Pick Your Rock and Metal

Monday, January 31, 2011

I am not the antichrist

I'D like to point out here and now that I am not the antichrist; well not that I know of...

Recently there have been several stupid comments on these posts from religious apologists. Thanks to all - makes my stats look better in case a sponsor should appear willing to cough up a few quid to have this properly designed etc (Jagermeister - are you paying attention?).

Thanks to the readers who have expressed sympathy, but I have also received a few emails that could be construed as worrying.

Basically - to cut a depressing story short I have a 'dead letter' email addy I use on this site for competition entries and the like. As I made it public knowledge I received the usual spam. But some weird people think that hard rock and heavy metal is some way going to destroy the christian world (we can but hope!).

As such I shall not be including Alabama - sweet home or not - in future travel plans lest I receive 'the bullet in the brain' that I so, apparently, richly deserve. The irony of that comment from one who professes to believe in a loving god was missed....

Still I shall continue to post about hard rock and heavy metal - and right now Sabbath, Priest and Devildriver are on the current playlist: I await more threats to see which other states I can cross of my travel itinerary :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Boat that Rocked

IT was a pretty average movie, but local act Escape Fails seem to have taken the message from the title 'The Boat That Rocked' to heart.

The launch of their new video and EP will be taking place on a barge on the River Lagan. To find out more click here.

And BTW - not wishing to spoil it - the EP is pretty savage and tasty. What's more the launch event is BYOB!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

While I'm ranting...

WHILE I am ranting away (see previous posts...) would the various groups of Christian right wingers from all arts and parts please leave me alone. While there have been a few on the comments to posts (which I have not deleted because unlike them I believe in free speech), there have been more than a few nasty emails.

From what theology I know (which is more than the average redneck!) the New Testament preaches love hand in hand with the 'Sabbathy' book of Revelations! Yeah, the Old Testament is a vile, nasty piece of violent, xenophobic bile, but if Jesus really preached love the people who have threatened me seem to have missed the point.

I am a radical atheist, who loves hard rock and heavy metal, and what moral code I and my friends live by far exceeds your spit flecked madness.

Some people just don't get it - or I'm just weird

EITHER I am one seriously messed up, split personality - or some people just don't get the ethos of those who love hard rock and heavy metal.

[Cautionary note: a rant follows - those who want to enjoy easier reading step away now and read Kerrang! Cosmo or Women's Weekly.]

Earlier today I was talking to a colleague of sorts and happened to mention that I was going to see Deft Leppard at The Empire. Their comment in response was: "I thought you were a metalhead".

They were right (partly) in that I love me heavy fuggin' metal, but as I write this and I prepare for Leppard - I am listening to a selection of recent purchases that includes: Stone Sour, Neil Young, David Bowie, Cradle of Filth, Motorhead, Rob Zombie and a Saxon triple disc best of collection.

Put simply just because metal is my first musical love (bless Sabbath's little cotton satanic socks!) does not mean that I sit all night with a bottle of absinthe, cutting pentagrams into virgin's bodies - well not on weekdays anyway.

Metal for me has always been about those that step away from the 'scene', take what they like and discard what they don't like: as long as the musicians can play, there is a modicum of talent, and the guitars are at the right level in the mix!

Def Leppard were a band, that for me helped define the 80s (yep I am old!). And, looking back to that Pyromania gig in the Ulster Hall, and the Hysteria gigs at the same venue, I didn't see many scenesters there - just a lot of people in denim and leather (see how I slipped a Saxon NWOBHM quote in there!).

Just as AC/DC would never be considered metal, nor would Lemmy ever say Motorhead were metal, hard rockin' heavy music for me has never been about labels. I even like REO Speedwagon!

And - since I am in confession mode children - I also like Rush, My Chemical Romance, Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, Journey, Marilyn Manson, as well as bucket loads of Anthrax, shovel fulls of Slayer, acres of Iron Maiden and any given amount of Metallica you can suggest! I also like some of the weirder Faith No More and Mike Patton tracks.

But I will not, nor will I ever, betray the songs and acts that I grew up with - from the snarl of Stiff Little Fingers through to the vocal histrionics of Gillan, and...well in the early 80s Def Leppard, Marillion, WASP and a host of others.

Leppard's musical journey was one that defied definition to the music hacks. When they débuted they were lumped in with the NWOBHM crowd, and to some extent they had an early sound to match. With Pyromania the musical curve involved high end, shiny arena production that was to dominate their sound for years. But listen closely to each and every one of their tracks; you'll not find the guitars relegated to fatuous rhythm parts, or buried in the mix. Leppard are, and I hope, always will be a great band. Not metal, but damn fine hard rock.

That's why I'll be at The Empire on Saturday night, raising a glass, raising a cheer and raising my applause with Mark, Sylv, Phil and many, many others as Deft Leppard play their final ever gig in my hometown.

Why not come along, and actually listen. And given that Leppard are on some sort of extended holiday, Deft Leppard are your best chance of hearing the songs as they were meant to be played, to people who actually enjoy the music, who know the lyrics, and who know how to rock.

Which brings me back to those that question, those that doubt, those that have a half hidden sneer. Hard rock and heavy metal are - in my very humble and verbose opinion - about musical freedom layered around a six-string assault, whether it be Satyricon or UFO.

I have not yet persuaded my erstwhile colleague to come along and sample Deft's delights (I was going to add a clichéd line about he wouldn't be out of hospital in time, but those that know me know that even flies are safe in my presence!) but should you perchance happen to come along, say hello! I'll be down the front under the affluence of incohol!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Raise a glass for Phil

TONIGHT the annual Vibe for Philo takes place in Dublin to remember the life, works and talent of Phil Lynott. At the same time it has been confirmed that there will be an exhibition on Phil's work to be held in Dublin in March.

Looking through some old material and viewing Pat McManus's pix on Facebook (Mama's Boys supported Thin Lizzy on the Thunder and Lightning tour) was a bitter sweet reminder of how good Thin Lizzy were, and how much a true rock star was Phil.

In two days time the Ricky Warwick fronted 'Thin Lizzy' will begin their tour: there are many who resent this continual flogging of the the Lizzy standard. Darren Wharton offered his explanation in this BBC article, but whether or not you back the new incarnation, or prefer the memories, raise a glass tonight, toast Phil, the true Rocker from the Emerald Isle.