Pick Your Rock and Metal

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Intense interrogation

Heavy metal is in rude good health; groove, intensity and an awesome display of power were on display from a trio of bands gathered in solemn dedication to the genre and to toast the launch of Interrogate's new platter at The Limelight on Saturday.

Scarred for Life is the band's new offering (review to follow...and pin back your ears if you haven't heard it already: subtlelty and brutality make a heady mix!).

Opening proceedings at rockD in The Limelight were No Grace Given, delivering a riff packed set, with Steve Rice commanding proceedings, dominating the stage with presence rather than histrionics.

Triggerman are all about grooving with Bap leading a beer-soaked preacher metal revival meeting through the halls of Valhalla via hard rockin' heaven.
And then there were the Pole dancers...yes pole dancers, and we're not talking about Polish folk dances. Three lythe ladies kept a largely male audience in rapt attention. Much kudos for facing the audience with humour and some quite frankly unbelievable machinations for an increasingly testosterone fuelled crowd.

But Saturday night was all about Interrogate. Although facing some challenging circumstances coming into the show, this was an important gig for the crew. Despite a slightly truncated set Andy, Darren, Mark and Steve took to the stage eager to deliver an intense interrogation for any doubters.
New material off Scarred for Life merged seamlessly with more familiar tracks off the Unbroken EP.
Kicking off with the invitation to 'Tear this place down' from new CD opener Victim the pace never relented. Andy is increasingly confident in using the entire range of his vocals, supported by Darren's growls.

By the time the groove of Panteral Grey was trotted out Darren and Steve's rhythm pieces has become increasingly tight. What was secure before, now is so airtight that you couldn't slide a slip of paper between them.

Andy's foil in Mark's guitar played tempo against weight - and an increasingly involved crowd nodded, headbanged and generally had a helluva good time.
Interrogate are maturing into a band deserving of more exposure. Triggerman continue to defy conventions that say that metal is one dimensional, and No Grace Given stare out with potential to flay.
These three acts are proof that the local scene is alive, kicking and screw the mainstream pop world that's populated by that cunt Cowell and his non-entities.
The band may not be metal, but it is worth recalling the words of Belfast's Stiff Little Fingers:
"I believe in the power of guitar and drum
I believe in the hope held in a song
I believe that the music makes you strong
I believe in the power of guitar and drum"
Interrogate, Triggerman and No Grace Given make that belief worthwhile.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Time for Interrogation!

Tomorrow, Saturday 30th May, Interrogate unleash their new album - Scarred for Life - at RockD in The Limelight.

The culmination of a year's hard work the album builds upon the trade mark Interrogate sound many of us have come to appreciate over the past few years.

After a brief hiatus from the live scene to record and polish the tracks they have had a few gigs to shake off the dust and their mixture of hard rock, hardcore and metal will no doubt be laid down with the usual aural assault on Saturday.

Scarred For Life is the culmination of years of hard work from Interrogate. Review to follow naturally!

Originally formed in the late 90s, the Castledawson band have endured their fair share of hardships, but have come out the other side unscathed and invigorated.

A near fatal accident, line-up changes and flammable practice rooms have failed to dampen the spirits of the metal band who have gone from strength to strength while working towards their album release.

Scarred For Life aims to build upon Interrogate’s reputation as Northern Ireland ’s premier metal band and with plans afoot for a European tour, their future is looking very bright indeed.

Now in case this hasn't swayed you enough to head on down to The Limelight ponder on this. There will be support from the excellent Triggerman and No Grace Given...and there will be the Jagerettes...and there will be pole dancers (I kid you not!)...and it all costs a measly £5 to get your asses into The Limelight.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BSC official confirmation

As mentioned here last night Black Stone Cherry are making a return visit to Belfast in October. Full details and band blurb from CDC below:


2009 is set to be a busy year for the Southern American rockers, Black Stone Cherry. June 8th sees the release of a special edition of their current and critically acclaimed ‘Folklore & Superstition’ album. This 2-CD set features the original release, plus an additional 10 track CD. Additionally, a digital single ‘Things My Father Said,’ is released on 15th June, following their appearance on the main stage at this year’s Download Festival on Sunday 14th June. As well as Download, Black Stone Cherry have been confirmed for Nova Rock Festival, Hellfest and Graspop festival to name but a few. Festival season will be followed with a Headline UK tour. Belfast is the 2nd date on Black Stone Cherry's tour schedule, which has been greatly anticipated since there sell out tour in December of last year. They play Spring & Airbrake on Sunday 11th October. Tickets are on sale now priced £16.00 plus bk fee from all usual outlets & online at www.geturticket.com.

MIllion hitting Download

The Northern Ireland contingent at Download has grown with Million Dollar Reload joining The Answer on the bill

Monday, May 25, 2009

Heaven and Hell problem

On a Bank Holiday, with rain pounding the DIY task at hand...organising the CDs (yes I am the sad one who puts them in alphabetical order). Problem: Heaven and Hell should be filed under 'H' but everyone knows it is Black Sabbath and would be known as that but for the law suit filed by Sharon Osbourne preventing anyone using the Sabbath name without Ozzy in the line-up.

Should I defer to Ms Osbourne's legal posturing, or file it with the rest of the Sabbath CDs where it belongs?

PS: It's a damn fine album...could even be said to be the album that should have been made after Mob Rules.

Black Stone return

Black Stone Cherry are set to make a return to Belfast on October 11th. Details to follow.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Low End 09

Quick note on an event to wrap up the summer - The Low End festival 09...and why are we listing an event in Waterford's Forum...well it's because to compliment the headliners are a shedload of local (i.e. Norn Iron) acts. Here's the full line-up for August 28th and 29th...

