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  BLOODSTOCK 2011
Tina Saul: Pictures by Judith Fisher

17th August 2011


tina saul

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bloodstock 2011

As the hangovers slowly fade, it's time to look back on the seventh Bloodstock Open Air festival and round up some of the events that I had the pleasure of witnessing.

I couldn't get out of London until late afternoon and that, coupled with a nasty car crash on the M1, meant I pretty much missed most of the action on Friday. As I was pitching my tent I could hear DEVIN TOWNSEND, who I'd really been looking forward to seeing, playing in the distance. It did sound like a great show and I've heard good things from people that managed to catch it.

Article continues below...

   


I did make it to the main stage in time for the first headliner of the weekend, W.A.S.P. and what a great way to get the set kicked off than opening with 'On Your Knees' followed by 'I Don't Need No Doctor'. But there was something missing in the traditional flamboyance of their shows. I can remember walking away from their London LA2 gig in 1999 covered in white powder and feathers, but that all seems to be gone now Blackie has returned to his religious roots.

And there wasn't a glimmer of hope that they'd play 'Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)', due to him renouncing it recently. It was still a solid show, and Blackie looked and sounded great, as did the rest of the band, but not one that particularly excited me. The beer with ginger in it that I was handed afterwards did, however.

Up bright and not-so-breezy for Saturday at about 7.00am, largely due to the fact that it's impossible to sleep in a festival campsite, but also helped from drinking too much of the free Monster Energy Drink on offer the night before.

First band for me were GRAVEDIGGER. I've never been a huge fan before, but they well and truly won me over and I loved how they were piped on to stage by the Skeletor-looking character, AKA Hans Peter Katzenburg, that then went on to play keyboards. Shame about the sound issues though, and this seems to be a recurring theme at festivals this year.

Vocalist Chris Boltendahl kept seeking help from the Stage Manager and it looked like it was his monitors that were failing from what I could gather and he really didn't look happy for the first few songs. Once all issues were resolved they pulled off a great set, which really has got me interested in checking out more about them. 'Rebellion' and 'Hammer Of The Scots' were my particular favourites.

A quick check in at the Press to round up the troops to head to the Sophie Lancaster stage and see DRIPBACK, a five-piece from London, who describe themselves as Hardcore/Death/Grind Fury. They drew a fair size crowd and gave everyone a smack in the face as they hit the stage with their unique style. If that doesn't wake you up early in the day, nothing will. The crowd continued to grow throughout their set and mosh pits appeared, making for a great atmosphere. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Interviews were next to take priority but I did manage to have a wander round site and check out a few bands. Made it to the New Blood stage just in time to see PURE NEGATIVE and find out if their drummer Hellhog could pull off two shows so close together, after bashing the drums earlier with Dripback. And he did and this might just be another band to keep a look out for.

Wandering back through the site, I stumbled upon THERION. It was the Swede's only UK show of 2011 and I'm guessing one a few people were looking forward to. I'm not a fan of female Metal operatics and it all seemed very choreographed, which is not what you want at a Metal Fest. Actually it felt like I was watching a poor imitation of a West End show along the lines of Les Miserables.

But all faith in Metal was restored by the time ANGEL WITCH took to the stage. This band look they're going for the world record in number of personnel changes and with only Kevin Heybourne still in the band from the original line-up, they don't always get the best press. And of course a lot of people can only comment on one track of theirs. They didn't disappoint me and it was a set worth sticking around to sing along to 'Angel Witch' at the end.

angel witch
Kevin Heybourne, Angel Witch

Then next up was something that really did provide some light entertainment: METAL KARAOKE. Some of the 'acts' were really lame, but provided entertainment nonetheless. However, there was one young kid that could definitely get a new career as a Jack Black impersonator. His cover of Tenacious D's 'Tribute' was fantastic and he got as good a cheer as some of the other bands who played over the weekend. That got everyone in the party mood and so it was inevitable that it wouldn't stop there.

