Pick Your Rock and Metal

Saturday, December 30, 2006

2007 diary dates!

Below are some of the forthcoming gigs in the hard rock/heavy metal spectrum for 2007 - just a few! Lots of concerts for a variety of tastes!

  • Soil – Brand New Sin – lennon – 17th January - Spring & Airbrake
  • Supersuckers – 26th January – Spring & Airbrake
  • Rattlesnake Remedy – 27th January – The Empire
  • The Automatic – 29th January – The Ulster Hall
  • UK G'N'R - 3rd February - The Empire
  • The Bon Jovi Experience – 10th February – The Empire
  • Deft Leppard – 17th February – The Empire
  • Sorrowfall, Residual Effect, Bad Boat, Catch 23, Hoax, Blind Friday, Drekk, Arcane Suppression, Vile Intent, Tribulation & Last Orders & Honey for Christ – 18th February – Spring & Airbrake (in aid of Fibromyalgia)
  • Saxon – March 2nd Spring & Airbrake
  • Mastodon – March 2nd Mandella Hall
  • SLF – March 9th – Ulster Hall
  • Dirty DC – 10th March – The Empire
  • The Australian Pink Floyd – 23rd March – The Odyssey Arena
  • My Chemical Romance – 1st April – RDS Simmonscourt
  • Trivium – 8/9 April – The Ambassador (Dub)
  • 36 Crazyfists – 28th April – Spring & Airbrake
  • Bryan Adams – 5th May – Odyssey Arena
  • Roger Waters – 14th May – The Point
  • Meatloaf - 31st May – Odyssey Arena
  • Rottfest – TBC if it goes ahead again
  • AC/DC – Slane – Date TBC
  • Heaven & Hell (Dio-era Sabbath) Possible Dublin date
    Download – a repeat of last year’s Dublin transfer of Donington possible

Friday, December 29, 2006

Don't like religious education?

Fed up with you (or for older readers your kids) doing RE at school? Guess what you/they don't need to. One letter (from parents) to the school and no more RE! It's in the Education Order 2003 (and if school says no refer them to the Children's Commissioner. Not sure if same arrangement is in England/Wales/Scotland etc, but if your heart is metal, whajadoin studying RE!

Beat the January blues with Soil!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Among the many gigs coming up in 2007 are two that you really must check out to help get things off to a great start - Soil on 17th January at the Spring & Airbrake and Rattlesnake Remedy at the Empire on 27th January.

Look out for more gig news here soon!

New Year metal crisis

Damn, damn, fuck, bugger, shit, balls! 2007 hasn't even arrived and already there are metal crises! They are:

  • Too many good gigs and too little money/time off work
  • Neck braces are in short supply for the forthcoming metal mayhem
  • Mastodon and Saxon are playing in Belfast on the same night....
This last one is particularly bothersome (now there's a word that doesn't come into many metal sites/magazines!).

Both gigs are events worth looking forward to, but for very different reasons. Saxon are part of metal's heritage; living fossils they may be, but still holding a vital part in the pantheon of metal gods. They may not have scaled the heights of their NWOBHM contemporaries, but their influence spread far and wide; hell even Metallica covered them and name checked them. Belfastmetalheads last saw them back in the early 80s - on the day that a maths 'o' level was being sat (for younger readers 'o' levels were GCSEs before there were GCSEs, only they were harder and meant you had to study for them not complete coursework that mummy and daddy help with and teacher adds comments to help you with)

Saxon played at Belfast's Maysfield Leisure Centre that night and was a damn fine gig, even if at times it strayed into Greatest Hits territory. Given that the hits consisted of tracks like Wheels of Steel, Denim and Leather and 747: Strangers in the Night all was forgiven.

Mastodon, on the other hand are new, exciting and holding the prog metal flag aloft, proud and confident in their abilities and oozing with contemporary licks, astounding talent and impish imagery. Not for nothing did Metal Hamster, sorry Hammer, declare Blood Mountain the best platter of steely metal content of 2007.

The only way I can think to resolve this metallic quandry is...Mastodon t come on stage at the Mandella Hall at about 8(ish), conclude at 10(ish), then we grab band members and all head in an overloaded taxi to see Saxon coming on stage about 10:30(ish) for a two hour set...then off to the Rotterdam :)

Now who has the phone numbers of the two sets of tour managers!

Ooops - dissed Trivium unfairly

Seems that I may have dissed Trivium unfairly (see two previous posts). While I was peeved/annoyed/pissed off that Trivium weren't playing Belfast and were playing two dates in Dublin on the headlining Crusade tour (with Annihilator as support!) it wasn't the Floridian's fault!

Apparently they tried to book the Ulster Hall again, but as renovation work will be taking place over that period, they weren't able to. The source for this, Paolo - top guy, bassist and all-round good chappie; hell he even took the time to apologise to Belfast fans on the band's forum!

So, sorry guys for dissing you unfairly - but looking at the schedule...you could slot in a date in June for Rottfest....if it happens this year.

Friday, December 22, 2006

MAIDEN, MAIDEN, MAIDEN….such was the ignorance of some daft twat yelling behind those of us revelling in the quieter segments of the masterful ‘Matter of Life and Death’ when Iron Maiden played it in it’s entirety at Dublin’s Point theatre on Wednesday night.

Once he was (forcibly) disabused of the notion that yelling the band's name in the middle of one of their songs was unacceptable unless (a) it is part of a singalong or (b) you really want a slap to the head; it did serve to reveal interesting insights into Wednesday’s concert. Firstly, Maiden have the balls of lionhearted musical warriors to play an album, that is mere weeks old, from start to finish. And, also, that there were many people who were there waiting for a greatest hits package who have neither the time nor the inclination to read the articles, interviews and web posts, forums and blogs that told of the bold move by the Irons.

And that is always the problem for some people; Maiden have been doing things on their own terms for the 25 years that they have been rocking the metal world...

Nepotism is a dirty word in politics (check it up in the dictionary if you don’t know what it means). And in the music world it is usually frowned upon. But when Steve Harris signs his daughter’s band to open for Maiden, it raises not an eyebrow.

Had her set been crap that might have been a different matter. Fortunately Lauren Harris has killer tunes and great looks ("Easy on the eye" being Baal’s verdict). Where it all fell down on Wednesday was that her stuff isn’t metal. It’s loud, raucous old school hard rock, but not heavy metal. A less forgiving audience would have ignored the tunes and ignored the energy and passion so obvious in her songs. Lauren has a future in the rock spectrum, but she needs to improve her banter, and perhaps think about the name of her band; it would be awful if her talent as dsplayed at The Point was over-shadowed by accusations of trading on daddy’s success.

Trivium also has family close to them; Matt Heafy’s father is co-manager of the band. Some ignorant so called metal fans have accused them of having it easy; but the truth is much different. They’ve worked and toured damn hard to get to the place where they are respected by so many in the business and adored by fans, especially in the UK; where The Crusade sold 10,000 copies on the day of its release.

In Dublin on Wednesday they were playing to a largely converted audience, even if a few were not prepared to give the Floridians a chance.

They ripped through their set, with a healthy outing of tracks from The Crusade and ending with Ascendancy’s highlight songs Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation and Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr. All in all Trivium are much better when they are playing a full set, as the shredding solos and better balanced set pacing gives their Metallica/Megadeth tinged epics more room to breathe. Now cancel one of those Ambassador gigs and make tracks for Belfast you bastards! :)

Where to start with Maiden? Bruce’s banter, ‘Bomber’ Harris’s energy; three virtuoso guitarists, or a drummer in Nicko who makes a single bass kit sound mightier than half of the double kick amateurs plying their wares in metal?

Truth is Maiden are a metallic behemoth packed with talent; accomplished as musicians and entertainers. With 25 years tucked under their collective belts they know what people pay them to do; make a gig an event in every sense of the world.

Clearly Maiden are a band comfortable in what they do, but with hidden depths of musical skill and lyrical dexterity emerging during the course of the Matter of Life and Death tunes.

The gamble in playing all the album paid off. From the traditional sounding Maiden opener of Different Worlds, through to the intricacies of The Legacy, the core set was a series of jaw-dropping highlights; even those weaker tracks from Matter of Life and Death (and they’re only weak in comparison to the rest of the album, they stand head and shoulders above the rest of most of the current contenders in metal) emerge live as fresh and devastating. Out of the Shadows and Lord…in particular have a far greater impact in the competitive atmosphere of a gig.

Benjamin Breeg and These Clours Don’t Run are particularly noteworthy, but when The Legacy emerges unshackled from the confines of the CD player to the stadium it is clear that Maiden have now transcended all musical boundaries that ignorant critics and misguided fans try to shackle them with. Bruce’s command of the stage is absolute. Harris and McBrain handle shifting rhythms as if negotiating unsteady sands, always teetering on the edge of falling, yet somehow managing to keep the changes to tempo and time signatures under control and anchoring the song for Bruce and the triumvirate of guitar excellence.

Smith, Murray and Gers are clearly working now as a unit, much more than ever before, whereas previously there was a times too much effort to make sure everyone got a moment in the spotlight.

Gers and Murray’s strat dominated sounds are counter-pointed by Smith’s edgier work; but it is Gers who has at last seemed to have discovered his comfortable niche in the band’s complicated live chemistry.

Outlandish gestures, finger-pointing and mock histrionics (pretending to play over other’s solos and feigning innocence as he drops hands off the neck, he is positioned as the ring leader of the six-string trio’s performance.

But make no mistake; live there are two people who help Maiden transcend to ever higher metal achievements. Harris and Dickinson. One an East End boy, the other a public school drop-out with what seems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; both foils for each others idiosyncrasies, both determined, despite past rumoured fall-outs, to deliver an all-out, no holds barred heavy metal show.

Oh, and it being a Maiden show there was of course, Eddie, atop a tank etc, etc, encores packed with signature tracks (Fear of the Dark and Iron Maiden getting better each time they’re played live) and banter with the crowd.

