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ELECTRIC RIVER on tour with Stiff Little Fingers this week

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in News, Tours | 0 comments

Nominated for 3 Pure Rawk Awards

Special EP only available on SLF tour

Kent rocker’s ELECTRIC RIVER head out as guest’s on Stiff Little Fingers  ‘No Going Back’ U.K tour this Friday.

The band have now slimmed down to a 3 piece and are also nominated for 3 gong’s at this Friday’s Pure Rawk Awards – Best Band, Best Guitarist (Will Whisson) and Best Album-‘The Faith And Patience’.

Electric River are releasing a special tour E.P, ‘Besides The Faith And Patience’ of non album track’s that will be available on the tour.

And finally, Electric River will announce their first European tour and U.K festival dates shortly. Keep The Engine Burning…


06/03/15    02 Academy – Bournemouth

07/03/15    02 Academy – Bristol

08/03/15    Solus – Cardiff Uni

09/03/15    Rough Trade Records – Nottingham-Free Show (E.R only)

10/03/15    Waterfront – Norwich

17/03/15    Barrowlands – Glasgow

18/03/15    02 Academy – Leeds

20/03/15    Wulfrun Hall – Wolverhampton

21/03/15    The Assembly – Leamington Spa

22/03/15    Junction – Cambridge

24/03/15    Phoenix – Exeter

25/03/15    02 Academy – Oxford

26/03/15    The Forum – London

27/03/15    The Roadmender – Northampton

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Amon Amarth, Huntress and Savage Messiah go live and make us go wild

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Featured, Gigs, Tours | 0 comments


Not to completely state the obvious, but I really enjoy metal gigs. Shocker, right!? It’s not all what you think though, for there is a reason beyond the music itself that I love them – there is also something further, something in the atmosphere. The room, for want of a better word, feels genuine. Probably something to do with the fact that all the people within it are not giving a rat’s ass about how sweaty they are or where their shirts have flown off to, or who they happen to be punching/hugging/crying over at any point. The mood is something different, the crowd and the bands feel “connected” (I appreciate that you might be vomiting right now, don’t worry the corny moment is nearly over), controlled by the spell that’s cast by the musicians onstage who rule the rocking roost with a powerful, vital presence.

Honestly, this “heavy-metal-genuine-and-also-awesome-presence” exists. It’s not the liquor talking. And it was most certainly felt last night as Savage Messiah, Huntress and Amon Amarth rocked the stage at Stylus under Leeds University. A raw, electric energy stormed the room from the very beginning, stirring the crowd as the opening act, Savage Messiah, burst into rich metal with no gentle awakening. The heavy metal rockers from England have toured extensively since their culmination, and their experience in live performance indeed showed. The four-piece band produced flawless vocals, immaculately timed rhythms and, basically, dished out a perfect heavy metal platter to their hungry listeners. Not only this, but they were excellent rabble-rousers, encouraging synchronized fistbumping, headbanging and instigating the moshing merriment which would carry on throughout the night. It was the perfect act to kick-start the show – the kind of music which you could feel through the floorboards, shaking you. In particular their final number, ‘Minority of One’, prompted an enthusiastic response as the crowd screamed and formed quick, semi-naked moshpits (which were only going to increase in number and X-rated value throughout the night).


Savage Messiah, roaring heavy rockers who all have better hair than me

Post-Savage Messiah madness came Huntress. Trust me when I say that there is no way that I could state the following which wouldn’t be an understatement – that this band, out of all of the evening, had the most amazing, formidable presence and mighty stage power. Jill Janus, Huntress’ frontwoman, stalked onstage wearing a long, fur-lined cloak with massive spikes protruding from the shoulders, enchanting the audience with her jagged movements and incredible vocal range, the likes of which I could barely begin to comprehend. Indeed, it is especially apparent that this band has it all in the way of vocals – Janus can scream, sing operatically, reach both fever high and bassline low pitch. The crowd went wild for them, and were given the treat of hearing a new song – ‘Flash’ – from their upcoming album, which promisingly seems to foreshadow more excellent, ferocious music from these unique and talented performers. Indeed, they even joked with the audience in-between songs, an amusing contrast to the violent and rousing music that emanated when they played. The audience were also invited afterward to meet them at their merch stand after the gig, a friendly gesture that showed that not only do Huntress – apologies for my French – really fucking rock, they have a big heart for their fans.


