Hello people of the blogosphere. Remember me? Once again it’s been a minute since I was last here. Sometimes you just have to stay in the adult world and forsake other things. Having said that though quite a lot of my spare time, and weekends in particular have been taken up with gigs and all (unfortunately) within the borders of Great Britain.
Prior to my hiatus I had a 480 mile round trip to Glasgow for the Lords of the Land festival which was superb. I passed up a trip to Stuttgart to see Metallica to head to Scotland to catch Demolition Hammer and Dark Angel. What a hard decision that was, but ultimately the correct decision.
A few weeks later saw we covering another 460 miles to catch two Power Trip shows in Birmingham and London. Well worth the effort even if the sets were short. It’s a shame the return trip from London was tainted by a train full of celebratory and drunken Manchester United fans on their way home. And football fans wonder why they’re despised by Joe Public so much.
The following weekend was the deadline for finishing my man cave! A month after it was set (well five weeks) all my vinyl was out of their plastic coffins and more compact discs were on display. It’s been the first time some of the pieces of 12” PVC circles have seen sunlight since they were left the shop! On top of the music side, several hundred t-shirts (mainly black) were sorted, folded and stored in various locations. There are a few things to be done to finish it off, but the difference between this time last year and now is unrecognisable.
That weekend I ended up missing a a few local shows, gutted I missed Havok and Harlott in Birmingham and I was planing (plotting?) a flying trip to the Netherlands to see Flotsam & Jetsam, but I was a responsible adult – nothing to do with dragging my heels over a flight and the cost just spiralling. Honest.
To celebrate the following weekend I had four shows in five days. It could’ve been five in five, but I bailed on Zeke as two successive midweek nights in Manchester were unpalatable. The weekend culminated in another trip in excess of 400 miles to Norwich for Thrashersarus. An intimate shindig headlined by one of the UK’s finest thrash proponents Xentrix.
Oddly enough last week was the filling in an Xentrix sandwich (yes I know the filling is in the middle, but as a metaphor it sounds better!) when on Saturday I had the shorter trip, only a 188 mile round trip, to Keighley in West Yorkshire for Manorfest. Headlines by Evile, with their returning guitar brethren Ol Drake and ably supported by Birmingham old school death metal band Memoriam. A new band on the “scene” with a life time of history behind them.
Before the Iron Maiden machine rolls into my sights in June I think most of my shows between now and then are mainly in Manchester and the surrounding area, maybe a quick trip to Leeds in five weeks for Outbreak, but nowhere near a London venue or much further than 50 miles away. There is a small matter of planning some Slayer farewell shows, but the reality of those don’t kick in until November.
As the bright yellow disc in the sky has made an appearance lately it’s an appropriate time to partake in some pop punk tuneage and cast away the seemingly over long winter gloom.
Coincidentally this pop punk revival on the iPhone has come at a time where my nephew has been showing a liking for the genre. I think most of his interest is peer pressure from his school friends, but I’d like to think I’ve had some subliminal input on his 14 years on this revolving sphere.
He’s at a similar age as I was when I was discovering my musical tastes, but as I’ve said before he’s had it much easier. The wife and I popped over with a card and cash, gone are the days of hunting for Toy Story merch or the latest sonic screwdriver from Doctor Who. He mentioned he’d been looking for a Panic! At the Disco shirt, but locally there was nothing available.
Being the good uncle that I am to the nephew dubbed mini me in my presence, sent a link to the youngling for Panic! shirts from Impericon. A few days later I was informed via Messenger he now had a Panic! clothing. Uncle-ing done right, much to his parents dismay no doubt.
Last week I was flicking through the TV channels in sheer boredom and I came across the top 50 skate punk anthems on Kerrang! TV. A swift message to mini me and it was like we were watching the television in the same room for a few hours. The list was pretty bland, just as I’d expect from that media outlet in 2018. Lots of Green Day, the Offspring, Sum 41, Blink-182 and Bowling For Soup. I can’t recall anything by the likes of NOFX, Pennywise, Strung Out, no female voices or anything from outside of the North American and Canadian borders.
Thanks to Spotify he is now in possession of a 103 song playlist of some of my favourite pop punk anthems from yesteryear, with some classic punk from the Ramones, the Clash and Misfits rubbing shoulders with Bad Religion, Snuff and Samiam. Let’s hope he gives some of it a listen and likes something that he won’t be offered by today’s media.
I thought I’d already featured the likes of the Offspring, Green Day, NOFX and that ilk in this blog already, but apparently not. Now it’s summer be prepared for more happy and bouncy interludes in between the usually stern and serious death metal and thrash outings, and lyrics you can understand.
First up in the mini pop punk revolution is Shades Apart from the Revelation Records stable of the mid 90’s with their version of the Gloria Jones song Tainted Love. The Northern Soul song was released in 1965, but made famous 18 years later by Soft Cell and Marilyn Manson thrust it on a new generation of kids two decades later.
I saw the New Jersey natives Shades Apart several times back in 1997 and I’m pretty sure they played this song. After their Save It and Seeing Things albums released by Revelation in 1995 and 1997 I lost track of the band. According to Wiki they split in 2003 and reformed in 2012 and are still an entity. I’ll delve into their history a bit more at a later date.