Apologies for this being a long winded review, but really Maiden are that magisterial live; dominating the audience and having the time of their lives, while we join in the party. Ten paragraphs in Merrang or Metal Hamster just don't capture the seering audacity of the Irons in full flight.

It seems that the 12-legged monster is playing just at Donington on Thursday 6th June 2007, before the main festivities get under way (TBC). But as Bruce promised, find them a muddy field to play on this island and they’ll be there. Can’t come too soon.

Belfast people go to Dublin gigs shocker

There’s a feeling that hits a day or two after a really good concert. The adrenaline has died down, the half-ecstatic delirium of singing along full-throated to stunningly rendered tracks has all faded and the after-glow of the lights has disappeared; even that pleasant buzzing in your ears has gone.

After Iron Maiden’s monstrous outing at The Point, Dublin on Wednesday 20th December those feelings came too quickly – while struggling through fog bound roads back to Belfast.

What made the pleasant feelings recede so quickly was mainly due to the acclamation of Lauren Harris and Trivium about how good the Dublin crowd was… It’s understandable that they wouldn’t know how many metalheads had travelled down from Northern Ireland; but it was even more galling to hear Tivium announce dates in Dublin and no Belfast dates. [And no Belfast dates on their web pages yet!]

Anyone with common sense will acknowledge that Belfast’s rock and metal community can’t support a show as extensive as Maiden’s sublimely over-the-top set; hell, we all remember how few came out to see Judas Priest and Scorpions. It just isn’t economically viable for the largest rock and metal acts to play Belfast.

But it remains a must play city for emerging and developing bands. Witness the loyalty of Dragonforce, 36 Crizyfists et al to the city's rock and metal fans.

So, Trivium change one of the dates listed for the Ambassador in Dublin to another Ulster hall show in Belfast. And to all the other acts that leave Belfast off their gig listings; yeah we’ll journey down to Dublin to be ripped off by car parking, hotels and over-priced beer, but for fuck sake remember that there are a helluva lot of people who made the journey from Northern Ireland.

[Editor’s note: We of course do not apply this sanction to Bruce as “Scream for Me, Ireland, north and south!” just won’t work and he really is a mega metal star, so we’ll settle for “Scream for Me Dublin!”

Monday, December 18, 2006

Rockin' New Year

In a fomer life I spent six years as a journalist (still write a bit for a few titles, but not full-time). Come this time of year a review of year past was penned and a look forward to the coming year was demanded by the editor.

Belfast Metalheads hasn't got round to updating this blog for a while, so the review of the year is...well I'll get round to it before 2007.

Until then, a brief look forward to some confirmed and some tentative dates for 2007...

Soil – Brand New Sin – lennon – 17th January - Spring & Airbrake

Kerrang! Tour – Buffy Clyro, - The Bronx – The Audition – I am ghost – Mandela Hall, 11th January

Supersuckers – 26th January – Spring & Airbrake

Deft Leppard – 17th February – The Empire

Sorrowfall, Residual Effect, Bad Boat, Catch 23, Hoax, Blind Friday, Drekk, Arcane Suppression, Vile Intent, Tribulation & Last Orders & Honey for Christ – 18th February – Spring & Airbrake (in aid of Fibromyalgia)

Saxon – March 2nd Spring & Airbrake

SLF – March 9th

My Chemical Romance – 1st April – RDS Simmonscourt

36 Crazyfists – 28th April – Spring & Airbrake

Rottfest – TBC if it goes ahead again

AC/DC – Slane – Date TBC

Heaven & Hell (Dio-era Sabbath) Possible Dublin date

Download – a repeat of last year’s Dublin transfer of Donington possible

Hopefully something to keep everyone happy, and more gigs still to be added!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Beer holder

One of the many fine photos from Dragonforce's Belfast gig - courtesy of Rokpix's Colin Patterson - to find out how you can order pix from this and the many other concerts Colin has snapped at email. Take careful note that as Freddie headbangs away Sam is sipping yet more beer! Respect!
 Posted by Picasa
One of the many fine photos from Dragonforce's Belfast gig - courtesy of Rokpix's Colin Patterson - to find out how you can order pix from this and the many other concerts Colin has snapped at email. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Not yer da!

BLACKIE Lawless is as old as yer da! Thus quoted one sage mind in Belfast on Sunday night.

True he is pushing on a bit, but he’s still able to rock it out!

WASP in the Spring and Airbrake was always going to be a wee but weird for us parents in the audience (even if Baal and I aren’t quite as old as Mr Lawless). After all those of us of a ‘certain age’ remember WASP ripping the Ulster Hall apart in the 80s.

But that said they are still a confident and competent live act, replete with every non-pc song lyric, except one, more of which later.

Arriving on stage astride an outrageous mic stand with On Your Knees, the band ripped through a set that apart from two tracks from Crimson Idol, was almost entirely drawn from early platters, when they were in their Chris Holmes heyday.

Hedonistic tracks aplenty were trotted out Wild Child, L.O.V.E Machine, along with Neutron Bomber and Headless Children. Piper’s solo on Crimson Idol was excellent, though it may have been in the set to give Lawless a break, given his advancing years.

And therein may be the problem. The voice is as strong as ever, but his engagement with the crowd apart from the odd shout out was lacking. The old bugger never broke a smile once.

Encore time saw the obligatory Blind in Texas chant along, but even Lawless must have noticed the crowd flagging. It was time to trot out Animal (Fuck Like A Beast) to send the sell-out crowd home grinning. Instead house lights up and good night, after less than 75 minutes.

WASP are still an excellent band, and while you can’t help loving it when they are on stage there is a hint that this is a pension tour for Lawless, not helped by the fact that no new, or even more recent material was on show.

Word for support acts – Sinnocence continue to deliver a solid set, building up their live talent, and as evidenced by the early crowd reaction getting together a solid fanbase.

Less can be said for Jaded, the all-girl act from the US. Metal by numbers, clichés aplenty (and not even the funny ones) and some God-awful lyrics (what was that about a jet car…c’mon love that lyric sounded like something Hawkwind would write when they can’t find any acid). If Jaded want to get anywhere, a radical re-think is needed and a pay rise for the guitarist who was the only bright spot.

On Fire

FIRELAND had the unenviable task of opening for Dragonforce on a few dates on the current tour.

While it’s never easy opening for a band which has a growing and almost cult following, the Belfast act rose to the challenge.

Within three songs they’d won over a large proportion of the crowd, and continued to become more comfortable on stage.

Suffice to say that those who managed to arrive half-way through the set had fists pumping and horns in the air.

Servants of the Dark and I Am Invisible were stand outs, benefiting more in the live environment.

The bands stagecraft is at times a little rigid – there needs to be more than the singer engaging the crowd – but riffs and strong solos are holding things together for now.

At times there sound strayed a little too close to metal cliché, but that can be ironed out through more road work and perhaps some refinements to the arrangements.

Overall Fireland are proving to be potential contenders on the more traditional metal scene.

Lack of flames but great set...

DRAGONFORCE are undoubtedly one of the hottest prospects on the current metal scene, they even make a dozen or so references to flames, fire and all sorts of conflagrations throughout their track listings.

And as if to take the analogy even further they had local support act Fireland as part of the current tour!

So why then no pyrotechnics or flamethrowers when Dragonforce come on or leave stage? I know the Mandella Hall isn’t the biggest venue in the world, but a couple of flash pots….

But when the ‘force touched down on stage for the November Belfast dates there was incendiary playing (that’s enough about flames! – Editor) and energy emanating from the stage to keep the fans happy.

Of course all the favourites were trotted out (with the exception of …Lifetime on Thursday night), and of course the between song banter was as clichéd and funny as ever, but this is well into a year of touring the Inhuman Rampage album.

It took about halfway through the set for the band to warm-up to their full live potential, seemingly when Sam and Herman’s beer intake had reached a certain level.

At times ZP seemed at a loss what to do when the harmony solos were widdling away at stage front, though as the set wore on this was less evident as he took to engaging with the front rows more and more.

The emerging star of the band is now Frederic, the French bassist, who was a slightly peripheral figure when they played Belfast earlier this year. We here at Belfast Metalheads Reunited have been searching in vain for the exact translation for it, but unable to find it, suffice to say he had a ‘Merde munching grin’ on his bake!

As usual everyone cheered when Vladim did his keyboard solo, but it was almost identical in every note to last time, including The Simpsons theme tune flourish. It is the one aspect of Dragonforce’s live set that has a nasty niff of naff Euro-metal.

Vladim needs to re-evaluate his sound before the next album – we humbly suggest a crash course in John Lord, Colin Towns and Darren Wharton vibes!

The ‘Force set was rounded off with Through the Fire and the Flames (more bloody fire references) and, after the obligatory pause, a return for Valley.

Hilarity ensued as Sam tried to remain standing, and failed miserably to show off his bass prowess when swapping axes with Frederic, while the band rounded off a fine show.

However, there were a few gripes (apart from Vladim’s solo and lack of pyros). The set, and some of the banter, is too familiar now. It’s a sign of being on the road for a year, and a sign that they need to get back to the studio now.

Also, what was the point of bringing the trampolines out for 30 seconds? Just to say ‘We had trampolines?’ Might work in bigger venues, but not here.

The final gripe was the asshole with attitude, bad hair and worse clothes. It’s a metal show dude, people bump into each other, don’t get pissed at people about it, and if you want to fight at a concert, go to a spide gig or a skinhead get together, but come back to a metal gig with that attitude again and your ass will be kicked. There were a lot of people looking for you at WASP to say, ah hem, ‘hello!’

Apart from those minor gripes – great show and hurry back Dragonforce with new material and a refreshed set.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Nov 4th becomes even more packed

Stuck with something to do on November 4th? Not likely given the number of great gigs taking place that night.