And hence why waking up early for HELL on Sunday morning was made nigh on impossible. Armed with a few litres of water to hydrate my aching body and get me through the seven-track set, I was pleasantly surprised. It is a little odd to watch a vocalist with hands free mic for this style of music, but this band really helped kick the cobwebs from my alcohol-addled brain, and the rest of the crowd too by the looks of things. A great start to the day, personal highlight being 'The Quest'.

exodus
Exodus

I didn't manage to catch any of PRIMORDIAL due to clashes, but I did hear about front man Alan Nemtheanga losing his voice part way through their set. There has been an official statement now released from him about this:

"Firstly I have to thank everyone for their support and dedication during a very difficult show at Bloodstock on Sunday, we were all deeply humbled by everyone's response and hearing your voices loud and clear singing our own songs back to us was moving.

The simple fact is from one line to the next my voice completely disappeared. From feeling perfectly normal within seconds I could not even whisper. This has never happened to me before in my twenty years of singing. Slowly my voice came back and if we had another hour left I would have been able to sing again. It seems to have either been an allergic reaction to something I ate or drank that morning mixed with a complete dehydration of the vocal chords."

Next up was my favourite of the whole festival EVIL SCARECROW. I caught a little bit of their set at Hard Rock Hell IV and thought they were entertaining, which is why I was so keen to go and check them out properly. Well come on, any band that starts their Myspace bio with "Introducing the scariest thing to come out of Nottingham since Torvill and Dean..." has got to be worth going to see.

evil scarecrow
Evil Scarecrow

As soon as their set started the tent started to fill and what ensued next was forty minutes of the craziest Parody Metal I've ever seen, certainly giving Steel Panther a run for their money. They have found a real niche in what they're doing and where their music is firmly stuck in the comedy genre there is no denying that these are a talented bunch.

A cover of Thunder Cats theme tune made the entire tent grin and then who could not be caught up with the synchronised robot dancing during 'Robototron'. They finished the set with a very alternative version of 'The Final Countdown' where their guitarist even ran to the back of the tent and jumped on the bar to play the solo. There's some footage here for you to check out for yourself below and see just how much fun everyone had and if you ever have the opportunity to see these guys live, do it. I doubt you'll be disappointed.



As we reached the closing few hours of Bloodstock, the next band was one I'd been looking forward to, and I don't know if it was the sheer joy of watching Evil Scarecrow, or the late night/early morning combo, but I just couldn't get into HAMMERFALL.

hammerfall
Hammerfall

So onto probably the biggest of the thrash bands outside of the Big Four. Bay Area thrashers EXODUS were as blistering and brutal as ever. They powered through classics including 'A Lesson In Violence', 'Blacklist' and 'Bonded By Blood', as the crowd moshed and pummelled each other with relish. Finishing with the epic 'Toxic Waltz', they proved beyond all doubt that they are still a massive force to be reckoned with.

So this is probably why POWER QUEST didn't go down too well afterwards. I enjoyed the set, but the atmosphere was extremely flat in the tent, with hordes of people streaming out while they played. There were die-hard fans at the front that stayed with them, but the lack of crowd really put a dampener on their show for me.

powerquest
Powerquest

And so after realising that my body can't live on a liquid diet, it was time to grab some food and check out the festival stalls. The shops themselves were replicas of the ones found at all the other festivals, so there was nothing new to find. Shame really, as that's one of the things that takes the sense of individuality out of the smaller festivals.

And as the day began to draw to a close, it was time to see the final band of the weekend. MOTORHEAD opened up with 'Iron Fist' and launched into a fourteen track set with vigour. But that was sadly lost in the process of their performance and song by song Lemmy seemed to mutter between tracks and lose the crowd. A complete contrast to Sonisphere where they started off low, due to the announcement of the death of W├╝rzel, and build up to a cracking show.

There were of course high expectations for the encore and 'Ace Of Spades' was a good way to kick it off. But that was it! The set was cut short ten minutes prematurely and the crowd were left there wondering where 'Overkill' had gone.

It seemed such a shame that Bloodstock ended with a level of disappointment but as a whole it was a great success. The festival has grown year on year and it seems that there may be plans in place to up the size for next year. I'm not sure this is a good thing, considering we already have Download and Sonisphere to tick the box of the bigger boys.

I personally preferred Bloodstock three years ago, when it was far more relaxed and less focused on the commercial elements, but I understand that they need to think about the future and of course make ends meet. I hope they don't grow this too big and instead focus on what makes it one of the most fun weekends of the year: a family run festival, with a family run atmosphere. This is what makes it so special and the reason why people flock back to it year after year.


