Pick Your Rock and Metal

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Erre three days of hard rockin' mayhem!

Hold tight if you have the cash and liver tolerance...cuz over the next three days there's a veritable feast of hardcore, hard rock and thrash - though not necessarily in that order!.

Kicking off on Thursday is RSJ at the Limelight with By Any Means leading the supporting charge!

Recover from that and you can limber up the neck muscles when classic Brit thrashers Onslaught get set to slay the Spring & Airbrake on Friday night, ably supported by Devil Makes Three, Overoth and Cursed Sun.

For those of you still fixated with the new wave of thrashers - excellent though the likes of Municipal Waste, Evile et al are - Onslaught still kill the old way. Despite wallowing through disbandment, reformation and line-up changes they have re-emerged revitalised in recent years.

Old codgers alert! Zimmer frames at the ready for grandad rock on Saturday...Status Quo play at Carrick Castle, which is only marginally older than the Quo. Sorry, but it is really easy to have a pop at the Quo, but fair is fair they have kept their 12-bar blues boogie rock going for an eternity and deserve plaudits a plenty.

Here at metal mansions we first experienced the Quo live in '82 on what was titled the 'End of the Road Tour'. Then came some years later, the 'In The Army Now Tour' etc etc etc.

No matter what their collective ages and infirmity they always get heads a nodding and entertain!

Also with the Quo on Saturday at the Castle are Hayseed Dixie with their sawgrass take on rock. And, Speedo would not forgive me if I didn't mention Tinn Lizzy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Glyding into Belfast

Glyder, to those that take an interest in these sort of things (that would be us!) seem to have been bubbling under the classic rock scene in Ireland for some time now.

But the rest of Europe, and further afield, have been perking up their ears and clocking the Glyder sound for some time.

The Wicklow rockers are making tracks for their first Irish tour...well the first in three+ years.

September 11th they play the Terrace in Dungannon, on the 12th the Diamond Bar, Ahoghill, before rounding up the northern leg of the tour at The Limelight on the 13th.

Formed five years ago Glyder have just got their third album out, and are ready to reassert their name on the island.

Guitarist, Bat Kinane explains why they're getting back to the home land now: " We haven't focused much on Ireland before this year as it's very difficult to get people out to gigs and unless you are being hyped in the media people take little interest.

"It's also very difficult to get the attention of the press in Ireland when you play hard rock music. Irish radio and media tend to focus on indie and pop [ED: not to mention a shedload of shite dance music!].

"We decided to focus our attention on building up a name in the UK and beyond and in doing so the buzz would eventually filter back home.We are relatively unknown in Ireland but this summer we opened for Metallica in Dublin and people are now beginning to show interest in our music."

And about bloody time! Those of you may doubt that anybody bar The Answer can raise a flag for Irish hard rock - north and south - on a wider stage should perhaps note that Glyder have headlined in front of thousands in India (yes you read that right!) and have appeared on the main stages in festivals across Europe.

No less a producer that Chris Tsangrides (if you don't know his pedigree...) has helmed their recordings, and esteemed Y&T axeman Dave Meniketti contributed a solo on their latest album

"We finished recording the 3rd album "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" this summer and it will be released as soon as we have finalized partners for its release. It will be very much like the first album but the songwriting has improved and there are lot of killer hooks on it.
"Dave Meniketti guests on a solo on the title track.We got to know the Y&Tpeople through touring the UK with them last year. We sent him a backing track by email and he emailed back the solo and we put it into the song. His style is very recognizable and its a hot solo!!

Bat explained what the audience can expect come the 13th: "The Belfast show will be a mix of material from our first two albums and the EP and we will be playing at least 5 tracks from the new album.

"We also have Bandwagon and Howling Widow opening for us so it should be a great evening of rock."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

'Chopper' Read out of Belfast gig

Probably the best excuse for pulling out of a gig comes courtesy or Mark 'Chopper' Read...he's dying and is refusing a liver transplant as 'he doesn't deserve it'.

Read had been due to MC the gig by Anal C*nt, Haggis and The Dangerfields on October 14th.

