we have a lot of respect for them and like to see them in that role. I mean we like bears. Joseph: Definately. Liam: They can’t play piano though? Joseph: And we have a new single called ‘Bears’ as well. which is basically when bears attack wolves. Tom: It’s a working title. Steven: There are a lot of working titles. Joseph: Did that answer the question? Ian: Basically we like bears. Tom: It’s that whole east and west thing again I think. Joseph: Nah, it’s nothing to do with that. Tom: Cruelty to bears. Steven: Why is this guy here?
60 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
InThePit: Your band is quite popular in Japan i noticed, is there a reason for that? Tom: It’s nothing to do with us, except for the music. Steven: Except for our label. Joseph: It’s nothing to do with us, they just stole our CD and stole it over. James: I think we are more popular over there than here. Steven: Why are we playing here? Tom: We’re waiting for that Spinal Tap moment. When everything has fallen on it’s arse and then suddenly, we’re like giants in Japan and we’ll go out and go over there. James: Because no one here likes us. Ian: No, the marketing out there that we saw... What Hugo did was really good and everything that we shipped, sold. Tom: It helped that when we were going through a recession, they weren’t. So... it was amazing to see it really. Steven: I think it showed us up. Tom: Totally. We gave them the album and they put it out and it sold really well. Steven: That’s exactly it, they gave it a gom and we didn’t. Over here, no one gave it a shot what so ever. Liam: Cos we’re not sort of middle class, we’re sort of middle to upper class. Joseph: And i think it sold more over there than it did over here, and it sold quicker.
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 61
62 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 63
64 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 65
66 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 67
Whilst at Hevy Festival we had an interview with a cool band called Heights. We’ve wrote out part of our Heights Interview here, the rest of their interview can be found on the video in our blog! InThePit: Could you describe your music to our readers?
Thomas: i hate this question haha.. Dean: umm.. Thomas: Go! *points finger at Tom* Tom: Our music is all in one - it’s quite big and epic, but then it’s quite dirty and rank and heavy. Dean: Haha yeah it’s RANK! Tom: We’re trying to introduce the word RANK because there’s a guy in the studio where we’re recording our album at that keeps using the word RANK all of the time. Progressive RANK metal. Thomas: Yeah, and i think there’s lots of energy in there as well. InThePit: We hear that you’ve been to other festivals such as T in the Park and Sonisphere. How did you find them? Thomas: T in the Park, there was rain all weekend, it was good fun but very wet. and Sonisphere was awesome! And it was down the road from my house so we got to go home for showers! it was cool. It was £3 for a shower otherwise. I ended up paying for a shower haha.. Thomas: Yeah, we’d have done it for £2.50. Plus transport! InThePit: So, you’ve signed with Small Town Records! What are your plans for a record release? Thomas: Early 2011! We’ve been in the studio this week to record a couple of tracks for it. Dean: And they sounded RANK. Thomas: And they sounded RANK, yeah haha.. but yeah, we’re doing the rest of them late September early October, so we’re really really excited and can’t wait to get it out - Early 2011! [Make sure you all mark your calenders ready for this release!]
68 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 69
70 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 71
InThePit: Have you any song releases due out over the next 3-4 months? Dean: Possibly a track from the album but we don’t really know, but there might be. Thomas: The tracks we did this week - there might be something happening with them. Dean: Definately hear some music from it for next year. InThePit: You guys are constantly touring the festival circuit, as well as the UK, How do you find touring? Dean: We love touring! Thomas: It’s a lot of hard work, and it wears you down, but it’s what we love doing, so.. it’s just a lot of fun and we just jump in the van and drive around. IT’s better than NOT touring! InThePit: If you could be a cover band in bars and clubs, which three songs would you like to cover? Thomas: Any songs in the world? Any! Thomas: Can we pick a song each? Yeah! Tom: My first song would be something by... probably Blind by KORN Thomas: We would back that up with... I think we’d go with Leyla by Eric Clapton Dean: We’d finish it off with Hail Destroyer by Cancer Bats. After lowering them into a false sense of security that should do it haha! InThePit: What do you think of smaller festivals such as Hevy? Thomas: It’s really awesome, we’ve never been to Hevy or a festival this small before so you know. I mean, we walked in here and thought ‘Oh well this must be the village’, like other festivals, and then we walked into the arena and thought ‘Wow, is this it?’ It’s really awesome, I like it, the line up is better than you’d expect. InThePit: Are there any bands you’re excited to see? Thomas: Well, I’m a huge fan of Glassjaw, so i’m excited for that and erm .. Dean: Comeback Kid! Thomas: Yeah! and Comeback Kid! And Gallows. Dean: Dead Swans if we can catch them. I think I’d happily watch every band on the bill!
