Pick Your Rock and Metal

Monday, November 30, 2009

Metallica set for Belfast!

May 11th, Odyssey Arena - METALLICA

Tickets 49 notes and rumours are that if it sells out there is the capacity for a second date

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Best wishes to the wee man with the big voice

Ronnie James Dio has been diagnosed with cancer – but it appears he is recovering.

In a statement, a spokesman of his management said:

"Ronnie has been diagnosed with the early stages of stomach cancer. We are starting treatment immediately at the Mayo Clinic.

"After he kills this dragon, Ronnie will be back on stage, where he belongs, doing what he loves best, performing for his fans.

"Thanks to all the friends and fans around the world that have sent well wishes. This has really helped to keep his spirit up. Long Live Rock and Roll, Long Live Ronnie James Dio"

All the best from us here Ronnie!

Source: Totalrock.com

Skindred march on Belfast

WITH March kicking off with Machine Head and co hitting the city, the month now also includes Skindred playing The Limelight on March 21st.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The official notification from CDC...


"Grammy-nominated Bay Area metal titans, MACHINE HEAD have added 5 more dates to their UK headline run in support of their now silver-certified album (60,000 UK units sold), ‘The Blackening’. The tour, dubbed ‘The Black Procession’ will now includes a show in Belfast’s St Georges Market on Monday 1st March 2010. Tickets are on sale this Friday from www.cdcleisure.com and from 0844 277 4455. Tickets priced £29 including booking fee."
Doors: 7:00pm

March to Machine Head

March 1st - Machine Head, St George's Market...let the moshing commence

Friday, November 20, 2009

Airebourne re-schedule

Looking forward to Airbourne's return to Belfast? You'll have to wait a little longer as the Aussie rockers have re-scheduled their February appearance. They will now play the Mandella Hall on April 13th. Scheduling issues - plus the need to have a new CD to promo on the tour - are the reasons given for the change of dates

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blaze Belfast return

The official notification from James of the Blaze Bayley Belfast date below (got date wrong in earlier post, ooops!

The Distortion Project presents:




+ 1 TBC
Thursday 4th March

The Limelight, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast.

Doors 9pm.

Ticket info shortly, but expect the usual.





Blaze Bayley, former vocalist for Wolfsbane and Iron Maiden, has had a long and distinguished musical career thus far. After embarking on a solo career that spawned four successful and critically acclaimed albums under the band name BLAZE, a new line-up of experienced musicians from England, Colombia and New Zealand joined ranks with Blaze. In 2007 the band now known as Blaze Bayley was born. This, his strongest line-up of musicians, features Nico Bermudez (Underthreat) and Jay Walsh (Four Way Kill) on guitars, David Bermudez (Underthreat) on bass and Lawrence Paterson (Chokehold) on drums.

The band’s debut album ‘The Man Who Would Not Die’ was released worldwide in July 2008. The accompanying ‘Tour That Will Not Die’ visited over 20 countries throughout Western and Eastern Europe, The Balkans, South America and Scandinavia during 2009. The final quarter of 2009 sees the band writing and recording their second studio album, a first visit to Greece and a return to Z7, Switzerland for the last gig of the year.

Monday, November 09, 2009

What makes a rocker/metalhead?

We are legion, spread across the globe, dedicated to loud, proud and at times obnoxious music. But what makes a rocker? What is the essential attribute that sets a metal head apart from the clones that walk through their lives obsessed by X-Factor and mundanity?

Is it the CD collection filled with obscure tracks from long passed acts? Is it the ability to list the tracks, and their order of every Sabbath/Maiden/Metllica album ever released? Is it an encyclopaedic knowledge of Norwegian Black Metal? Is it the ability to attend every gig? Is it the most tour t-shirts secreted in the cupboard? Is it a cultural choice? We might need the money to pay the mortgage, but that doesn't mean we've sold our soul to X-Factor?

Or...is it the statutory long hair? If that is the case then like Samson I shall be denuded of metal strength on 17th November....

On that date I will be having beard and head shaved off. Will I suddenly have the urge to watch the X-Factor? Will I suddenly listen to Slow Patrol songs and muse on their deeper meanings...

Not likely!

What makes a rocker/metalhead is that tingle when a track by Slayer makes you shiver with cathartic pleasure; it is when the intro of Fade to Black makes you feel stronger, but with empathy towards the emotions; it is when despite common sense you not only want to, but need to play air guitar; it is is when at a gig you just gotta raise your hands, mouth the lyrics and hope that the singer catches your eye for a fleeting moment.

In other words it is the sheer pleasure of the music.

But does long hair mark the hard rock fan or metalhead?

I hope it does not, because on 17th November I am having these lovingly grown locks shorn to total Scott Ian and Baal baldiness.

All in aid of Children in Need.

Yep, the shoulder length, chewing on, burning when lighing a ciggie hair is to be gone: shaved to the bone.

It is happening at 3pm at the NICCY offices in Gt Victoria St, Belfast. Come along and laugh yer wee metal asses off (and maybe part with some sponsorship money too!).

One thing is sure..afterwards I'll still be metal to the core, rocking til I die etc...
Not a totally random event...though truth be told after years of comment about needing 'a wee trim' the nuclear option means the likelihood of moving to the mainstream has been negated again \m/

Blazing a trail

Congrats to Sinocence who have landed the support slot for the Blaze Bayley 2010 tour which touches down in Belfast on March 5th, venue TBC.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Booking agents and Deep Purple

The rumours, innuendo and supposition about Deep Purple's much talked about Northern Ireland gig has been flying about. To recap: the Daily Mirror had a story on the fly (info also on here from a 'source' that same day); Lynyrd Skynyrd and Alice in Chains were also reputed to be on the bill. It was allegedly to be at Portstewart Strand or an outdoor venue close to, or in Belfast.

