Pick Your Rock and Metal

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!