72 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 73
philadelphia grand jury 74 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
UK TOUR 2010
SAT 25TH SEPT – Jericho Tavern, Oxford, WED 8TH SEPT – Prince Albert, Brighton, England England THURS 9TH SEPT – Boiler Room, Guilford, England WED 29TH SEPT – Moles, Bath, England THURS 30TH SEPT – The Cellars, Portsmouth, FRI 10TH SEPT – Lexington, London, England SUN 12TH SEPT – Academy 2, Newcastle, England England MON 13TH SEPT – Sugamill, Stoke, England MON 20TH SEPT – Start the Bus, Bristol, England OCTOBER TUES 21ST SEPT – Academy 3, Leicester, England FRI 1ST OCT – Night & Day, Manchester, England THURS 23RD SEPT – Plugged In, Sunderland, SAT 2ND OCT – Empire, Middlesborough, England England FRI 24TH SEPT – Stanley Theatre, Liverpool, SUN 3RD OCT – Plug, Sheffield, England England THURS 7TH OCT – Cockpit, Leeds, England
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 75
76 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 77
78 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
GACKT [YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz Tour] @ O2 Academy Islington, London 16/07/2010 Luckily for Asian music lovers in the UK, we’ve been lucky enough to get at least 4 fantastic acts come to London on tours over the past few months, including Versailles, hANGRY&ANGRY, Doping Panda and the latest, GACKT. We managed to get our hands on tickets to see the Japanese artist GACKT, with the Japanese idol known as Gackt /Gakuto Camui. Due to demands on these tickets, within 15 minutes of sale at o2 Academy Islington, the tickets sold out. I wouldn’t be surprised it records were broken. I arrived around 12 noon and the queue was huge, even though there was a notice saying no camping, GACKT had fans queuing from Monday, bearing in mind the gig was on Friday night. These fans were complaining after being repeatedly moved from the venue’s area, which was a shopping district, clearly not the safest place, because they didn’t want to lose their spot. This annoyed security, and fans should always remember NOT to annoy security because they can prevent people from entering the venue. After entering the venue I managed to squeeze past the hooligans attacking the merchandise stand, to get to the barrier. GACKT’s secretary did an announcement, telling us about the show and tour, and warning us to be as manly as we possibly could. He also told us that in the case of an emergency, we must all commit ‘Harikiri’ by stabbing ourselves in the gut. After another twenty minutes, we had a short announcement from the secretary which consisted of him asking us to say something to the sounding of ‘Ous’ . I have a feeling this could have been the name of the secretary or maybe just an expression said by bands often. Of course we were excited, but most definitely not ready for what we were about to see. The band came on without Gackt, revving the crowd and pumping them ready for what was possibly my favourite show I’ve attended yet. Behind them was a large curtain with the tour name ‘YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz’. There was a small centre piece on stage, and it appeared to be made of the same materials as a chicken coup, which was obviously linked to the tour. This small area was Gackt’s area. Sort of like a podium in the eyes of the fans, a place where their idol can stand to demand attention. When GACKT appeared, the lights had dimmed down, and he drifted across from stage right. This excited the crowd and enforced screaming and chanting. Gackt pointed at his chest with one hand and cupped his ear with the other, making the crowd shout his name. His fans adore him. I’ve never witnessed such a loving crowd in my entirety of attending gigs. They wouldn’t stop shouting. He waved his arm and climbed onto the centre piece and the crowd silenced. The gig kicked off with the band playing ZAN which was a great starter, when they were shouting ZAN, you could see the crowd loved the show. There was plenty of head-banging, which was great because this song is heavy in comparison to Gackt’s older stuff. Dybbuk followed, with a crazed bouncing crowd screaming the song title when it came to the chorus. It was evident that people didn’t waste their time queuing after this performance.
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 79
The whole band was wearing school uniform outfits, all wearing a shirt and shorts with a tie. Gackt was sporting a new hairstyle, half straightened, half scalp-plaited. Gackt wore small gems on his face around his visible eye; the other was hidden beneath the straightened side of hair. Part way through the performance GACKT tore his shirt off, popping each individual button from bottom to top. This was great fan service in the eyes of the audience and most definitely his way of determining how excited the fans were. Gackt is a tease, if you spur him on, he’ll give you more and so the fans most definitely enjoyed his reaction to their love. The bassist for the tour was called Chirolyn, best known for sporting a gigantic pink Mohawk, has great technique and his energy was fantastic. No doubt I’d happily go to see any concert he performs at within the UK, hopefully he will solo tour over here. He works with many artists and worked especially close with the drummer of the tour, Jun. Chirolyn works to support and serve a number of artists both live and when it comes to recording. Jun is the drummer for GACKT on this tour and was very energetic, he grinned at the audience when the opportunity arose and was the type of drummer who had fancy skills, like twirling drumsticks etc. he was a great attribute to the tour and his drumming was awesome, heavy yet so very swift with his movements. Tended to be challenged by You, the guitarist. You was very energetic at the gig, You, similar to GACKT, ripped his shirt off part way through the performance. You was on my side of the stage and he was forever reaching for the crowd, and of course we all flailed our arms at him. He was running across the stage and dancing, as well as kicking himself off of the small stage that Gackt was stood on. This gig was most definitely an experience. If anyone anywhere can get their hands on a ticket to see GACKT then you should try your very hardest. It’s expensive but enjoyable and easily worth it. For the fans that camped, bless you and your excited selves but to spare the problems with security and angry people, as I know there were some threats, try not to upset the security, it’s for your own benefit. The live performance gets 10/10 without a doubt. The fan-service, which is always needed with a gig by an Asian artist, gets 8/10, simply because Gackt would not sign before or after the show. There were no other problems than the previously stated and I sure as hell look forward to seeing him again. Gackt regards his fans as a ‘family’ and they’ll definitely serve to be one. After finishing off with Flower, Gackt told the fans how he loved them and I think this is important because the fans adore being appreciated, as you witness at all shows.