With Hepatits C complicating his liver problems the 55-year-old Aussie anti-hero he issued the following statement:

"I am dying and I accept that. A transplant would save me, but I'm not going to ask for one.

"Why would anybody give 55-year-old Chopper Read a liver over an 11-year-old girl with liver cancer? They wouldn't and I wouldn't ask."

More details on the story, and the usual lurid reportage over Read's criminal past, are in today's Sunday Life, along with the usual hysteria over Anal C*nt.

Friday, August 21, 2009

AC/DC and the law...

A trial in Alberta, Canada has been postponed, because one of the defence lawyers has tickets to see AC/DC.
The trial of Joshua M. MacInnis, charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and failure to provide a breath sample, was supposed to start on August 27. But Kevin Gubbins asked for the postponement, because his partner Christain Banks is going to see 'DC. And Judge Morris Golden agreed to adjourn the case until December 15.
Source: totalrock.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Insect Menagerie

Texan grindcore act Insect Warfare are reuniting and will be including local dates in their UK and European tour. As well as dates in Dublin Cork Fred Zeppelins and Galway they'll be at The Menagerie on October 12th.
Source: Totalrock.com

Metal and punk special

2nd October...pin back yer earlobes for a punk and metal special at the Spring and Airbrake courtesy of Big List.

On the bill are Residual Effect, Gacy's Threads and The Lobotomies...biased though we may be truth be told Residual is the main reason why this will be worthwhile!

Triggerman to disband - MySpace Blog |

Have been hoping this wasn't true, but still tragic - Bap, Niall, Uggy and Rory defined a new genre with their Preacher Rock, but alas it is t be no more! Here's the official note from their Myspace site:

Triggerman to disband - Triggerman's MySpace Blog : "Triggerman to disband
This is just to let you all know that Triggerman have made the decision to disband. It was not an easy decision to make but we feel that the band has run its course and we want to finish it up before it completely runs out of steam and also while we still love performing the songs. We will not be breaking up immediately as we have a few gigs to honour and also we want to go out with a bang, so we will be organizing one last monster show. We want to do this last big show as we have been in bands before which just fizzle out and we feel that a last big gig would bring the band to a good end. We are planning something special so it will take a few months to set up, so it may be around november time before it happens so keep an eye out if you fancy coming. I will post more details when i have them. The gigs we have booked if you want to see us before then are.

Diamond rock club - Aug 22nd with sinocence
Masons Bar Derry - Sept 19th with La Faro
Derry Somewhere--- Triggerman final show TBC

we would also like to thank everybody for all their support and help over the years and for rocking and drinking beer with us and being our friends. We hope to see you all at the final show where we hope it will be one to remember."

Absolute fucking bummer - but good luck to you all for whatever future plans you have!

Distortion Project's line-up for rest of August

A few wee mentions for the rest of DP's August gigs...

Saturday 22nd August. Slave Zero + Existing Threat + Itchy Trigger Finger. The Limelight, Belfast. Doors 5pm. £3.50

Thursday 27th August. RSJ + By Any Means + TBC. The Limelight, Belfast. Doors 9pm, £5.00

Friday 28th August. Onslaught + Devilmakesthree + Overoth + Cursed Sun. The Spring & Airbrake, Belfast. Doors 9pm, Tickets available from Katy Dalys, www.geturticket.com, www.ticketmaster.ie and all Ticketmaster outlets. Credit Card Hotline 0870 2434455

Saturday 29th August. Hand of Death + Criminal Jammage + Guilty by Association. The Limelight, Belfast. Doors 5pm, £3.50.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Savage head!

Sweet Savage have been confirmed as support for Motorhead's Belfast and Dublin dates in November; the latest in a series of high profile supports for the band.

With new material due soon after this gig, Sweet Savage will more than make up for missing out on The Damned, who are supporting 'Head in rest of UK, but will it make up for not seeing NWOBHM contemporaries Girlschool who are also on the UK line-up?

Sweet Savage are still at the top of their game and Girlschool are putting out 'My Mates and me' albums.