If you don't fancy waiting until 5th May at the Odyssey to hear Bryan Adams music, tribute band Waking Up The Neighbours will be rocking The Empire with a set list covering all the Canuck rockers hits. (And for those of you who think 'Bryan' looks little familiar...he's the same guy that plays Vivian Campbell in Lepps tribute Deft Leppard).

Also on the 4th is the metal spectacular which sees American Head Charge, Panic Cell and Residual Effect take the stage at Th Limelight; and the space/prog rock delights of Muse at the Odyssey!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lizzy turn Purple...

Thin Lizzy have been added to to the bill for next year's Deep Purple/Styx tour. The dates are: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena April 21, Manchester MEN Arena 22, Nottingham Arena 24, Cardiff CIA Arena 25, Bournemouth BIC 27, London Wembley Arena 28, Brighton Centre 29, Glasgow Clyde Auditorium May 1, Sheffield Hallam FM Arena 2, Birmingham NEC 3.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

'Tallica on The Simpsons

Hey - in case you missed it Metallica were on The Simpsons tonight - blink and you'll have missed it anyway! Good luck to Sikth tonight at The Limelight - how long before they get on The Simpsons...don't hold your breath guys, but remember Maiden haven't been on The Simpsons yet either....

Look out for Hunger's Mother next week - 27th October at Dunloe Bar in Derry/Londonderry, and on Saturday 28th at Katy Daly's Rocked Afternoon Show

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Very rockin' November

There can be no doubt about it now - November can be officially declared as the month that rockers, metalheads, punks, thrashers, deathheads, hellhounds and others of the crazed kind of anti-normal persuasion will end up bankrupt.

Quite simply the 11th month of 2006 is chock filled with rock 'n' roll madness. So, with a deep breath (and not forgetting that Motorhead/Therapy? gig on Hallowe'en Night...) here's what November has in store:
2nd - El Shakira, Speakasy QUB SU (all ages gig!)
3rd - Tizz Lizzy, Bryson's Bar, Magherafelt
3rd - Sinnocence, Overoth, Stillbirth, Revengeance - Rosetta Bar
4th - American Head Charge, Panic Cell, Residual Effect - The Limelight
4th - Exodus, Biochemical - Voodoo Lounge, Dublin
4th - Muse - Odyssey Arena
5th - Unholy Alliance II (Slayer et al \m/)
6th - Wolfmother, Olympia Theatre, Dublin
10th - Hunger's Mother - Ma Kelly's Ballymoney
10th - The Answer - Spring & Airbrake
11th - Arcane Suppression, Xero, Let Me Bleed - Rotterdam Bar
11th - Opeth, Paradise Lost - Vicar Street, Dublin
16th & 17th - Dragonforce - Mandella Hall
18th - Less Than Jake, Spring & Airbrake
19th & 20th - WASP, Spring & Airbrake
22nd - Tool - The Point

....may have missed one or two out...but otherwise, very busy month!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

All ages Shakira

Upcoming act Enter Shakira are playing an all ages gig at QUB Student Unions Speakeasy on the afternoon of Nov 2nd...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Presidential race thrown wide open

The 2008 US presidential race has been thrown wide open as the campaign to elect Ronnie James Dio to the Whitehouse gets underway....Read more here

Chart topping MCR

They're not to everyone's taste, but they have a purebred punk and metal heritage, but My Chemical Romance are keeping the resurgance of harder rock and metal to the fore - this week they're single Welcome to the Black Parade topped the official charts. No doubt in part helped by being on the Radio One 'A' playlist and a fantastic Tim Burton-esque video.

And Trivium's new platter of rock, The Crusade has charged to No. 7 in the official album charts, surely a sign that despite the negativity of some reviewers and the reluctance of growler fans to accet Heafey's new style vocals.

Musically it is not the most consistent the band could have made. Although it is an excellent 8 out of ten, it has the feel of a transitional album; one which will set solid ground for the young Floridians' next outing. But it is proof positive that hard touring, top musicianship and a positive attitude pays off. The chart entry shows that the unwarranted cynicism of some cannot deter this young band. (And when BelfastMetalheadsreunited met bassist Paolo last year he and the rest of the band turned out to be top blokes!)

When it comes to next week's chart hears hoping they hold their position, and MCR can debut their album high in the same chart. That said I have feeling that Cradle of Filth's new album won't scare the chart!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dark days for The Darkness

Dark days indeed for The Darkness with the announcement that Justin Hawkins has left the band to 'kick start' a solo career. The band meanwhile are to look for another front man.

Mmmmm, all seems a little on the weird side, but Justin could do well to remember what happened to others who believe that their individual name is bigger than the band that put that name in the tabloids.

Methinks that a career of crap records lies ahead for both sides of this equation, but I could be wrong. One thing though - won't Christmases be fun at the Hawkins household when Dan and Justin argue over turkey cutting rights, oops I meant royalty cutting rights!
All change for Motorhead, according to Virgin in Belfast 'Head are now shifted from the Point to the Olympia for the Hallowe'en gig. And, in other gig news Dragonforce have added a second night at the Mandella!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


The problem with running a blog is that all good web sites it should be maintained regularly. The problem with having a viral gastric flu is that it is virtually impossibe to post on a blog when the insides are running out of you. Add in a follow on dose of flu, kids having same and, it may be a lame ass (sorry) excuse but hence the lack of posts.

And now with the shit cleared out of me posts are back, I'm back and Belfast Metal Reunited's team is out on the hunt for stories, reviews, news, gossip. If you were at any of the gigs missed cuz of illness (The Cult, Orange Goblin, UK Gunners Olympos Mons amongst others) and you want to pen a review let me know!

In the meantime a pic of Olympos Mons courtesy of the ever excellent RokPix's Colin Patterson:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lawless still very much alive

There are some sad people posting on the internet. Said sad people have been circulating a rumour that Blackie Lawless is dead. The W.A.S.P frontman is very much alive and kicking, ready to release the new W.A.S.P. new CD Dominator later this year and more importantly play two dates in Belfast in November!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Head Charge....

No not the start of the American Football season...instead it's the return visit to these shores of American Head Charge.

They appear at The Limelight with Panic Cell and local rising stars Residual Effect on 4th November. Doors open at 4pm (yep, that's right 4pm!!!)

Nice warm-up for Slayer's Unholy Alliance II the following night; only problem is that Belfastmetalheadsreunited's junior reporter a.k.a. daughter wants to got to American Head Charge and Muse the same night (don't ask!)...

Now with the best will in the world it's gonna be really, really tricky managing that one!

Oh bugger!

Oh bugger, there may be more costs ahead!. Scanning through the upcoming plethora of concerts, I'd decided that with three trips to Dublin before Christmas already committed to, I would give Tool on 22nd November as miss. Much as like James Maynard Keenan's inrticate waffling, 10,000 Days was not the album that it could have been.

Then Mastodon announce they are lined up as support. The bastards! After they release a stunning album in the shape of Blood Mountain, they go and decide to play in Dublin!

How's the average humble rocker and metalhead meant to keep up? Time to launch the Ageing Metalheads with Mortgages Benevolent Fund. Donations, in brown envelopes, cash only, used notes, non-sequential numbers to the usual address.....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Second date for WASP

Cock rock 80s metal with a tinge of social conscience and a dash of concept albums must appeal to Belfast's metal fraternity - WASP have added a second date at the Spring & Airbrake. Now they will not only play on the 19th November, but also on the 20th....how much Blackie can yo handle?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Deft performance

Belfast's Empire Music Hall has witnessed many, many cover and tribute bands grace it's hallowed upper hall, from regular Friday night's Glamarama 70s extravaganza, through to tribute bands to most rock icons through the 80s, 90s and beyond (although why you'd pay tribute to bands from recent years is beyond my understanding!)

One special band for many people in Northern Ireland always has been Def Leppard. Like many rock and metal acts Leppard came back consistently throughout the 80s and early 90s, when other regular pop entertainers didn't bother because of what was euphemistically known as The Troubles. Pyromania received an early debut in the Ulster Hall, as did Hysteria, with a two-night stand supported by Tesla.

In those days the dlineation between rock and metal acts wasn't like today's plethora of genres, with some fans never daring to reach out of the silos. It didn't matter whether it was thrash, AOR (hell, I even went to see Reo Speedwagon!), hard rock, glam rock - it was all worth watching.

Thankfully when Deft Leppard rolled into town on Saturday 16th September, the same multi-facetted gathering assembled at The Empire. And all left with huge grins on their faces.

Deft Leppard are Europe's only Def Leppard tribute band. And for once that word is fitting - Ash and his team really pay tribute by playing hard and playing faithful to the sound and energy of Leppard's live shows - especialy those early years.

Of course, all Leppard's megahits are rolled out, from the well-paced Let's Get Rocked, Foolin', Animal through to crowd-pleasing balladry such as When Love and Hate Collide and Love Bites. (although was I imaging it but were myself and the lovely lady beside me - her name was Samantha I think - the only ones with lighters in the air...)

The willingness of the band to turn out requested tracks was also impressive with Stand Up and Don't Believe a Word really outstanding.

All the band are naturally fine musicians, honed through what seems to a relentles schedule of dates, when they'r not doing their dayjob.

The reaction of Belfast to their set was obviously genuine, as was the band's enthusiastic performance. (Click here to read Ashley's interview here before what all agreed was an even better night and here for fans and band comments on the gig.)

And what was better news for everyone is that Deft Leppard are planning to return to The Empire on Febuary 17th, 2007.

But we'll all have to make better post-show arrangenments than sitting freezing our arses off on the pavement outside Madisons!

Thanks again lads for a great night.

(Almost held it all together as a serious review until those last two paragraphs!)

Friday, September 15, 2006

November just got even busier

It's bewildering - the number of rock and metal planned for November! Before the month even kicks off Motorhead are celebrating Hallowe'en in Dublin. Then Muse are at the Odyssey on Nov 4th, followed the next night by Slayer and their metallic compatriots In Flames, Children of Bodom and Lamb of God at The Point for Unholy Alliance II.

