Pick Your Rock and Metal

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Been away a while...Back and ready

Hi there faithful pop pickers...been a way a while getting my head straight. Now for some helpful advice. Check out two magazine's this month - Total Guitar for the sole reason it has Zakk Wylde on the cover; and Classic Rock - the cover CD with its selection of Queen covers is worth the £4.25 just to hear the Hayseed Dixies cover of Fat Bottomed Girls!

And they give Dragonforce a good review...

Anyway, more soon....

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Don't forget

While we all sit with bated breath anticipating all the new and original acts playing in Belfast, and the multi-platinum super-groups playing Dublin, don't forget Bon Jovi Experience are playing at The Empire, Belfast on Saturday night. See ya at the bar!

More gigs announced

Kerbdog, Kilkenny's finest metal exports (actually there only ones!) are playing at the Spring and Airbrake on 28th December. Hilariously Wonderland Promotions say they are: 'a heavy metal band from Kilkenny in southern Ireland. Their music has been described as "an unbending alloy of matt-black, titanium-tough metal and shimmering melody.", in contrast to compatriots U2s "fake authenticity" and the "tyranny of soul" espoused by Van Morrison".' Fuck sake guys wind yer necks in!

Also announced is Fightstar (26th March also in the Spring and Airbrake). Wonderland says: "Fightstar have a wealth of decent tunes up their collective sleeves, and come across sounding like Biffy Clyro meets Thursday, rather than Good Charlotte" - Rock Sound... "genuinely impressive slabs of intelligent and passionate heavy rock" - The Daily Star." They fail to mention that Fighstar is Charlie from Busted with a few mates trying desperately to gain credibility and an eyebrow razor.

Stones in Europe

Hey the Strollin' Bones - sorry Rolling Stones - are touring Europe and have slotted a gig for Dublin on 18th August. Now why should that bother a self-respecting metal blog? Well:
  • In the US 'Tallica and Crue have both been support acts, so maybe there's some hope of a decent line-up
  • It may be the last chance to see Mick and Keef before they die
  • It will be the last chance to see Keef before he shames himself in Pirates of the Carribean 24
  • They did end the Hippy era at Altamont though not intentionally
  • WASP did a kick ass version of Paint It Black
  • Sympathy for the Devil is a bad nasty song :) with lyrics that could have been penned by any number of Norwegian Black/Death metallers and Guns 'n' Roses did a snazzy cover of it for the Interview with a Vampire flick.

Ok, these are fairly flimsy reasons, but it's a chance for Belfast Metal Reunited's gig reviewers to go down to Dublin and get pissed!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More pix


















Colin's the man!

Darkness and SOAD new albums

The Darkness and System of a Down new platters of musical excellence descended upon Belfast Metal Reunited's Decks of Doom this week. Mmmm, long considered reviews were called for, but we told those calling to shut up, we was listening to some RAWK N ROLLLL BABY!

Okay, that's exaggerating, we were listening to one CD of metal that was weirder than a bag of squirrels doing acid while listening to Slayer, and another one that passed over the top on the way to lunacy. Yep that's the metal in us all....

But seriously folks the System of a Down platter (Mesmerize) is a seriously (that's two seriously's in one sentence, shit now three: English Language Editor) weird and wonderful CD. Flawed in places but overall very good. If it were the old days of Kerrang! they'd get four and a half Ks.

Only gripe is that it seems that the weirdos who once put out a CD called 'Steal This Album' are ripping us off a wee bit by putting out two CDs that would have been a better double album.

That aside various arses are kicked on this and the Sabbathy riffs keep it all nailed down when the tunes emerge kicking and screaming!

As to The Darkness...I was going to give a long, considered review to match those in Classic Rock, The Sunday Times (Yes, strange but true!), Metal Hammer, Kerrang etc...But on reflection I have to say the best review comes from Baal. His words of wisdom? "The New Queen!" Nuff Said!

Funny as ....

Sometimes you come across something genuinely funny! Check out this link http://www.theonion.com/content/node/42365 - it's a hoot and proves satire isn't dead! (Thanks to www.anthrax.com for drawing it to Belfast Metal Reunited's attention!

Monday, November 28, 2005

More super pix from Colin a.k.a. lensman extraordinaire




From the depths of the pit he emerges camera in hand, steely eye gazing and snaps off more shots we here at Belfast Metal Reunited are privileged to reproduce for you!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Life of Agony

Influencial 90s New York crossover metal band, Life of Agony are another set to play Belfast. They are due to rock it up at the Spring and Airbrake on December 12th. But if that all sounds too metal for you The Proclaimers are playing three nights earlier at the same spot...

Tickets from usual outlets...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Soulfly Belfast gig

Max Cavalera's Soulfly are set to bring their roots metal to Belfast on Sunday, January 29th; Spring and Airbrake. There are still those that think of Max and automatically think of Sepultura - despite the fact that Dark Ages, out recently, is Soulfly's fifth album. Log on to www.soulfly.com for more details including a link to an e-card with all the albums tracks.

Tickets for the concert are available from Virgin, Katy Daly's and all the usual suspects!

Excellent Priest and Scorps pix - ta Colin!




More excellent pix from Colin, this time from March's Priest and Scorps concert at the Odyssey - prints available from Colin, for a reasonable renumeration!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Darkness sneak snared

Some sneaky people tried to sell an advance copy of The Darkness's new album on e-bay and look like being snared big time! Justin has bought back a copy at £350 and each of the review CDs a code to track who it went to (see BBC story below)

Justin, if you want to make sure it only goes to trusted reviewers the Belfast MEtal Reunited review team are ready, willing and able to help!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4418356.stm

Support for Trivium

Word reaches Belfast Metal Reunuited HQ that God Forbid and Blood Simple will be providing support for Trivium on March 5th at the Ulster Hall. Looks like being a heavy night! Just have to make sure the beer flows freely, despite it being a Sunday night!

Darkness ticket prices

Fancy going along to The Darkness on February 5th at The Odyssey? Then shell out £27.50 or £30 on Friday (it's the day the tickets go on sale!)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Our cry is heard!