Since then DP have confirmed the 30th June date at The Marquee in Cork, which is usually a one-date in Ireland affair (Slayer, The Who etc in previous years).

At the same time rumours have appeared on posts that the DP bill was to have Journey and Europe included.

Promoters have been (totally understandably) tight-lipped about whether these were just the usual wish-fulfilment on the part of fans. Such wish fulfilment has so far seen 36,000 unique visitors drop in on the posts here on the rumours.

All was much as it seemed - we live in hope, expect the worst and hope for the best gigs here on the isolated limb of western Europe. And, on consideration, we thought that the booking fees for bringing DP etc would put the gig out of the real world of gig economics.

And then we received an email from a booking agent in the US wanting to know why this, 'otherwise credible' site was running this information before an official announcement could be made.

Which left us in one part elated (as in it could happen) and in an other feeling concerned that they were 'not in a position' to 'confirm any further dates at this time' (as in it may not happen).

We make no bones about it - we've been wrong in the past (very few times mind you!) - but we all would love to see this line-up (DP, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice in Chains  - plus latest rumours Journey and Europe play here [Satyricon too \m/] ) but, there are economic barriers.

The main one is making sure that the crowd is between 5,000 and 10,000 whereever it is staged. If The Marquee in Cork and a Northern Ireland date were in the same month a solid support line-up would make sure DP attracted enough numbers...get the right venue too and the DP hard rock behemoth might hit a town near you :)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Deep Purple summer date....

WITH confirmation that Deep Purple will be playing the Marquee in Cork on June 30th coming today, news as to whether the Northern Ireland date trailed in the Daily Mirror a couple of weeks ago will actually happen is expected over next few days. There are still plenty of unfilled slots in the tour calendar with only a couple of dates in Russia confirmed in May prior to the Cork gig.

If it does happen it will be an outdoor date, much like the summer Quo gig at Carrick Castle, only on a larger scale. For those who may not have seen the Daily Mirror story or the reports here, it is being put out there that DP may be putting in appearance at either Portstewart Strand or an outdoor venue close to/in Belfast with Lynyrd Skynrd and Alice in Chains.

We can only but wait...fingers crossed etc. As soon as confirmation arrives I'll post here.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

MSG tour line-up announced

The Michael Schenker Group has brought in former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade and returning bassist Chris Glen for the December tour which sees the Teutonic axeman return to Belfast's Ulster Hall on the 19th.

They join Michael Schenker himself, plus vocalist Gary Barden and rhythm guitarist/keyboard player Wayne Findlay.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Adair takes over Interrogate vocal duties

Ryan Adair, former Escape Fails frontman, has been appointed as Interrogate's new singer. The announcement has been made official on the band's Myspace site.

Blood soaked autumn

SLAYER and Bon Jovi both today released their new albums. Bon Jovi, on the evidence of the local HMV may well top next week’s charts.

Circle represents a return to top form for Jon and his amigos, but after their appearance on X-Factor we are not really sure that we can as yet comment…praising Simon Cowell means listening to the music with a certain amount of cynicism. No doubt the strength of the material means that favourable comments will be made by me and others in due course, but for now...

Instead it is time to turn to Slayer. When all else fails, and the world is crowding you, Slayer are the constant. Simon Cowell and his cronies are never going to invite Slayer on to X-Factor.

Not for Slayer the vagaries of fashion, nor the pleading to the critics nor the attention-deficit disorder phone polls of the weak minded.

And, with World Painted Blood Slayer have returned with a visceral vision of a dystopian 21st Century, dripping with newly spilled blood, senses curdled with the cries of the dying and the revelation of rotten cultures and serial killers…oh and they have the usual attacks on religion too.

Although their most recent releases, such as Christ Illusion, were good, World Painted Blood feels like the most coherent CD from the Californian thrashers for a long time.

Whether it stands the test of time remains to be seen, but track by track Slayer have laid down a sermon for the disaffected, disenfranchised: which by any definition is what the muse of metal should deliver each and every time.

Opening with the title track the quartet’s intention is clear: bludgeoning all in their path. At almost six minutes it verges towards classic metal while retaining Slayer’s edge of monster riffage and atonal soloing.

Hate Worldwide is an ominous ode to Slayer’s atheistic leanings – the lyric ‘I’m a godless heretic, not a god-fearing lunatic’ sets out their stall clearly and without the equivocation of some of their peers on religiosity.

There has been much comment about the ‘clean’ Araya vocals at the start of Playing with Dolls, but put simply it works: as does almost everything else on this album when seen in the context of the world of Slayer.
Araya, Lombardo, Hanneman and King have laid out 11 songs that paint a world smeared with the blood of illegal warlords, the victims of killers, and the slaughter of innocent and guilty alike. Take the time to read the world headlines and dare to disagree.

But at the same time there is a cathartic joy in exploring such dreadful depths of humanity with Slayer. Here there are no qualms about discussing Japanese death camp experimentation, nor America’s modern oil wars. Here there is pressing need to understand the motivation behind ‘Snuff’ movies. Here there is a challenge, here there is a cry of anger, and here is a band maturing to even blacker visions.

Slayer don’t ever veer too far off the path of a formula that has worked for decades. Slayer are Slayer. And as they emerge into venerable years as middle-aged thrashers they are not going to suddenly decide to suck up to the mainstream, or change their outlook.
Slayer, on World Painted Blood, are back to being awesomely dark. They are back to being fucking brutal. Brutal joy to all in the festive season to come!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Escape Fails withdraw from Kerrang comp

In the wake of the split with vocalist Ryan Adair Escape Fails have withdrawn from the Kerrang competition in which they were shortlisted finalists. The band's blog comment can be found here: http://blogs.myspace.com/escapefails