Y'all already knew that, as well as WASP on the 19th and Dragonforce on the 16th. And...Tool in Dublin on the 22nd.

And now, to add to the poverty, news reaches us that The Answer are coming back to the Spring & Airbrake on the 10th (they're playing Derry's Nerve Centre the night before) and American Head Charge & Panic Cell may be planning a Belfast gig...

Any bank manager's reading who may be inclined to make a loan (secured on a pile of empty Carlsberg cans!) to make sure that Belfastmetalheadsreunited can go to all of the above and sup from full pints of Carlsberg and buy black tour t-shirts that will annoy people, please get in touch!

mastodon - mountainous music

Mastodon exploded into the consciousness of metal fans about 18 months ago when Leviathan lumbered its meaty tracks on to many people's decks of doom, with complex rhythms, intricate guitar work and plain bonkers lyrics. But can Mastodon match that with their first major label release, Blood Mountain?

In short, yes! But Blood Mountain ain't no easy listen. It's bewildering, intense and, frankly madder than a bag of hungry squirrels. But it's worth the effort.

Here at Belfastmetalreunited's gloom laden mansion of madness we're going to take some time to listen further to what could be a masterpiece if we could understand it! Mayhaps we need to change our drugs. Methinks Mastodon will be massive - if we can get an interpreter!

Saturday night

Saturday, 16th September...busy night for rock and metal fans. At The Empire are Europe's only Def Leppard tribute band, Deft Leppard. At the Rosetta, Bob Catley, at the Pavilion Residual Effect....lot to chose from.!

I'll be at Deft Leppard (well I saw the first date on the Pyromania tour! So a little nostalgia is llowed!). If you plan to be there, mine's a pint of Carlsberg!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

BLS review....

Was going to write a lengthy review of Black Label Society's new album Shot to Hell. But it's enough to say BUY IT! Bloody great classic metal, ballads to weep to, and shredding and sensitive soloing in equal measures. BUY IT!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Stuck for a Christmas laugh?

Stuck for a Christmas laugh? Want a December gig before Iron Maiden. Well Tenacious D are planning a Dublin date on 10th December...

Okay, it's more comedy than metal, but after all Jack Black brought us the funniest homage to battle metal with the song Wonderboy. Anyone who can sing the line 'High above the mucky muck' with a straight face is either a true comedian or should sign up to join Manowar!

Pity his films weren't as funny!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Some good support news and some not so good

It's long been a contentous issue - high quality support bands din't always join their headlining colleagues when they make the trip to Belfast and Dublin. Throughout the 8Os, with a few notable exceptions (Anthrax supporting Metallica and the courageous Irish Winter's Reign) rock and metal fans were subjected to a succession of dodgy bands.

Recently, while local acts have improved considerably, there has been a trend for headlining acts not to bring support bands who are touring elsewhere. While we can all toast Maiden's decision to bring Trivium along to Dubin, and Slayer's willingness to bring the full Unholy Alliance II line-up, we learn with some disappointment that Dragonforce's UK tour line up, including All That Remains and Firewind will not be catching the ferry.

Hopefully this will mean that one of the emerging Northern Ireland acts will get another chance of exposure before a larger audience.

On happier support news, Saxon will be bringing Aussie legends Rose Tattoo on their visit to the Spring & Airbrake on March 2nd, together with Masterplan. Rose Tattoo, for those with really long memories played the Ulster Hall in the 80s when hits such as Rock 'n' Roll Outlaw and Assault & Battery bothered the charts. The Angry Anderson crew will be touring despite the death earlier in the year of guitarist Pete Wells. In Classic Rock magazine Anderson said the new album and tour was a tribute to Wells.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Answer rock the town

When it comes down to hard work in rock its not necessarily a criteria for what passes for success in this video, fad and fashion driven business. There are rock and metal acts who arrive in the pages of magazines and on to festival stages through manipulation, money and machiavellan management. Those self-same acts usually have one song, and are inevitably one trick ponies.

Thankfully the acts that have longevity, true success and a dedicated fanbase take hard work seriously, and have talent by the shedload. They are the acts that take to the road, turn out albums that are consistent and actually play their instruments. Downpatrick's The Answer are one such act.

Not for them the posing and posturing of the scene; the attempt to garner chart-topping pap; not for them the hairstylists and endorsements from hair gel companies. Instead they take to the road, touring for what amounts to more than half the year, and have an album, Rise, packed with infectous grooves, songs from the heart and damn fine playing.

When The Answer took to the stage of Belfast's Spring & Airbrake on Friday night, they could be excused for being a little jaded. It was their fourth date in Northern Ireland in the last year, and they are looking forward to a lengthy autumn tour of the UK and parts of Europe.

Instead they took to the stage with verve and good natured intensity. Cormac's vocals and stagecraft are continually improving, while Paul's playing has loosened up, showing that he's comfortable in being able to express both the harder edge of The Answer's music as well as the bluesier work-outs.

Before the gig (when blagging autographs for children who couldn't be there) Paul spoke of his influences, naming the late Paul Kossoff amongst them. As well as the blistering runs he is capable of, it is these Free-inspired slower, more soulful solos that shine in what could have been a wall of noise as both fans and band cranked it up.

The entire album was given an airing, naturally, with a b-side or two thrown in to pad out the length of the set. Into the Gutter stood out for it's pace and crowd reaction, while Memphis Water allowed the rhythm section to lay down a solid pattern to counterpoint Paul and Cormac's work out.

And, of course, Always rocked the rafters in the Spring & Airbrake.

The entire set lasted just a tad over 70 minutes, which given that The Answer only have single album out so far is understandable. Those packed into a sold-out venue will, and should, expect The Answer to keep touring, but the imperative must be now to get into the studio soon; using what they have learned on the road to craft an album that will take them to the next level of hard-earned, honestl gained success.

[Can't say any of the above about support act, The Delewares. Stylistically all over the place, half the band looking bored (the female singer could try smiling and engaging the audience once in a while!) and songs that were absent any significant hooks when played live. Only highlight was a drummer who hit the kit as if he was pissed off with the world. Mind you, if I had to play in the Delewares, I'd beat the shit out of the kit too!]

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Wee Reminder

Just a wee reminder. The Answer, Spring & Airbrake, tomorrow (Friday). See ya there. (Pic courtesy of RokPix's Colin Patterson)

On the Doom Decks:
Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death
Motorhead - Kiss of Death
Slayer - Christ Illusion
Billy Talent - II (Don't ask, just like it!)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

BLS preview

Hey, on September 11th Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society release their latest metaallic assault on the world, Shot to Hell. Listen to the opening track, Concrete Jungle, by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


As a blog is meant to be like a diary, I did check out the Loughshore Festival tonight, with son Zakk. Con Jovi weren't there as promised, caught a band that were torn between Lost Prophets and being a guitar-led attack, and enjoyed a workmanlike, but enjoyable performance from Payola, but was tortured by the Legends of Rock's 70's themed pastiche. Left early, good riddance - any band that starts with The Tramps Disco Inferno, will not be redeemed, even with a tight cover of T-Rex's Get It On.

Too much metal for one day!

There are doubters, naysayers, trashtalkers and plain obtuse critics, who forget the exhiliration that pure metal can bring. Last week devastation was wrought when Slayer unleashed virtiolic riffage in the shape of Christ Illusion. Still there are those who chose not to dip into their pockets to sample the Slaytonic delights.

This week Iron Maiden and Motorhead release new albums - I've already had one person requesting that I copy said CDs. Errr, no mate, that's why shite music gets into the charts and pure metal assults are relegated to a 'rock' chart - you actually have to pay for music

But, then again, radio friendly chirp along songs will not be found on Maiden's 'A Matter of Life and Death', nor on Motorhead's Kiss of Death - so Radio 1 will not be playlisting the tracks that lie within.

In fact Maiden especially are getting heavier! Yep, muscular production, taut and insistent riffs, trademark Harris bass runs are here aplenty. But what sets this apart is...dare I say it....a whiff of concept. There's no clear storyline, á la Seventh Son. Instead there are lyrical concepts woven together as all members of the band seem in contemplative form; the ordinary soldier in 'These Colours Don't Run'; the horror of nuclear warfare's relevance in a post 9/11 world; the contrast between questioning religious sources (For the Greater Good of God); through to asking what exactly is this Lucifer thing all about (Lord of Light).

Lyrically it is a challenging album, and a few, very brief times, even Bruce's voice struggles with the higher registers. Musically it is even more challenging. There are more time changes than an atomic clock on speed. But unlike widdly conceptually metal the changes knit songs and mood together. None better than on album closer, The Legacy. And on that track there is a riff that is so good it brings tears to the eye.

When Different World launches this album, there's a traditional Maiden play-off between tight rhythms and a melodic chorus, reminiscent of parts of Dance of Death, but there most comparisons (apart from the Arabic phrasing on the Pilgrim echoing Powerslave) from what has gone before end.

This is Maiden all grown up, angry with what they see in the world, asking questions. This is Maiden let loose - finally the three guitarist structure given full rein, and riffing heavier and more intense than ever. This is Maiden setting new boundaries for the pretenders to aspire to reach, let alone surpass.

Motorhead, in contrast, have set their own boundaries a very long time ago (well Lemmy is 60!). They are the bastard sons of blues and hard rocking metal, illegitimate sons of Jack Daniels and Marshall amps - unpretentious and unafraid, always delivering on the promise of a gravel-throated party.

Except on Kiss of Death 'Head have taken the party further. Sweat-soaked and hazy with booze, this is the party where clichés have been ditched.

Sucker opens the album up - no nonsense, no fear and the promise of a "Smack in the mouth." From there blues metal propels the sonic assault, with stand-out tracks Devil I Know, Living in the Past, Christine and Going Down, just about managing to eclipse a platter of joyful Motorhead excess.