Less than a few hours after our last post our cry has been answered! The Darkness have announced a Belfast date - February 5th at the Odyssey. Tickets are on sale November 11th.

Their new album 'One Way Ticket to Hell & Back' is out on November 28th

Now: catsuits drycleaned, pouts for the camera all checked out - god this is so sad, but if it is anything like VItal it actually might be a good gig! Strange but true!

Bring light into the Darkness

Oh, dear, the world has turned into a very strange place...The Darkness appear at Belfast Zoo with Radio One's Colin Murray and then Ticketmaster announce The Darkness are to play The Point in Dublin. Is there a subliminal message here about Belfast rock/metal fans? Do we care? Well, just a little bit! ANNOUNCE A BELFAST GIG!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

And one for the beardies

Biffy Clyro are set to play the Spring and Airbrake on December 7th. Not everybody's cup of tea I know, but they are weird enough to please a few. Even weirder though is that after Belfast they have a four date stand at Glasgow's 'King Tut's Wah Wah Hut' Now that's a proper name for a venue!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

Inflammable material at the Empire

For all the old(er) punks out there, Stiff Little Fingers are playing the Empire on December 14th...and fo those of you who may think they shouldn't be on a metal blog, remember they used to be called Highway Star and play Purple and Skynrd covers...

DIO Posts

You can read some of the posts about the DIO gig at http://www.ronniejamesdio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1527 where a few souls have bared their souls etc, etc

Exodus and The Damned

According to http://www.metalireland.com/ Exodus are playing in Dublin and Cork 11th and 12th Nove respectively - how weird their map left off Belfast. But least all the old punks can check out The Damned at the Empire on 19th November, according to the same site...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Dio pix

Some pix from the Dio gig at the Spring and Airbrake on the 26th October taken on my trusy moby (hence the poor quality, and also because everyone was jumping at the same time!). Doug pic especially for Sylvia and Maggie!

If you have any pix from the gig you want posted here email me at the usual address



Thursday, October 27, 2005

Aprés Dio

As an aprés Dio treat I took the kids to the a play (well they're too young to have gotten in to Dio). But rest easy, it was about Skateboarding, murder and corrupt politicians...

Wee Man, huge voice, tiny venue - DIO

HOW many metal fans can you cram into a telephone box?

Well, if last night's show was anything to go by it would be a doddle to cram in several hundred, given the packed to capacity Spring and Airbrake for "An Evening with Dio". Swinging from the rafters would have been the only way to get more in!

Roared hoarse? Heaven and Hell. Bounced til ya dropped? Rainbow in the Dark? Jeans stuck to you with sweat? You were down the front then!

The diminutive Rock God for once was on a stage proportionate to his size (apologies for height-related discrimination) but he dominated the entire venue.

By the second song - Sign of the Southern Cross - the front rows were rapt, caught by his gaze and presence. I would love to be able to tell you the whole venue was that way, but I couldn't turn my head to see, such was the crush! Not that any of us were complaining.

Of course, what most were there to see was the Holy Diver set. And there could be few complaints; except that is for the solo slots.

Yep, Doug Aldridge laid down an impressive guitar solo (how many noticed the wee bit of Little Wing?) with all the requisite twiddly bits. "That guy is fast," remarked Steve afterwards.

Then came the drum solo, followed by a keyboard solo. Now I have no doubt that everyone in the band is a virtuoso metal musician (they wouldn't be there otherwise) but c'mon did you not notice we were all shouting "Dio, Dio", not "solo, solo". We were here for wee man with the huge voice. Next time, trim the solos a bit add in a song instead - Neon Knights?.

But that is a very, very minor gripe. The playing was exquisite, the main man's singing was as good as Antrim '84 and Donington '87, the only other times I have see him live.

Heaven and Hell was superb, Gates of Babylon and We Rock were, to coin an understatement, fucking excellent!

Big shout out to everyone that was there; especially Baal (thanks for the lift), Sylvia, Steve, Michael B. Stevie B (long time no see, etc, etc), Maggie, Sylv and many, many more.

Now, what's next!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Manchester review

Hi all - as the tension mounts in advance of Dio read the review of his Manchester gig at http://www.musicomh.com/gigs2/dio_1005.htm

And with so many still seeking tickets to Mr Dio's Belfast gig email me at press@nigag.org of you know of someone mad enough to have tickets and not be going and I can put you in touch with people who will gladly relieve you of the burden....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

One more night til Dio!

Just one more night til Dio - the anticipation is fucking killing me! And to think that the last time I saw the dwarf with the voice of a giant was in 84, when he played in a leisure centre, had Vivian Campbell on guitar, and Queensryche were in support...and there was also a fortune of beer drunk, the mysterious case of the 100 paracodal as well as the victorious battle with the drinks machine just before the wee man took the stage...but that as they say is another story

Monday, October 24, 2005

Just how weird can the world get?

Metallica have recorded an episode of the Simpsons; they are to support the Rolling Stones (guess they won't be playing So What at those gigs!) and Kirk Hamster is guesting on the new Santana album. Guys, stop with the weird shit, get a new album recorded and get on the road again (Dublin date, Belfast date, Donington date, don't care, I'll be there!)

Two days till RJD

Just two days till Dio play in Belfast! Just two days til Holy Dover. Rumours are abounding - well two or three texts are - that he'll not be playing all of Holy Diver. Would be a shame, but at least we'll get to see the wee man. Maybe that's why he picked the Spring and Airbrake; the ceiling won't seem so far away!

Anyway, first things first. Drinking plans should be forwarded to the usual txct number. Also, there are a lot of punters out there still desparate for a ticket, so if you know someone with a ticket and not going, please send a text to me, or post details.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Trivium come back to the Belfast!

The lads from Trivium are coming back to Belfast on March 5th to play at the Ulster Hall! Excellent news for all fans of this act, but also a walk down memory lane for all us older members of the metal fraternity; after all it was in the hallowed sanctum that Metallica and Anthrax played in those few brief moments before 'Tallica took over the world. Could the same Ulster Hall atmosphere rub off on Trivium? After all if Matt's claim to be the next Metallica is to come true he has to play the Hall. Rules is rules man :)

And the less said about the off-stage antics the night 'Tallica played the Ulster Hall the better (unless you can remember them, I'm getting on a wee bit and the memories other than the songs are hazy - let us know by posting a line or two)

La La land at the Rosetta

I stepped into la, la land on Friday night. One of the biggest and most lauded acts in the LA big hair cock rock scene of the 80s LA Guns played the Rosetta Bar in Belfast.

