Looking Down The Barrel Of Today

It’s 5am. I’m sitting in probably one of my worst hotel rooms ever as I start wiring this. SNFU last night were fantastic and Walls of Jericho were better than I expected.  I got back to the room and all my aches and pains didn’t help my mood. My wife is here too and I just have a feeling I was annoying her too. The room is a little more over seven foot by seven foot in size and in need of some serious cosmetic repairs, much like New York City you don’t get much for your dollar in the hotel room stakes. The people directly above appear to have some marching bands in their room. Someone has been walking about for ages and it seems like a lot of creaking floor board action for one person.

Anyway, later today after we may have some time in the capital and then caught a slow train home it’ll be time to jump in the car and drive up to the Academy 2 in Manchester for this years Impericon Festival. Personally for me the line up isn’t  great, not a lot of bands that pique my interest. The ticket was purchased solely on one name in the first announcement – Hatebreed. Tonight is one of only two UK shows for 2016 as it stands right now.

This two points skimmed over there appear to be the reason that the ten band festival yesterday got downgraded from the 2,600 capacity Academy to the venues second room which last night had 30 of its 900 tickets left for sale. The line up doesn’t appear to be particularly strong for a lot of people. Some of the higher bands seem to be receiving a lot of social media hate, whilst a band half way up the bill are confusing people to their lowly position.

Also, in the time that this touring festival has hit the UK’s shores it’s been exclusively in Manchester. So if this line up was to your liking then you’d have to make the effort to travel to Manchester. This year the UK has two festivals with the other being held tomorrow in London at the Forum. So in effect making a fair few attendees from south of Coventry travel down into London rather than up to Manchester.

I don’t know if the Forum has sold out, or even close to selling out its 2,300 capacity, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens in 2017. Will the festival come over here at all? And after a downgrade by over 1,500 will we see two over here again? So many great hardcore package tours bypass Britain but on this showing who can blame them?

Here’s a new track taken from Hatebreed’s imminent album The Concrete Confessional due out on May 13th.


Live Arena 2016.17

After an unscheduled change in plan yesterday it’s now back home after a weekend away in Norwich and a bonus night in London. Instead of heading back on Sunday morning we ended up detouring and taking in the Walls of Jericho and SNFU show at the Borderline. A bit of a strange mix in styles, but it worked on the night. The upcoming week sees….

Monday – Manchester, Academy 2

The Impericon Festival rolls into a new venue for the Manchester leg of this touring festival, having previously been held up the road at the Ritz. Not a great line up for me, but Hatebreed has to be done. Plus tracks from their new album should be aired. 

Saturday – Stoke on Trent

 A bit undecided on tonight’s entertainment. The local band with possibly one of the worst names ever, BallsDeep are at the Rigger. Meanwhile up and coming British rockers The Treatment are up the road at the Sugarmill. Decisions decisions. 

Sunday – Leeds, Canal Mills

Not sure on this one just yet. Trapped Under Ice are playing their first UK show for a couple of years as part of the Outbreak Festival. If I fancy a drive back from Leeds on a Sunday night is another thing! It’s supposedly a 10pm curfew, but hardcore shows never seem to run to time. 


I Will Be Heard

Yesterday morning Hatebreed were announced to appear on the Impericon Festival tour in May next year. Minutes later my ticket for Manchester was booked!!

I received a copy of the band’s EP Under The Knife from Grapes Of Wrath / Core Tex when I did a printed fanzine. When I heard Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire (released by Victory Records in 1997) Before Dishonour became my favourite track – and probably still is. I’m pretty sure that track was also on a compilation CD for a fanzine, but for the life of me I can’t think which one.

The first time I should have seen the band live was a few months before that album was released. August 1997 – I did the first few shows with Stampin’ Ground who were supporting Despair (fronted by Scott Vogel now of Terror) on their European tour. The last show I did was the Ultimate Hardcore Festival held at the Zaal Niewenborgh venue in Dilsen, Belgium. Morning Again, Congress, Culture, Kickback, Backfire!, about a dozen bands in all. For some reason Hatebreed didn’t play. This was well before iPhones and wifi, so to this day I still don’t know why they didn’t. I had the poster on my wall at home for years before we redecorated last year and never got around to rehanging it yet.

I finally got to see them in Sheffield alongside Biohazard, Agnostic Front, Stampin’ Ground and others two days after my birthday in 2002. In the 15 or so shows since Jamey Jasta has never disappointed. They’ve even played in Stoke twice.

To date my highlight seeing them live was their first appearance at Bloodstock 2012. More than anything it was good to see the band turn so many keyboard warriors and metal elitists into partial fans – at the very least. They were on fine form that Saturday afternoon. I’ve been to every edition of the festival – indoor and outdoor – and that slot is firmly in my top 10 sets over the years.

Roll on May 2016!