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Download Festival 2013: Day 1 Roundup

 
By on Friday, 21st June 2013 at 2:15 pm
 

Download Festival 2013 has already been hailed as a behemoth of the recent festival age. In Iron Maiden, Andy Copping chose a headliner to both win the hearts of the Monsters of Rock festival faithful, and show the next generation the damage a well placed gallop rhythm can do. In Slipknot and Rammstein, he found two bands on the cusp of welding themselves into metal folklore; cocking the Download line-up like a double-barrelled shotgun. Beyond the headliners, Download promised everything from Viking metal to gypsy punk, with a gilded seem of truck rock to drive 90,000 people through what threatened to be the wettest of summer weekends.

And, that’s how it took off on Day 1. At the Zippo Encore Stage Monster Truck were relentless; vocalist Jon Harvey beat on his bass like a hydraulic jackhammer, and the Hammond organ of Brandon Bliss ground out a vintage climax in all the right places. Afterwards, Dir En Grey offered a scene of atonal Asian horror that was perhaps a little too gothic for the good time vibes of the first morning.

Uriah Heep and Europe were Friday’s elderly statesmen, the living embodiment of proto-metal and glam rock, respectively. The Heep, as they were being affectionately alluded to around the crowd, took the Zippo Encore Stage through soaring crescendos and thundering hooves, to their own stately pleasure dome of progressive head-banging metal. Classics ‘Overload’, ‘Stealin’’, ‘Gypsy’ and, of course, ‘Easy Livin’’ sounded just as crisp as they would have done at MOR 1982. Later on in the afternoon, Europe joyfully rattled off ‘Scream of Anger’ and ‘Rock the Night’ before the inevitable ‘Final Countdown’. Singer Joey Tempest proudly proclaimed, “we made it! Just five ordinary guys from the outskirts of Stockholm”, and the crowd lapped up the last track like a £4.50 beer. However, Europe still appear blighted by the possession of a keyboard riff more famous than they are.

A somewhat wild-card entry, The Sword took a glazed-eyed Pepsi Max Stage crowd on a sojourn into ‘60s psychedelia via ‘90s groove metal. The drawl of lead vocalist John D. Cronise was fattened by a bass level that sounded like the HMS Subwoofer leaving port, leaving onlookers clutching their reverberating ribcages to try and stop their internal organs turning to mulch. ‘How Heavy the Axe’ – the bands biggest single to date – took on an entirely new dimension in a live setting, whilst the reaction to tracks off their latest album, ‘Apocryphon’, suggests this desert rock four-piece will remain a cult favourite for the foreseeable.

As if to make up for the dour Dir En Grey, self-proclaimed gypsy punks Gogol Bordello lifted the mood back at the Zippo Encore Stage, providing an island of carnival spirit in the sea of mosh. But, just because a metalhead is suddenly confronted by syncopation, it doesn’t mean he knows how to dance. Half the entertainment in this hour came from watching the uncoordinated masses (of which I undoubtedly count myself one) pull out their best Cossack manoeuvres, occasionally switching to a do-si-do with their beer-free arm. Politicised numbers, such as ‘Ultimate’, ‘Break the Spell’ and the frantic ‘Not a Crime’, melded seamlessly with the likes of an extended ‘Start Wearing Purple’; a more eccentric number which, although infectious, missed some of the theatrics of their performance at Leeds Festival 2007.

For Download’s majority demographic, the 18 to 30s, nu-metallers Korn and Slipknot would arguably be the most relevant acts to play on Friday. Korn – with their low-fi dynamics, metal scatting and wandering slap-bass – have a somewhat chequered history with this festival. In 2006, just a day before they were set to take on the Main Stage, an announcement came over the Download tannoy that singer Jonathan Davis had been hospitalised with a serious blood ailment. The crowd were stunned, but the remainder of Korn played on, with other vocalists, such as Corey Taylor, Benji Webbe and Dez Fafara, all pitching in. Despite a successful performance in 2011, this still felt like unfinished business for many.

Fieldy’s bass wove a subsonic tapestry through old favourites ‘Blind’, ‘Falling Away From Me’ and ‘Got the Life’, but the baying masses seemed split over some of their recent dubstep-flavour offerings, such as ‘Get Up’, and ‘Narcissistic Cannibal’. The bombastic ‘Here to Stay’ provided total unification; the crowd left fissured and spiralling from the pressure of such a nu-metal standard. By the time they smashed into final track ‘Freak on a Leash’, the arena was eating from their hands.

Slipknot (pictured at top), a band that have matured into metal statesmen over the past 5 years, left the 90,000 jiving to Billie Joe Spears’ classic ‘Get Behind Me Satan and Push’ before exploding in a wall of pyro into opening track ‘Disasterpiece’, from their debut album ‘Iowa’. By the third track, ‘Wait and Bleed’, the Slipknot loyalists had begun dismantling the arena, and each other, piece by piece. ‘Before I Forget’ had to be postponed whilst Corey Taylor pleaded for calm as security repaired the barriers, but this only served to stoke the fires at this sadistic circus. Five tracks later ‘Left Behind’ had to be halted after another testosterone release, and Taylor again took to the mic to ask everyone to take a step back. Needless to say, he’s one of the few in the live music industry who commands such absolute obedience.

