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'A Knight In York'

Phil Kane

phil kane

blackmores night a knight in york

Right, first things first. What's the fucking point of releasing a live DVD with only half a show on it? Reports suggest that this DVD/CD combo, recorded at York's Grand Opera House on September 30th 2011, is only half the gig. We all know Blackmore can be more than a tetchy handful but this is ridiculous.

The ironic thing is this release is so bloody good that when it finishes you are left wanting to hear more. I suppose it's a marketing thing; when 'A Night In York' gets the now customary six-month 're-mastered' re-release they'll be adding the rest of the gig as a bonus disc.

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And it gets worse. This release comes in loads of different formats - DVD + CD Digipack (CD rack size), DVD+CD, DVD, CD (Jewel Case), double vinyl LP 12" (Gatefold), Blu-Ray, digital (audio), digital (video) and D2C boxset. If you are a fan then prepare to get well and truly fleeced. I honestly don't know what's worse; the seemingly cynical racke..., sorry, marketeering or being treated like a cunt. Still...

This is a fabulous release. The sound is top notch and the music is a mix of (the very occasional) hard rock and (predominantly) medieval played on modern and traditional instruments; traditional old English songs given a modern make over and an enchanting vocal that is a little reminiscent of Maddy Prior at times, particularly on a rousing version of 'Toast To Tomorrow'.

There are still those who base their opinions of Blackmore on his work with Deep Purple and Rainbow. Here he shows how wrong they are, demonstrating that not only is he prepared to let his rock roots peek through occasionally but also let his grasp of the traditional shine through. If, on the other hand, you are expecting an industrial strength dose of ye olde worlde hey nonny nonny nonsense then you can think again.

Okay, so it's not rock music as such admittedly, but Candice Night does have a great voice and you can hear occasional hints of former glories if you listen carefully. 'The Peasant's Promise' in particular shows Blackmore has cultivated his ability to turn a traditional tune (in this instance the 'Lovely Joan' counter melody from Vaughn Williams' 'Fantasia On Greensleeves' if you must know) on its head to create a stunning piece of modern neo traditional folk music in its own right.

Yes, we know, ol' Ritchie did say when he first put Blackmore's Night together he would never play rock again but no one really took him that seriously and here he strikes the perfect balance between the old world and the new just as Jethro Tull did during its 'Songs From The Wood/Heavy Horses' period but without being quite so bucolic. Of course it helps that the band that backs Blackmore and Night are phenomenal, carrying the music close to the ever fuzzy borders of prog.

The DVD is simply shot but the editing has proved so severe that the reported warmth of the gig has been completely removed. Unfortunately, my copy had no sound and although I know I'm supposed to sit through it all, if y'all think I've got nothing better to do with an eighty minute chunk of what's left of my sorry existence than watch a mute vid then you can damn well think again. It looks nice; what more do you want to know?

For all you Metal heads who take the piss, harping on about skipping through meadows strumming a lute then hush thy gobs. 'A Knight In York' may be flawed but it remains a very good release that works well as a good introduction to the band as well as a snapshot that will attract some, if not all of Blackmore's existing fans.




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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