Slight erratum..

Slight erratum to a previous post...sobriety led me to claim that Keel would be supporting Y&T on October 5th. Support will instead come from hometown heroes Stormzone. Sorry about any confusion that may have been caused.

Not strictly metal, but we still like their quirkiness...support for Biffy Clyro on 28th October at St George's Market comes from the Atlanta based Manchester Orchestra and Pulled By Horses. Haven't heard either of these, but when you see the phrase 'alt-rock' in the blurb it can only mean one thing...head to the bar first :)

By Any Means...hardcore with RSJ

RSJ will be making a return visit to Belfast on Thursday 27th August in advance of their Lowend Festival appearance.

Catch them at the Limelight with the hardcore 'By Any Means' in support. (http://www.myspace.com/byanymeanshardcore).

Presented by The Distortion Project, doors are at 9pm and entrance to this full-on noisefest is a paltry fiver!

Monday, August 10, 2009

T-Shirts - black, band name, tour dates...

THERE is, of course, a cliche that says that all metalheads and hard rockers wear only black t-shirts emblazoned with the band logo and tour dates on the back. Usually they only adorn the male of the species, with that slight stretch along the mid-section to accommodate the 24-pack beer bulge...

Of course, like most cliches this is based on a partial truth...as well as a plethora of black tour shirts a red Metallica tour shirt can be found and a grey MSG tour shirt from 1983 has recently been purloined by junior editor (daughter) as bedwear. Blog critic and champion of prog and classic rock, Baal, has also been spotted in a white Motorhead t-shirt.

The cliche that the tour shirts can only be worn by the male gender has led to one enterprising County Antrim outfit to solve the conundrum that tour shirts usually have a cut that only suits men.

Tops For Rock Chix takes the tour shirts and band t-shirts and re-makes them for the more shapely female form!

You can check out the site here. And, I'm sure that if local acts want their tops altered for local fans they'd be more than happy to oblige!

On the subject of t-shirts for local bands, some time ago there was a comment on the blog as to where to get shirts of local bands. Mulled this over for a while...1) On sale at gigs 2) from their website; or 3) drop me a line here and I'll see if I can get in touch with the band concerned to access the threads you want.

Finally some rules for t-shirts: Led Zeppelin t-shirts bought from British Home Stores are never to be worn. Any band t-shirt bought from Cult is wrong...ffs a Motorhead or Clash t-shirts with spangly glistening bits...that's just wrong. Only wear tour shirts if you saw the band on tour (dispensation given under two special circumstances...that you had lost a limb and couldn't attend but a mate brought t-shirt and bootleg tape of gig or that you really, really, really wish you were there!. Final rule - if you like/love/admire the band wear their colours loud and proud! No point in being a fan of an act if you don't declare yourself as a fanboy/girl.

One word of warning...that Cradle of Filth t-shirt...yes the Jesus is a C*nt - shirt, is not appropriate for work. Just so you know!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Calling all local acts!

Wanna get a shot at a record deal? The esteemed hard rock and heavy metal label Roadrunner Records has opened its (online) doors to unsigned acts. The opportunity is to upload tracks and have them reviewed by volunteer 'scouts'.

The cynic says...nice play guys: free publicity, free A&R people and the chance to pick up one or two half decent bands with attendant PR blitz.

On the other hand...if you are in a band, here's the plan: register, upload a track, get all your mates to register as 'scouts' and have them rate and review your tracks and yours alone. Might not get you the record label deal, but it will raise your flag higher and one never knows!

This is a US initiative...it may spread and be copied in the Roadrunner UK division. And what have you got to lose!

And on the recent evidence from NI's hard rock and metal acts...we kick the rest of the world into a cocked hat in terms of musicianship, songwriting, recordings and live performances....Yeah WE ROCK! :)

Below is the Roadrunner 'blurb'.

