Live Arena 2016.18

Could I be clocking up the miles next week? 

Dear diary…

Monday – Manchester, Sound Control

On what is slated to be a hot day in the UK I’ll be spending five hours or so inside the sweltering Sound Control for an evening of black metal, death metal and thrash. 

Tuesday – London, Underworld

I so want to be here on Tuesday night, not necessarily for headliners Metal Church who I get to see in July anyway, but for opening bands Distilator from Holland and Belgians Bliksem who I only caught a few minutes of when they supported Flotsam & Jetsam last year. 

Friday – Sheffield, Corporation

Friday sees my first show in Sheffield since I saw Anthrax in the same venue back in 2006. The city is only 50 miles or so away, but it’s all twisting and turning roads over the Pennines. Headlining tonight are reactivated Yorkshire thrashers Amnesia who I never saw first time around. Time to dig out their sole album Unknown Identity from 1991. 

Saturday – Hull, O’Reilys

For £6 I couldn’t not buy a ticket to see Re-Animator in a home town show. The band are headlining Hail The Riff all dayer with bands from a more doom and sludge background. Possibly my first gig in Hull too. 

Sunday – Northampton, Roadmenders

A bit undecided on day two of this weekend festival. The last three bands on the second stage are Freebase, Warwound and Knuckledust – all bands I consider to be friends, so it’ll be good catching up with some familiar faces. A near two hour drive home though not so welcoming. 



Deny Reality

Snaking their way down the eastern side of the country towards Norwich for Thrashersarus On Saturday, are Hull’s (relatively) recently reunited thrashers Re-Animator.

Originally they were only around for a brief four and a bit year period, released a great mini album and full length then left us after a couple of so-so releases. Splitting in 1992 the original members all got back together for Lawnmower Deth’s Nottingham Christmas shindig in 2013.

In the intervening two and a half years they’ve not been overly prolific and have only played around nine shows in that time and I’ve been fortunate to have been at six of those.

Back in March they should have been appearing onstage at Hammerfest, but drummer Mark Mitchell left the drum stool vacant in mid February and they had to cancel. Sunday’s performance in Norwich will be their first appearance with the new line up, closely followed by a home town show a few weekends later that I’m considering making the drive to.

During their first incarnation they were opening up for some fantastic bands of the day, Nuclear Assault, Demolition Hammer and Dark Angel being a few tours they participated on. I can vaguely remember seeing an advert in Kerrang! with a Stoke date included. But yet again another one thanks to my parents I missed. Why did they have to live out in the sticks and not drive?

As with all the UK thrash bands from that era next to no promotional videos were ever made – Acid Reign and Xentrix are the only two that I can think of any way, I stand to be corrected. Plenty of footage of these bands is online now from a few iffy VHS rips. Below is a link to their full set from FearFest held in Birmingham in 2014. I’ve mainly included this as Deny Reality is my favourite song by the band and its the best version I can find that includes the spoken word intro taken from the film based on H.P. Lovecraft’s novella Herbet West-Reanimator. Enjoy.

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.

“The Live Arena”

In my mind there’s not many things better than going to see bands perform in the live arena.

Whether it’s your favourite band ever at a festival with 90,000 other like minded people who are playing the song that means the most to you. Or waking into a local spit and sawdust pub as doors have just opened and watching the opening band who one day might be the next big thing.

Live music can run you through the gauntlet of all the emotions – quite often at the same show. But on the flip side it can disappoint just as easily. You finally score tickets to see a band you’ve liked for ever and they put in a sub-standard performance.

Over the course of the next week I’ll be at the two shows below – maybe more. Who knows? I might chuck a review or a few photos on here. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. One thing for sure though is a few videos will be posted here on the lead up to the shows.

Friday – Manchester Ritz.

One of the first “festival” style tours for “extreme metal fans” to hit the UK for a long time. Four death and thrash metal legends on the same stage in one night.

Saturday – Camden Underworld.

The album launch gig for Northern Irish thrashers Gama Bomb, ably supported by relatively recently reunited 80’s thrashers Re-Animator.