Archive for Manchester

Gorilla Riot – Peach

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , , , on 14th February 2020 by mickbirchy

Gorilla Riot

Peach

Southern Rock, Groove Rock

Released 31st January 2020

via Off Yer Rocka Recordings

I have been following this band for a while now. If you are from Manchester then you should know who these guys are. Gorilla Riot are the premier southern rock band of the northwest. They have been tearing up the underground rock scene in the UK for a while playing some of the biggest festivals and headlining venues around the country. I have been interested in their music for a while and was intrigued to get this album. Peach is the first full-length album from the band. I have to say I am pretty pleased with the outcome and if you have never heard of these guys before, then this is the time to get into their music.

The album is filled with all sorts of riff-rock goodness including tight grooves and a real old-school feel. They have the groovy rhythms of the ’70s infused with the style, flair and production of modern hard rock. If you’re into the likes of Sturgill Simpson or Steve Earle then this is something right up your alley. There’s that real down ‘n’ dirty hard rock with burning passion and soul.  The production just feels massive with a lot of depth to the music. You can really feel the impact of the three guitars in the band with sharp and concise riffs, blistering solos and co-ordinated harmonies. The bass adds this massive bottom to the songs and the drum work packs a punch as it forms the framework of each song.

Saying all of that, I could definitely understand how this kind of music is not everyone’s cup of tea. The twangy blues rhythm is really slow-paced and when listening to the album all the way through. It never really feels like it picks up with every song hitting the same groove, or at least it feels like it. It could have done with an acoustic country-style ballad or a high octane super-charged track. Just something to break up the album and give it some more flavour. It’s not that any of the songs are bad, I just think it needed some other style of rock to give the band some more character and to show they can be more versatile.

I quite liked this album. I think it does more than enough to entertain. It’s not going to be to everyone’s liking and that’s fine. I think the band knows their audience and they’re not out to please everybody. They’ll keep right on trucking and I think that’s fair. They’re a really fun band to watch live and their music pretty much speaks for itself. It’s a solid album and definitely worth a listen.

7/10

Mick Birchall

Sick N’ Beautiful + Supports @ Manchester Aatma

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th June 2018 by mickbirchy

Sick N’ Beautiful w/ Bad Pollyanna & Novacrow

Venue: Manchester Aatma Date: 02 June 2018

This was an interesting show, to say the least. First of all, I struggled to find the venue. I like to think that I know Manchester pretty well but I had to lap the building a few times to even find it. So that wasn’t the best start. Also since this was one of the last dates of the tour and this date was a last minute addition to the tour, there wasn’t much of a crowd in the venue. Still the bands really brought the energy and intensity, resulting in a fun time regardless. I have recently reviewed the new album from Sick N’ Beautiful and I really liked it. It had so much personality to it, so naturally, I had to check out what a show from them would be like. Also for an added bonus the support came from Liverpool’s mad rockers, Novacrow. Also, one of my favourite bands, Bad Pollyanna. With all that in play I knew I was going to have a good time.

Novacrow


Straight from the get-go these guys brought so much fire. They just went absolutely crazy on the stage. The guitars roared and the bass pulsated as they brought their tunes to life. Unfortunately their drummer was absent but nothing that a cardboard cutout of Danny DeVito and a drum machine couldn’t fix and to be fair it was mixed pretty well into the set. They wouldn’t stand still for one moment and I liked that. Lead vocalist, Kitty was a mad woman, roaming around the venue and screaming with such passion. They were a lot of fun and I was really into it. Every moment they were playing the audience were captivated by their antics. I haven’t seen them in a long time and I have to say they haven’t missed a step for a single moment.

They’re just as fun and enjoyable as ever and they’re clearly having a good time when they play. The only real problem I had with the set is that the balance was out at times. There would just be moments where the distortion was just a little too much and you couldn’t hear the actual music more just noise. However they made up for that with their personalities. They were beaming with big grins as they played great tunes like “Fight The Horde” and ending the set on the ever popular “Fat Frog”. Where the band went into full on crazy mode. Definitely an enjoyable opener and it made me realise that I need to see them more often. They put on a great live I hope more and more people catch on to them.

