Pick Your Rock and Metal

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Therapy? for The Ulster Hall

Quick note on The Ulster Hall re-opening from Therapy?

"We'll be appearing at the legendary Ulster Hall in Belfast as part of the mighty "Do You Remember The First Time?" gig on 9th March 2009. It's a short two song set but we'll be ripping out a very exclusive cover version plus one of our own.Tickets are a paltry £5 for us plus 10 or so bands and the last batch will go on sale at 10am this Friday 23rd January through the Belfast Welcome Centre(Google 'em). Get in as they will go quick!

Official Gojira notification

Although it has been widely known and commented here and on various bulletin boards, the official Gojira notification (which was revealed here earlier in the week) came through today from CDC Leisure.

"The group play The Limelight on Sunday 15th March during there 3 month headlining European tour. Tickets are priced £11.00 subject to booking fee are available at all usual outlets. No Booking Fee applied at Katy Dalys.

Venue: The Limelight
Date: Sunday 15th March
Ticket Price: £11.00 (Subject to booking fee)
Doors: 9:00pm"

Metallica rumour mill rolls on

The Metallica rumour mill rolls on, with rumours of a Knebworth date in July and an Irish date (north or south!) spreading on the lips of many a hopeful fan. Adding fuel to the fire was the following statement released on metallica.com

"As you probably noticed, there are a few open dates on the calendar this summer and we'll be filling them by visiting some of our favorite spots in Europe and hitting the annual music festivals."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Metal Blade tour hits Belfast

Just as you update another mega list of Belfast gigs...another one comes along!

This time it's the Distortion Project bringing along Metal Blade's Assault Tour. On the bill on 4th April are: The Rotted (formerly Gorerotted)/Malefice/Anterior+1

April is going to be one busy month!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Updated confirmed gig listings

This post comes under the HOLY SHIT category....I mean, be serious, just how much rock and metal can be crammed into the first few months of the year. There is something here for everyone, from extreme metal madness to glammed up campness. There's even something for the more elderly fans.

But it all goes to prove that Northern Ireland's scene is vibrant with local action and as a destination.

Overoth/Shadow's Far/Razor Sentry/Cursed Sun - Spring & Airbrake - 23/01/09
Soulfly - Spring & Airbrake - 05/02/09
The Datsuns - Spring & Airbrake - 06/02/09
Status Quo - Waterfront Hall - 04/02/09
Lamb Of God / Five Finger Death Punch/ Mass Extinction - Mandela Hall - 08/02/09
Judas Priest/Megadeth/Testament - Odyssey Arena - 11/02/09
Hot Leg - The Limelight - 26/02/09
Residual Effect/Sinnocence/Razor Sentry - Auntie Annies - 26/02/09
Nazareth - Spring & Airbrake - 27/02/09
Triggerman/Stand-up Guy/TTOW/Bad Boat - Auntie Annies - 05/03/09
Gojira - The Limelight - 15/03/09
Stiff Little Fingers/The Beat/Blood and Whiskey - Ulster Hall - 16/03/09
Eagles Of Death Metal - Spring & Airbrake - 01/04/09
Blaze Bayley - The Rosetta - 09/04/09
H2O/Death Before Dishonour - The Limelight - 13/04/09
AC/DC / The Answer - The O2 Point, Dublin - 18/4/09
The Answer - Mandella Hall - 20/04/09
Supersuckers / Nashville Pussy - The Limelight - 20/04/09
In Flames / Cancer Bats - Mandela Hall - 23/04/09
Full Metal Racket (Paradise Lost/Rotting Christ + more) -Mandella Hall -25/04/09
NOFX - Spring & Airbrake - 26/04/2009
Saxon / Sweet Savage - Mandela Hall - 26/04/09
Gallows/Everytime I Die- Limelight - 25/05/09
AC/DC - Punchestown - 28/04/09

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Distortion Project is back

Announcing their first gig of 2009, The Distortion Project presents:
Shadow's Far (Thrash metal from Switzerland). http://www.myspace.com/shadowsfar
Razor Sentry. http://www.myspace.com/razorsentry and
Cursed Sun. www.myspace.com/cursedsunmetal

It's at the Spring & Airbrake on Friday 23rd of January. Doors 9pm, £5.00

For those not in the know Overoth are a Death Metal Band hailing from the Belfast area of Northern Ireland. They formed in late 2005 by four close friends with a raw passion for Death Metal. Their first demo “Pathway to Demise” has received many great reviews...
Shadows Far - influenced by bands like The Haunted, Destruction and Coroner, Shadow's Far is thrash metal dynamite with a riffing that sticks in your mind and easily force you to bang your head!