Now for those of us with long memories and too old to know better, the Rosetta was the scene of long Friday nights of debauchery and drunkeness at the end of the 80s. Usually to the singalong tunes of the likes of Ashanti and Heatsbane, where cover versions came thick and fast.

On Friday night it was surreal to see LA Guns play in this venue. Credit to the promoter for getting LA Guns to Belfast, but what a weird feeling to see them playing in the Rosie to a couple of hundred people.

The night was kicked off by a workmanlike performance from Twisted Rose - a local act seemingly intent on reviving the 80s, with a dash of Wildhearts-style aplomb. As they left the stage it was worth noting that they played as if they were in front of a couple of thousand people.

But when LA Guns hit the stage you were sure that this was one act content to know that the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Gardens or the Rosie, they still rocked out.

Phil Lewis' junkie-chic look and arrogant stares held a brilliant stage presence, and held the gradually filling floor rapt. Of course, there was a hint of disappointment from the band that they were at a smallish venue, but nevertheless they gave their all.

While most were there for the old standards, it took a lot of courage for the band to play new material - and quite a lot of it! From the sounds of these that comeback CD may be worth shelling out a few pennies.

No Tracii Guns with LA Guns now but Stacey Blades filled in on lead guitar with some impressive work.

Of course Ballad of Jane and Rip and Tear were par excellence sleaze, and full marks to the band for staying to sign autographs, but hell, it's still weird thinking the LA Guns played the Rosetta. Is it how the mighty have fallen or is it getting back to roots? Either way, good night and big shout outs to Steve, Margaret (long time no see!)and Michael - all good clean fun had by all I'm sure :)

Roadrunner rocking the world? With Nickleback?

Mmm, these are strange times indeed. First Roadrunner Records celebrate their 25th birthday by bringing together reprobates and assorted ugly fucks to record a weird mixed up compilation/collaboration. By all accounts this should be crap. Instead it's very, very good, especially for those into the heavier end of the spectrum.

Then it's announced (albeit queitly) that Nickleback - those cock rock stadium chancers - signed to Roadrunner for their next album. Kerrang noted "Nickleback in half decent album shocker". Strange but true; while the usual radio friendly ballads are there the Canadians have laid down an impressive and heavily muscled riff-laden album. Yep, not half bad - and halfway recommended! But Chad that hairstyle - it's just wrong!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Help young people now! Send your message to the miniter

Just heard about a young metal fan unfortunately incarcerated in a County Down mental health facility - and he's been stuck there until Christmas at least.

Like most services for young people, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are not there when they could make a difference and stop young people self-harming or even committing suicide.

Log on the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People's website www.niccy.org and tell the health minister how services for children and young people should be improved. The minister has agreed that all such messages will be read by his team after they are collated by NICCY. Do it now!

Ah the wonderful world of metal

Ah the wonderful world of metal - ask the kids to pick a CD each for the car tonight and you get the whole bloody scope - One picks Aerosmith's Get a Grip, the other Slayer's Live Undead, including the Haunting the Chapel EP - All's right with the world when such delights grace the speakers!

Oh and a special shout out to Aoife - the Beastie Boys are so '80s, even if they did once have Slayer's Kerry King play on a song!

Vanessa's Trivium review

Well the verdict is in on the Trivium Belfast show - Belfastmetalreunited's reviewer on the night Vanessa graced us with a few well-chosen words about the band!

Before praising the Floridian metallers she backed Boston band 'It Dies Today': "They delivered a blistering set, each member projecting a feral energy out to the audience," said Vanessa

However, no such praise for All That Remains’. "It was at times difficult to tell on song from another, and their vocalist was often drowned out over the rest of the band," wrote Vanessa. "ATR would definitely be a band worth checking out on CD before you hear them live."

Now, Vanessa's review of Trivium - "By 11 o’clock Trivium have taken to the stage. As the acoustic opening to ‘The End of Everything’ begins, the crowd turns into a sea of frenzied animals, surging towards the barrier. From start to finish, each word of each song is screamed back to the band onstage. Corey Matt and Paolo stalk the stage, commanding the crowd to jump, pit, and pump their fists in the air whenever they please, as Travis merrily beats the crap out of his drum kit.

"This is a band that really knows how to please a crowd, delivering album favourites ‘Ascendancy’, ‘Drowned and Torn Asunder’ and ‘Suffocating Sight’ like thunder storms.

"The singles tracks went down marvellously as well, causing vocalist/guitarist Matt Heafy to constantly check on the crowds safety, asking those at the front to share out the bottles of water that were handed out “because sharing is caring.”

"Despite all his ranting about keeping safe held up for a while, it didn’t stop the crowd from breaking the barrier in half mid-way through ‘Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr’. The band had to leave the stage for a while.

"On their return, after another brief ‘Safety First’ lesson, our heroes merrily melted our faces with scorching hot covers of not one, but two classics, Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ and Iron Maiden's ‘The Trooper’ before closing the set for the night, leaving Belfast in ruins (or at least, the front half of the venue anyway)."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

10 Years On - Message to the Minister

Bullet for My Valentine's album 'The Poison' contains the emotional heartbreaking story of how a friend committed suicide.

The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People is campaigning to make sure that the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Shaun Woodward, takes account of young people's views when preparing a suicide strategy.

You can tell the minister how he can improve child and adolescent mental health services by logging on to www.niccy.org and completing simple form which will be delivered to the minister's desk - so many rock and metal bands have written about the pain of mental health issues, now make the effort and tell the government how we can make it better for the many young men and women metalheads who have suffered yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Remember www.niccy.org to send a Message to the Minister

Bullet for My Valentine - Another good one!