Bad Pollyanna


I’ve already kinda gave this away but yeah Bad Pollyanna are one of my favourite bands. I could go to see them again and again and never really get bored. They have the really nice balance of rock and electronica. Once again they didn’t disappoint. They blasted full force on the stage and I think a lot of the audience knew who they were as well which added to the show immensely. I loved the set list, each song followed into the next, it all felt like it really flowed well. Songs like “Pull the Trigger” and “Bionic Heart” got the people moving and I was really enjoying myself. The electronic sections really add layers to their live set. It was mixed really well with the live instruments and the vocal performance was sublime. Frontwoman, Olivia Hyde and bassist Nikki Kontinen had some really great moments of vocal harmony as well. The whole set just felt so fluid. “Define Me” was really well received as well, as one of their biggest hits. They just injected so much charisma and energy into their set. Their performance was engrossing. Maybe a little more restrained that Novacrow’s set, but still really fun to watch. It was really hard to take your eyes off of them.

There wasn’t too much in the way of negatives in this set. To be perfectly honest I was enjoying myself too much to really notice. The mark a really good set in my opinion. The only thing I wish is that there was some new material for them to play. As much as I love the two albums they have I wish there was some new music just to spice up the set list a little more. To be fair though that’s not a bad criticism to give, I want more music.  Bad Pollyanna continue to be one of my favourite bands to watch live. Everything they do while on stage is really enjoyable and their songs are very entertaining.

Sick N’ Beautiful


Okay…This was actually really good. Very much worth the wait to see. Sick N’ Beautiful really know how to put on one hell of a show, even the smallest and cramped of spaces. Seriously talk about making the most of the space given to you. They really brought their set list to life in the best of ways. Their music was excellent as they played some of my favourite tunes from the album. Their performance was out of this world with strobe lighting and a very interesting presentation. The sound was pretty damn good as well. The songs were well played.

Unfortunately the crowd had thinned out even more than before so there wasn’t quite as much energy as there was for the openers. I would love to see them play to a much bigger and more energetic crowd because I think a show like that would be quality. They clearly put a lot of time into their stage personas. I really loved them for the short time they were on stage. The setlist was great I really liked “Megalomaniacal” and “All Wanna Go To Heaven”. They just performed really well. I loved that they put their all into the set, I can really respect that. They clearly have a passion for performing and it shone through here. I wish there was more of an atmosphere to the show, but beggars can’t be choosers and I had a great time listening to them.

Mick Birchall

Interview with Janne Wirman (Children of Bodom)

Posted in Gig, Interview, Live, Metal with tags , , , , , on 19th March 2017 by mickbirchy

Before their set in Manchester, our writer, Mick Birchall sits with Janne Wirman from Children of Bodom to talk about 20 years of the band and how they kept up in the music industry. Also, touring and the music scene in general.

This year marks 20 years of Children of Bodom. How does it feel to be able to say that you have actually been going that long?

Yes, it’s crazy it really is.  We weren’t really expecting that when we started. Back then we were just kids and we played heavy metal metal. Yeah it’s great it really is. Just the though that we’ve made it this far.

You guys have played all around the world.  Would you say there a difference in audience, depending on where you go?

You be surprised on how little the differences are really. Metal heads are metal heads no matter where you go.  If there are differences then they’d be small things. Such as in Japan, the crowd will probably go completely silent between the songs, it feels a little awkward. However, it is a show of respect. So it’s things like that but when the music is on, it’s on!

Going for 20 years now and with 9 albums.  How do you feel you keep your music sounding new without wearing out the same sound, but also without compromising the core of the band?

That’s becoming a challenge after releasing so many albums and we definitely don’t want to be stuck to a formula or get stuck the mindset of “this worked well, let’s just do that again”. As a band you have to keep creating something new and you have to take a risk with something eventually. I mean there’s only so many bands that can release the same album over and over.

