Pleasure To Kill

This weekend marks my nineteenth visit to the Bloodstock festival, whether it’s at its inaugural Assembly Rooms home or located somewhere with in the confines of Catton Hall Park. Nineteen represents the total amount of festivals flying the Bloodstock banner, and I can say I’ve attended at least a day at every single one. There can’t be too many people who can claim that, as the first event was only fifteen hundred or so attendees.  

If anyone has read many of my 455 posts to date they might have seen Bloodstock mentioned on a pretty repetitive, and possibly boring, basis. I’ve seen about 280 different sets over those fifteen years, that’s more than double the amount of bands I’ve seen over thirteen Download Festivals.  

I’ve witnessed some stunning performances and I’ve also suffered some diabolical days, whether it be line ups, performances or weather. This weekend falls into the lower end of that equation. Over the two days I’m there I’m hoping to catch about sixteen bands if it all runs to plan. From those sixteen there is only one band I’ve never seen before. Nearly half of those bands I’ve also seen at the festival at some point too. If I took the main stage over the three days I’ve seen exactly half at Bloodstock already, and many of those multiple times. It’s fine if you go infrequently, but year after year with the same bands cropping up it makes you wonder why I keep going. 

More than a music event it’s a time to catch up with people you don’t necessarily see other than at the festival. The people I consider friends seem to be in many of the far flung corners of the UK and as we grow older, many have grown wiser and don’t necessarily go to as many gigs now they are used to. A few beers and much chat is higher on the agenda than most of the bands this year. 

The festival is only 44 miles from my house, so that’s one reason I go religiously. This year though I considered a trip to one of the two festivals in Belgium over the same weekend (Alcatraz and Ieper) or even the Brutal Assault event in the Czech Republic. I was even tempted with Chimpy Fest in London for an all out noise assault.  All because the line ups were offering me a better calibre of bands that I haven’t seen, or seen as much. Maybe next year? 

The one band that made my decision to go this year was a band I’ve seen more than twenty times, so sitting here writing that makes me sound like such a hypocrite after slating repeat performances, but the Teutonic thrashers Kreator are one of my top five bands and to see them again and again doesn’t get at all that stale to me. 

The thing that perplexes me most about their appearance this year is why aren’t they headlining? Over the six years since they last graced this stage they’ve headlined some of the biggest festivals throughout Europe and have a more than worthy stage show to go with their headline credentials. Without my rose tinted glasses on,  I personally feel they deserve it more than Amon Amarth and Ghost. Megadeth have the CV to close the weekend, but it’s something they did as recently as 2014. Maybe it’s not meant to be for them?

This video to Pleasure to Kill was released recently to coincide with the remastered versions of the bands first four offerings. As I’d already got them on CD I wasn’t too bothered about buying them for a second time (repeats again!!) but I listened to them on Spotify and just having a decent audio of the East Berlin show tempted me to part with my cash. 

To carry on with the repetitive theme, here’s Pleasure to Kill again for the second time since last October, but with a more imaginative and befitting video for the track. 

The Heretic

After a late finish on Saturday at a time when some people used to attend church on Sunday morning for some divine inspiration, I’ll be on my way to an altar of steel to see one of the surprise packages of the festival open up proceedings on the main stage – Manchester hardcore band Broken Teeth.  

As much as I like Megadeth on record and I’ve seen them many times since my first experience of them twenty six years ago, I unfortunately won’t be in attendance for Mr Mustaine’s performance on Sunday. Modern Megadeth live bores me rigid, I’m an old fan (fader?) and I want to see them do more from the first five releases, not a plethora of songs from the latest album. Arch Enemy sends me to sleep too, and Skindred just adds to the Download Festival Lite version it seems to be morphing into. After Chilean band Criminal have departed I shall be heading to the train station also. 

I am only interested in four of the first five main stage sermons offered up on the Sabbath, and a few Psalms from the second stage. From all the bands I’m hoping to catch over the weekend I think there’s only one I’ve never seen, all the others I’ve seen with varying frequency.  

Californian Bay Area band Possessed have the honour of the death metal genre being labelled after one of their songs, surprisingly called Death Metal from their 1984 demo of the same name, then later the closing track in their debut album Seven Churches. 

In 1989 gutteral sounding frontman Jeff Becerra was involved in an armed robbery and shot at twice, one bullet went through his chest and got stuck in his spine. As a result he is now paralysed from the chest down and confined to a wheel chair, shortly afterwards they disbanded. There had been several reformations without him, until 2007 when Becerra performed at Wacken with a backing band made up of Sadistic Intent members. Now with a stable line up Possessed have recently been signed to Nuclear Blast records and their first new album for thirty two years hits stores next year. 

I’ve only seen the band once at the Garage in London 2014, their first British show since the mid 80’s. They were back last year to play London again along with a jaunt up to Glasgow, but I had already committed myself to seeing Madball on the same night as their capital show. Their set on Sunday is a highly anticipated 45 minutes for me in a pretty poor line up in general. 

The Heretic is the second track on their Beyond the Gates album from 1986. It wasn’t the most polished album ever released, but it seemed like one most kids owned at some point due to it’s rather unique sleeve. The vinyl had a fold out cover that basically opened the gate into hell. I had it, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the ones that got away from me and unfortunately no longer gathering dust upstairs.