"Are you in a band?
Do you know someone in a band?
Do you think you're good enough to be signed to Roadrunner?
Or do you think you have the "ears" to help us find the next big artist?
The new media department at Roadrunner Records have [sic] been busy in the laboratory over the past 8 months working on a brand new website designed to make submissions of recorded demos easier for bands hoping to one day get signed to our record label.
At this website, you can join as an ARTIST and upload your best material.
SCOUTS who join can then rate, review and comment the music you submit.
Roadrunner's A&R department will be looking at all of this material every day - listening to submissions and occasionally rating and reviewing songs themselves.
That website is signmeto.roadrunnerrecords.com.
Come to signmeto and check out the hundreds of cool, interesting, cutting-edge and...yes...totally lame bands that have uploaded music to the site. And if you are one of the bands involved - we have nearly 200 new scouts joining daily, so there are plenty of opportunities to get your material reviewed.
It is early days for signmeto, and there are still a lot of improvements that have to be made. We hope for your patience. Jon Satterley, Senior Vice President of New Media, has started a new blog at the regular RR website to discuss, on a weekly basis, the updates, fixes, changes and roadmap for the signmeto website. Check it out here.
Feedback is welcome at the comments area of the blog, and also by using our getsatisfaction feedback widget to the left of every web page at signmeto.
Don't forget to follow us on twitter by going here.
We hope you enjoy the new home of Roadrunner's online A&R."

Up and coming

Further to the earlier post on up and coming gigs:

Y&T with support from Keel are about to be confirmed for the 5th October at the Spring and Airbrake...

Anal Cunt, Haggis and The Dangerfields will be at The Limelight on the 14th October as the only date on the 'Assholes and Troublemakers Tour'. As part of the evening there will be a spoken word MC appearance from Aussie ex-convict, author and refreshingly open Mark 'Chopper' Read.

The Sub-Humans will be at Auntie Annies on 9th September.

Thanks for the tips readers. I'll add details on each of the above acts when I have the chance (and am within touching distance of sobriety).

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Try before you buy?

Downloading songs has always been an awkward topic in music...witness the dispute between Metallica and Napster. Lars 'Loudmouth' Ulrich may have been right, but got the PR battle wrong.

BitTorrent and other services use P2P (peer to peer networks) to access tunes, albums and much more on a legal footing that is less than clear...i.e. illegal! At this point we at belfastmetalheadsreunited should apologise to Magnum, Marillion and Alestorm. Albums have been downloaded from BitTorrent sources. In defence, m'Lord we say that (a) we already have Magnum and Marillion tracks on vinyl and cassette and just wanted it on the PC without hassle and (b) we bought Alestorm CDs after listening to downloads.

The reason why this post is appearing is that we have discovered Spotify. Spotify is like LastFM, only better. For a start - it appears - that the bands on Spotify receive actual money when you listen to tracks on Spotify. So far this has revealed that we have an eclectic set of tastes!

Spotify also enables devotees to exchange playlists. Playlists so far have encouraged us to shell out the cash for Duff McKagan's Loaded mix of punk and classic rock CD, Sick and caused endless pining for Panic Cells' 'What Doesn't Kill Us' CD which a certain person has in their posession...just one email please to return this asap!

One of the main reasons for this post is to encourage local acts to get in touch with Spotify. Spotify charges for tracks to appear; but get all your acquaintances, Myspace mates, Facebook friends and Bebo buddies to downloads your tracks and...money!

Norn Iron's hard rock and metal scene deserves to dominate Spotify!

Feel the thunder!

SWEDEN’S Amon Amarth are – as sensible fans know by now – playing the Spring & Airbrake on 23th October. The Distortion Project have confirmed Swedish death ‘n’ roll veterans Entombed and Brit retro thrashers Evile as support.

And if that isn’t enough for a pre-Hallowe’en knees up we don’t know what is!

Amon Amarth have been a band that displayed the patience of the proverbial saint to rise from relative obscurity and twitterings in specialist mags to the front page of Metal Hamster as acclaimed leaders of the New Wave of Traditional Metal (whatever the hell that is!).

Johan Hegg’s towering presence fronts a band that appears immersed in Nordic paganism, but read deeper and the allegorical nature of the lyrics from the atheist frontman are intriguing.