Over the years what is the one song you wish you had written as a band?

I would say Redneck by Lamb of God.

What would be the best band that you have opened for and what’s the best band that’s opened for you?

I’d say the best we’ve opened for is Slayer. We did a couple tour with them and it was just great.  Their level of production and how well the opening bands were treated it was just amazing.

On the other hand we’ve had the pleasure of having so many killer band open the show for us. We had this band recently play with us.  Havok they were really great, we’ve heard them play and every audience they’ve played for people have just loved them.  Also we have Oni with us on this tour. They’re really cool, with a xylophone player. If you’re into the weird stuff then Oni is for you.

What’s your impression of the more gimmicky bands out there.  The ones who will dress up and get into character for a show?

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it. Just don’t paste it over your image, if your band sound sounds fine without gimmicks then don’t paste it over the top of it.  Only do it if it’s natural to the kind of music that you’re trying to create. Also, if you’re going to do it, make it your own thing.  Don’t take another band idea and slap it over your band, try to be original with a concept.

So to end on. What was the hardest thing you had to overcome and how did you overcome it?

We’ve had some obstacles in band. Obviously letting Roope (Latvala) go was a tough decision. We were struggling without him for sometime. When you’ve been in the industry for this long you’ve had up and and downs. At the end of the day, everyone in the band has to believe in the same thing, then between all of you you get through rough times. As long as you have you bandmates there’s very little that they’ll let you do wrong.

 

Interview and words by Mick Birchall

Spires announce crowd-funding campaign for upcoming album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 5th September 2014 by Pieni

 photo spires_zpsdcd1d038.jpg

Manchester progressive metallers Spires have launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for their forthcoming full length album, “The Whisperer”. After the critically acclaimed “Spiral of Ascension” (2010), and the equally praised acoustic mini-album “Lucid Abstractions” (2012), “The Whisperer” is planned to be released in early November, with the Kickstarter campaign ending on 4th October. If you wish to take part of this, please click the following link: ttps://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1250333601/spires-second-album-the-whisperer-t-shirt-campaign

The album will initially be a limited edition run of 500 copies, on 6 panel digipak, featuring extensive artwork by Daniella Morrison, and a full lyric booklet. The 7 track release will feature over an hour of progressive metal, and expands upon the foundations laid on the band’s previous releases.

“This album is going to be even more expansive and wide reaching,” vocalist/guitarist Paul Sadler explains, “with more varied instrumentation including cello, violin, piano and female vocals, as well as a guest spot on guitar from Tymon Kruidenier from Exivious / ex-Cynic The overall dynamics are pushed to further extremes in both directions. We’re all extremely excited about how it’s sounding. We decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to give us that helping hand to produce a physical product that’s really worth having. In this day and age we feel this is necessary to convince people its worth parting with their hard earned cash for something you have created.”

The band is also producing a limited run of T-shirts to coincide with the release, featuring artwork from the album, also available through Kickstarter. A small UK tour is also in the pipeline for the end of the year, of which we’ll inform you as soon as the dates are confirmed. They play a one off show alongside Falloch and Jordan Reyne on 17th September at The Flapper in Birmingham .

Spires online:
http://www.facebook.com/spiresofficial
http://www.spiresband.co.uk

Greenfire confirmed as latest addition to Valk-Fest 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 13th June 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

VFPoster

Already boasting a monumental line-up featuring the likes of Scotch black metal royals Cnoc An Tursa, Azylya from Belgium and Dutch progressive powerhouse Ex Libris, Valkyrian Festival is proud to announce the addition of Manchester-based posh rockers Greenfire to this year’s bill.

The festival, which is now sponsored by Neue Regal Radio as well as Wolf Band Management, The Crypt of Curiosities and Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forum, is in aid of Rape Crisis. Weekend and day tickets are available from this location. The event is set to take place at Basement (Formerly Shades Nightclub) in Bridlington from Friday 21st November to Sunday 23rd November. The event is an all-ages event.