Huntress, masters of live performance

Following Huntress came, of course, the headliners Amon Amarth, a Viking death metal band from Sweden. Coming up to this gig I was incredibly excited at the prospect of seeing these men perform live (just how Viking exactly would it be)!? You have to be pretty epic, after all, to be in a band which focuses largely on Viking history and mythology. There is little history of a finer ilk. More than this, I had read that Amon Amarth based their name on the Sindarin name of Mount Doom – that’s right, from J.R.R. Tolkein’s Middle-earth. Ladies and gentlemen, it does not get more badass.

Except that it does. And that is when you see them live.

Flagged by an enormous backdrop on which you could only assume a legendary fight was occurring (as it sported a man wearing a large horned helmet and red cloak, and some sort of beast that I couldn’t quite make out but who was probably getting seriously murked), the men came onstage through dim blue lights and a heavy, eerily melodic violin intro. Johan Hegg, the frontman, immediately burst into screaming vocals, as the guitarists headbanged side-by-side in sync. The brilliantly responsive audience seemed to be on another level at this point (probably 70% of them also being a little bit drunk, myself included) raising their fists in homage to the band and shouting the lyrics back at Hegg. Again, there was absolutely no falsity from these musicians – they grinned at their audience, had a word or two in-between tracks and truly spread the metal love via choral invitation and punching allied fists in the air. From their synchronized movements to the impeccable harmonization of voice and instrument, you could really sense that this is a band who is truly meant to play together. And they love it. Johan Hegg belongs to a mic. Fredrik Andersson belongs to the drums. Ted Lundström belongs to his bass. And so on so forth. This is not a sense of belonging, either, that goes to waste, for everything that they did was worthy of admiration. Each track oozed complex musical craftmanship, every guitar solo more mindbending than the last. The vocals throughout were unfailingly gritty fueled by a warmongering stamina which never flaked. Amon Amarth have acquired, seemingly, the unnatural ability to never tire, as the night simply descended into heavier and heavier madness with really no guarantee of stopping. They inexorably thrived, their music coming alive through their organic and dynamic performance.

Amon Amarth

Amon Amarth: intimidating beards but really nice guys

Indeed, on comparing the performances given by each band last night, there are a few things that are obvious. Although all bands belong loosely to the same genre, and indeed complimented each other well onstage, they also all have their own, definitive styles. Savage Messiah are, in my mind, more classic, never-gets-old heavy metal rockers, whereas Huntress adopt an occultist theme and possess a hardcore frontwoman to boot. I may almost have said that Huntress stole the show, but Amon Amarth were nothing short of legendary and, of course, had the awesome unique twist of being, basically, modern Vikings themselves.

Another thing is, also, glaringly apparent. This music – although immense-sounding through your speakers – should be appreciated firsthand. The enigmatic presence of each band brought the music itself even further to life (I do get the pun, “death metal” that is “brought to life”, haha very funny) and the experience became that of a thrill, as opposed to just headbanging wildly in your computer chair. The moral of this tale, then, is this: see them perform. Catch this tour, if you can, because they really do work well together. For if what I witnessed yesterday was anything of a foretelling, Amon Amarth – as well as Huntress and Savage Messiah – have many great years of touring ahead of them.

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Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Articles, Festivals, News, Tours | 0 comments

Sonisphere Festival has been cancelled for 2015, as has been announced by Team Sonisphere via their website, where they issued the following statement:

“Team Sonisphere reluctantly confirm that Sonisphere will not take place in the UK in 2015. We’ve been working hard to get a line-up that we felt was good enough but also on a weekend which would avoid other events that we know rock fans would want to support. Unfortunately our last irons in the fire have just been extinguished and it’s clear that we won’t be in a position to run the event this year. We’ve said in the past that Sonisphere will only go ahead if we feel it is going to be good enough and that hasn’t changed.

We hope all rock fans have a great summer with all the festivals and concerts already in the calendar and we plan to see you all in 2016.”

This is the third time the festival, held at Knebworth House, has been cancelled – it was announced in 2012 that the festival would not be taking place that year and it failed to return again in 2013.

Anyone who was planning on going to Sonisphere this year disappointed? Which festival will you be going to instead? Leave your comments below.


