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  WILDFIRE AND ICE – DAY TWO
Ivory Blacks, Glasgow
Saturday 13th December 2014


Johnny Main

johnny main



wildfire and ice

After the success of the first night, everyone seemed ready to do it all over again and with the first band not climbing on stage until 7:00pm, there was plenty of time to get rid of the hangover from the previous night's partying.

As I entered Ivory Blacks for the second time in twenty four hours though, it was clear that this would be even more of a party than the night before – and I wasn't wrong!

Scarlets

With a band pulling out late in the day due to injury, the Scarlets were drafted in at short notice. To be honest, I'd not actually heard of them before but a quick look at their Facebook page showed a steady following with a couple of my friends actually pressing the "Like" button, so all was looking good.

As the band took to the stage, there was no sign of nerves on what turned out to be their first ever live show as a band. As a first gig, it was all very enjoyable and the audience seemed to be behind the band from the get-go.

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Dougie MacSween is a great front man and manages to get the crowd enthused during 'After All These Times'. Due to the way the lighting was set on stage, violinist Emily Nenniger kept very much in the background which is a pity because her sound really adds something extra and (dare I say it) unique to the band and she should really have been at the front in the limelight.

The band's set continues with 'Homesick' which sees guitarist Marc Hughes taking centre stage with a short solo in what is another thoroughly enjoyable song, during which Chris Glen (ex-bass player Michael Schenker Group) casually wanders up to the stage to check the band at close quarters. The set is momentarily halted as MacSween can't really believe it as he shouts out "That's my day made – Chris Glen just checked out our band!"

wildfire and ice

'White Lights' brings their set and very first gig to a close and has Macsween giving some urgency to his performance which has the audience nodding along. The slow mid-section gives way to assume excellent twin guitar work before the guitar solo cuts in taking the song to its climax. A great song to end with that has the audience giving the band a huge round of applause.

A very enjoyable performance from a band who have certainly bolstered their fan base through their appearance here, and I wish them every success for the future.

Scarlets Set List:
High
This Alchemy
After All These Times
Homesick
White Lights

Scarlets are:
Dougie MacSween - Vocals/Guitar
Marc Hughes - Guitar
Emily Nenniger - Violin
George Hamilton - Bass Guitar
Adam Lochery - Drums

Scarlets Online:
http://www.facebook.com/keyscoredscarlet


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wildfire and ice

Mason Hill

Mason Hill are a local band who I previously saw live at Audio in Glasgow supporting British Metal titans Voodoo Six back in March, on what was one of their first ever live shows so I was looking to seeing how the band were faring now. Very good, as it turned out! This is an out and out heavy rock band of the highest calibre.

'Broken Hill' kicks off their set and has front man Scott Taylor putting everything into his performance while the solid rhythm of the music has the audience nodding along. Just when you think you've sussed the band out, they pull out 'Somewhere Else', which is a fast rocky number and brings the head bangers down the front of the stage. Guitarist James Bird pulls out a great solo whilst bass player Mark Marshall looks like he's having the time of his life as he throws out the rhythms.

Drummer Craig McFetridge counts in the fast beat for what is a rollicking version of Zeppelins 'Rock and Roll' which had Taylor losing his guitar temporarily as he hugs the microphone in a song that everyone is familiar with and are happy to sing along to. Full marks to Bird and McFetridge here for their unrelenting power on this classic track as they, in particular, shone during it.

wildfire and ice

'Now You See Me' is a heavy slower paced number which has McFetridge really punishing the drum kit whilst the guitar riff drives the song onwards. A small group of head bangers congregate at the front of the crowd the barrier as Bird steps into the spotlight for another accomplished solo.

The band continue with a new song, 'Your Memory', which is a corker with Taylor really getting animated during the sections where he doesn't need to play guitar before he fires the main guitar riff out with vengeance. It's a great song and is this in an indication of the bands new material then they're onto a winner in my book.

There's a lull in the set as Wildfire Festival orgainser Dave Ritchie is summoned onto the stage as the band publicly thank him for letting them play the event, to which Ritchie books them for the Festival proper on the spot, to a genuinely shocked reaction from band as the audience burst into spontaneous (but well deserved) applause.