Razor Sentry and Cursed Sun are sure to hit the stage with a point to prove amongst such alumni...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Nu-metal and Norn Irish metal

Staind have, often, been unfairly tagged as being nu-metal wannabes. Of course, being signed by Fred Durst and having the balding adolescent sing on a live track can't have helped...

This Sunday Staind are at Belfast's Mandella Hall promoting new CD, 'The Illusion of Progress'.

“For our new album, we went into the studio with the mindset of making our heaviest record yet,” said singer Aaron Lewis, “but the record that came out, with us writing in the studio, some of it has flavors of Pink Floyd and some has flavors of straight-up blues. We didn’t use the same rigs that we use onstage, we used all vintage shit, guitars and amps, and I’m pretty psyched about it. The songs are pretty timeless in their texture, whereas typical Staind isn’t, sonic wise, necessarily timeless.”

Support on Sunday comes from Sinnocence. As a self financed act, Sinocence have managed to maintain a uniquely musical life and achieve worldwide distribution with Casket/Co-Pro Records. In the words of the blurb:

"The band have garnered popularity in the underground, as well as whipping up a frenzy on the internet. Within the last twelve months, Sinocence have undertaken successful tours of the UK & Ireland, as well as playing their debut shows on mainland Europe."

For once the blurb is right....

Tickets for Sunday's gig are £23

Homecoming for The Answer

The Answer are making a homecoming gig on Monday 20th April.

Midway through their monster support slot with AC/DC The Answer are also planning to release theie new CD, Everyday Demons, on February 16th.

Tickets are £10, subject to booking fee

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nazareth return

Yet more gig dates confirmed...Nazareth are to return to Belfast, with a date at the Spring & Airbrake on 27th February,

Here's some of the blurb:
After there worldwind ‘40th Anniversary World Tour’ and the release of there latest album ‘The Newz’ last year, Nazareth have announced a 2009 tour.

After 29 albums and 40 years of chart topping music it seems we still can’t get enough of these Scottish Born Rockers. Nazareth is comprised of Dan McCafferty (Lead vocals), Pete Agnew (bass) Jimmy Murrison (lead guitar) and Lee Agnew (drums).

Tickets are priced £20.00 subject to booking fee and are available at all usual outlets. No Booking Fee applied at Katy Dalys.

Gojira bring French metal attitude to Belfast

Eco-metallers with attitude by the bucketful, Gojira, bring their unique brand of Gallic noise to Belfast on March 15th, according to totalrock.com.

Official confirmation expected this week.

Stiff Little Fingers – Belfast’s finest

There are very few bands that can earn the epithet seminal. Belfast’s very own Stiff Little Fingers not only deserve to be called seminal, but they can deservedly claim that they have influenced bands worldwide.

When SLF kicked off as covers band Highway Star in the late 70s few could have believed, let alone credited their 32-year journey that would see bands as diverse as Green Day, The Almighty, The Beat and a host more credit the Stiffs as an influence.

Of course, 32 years later SLF are very different beast compared to the snarling, angst-driven outfit that drove the invective driven Inflammable Material right through the smug self-serving late 70s.

Then, prog and rock was dying a death; verbose over-inflated, tired bands were flagging on their last legs. Punk’s new sound was divided between the commercial and the aware. SLF were f├ęted among the aware, the sound was not from the safe suburbs and the lyrics less so.

As we look towards the paranoia of recession and the uncertainty of the noughties are SLF still relevant? Has the angst ridden youth of the 70s given way to cynicism? Hell no! Has the anger dissipated? Hell no! SLF still speak to that part of us which decries injustice; that hates the smug self-satisfied political commentators; that still wants to have fun, make a point and rock like a bastard: never mind whether you’re 15 or 50 SLF are the outpouring of all that is right about powerful music.

The main man of the Stiffs is, of course, Jake Burns. Currently living in Chicago, Jake is plotting the next leg of SLF’s journey with a European tour that will take in Belfast on March 16th.