Below is Gackt’s MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/gackt/
80 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 81
82 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Sonisphere Review - Friday Night Well my Friday night kicked off with the crowd-pleasing vintage rock band Europe. The audience were ecstatic to hear a rendition of No Woman No Cry. There was no dispute as to why people were there, not simply because they wanted to hear The Final Countdown, but to experience a fantastic live show with these heavy rockers. There were a few small hitches along the way but this band proved themselves to be able and ready to rock, sound problems or not. The band held out until a fair way through the set before playing the notorious track ‘The Final Countdown’. Heads were bobbing and horns were waving to the track and the fans were going crazy. This was a great lead into Gary Numan’s set. Gary Numan was essentially one of the best acts of the weekend. The never aging Mr Numan played some great classics, including the likes of Cars and Are ‘Friends’ Electric? The performance was definitely energetic which surprised me considering Gary’s age. Young at heart, he appeared to thoroughly enjoy himself and the crowd most definitely loved the performance. Kudos to Gary and the Sonisphere organizers who brought us the great memorable set and I will happily be seeing Gary Numan on one of his tours. Alice Cooper’s set started with a crash bang wallop. Quite literally! Alice brought a whole story onto the stage, with stage deaths such as stabbing, injection, hanging and death by guillotine and tons of stage outfits including a straight-jacket, a lunatic asylum outfit, a spider outfit and a regular t-shirt and jeans. Alice got the crowd going he even hit the stage, with an amazing backdrop that drew the attention whilst he was readying himself for the performance. With top hat on head and a cane in his hand, he was ready to rock the audience’s socks off. Opening with School’s Out, or at least part, the crowd were lively and roaring at Alice, who was striking poses with his cane and hat, which he did a fair bit throughout his theatrical performance. No doubt the master of this fabulous show, Alice brought his full Theatre of Death to Sonisphere and even Alice’s daughter made an appearance in her dad’s performance, playing an abused woman. Alice Cooper’s death extraordinaire was most definitely the highlight of Friday, visually and even the music dynamics were something to gawp at. Alice played his greatest hits throughout the night and pleased everyone, old and young. When Poison was playing, all of the crowd sang along, quite terribly if I do say so, as well as out of tune, but they undoubtedly enjoyed themselves. Finishing off on a high note, that being School’s Out, the crowd again expressed their excitement by singing and dancing and even throwing things toward the stage; including t-shirts, bracelets and other accessories. Anyone who missed this performance should be thoroughly disappointed and should not miss it again, if anyone has the opportunity to see this master of rock, I’d suggest doing it. Sonisphere Review - Saturday Night The band I was looking forward to the most over the weekend was Placebo, after being a fan for so long and not getting tickets to one of their tours, I took the opportunity to see them at Sonisphere. Placebo rocked out to classics such as Nancy Boy, Kitty Litter, Pure Morning, Bitter End and Meds. They started the party with a choral type intro, ready for their appearance. The intro seemed baffling but when Brian and Stef strolled on stage, the whole crowd were totally wild and prepared to battle their way to the front in the scorching heat (that wasn’t ironic simply because they played Battle for the Sun... or was it?). The Rammstein fans that had been there all day were a little pushy but Placebo’s performance made up for that. Placebo played well and spoke to the crowd little and often, their setlist was fantastic and I absolutely loved Brian’s geek-chic glasses… just thought I would put that in there!