If HIM got the acclaim of being "Boffo! A Good One!" then equally Bullet for My Valentine deserve "Boffo! A Good One!".
On permanent rotation on the CD player and computer this month now are:
Trivium (Ascendancy)
Mastodon (Leviathan)
Bon Jovi (Have a Nice Day)
Iron Maiden (Killers)
Bullet for My Valentine (The Poison(
Lizzy (Live & Dangerous)
My Chemical Romance
WASP (I kid you not!)

Diverse but good, new and old, MOR and metal; screamo and ballads - rock and metal has so many textures, differences, so much RAWK AN' FUCKIN' ROLLL it hurts!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Boffo! A good One

Sorry M & S, but the new HIM album is actually very good...Now off to buy the Bullet for My Valentine album on Monday...

Friday, September 30, 2005

Glam and weirdness...

First we hear the strange and weird news that LA Guns are to play at the Rosetta (14th October) in Belfast. C'mon that's all a little on the fucked up side of too strange for most. The Rosetta has been a stalwart of the local metal scene for so many years that I fear the onset of Alzheimers just trying to remember the gigs of many local cover bands there in the late 80s.

And why, oh, why are LA Guns - one of the half dozen hair bands from that era that meant anything - playing in such a venue. Fuck knows and he ain't telling...

Then as if Fozzy, Dragonforce and the mighty Dio weren't enough, we learn that Deicide are playing in Dulin. Excuse me, I need a lie down in a darkened room listening to Have a Nice Day and Dark Light...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

For all fans of Lizzy...

For all fans of Lizzy I have a blog which features my rather average short story and other writing. I drafted a mock film script that I may be able to persuade somebody, someday to film, but has a Lizzy theme running through it. While it deals with serious issues, it is also about being a fan, and if ever made it's about the bonds music can make for life. If you feel up to it visit http://belfastrockerwriting.blogspot.com/ and tell me what you think and whether it will be worth pitching to the Northern Ireland Film Commission to make it into a flick.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hide the acoustic!

Occassionally I verge on insanity - hence I purchased the Bon Jovi new slab of CD for The Warden. Now don't get me wrong, Jon has put a few good tracks together in his time, but incereasginly over recent years he has been, well how can I say it, mellow!

At Donington '87 he rocked the crowd into submission and on the New Jersey tour did the same thing at Belfast's King's Hall.

Then why the hell did they let him near an acoustic guitar. The acoustics are littered all over the Have a Nice Day CD like spots on a chickenpox victim. Most of the tracks are okay - there are even one or two good ones. But will somebody hide that man's acoustic! Jon, you may be pushing on a bit in years, but dammit if we head to Dublin to see you on your tour, lose the bloody acoustic and rock out like you used to do!

All well's at The Empire

Saturday night, Belfast's Empire and another tribute band...By Jovi were there a couple of weeks back, and this time it was the turn of Limehouse Lizzy.

Now there are many who question the validity, not to mention the raison d'etre of such tribute acts (myself included in the past). However, fair play to Wayne and the guys from Limehouse; they turned in a great faithful set, and most importantly the crowd lapped it up. Yeah, it wasn't the real deal (that is of course impossible) but they laid down the tracks with vigour, the people drank and a good time was had by all!

Fair price, fair pints, fair show - as the colloquialism would have it, fair enough mate!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

How can I afford all this - an appeal

Dear Belfast Metal Reunited reader. It is with heavy heart I make this post. Cuz, at the rate of current great concerts appearing in future listings I will soon not be able to eat. Yes, in order to keep up with the pace, all thoughts of food will now be gone.

Not only do we have Trivium, Dio, Dragonforce, etc, we now have Foo Fighters announcing a Dublin date at the Point on (20th December, tickets on sale 16th September); HIM annoucing a Dublin date(January)...It just simply isn't possible for your faithful blogger to keep up!

And that's not even counting the My Chemical Romance date in November...

Please give generously to this appeal - cash or beer tokens gratefully accepted :)

Til then I'm off to see Limehouse Lizzy on Saturday night at the Empire!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Reasons to love HIM

HIM - they might be sorta goth, but we love them, cuz:
  • They love Black Sabbath;
  • They have some pretty nifty tunes;
  • My daughter loves them, no old rockers like me don't stand a chance of escaping;
  • They played a damn good gig in Belfast last year;
  • They like Cathderal;
  • They're new single rocks like a bastard!; and,
  • Ville is so grammatically correct, ya just gotta love 'im

So, go to http://www.myspace.com/heartagram and find out more!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Upgrade DIO

No I'm not talking about helping Ronnie James grow - he's too old for that! I'm talking about a campaign to make sure that the little old wrinkled one plays at a venue befitting his reputation and his (diminutive) stature as one of the voices that carried so much of our youthful years. For fuck's sake, he powered Rainbow and post-Ozzy Sabbath, and then unleashed Holy Diver! (Ahh, sweet memories of the Antrim Forum gig!)

HE SHOULD NOT BE PLAYING AT THE SPRING AND AIRBRAKE! HE DESERVES BETTER

I call on all of you to call, mail, email and demand of Wonderland Promotions that L'il Ronnie plays at a larger venue. Even if, like me, you already have your ticket, let's get Dio at the Ulster Hall. Alternatively he could play in my back garden...I promise to cut the grass and generally tidy the place up if he does....

Monday, September 12, 2005

Curriculum shock!

Iron Maiden to be added to National Curriculum shock!

News has leaked from the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment that an Iron Maiden GCSE is shortly to be added to the Northern Ireland school curriculum. A source at the CCEA revealed:

"Well, through Iron Maiden the kids can learn about:
  • The pogrom of Native Americans in the 19th Century (Run to the Hills);
  • Greek Mythology (Flight of Icarus);
  • the History of the Crimean War and Lord Tennyson's War Poetry (The Trooper; with de-caff Trooper for those in Nationalist schools who might not want the Union Jack thing);
  • the Second World War (Aces High);
  • Great English Poets - Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Rime of the Ancient Mariner);
  • Persian and Greek wars (Alexander The Great)
  • Contemporary English Fiction (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner);
  • English Arthouse/Cult cinema (The Wicker Man);
  • The impact of Viking culture (Invaders);
  • Plus many other topics including a psychological approach to phobias through music (Fear of the Dark).