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Reporting on Skindred live at The Welly Club: a performance like you’ve never seen

Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Featured, Gigs, Reviews, Tours | 0 comments


On Tuesday the 25th on a frosty November evening, I and about two-hundred others packed ourselves into an intimate room at The Welly Club to experience the “Ragga Metal” band from North Wales, Skindred, perform live. This is a night I will always remember. You could tell that there were people there who had already seen a Skindred gig, and knew what we were all in for. I had been an amateur to such an experience – but nothing could have prepared me for it. Watching Skindred perform has added a whole new dimension  to my experiences of live music, and I could sum up this entire review with one sentence: that they are the ultimate band to go and see with your own eyes. This is a total guarantee. There is nothing like them – and I feel like I am quite late in experiencing this revelation. They have already been awarded with “Best Live Band” at the 2011 UK Metal Hammer ‘Golden Gods’ awards, and granted  the “Devotion Award” from Kerrang! magazine. Indeed, their onstage presence is a force to be reckoned with, as the band have presence and talent in seemingly all areas of music and entertainment: mixing reggae, metal and punk influences along with jungle, ska, hip hop and dubstep, a beautifully executed mashup delivered with ecstatic dexterity.

From the very beginning of their set the band surprised us, bouncing onstage to a remix of the Star Wars opening theme tune. The audience was completely gripped – a state of total attention that I have never before witnessed at a gig, yet Skindred completely deserved such attention. There was not a moment’s silence for the whole set, each member of the band pouring tremendous effort into bringing their tracks to life and communicating personally with us. I think you would be hard-pressed to find somebody who wouldn’t enjoy them – even if you believed that their music wasn’t for you (which seems to be impossible, as they cover such a wide range of musical styles) it is undeniable how entertaining the lead singer, Benji Webbe, actually is. After every couple of songs, the eclectically-dressed and multi-talented singer would pause to joke with his audience, encouraging us to sing with him and making dynamic, short speeches, building a truly electric atmosphere in the room as we responded to him. At one point he asked us how many of us had bought his music over the years, to which we responded with a cliche “woo” and airpunch, the given audience-response to live artists. He then asked us how many of us illegally downloaded Skindred’s music, to which an even louder “woo” was given. His answer was roughly this – “*laughing* you’re all a bunch of c****s. The next song you’ll probably all know then from STEALING IT you b******s”. Webbe’s genuine attitude was brilliantly witty, and – cheesy as it is – really created the feeling that we were all good friends: unified by humour and a passion for the band.


Each live track, of course, was amazingly executed. You could distinctly tell that they’ve have been in the industry for years (since 1998) as their talent is so raw it’s basically palpable. They covered songs from their older albums, like “Union Black”, including a version of Cut Dem which began with Damien Marley’s Welcome to Jamrock and my favourite song of the evening Doom Riff, alongside tracks from their newest release “Kill The Power”, which came out in January this year. Webbe can go from throaty, ominous screams to fast-paced, energetic rapping in 0.11111 seconds, keeping the audience in a constant headbanging state as each track switched between styles. Not only this, Webbe switched styles like he switched his look, wearing a Steampunk-style tophat at the beginning of the night, before later swapping it for a fluffy red hat, roaring passionate vocals into the mic whilst sporting a fairly adorable look, making the audience possibly love him even more. I cannot mention enough the pure energy that Skindred pours into their live performances, both in delivering their music to a crowd and entertaining them between songs. These efforts did not go to waste,  the adrenaline in the room only spiralling higher and higher until tiredness seemed to become an unknown concept to us all. There is no doubt that Skindred really loves their fans,  shown through their constant attention to us, a love which further perfectly mirrors their ethos of unity between all people.

Benji’s dynamic personality and Skindred’s rousing music practically bounced of the walls Tuesday and have left me feeling slightly empty and a little nostalgic since. I would recommend an extensive listening to their music as it can only inspire and excite you more to go and see them for yourselves, but stay away from YouTube live videos. Let that be a surprise. It’s worth the wait. Book your tickets.

Laura Demaude

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Posted by on Sep 24, 2014 in News, Tours | 0 comments

The Hold Steady will return to the UK this autumn to play a headline nine-date tour with gigs in Portsmouth, Bristol, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Manchester, London, Birmingham and SheffieldUK. The tour will start with a run of 4 other European cities opening in Amsterdam on October 7. The announcement comes on the back of a successful run of recent dates including sold out shows at Live in Leeds and the Great Escape and an intimate one-off performance at London’s Bush Hall.  Brooklyn’s So-So Glos will be supporting on all shows of the tour.