With a new found enthusiasm, the band finish their set with 'Out of Reach' which has Taylor tossing out Santa hats to the delight of the audience. Another very accomplished set from a band who I'm looking forward to seeing once again at Wildfire 2015 in June. I bet they can't wait to get there either!

wildfire and ice

Mason Hill Set List:
Broken Hill
Somewhere Else
Rock and Roll
Now You See Me
Your Memory
Out of Reach

Mason Hill are:
Scott Taylor – Vocals/Guitar
James Bird – Guitar
Mark Marshall – Bass Guitar
Craig McFetridge – Drums

Mason Hill Online:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/masonhillofficial


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Fallen Mafia

Durham based Fallen Mafia were another band who I'd seen at the Highway To Hell competition (back in 2013), and was looking forward to catching up with the Geordie quartet once again.

'Don't Look Back' kicked off their set in fine fashion. It's a fast and furious number which has drummer Matty Wilson really powering through the song whilst the guitar riff cuts through the veil of dry ice that seeps slowly onto the stage. The chorus has some of the audience singing along showing the band have some local support in Glasgow which I'm sure they appreciated.

'Just Like Me' featured an intro from bass player Lee Fiddes and guitarist Chris Johnson before the drums kick in and the tempo ramps right up once again. Hannah Neils vocals were unfortunately lost in the mid-section which is a shame as she gives it everything she has, but it's only a temporary glitch which is fixed just before Johnson takes centre stage with his solo.

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Prior to 'Dirty', Neil greets the audience with a genial "Why aye" which gets the audience laughing. The track itself has a slower tempo but it still chugs along at a fair pace. Fiddes and Neil headbang away as the guitar solo from Johnson rightfully steals the limelight. The track is a favourite of mine, and it was also a real highlight in their short set.

'Psycho' is "dedicated to the psychos out there" says Neil with a wry smile on her face and it's a good mid-paced number with a demon guitar riff leading the way. Fiddes and Johnson share centre stage as Neil retreats to the side of the stage during the instrumental section before returning to the front for the final chorus.

'How The Story Ends' is the bands ballad proving the band are much more than just frantic heavy rockers. It also showcases Neils voice a she really comes across with a lovely (almost bluesy at times) voice. Johnson gives a measured solo before the band crowd around Wilson as the song reaches its conclusion. Great stuff and another highlight of the band's set.

The last song from the band is 'Leather, Lipstick & Cigarettes' which has Neil giving her voice one last workout as the band finish their set on a high. It's also a high point for Neil from a performance point of view as she gives in her all in what I can only describe as an exceptional performance. Overall, it's an accomplished performance from a band who I'll definitely be looking out for in the future and I genuinely hope they get the chance to play at Wildfire 2015 too.

wildfire and ice

Fallen Mafia Set List:
Don't Look Back
Just Like Me
Dirty
Psycho
How The Story Ends
Rock & Roll
Leather, Lipstick & Cigarettes

Fallen Mafia are:
Hannah Neil – Vocals
Chris Johnson – Guitar
Lee Fiddes – Bass Guitar
Matty Wilson – Drums

Fallen Mafia Online:
http://www.facebook.com/fallenmafia


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Bigfoot

Bigfoot were a band that I hadn't seen before, which is hardly surprising since they've been together for less than a year, but I was looking forward to their set having heard good things about them from various corners of the UK.

They got down to business with heavy opener 'Time Me Down'. All was going well until a slight technical issue brought the band's set to an unexpected halt. Rather than all mope about the stage while the problem was being fixed, guitarists Sam Millar and Mick McCullagh had a bit of fun entertaining the audience with various riffs as vocalist Art Ellis made sure those at the front were entertained too.

With everything back on track, the band pressed on with 'In The Gutter', a fast paced song which had The song is really good with McCullagh playing a great solo. In the break between numbers, Ellis enthuses the crowd with his banter, and I've got to say that he really is a great front man with his "cheeky chappie" persona in check the whole time.