That is with one exception - God was Never on Your Side. Here Lemmy is asking questions uncomfortable for Christian fundamentalist and Islamic Jihadists alike; questions neither party can answer easily. And there a comparison with Maiden must be made. All styles of rock, punk and metal has rarely been more popular, and with that comes the right to ask questions of the established order. It is only right and proper that Dickinson challenges Blair's war policies (The Legacy) and Lemmy challenges religious nuttery.

But while both bands are asking these and musical questions, there can be no doubt that young and old pretenders alike can not afford to rest on laurels. Maiden and Motorhead have not - and that is why they are more than elder statesmen in the metal pantheon of icons - they are at the vanguard, ready to rock.

And if you want to copy these albums, the answer is no - buy them, you're ears will love you for spending a few quid for such majestic metal.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Iron Maiden's debut single from A Matter of Life ande Death, The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg charted at no. 1 in Sweden and Spain. Here in the UK the powers-that-be deemed that it was too long for inclusion in the singles chart!?! Must be that they expect the average person who buys a single to have an attention span of less than 5 minutes. Once again the powers-that-be (and especially those in the BBC!) prove they are dumber than a bag of squirrels on acid.

PS. Slayer's Christ Illusion hit the UK charts at a respectable no. 23, they played at Reading & Leeds and will shortly be hitting the UK and Ireland for a headlining tour. See any mention of Slayer on BBC recently? Not since last November in the 'shock,horror' documentary on the evils of metal! Ha, if only they knew....

Ground and Pound

Ok folks, I know that there are a few of you that like Dragonforce, a few who don't, and a few that just don't understand their appeal. No matter which camp you fall into, you've got to check out the video for the ridiculously titled Operation Ground and Pound. Click here to watch it on You Tube.

It passes over the top on the way to sublime surreal piss-take. What starts off with the band playing against a CGI backdrop of invading alien ships á la Chronicles of Riddick quickly descends into a computer/console guitar battle between Herman and Sam. And to show they recognise the not-too-serious side of vidz, during the guitar battle ZP appears sipping a coffee against the green screen that is used for performers doing work with CGI....I know it sounds silly, banal and a little bit self-indulgent, but it works. Check it out, laugh and giggle as Extreme Power Metal once again produces, shock! horror!, a sense of humour.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Monday - Maiden and Motorhead

Last week Slayer rocked us all with their new album Christ Illusion - and now tomorrow there's a double feast of metallic delight when Iron Maiden and Motorhead release A Matter of Life and Death and Kiss of Death respectively. Mmmmm, what a year 2006 is turning out to be for hard rock and heavy metal!

And to keep you all going until The Answer on Friday night, here's a pic from their gig at Maginn's in Castlewellan, courtesy of Rokpix's Colin Patterson.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Post-Slayer come down

After the exuberance of constant listening to Slayer's new opus Satanicus, there's much to look forward. Motorhead's Kiss of Death, plus Maiden and Mastodon - deep joy! Check out updates to the gig guide

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Slaytonic worship

Fucking = dozens
Putrid = 2
Hails for Satan = 4
Controversial lyrics = 10 tracks out of 10
Controversial artwork = 1
References to false religion = 42
Slayer's new album = priceless!

Yep - Slayer are back in their usual bombastic style. Christ Illusion hit the shops on 21st August, after being available for download for 2 weeks and on their myspace site for the same length of time. And after living with it pushing out of tinny PC speakers, finally it hit the doom decks for full on aural assault.

Slayer are, of course, the thrash band that have never evolved, never compromised and never been afraid to dis everyone else - or at least Mr King has been doing that in recent interviews. But like Sadolin, Slayer do what it says on the tin, uncompromising music, technically superlative solos and and lyrics to scare all God's children.

For Chist Illusion Slayer had a lot to live up to. God Hates Them All set a benchmark for the band - with an invective that had been lacking for some time. The hype over Christ Illusion was that the CD would land on decks with the same impact of Seasons of the Abyss, or dare it be said, Reign in Blood. Alas that is not to be. But, Christ Illusion stands on it's own merits.

Sure, there are always those that look back on classic albums (Master of Puppets, Peace Sells, Among the Living, Reign in Blood) and wish their band hadn't grown up, but bands do. Christ Illusion, for all it's infantile lyrics, shows a band comfortable in their controversy, sure of their style and hammering out vibes that are a definitive collection of extreme heavy metal.

CD opener Flesh Storm is Slayer by numbers - the band easing fans into the CD on familiar territory, only spoiled by Araya having to force his invective over polysllabic words ill-suited to the velocity and riffing.

But by the time Catalyst kicks off, it is clear that Christ Illusion's real bonus is Lombardo's drumming. He is technically the best in the business, but has a looseness of style that hints Slayer's music may be on the verge of tipping into chaotic parody; while laying down blast beats and fills that serve to punctuate the vehemence of the tunes like angry bastard children of the apocolypse.

None more so than on Black Serenade and Cult.

And, unlike some previous Slayer outings, the solos from King and Hanneman do not seem divorced from the songs. Technically Kerry and Jeff have always been a cut above the average shredder, but tended to go for widdly bits that were about showing off rather than being integral to the tunes. On Christ Illusion the axe duo of doom have managed to construct intricate patterns of guitar hate that matches the intensity of the songs.

But where the dynamic duo really score is on the riffing. Jihad's time signatures, Catalyst's grinding and Supremist straight forward assualt all show the pairing laying down riffs heavy enough to make 1,000 Scandanavian Death and Black Metal bands weep that they are no match for the masters.

The return of Lombardo, the anger of King - these are matched with an Araya and a Hanneman that seem to once more be eager to rip new arseholes for a new breed of the Slaytonic Whermacht while making us older fans smile, toss the zimmer away and get ready to mosh like a bastard.

At times it almost tips over into an anarchic tribute to the feedbacked whail of Jesus and the Mary Chain, or avant garde noise nonsense; but Christ Illusion manages to stay focussed, stay evil and stay Slayer. It's not the best CD of 2006, but it's damn close.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Watch out for The Watch

Word from deepest darkest Fermanagh has been coming the way of BelfastMetalheadsReunited for some time of some fine acts emerging from that water-logged county. Thanks to Rokpix Colin Patterson and Ciara we were tipped off about The Watch. Colin managed to smuggle a copy of an early demo past customs at the Fermanagh/Tryone border...and it has been on the decks of doom for some time.

Put simply are a traditional classic rock act, with more than a (not unwelcome) whiff of New Wave of British Heavy Metal clinging around their riffs. Shades of Diamond Head, Witchfynde and, whisper it softly, Saxon cast welcome dark and shade about The Watch.

Riffs come from the school of Maiden and the afore-mentioned Diamond Head, and solos are paced well within structures that are exhilirating, but on a few occassions predictable.

Cloak and Dagger kicks off with energy and pace, before the Sweet Savage style riffing of Witch Among Us. But it is Dearg Doom's Celtic tinged riffing and the pace of Under a Howling Moon that stand out.

The one major gripe is lyrically. Somehow it rings a little forced. Dio, Dragonforce got away with it, Manowar did for a while, but it if The Watch want to stand up and be seen in a scene crowded with witches and warlocks, daggers and venom, spirits and battlecries, then more thought and better phrasing of lyrics will raise their game.

Overall, as mentioned this has been on regular rotation on the Decks of Doom - no better commendation needed. Hope the next demo shows steady improvement, then a surefire slot on Metal Hammer's Battle Metal CDs is guaranteed.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Listen to Iron Maiden's Different World!

More Maiden frolics in advance of the release of their new album at the end of this month. You can listen to Different World by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Christ, it's no illusion, you can listen to Slayer online

Fed up that Slayer's new album won't be hitting UK stores until 21st August? Can't be bothered ordering it from US or other parts of the world? Have no fear, cuz Slayer have posted the entire album on Myspace.com/slayer to listen and enjoy... or perhaps that's not quite the right word :)

PS: It's awesome! The banner to the right features the US release date. It and others like it can be downloaded from Slayer.net and by clicking on the tags link.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Blue Murder time

Tygers of Pan Tang, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Blue Murder - all have one thing in common apart from great music: John Sykes. The blonde guitar maestro impressed those of us who saw him in the heyday of the 80s, when soulful and fast playing was still a mark of a great axeman. Samby's been campaigning to get Sykes back playing the UK - and especially Belfast. Sign her petition here to make sure another rock great comes back to Belfast

Demo(lition) Zone

As mentioned some time ago Belfastmetalheadsreunited is launching an area for Northern Ireland bands (and even some from further afield) to have their demos or CDs reviewed. Okay, well truth be told here lies a professional journalist of 16 years standing whose alter ego rocks out like a ....well you get the picture. Several have already submitted their CDs (fools, muh ha ha ha ha ha) for dissection.

One that we at Metal manors didn't expect was Hunger's Mother. I caught them at the Rotterdam during the Custom Bike Show and they received no mightier endorsement than that of Dean's Dad - who rated them as one of the best bands to hit the Rott in a long time.

Live they were impressive (especially at 4pm and sober!!!)

Clutching the CD we expected to be let down, but no, Hunger's Mother's essence held out on the slaver of plastic, no doubt helped by being recorded in a five hours live take at Coleraine's Stable Studio.

Guitarist Neill McIlfatrick explained that the band were a little like The Answer, but vered more towards "classic rock and psychaedelic jamming" than the Downpatrick band.

On the platter Hunger's Mother do deliver that classic rock feel. At times vocalist Rodney Tosh really rips the sound barrier, but too often he appears restrained on the CD. His ability live, and his range means he should open up to the passion next time the band hit the studio.

'Trust You' and 'Sweet Liberation' stand out on the CD and are obviously live favourites, but throughout the CD is a display exemplary muscianship - from Tosh's voice, through to the tight rhythm pattersn of bassist Christopher Wilson and drummer Allan Starrs (although at times the tambourine hi-hat gimmick does wear a little thin).

