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 Rock & Metal Circus Festival - 9/20/2013 (Day 1)

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Reign In Metal
Reign In Metal

Zodiac : Aries Metal Reputation : 88
Join date : 2012-01-05
Location : Vacationing in Hell

PostRock & Metal Circus Festival - 9/20/2013 (Day 1)

Rock & Metal Circus Festival, Stoke Prior Sports & Country Club, Bromsgrove, UK

Friday 20th September 2013 (Day One)

After a fairly comfortable drive (although the Sat Nav did try and direct us through a couple of fields!), we arrived at the venue and were promptly asked if we needed help with our gear. Within seconds we had two guys (one of them 'Hoff' the drummer in Black Acid Souls) putting up our gazebo and taking care of everything! An unexpected start to the weekend but an extremely welcome one and a first sign of the camaraderie, friendship and hard work that the organisers put into every minute of all three days to make sure the very first Rock & Metal Circus Festival went as smoothly as possible. After sorting everything out we nipped into the venue itself to pick up our passes (thanks Ru & Bethan) then to check out the stage and of course the bar! What greeted us was a very professional looking setup with a sound desk that could quite easily have accommodated an arena such was its size. After having a good look around and managing not to shake too much whilst getting my first face to face band interview with Absolva out of the way, we got ready for the first evening of music and a quite frankly brilliant lineup!

Raptorgeist had the unenviable task of kicking things off. Due to my interview I only caught the very end of their set, but I could hear them from outside and they seemed to be making enough of the right noises to warm the gathering crowd up nicely!

Vicious Nature were next and a completely new name to me, but this band has been spawned from Cloven Hoof, Marshall Law and Cerebral Fix and they hit the stage like a bullet train. I don't think vocalist Andy Pyke has ever sounded better and he has a commanding stage presence. Any worries that the Festival might get off to a slow start were firmly trampled on by a large pair of metal boots to the chest. You really have to check these guys out!

This was my first time seeing X-UFO live and it will be the last as they have decided to change their name to House Of X and forge on with original material. A wise move I think because these boys can still rock out with the best. We were treated to an excellent set of classics including 'Lights Out' and 'Doctor Doctor' as well as some new material which fitted into the set very nicely indeed. Laurence Archer is a fine guitarist and Danny Peyronel still has a great set of pipes as well as being an absolute gentleman!

Skarlett Riot have been receiving a lot of great press recently and the crowd swelled to a good size to see them play. They have already racked up Download, Bloodstock and Leeds & Reading Festival appearances in their two year history and they received a very healthy reception. Whilst I'm sure they will indeed go far, their more modern take on rock leaves me a bit cold and I'm not keen on Skarlett's vocals but hey you cannot like everyone!

Armed with a fresh alcoholic beverage I got ready for the heavy metal onslaught that is Black Acid Souls and the Rock & Metal Circus party started to gain momentum. Off stage this lot could quite easily have a second career in comedy but on stage they take their music extremely seriously and delivered a top quality performance. They are MUCH heavier live than their excellent album 'Deadly Sins' suggests, Vocalist Flakey has an extremely powerful set of lungs, guitarists Chubbs and Tweek pull off some excellent soloing and in new drummer Hoff they have found a young guy with heaps of potential. If you don't have a Black Acid Soul after hearing this band then there is something very wrong with you!

It's fair to say that one of my favourite new bands of recent times are Absolva and once again their set was nothing short of superb. Now very happily trimmed down to a three piece they absolutely owned the stage playing material from the superb 'Flames Of Justice' album. Vocalist/Guitarist Chris Appleton managed to pull off some stunning guitar work, bassist Dan Bate cranked his neck like his life depended on it whilst also delivering some very good backing vocals and Martin McNee thumped the drums like a piledriver. We were even treated to a fabulous new track that will be included on their second album next year. With an excellent live DVD/CD just released expect to see Absolva playing much larger venues soon!

Headliners for the Friday night were Sacred Mother Tongue, a band that I had very much been looking forward to seeing live and whilst they did put on a very good performance they seemed tired and a little jaded. You cannot argue with the quality of the songs though, just check out 'Demons', 'The Suffering' or 'Bleeding Out' for proof. Sacred Mother Tongue offer something just that little bit different and in Andy James the band are blessed with a veritable god on the guitar!

With the music finished it was time to head outside into a crisp but surprisingly clear and dry September night with a couple more beers and the chance to chat to a few people. With everyone joking and smiling from ear to ear the consensus was that Day/Evening One of the Rock & Metal Circus Festival had been a complete success. Back at the tent (which was a huge twenty paces from the stage door!!) and a much needed cup of coffee I fell asleep in the knowledge that Saturday would be much busier!

Review written exclusively for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

All pictures by Helen Tilley except Raptorgeist and Skarlett Riot courtesy of Robert Balmer Photography

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