Having dabbled with the occasional offering from Amon Amarth for some time ‘With Oden on Our Side’ was a revelation. ‘Runes to My Memory’, ‘Cry of the Blackbird’ and ‘Prediction of Warfare’ were among the tracks that showed a clear evolution of their style and songwriting form.

But last year ‘Twilight of the Thunder God’ was unleashed. It was rated on this site as one of the top CDs of 2008, with due cause. The strident title track will, undoubtedly, prove immensely popular, the rest of the platter pounds. ‘Guardians of Asgard’ has a riff to accompany the conquering of nations. ‘The Hero’ has a unique lyrical take on what makes a warrior, while closer ‘Embrace of the Endless Ocean’ has a concept that many a prog act would die for…slave freed from toil at the oars dies happily at sea rowing!

Amon Amarth may not be one of the most important metal bands of the decade, but they are pushing the envelope and will help shape the Swedish ‘death’ scene and beyond for years to come. Respect not only to the band but to the Metal Blade label for keeping the faith and allowing Amon Amarth to grow into potential world conquerors.

Entombed have been knocking about for years (20+!). The Swedish act started off as a straight death metal, but evolved through the course of nine studio albums to their present domination of death ‘n’ roll – which even has its own Wikipedia entry as a genre!

Evile are the snotty nosed bastard son of 80s thrash, with a lot more credibility that some of the US bands knocking about. While many will have stumbled across Evile via sampler CDs from magazines, their Earache release, ‘Enter The Grave’ is worth checking out. While lyrically it can be a wee bit embarrassing at times, and the Slayer references are a little too far forward, Evile can, with a fair wind and plenty of live experience be at the forefront of reinvigorating thrash.

Tickets for this October extravaganza are now available from the usual outlets…neck braces and liver transplants are not covered in the ticket prices and good luck trying to persuade BUPA to cover the costs of excessive metal fun after the 23rd!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Some upcoming gigs....

There’s a few wee gigs coming up…take a deep breath and add these into your personal rock and metal planner and speak to your bank manager about getting some advance beer tokens!

On Saturday the usual RockD sees A Distant Sun headline the Limelight festivities before Spitknot rock the Spring and Airbrake later in the evening with Sinocence and Residual Effect.

With that over you Coldwar, Howlin' Widow and Sadisture are RockD’s line-up on the 15th. Slave Zero, Existing Threat and Itchy Trigger Finger lay waste to the Limelight the following week.

On the 22nd Sinocence and Triggerman are at the Diamond Bar, Ahoghill.

For pop punks with a conscience Rise Against play the 26th August at the same venue…

Old style Brit thrash descends on the 28th August when Onslaught make a return to Belfast for a Spring and Airbrake assault.

On Saturday 29th RockD presents Hand of Death and Guilty By Association…and on the same day Status Quo will be rockin’ all over Carrick with a gig at the historic Norman Castle…or in the car park beside it!

When you recover from that The Diamond Bar sees The Fool Fighters supported by the excellent A Little Bitter.

September sees Stand Up Guy support Finnish Metallers Farewell at the Empire and Dublin hardrockers Glyder play the Limelight on the 13th.

That gives all of us some time to breathe before a manic October takes over….

Duff McKagan’s Loaded on the 7th, Black Stone Cherry on the 11th, Amon Amarth on the 23rd (all at the S&A) and Biffy Clyro at St George’s Market on the 28th.

And on the 17th October 80s glam rockers Tigertails play at The Diamond Bar.

November sees Fightstar on the 6th, Gun on the 8th (both Spring and Airbrake), Motorhead at the Ulster Hall on the 9th and Yes at the Waterfront on the 25th. Oh and Green Day are at the Odyssey on the 20th…which is pretty much like listening to Americans playing the Stiff Little Fingers back catalogue!

By the time December rolls on the confirmed gigs are The Quireboys on the 4th December at the Spring & Airbrake The Answer on the 14th December at the Ulster Hall.

Phew! There are probably a few left off this list…comment/text/email/Facebook or Twitter to let me know which ones have slipped off my alcohol addled radar!