The New York band’s sixth studio album, Teeth Dreams was released via Cooking Vinyl and produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, Rush) at Rock Falcon Studios in Franklin, Tennessee. The Hold Steady formed in 2003 in Brooklyn, NY, with a vibrant mixture of punk and classic rock pedigree. Punctuated by lyrically dense storytelling and guitar riffs, The Hold Steady quickly became a critically acclaimed rock band with a rabid fan base in the UK and Europe as well as America.

Teeth Dreams is the first Hold Steady album to feature twin guitars as Memphis-based guitarist Steve Selvidge joined recording alongside band co-founder Tad Kubler. The Hold Steady is: Bobby Drake (Drums),Craig Finn (Vocals), Tad Kubler (Guitar, vocals), Galen Polivka  (Bass) and Steve Selvidge (Guitar, vocals).

Tickets for the UK tour will go on sale on Tuesday, 27 May at 9am. Eindhoven will go on sale on Sat 24th, with the rest of mainland Europe going on sale on Mon 26th.

Full October 2014 TOUR DATES
Tues 7th                     Amsterdam – Melkweg
Wed 8th                     Eindhoven – De Effenaar
Thurs 9th                   Cologne – Luxor
Fri 10th                       Paris – Fleche D’Or
Sat 11th                     Norwich – Sound & Vision festival (headline)
Sun 12th                    Portsmouth – Wedgewood Rooms
Mon 13th                  Birmingham – Academy 2 (02 Presale)
Tue 14th                     Sheffield – City Hall
Wed15th                   Glasgow – ABC (02 Presale)
Fri17th                        Belfast – Limelight 2
Sat 18th                     Dublin – Academy
Sun 19th                    Manchester Academy
Tue 21st                     London – KOKO
Wed 22nd                  Bristol – Academy (02 Presale)
Thur 23rd                   Newcastle – Riverside      

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Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Festivals, Record Releases, Tours | 0 comments

Female-fronted Swedish rockers Spiders will release their sophomore set, Shake Electric, via Spinefarm Records on November 3rd; the four-piece outfit – who deliver a retro, ’70s-inspired hard rock sound with a uniquely modern vibe – will support the release of the record with a run of UK dates in November, part of a full European tour that also includes an appearance at the Hard Rock Hell festival in North Wales (November 14th).

UK dates

15.11. Glasgow (UK) @ Classic Grand

16.11. London (UK) @ Underworld

17.11. Manchester (UK) @ Roadhouse

18.11. Birmingham (UK) @ Oobleck

An official video for the title track Shake Electric has been revealed today at the following link:

The track is also available as an ‘instant grat’ on iTunes album pre-order:

Spiders is fronted by Ann-Sofie Hoyles, a charismatic singer with a haunting, unforgettable voice and striking image; Ann-Sofie has this to say about the title track…

Shake Electric is about me and my old friends who I had so much fun with, partying until the break of dawn. Tons of memories and emotions from several years went into this song, which has a theme I think most people can identify with. Carolina, the female character in the video, is one of the friends I was inspired by when I wrote ‘Shake Electric’, so it was great that she could be in the video!”

Spiders released their debut album, Flashpoint, in 2012, earning them a nomination with P3 Guld – the biggest broadcast music award in Sweden. They’ve also shared stages with artists such as Metallica, Kvelertak, Blood Ceremony & Graveyard.

For Shake Electric, recorded in the group’s hometown of Gothenburg with producer Mattias Glavå, the band built upon the primitive metal-punk hybrid base of their debut, and the result is a fiercely executed, decidedly classic rock, thoroughly turbocharged album with echoes of T-Rex, Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie & Heart.

Choirs, acoustic guitars, piano and various percussion patterns come together to create a stylish sound that is never without a raw and emotive edge. On Shake Electric, Spiders remain both vital and visceral, and you can feel the rush of blood and rock coursing through every song’s veins.

On this album, all of the members were involved in the song-writing process, hence the broader, more diverse, multi-dimensional sound…

“We wanted to move on and find new paths,” explains John Hoyles, up until now Spiders’ sole songwriter. “What we like about many of the records from the 1970s is that they are often heavy yet soft. A really tough riff can be followed by a beautiful piano.”

“Even when we started, we were like a bunch of teenagers in the rehearsal room, and despite jobs and girlfriends, we always accepted every show we were offered. We really love this life,” continues Ann-Sofie. “We have a stronger vibe today, and we can really lean on each other in an amazing way. I am very proud of what we have accomplished with Shake Electric…”

Spiders are: Ann-Sofie Hoyles (vocals); John Hoyles (guitar); Olle Griphammar (bass); Ricard Harryson (drums)

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