Lords of the Land – Glasgow Barrowlands – 1.4.17

It’s been a hectic and exhausting weekend, but I’ve still got a couple of hours before I get home. I’m starting this just as the train is about to shoot through back into England. 

Acid Reign in Manchester were absolutely stunning and well worth a twenty hour long day to see the gig and ultimately making me feel tired for so much of my trip to Scotland. 

Live they are such a fun band to watch. H’s sharp wit is something to behold when the drunken hecklers try to get the upper hand. All the classics were there, the pair of new songs were also aired and some album deep tracks. If seeing Two Minded performed by H wearing a Donald Trump mask doesn’t make you laugh then I don’t know what will. 

It only felt like I was home for the blink of an eye before it was out of the door again to jump on a train to Scotland at 8am. A little over three hours later and we were in the Buckfast capital. Just over an hour later we were catching the final strains of Rotten Sound. I got us lost trying to find the Barrowlands, and time wise they should’ve already been off the stage when we arrived, so we weren’t expecting to see any of the Finnish band. They were the first band on, and unless times had been changed and I’d not seen, a long day was already made longer as the first band on we’re already fifteen minutes or so late in finishing.

For reasons unbeknownst to me Memoriam were up next for a paltry thirty minutes. Possibly the band with one of the biggest buzzes about them at the moment and they were on ridiculously early for their Scottish debut. A healthy crowd greeted the death metal supergroup who seemed plagued with onstage sound issues. Compared to the last time I saw them, yesterday seemed pretty flat in comparison, still great to see though. 

And if things couldn’t get weirder then they did with Acid Reign for another half hour blast. This was a proper greatest hits set compared to what occurred the night before. H encouraged the stage divers to come over to stop the security guys getting bored – and they duly obliged. At one point the band’s front man took to the air himself and ended up being carried from the stage pretty much back to the sound desk then returned to the stage at alarming speed. Band of the day for me. 


We took the opportunity to refuel outside of the venue during Dragged Into Sunlight and we returned shortly after Venom, Inc had begun. With the trio of personalities on the stage you knew what you were going to get. An hour of the Venom back catalogue played better than what is now billed as Venom could imagine. 

Death metal stalwarts Marduk eventually hit the stage almost forty minutes after Mantas and company had departed the stage. I didn’t get to see all of their set as I was well and truly flagging by this stage. I watched up until Glorification of the Black God then had to rest these ageing and tired limbs. 

Irish black metallers Primordial followed and I saw the start and end and they pulled a huge crowd. They’re not a band I’ve ever got into and I prefer the vocal delivery that Nemtheanga delivers with his Bathory inspired band Twilight of the Gods. 

Mayhem – the Norwegian black metal pioneers followed in a cloud of smoke and blue light. The two things I recall from the bit I saw was that drum kit is huge and why are they all wearing cloaks now! They seem to have reinvented themselves drastically since the last time I saw them indoors, when they shared the stage with severed pig heads and I fell asleep during their set, something that nearly happened again. 

Belatedly it was finally time for death metal legends Autopsy to close proceedings. This was their first Scottish show in twenty seven years and their first British appearance since Bolt Thrower’s charity London event back in 2012. There’s never anything flashy or spectacular with a live Autopsy show. Just heads down and flat out uncompromising brutal death metal with a singing drummer. 

It’s a shame timings seemed to be out of the window as they completed their set with Charred Remains just after midnight to an ever dwindling crowd. The audience the previous two bands had on comparison was obviously bigger. The times seemed to be an issue beforehand with those people using public transport afterwards and it ended up looking pretty embarrassing from where I was standing. 

It was a decent day out, maybe too much of the stuff I’m not fond of consecutively, which made it feel like it dragged badly at points. Let’s see what happens next year. 