At times Neill's guitar work reaches sublime heights - technically and in line with the structure and feel of the songs his work is almost always appropriate. At times this creeps into a little self-indulgence, but hell if I could play that well I'd be indulging every self I could lay my hands on.

Overall Hunger's Mother self-titled CD is a work screaming with potential. Excellent musicianship now needs a producer and manager to assist with song arrangements and deciding exactly where they want to be in a year's time. This band has the potential to reach far beyond the confines of biker shows - we here at Belfastmetalheadsreunited hope they can turn taht potential into their live kinetic rock energy!

Playing Tribute to Leppard

IT'S rare that Def Leppard come to these shores, yet the finest songs from Def Leppard's long career can be heard live on a regular basis throughout the UK - and in Belfast on September 16th.

Europe's only tribute band to the Sheffield heroes, Deft Leppard, will be playing in Belfast's Empire on 16th September - and the band can't wait!

"Belfast's fantastic," said Ashley Cooper, who sings the part of Joe Elliot when Deft Leppard hit the stage.

"We played here in February and the reception we got was fantastic, the venue, the promoters and the crowd all treated us really well, and we played even better than normal!"

One member of Deft Leppard got into the action more than he anticipated.

Aaron Sutton, who plays Leppard's guitarist Vivian Campbell ended up in the crowd.

"Aaron got a little too close and some of the ladies, shall we say, encouraged him to get down into the crowd," explains Ashley. "I suppose it was because Vivian Campell's a Belfast lad, but there might have been a button undone by the time he got back onstage."

A range of tribute bands have been around for the past number of years, from big productions such as The Australian Pink Floyd, through to pub bands plying covers. But Deft Leppard's motivation is simply a love of the music, especially that of their heroes.

"Our main reason for doing it is simply that fans can't get to see their favourite bands that often," explains Ashley. "And as those bands have gotten bigger they never get to see them up close in an intimate venue.

"Def Leppard played just two dates in the UK this year in Sheffield and London."

Deft Leppard, who formed just over a year ago, have been refining their set now throughout the summer touring.

As yet they haven't decided if they are to put some of the tracks from Def Leppard's latest album, 'Yeah', in their set - especially seeing as Leppard themselves seem undecided as to what songs they are playing on their current US tour.

"We've been thinking about that," said Ashley. "We could do 21st Century Boy pretty well, or Hanging on the Telephone, but we concentrate on the hits that the fans want to hear."

All of Deft Leppard are experienced musicians, who have played in their own bands or have been session players. Through the week they hold down a variety of jobs - from site managers through to teachers - but it is at weekends that Deft Leppard come to life.

"We've been on tour most weekends, and will have played about a dozen weekends straight before we arrive for Belfast on the 16th. It's the last date of that leg of the tour and it'll be a special night because of that!"

NB: This exclusive Belfastmetalheadsreunited interview with Deft Leppard is available for free use in print media. Please drop a comment/email if you wish to use it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

More tour dates!!!!

More gigs have been added to the Rockin' Calendar, including Buckcherry at the Limelight on Sept 4th. Visit the calendar using the Northern/Ireland Tour News link to the right of the page or by clicking here

Between now and Christmas there are now officially too many gigs. No, not that we here at Belfast Metalheads Reunited ever want to stop rockin' and moshin' - it's just that it has now become impossible to afford all the beer tokens, t-shirts and other necessities in attending the autumnal rock and metal fest!

Donations to the usual address, sealed envelope, unmarked, used, non-sequential bills - no demonations less than £50 please.

WASP come back to Belfast

WASP, seminal 80s rock 'n' roll animals are coming back to Belfast.

Sunday 19th November, Spring & Airbrake, marks the Lawless crew's third visit to the city. Tickets £21.50...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tool in Dub

Prog metallers Tool are set to play in Dublin on 22/11/06 at the Point. Check the link on the right for Tour news, and if you are a band playing NI or Dub and want to be included, get in touch!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wheeeeels of Steeeeel!

Them were the days - the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was laying waste to...well to a lot of people who should have known better! And now Saxon are coming back to Belfast. Amid cries of "About bloody time too!"

Saxon have confirmed they are appearing at the Spring and Airbrake on 1st March 2007, tickets £16.

The last time Biff Byford and his motley bunch of metal mavericks played Belfast it was the night after my Maths 'O' level, it was in the Maysfield Leisure Centre and we all ended up hoarse from yelling along to Denim and Leather. (Oh I also puked outside after one too many cans of Special Brew, but best leave sleeping diced carrots lie where they land...)

An end to Top of the Pops

Top of the Pops has finally been granted a long overdue euthenasia order by the BBC. Its final show will be broadcast this week and its passing will not be mourned by many under 35. Alongside the plethora of digital channels offering 24-hour videos; in a world of downloads, uploads, peer-to-peer networks and the ubiquitous iPod culture, TOTP was an anachronism.

But before MTV, KerrangTV - hell even before The Tube - it was the only chance to see your rock and metal favourites: not that they were given the chance too often!

Metal luminaries such as Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Ozzy and Priest, among many others, mimed their way through hits. Northern Ireland had its share of local acts popping up, including Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, and latterly Ash and Therapy?

Memorable moments included the refusal of Thin Lizzy to play Cold Sweat. Their gear hadn't arrived and, tactfully they declined to mime with cardboard guitars. Marillion's first singer Fish nearly had the band banned forever when he kept his lips firmly shut when miming to a line from the song Garden Party - until Kayleigh became a worldwide hit.

Ahh, the nostalgia of it all - an innocent world when you snatched a glance of metal heroes, bought the vinyl and, if lucky, hit the concert when the band deigned to play Norn Iron. Now metal is all over the tele for those that want it, and millions of websites beckon unwitting souls towards rock and metal corruption. Was it better back in the day? Hell no! Gimme wall-to-wall rock and metal any day without the fashionistas telling me what to listen to!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rockin' calendar

Owing to popular demand have been forced to include a list of forthcoming tourdates... here they are
August 26th - Bon Jovi Experience, The Empire, Belfast
August 28th - Con Jovi, Shoreline Festival, Newtownabbey
1st September - The Answer, Spring & Airbrake, Belfast
2nd September - Limehouse Lizzy, The Empire, Belfast
4th September - Buckcherry, The Limelight, Belfast
15th September - Blitzkreig, Steel Tormentor, Gama Bomb, Rosetta, Belfast
16th September - Deft Leppard, The Empire, Belfast
16th September - Bob Catley, Rosetta, Belfast
22nd September - Metallitia, Spring and Airbrake, Belfast
30th September - The Cult, Ulster Hall, Belfast
30th September - Orange Goblin, Triggerman, Spring & Airbrake, Belfast
30th September - Elixir, No Grace Given, Sorrowfall, Rosetta, Belfast
6th October - Fightstar, Spring & Airbrake, Belfast
22nd October - Sikth, The Limelight, Belfast
24th October - Status Quo, Odyssey Arena, Belfast
31st October - Motorhead, Therapy?, Point Theatre, Dublin
4th November - Muse, Odyssey Arena, Belfast
5th November - Unholy Alliance II, Slayer, In Flames, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Point Theatre, Dublin
16th November - Dragonforce, Mandella Hall, Belfast
19th November - W.A.S.P., Spring & Airbrake, Belfast
22nd November - Tool, Point Theatre, Dublin
20th December - Iron Maiden, Trivium, Point Theatre, Dublin
2nd March 2007 - Saxon, Spring & Airbrake, Belfast

NB - If a band is playing Dublin as well as Belfast I've not put the Dublin date in. If you see a listing for Dublin, it means they aren't making the perilous journey past Newry and Lisburn...

Monday, July 24, 2006

More gigs

More gigs announced - Sikth; 22nd October at The Limelight; and if yuo are in need of a laugh, Dropkick Murphy's playing Spring & Airbrake on 18th November...on second thoughts screw them, better ways to spend my rock pound!

PS - Check out the Hungry Mothers if you get a chance - saying no more for now...but worth a listen!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Brucie on Maiden mercy flight

Iron Maiden singer and qualified pilot Bruce Dickinson airlifted 200 British citizens who had fled war torn Beirut, Lebanon, back to the UK yesterday.

The 47-year-old flew a Boeing 757 to Cyprus where he picked up the evacuees and flew them back to Gatwick.

A colleague said, "He was only too keen to get involved and help. He has a strong interest in the welfare of people caught up in international conflicts and cares about what is going on."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Demo Zone

As Belfastmetalheadsreunited continues to grow (don't ask me, I only know people are starting to read it....) next week comes, DemoZone, a chance for local acts (and even some not so local acts to plug their demo and have Belfastmetalheadsreunited comment or criticise the content of the demo.

All good clean fun - four local acts have already submitted their demos/self-produced CDs. Beers and ears at the ready; reviews coming next week!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Black Label Society - scary song!

Black Label Society - a name to conjure fear into all but the stoutest of metal hearts. New album Shot to Hell is coming out later in the year on Roadrunner Records. Check out the track Black Mass Reverends here

Gigs, gigs, gigs

A claim has been made (a spurious one!) that I may have missed a few gigs in my ongoing listings....well no-one is perfect :)

The ones that I've apparently missed are Ricky Warwick (formerly of Almighty!) playing at Aunt Annies on 2nd August, tickets £8.50; Metallitia playing the Cliff Burton tribute gig at Spring & Airbrake on 22/9/06, tickets £10; and Quo at the Odyssey on 24th October.

Shit, just checked...did mention the Quo gig, but it was the day I was picking up my 12-bar zimmer frame!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Rock, metal and bikes

Rock, metal and motorbikes - somehow it all seems to go together! And this Saturday at Barrow Square, Clarendon Dock (that's the one behind the Rotterdam Bar!) is a full-on Custom Bike Show, with hot hogs, even hotter custom Harleys and a host of souped up, sprayed up chops and iron horses to goggle and gaze at.

