Bloodstock 2003 was still in the heart of England and once again at the end of August. The time was obviously right for an expansion and the festival now spanned two days. As much as a fantastic festival that it is my biggest gripe is the amount of reoccurring acts and within three years this was in full effect. Returning from the first line up were Saxon headlining the Friday night along with Blaze again.
This years did hand British fans their first opportunity to see Finnish symphonic band Nightwish in the flesh – if you look really hard you can just about make out their logo on the poster. They ended up being every bit as good as I’d hoped. I had never heard them until they were announced, so in pre Spotify days when you had to buy a product I sourced a copy of the Century Child release and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Edguy were a late addition to the bill as replacements for HammerFall who pulled out due to an injury sustained by their guitarist in a motorbike accident. It is kind of odd tracking Edguy over the years at the festival. They’ve played four times in the first decade, rising from mid card filler to headliner and plummeting back down to an early morning slot as the festival was able to flex its muscles with the calibre of bands it could book.
This year also happened to be the first time I got to see the gloom merchants from Halifax. I had a gap of almost ten years between when I should have first seen Paradise Lost to when I actually got to see them. Back in December of 1993 I had a ticket for their gig in Nottingham where they were supporting Sepultura. After a few birthday drinks the week before I managed to break an ankle and ended up being stuck at home with half of my leg in plaster.
I’m a bit hit and miss with Paradise Lost. Some of their stuff I really like, but some of their output just bores me so much. Say Just Words can be found on their sixth album One Second and for a Paradise Lost track it is rather upbeat. By album six they’d lost virtually all of their doomy death metal mix and gone along the gothic metal route.
They are playing on the Saturday at this years event. They also played at Hellfest where they performed second album Gothic in its entirety and I’d hazard a guess that they’ll do the same in a little over a weeks time. Now that vocalist Nick Holmes hasn’t got the same death metal rasp that he was implementing in 1991 it didn’t sound as good as it could have been, but I’ll give them another go on the 13th.