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Hangin’ On The Telephone

Well that’s my first day back at work done since my return from deepest darkest Wales. It was a mixed weekend with some ups and downs. The festival itself was a bit hit and miss and the multiple sets of roadworks on the outbound and return journeys in a short stretch on the A55 were extremely irritating. On the plus side though we had decent weather, sun in the UK in mid March and a trip to the beach with the puppy. 

I’ve got a few real life things to plough through, then Friday starts a busy four days of gigs and travelling. Friday evening should see me attending the first date of Acid Reign’s six date UK tour. Early on Saturday sees us travelling up to Glasgow for the Lords of the Land Festival, where Acid Reign play their second date, but only a brief thirty minute set, hence seeing them in Manchester the evening before for the full on thrash assault. 

Sunday involves killing time in Scotland before a late afternoon train back to the Potteries. Back to work on Monday before heading down to Birmingham to catch the Havok tour. 

Originally I was anticipating seeing Havok in Manchester on Sunday, but due to engineering works we’ve had to opt for a later train as it prevents us sitting on a coach for three hours and a journey home in excess of five hours. I should be stepping through the front door on Sunday at pretty much the same time as Havok wind up their set. 

Yes, it’s going to be a busy four days with roughly 650 miles traversed, possibly fifteen bands viewed and half a dozen new pieces of merchandise procured. I honestly wouldn’t want to meet myself at 5am on Tuesday morning! But it should be worth it in the long run. After that there’s nothing set in stone for more than a week and Easter will be upon us. 

Let’s kick off this little run of posts with the band I’ll see twice over the weekend, Acid Reign. I’ve already posted the only real promotional video I can find, so here’s the audio for Hangin’ on the Telephone released as a single in December 1989 which explains the wrapping paper style cover above. Maybe they were hoping to snag that all impressive Christmas number one single? I helped to get it unsuccessfully to the top spot and I still have it tucked away upstairs, waiting for it to become an expensive collectors item. 

Originally it was recorded by short lived Los Angeles bands The Nerves in 1976. But it’s the Blondie version from two years later that most people will know it from. It’s had quite a few homages paid to it in its lifetime by band’s like Def Leppard, L7 and Roxette, but the Acid Reign interpretation of the song is omitted from the Wikipedia write up of the track. 


Live Arena 2016.21

Only a day or so late with this weeks delve into the diary. I spent Sunday in a damp Munich watching Iron Maiden, Slayer and Anthrax then up ridiculously early for my flight home on Monday morning. So this week…

Tuesday – Leeds, Temple of Boom

I really want to see Power Trip, but I may or may not have transport in the evening as my car should be going into the garage. 
  

Thursday – Wolverhampton, The Giffard Arms

I’m not overly familiar with any of the bands playing, but I have a week off work and it finishes early enough to get the train home. 
  

Saturday

Originally I was going to see AC/DC in London, but as soon as I was offered a refund on my tickets in the wake of the controversial vocalist issue I took it. If only the photo below was still the same I’d be there.  
  

Heading to Leicester for the Uprising event is a possibility, but the main draw for me was Acid Reign, then I found out they’ve only got 30 minutes on stage! 
  

There’s a all day punk do in Manchester happening which could be worth looking into. 
  

One Last Run who I missed last week have a home town Warrington show which could be interesting.  

  

Or the most local gig is in Leek watching Senser who I saw live for the first time 22 years ago. 

  

Sunday 

A drive to Bristol to catch some of Sunday’s festivities at the Temple Festival was on the back burner. Carcass, Grave, Arkangel, Vision of Disorder would have made drive worth it, but yesterday (under a huge black cloud) the whole thing was cancelled. Some bands are trying to organise make up shows to cut their losses, so something late might drop into place.   
  

Humanoia

Saturday nights headliners in Norwich is vocalist ‘H’ and his collection of musicians better known as Acid Reign. They are one of the bands on the day that I am really looking forward to seeing again.

It feels like such a long time since I saw them in Ireland last October and I was one of many who were disappointed that their set at this years Hammerfest didn’t materialise through no fault of their own.

