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 Rock & Metal Circus Festival - 9/21/2013 (Day 2 - Part 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 - 9/21/2013 (Day 2 - Part 1)

Rock & Metal Circus Festival, Stoke Prior Sports & Country Club, Bromsgrove, UK
Saturday 21st September 2013 (Day Two, Part One 'The Rock Circus')

Waking up on what was a pleasantly nice Saturday morning, two things were abundantly clear. Firstly I had a bad headache which left me unable to move more than a few inches without feeling like I'd been hit by a hammer (not self inflicted I might add) and secondly the site had been taken over by crane flies in what can only be described as a plague of biblical proportions!! With painkillers finally putting an end to my thumping head and a cracking breakfast from the onsite caterers I tried to prepare for what was going to be an extremely busy day! I didn't manage to watch every set fully but the music could be clearly heard outside, which helped, and once again all the staff and crew worked wonders. I've haven't laughed so much in a long while!

With the day being split into two parts 'The Rock Circus' and 'The Metal Circus', each with their own headline band, I'm splitting Saturday's review in two as well so that you don't get too bored!

First band up on Saturday morning were 'deVIence' from London (a latish replacement band) and for an 11.00am gig this was nothing short of stunning. These young guys are the real deal playing groove laden hard, sleazy, but very melodic rock. Vocalist Giovanni Spano is a star in the making and even though at one point the power cut out on them for about ten minutes, they proved what a class act they are by keeping a very attentive crowd, thoroughly entertained while the problems were sorted out. Watch out for this lot!

Toadstool were on next, three very young guys from Gloucestershire, UK with a healthy respect for classic rock. They have been picking up some very positive press recently and their Led Zeppelin meets early Rush sound with a modern twist went down very well with those in attendance including myself. It also proved that there is plenty of young talent around if you look in the right places for it!

I first heard Stoke-On-Trent, UK four piece HeadrusH back in February of this year but this was the first time I had seen them live and they impressed me even more than they had done on CD. They remind me very much of a NWOBHM band mixing it up with the sounds of UFO, Tyketto and a big dollop of sleaze thrown in. Andy Law's vocals are gritty, melodic and excellent, the whole band put in an extremely tight performance and they were a pleasure to watch . Can someone also please tell me where to get a head of hair like bassist Josh 'Tabbie' Williams. It's not fair!!

Due to interviews I wasn't able to catch all of Hangfire's set, but my better half went into check them out and thought they were very good. What I did catch was indeed excellent. Ex Tigertailz drummer Matt Blakout drives the band along with some great rhythm, vocalist Max Rhead has that perfect frontman appeal, looking a little like a young Tony Martin, and the voice to go with it and blind ex Desecration guitarist Lee 'Lizzy' Evans was superb, adding a real sense of emotion and blues to their heavy rock songs. Hangfire certainly have their own style and it serves them well.

I only caught the very end of Pig Irön's set as unfortunately, due to time constraints, they had to be cut short which was a terrible shame, but considering the amount of bands all on one stage over the three days it was an absolute miracle that it didn't happen more often. What I did manage to hear (remember that the music could be heard clearly outside as well) was fantastic, I don't think they ever put on a bad show and their huge power and blues laden riffs are a joy!

I live near the city of Lincoln, UK so Knock Out Kaine are a local band to me and it's always good fun to catch up with them and watch them play. They blasted through a great set of sleaze laden rock songs from their excellent 'House Of Sins' album including 'Little Crystal' and the superb 'Coming Home' which always goes down a storm live. With the sun making an appearance outside the hall suddenly got very hot & sweaty, and if Black Acid Souls were the offstage comedy geniuses of the Friday then Knock out Kaine took the Saturday crown with Dean & Co on top laugh out loud form all day!

Slam Cartel were, to me at any rate, a new name but they impressed from the off. Their songs felt instantly familiar without having heard any of them before. Even though I got that feeling, Slam Cartel's sound is not easy to pinpoint (which is always a good thing) and I'm sure if I had asked fifty people what they sounded like I would have got fifty different answers. What matters is that their hard rock is delivered with swagger, groove and bags of talent.

With the day being split into two parts it was at the very weird hour of approximately 4.30pm when Jettblack, headliners of 'The Rock Circus', plugged in their guitars. If you like Reckless Love and bands of that ilk, but with more bite, then London based Jettblack will provide it in spades! To be fair, It didn't matter what time it was because they hit the stage running and were absolutely fantastic. Many people had made the trip to see them and the hall was rammed. Will Stapleton is a fantastic frontman, and a good proportion of the crowd were females who seemed to think the same thing!! They played a great selection of tracks and even treated us to a storming cover version of Heart's Barracuda before heading off into the erm... afternoon!

With only a short turnaround time before the next set of bands got underway and loads more interviews to conduct it was time for something to eat and drink. With every band, so far, putting in an excellent performance 'The Metal Circus' part of the day would have to pull out all the stops!

Review written for Brutiful Entertainment by Rick Tilley:

HeadrusH, Hangfire and Knock Out Kaine Photos by Helen Tilley

deVIence, Toadstool, Pig Iron, Slam Cartel and Jettblack photos courtesy of Robert Balmer Photography

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