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Preview: Sonisphere 2014

 
By on Wednesday, 26th February 2014 at 9:30 am
 

Emerging from the smouldering ashes of its Britannic demise, Sonisphere returns after what appeared to be ‘an indefinite hiatus’ year in 2013 – it seemed the inevitable excitement/carnage that ensued post-The Big Four in 2011 was too much for Sonisphere’s Knebworth bash to handle. It was obvious the festival was suffering in 2012: they were in the proverbial doldrums of booking acts, with their top billing going to aged hair metallers Kiss – followed by Queen and Faith No More – I suppose again though, post-The Big Four the question is for any metal band booker, where do we go from here?

In true Fawkes from Harry Potter style though, the festival has spread its wings and is spreading a trail of thrashy fire around Knebworth in preparation for the festivals erstwhile rebirth-as-it-was(ish).

The line-up will cater to both the most seasoned mosh-bandit, to the slighter rocker – anything from your fully kitted out – I’m talking all the clichés, studded jacket, trousers the colour similar to that seen on a solar eclipse and piercings from ear to ear- heavy music fan, to the meekest of rock enthusiast, who furtively enjoys a bit of ska.

To start of proceedings arguably one of the best live acts still doing the circuits, The Prodigy will be kindly falling in line with the phoenix metaphors with their displays of twisted firestarting. While the classics, ‘Firestarter’, ‘Breathe’, ‘Poison’ and ‘Out of Space’ will be sure to whip any crowd into a frenzied mass, it’s tracks like ‘Omen’ and ‘Take Me to the Hospital’ from their most recent record ‘Invaders Must Die’, which are more familiar with the younger generations who will be putting their bodies on the line at Knebworth.

Joining them on Friday’s bill are fresh from the Kerrang! tour band, Limp Bizkit, bringing with them a host of nu-metal nostalgia along with some new material which has even included a collaboration with that stand-up character L’il Wayne. If that’s not your cup of tea, the 5th of July sees THE Iron Maiden appear at Knebworth, supported by the thundering riffs of Deftones and the not-so-thundering-riffs, but wholeheartedly rocking Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls.

Bruce Dickinson’s Union Jack waving exploits not cutting it for you? Thoroughly incredulous towards ‘The Number of the Beast’? Fear not, the thrash on the Saturn Stage will be tantamount to your approval – enter Slayer. I challenge you – nay, I dare you – not to well and truly lose every semblance of ‘your shit’ when ‘Reign in Blood’ drops. They’re an institution before being a band, and if their cult following doesn’t sell out Knebworth alone, Alice in Chains and Metallica (with maybe a less menacing Lars Ulrich pictured at top) should do the trick in equal measure.

Add to that equation, that if you snag a weekend ticket ASAP, you’ll be able to help choose 17 out of 18 of Metallica’s set. So you’ll be looking forward to a Sunday closing set chocked to the block with the hits you want. And really, what else could you want?

To book tickets and more information on Sonisphere as it returns for a new year, visit their official Web site.

 

Download Festival 2013: Day 2 Roundup

 
By on Monday, 24th June 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

Nekrogoblikon almost felt like light relief after Slipknot the night before during day 1 of Download Festival 2013. Not that they were mellow, far from it; the ‘folk’ aspect of their ‘folk metal’ tag manifested itself only through an untamed baroque synth line and the orc-like vocals of the one-and-only John Goblikon. A hideous green mask perched between hunched shoulders and mangled hands; he shuffled from wing to wing in gothic splendour, warming the souls of the drenched masses lining the perimeter of the Pepsi Max Stage.

Back on the Main Stage, Mastodon unleashed their gargantuan sound on the waiting masses. A stalwart of the metal festival scene, Mastodon have become a new beast since the release of their latest album, ‘The Hunter’, in 2011. Launching into the primeval ‘Black Tongue’, it became apparent that this was a set more for appreciation than involvement. Lashings of rain compounded the situation, beating down through the likes of ‘Oblivion’, ‘Stargasm’ and ‘Blasteroid’. A menacing chorus of “just close your eyes, and pretend that everything’s fine” rose from the crowd during ‘All the Heavy Lifting’, before the band exploded into ‘Curl of the Burl’ and the classic ‘Blood and Thunder’, from their 2004 album ‘Leviathan’.