In addition to the bikes, there'll be trade shows, a barbecue, bluegrass music and Led Zeppelin tribute band Rubber Plants.

Kicks off 2pm til late, and all for the paltry sum of £5!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

World of pain with RE

Life on the heavy side this weekend when Residual Effect & Scrotumbabes play at Katy Daly's. Doors open at 15.30, with the very reasonable £2.50 adm. Residual Effect's new CD "In A World Where Pain Is God" and the new t-shirts will be available.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Muse for the Odyssey

Muse have added a Belfast date to their autumn tour in support of the Blackholes and Revelations album. It's on 4th November (the night before Slayer!) at the Odyssey Arena and tickets are £30 standing or £33 if yer bum needs rested.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Irons new album cover!

New Iron Maiden Album cover - looks awesome as ever - if songs are half as good, will be a corker!


If you're heading down to Maiden on 20th December, you might want to consider going to Dublin a day early, cuz the metal charity and general all round nice guys Cliveaid are hosting a special night to raise money for MS and Testicular Cancer (for those lacking metal knowledge Maiden's first drummer Clive Burr has MS).

Playing are various Maiden tributes, Glyder and special guests (no real secret, it's GMT, Robin Guy, Bernie Tormé and John McCoy). It's on the 19th December at Radio City, Dublin - good cause, good night's rocking!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Coiled in Dublin

Italian metal act, Lacuna Coil - yep the one with the lovely Cristina Scabbia as front woman - are set for Dublin's Olympia Theatre on 16th October. No word of any Belfast date, and looking at their schedule, it's not likely :(

Bap, Niall and Beano

Bap, Niall and Beano - a.k.a Triggerman are playing the same night as The Cult, as support for Orange Goblin - jaysus decisions, decisions! Ian Astbury and a dewy eyed reminesence of the 80s or a mad night of metal wiith Goblin, Saturnalia and Triggerman - Please help me make my mind up!

Below - some more Rottfest pix - ranging from crowd celebrating arrival of DD on stage, a drummer (RD) in contemplation to two young laydees throwing the horns....pix as usual courtest of Rokpix's Colin Patterson!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Remember Blue Murder?

Does anyone remember Blue Murder? Blonde guy playing a Les Paul? Went by the name of John Sykes. Played with Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy etc, and put out two or three damn fine albums with his own band Blue Murder.

Me mate Samby is running a petition to have Blue Murder play in l'il ole Belfast. Want to sign up, drop a comment and I'll make the necessary arrangements!

Pix from Rottfest

Some more pix from Rottfest - all courtesy or Rokpix and the ever wonderful Colin Patterson. To find out how to get high quality digital versions or prints from Colin drop a comment. He has pix from dozens of local gigs, all worth a 'wee juke'.

The Answer - giggin' near you

Hey all - The Answer are giggin' near you! As well as an extensive tour of the Republic with Glyder(well five extensive dates anyway), Downpatrick's finest (well Ash haven't released an album in ages...) are hitting a few NI dates. As well as the date on the 4th August at the Celtic Fusion Festival, Castlewellan, and the next day at the Leitrum Festival (?) The Answer are set to pack out the Spring & Airbrake on the 1st September.

Oh, it could also be on the 2nd as when you click on the date on The Answer's Myspace site it goes to the 2nd. Anyway, either way, and whichever way buy loose see ya there!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Feel the force

Remember Dragonforce? 'Course ya do! Some hate them, but a hella lotta ya like them big time...okay enough! Dragonforce are playing at the Mandella Hall on 16th November. Power metal rules!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Remember The Cult

Colin, Belfasmetalheadsreunited numero uno lensman has asked me to remind you all that The Cult are playing the Ulster Hall on then 30th September. Well, consider yourself reminded, and to celebrate here's another of Colin's fine pix from Rottfest:

and yet more gig news...

Don't forget the Day of Darkness Festival in Co Laios this coming weekend...more metal than most can handle - and I'm bloody working :(

For those that remember big hair, Snakebite - A Tribute to Whitesnake will be plying their wares at the Empire on the 15th.

But recover from that and bolt down yer ears for the assault coming your way. As well as the previously mentioned (scroll down I'm not repeating myself again!) there's a helluva lot of metal comin' yer way!

On 19th July High on Fire are coming to Aunt Annie's. Draw a breath for the 21st when there's Honey for Christ at the Rosetta with Primal Dawn, Overoth & Nemesis, while on the same night Interrogate , Sinocence, Inside, Sixkiller Zero, Jackalfeud, Absent Method, Choke are at Lavery's for a battle of the bands style rock out. For those of a more old school punk outlook catch the Enterprise to Dublin for Discharge's set at the Voodoo Lounge.

There are many, many more gigs in coming months, but before signing off for now, enough to mention that Orange Goblin are set to play the Limelight on 30th September...cue manic laughing!

Gig news

More gig updates - Quireboys are playing on 22nd September at the Rosetta and on the 23rd in Limavady for the Quay Vipers Bike rally. Also in September (16th) veteran Magnum frontman Bob Catley brings his solo show to the Rosetta - ask nicely and I'll tell you about the time Bob was 'kidnapped' when Magnum played at QUB Student's Union on the Storyteller's Tour.

And now for the saga of 'Force. Belfast's fave Power Metal outfit look set for a return to these shores. Although there's nothing official yet it looks like Dragonforce will be playing Dublin and Belfast on the dates of 18th & 19th November. Watch this space.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ladeez and Gentleworms - The Answer

Debated long and hard whether or not to review The Answer's debut album 'Rise' here. After all, it's not strictly metal. Then I got to musing (bottle of fine red wine, some of Arthur's fine stout and what you know, musing happening!).

Sure, today's metal seems far removed from the heady days of Zep and Free, but t'was the same bands that paved the way for METAL! And lest we forget, Sabbath started off as jazz blues combo, Earth.

Thus, musing and drinking completed here follows the review of The Answer's Rise.


Okay, got that out of my system...Rise is filled with the sort of exuberance that can't be faked, tunes that can't be contrived and music to melt all but the coldest of rock hearts.

True, some of the tracks may be familiar to those of us who have early demos and EPs (People has become Be What You Want to Be and Always has become Always on My Mind) but this is simply an album that is packed with what rock and metal should be - fine songs, excellent playing and spirit. Yep, spirit. It's not easy to define, but when we hear it - no matter the hard rock, metal genre or sub-genre we recognise it.

The Answer have played their arses off on this album and it is testament to that convinction and the hard work of touring that such old-style rock comes out as a 21st Century homage to a style of music that so many frown upon.

Cormac and Paul shine on this and the songs (apart from the overlong jam on Memphis Water) are all stormers.

There are those, who predictably, might slight The Answer now that the prospect of the big time is emerging. They now have two options (a) Fuck off, you have no sense and don't understand that Northern Ireland's profile will be helped by any musical success and your band may be next to attract the A&R man's interest, or (b) get with the programme and get down the front and boogie!!! See ya at the front!

Demos - got one? Get it reviewed

Demos - got one? Get it reviewed here! Yeah, I know, pathetic call! 'Cept that since I set this up as a blog for me and a few mates, seems that a few others have been tuning in. Turns out that some 175-300 people have been checking it out each week (the record was 750 in four days!) according to Google's Adsense stats.

Now if you want a few more peeps to read about your demo, then now's your chance. Drop a comment to me and I'll organise details of how to get said demo to me!

July fun

Hey July's turning out to be a fun metal month after all! Battle of the Bands at Lavery's on 21st and Honey for Christ at the Rosetta on the same night...decisions, decisions.

In the meantime don't forget that I'm trying to get the pix that Colin snapped at Rottfest online...here's another three; only another 453 to go.... Gotta love Dez's million mile stare tho!

Friday, June 30, 2006

This is insane!

Ok, this is insane - every year there's a festival of diddly dee music in Castlewellan. Mostly it;s beardy types with aran sweaters. Then I found this post cropping up on a couple of sites:

Fusion Rock Night
4 August, 9.30pm
Maginn's Bar, Castlewellan
Admission: £3.00

The charismatic, highly charged and highly talented rock band “The Answer” perform a debut genre for Celtic Fusion 2006. Down District’s very own rock group have made it big in the last few years with growing press hype and numerous awards, the band headlines at the 'Kerrang Most Wanted' tour in May.£3.00 payable at door.

Now anyone who has been in Maginn's and anyone who has heard The Answer's new album Rise, should know this is wrong, wrong and just silly that a band that is destined for stadium's should appear here....now what's the Ulsterbus you take to Castlewellan?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lorra, lorra gigs coming up in the autumn

There's a lorra, lorra gigs coming up in the autumn. Deep breath here: The Answer in September (if you haven't bought the album, do yourself a favour and buy it now!) Motorhead & Therapy? at the Point on Hallowe'en Night, Slayer's Unholy Alliance II - Preaching to the Perverted with In Flames, Children of Bodom and Lamb of God on Nov 5th in the Point, not to mention Iron Maiden and Trivium on December 20th!

Been a while

Been a while since I posted. Sorry. I offer grovelling apologies. Lot to catch up on - not least the Rottfest review. For now.... one of these people is a guitarist with Devildriver...the other isn't!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Signings, DJ sets and one helluva festival

The final plans are in place, the behind-the-scenes work almost complete now's the time to raise your asses off the seat and get yer tickets for Rottfest!

Devildriver, Nevermore, Ten Years, Honey for Christ, Residual Effect, Stand Up Boy and Bad Boat - not exactly Download I grant you, but still a heck of a line-up for Belfast's first ever open air metal fest.

To warm things up Nevermore and Ten Years will be holding a signing session at Belfast's Virgin Megastore at tea-time on the 5th, followed by a DJ set at the Rotterdam Bar.

