Archive for Edinburgh

HEAVY SCOTLAND announce first bands

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 26th August 2016 by Mickelrath

Brand new heavy metal festival HEAVY SCOTLAND is delighted to announce its first wave of bands for its debut year, to be held in Edinburgh between the 1st-2nd April 2017.

Announced already are the first headliners, melodic death metal legends Arch Enemy; plus acclaimed brutal death metal band Sodomized Cadaver; resurgent death metal favourites Dyscarnate and Scottish thrashers Disposable. Plenty more huge bands to come so stay tuned.

Early bird tickets are now available to purchase from here, for only £70:

VIP ticket bundles are available but already close to selling out so get yours while you can!

Set to be the biggest and best new festival dedicated to all things dark, heavy, and vicious, Heavy Scotland is borne out of a love of metal. Aimed at supporting a famously dedicated metal scene but until now without a big festival, Heavy Scotland looks set to put Scotland on the map.

With accommodation options, more bands, and ticket options to announce, Heavy Scotland is already on the way to becoming the surprise festival success of 2017.

For more information:

Doom Over Edinburgh – Doom, the whole doom, and nothing but the doom

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , on 28th April 2015 by Paul Macmillan

This article is the third in a series of interviews with organisers of underground metal festivals in Scotland, previously covering one of the longest running (BOBSTOCK – Bobfest 10), and one of the newest (Sonic Mass). This time around, we’re zeroing in on one of the most niche metal events to be launched in recent times, Doom Over Edinburgh.

If you couldn’t guess by the title, D.O.E. is dedicated in its entirety to the genre of doom, and doom alone! If you’ve been following the other articles, you’ll notice a recurring theme when it’s mentioned that D.O.E. was put together by yet another musician, Miguel Santos. We grabbed a few precious moments with the mastermind of not only Edinburgh based doom metallers, A Dream Of Poe, but also this new yearly event.

Miguel Santos

Valkyrian Music: Hi Miguel! How is life in the wake of the very first Doom Over Edinburgh?

Miguel Santos: Still recovering from a cold but not too bad. Yourself?

VM: Not bad at all! Are you fit talk about Doom Over Edinburgh?

MS: Yeah, absolutely

VM: Brilliant! Well, first of all, it’s a very defined genre. What made you choose doom specifically?

MS: Well, basically, that’s the kind of music that I identify myself with the most. I have been around, playing in doom metal bands since 2003, and since then, and especially since I started to promote events (2007), I always wanted to do a festival with just doom metal bands. That was impossible in the Azores (where I come from), as people are not that keen on doom metal, so as soon as I moved to edinburgh and started to know the scene here a bit more, it was just a matter of time before going for it

VM: One might suspect that such a narrow bracket would restrict turn-out, but what were the numbers like in the end?

MS: Well, it does restrict it a bit. I made a loss on this first edition, and I can’t deny that I was expecting to have more people attending the festival, but it was a loss that still allowed me to look in a positive way at the next edition. We had the cancellation from Solstice, and due to that I had to do some refunds, so that had an impact on the final number. But I believe the doom scene is great. People that like it will travel miles to come to the events. As an example, I had a german couple who flew from Frankfurt to come to the festival! That’s dedication to doom!

VM: That’s pretty cool! Do you think niche genre fests can hold their own with events on a similar scale which appeal to a wider audience?

MS: Of course, on a festival that appeals to not only doom but black, death, thrash and so on, the likeliness of having more people attending is huge when compared to a doom only festival. There are lots of doom only events all over the world, and they are all doing great!

VM: It would be good to see another similar UK event stand shoulder to shoulder with some of them.

MS: Doom Over London, for me, is one of the most important Doom festivals we have in Europe, so yeah, we can indeed get shoulder to shoulder with them. Although, it’s still much easier and cheaper for a promoter in Germany or The Netherlands to put a killer Doom Festival on, as most bands will be able to travel by van instead of having to pay for flights as happens here in the UK

VM: Talking of such things, a lot of new festival type events tend to book some pretty big name headliners. With the first D.O.E., you went for The Prophecy, who, although they have a substantial career behind them, aren’t hugely well known. Can you tell us a bit about that decision process?

