Pick Your Rock and Metal

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Ulster Hall is back

The Ulster Hall re-opened tonight (classics gig...and although I would have liked to hear the Rachmaninov piano piece and my school friend Nigel Ireland playing with the Orchestra, I declined as I have some good sense left!) with the promise of many great gigs for rock, punk and metal fans to come!.

Monday sees all sorts of bands clamber on to the historic steps. although only Therapy? or Ash may interest readers.

On March 16th Stiff Little Fingers return to the Bedford Street venue (and if you ain't seen SLF at the Ulster Hall you need to be there to find out what you've been missing!)

Rock and metal acts may also be playing around the Download dates.

But, it led me to thinking how many great acts played the Ulster Hall. And how many I personally attended - sober or drunk, solo or with mates.

Yeah, every punter knows about Led Zeppelin playing Stairway to Heaven live for the first time ever, but for me it was so much more than another venue with a legacy.

Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, MSG, Whitesnake, Jethro Tull, SLF, Faith No More (back when Big Ugly Jim Martin was still in the band and they played War Pigs), Rory Gallagher, Budgie, Bernie Tormé and a host of others still form vivid memories. And then running back to get the last bus at City Hall, or trying to get through the security barriers before they closed for a 'black taxi' back home.

Great to see the Grand Dame back in operation...and a "certain Mr Gillan" to quote Bernie Tormé may grace the stage in November with his oh so deeply coloured trobaudours laying 'smoke' across the Lagan waters, and entrancing us with tales of strange women, women from Japan, some perfect people you haven't met yet, and some stars of the highway.

Buy yer demons here!

The Answer have been receiving the full mainstream media treatment over the past couple of weeks. There have been features on the BBC, a cover story in Kerrang!, reviews and interviews in Rock Sound, Classic Rock, and Metal Hammer.

Has the hard work of gigging like ADHD children, agreeing to seemingly countless interviews and supporting the enormodome tour with AC/DC been worth it?

With new CD, Everyday Demons reaching a midweek high on the album charts of number 11 it has indeed. Not the metal charts, not the rock charts, not the made-up sort of charts some bands claim as their own - no the real charts.

If you haven't got a copy of Everyday Demons by now, go out and get one as soon as you can shake yer ass. Not only will your ears thank you for the rest of your days, but you might just help The Answer achieve what few can hope for....a Top 10 album!

The Answer play the Mandella Hall on April 20th. Be there (but only if you have learned the new album off by heart and can sing along to the new tracks!)
Seems that over the past week there has been a flurry of bands rumoured to be on the bill when Metallica play Marlay Park on August 1st.

Thanks to all the tips and suggestions, but all that can be confirmed (at least for the next day or so anyway!) is that the two-day Sonisphere event in England (at Knebworth) will see Linkin Park, Machine Head, Avenged Sevenfold, Lamb of God, Mastodon, Thin Lizy, Alice in Chains, and The Sword play the two-day festival.

More bands are to be added (in the war of metalfests being run between Sonisphere and Download!) but which from the announced list will be added to the Dublin date remains to be finally confirmed. And, which ones can be persuaded to play a wee gig in Belfast on August 3rd? Well, we can but hope!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Cancer Bats don't desert Belfast

The In Flames show may have went tits up, but the Cancer Bats - who were scheduled as main support - haven't abandoned Belfast.

The Batty ones will be playing at the Spring & Airbrake on Apri 23rd. Support for the rest of the UK has been announced as SSS and The Plight, but it hasn't been confirmed who will be on the undercard here.

All together now - HAIL DESTROYER!