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legends of rock CLASSIC ROCK TOURS PRESENTS "LEGENDS OF ROCK - THE ORIGINALS" FESTIVAL 16TH - 19TH OCTOBER 2014
Black Star Riders lead the magnificent line up for this essential weekender...

reckless love RECKLESS LOVE ANNOUNCE HEADLINE DECEMBER UK TOUR
"Seven (magnificent) dates that will see us pushing everything that bit further... harder, faster, louder, bigger and higher...kicks! Ha! Ha!..."

dark tranquility DARK TRANQUILLITY ANNOUNCE "UNIFORMITY" EUROPEAN TOUR
No rest for the wicked as the Swedes start their trek in November...

goatwhore GOATWHORE CONFIRMED AS MAIN SUPPORT ON DYING FETUS EUROPEAN TOUR IN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
A full European tour follows the release of the new album 'Constricting Rage Of The Merciless'...

hairy balls presentation 'HAIRY BALLS CHALLENGE' RAISES OVER £5,000 FOR TEENAGE CANCER TRUST
Les-Fest organiser and Achren manager Fede Valls has proudly presented the cheque to Headbangers Balls fundraiser Matt Steed...

ensiferum ENSIFERUM ARE SCHEDULED TO RECORD SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM THIS AUTUMN
The band will get straight back into the studio immediately after the festival season ends...

marc ford EX BLACK CROWES MEMBER MARC FORD TO PLAY INTIMATE ACOUSTIC GIG AT THE BORDERLINE- JULY 22ND
'Holy Ghost' reveals Ford's gift for Americana which will be showcased at this special appearance...

motorhead aftershock MOTÖRHEAD UNVEIL "LOST WOMAN BLUES LIVE FROM SAN FRANCISCO" VIDEO FROM 'AFTERSHOCK - TOUR EDITION'
Swagger, verve, grit and polish. "We are Motörhead and we play rock and roll..."

suicide silence SUICIDE SILENCE STREAM THE BAND'S NEW ALBUM 'YOU CAN'T STOP ME' IN FULL ON YOUTUBE
The album marks the debut of new vocalist Eddie Hermida and includes some special guest appearances...

Nightwish TOUCHSTONE RELEASE THEIR FIRST EVER 3DISC DVD WITH LIMITED EDITION SIGNED 'OCEANS' EP
The DVD features previously unreleased footage of Touchstone's full set from 2010's High Voltage Festival, and a behind the scenes documentary...

Nightwish NIGHTWISH REVEAL 'MAKING OF' CLIP FOR THEIR FORTHCOMING ALBUM
The yet to be titled album is starting to take shape and the band discuss all aspects in this new video...

decapitated DECAPITATED REVEAL ALBUM TITLE AND COVER ARTWORK
'Blood Mantra' will be released in September and features artwork by Lukasz Jaszak...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE RELEASE THE PREVIOUSLY UNAVAILABLE LIVE PERFORMANCE 'GRAZ 1975'
The historic find contains over 70 minutes of previously unreleased material...

blues pills BLUES PILLS VOCALIST ELIN LARSSON DISCUSSES THE TRACKS OFF THE BAND'S NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM
The first album from the colourful retro-rockers is released on 28th July...

linkin park LINKIN PARK ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR FOR NOVEMBER 2014
Fresh from summer festival appearances and the release of 'The Hunting Party' Linkin Park play fifteen dates in Europe...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA ANNOUNCES 4 NIGHTS AT LONDON'S HAMMERSMITH APOLLO
The shows will feature songs from new album 'Different Shades Of Blue', played live for the very first time in the UK, and a never-before-seen line-up of musicians...

demonic resurrection ONSLAUGHT ANNOUNCE DEMONIC RESURRECTION WILL REPLACE HATRIOT ON UK 'THRASH INVASION' TOUR
India's Demonic Resurrection will join Nightlord and main support Artillery following acclaimed appearances at Les-Fest 3 and Sonisphere...

judas priest JUDAS PRIEST 'REDEEMER OF SOULS' ALBUM LAUNCH PARTIES ANNOUNCED
A chance to hear new tracks from the album ahead of its release on Monday July 14th, plus these exclusive parties will also feature exclusive merchandise giveaways...