"Hell," went on our source, "It's more than the wee scrotes learn at A-Level"

A spokesman for Maiden said: "Well, Sharon Osbourne is a wanker" but we at Belfast Metal Reunited decided not to publish that....oops, we just did!

Hall of famers

Just a few short weeks after getting their own star on a pavement in Holywood Iron Maiden were inducted into the Kerrang Hall of Fame. Well done lads! After seeing you again in Dublin on August 31st, and having all the albums collected, having seen you at Donington '88, and the Point Theatre, Dublin on the Dance of Death, and having my son and daughter now become fans...well you have my backing. Now what about a secret gig in Belfast to warm up for your next tour...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Maiden, Maiden, Maiden

There comes a time in your life, when 40 is a couple of years away and you think to yourself that maybe your getting a little too old for Iron Maiden. Well, if this happening to you, buy a gun and shoot yourself!

The sight of 40,000 plus people headbanging, moshing, jumping, screaming and generally having a great time at Dublin's RDS Arena was enough to re-vitalise the coldest, deadest metal heart.

"Iron Maiden's gonna get ya?" Too fucking right mate!

Maiden do, like Ronseal, exactly what it says on the tin! Deliver, tight, uncompromising metal - singalongs, banter and classics.

The sound of 40,000 plus people singing along to Run To The Hills, Number of the Beast, Hallowed Be Thy Name, Running Free etc shook the foundations (cliché there, sorry) of the RDS, and warmed many a heart.

And Bruce has matured to the point were his onstage banter is professional, but more importantly honest. He dealt with an early technical problem with aplomb and then discussed - yes, you got that right discussed - the controversial flying of the Union Jack at the Point Theatre during the Dance of Death tour.

The only bigger gig in Dublin in 2005 was some half-forgotten post punk band that go by the name of U2. While they may have had more people at Croke Park, one has to wonder if that crowd would have had half the passion of the many crowded into the RDS on August 31st.

Did you see the Maiden reviews in the papers? No fucking chance, there weren't any!

But we here at Belfast Metal Reunited were there, and more importantly discovered that Maiden read this blog. (Actually we're not that sure...)

At Reading Maiden ended with Iron Maiden. After that we published an empassioned plea for Running Free, Drifter and Killers.

To our surprise, delight and spilled pints of Miller, Maiden emerged after Iron Maiden to play stunning versions of Running Free and Drifter!!!! We assume that the restrictions on time meant they couldn't squeeze in Killers, but thanks Bruce, Steve, Dave, Adrian, Janick and Nicko - a helluva show - can't wait til next time!

All together now: Scream for Me Dublin...Maiden, Maiden, Maiden...

Manson in Dublin shocker!

Okay, what wit decided to have have goth/shock rocker Marilyn Manson supporting Iron Maiden. After all traditional metal and goth surely is like oil and water!

But, surprisingly (to Baal at least!) Manson turned in a good set.

Of course, all the hits were brought out for an airing. Beautiful People, Fight Song, M-Obscene, Dope Show etc all were given a shakedown. But the biggest cheers came for Tainted Love and Sweet Dreams, two cover versions.

Listening to 40,000 poeple whispering along to Sweet Dreams was spooky and a little disconcerting. But therein lies the weakness of Manson. He can be a crowd pleaser; he can turn a hostile crowd to his will for a little while; but beneath the face paint and above the stilts there is little more.

Yes, we all enjoyed the set; yes, he got us singing along; yes, the images on the screen during Beautiful People were a wonderful juxtaposition, but Mr Brian Warner will really have to stop believing his own hype and put a little more substance in his songs.

But, above all, we here at Belfast Metal Reunited have to say that Manson won over a difficult crowd; altogether now: "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This..."

Turbonegro in Dublin

Fat Norwegian hetrosexuals dressed like refugees fron Village People...It shouldn't work; it should be wrong, but in front of a partisan Dublin Iron Maiden crowd Turbonegro wowed with a combination of hot licks and comedy raps. After all, who would dare joke in Ireland about the Potato Famine, as well as offer the audience a chance to join a Viking Prostitution Ring!

All in all Turbonegro proved they have the balls and humour to win over a tough crowd!

One-by-one

Over coming hours I'll post the reviews of last week's phenomenal Iron Maiden gig in Dublin. A lost memorhy stick and a hellishly busy week in work have postponed the reviews (as well as my blistered feet!) Sorry to everyone I haven't been in touch with, sending files, texting etc - been one wild week!!!!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Tribute to Philomena

On Thursday Belfast Metal Reunited visited Phil Lynott's grave, and were then fortunate to meet Philomena, the great man's wonderful mum.

Thanks Philomena for your time, your words of warning on drugs to the youngsters and allowing us to have a glimpse at the memorabalia! You're a wonderful woman!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Recovering

Just back from Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson and Turbonegro in Dublin. Sill recovering! A review will follow. But for now: Thank you Mr Dickinson for responding to this bloggers call for Running Free and Drifter! Shows that somebody is reading it :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Less than 24 hours

There are now less than 24 hours before your Belfast Metal Reunited correspondent stumbles into the Dublin night after the exhiliration of seeing Maiden (again).

But first, a few words on the spat between Mr Dickinson and one Sharon Osbourne - Fuck off Sharon! There, that's a few words. Remember Sharon that bands like Trivium have told the tale of who was asking for eggs to be thrown...