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'Come Down My Way' sees Ellis strapping on an acoustic guitar for the slower paced number giving the band a chance to catch their breath. The songs tempo soon ramps up though as really as long haired guitarist comes to the centre of the stage for his epic guitar solo as the crowd at the front gets wilder and wilder.

'Bitch Killer' brings the pace back up and has the crowd dancing along before Ellis gives a passionate performance during the slower section before drummer Tom Aspinall kicks the beat back into touch.

With time against them, the heavy guitar intro to 'Trapped In Paranoia' filters out and has the either head banging, dancing or staring in disbelief at the melee in front of the stage. 'The Other Side of Paradise' leaves the audience shouting for more as the band finish their set on a real high.

If this band aren't at Wildfire 2015, then I'll be very surprised but before then I'm in no doubt that I want to see the Bigfoot live experience again.

wildfire and ice

Bigfoot Set List:
Tie Me Down
In The Gutter
Come Down My Way
Bitch Killer
Trapped In Paranoia
The Other Side of Paradise

Bigfoot are:
Ant Ellis – Vocals/Guitar
Sam Millar – Guitar
Mick McCullagh – Guitar
Matt Avery – Bass Guitar
Tom Aspinall– Drums

Bigfoot Online:
http://www.facebook.com/bigfootukrock


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Massive Wagons

Introduced by Dave Ritchie as "one of the best bands in Great Britain", Massive Wagons (or simply The Wagons, as they are also known) began the final set of the weekend with a vengeance. This band were carefully chosen as headliners because to echo Ritchie, they really are one of the best up and coming bands that Britain has to offer.

With their new album, 'Fight The System', currently gaining acclaim from fans and critics alike and their live performances also getting a lot of attention, Ivory Blacks was ready to see off Saturday night in the very best of company. 'Rising Tides' set the pace as front man Baz Mills head banged his way through the track while guitarist Adam Thistlethwaite pulled out the first of a line of great solos.

'Truth' slowed the pace slightly and this was probably more to do with giving the audience a break from head banging than the band needing a break. Y'see, The Wagons do heavy, and they do it exceedingly well with Adam Thistlethwaite pulling out another great solo.

wildfire and ice

An early highlight to their set was 'Heavy Metal Man', dedicated to the late Ronnie James Dio, and the song is played with power and passion. It's a fitting tribute to a real Metal legend and in a live situation, the song never fails to get the audience plugging in their air guitars, and this set was no exception.

There's no doubt that Glasgow is a stronghold for the band, and the audiences dedication is rewarded here with a brand new song never played live before explains Mills. 'Welcome To The World' brings the pace down slightly giving band and audience another breather but that's not to say it's a slow number. Unfamiliarity isn't a barrier here, and as the song comes to an end, it gets a rousing reception from the audience. A future Wagons classic perhaps? I would certainly say so.

A cover of Deep Purple's classic 'Highway Star' has the venue jumping once again with not a note out of place on a version of the song that even the most hardened Purple fan would be pushed to find fault in. 'Jodie' from their latest album had the audience singing, clapping and dancing along in equal measure before the headbangers returned to join in the fun for the title track of the album, 'Fight The System'.

A personal favourite in the shape of 'Look Around' comes and goes as the dance floor becomes full to bursting point with Mills giving one of his best performances of the night.

The band's current single, 'Red Dress', caps a triumphant performance from the band, before they close their set (and the weekend) with a rip-roaring version of the Status Quo classic 'Down Down'. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this band will be absolutely huge, so you'd better watch out because The Wagons are coming for you and they guarantee a good time – every time!

wildfire and ice

Massive Wagons Set List:
Rising Tides
Truth
Heavy Metal Man
Welcome To The World
Highway Star
Jodie
Fight The System
Look Around
Red Dress
Down Down

Massive Wagons are:
Baz Mills – Vocals
Adam Thistlethwaite – Guitar
Carl Cochrane – Guitar
Adam Bouskill – Bass Guitar
Alex Thistlethwaite – Drums

Massive Wagons Online:
http://www.facebook.com/MassiveWagons


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31.12.2014











 


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