acrassicauda ACRASSICAUDA LAUNCH KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN FOR THEIR FIRST OFFICIAL ALBUM
The latest chapter for the Iraq Metal pioneers continues their astonishing story...

black sabbath TONY IOMMI CONFIRMS MetalTalk REPORT THAT HYDE PARK WAS NOT THE LAST EVER BLACK SABBATH GIG
Tony released a video just before Friday's gig thanking fans for their support and he ends it by saying: "See you on the next tour"...

godsmack MULTI-PLATINUM US ROCKERS GODSMACK ANNOUNCE NEW STUDIO ALBUM "1000HP"
The band move into the fast lane for sixth studio album, '1000hp', set for international release via Spinefarm Records on September 1st 2014...

karmaflow 'KARMAFLOW: THE ROCK OPERA VIDEOGAME' IS UNVEILED WITH AN ALL-STAR CAST
This multidisciplinary art project is a must for lovers of gaming and Metal...

hellyeah HELLYEAH TAKES BLOOD FOR BLOOD TO THE TOP OF THE HARD ROCK CHARTS IN NORTH AMERICA
The band will tour Europe in July and August 2014 with six dates in the UK...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT ANNOUNCES DVD 'GENESIS REVISITED: LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL', WORLD TOUR PLUS EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW
Re-live a seminal chapter of prog rock history live on stage. "It's a feast for eyes, ears and all the senses..."

cannibal corpse CANNIBAL CORPSE TO RELEASE 'A SKELETAL DOMAIN'
The 13th full-length album from the American Death Metal icons is released in September. The extensive tour reaches the UK in October...

electric wizard ELECTRIC WIZARD UNVEIL 'TIME TO DIE' AS TITLE OF FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM
"We had to kill the band so we could be reborn. It was the only way to ensure we could come back even stronger"...

motorhead aftershock MOTÖRHEAD POSTPONE RELEASE OF 'AFTERSHOCK - TOUR EDITION' NOW 4th AUGUST
A production error has put back the release for a month, but it will be worth waiting for...

suicide silence tour SUICIDE SILENCE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER 2014 UK TOUR
An unmissable opportunity to see the titans of modern Metal. "Come throw your horns up, bang your heads, or mosh your knickers off!! "...

hordes of belial LIPID AND BURNING THE DREAM ADDED TO HORDES OF BELIAL V BILL
The yearly Dundee Metal event continues to strengthen the line up...

snakecharmer SNAKECHARMER ANNOUNCE THREE UK DATES
Six of the UK's most highly-esteemed and experienced rock musicians have joined forces to create Snakecharmer...

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE NEW U.S. TOUR DATES FOR NOVEMBER 2014
Manowarriors have demanded more and further dates have been added. "We can't wait to be back and play for more of our U.S. fans!"...

tygertailz TIGERTAILZ RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'PUNCHED IN THE GUTZ'
The 'Knives' EP is out now and there is an upcoming release of unheard demos for September...

progstravaganza PROG SPHERE INVITES BANDS TO SEND SUBMISSIONS FOR 20TH EDITION OF PROGSTRAVAGANZA COMPILATION SERIES
The call goes out for bands around the world to submit songs for the jubilee edition of the sampler album ...

accept ACCEPT PREMIERE BREATHTAKING VIDEO FOR NEW TRACK 'STAMPEDE'
The stunning locations perfectly showcase the track which is from the band's album 'Blind Rage' out August 18th ..

mr big MR BIG ANNOUNCE ONLY BRITISH ISLES SHOW OF 2014
LA Rockers Mr Big have announced a one off show at London's Koko on Friday 17th October 2014 - their only show on these shores this year...

spike frankie miller SPIKE ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF '100% PURE FRANKIE MILLER' FEATURING RONNIE WOOD, ANDY FRASER, SIMON KIRKE, IAN HUNTER AND MORE
Call it a labour of love. A life's ambition. Or the chance to keep a precious legacy alive. Call it 100% Pure Frankie Miller....