Napalm Death
Five Will Die
Stand-Up Guy
Mourning Beloveth
Ghost of Medina
Residual Effect
Two Tales of Woe
Red Enemy

Dan Reed and much more...

The Diamond Rock Club in Ahoghill (it's near Ballymena for those who rarely venture out of Belfast) have the following gigs coming up.

DAN REED- Thursday 21st May -doors 7.30pm
10 quid

AC?DC + JACKKNIFE - Friday 5th June doors 8.30pm
admission 10 quid.

doors 8.30

featuring ZZ TOO + LAST KNOWN ADDITICION Sunday 5th July
doors 3pm
finished for 8pm
admission 10 quid which includes BBQ

PAT MCMANUS + AJENDA -Saturday 18th July - doors 8.30pm

Sunday, May 10, 2009

when rock and funk crossed over...Dan Reed coming to town

Back when you could go to a thrash gig one week and a soft/pop rock the following week and meet up with the same people, Bon Jovi played the King's Hall in 1990 I think. Support came from the Dan Reed Network, who had a minor hit with Rainbow Child.

Dan Reed disappeared off many people's radar after that; pulling time working, I believe, in a Kibbutz in Israel before returning to songwriting. Last year he penned a song for the Obama campaign using Charlie Chaplin's film 'The Dictator' as a backdrop. (Watch it here).

Before nu-metal became fashionable Dan Reed merged a sense of soulfulness with rock sensibilities. There is no way that Dan could be described as a metal act let alone a hard rock act, but he performs at such a standard that if you haven't got your ticket to see him at the Diamond Rock Club in Ahoghill on 21st May already then it might be worth your while taking the time out to get one now before they all sell-out!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

'Head heading for Belfast - welcome back Lemmy!

Motorhead have confirmed a return to Belfast date in November. Lemmy and co are playing the Ulster Hall on 9th November.

Hope this gets a great response from the local fans. Motorhead played several times during the worst of the Troubles, when a lot of bands couldn't be arsed pencilling an ultimately not very profitable date in this wee country.

The now defunct Maysfield Leisure Centre and the Whitla Hall (yeah that one beside the QUB Lanyon Building) hosted some spectacular Motorhead nights. I still can't figure out how they managed to fit The Bomber rig into the Whitla Hall without the roof caving in!

The tour will be promoting, amongst other things, the re-issue of 'No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith' - a live recording that is amongst the most genuine live recordings of a metal act available. The production wasn't perfect, at times the sound was muddy, and the playing wasn't note perfect. Still it reached the upper echelons of the UK album charts in the days when you really had to sell a shedload of albums to make it!

Welcome back Motorhead!


After my mini-rant about turn-outs was nice to see a well-filled Limelight for tonight's Sinocence gig. In between a series of unavoidable commitments I nipped in and caught 15 minutes of Residual Effect. They were, as usual, laying down an awesome wall of extreme metal noise. Would have loved to stay for the rest but...anyone want to comment on the rest of the acts? Post away please!

Apple vs Nine Inch Nails

Lars Ulrich vs Napster, and now Trent Reznor vs Apple Computers. The Nine Inch Nails has had the computer, phone and MP3 player giant to climb down over an application for the iPhone - read about it here.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Ginger times

The former Wildhearts frontman Ginger has recently been appointed as a columnist for Classic Rock magazine's online version...oh and he's playing the Spring and Airbrake on 14th May...

Cornell plays Dublin..same night as Anvil

Chris Cornell - he of Soundgarden, Temple of a Dog, Audioslave is playing the Olympia in Dublin on 14th June. His last solo album was produced by dance 'icon' :) Justin Timberlake...the gig is the same night as Canadian metal pioneers Anvil play The Academy. Anvil, subject of a recent documentary, have earned their stripes the hard way; from stadiums to dingy gigs, and now back again. And no, they've never had a trendy producer. In fact I believe that their dictionary has the page with the definition of trendy ripped out! Pity there's no Belfast date!

Downloadable Prong...

As you may remember from previous postings Prong are set for a June 14th at the Spring & Airbrake, promoted by the Distortion Project.

As a taster for forthcoming gigs Prong will have the tracks 'The Banishment' and the previously unreleased 'Idealistic Types' available as downloadable content for the 'Rock Band' game on May 5 (Xbox Live Marketplace) and May 7 (Playstation Network).

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Apathetic bloody planet...

Quick rant before moderate tone returns...

A Little Bitter kicked off the RockD summer programme on Saturday past. Ably assisted by Niyah Sky and Arcane, A Little Bitter opened the Limelight's metal doors with a bang. New tracks meled with old favourites in a cacophony of melted musical mayhem of the best type.

The only problem was there were barely a smattering of people who bothered there arses to show up. Now c'mon people - £5 in for three bands is damn fine value in these financially straitened times.

Now pay attention - the following RockD events are scheduled for The Limelight. A roll call will be taken and metal head status may be revoked if 50% attendance at the following gigs is not recorded :)

Saturday May 9th. Sinocence + Residual Effect + Rebels by Nature + Trucker Diablo. **Sinocence album (re)launch** Doors 5pm, £5.00
Saturday May 16th. Pagan Altar + Devilmakesthree + 2 TBC. Doors 5pm, £8.00
Saturday May 23rd. Fireland + Black Freeway + Death Warrent. £3.50
Saturday May 30th. Interrogate + Triggerman + No Grace Given. **Interrogate album launch** Doors 5pm, £5.00

Now to recap - loads of bands playing on Saturday early evening; the doors opening at 5pm...

If you missed out on A Little Bitter's album launch gig, you can still catch them in May 8th at the Northern Bar, Armagh. If you decide to see them at the Cellar Bar in Draperstown on Saturday 9th you can send in your RockD absence slip at the door next time...

Bonus points for those that spot where the headline quotation comes from...