The Mash & Barrel stage where they were due to play was getting pretty full with a varied collection of Acid Reign shirts around 6pm on the Friday. When Battle Beast passed their cut off time and kept playing there were lots of perplexed looks.

Maybe they got here late and the organisers thought better of cutting the Finns set short? Once they finally finished their set of generic power metal the announcement came over the PA that Acid Reign were unable to perform and Fleshgod Apocalypse were up next. No explanation as to why or if there was going to be an alternative slot. All those wearing Acid Reign shirts disappointedly drifted away, heads down, smart phones glowing in their face looking for answers.

Unfortunately the band had been stuck on the M40 motorway. Having only travelled 100 miles or so in seven hours due to a HGV smashing into a bridge, they were told to turn around by the organisers. Luckily for those in London, they played a last minute gig at the Devonshire Arms.

In a week where See Tickets are offering refunds for the Axl Rose fronted version of AC/DC in London later in the year, it does seem odd that Acid Reign are flourishing, in a sense, with only one original member. But more on that in a few days.

This version of Humanoia, recorded live at the legendary Marquee Club and is proceeded by a TV interview, in the days when the band had so much more hair! It was recorded in 1989 for ITV’s late night rock music show that over the years went under the names of The Power Hour and Raw Power.

Live Arena 2016.16

A lot of empty spaces in the gig diary until the weekend again, so it gives my aching bones a week to recover. 

Friday – Telford, The Haygate

Eradikator are playing the gig I’m off to on Saturday, but as I’m not getting there till late and the Norwich organisers don’t put out a running order, as to encourage people to arrive early, meaning I might miss this Birmingham mob, so a relatively short drive into Shropshire is on the cards. 
  

Saturday – Norwich, The Brickmakers 

The wife and I did Norwich / Thrashersaurus last year. We made the 208 mile drive into a short four day break. This year I / we are only there for a day, so this year it’s a train journey into Norfolk for an evening of some of the best thrash metal that the UK has to offer. 

  

Sunday – Stoke, Minsters Bar

Assuming Norwich hasn’t broken me and I’m home in time I think I’ll have a wander into Stoke for a local show. Only heard Kismet HC from the line up, but the mention of Jawbreaker on the flyer has my attention. Plus Monday is a day off work to recover, sorry, no it’s not – Hatebreed play Monday, but that’s another week.
  

Live Arena 2016.10

Well last week was a wash out!  I attended no gigs at all. I passed up Exodus in Liverpool for a football match that I didn’t go to in the end.  I missed Exodus again on Friday as I woke up late after work.  And for Decapitated on Saturday night I just didn’t feel like it.  Better luck this week then.

Monday – Keele,University Students Union.

Hopefully I’ll be catching Wolf Alice during their  headlining UK run later today.  I’ve been too lazy to grab a ticket yet, so I’m hoping I can rock up to the door later and buy one there.

   

Friday & Saturday – Haven Holiday Camp, Pwllheli.

The first drive to the Welsh valleys for the combined indoor festivals of Hammerfest and HRH AOR.  No doubt the alcohol levels will be reduced this year with the other half in attendance. Maybe.

  

  

Plan Of The Damned


This one sided 7″ single released by Dry Heave Records was the first new music since the band released Obnoxious back in 1990 and they played their last show a year later at the legendary Marquee Club in London.

The first time I saw the band was at Bridge Street Arts Centre here in Newcastle-Under-Lyme on April 23rd 1990.  I wasn’t expecting that single time would be the one and only time I’d get to see the band on stage. With the resurrection of other bands over recent years Acid Reign was always one that people wanted to see, and after much denial a re-booted line up saw the light of day earlier this year. Vocalist ‘H’ is the only original member, but that hasn’t really dulled the enthusiasm for one of the UK’s best thrash bands.

I’ve managed to see half of the bands return shows and there haven’t been many bands that I’ve seen this year that have put as much energy into a live show as this lot.  Really looking forward to seeing them again in March at Hammerfest.