Now stop destroying my delerious memories of Ozzy and Sabbath. And for fuck sake can you not take a joke? Can you not take a bit of a slagging? It's only rock 'n' roll y'know! What is it, are you now down to your last £40 million promoting sad pop fucks on Shit Factor? C'mon, we the people whose money helped put you and Ozzy in the lap of luxury could not give two flying gypsy fucks for those sad wanks. Now go back into your box, respect Maiden and let Ozzy retire peacefully with our glorious memories of Sabbath and Early Ozzy intact. Please

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Maiden set list Reading

For those of you (including me:) ) journeying forth to Dublin to see Maiden some foreknowledge...the set-list they played at Reading was as follows:
  • Murders In The Rue Morge
  • Another Life
  • Prowler
  • The Trooper
  • Remember Tomorrow
  • Run To The Hills
  • Wrathchild
  • Revelations
  • Where Eagles Dare
  • Die With Your Boots On
  • Phantom Of The Opera
  • The Number Of The Beast
  • Hallowed Be Thy Name
  • Iron Maiden

That's about a 75% hit rate for my fav tracks off the first four albums - but come on guys!
No Running Free!
No Charlotte the Harlot!
No Killers!
No Drifter! Please, please, please...slot these in!
And if you throw in Innocent Exile and Purgatory I promise not to stage dive and try and give Dave (what a guy) Murray high fives in the middle of a solo unlike last time in Dublin (okay, I'm sorry, I was very drunk and very happy as it was the first time I'd seen Maiden since Donington 1988!)

PS: Where did Mastodon go from the bill. I mean Turbonegro are funny, but accomplished musicians they ain't!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Did I laugh...

There are times when you have to take your life and sanity in your hands. This I did tonight. For my son at a mere eight years of age had not been allowed to go to 'proper' concerts. Therefore I agreed to take him to the Loughshore Festival tonight where Kiss tribute band 'Hotter than Hell' were playing.

What a mistake!

Support came from local act Payola. The years earning their crust playing crap gigs and half empty bars showed as they turned in a great set. Their own songs actually played better than the covers. The cover of Ace of Spades was defintiely a mistake!

Then came to this lowly stage the Kiss tribute band. Fucking hell that was the most disappointing pyro ever! The Gene Simmons character had bigger man boobs than me, the version of Deuce was muddy and after a half decent cover of Heaven's on Fire I decided that this was to be the highlight of the night after three songs and bade the balmy shoreline festival my leave.

Arriving home I pressed the tape of Double Platinum into my son's hands with the words "The Real Thing wee man, the real thing..."

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Favourite gigs

There's always a debate about the best gig you've ever been at. New Kerrang editor Paul Brannigan (a gentleman who hails from Newcastle, Co Down) mentions this week that his first gig was WASP at the Ulster Hall (I was there too) in 1988. If any of you fancy telling us scribes here at Belfast Metal Reunited which was your favourite gig fire away by posting a comment.

For me it would be a difficult choice. Metallica and Anthrax at the Ulster Hall was outstanding - and the only time I got to see the late great Cliff playing; windmill headbanging and mighty bass playing. Also Donnington 1988 with Maiden was pretty outstanding. No on second thoughts it was fucking brilliant! Megadeth were average (which was good for them); Kiss were drab, Dave Lee Roth was funny but not much else, but Guns 'n' Roses were outstanding even if it tragically resulted in two deaths (and I was caught in the crush). But when Maiden came on stage it was sublime.

The stage was ridiculous, as was the bands on stage garb, but the music was simply outstanding, with a range and diversity of songs that rocked everyone's socks off; not to mention a fireworks display that was outrageous!

Don't forget, tell us your best gig moments...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Dust off the ancient Maidens

Time to dust off you ancient Maiden albums for those planning to head to Dublin to see the metal masters at work. Tour reports from the European and US legs of Iron Maiden's epic tour show that Eddie and Co are delving deep into the back catalogue.

Apparently the vast bulk, if not all of the show, will be drawn from tracks from the first four albums :) :) :)

For those of you younger than 30 that means the eponymous Iron Maiden, Killers :), Number of the Beast and Piece of Mind. Ahh the joy, deep joy that those albums bring to an old decrepit rocker like me :) :)

Cash-strapped Ash shocker



Reports emerge from our Rome correspondent (well he was there for the weekend!) of ASH suffering cash difficulties. As the image here shows, lead singer, guitarist and wielder of burning Flying-Vs Tim Wheeler was caught on camera at the Vatican post office in Rome, sending a post card. Yep, a postcard! Has Tim not paid his mobile phone bill? Had he not enough Euros to go into a 'net café? Have this year's royalties not arrived at Chateau Downpatrick? Reports that an ASH Benevolent Fund has been set up by fans of the Downpatrick punk metallists are as yet unconfirmed....

Actually (and there's always an actually in this sort of post to avoid litigation...) our man in Rome (Niall) met Tim at the post office, where he was doing all the touristy things.

Ash were supporting U2 at their Rome show, where Niall reports most of the crowd were indifferent. This was probably because of their misunderstanding of the lyrics of Girl from Mars, but you would have thought they would have gotten the Starcrossed bit, with all that Romeo and Juliet nonsense!

Oh, and Feeder got a terrible reception apparently.

And Tim, we here at Belfast Metal Reunited still haven't received the postcard. You never write, never call...etc, etc.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

A tenner for Trivium

It might seem ridiculous (actually it is!) but tickets for Trivium at the Limelight on September 22nd are a massive £10!!!!!! Can you afford not to see the future of metal! www.trivium.org

Baal if you liked Mastodon you'll love these guys!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Keep Believing in The Answer

For some time Downpatrick power rock outfit The Answer have been plugging away, getting a reputation for pounding out music that the fashionistas who dress in sharp suits and pose as rock stars would love to be able to produce. I first came upon these unlikely looking stars at the 2004 ViTal, and stumbled twice upon them since.

This week coming The Answer release their first EP, after signing to Albert Records, home of AC/DC. The five track EP is called Keep Believing and, by all accounts is getting rave reviews. Mmmm, might pop down to my local record emporium to support these future local heroes.

Oh, and while I'm at it will check out to see if the Red Organ Serpent Sound single Orgasmus has been released. This crowd of ne'er do wells from Derry have also snared a major record deal. Dispensing with The Answer's jeans and grandad shirt image ROSS instead dress as mad as they sound. Two local acts with major deals? Quick! Make a Wish!

Monday, July 11, 2005

11th Night Music

It is the 11th of July in Belfast; a time when bonfires are lit and to paraphrase the news media "community tensions are high". Now, we in the metal community care not a bit your religious, political or sexual preferences, but the distant echoes from a bonfire site drifted to this blogger's ears...

In years gone by flutes and drums could be heard (not much better I grant you), but tonight there was the sound, muted by distance thankfully, of dance music being played at a bonfire.