Belfastmetalheadsreunited caught up with Jake to reflect on past triumphs and look to the future.

Deeply considered, but retaining the mischievousness steeped in the genes of Belfast folk, Jake was looking forward to the Belfast and Glasgow dates especially for the spring European tour.

“We’re definitely looking forward to playing the Ulster Hall,” he said. “It’s really special for us, like the St Patrick’s Day Glasgow gigs….we always seem to end up in Glasgow on March 17th! When we were growing up it was such a big deal to play the Ulster Hall, and we’re been looking forward to being back in Belfast.

“We’d played gigs in The Empire in the past and while it was great – and the fans were super – the stage is so small you’re bumping into each other all the time and you can’t give the show the fans deserve.

“I wondered whether we could still put on an Ulster Hall show, but it really came together last time – Don Letts filmed the DVD there and we had fans past, present and future there and a packed hall.”

The enduring quality of SLF’s music is perhaps best laid out in the age range of the fans at recent gigs, from teenagers to wrinkly rockers.

“Sometimes you wonder about playing the old tunes. You wonder how many times you can play Suspect Device or Alternative Ulster. Then you walk on stage and see 14 and 15-year olds and you think to yourself that this is the first time that they have heard those songs live and it gives you that extra impetus.”

But, Jake – like all of SLF – are not resting on past glories, with more recent material set to be included in the set-list for the European tour, even if we are all waiting for a new album.

“Yeah, I’ve been writing,” he said. “But, there was a lot going on in my personal life, including the move several thousand miles to a new continent. That means I sort of fell away from the discipline of writing.

“The ability to lock yourself in a room and sit with a guitar and hammer out a few tunes is there, but the discipline needs to be there too.

“It is coming back and there are quite a few tracks and ideas ready to go.”

And, it seems that looking back on the past as well as reflecting on the future is the key to the freshness of SLF’s gigs, as well as future recordings.

Jake has maintained a healthy disrespect for the conventional path, yet still looks to past influences for material. Rory Gallagher, Joe Strummer and Thin Lizzy remain among the pantheon of artists he not only respects, but enjoys.

The diverse nature of such influences, together with the feeling of injustice that must be addressed makes SLF as relevant in 2009 as they were when Belfast's streets were littered by the aftermath of yet another stupid paramilitary attack on the innocent. We heard then from SLF about paramilitary assholes on Wasted Life. Thankfully there were many who listened and wove their paths clear of the tribal warfare and walked the path that shone the light on music and justice.

In the next part of this interview, Jake tells Belfastmetalheadsreunited about the Nefarious Fat Cats and the hazards of touring in Europe…and what his favourite track is from recent SLF recordings.

SLF play the Ulster Hall on March 16th.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Punk metal at The Limelight....

Seems punk darlings of the metal media Gallows are set for a Limelight gig on May 25th with Everytime I Die as support. Official confirmation yet to arrive...stay tuned.


Further all hail Norn Iron...

Further to the earlier post on the undiscovered excellence of Northern Ireland's hard rock and metal, it's worth noting that Belgium may be suffering from an onslaught from our own Sorrowfall. They'll be playing on Fri 20th February with Thurisaz at Wervik before hitting the Frontline Sat 21st Feb The Frontline Festival in Ghent.

And in other Belgian metal news...stick with me on this one... Thurisaz have replaced Airged Lam'h on the Full Metal Racket line-up for the 25th April date.

Monday, January 12, 2009

All hail Norn Iron

Per head of population Northern Ireland must be one of the most creative places on this forsaken ball of a planet in terms of hard rock and heavy metal.

And finally someone has noticed. Not only has HMV rated our very own The Answer as a top ten tip for 2009, but now the mainstream magzines have picked up on our tiny wee blast of creativity. Classic Rock's cover CD not only includes The Answer's Highwater or Hell from forthcoming Everyday Demons album, but also includes a track from Million$Reload (whose progress we've been following on this site for some time...). Inside the mag rates Million$Reload as potentially following The Answer's progress.

It seems that every once and a while journos notice our wee country.

Heaven (and Hell) help us if they ever really pay attention to what Norn Iron has been and is continuing to produce.