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 83
Rammstein were the headliners for Saturday night and they most definitely headlined, in my opinion more so than Iron Maiden. Rammstein stole the show with pyrotechnics, a fantastic setlist, fireworks, a foam blower, confetti and all round awesomeness. What did it for me was their performance of Frühling in Paris, which is my favourite Rammstein song. The attire was great as per usual, wearing what I would deem as a blacksmith’s uniform, and we had Christian changing outfits every other song, at one point sporting a dazzling glittery suit. Christian ‘Flake’ Lorenz was performing whilst on a treadmill, which was sehr gut! The band put on a fantastic performance, vocally, musically and visually, which included Flake coming into the audience in a rubber dinghy. Rammstein played extremely popular hits such as Du Hast, Link 2-3-4, Sonne, Rosenrot and Engel, but they did cut their set short. Unfortunately for the fans, the band came on late and finished early, which could have been due to a previous delay. Overall a fantastic show that will be memorable for all attendees and was definitely the best stage performance of the weekend, hands down. Sonisphere Review – Sunday My morning started early as I headed out at 07:00am to make sure that I was on the barrier ready for CKY and Dir En Grey. CKY did their own sound checks and so said hello to people before leaving the stage to prepare for their performance. When they came on, there was a fairly sized crowd in the vicinity but about ten minutes through the crowd grew larger and larger, having at least 7,000 people in the audience mid performance. Chad was as lively as ever, always pleasing the crowd with his quirky smile and awesome riffs, and even when a cider can was thrown at him, that didn’t stop his antics, catching the can and drinking the contents which I think was Strongbow. CKY kicked off with Escape from Hellview and played my personal favourite, The Human Drive in Hi-Fi. This energetic performance was worth waiting for and great to see, I will happily pay to go to a headline tour for these guys. Next up was an unusual act that didn’t fit the bill, The Fab Beatles. These guys were a Beatles tribute, similar to the band at last year’s Sonisphere that didn’t fit in with the general genre which the festival orbits around. The crowd absolutely adored these guys and had a great sing along to classics such as Hey Jude. Britain’s best Beatles tribute band did greatly at Sonisphere and were most definitely a treat to the people working, as I saw a few members of security busting their moves along to I Am the Walrus. Dir en grey were up next, the band I’d just about came to Sonisphere for had it not been for the release of a London tour date. This Japanese metal band came all of the way to England and treated fans to their newest single, HAGESHISA TO, KONO MUNE NO NAKA DE KARAMITSUITA SHEKUNETSU NO YAMI. The set kicked off with Sa Bir, leading through to classics such as, Dozing Green, OBSCURE, THE FINAL, and finally finishing the set with -ZAN-. Toshiya was playing the crowd, as per usual, prancing around the stage and posing for the enthusiastic fans with cameras. Kyo was pulling out notes I didn’t think were reachable and using incomprehensible inhuman noises throughout what I recall was the other members setting up their different instruments and having a short break. Kyo’s voice made the audience stare in awe, unsure whether to be in wonder or shock I’d guess if they hadn’t previously heard Diru. Kaoru and Die were glued to their spots but played each other off well when they strode forward to show off their skills. Vocally, their performance was my favourite of the weekend simply because I’m a huge fan of Kyo and his style, otherwise Rammstein would have been the band for me.
84 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
The last act I watched of the weekend was the co-headliners Iron Maiden. Iron Maiden, unfortunately for the older fans, didn’t play that many classics, maybe 5 or 6 of their vintage songs. They did play crowd pleasers such as Dance of Death, Iron Maiden, Fear of the Dark and in the encore, The Number of the Beast and Hallowed Be Thy Name. Here is the full setlist: The Wicker Man Ghost Of The Navigator Wrathchild El Dorado Dance Of Death The Reincarnation Of Benjamin Breeg These Colours Don’t Run Blood Brothers Wildest Dreams No More Lies Brave New World Fear Of The Dark Iron Maiden Encore: The Number of the Beast Hallowed Be Thy Name Running Free Iron Maiden made a special speech and tribute with the song Blood Brothers to Ronnie James Dio, the late and sadly missed musician who sang with bands such as Black Sabbath and Heaven & Hell. The song Blood Brothers was a fitting tribute to one of the brethren of the rock world, most definitely sang and performed passionately. Unfortunately for me, a huge Iron Maiden fan, I was a little disappointed in the fact that there wasn’t an inflatable Ed, similar to the ones used on their regular tours. But the rest of the performance was good, with a cool stage set to boot. Worthy headliners for a worthy festival, I would definitely recommend going there! So the above are reviews of the bands I watched at Sonisphere, but to be fair, I preferred being asleep to standing in the crowd 24/7 and so I missed a lot of bands. I was getting up too late to catch the early birds but gladly I did manage to get Rammstein and Dir en grey signatures thanks to the Kerrang! Signing Tent. Thanks Kerrang! That’s an opportunity I never thought I would have, ever. All band members of each band were polite and I managed a hand shake from every member of Dir en grey as well as a quirky smile from Kyo!
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 85
86 BLA BLA BLA Exero 01, 5555
Exero 01, 5555 BLA BLA BLA 87