MS: The decision process is relatively simple. First of all, I try to book the bands that I like and would like to see live. Then I take into account how much it would cost me, and if the band can generate enough interest here in Scotland to cover the costs.

VM: Personal taste seems to be quite important

MS: Yes absolutely, but then I do like doom as I said, so I kind of like most bands within the genre. I have my preferences, though, but I never rule out others opinions. That’s why last year I asked for suggestions from the public. I mean, at the end of the day, I need to please as many people as I can to try to cover all the costs.

VM: What makes you think ‘I really have to have THAT band?

MS: Well, put like that, I would say personal taste, really, but that’s way before sitting down and thinking about the costs. The Prophecy, for example, are one of my favorite bands! I was trying to get them to play in the Azores, but then the costs of that combined with the  very, very small amount of people who like doom made that impossible. But then, here in Edinburgh, it was a different case, as it would be much easier and cheaper to have them on the bill.

VM: New all-dayers and mini-fests seem to pop up all over the place at the drop of a hat these days. D.O.E. seemed to be getting announcements and promotion out years ago! How important was this extensive lead-up to planning the show successfully?

MS: I always like to do things in advance. It gives me time to plan things ahead and be on top of everything. If something happens, I have more than enough time to react and prepare a solution. Also by starting early – I mean, a week after the end of the first edition I announced the first band for 2016 –  it allows me to build up the interest and reach as many people as possible, so that way I maximize the chances of having a full house, and in that case cover all the costs.

VM: With the second D.O.E. already announced, are you at all concerned that you won’t have the same amount of preparation time?

MS: Well, I’m actually having more time to prepare this time. I started the last year’s edition promotion in July, I believe; this year I started in March, so it pretty much gives me 1 year to get everything ready to doom!

VM: Really? It seemed like so much longer the first time! I apologise.

MS: No worries at all! It did seem a long time indeed. I do hate waiting, but that’s a necessary good I believe.

VM: Maybe it’s just the magic of doom?

MS: Indeed it is! And good things come to those who wait.

Doom Over Edinburgh

VM: Are you hoping to develop the event into a bigger and better version, or is it more or less where you want it to be?

MS: I can’t deny that I want it to grow more, and become bigger and better. I do want to provide a better experience for the bands and the audience, but I’m happy where I stand now. There’s lots of room for improvement, and I’m working on that.

Anyway, there’s just so much you can do. I have to take into consideration the amount of local people interested in attending a festival like Doom Over Edinburgh. So, the thing here is trying to promote it every year the best I can, get the word out so we can get to a point to have more people attending it – people from all over the UK and from mainland Europe as well. But anyway, in my opinion, 2016 is shaping up to be a great one, and an improvement of the 2015 edition.

VM: I think that’s a good place to finish. Thank you very much for your time, Miguel, but before you go, there’s one more question, which is fast becoming a tradition for the end of these interviews: Do you have any closing advice for those thinking of taking on a similar event?

MS: That was my pleasure, thanks very much for the opportunity! My advice would be, know your audience and listen to them, do your homework, and work at trying to be as cost efficient as you can. Be prepared to make a loss, as it can happen, but don’t give up! And don’t trust Facebook that much!

Doom Over Edinburgh II is set to take place on March 11 2016 at Bannermans Bar, Edinburgh.

By Paul Macmillan

Edinburgh’s Sonic Mass: stoner, psych, doom, sludge and more

Posted in Interview with tags , , , on 23rd March 2015 by Paul Macmillan

In the last Scottish fest interview, we looked at BOB Fest, one of the country’s longest running events of its type. This time around, the focus is on a brand new show, Sonic Mass, organised by Edinburgh based Pisschrist Promotions, and entertainment website Echoes And Dust. Pisschrist have continuously hosted some great up and coming names in their relatively short existence, including Karma To Burn, White Wizard, and Jex Thoth. Sonic Mass sees them up the game, with a double-figure bill.