Then - Rottfest - the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year (cue Satanic laughter from Sid!). Gates open at 2pm, it's an all ages gig, with an onsite bar and a soft drinks bar. Now if you haven't already done so, make a trip to your local Ticketmaster outlet or www.ticketmaster.ie and get yer tickets!

And you'll still have a couple of days to recover before Download!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

It's silly, it's American and it's jjust right!

Ok, there are many who will say that The National Day of Slayer, declared by an American fan of the mighty Slayer men, is a silly idea. Some might even see it as cynical, helping a band that barely needs more celebrity. Some say the comments on the website (e.g. "Kill the neighbor's dog and blame it on Slayer. " are insane. Some say this is another example of society's slow degeneration.

Fuck sake guys this Yank may have lost his marbles, but c'mon can we not all treat this as a laugh! It is funny and not half as cynical as Hollywood (the one near LA not the one in County Down!) releasing the remake of The Omen on 6/6/6.

Personally I believe that it is a sacred duty of everyone with a little or a lot of metal coursing through their blood to play Slayer on 6/6/6 - then get their asses down to Rottfest where this freak calendar date can be celebrated with beer, Jagermeister and loud as hell music. See ya at the front for Devildriver!

DJ set on 5th June

It's all Slayer's eve (i.e. the day before Rottfest and the International Day for Slayer) and Nevermore and Ten Years will be in Belfast preparing for the aural assault on our collective metal sanity with Devildriver. Being such top blokes and all round nice people members of Nevermore and Ten Years have tentatively agreed to perform a DJ set at the Rotterdam. Details to follow once it's all confirmed, but here's hoping Ten Years air their own '...Isis' and Nevermore their masterpiece 'Narcosynthesis' to let the uninitiated prepare for Rottfest!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Doom Decks

Realised I haven't offered an update on the decks of doom in Metalheadsreunited Castle. Here goes:
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
Def Leppard - Yeah
Celtic Frost - Monotheist
Queensryche - Mindcrime II
Therapy? - One Cure Fits All

Weird thing is that despite the diverse selection they are all good!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Rottfest is turning into a perfect warm-up for the metal week to end all metal weeks! After lapping up for the delights of Download in Dublin where as well as Gunners and 'Tallica there will be Avenged Sevenfold, Funeral for a Friend, Alice in Chains, Stone Sour, Therapy? amongst a host of others.

But they ain't got Devildriver!


Rottfest 666 is a few short weeks away, and if you haven'e got yer tickets yet, get them immediately, support Belfast's first ever open air metal fest! And then maybe more will come next year!

And check back here soon for news of an exclusive Rottfest swag competition!

You know you want to! You know you need to!

Fuckers can fuck off

A big thanks to the three wee fuckers that spoiled my weekend in too many ways to mention by kicking the shit out of me on the way home. Yep, they decided that there was a game played by spides called stick the metalhead. I decided not to play that game and after kicking out at scrote with knife they were most annoyed and decided to kick the metalhead instead. Well, can't say that I gave as good as I got against three...but at least one will be limping for a very long time :) a very long time!

Here's the bake they left me with:

Friday, May 12, 2006

Full Rottfest line-up confirmed

The full line-up for Rottfest has now been confirmed! Four local NI acts will open up proceedings - Honey for Christ; Stand Up Guy; Bad Boat and Residual Effect. Then we welcome Ten Years, followed by Seattle opera metal mentalists Nevermore before the mighty Devildriver take to the stage!

Tickets, priced at an unbelieveably reasonable £20, are available from www.ticketmaster.ie and all usual Ticketmaster outlets.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Cult for Belfast

The Cult - remember them - are to play Belfast's Ulster Hall on 30th September...tickets on sale already.

Week of rawwwkk 'n' feckin' rooolllll!

Ok, metalheads, scumsuckers, anti-social elements, goths, punks, rock 'n' roll refugees and outlaws, grab yer beer tokens, send your liver out on leave and get ready for the maddest week of rawwwkk 'n' feckin' rooolllll that this wee benighted island has ever seen!

Action kicks off on Sunday June 4th (which means that the well off older element can return from the June 3rd Monsters of Rock with Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Thunder and others to join in the week of metal mayhem...)

Opening the mad and bad week on the 4th are Therapy?, who bring their industrial might to the Spring & Airbrake. On the Monday night there might be a surprise dj slot at a local metal bar...and then rolls on Tuesday!

The sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year - Rottfest 666. Belfast's first ever open air metal festival sees the metal hordes gather at Barrow Square, Clarendon, Belfast to witness Nevermore and Devildriver wreak a holocaust of metal on us all (and if you haven't got yer ticket yet race on to www.ticketmaster.ie now!)

Recovering from that you may want to head along to the Spring & Airbrake the following the night for US punks 'Sick of it All' hard-edeged attack.

Then pack up your rucksacks and head to Dublin for Guns 'n' Roses at RDS Arena on Friday, June 9th, take a deep breath and get yer shit together for the MIGHTY METALLICA on June 11th at RDS Arena with Korn, Alice in Chains, Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold.

Then, two alka seltzer, a neck brace and try to wipe that shit-eating metal grin off yer bake!

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Answer at The Empire

Hard-working blues metal lads from Downpatrick are coming back to Belfast to kick off the European leg of their tour with a night at The Empire.

May 11th, £5 - what better way to spend a Thursday night!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Therapy? acoustic set pix

Therapy?'s acoustic set at HMV, Belfast...

Andy ponders the problems of daylight gigs midst playing Nowhere. No, the song - he wasn't playing nowhere, he was playing the song Nowhere, somewhere called HMV!

One Happy looking bouncer...a closet Therapy? fan or just delighted to be on BelfastMetalheads Reunited? We may never know.

CCTV later confirmed they were a well known Larne rock band, not two badly dressed guitar thiefs...

So Michael this is in 'e'? Are you sure....

National day of Slayer!!!

'National Day Of SLAYER' To Be Held On June 6!

National Day of Slayer, LLC, which is described as "a non-profit corporation in the State of Wyoming," has launched a web site urging as many SLAYER followers as possible to take part in "the National Day of Slayer" on June 6, 2006.

A posting on the site reads in part, "6.6.06 isn't a date that comes around very often (once per century, to be exact), and while plenty of stupid horror movies and terrible albums will be released for the hype value of the day that bears 'the number of the beast,' we here at NDoS decided that this would be a perfect day for Hessians across the country to come together and engage in something upon which we can all agree — listening to SLAYER!

Also, do you really want those evangelicals to have all the fun with their 'National Day of Prayer'?"

For more information, visit www.nationaldayofslayer.org \m/ for slayer day \m/

Pearl Jam for Dublin

They might have arrived with grunge, but Pearl Jam had always more of a classic rock edge than most of the Seattle reprobates - now they're playing in Dublin on 23rd August. Tickets on sale 29th April.

Metal on Nolan show

Metal on the Nolan show! No shit! Rottfest666 caused some Pastor to get his knickers knotted. Listen on the link below (click The Nolan Show) as Dean stays calm, Potty Pastor goes ape and some 38-year-old metal head :) goes toe to toe with Pastor dude.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Missed Glyder :(

Missed Glyder at the Rotterdam last night - family shit :( Apparently it was a good gig.

Therapy? acoustic, signing and Belfast date

Therapy? celebrated the launch of their new album (One Cure Fits All) with an acoustic set at Belfast's HMV and a signing session afterwards.

A fine set it was too, with Nowhere, Die Laughing, Rock You Monkeys, among old faves, with a smattering of tracks from the new album unveiled to about 100 devotees. Andy's normal growl was replaced with, wait for it, a hint of melody. Mind you being Therapy? it was melody with menace :) and Michael's acoustic bass was laying it down 'good and proper'!

Props to the guys for spending so much time signing posters, albums and various other assembled bits and pieces and....for confirming that their next Belfast date is at the Spring and Airbrake on June 4th, and promising to see if it was going to be an all ages gig.

Let's see now...Therapy? June 4th, Rottfest June 6th, Gunners, June 9th, 'Tallica June 11th - shit! IT'S A WEEK OF RAAWWWKKKK 'N' FECKIN' ROLLL!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Potty Pastor

Thanks to the Potty Pastor on BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show slagging off Devildriver, Rottfest and all things metal the gig got plenty of free publicity - now to make sure that the gig goes off a storm. This one goes well more to come next year!

On the Doom decks tonight:
Cradle of Filth - Nymphetamine
Iron Maiden - Killers
Def Leppard - Pyromania

Media hysteria boost for Rottfest!

The media hysteria over Rottfest is proving a welcome boost - with all the fuss and furore hopefully more people will get to hear about the festival! So far it's been covered in the Irish News, BBC Radio Ulster News, the Nolan Show and dozens of web sites!

Here's the Irish News article

And the full official press release is below:

For immediate release

Belfast goes metal!

First ever open air heavy metal festival in city

ROTTFEST: 06/06/06

NORTHERN Ireland’s thousands of heavy metal fans are set to flock to Barrow Square, Clarendon, Belfast, on June 6th to witness the city’s first ever open air heavy metal festival.

Six bands will take to the stage in a packed line-up, headlined by leading US metal act, Devildriver.

Festival promoter, Dean Stevens said the one-day festival was a feast of metal for heavy rock fans.

“This is an amazing event for metal fans,” he said. “Devildriver are a top act. And we’re excited that the outrageous US act – Nevermore has joined the bill.

“Everyone involved in Rottfest is ecstatic that the city can now lay claim to its own metal festival.”

Also on the bill are four up and coming local rock and metal acts: Stand-Up Guy, Honey for Christ, Bad Boat and Residual Effect.

The concert is being promoted by the Rotterdam Bar, backed by Laganside and sponsored by the Rotterdam and Jagermeister.

Tickets priced £20 are available now from the usual Ticketmaster outlets or from www.ticketmaster.ie

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