Alice in Chains silenced a core of naysayers when they took to the stage at Download 2006, just a year after reforming with William DuVall stepping up to take the mic from the late Layne Staley. Now, in 2013, the Seattle grungers seem more at ease with themselves, with a catalogue of new material from their 2009 release ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’, and this year’s ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’. But, where else could they start, other than the bombastic ‘Them Bones’? As the last chords rang out, making way for the angst driven ‘Damn That River’, the arena was back in 1992 at the release of their seminal album ‘Dirt’. Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney’s metronomic rhythm section rolled on through ‘Hollow’, ‘Check My Brain’ and ‘Again’, before lulling into the melancholy majesty of ‘Down in a Hole’. A final foray into old favourites ‘Man in the Box’ and ‘Rooster’ gave a nod to the old faithful, and Alice In Chains left all comers happy, but the set was just too short to include the likes of tracks from their ‘MTV Unplugged’ album – a tactic that Chris Cornell pulled off so effortlessly with Soundgarden at Download 2012.

Surely Motörhead have planning permission pending on some kind of treehouse tavern in the woods behind Main Stage? How else could they be relied upon with such regularity to turn a sodden Leicestershire afternoon into a homage to early three-chord speed metal (and potentially an advert for the health benefits of Jack Daniel’s)? No discerning Downloader would be surprised to hear that the set list included the usual mainstays: ‘Metropolis’, ‘Over the Top’, ‘Rock It’, as well as the slurred verses of ‘Killed by Death’. ‘Ace of Spades’ could do no worse than bronze in most Best Metal Songs of All Time lists, and sent the crowd into a 2-minute frenzy. But, the most poignant and memorable part of the set was the introduction of founding member and ex-drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, who has given his body for the Motörhead slogan: “Everything louder than everything else”.

Josh Homme has something of the Midas touch when it comes to assembling musical ensembles, and the most recent incarnation of Queens of the Stone Age (pictured at top) has proved a satisfyingly complex prospect, despite mixed reactions to their latest album ‘… Like Clockwork’. With all five members framed by a screen that filled a little over half the stage, their set felt more compact – even intimate – than anything that had come before. ‘Feel Good Hit of the Summer’, a lyrical list of narcotics set to a pugnacious bassline, worked as an opener because it summed up in seven words the ethos behind the old QOTSA, and most likely matched the requirements given to the runner as soon as Homme’s tour bus arrived – such was his amusement at a man-sized Super Mario in the crowd. ‘You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire’ was the first link in a chain of tracks from the 2002 album ‘Songs for the Deaf’ that tied their set together. ‘First it Giveth’, ‘No One Knows’, ‘Hangin’ Tree’, ‘Go With the Flow’ and ‘A Song for the Dead’ were all delivered clinically with Homme’s trademark sneer, but without Nick Oliveri swinging a bass round his head in his birthday suit, it lacked an element of the danger of old. The band’s new visuals added a distinctive dimension that is likely to become a stock feature of future shows, enabling them to enact their visceral sound through hypnotic patterns and bloodied avatars.

Almost all Iron Maiden fans born after 1978 harbour an unspoken desire to re-live the epic journey that was their ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’ world tour, and what better time than on the 25th anniversary of their Monsters of Rock stop off? Vocalist Bruce Dickinson’s passion for the aeronautical was indulged before a chord had even been sounded, when a Hawker Hurricane roared over Main Stage, leaving fans to gawp in awe as the plane made its second and third flypast. Maiden kicked off with the debut from their acclaimed 1988 album, ‘Moonchild’, to a rapturous response, before ‘Can I Play with Madness’, ‘Two Minutes to Midnight’ and ‘Afraid to Shoot Strangers’ kept the set on its rocketing trajectory. Dickinson played the conductor in a heavy metal orchestra, emerging for ‘The Trooper’ in Redcoat garb and waving a massive Union Jack.

A Pan-like devil emerged for ‘The Number of the Beast’, and ‘Phantom of the Opera’ lived up to its theatrical roots. ‘Run to the Hills’, ‘Wasted Years’ and the ominous ‘Fear of the Dark’ tested the crowd’s vocal chords to the extreme, before their eponymous track sounded time for an encore. Continuing the military theme, Winston Churchill’s famous “We shall fight on the beaches” speech gave way to ‘Aces High’, and on to a tempestuous rendition of ‘The Evil That Men Do’. Maiden had the crowd from the flypast, potentially even from the credit card confirmation on Ticketmaster, and as they dissipated to the tune of Eric Idle’s ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’, it was clear that the gods of metal have gifted Maiden with immortality.