Again, this is a project (jointly) managed by a musician, with Pisschrist owner, Ewen Cameron, laying down the low-end in Cthulhu worshipping doom troupe Atragon. Cornered and nursing a hangover, he was kind enough to mumble some responses to what I’m sure was some very welcome pestering.

Ewen Cameron

Valkyrian Music: Hey Ewen, how are you this fine evening?

Ewen Cameron: Hungover, tired and suffering from pretty bad tinnitus.

VM: What were up to to cause such a bangover?

EC: I’ve just finished a run of four days of shows, three of which I was promoting.

VM: Ouch! Well, I’m going to pick what’s left of your brain about your new Sonic Mass event. Can you give us a brief description of what it is?

EC: Sure, it is a weekender dedicated to all things space rock, prog, doom or sludgy. It is the brainchild of myself and Sander, the editor of the website Echoes and Dust.

VM: Why a stoner-prog-space rock theme?

EC: There’s a number of festivals in the country dedicated to doom and stoner stuff, and a lot dedicated to the more psychedelic end of things. We felt there was room for something more eclectic. We didn’t set out with a strict list of genres we wanted to target, we just knew the vibe the event should have, and went from there. There’s a focus on the experimental, the weird, the psychedelic. Don’t expect us to book anything too clichéd or run of the mill!

VM: You’ve been part of building that scene for a while now, right?

EC: I’ve been promoting for about 3 years now. There was a lack of heavy gigs in Edinburgh, as a few great promoters all called it a day around the same time.

VM: That’s some good timing!

EC: It wasn’t so much a case of good timing. More of a case of “If I don’t, who will?

VM: Strangely enough though, some people think the small festival market in the UK has reached saturation point. Do you think there is room for more events like this?

EC: I’d certainly agree that the music scene in Scotland at the moment is healthy. Possibly too healthy. It has reached the point where people cannot afford to attend all the shows they would like to. Even a small festival is a big ask for your average punter. Not everyone works Monday to Friday, and two days of loud music / drinking isn’t great for the body or the wallet. I see the future of these events being more niche-focussed, and designed to bring in crowds from further afield, rather than the current, local scene approach. Scenes only ever hold a certain number of people, so you limit your maximum attendees. We had a people from Aberdeen, London, Manchester, etc travel to Edinburgh for Sonic Mass.

VM: If you’re talking about niche markets, you must have to be deeply involved in the relevant genre. How important is personal taste in a project like Sonic Mass?

EC: Hugely. The number one requirement for us is that we like the band. I’ve always maintained that rule as promoter. I’ve never put on a show to make money and never will. I put on the bands I want to see and that is it. When it comes to Sonic Mass, Sander and I pick a list of potential bands we both like and fit the vibe of the event. Obviously the local scene is important too and we’d never run it without a good collection of local bands that fit the vibe.

VM: To be honest, it seems better that way. There are too many people putting on shows based on what they think the numbers will be, then wonder why the audience dries up after a year or so.

EC: Definitely. It is impossible to predict every outcome. Some promoters think that a band that brought 50 people last year will bring 75 this year, but that’s rarely the case.

VM: With the first SM done and dusted, and a second one possibly in October, what have you learned, and what would you like to change?

EC: We’ve still to set a date but October seems likely. It will come down to availability of bands. We’ve got some names we know we want to book for it. Ideally we’d like grow the festival to include more acts, probably a second venue involved, earlier starts. The second one is definitely going to be a case of more of the same; we didn’t have too many issues other than the obligatory late running. Totally my fault, but it did mean some attendees missed the end of headliners sets, as they had to leave for trains, buses etc. I’ve been attending gigs in Glasgow for years and missed so many sets due to late finishes, so I feel their pain. That is definitely something we’ll tighten up on for number 2.