One subject that, understandably, is never far from the collective Slipknot consciousness is the pain caused by the tragic death of former bassist Paul Gray. This year the band struck a different tone to that of Sonisphere 2011, with Taylor promising a future for the band and declaring, “we have kept going for us. We have kept going for him. We have kept going for you”. “I push my fingers into my…” was all the crowd needed to hear to raise a toast to Paul with ‘Duality’. ‘Psychosocial’, a mainstay of site sound systems all weekend, was massive, as was the sight of the entire Main Stage crowd down on their knees to ‘Spit it Out’. Their performance – bursting with passion, energy, sex and anger – was topped off by the epic ‘People = Shit’, and percussive ‘Surfacing’.

So, with blistered feet and bleary eyes the crowd shuffled away from the arena in fervent anticipation of Day 2.

 

Weekly Roundup: 15th February 2009

 
By on Sunday, 15th February 2009 at 11:18 pm
 

As another week draws to a close, we take a look back at the music news that has been hitting the headlines over the past few days!

RihannaLily Allen (pictured top) has topped both the single and album chart this week. ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’, the follow up to Lily’s 2006 debut album ‘Still Alright’, shot to number one this Sunday. Meanwhile hit-single ‘The Fear’ has kept it’s top spot position for the third week in a row, scoring Lily a double chart hit.

Green Day have announced that they will be releasing their 8th studio album in May. Titled ’21st Century Breakdown’, the album is said to be swinging towards a power pop vibe rather than the band’s usual punk rock. The album artwork was also released this week and has been noted for it’s unusual similarity to Blur’s ‘Think Tank’.

Rihanna‘s (pictured right) dad has confirmed that the ‘Umbrella’ star has split with her singer boyfriend, Chris Brown, following an alleged domestic assault last week. Rihanna is said to have sustained visible injuries following the attack which has lead to the pop star cancelling several appearances including a Grammy performance.

Estelle Bennett, of 60’s girl group, The Ronettes, has died this week at the age of 67. Alongside sister Ronnie Bennett and cousin Nedray Talley, Estelle signed to Phil Spector’s Philles Records in 1963. The trio went on to become world-famous thanks to their trademark beehives and hit tracks, such as ‘Be My Baby’.

Def Leppard, Slipknot, Korn, Motley Crue, The Prodigy and newly reformed Limp Bizkit are just some of the big acts confirmed this week for Download Festival 2009. The rock and heavy metal bash takes place at Donnigton Park on Friday the 12th to Sunday 14th of June. Tickets are on sale now over at Download’s official site.

Finally, it’s unlikely we shall see The Smiths following in the footsteps of so many vintage bands out there anytime soon and throw together a reunion tour. Morrissey put an end to all rumours hinting of a possible Smiths unification this week, claiming he’s “not stuck in the past”. Intriguing, since, when on Jonathon Ross Friday night, following his performance of current single ‘I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris’, Mozza went on to play nostalgic track ‘This Charming Man’ to the elated audience.

 

Bands To Watch #72: Hollywood Undead

 
By on Thursday, 22nd January 2009 at 10:20 am
 

m_0f7b3af89431228cf5d50b6a9352fb96Forget Slipknot, there’s new masked rockers on the block now who have been recognised as the Gods of MySpace. Hollywood Undead have created a sound that is like nothing else, or it is like everything, as a collection of MC’s, DJ’s, Screamers and metalheads make up the band and nearly every genre makes an appearance in the debut album “Swan Songs”.

If you are looking for a track that comes close to summing up the band then the hit “No.5” is probably the best of the bunch with hip-pop electric effects and epic hooks that give great support to vocals full of attitude.  Elsewhere the track “Undead” features the instantly recognisable “Crazy Train” riff by Ozzy Osbourne whilst gangster lyrics flood the tune with character.

So who are the guys behind the masks? Well their commonly known as Charlie Scene, J-Dog, Da Kurlzz, Duece, Funny man and Johnny 3 Tears which will have to do for now as the band seem contempt to hind from te fame following them. The band are certainty not for people who sit on the fence and whilst many people follow the band, there is loads of criticism floating around as well. I’ll come clean and say that I’m not the biggest fan but because of the variety on display, you may love one or two tracks and still be able to dislike the album.  The group are far from lacking in confidence and publicity work but perhaps more time needs to be spent on defining their sound.

 

Tickets: More Slipknot… Yes More!

 
By on Thursday, 4th September 2008 at 1:58 pm
 

For those of you still recovering from the Heavy Metal Blues, after missing out on tickets for Slipknot’s LAST EVER uk tour, snap out of it quick! In true eccentric fasion, the mask wearing metal gods have added a third date at the Hammersmith Appollo:

Wednesday 3rd December

No, the tickets are not all sold out! I had a quick browse this morning and if you are quick, you may still be able to grab your self a bit of Metel History! GO GO GO!

 

Slipknot / December UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 22nd August 2008 at 7:04 pm
 

Like your music heavy and theatrical? Then fear not as Slipknot have announced a string of UK Tour dates for December.

Tickets go on sale at 9am next Wednesday, 27th August.

Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd December – London Hammersmith Apollo
Friday 5th December – Cardiff International Arena
Sunday 7th December – Birmingham NIA
Monday 8th December – Glasgow SECC
Tuesday 9th December – Manchester MEN Arena
Thursday 11th December – Newcastle Metro Arena
Friday 12th December – Sheffield Arena

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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