I don't care what your affiliation is, but playing dance music in public should be declared a crime! No wonder the spides, chavs and idiots on both sides riot if they listen to that shite!

Give 'em some metal, throw them in the middle of a Slayer mosh pit and they wouldn't have the energy to riot. (And it might cure them after listening to that awful fucking dance shite!!)

The future of metal?

They've been hailed as the future of metal, lauded in Kerrang, Metal Hammer and a host of others. They've wowed the crowds at Donington and now they're set for Belfast. They are Trivium.

Like a mixture of thrash, old school and something that doesn't have a name yet, Trivium have produced a stonker of a great album (Ascendancy) and are preparing for their first headlining tour.

The band will be onstage at the Limelight on September 22nd. See ya in the mosh pit (I'll be the one with the zimmer frame!)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Comfortably numb (in the armchair) for Live8

Congrats to Sir Bob, Bono and Midge Ure for bringing the issue of poverty to the attention of ne'er do wells that masquerade as politicians at G8. Go visit www.makepovertyhistory.org to find out more.

But what about the gig itself?

Those of us who couldn't be there (i.e. most of us) were forced to enjoy(endure?) proceedings from the armchair (blue plastic bag filled with beer, lighter ready to held aloft at the right moments). Now the majority of the bill for Hyde Park was crap. No point in beating about the bush, it was shite. Yes, good cause, and yes there were some good sets from average acts that almost broke the boredom (or at least made me put down the beer for a moment or two!)

But, of course, it was the rock acts that stole the day. At least I think they did. Velvet Revolver kicked ass, even if the audience reached new levels of apathy. Scott was mad as a bag of squirrels and Slash was way too cool.

When The Who hit the stage, night was well fallen and the screen was blurry in front of my alcohol addled eyes - but the sound was excellent as they showed what wrinkly rockers can achieve. Same with Pink Floyd. What a set! What solos! What a cool guy Roger Waters is! Damn near perfect Comfortably Numb.

And so it then moved on to a bumch of has-beens twaddling around murdering Beatles' songs.

In Philadelphia they had Bon Jovi, Def Leppard; in Germany they had Green Day; in Paris they had Muse - where the fuck did it go wrong in Hyde Park (although it did pass a Saturday afternoon when there were no gigs and the football season was a few days away...)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Make Poverty History

The rock and metal world has been throwing its weight behind the Make Poverty History campaign (and with 30,000 children dying EVERY day from poverty is it any wonder!).

Visit www.makepovertyhistory.org to find out more.

And rock and, erm some metal, will be performing at the gigs across the world. Velvet Revolver and Pink Floyd will be in London on July 2nd, with the likes of Def Leppard, Deep Purple and many others appearing around the world - hell, I can't be arsed listing them all! Go to www.live8live.com to find out who's playing where. And most of it will be on the Beeb...

Monday, June 27, 2005

Slayer

For those awaiting the Slayer review from Baal - our man on the edge of moshing - check out the comments after the post Slayer Review Awaited.

Friday, June 24, 2005

For all fans of Thin Lizzy and the late, great Phil Lynott the special event to mark the unveiling of his statue is taking place in Dublin's Grafton Street on 19th August - ticket only.

But the following night the Point in Dublin is hosting a special concert in honour of Phil - THE BOY IS BACK IN TOWN.

On stage will be ex-Lizzy stars Gary Moore, Eric Bell, Brian Downey, Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson among others. They'll be joined on stage by:

Brush Shiels
Wheatus
Therapy?
Biffy Clyro
Skye
Nutonic
Johnny Fean
Jack L
Danielle Pfiffner
Jason Swindle and
Alaska Lyle


Full details are available on http://www.roisindubh.info/

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Slayer review awaited

Now rumours abound that the Slayer gigs in Dublin were a good ol' metal thrashing mad night out. Our faithful reviewer (a.k.a Baal) has still to file his report...

Plans are now afoot to mount an assault on the Maiden, Manson and Mastadon end of summer bash. Look out for the tired and emotional Belfast crew...

Before that the statue of Phil Lynott is being erected in Dublin on the 19th August. The following night a host of former Lizzy band members and those who have paid tribute to the great man during their lives will be performing at the Point.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Floyd back together for Live8

Ho hum, the dark side of the moon has been illuminated once more. Mere days after Velvet Revolver played an emotional version of Wish You Were Here at Belfast's Odyssey Arena we learn that Pink Floyd are reforming (well no Syd Barrett) with Roger Waters joining again for the Live 8 Make Poverty History concert at Hyde Park.

Now, while this is a momentous occassion for all Floyd fans; it is, of course, because of the rapturous singalong from the Belfast audience that Messers Watters and Gilmour have decided to contribute to the Live8 concert. Donington, Glasgow may all claim it was they 'what did it' but I have it from Sir Bob:

"Jaysus, they said dat it was dem crazy fuckers in Belfast singin' along to deir Wish You Were a Beer' song dat made dem say, Jaysus man we been fightin' for too long, let's give big Geldof a call. Or maybe it was 20 million starvin' Africans. Can't remember which it was now. Now I'm dead busy, can you just fuck off while me and Bono irritate some politicians. Jaysus, Belfast rockers, dey're never done askin' awkward questions!"

See, straight from Sir Bob!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Was your Biffy Clyro'd or were you ga ga...

So the Velvet's shredded the Odyssey, leaving all decimated in their wake. But what of the support acts. After all, it's rare to see a line-up in Belfast with two support acts oft-touted as up and coming in the pages of Kerrang, Metal Hammer, NME and even Classic Rock (well once in Classic Rock anyway...)

Well, while I thought both acts were pretty good and at times excellent I defer to my comrade in arms Baal (a.k.a. Mark) who offered the following assessment:
The Ga Gas "not bad"
Biffy Clyro "shite"

I of course, being of a contrary nature disagree, but hey that's rock.

Still lingering in the mind is the image of Slash's smiling bake, ciggie stuffed in mouth, and the burning question - with all that hair how can the great man smoke on stage without incinerating himself!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

It's so eeeeeaaasssssyyyyy!