Sonic Mass

VM: Are there any bands you’d like to book for SM who seem like a pipe dream at the moment?

EC: Yeah, but if you’d told me last year about some of the bands I’m booking this year, I’d have not believed you, so I’m happy to entertain these thoughts. Ideally for myself, Ufomammut, 40 Watt Sun, Ahab would be my top 3.

VM: So, it pays to dream, then!

EC: Yeah, I started out booking some local bands to play in a 70 capacity venue, with no idea what I was doing. Now I’m putting on bands from the other side of the world that I never expected to see, let alone promote a show for.

VM: Well, that about wraps it up! Thank you for taking the time talk. Before you go, though, I’ll ask you what I asked (BOB Fest organiser) Luke James in the last interview: Do you have any closing advice for those thinking of taking on a similar event?

EC: Book bands you genuinely like, don’t expect to make any money, and lay off the beers until the headliners are on stage each night, if you can.

by Paul Macmillan

Machine Head return to the UK for five special shows

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 9th April 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

The Bay Area metal titans Machine Head are set to return to the UK this summer with an unexpected move which will delight their rabid Head Case fan base. The band are set to play a short run of five super-special underplays, in much smaller clubs than they usually play. Frontman Robb Flynnexplains the logic behind this move:

In keeping with the intimate club tour-vibe we are doing in the USA this summer, for our first time ever, we decided to blow off 90% of all Euro summer festivals, and hit the nooks and crannies of the UK and Europe as well.  We will be doing no major cities in any territories throughout Europe and the UK for this first leg of 2014.  No London, no Berlin, etc, and instead focusing on the die-hard Machine Head fans that who don’t often get the chance to see us because the travel is too far or too costly to get the big cities.  I remember when we were out with Metallica doing festivals a few years ago, we played in a small out-of-the-way city in Denmark called Aarhus.  We’d never played there let alone, ever even heard of the fucking place.  We were all a bit grumbly before the show, and you know what?  It ended up being one of the most fun shows we’ve ever done.  Doing shows like this, it creates an energy, it creates a bond, something unbreakable, and it is really fucking fun.  It’s Machine Head without all the big production, the bells and whistles, stripped down and raw.  What will be really cool is that in the UK, we’ve never done a club tour, it happened so fast for us there that other than a handful of epically insane, wildly drunken Ten Ton Hammer club shows, we’ve only played bigger halls, so we are really looking forward to giving our fans something special there. Plus, we’ve been hearing from our Scottish fans for decades that we need to get to Edinburgh!!!  So finally, 21 years into our existence, we’re coming and we’re ready to fucking plunder Scotland!!!!

Tour dates are as follow:

Tue 29th Jul – NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms (
Thu 31st Jul – EDINBURGH Liquid Rooms (
Sat 2nd Aug – NEWCASTLE University (
Sun 3rd Aug – NORWICH Waterfront (
Mon 4th Aug – BRIGHTON Concorde (

Tickets go on sale 9am on Friday 11th April and will be available from the ticketing links above.

Machine Head’s new album is in the workings and expected to materialise later this year via their brand new label, Nuclear Blast.  However, their loyal fanbase can get a fiery taster of some brand new material on 19th April; otherwise known as Record Store Day. The band are releasing a strictly limited gatefold 10″ vinyl ‘demo version’ of new song, Killers & Kings.  The release will come in two different colours of vinyl; red or blue, and four different sleeves featuring tarot card designs; Death, The High Priestess, The Devil, and Strength.  Side A features their demo version of Killers & Kings, and Side B features covers of Our Darkest Days and Bleeding, two tracks by Southern California hardcore band, Ignite.

Shops participating in Record Store Day can be viewed here, at this location.  The Head Case collectors among you should get out and search for those four different editions!

Machine Head online:

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