Asides from the aforementioned The Answer and Million$Reload let's recap...Gary Moore, SLF, The Undertones, Therapy?, Ash, Sweet Savage as just some names going for a wee while and among the latest crop...Gama Bomb, Soundstone, Residual Effect, A Little Bitter, Sinocence, Waylander, Sorrowfall, Escape Fails, Ricky Warwick, Payola, Fireland, Darkest Era, hell there really are too many to mention (and no doubt you'll let me know which ones I haven't mentioned)

The hard rock, punk and metal output from Northern Ireland has been too long denegrated, sometimes from within. Time to recognise and hail all that stand loud and proud for the cause and keep on keeping the faith when faced with apathy from within and from outside these shores!

(Although goodness only knows what the fuck will happen if half the bands get signed...Jager sales spiral in the six counties, PSNI called in to deal with outbreak of rampant egos, NI Human Rights Commission launches report on metal clubs discriminating against emos....)

SLF interview

Top bloke, leading light and co-founder of one of the most infuential punk bands on the planet - he is Stiff Little Fingers' Jake Burns. Later this week we'll be publishing some snippets from an interview with Jake.

In the interview Jake explains his favourite track of recent SLF platters, why European touring is hazardous to phone bills, and what exactly are the Nefarious Fat Cats...and why he had to re-learn the Rory Gallagher and Thin Lizzy riffs.

SLF are playing Belfast's Ulster Hall on March 16th

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Heaven and Hell for Download

Strong indications are that Heaven And Hell will play this year's Download Festival, which happens from June 12-14 at Donington. Rumours are the band - albeit Sabbath without the monicker - will be appearing on the first day.

The Dio, Iommi, Butler, Appice combination will be releasing a new album beforehand.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hounoured rockers

As if it wasn't enough that Led Zep frontman Robert Plant was named in the New Year's Honour's List (the ol' crooner is to get a CBE) it now emerges that the Scottish Parliament may about to raise the horns and salute AC/DC.

For those that don't know, the Young Brothers and the late, great Bon Scott, originally hailed from Scotland, hence MSP (that's Member of the Scottish Parliament for the politically challenged readers...) Christine Grahame has lodged a motion in the Holyrood Parliament for the achievements of AC/DC to be recognised.

As Northern Irish politicians return from their Christmas break they should have a list ready at their fingertips to recognise Sweet Savage, Stiff Little Fingers, Therapy?, Ash, The Answer, The Undertones...and a bunch more! They'll probably nominate someone who is about the same age as themselves...Van Morrison!

Way to go at Metalfest

Waylander have been confirmed for Metalfest, which happens from September 25-27 at Dudley JB's.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Helluva lot of gigs!

2009 looks set to be a helluva busy year on the hard rock and metal front...below are the confirmed gig dates. More to be added soon (oh yes a lot more!) once they are confirmed. Meantime, if you know more dates let me know.

Kerrang! Tour - Mandella Hall - 13/01/09
Staind - Mandela Hall - 18/01/2009
Pearl Jem - Spring & Airbrake - 30/01/2009
Soulfly - Spring & Airbrake - 05/02/2009
The Datsuns - Spring & Airbrake - 06/02/2009
Status Quo - Waterfront Hall - 04/02/09
Lamb Of God / Five Finger Death Punch/ Mass Extinction - Mandela Hall - 08/02/2009
Judas Priest/Megadeth/Testament - Odyssey Arena - 11/02/09
Hot Leg - The Limelight - 26/02/2009
Triggerman/Stand-up Guy/TTOW/Bad Boat - Auntie Annies - 05/03/09
Stiff Little Fingers/The Beat/Blood and Whiskey - Ulster Hall - 16/03/09
Eagles Of Death Metal - Spring & Airbrake - 01/04/2009
Blaze Bayley - The Rosetta - 09/04/09
AC/DC / The Answer - The O2 Point, Dublin - 18/4/09
Supersuckers / Nashville Pussy - The Limelight - 20/04/2009
In Flames / Cancer Bats - Mandela Hall - 23/04/2009
Full Metal Racket (Paradise Lost/Rotting Christ + more) -Mandella Hall -25/04/09
NOFX - Spring & Airbrake - 26/04/2009
Saxon / Sweet Savage - Mandela Hall - 26/04/2009
AC/DC - Punchestown - 28/04/09