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Pioneers of the Space Rock scene, progressive rockers Gong are now in their fifth decade of their long and varied career and best known for the Radio Gnome Trilogy, a set of albums released between 1973-74 with the mind bending classics 'Flying Teapot', 'Angel's Egg' and 'You'.

With long timers Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy leaving the band for the final time in 2010 it's now down to front man Daevid Allen to keep the magic bong of Gong bubbling to to keep the band on a high.

The audience at the Empire is made up of a variety of bankers, train spotters, prog anoraks, loners, new age hippies and happy self confessed freaksters which all makes for a evening of enlightenment of euphoric happiness explored in an outer world.

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Enochian Theory are a new name for many but they slowly win over those early through the doors. The Portsmouth progsters played some serious art seditious rock pleasing those who like Porcupine Tree but also have at times the heaviness of bands such as Meshuggah whilst still keeping hold of their own identity.


With a set focussed mainly on their second album 'Life... And All It Entails' the Empire listened intently to this thoughtful trio. It was the final blow of the provoking 'Inversions' and the heavy riffage of 'Singularities' that really stood out and even had a young girl dancing away, catching the eye of both punters and the band. A winning performance from Enochian Theory who have the ability and promise to become known to a much wider audience.

Gong are of the most eccentric bands one could ever wish to witness. Now aged 74 years old, Daevid Allen first appears in a bright red hat and white jacket looking like a cross between Captain Sensible and Foghorn Leghorn. A projected screen behind the band relays fluorescent animations but the band as just as captivating with Allen speaking interesting gobbledygook between numbers, understood by all who are not coherent.

Lady Gilli Smyth, at just a few years younger than Allen, warbles and wails away in a mystique fashion and reminds me of Marianne Faithful as she is today.


The newer members of the band do a substantial job and in truth it dosn't take too long to forget that Hillage and co are not up on the stage, not when you have such gems as 'Escape Control Delete', 'Tropical Fish-Selene', 'Fruit Salad-Oily Way', 'Inner And Outer Temple', the les-tastic 'I Am Your Pussy', the gigantic 'Opium For The People' and the explosive punky 'Dynamite'.

The gig was a success despite what some Gong doom die-hards were predicting. Man spends millions in a search for life on another planet... There's plenty of exciting and unpredictable life on Planet Gong.

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You can see's Mark Taylor's many reviews and interviews right here. It's an impressive list...




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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