 

Iron Maiden / July and August 2011 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 17th November 2010 at 9:30 am
 

Rock legends Iron Maiden have scheduled a UK arena tour for July and August of next year. Tickets for this tour go on sale on 20 November. Bruce Dickinson and co. will be stopping at the following venues:

Wednesday 20th July 2011 – Glasgow SECC
Thursday 21st July 2011 – Aberdeen AECC P&J Arena
Saturday 23rd July 2011 – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Sunday 24th July 2011 – Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
Wednesday 27th July 2011 – Nottingham Trent Arena
Thursday 28th July 2011 – Manchester MEN Arena
Sunday 31st July 2011 – Birmingham NIA
Monday 1st August 2011 – Cardiff CIA
Wednesday 3rd August 2011 – Belfast Odyssey
Friday 5th August 2011 – London O2 Arena

 

Coming to a Cinema near you: Iron Maiden – Flight 666

 
By on Wednesday, 4th March 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Iron Maiden (side)Sometimes here at TGTF we like to post something a bit different. So when we got an email telling us all about a great new docu-film about Iron Maiden, we felt it was only right to share the news so all the Maiden fans can get their fix.

Flight 666 was shot as the band embarked on the first leg of their momentous Somewhere Back In Time World Tour in February and March of last year, and sees them circumnavigating the globe in just 45 days. The band flew in a specially customised Boeing 757 airliner, piloted by lead singer Bruce Dickinson, with the entire tour crew and 12 tons of music and stage equipment on board, to 23 sold-out stadium and arena shows in Asia, Australia and North, Central and South America.

Like many new documentary films, Flight 666 is being shown in digital, instead of traditional 35mm analogue film. The film’s 5.1 surround sound was mixed by the band’s producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley, so it should sound pretty impressive.

I’m not a huge fan of Iron Maiden myself, however you’ve got to give it to them – they know how to put on a show, and are some of the best at what they do. They certainly blow the likes of Coldplay out of the water!

So, is this sounding interesting to you? Well, to celebrate their Best British Live Act at the Brit Awards 2009, Flight 666 will be shown on over 400 screens in 34 countries for one day only – Maiden Day – on 21st April. Tickets are on sale now from the websites of the cinemas.

Do you think this is going to be an amazing film? Have you seen their previous tour films? Or is this just going to be Spinal Tap gone new millenium? Let us know in the comments below. For a full list of cinemas showing the film, check out the list after the jump.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_2h-vdaD68[/youtube]

Continue reading Coming to a Cinema near you: Iron Maiden – Flight 666

 

The Brit Awards 2009 – The Nominations

 
By on Monday, 26th January 2009 at 4:42 pm
 

Coldplay's new album cover

Ahh…The Brits. Perhaps more famous for Jarvis Cocker’s stage invasion, or Arctic Monkey‘s drunken speeches rather than for it’s showcasing of the best of British music. Either way, every year it certainly proves an interesting watch and this 2009, the controversial show will be presented by disco diva, Kylie Minogue and Gavin and Stacey stars, Mathew Horne and James Corden. There will be performances from Kings of Leon, U2 and Take That to name but a few. You can catch all the action live on ITV1 on February 18th, but if you can’t wait till then, There Goes The Fear is here to tell you about the successful nominees that were announced earlier this week.

The artists leading the way with the highest amount of nominations this year are Welsh songstress, Duffy and Coldplay – both tallying up a total of four nods. Both artists had number 1 albums last year – Duffy with ‘Rockferry‘ and Coldplay with ‘Viva la Vida‘ (pictured right) – so are unsurprisingly up for Mastercard’s Best British Album alongside Elbow, Radiohead and The Ting Tings. Duffy’s ‘Mercy’ and Coldplay’s ‘Viva la Vida’ will also be going head to head in Best British Single category alongside the likes of Estelle‘s ‘American Boy’, Adele with ‘Chasing Pavements’ and the X Factor Finalists’ ‘Hero’.

Duffy also features in the Best British Female Solo Artist category alongside Adele, Beth Rowley, Estelle and MIA, while the nominees in male counterpart include Ian Brown, James Morrison, Paul Weller, Streets and Will Young. Best British Group has seen the nomination of the ever-popular Coldplay, Elbow, Radiohead, Take That and Girls Aloud.

New music recieving nods in this year’s Best British Breakthrough Act include Last Shadow Puppets and Scouting For Girls, while 2009’s Best British Live Act showcases everyone from Iron Maiden and The Verve, to Elbow.

Singer-songwriter, Florence and the Machine (who we featured here), is tracing the footsteps of 2008 winner Adele through gaining the coveted Critics Choice Award which recognises upcoming music talent. Meanwhile, Pet Shop Boys have been intriguingly awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award, following on from Beatle Sir Paul McCartney’s win last year.

Band’s receiving nods in the international categories including Best International Group and Best International Album are Kings of Leon, The Killers, AC/DC, MGMT and Fleet Foxes. Solo artists featuring in the categories honouring oversea talent include Katy Perry, Gabriella Cilmi, Seasick Steve, Beck and Kanye West.

To see the nominations in full, check out the official Brits website.

 
 
 

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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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