The full line-up for Valkyrian Festival 2014 is as follows:

Fri. 21st November
CNOC AN TURSA (Headliner) – Bharghest (Main Support) – Drekavac – Exile The Traitor – Crooked Lizard (Opener)

Sat. 22nd November
AZYLYA (Headliner) – Sakara (Main Support) – Sorronia – Northern Oak – Badge – Chemikill – Mørktår – Divided We Fall – Clunge Hammer

Sun. 23rd November
EX LIBRIS (Headliner) – Reign of Fury (Main Support) – Wretched Soul – Ethereal – Aonia – Alice In Thunderland – Enkelination – Tears of Martyr – Greenfire – Synchronix – Avalon

Interview with Martijn Westerholt [Delain]

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on 25th April 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Valkyrian Music editor Nico Davidson catches up with Delain’s founding member and main man Martijn Westerholt in Manchester before the band’s first UK show of 2014 with Within Temptation.

Special thanks to April Mccaffrey for filming the interview.

Delain online:

http://delain.nl
http://facebook.com/delainmusic

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Leaves Eyes w/Support – Manchester, UK

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 29th January 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Leaves’ Eyes, Pyhtia and Atrocity
Sound Control, Manchester
Friday 17th January 2014

It’s been almost two since Leaves’ Eyes graced the shores of Britain and even longer since Atrocity brought death metal-styled annihilation to the UK. For the UK leg of the tour, London metal band Pythia were added to the line-up as main support, which was an interesting decision but certainly didn’t affect the turn out in Manchester.

LeavesEyes-Manchester-2014 048

Atrocity opened up the show with their heavy-than-a-ton-of-bricks song Pandaemonium before the set transited into the snarling riffs of Haunted By Demons. Frontman Alexander Krull worked the crowd as if he was some gigantic puppeteer, influencing the movements and reactions of the crowd with each fierce vocal line and every bang of his head and whip of his hair. The howling guitars and thunderous rhythm sections answered the calls of each other throughout Atrocity’s set, leaving no questions unanswered. For the performance of Satan’s Braut, Alex invited two members of the crowd up onto the stage to dance throughout the song, much to the approval of both the crowd and the band. Death By Metal was the pinnacle of Atrocity’s set however, melding in with the blazing lightshow perfectly.

[4.5/5]

LeavesEyes-Manchester-2014 077Pythia were the next band on the bill, taking their place as main support. As they appeared on stage, each one looked like a warrior or a hero or something from a fantasy RPG or film. Vocalist Emily, despite technical issues during in the first song, showed her vocal dominance with a barrage of high notes and soprano vocals. The use of programmed keyboards didn’t add to the mystical atmosphere of Pyhtia’s songs but the sweeping riffs, domineering percussion and impressive stage show more than made up for that. The band’s performance of Betray My Heart appeared to go down a treat with those in attendance, both new and old Pythia fans alike. And speaking of fans, the band certainly made some new ones in Manchester.

[4/5]

LeavesEyes-Manchester-2014 224

With an enchanting stage presence, Liv Kristine rose onto the stage like a valkyrie, after her band mates had first appeared. Starting up with the catchy tune of Galswintha the band pursued Take The Devil In Me. One thing that was noticeable throughout the performance was the lack of a bassist, though the use of guitars and programming filled that void, working well with Liv’s angelic vocals and Alex’s harsher, bestial styling. The guitars cut through the atmosphere of the show, being heard perfectly from every part of the venue, summoning up their heavy, driving and somewhat hypnotic riffs. Farewell Proud Men made an appearance throughout Leaves’ Eyes’ set, as did Velvet Heart and Frøya’s Theme. Their Hell To The Heavens sounded darker and heavier live than what it does on the album, showing that Leaves’ Eyes new sound is adaptable for situations including for the live show.

[5/5]

Manchester has seen a lot of shows but nothing quite like Leaves’ Eyes, Pythia and Atrocity all under one roof. Epic? No, that’s not quite the word but it will have to do for now.

Nico Davidson

 

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