The smell of sweat and pleasure as a pit swirls in smiling aggression, with cameras held aloft at the stage...the ecstasy of thousands of people jumping as one in time to a primal beat...yep Velvet Revolver rocked Belfast last night.

And by all accounts the band seemed to enjoy it from Slash's smiling congratulations to the crowds through to Duff's acclamation of Alternative Ulster and exhortation to "Fuck the Council".

Velevet Revolver are another rock sueprgroup cashing in on past careers. Right? You couldn't have been more wrong last night. If this is a bunch of has beens they didn't appear like it at Belfast's Odyssey Arena. From ripping through their own album tracks through to Guns 'N' Roses tracks, even kicking off the first encore with Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, this band kicked Belfast's willing ass.

Closing with Slither, after shredding the hall with Falling to Pieces earlier the platitudes everyone expects from the stage seemed as genuine as one can expect from any band that has been touring the world.

More later, when I calm down some!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Tonight its all velvet in the Odyssey

Tonight the crusty metal fraternity turns out to see Velvet Revolver. For those of you sad souls not fortunate to have a ticket (or stupid enough not to want to see Slash et al) you will also miss out on Biffy Clyro and The Ga Gas on what promises to be a super fandabbydosy night of hard rock. If I'm not overcome by the emotion of it all, I might even write a brief review.

So far, Mark, Sylvia, Nadia, Sid, Mary-Anne and a host of others are among the crew turning out, but if any other Metalheads and rockers are there I know, remember or bump into I'll let you know.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ash homecoming

OK, it's not exactly metal, but Ash have announced a small gig in Belfast - they're appearing at the Spring and Airbrake on 22nd June. The Downpatrick noisenicks are to playing the 'intimate' (aka tight as a duck's arse) venue for some unknown reason - but it will certainly do their credibility no harm. Wonder if Tim Wheeler will come on stage with his Flying 'V' in flames at the Spring...thereby razing the venue to the ground and meaning they'll have to build a half-decent venue in its place...

Monday, May 30, 2005

Old wrinkly coming back to Belfast

He's probably the smallest, most wrinkled man in metal - and now he's making a return visit to little old Norn Iron! Yep DIO is coming to the Spring and Airbrake in Belfast on October 26th. Now the age of this contributor may be gauged by the fact that he was at the concert at the Antrim Forum (I think it was '84 but at my age the memory is well fucked!).

Then the little man performed a stonker, with able understudies Queensryche turning in what looked to be an average set until they hit Queen of the Reich.

Dio that night was a hit an miss affair, with Holy Diver tracks and Sabbath songs the tracks that set the crowd alight (or maybe that was the dropped lighter...). Vivian Campbell was given an appropriate homecoming and the night was made even more fun by the fact that some reprobates had been drinking in a small bar in Antrim from opening time - all hail Mark, Fitz and, of course Rab for feats of endurance that went well above the call of metal duty - feats that I attest to being unable to repeat at my advanced age...But it was a helluva day! My liver is now recoevring 19 years later.

Now to all us old metalheads - let's see if we can sell out the Spring and Airbrake for the old wrinkled one and get them to switch to Ulster Hall where metal belongs in Belfast!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Queen and a busy June

Circumstances, cash and coaching kept me away from Queen's appearance at the Odyssey in Belfast last Friday night, but your on-the-spot reporter Baal (a.k.a. Mark) reports a stonking show, with Paul Rodgers belting out old Free and Bad Company songs as well as adding his own interpretation of Freddy's unique vocals. Highlights included Fire and Water, Wishing Well, Hammer to Fall and an emotional Love of My Life with Mr Brian May playing the song while sitting beside a symbolic empty stool.

It seems to gearing up for a heck of a June for rock and metal fans. But before we even get to June we have the BBC's belated discovery of rock. Last year they brought us some crap in the Music Live series. This year they bring us The Thrills, The Undertones and Therapy? on May 27th. Write to the BBC to get your free tickets (if there are any left!)

Also coming up are Velvet Revolver, Slayer, Funeral For a Friend (support from Bullet For My Valentine) and a host of others. Ah, the neck brace has been readied, the denim and leather readied and here we go for mayhem...

Monday, April 18, 2005

Velvet Revolver et al!

Hey all! Velvet Revolver and Funeral for a Friend in Belfast; Anthrax and Slayer in Dublin! Anyone going? Let us know!

And if anyone was at Biffy Clyro send us in a brief review! Couldn't go for too many not good enough reasons!

Metal Hammer

For fans of Zakk Wylde & the Black Label Society - gr8 interview with Zakk in this month's Metal Hammer!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Black Label Society

Many, many moons ago a youthful Ozzy took to the stage at the Granville Nugent Hall (that's the one at the back of the King's Hall) with Geezer Butler at his side and a young lanky guitarist ripping up the stage by the name of Zakk Wylde.

That young guitarist was so fucking good we named our son after him (we called him ZaKk you idiots, not Wylde)

Young Mr Wylde has now developed into a damn fine songwriter with his own little beat combo called the Black Label Society. Check out the latest BLS e-card at www.hyfntrak.com/blacklabel/AFF16330/

Thursday, March 31, 2005

All Hail!


All hail the brothers in metal...okay that's enough of any Manowar-like statements! Here's to all who turned up to see The Scorpions and Judas Priest at the Odyssey on 24th March, 2005. Gr8 to see Mark & Syliva; Michael; Eddie and cheers to Raymond and Sid who were there, but we didn't get to see (despite confusing and sometimes surreal phone calls to Sid's mobile)

[See pic of an ugly fucker (me) with his daughter about to launch into yelling and bouncing about to The Scorps. Ta to Mark and Sylvia for the pic!]

Personal thoughts were that it was a superb set from Scorps (Hail Rudi, the man with the widest gub in metal!) but the sheer over-the-top show from Judas Priest just edged the day!

Halford may be an old queen, but what a voice! At times KK and Glen seemed to struggle with some of the solos, but it gave a human touch to the proceedings amidst such a forbidding stage set.

All in all an 8 out of ten for the night. And a 1 out of ten for the bouncers and no score for all those so called metal and rock fans who couldn't be arsed coming out to see gr8 rock and metal!

J