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR BRAND NEW SINGLE 'SOLDIER'
Explosive hard rockers Kobra And The Lotus have revealed a warsome (get it?!) official video for 'Soldier'...

massive wagons MASSIVE WAGONS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND UK TOUR
Two years and it's finally here, the brand new album - 'Fight The System'...

temperance movement THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
The headlining dates will take place in November 2014...

overkill OVERKILL REVEAL NEW TRACK 'ARMORIST' ONLINE
"Our confidence is high for this shoot. From the director's eye to yours/ours, should be a killer!"...

avenged sevenfold AVENGED SEVENFOLD ANNOUNCE 'WAKING THE FALLEN: RESURRECTED' - OUT AUGUST 25TH
The restored breakthrough album includes a DVD & never before heard tracks, demos, and more...

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW WITH EPICA
Grab your tickets quickly as demand for this double bill will be high...

devildriver DEVILDRIVER PREMIERE LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'GUTTED'
Check out the band's latest offering from sixth studio album 'Winter Kills'...

down n outz DOWN 'N' OUTZ ANNOUNCE UK & EIRE TOUR DATES
"It's like Joe and the boys have taken some vintage films and slapped them onto a big, bright Technicolor screen. A great, in-your-face new way to experience some of Mott's finest songs!"...

nuclear assault NUCLEAR ASSAULT TO RELEASE 'LIVE AT CBGB'S'
There will be a limited release of 500 picture discs capturing the old school thrashers back in 1986...

seether SEETHER REVEAL NEW TRACK, 'SUFFER IT ALL' AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE DOWNLOAD WITH 'ISOLATE AND MEDICATE' PRE-ORDER
The band have also announced UK Headline Shows for November...

gravedigger GRAVE DIGGER PREMIERE 'HELL FUNERAL' VIDEO
The track is from 'Return Of The Reaper', out July 14th...

voodoo six VOODOO SIX SET TO GUEST WITH THE WINERY DOGS ON TWO UK DATES IN JULY
These performances follow their Sonisphere appearance on Saturday July 5th...

orphaned land METAL MUSIC IS BIGGER THAN WHAT POLITICS CAN OFFER: ORPHANED LAND BRING ISRAEL AND PALESTINE TOGETHER
"We are the ambassadors of peace, more than our foreign ministry, or prime minister, or authors..."

madball MADBALL REVEAL OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'BORN STRONG' FEATURING CANDACE PUOPOLO FROM WALLS OF JERICHO
The track is taken from the album 'Hardcore Lives', released June 30th...

metallica METALLICA RELEASE NEW SONG
'Lords of Summer - First Pass Version' gets official release after being premiered on the first night of the current tour...

ted nugent kamp "TED NUGENT KAMP FOR KIDS" CELEBRATES 25TH ANNUAL SUMMER "KAMP"
When he's not being a guitar icon, Ted Nugent is on a mission to improve young lives. New album 'Shutup&Jam!' is out July 8...

massive wagons MASSIVE WAGONS RELEASE SINGLE AND NEW VIDEO 'RED DRESS'
The video incudes circus performances from the girls at Monster Cirque in the first release from the album 'Fight The System'...

black state highway THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM BLACK STATE HIGHWAY IS OUT ON 18TH AUGUST
The highly anticipated release is packed full of heavy riff-based rock...

helmet HELMET ANNOUNCE 'BETTY' 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR OF EUROPE FOR AUTUMN 2014
UK dates in Glasgow, Manchester, London now added due to popular demand ...

wacken LIVE AT WACKEN 2013 TO BE RELEASED AS DVD/ BluRay / 2 CD
Experience the world's biggest Metal Festival at home and be in with a chance to win a Lifetime Membership...

uncle rust UNCLE RUST ANNOUNCE AUGUST UK TOUR
The recently formed London based rock/Metal band will undertake a set of UK dates in August 2014...

blitzkreig BLITZKRIEG ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
The band will visit five countries on their only tour this year...

sonisphere LATE NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AT SONISPHERE ANNOUNCED
Only two weeks away - get ready to continue the party after the headliners leave the stage...

finntroll FINNTROLL REVEAL LIVE FOOTAGE OF SEMINAL TRACK 'TROLLHAMMAREN', FILMED AT THEIR LIVE ALBUM RECORDING SHOW IN AMSTERDAM
"Lock up your daughters, kegs of rum and men of God, for The Trolls from Up North are coming for you...live!..."

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE REVEAL NEW VIDEO 'THE GAME' (FEAT. MATT HEAFY OF TRIVIUM)
The track is taken from the album 'Maximum Overload', which will be released in August...

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