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  MY TEN YEARS AT DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL
Xander

Xander

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"As we all know this year is Download Festival's tenth birthday and having been every year I thought it worthy of an article to reminisce over the last few years at Donington.

I'd never managed to go to a Monsters Of Rock Festival so my personal experience at Donington Park actually started in 2001 when Stereophonics had their 'Day At The Races' event. I wasn't a big fan of the band but liked them enough to go for the opportunity to go to the historic site. The line-up also included Ash, The Black Crowes, Proud Mary and The Crockets. Great weather all day and camping was available but when I lived seven miles away I thought it pointless. The Rock And Blues Festival was also held this year at the park too.

1 Day Ticket: £25 | Bands Seen: 5/5

Article continues below...

   


2002 saw the Ozzfest Tour take over the park for one day with two stages, opening with AntiProduct and headlining with Ozzy on the mainstage, but due to the outrageous bottle neck to the second stage in the exhibition hall, I never managed to see a single act there.

I was one of the lucky few that managed to get a wristband into the mosh pit area; an odd system of first X amount in get a wristband, you can then leave and return to the pit at any time. Nice if you wanna be in the pit, but it doesn't necessarily mean the people there were the best crowd to be at the front.

A big bottle fight ensued between acts with two groups in the pit area, and everyone else outside the pit attacking everyone in the pit area. The attitude was actually quite fun and nothing hurtful was thrown, just empty bottles. Generally the weather was pretty good, apart from a storm appearing only for Cradle Of Filth's set - to which Danni admitted he had requested it from God.

Millencolin had lost all their instruments in flight so had to borrow others and Slayer, although they killed it, were just a wall of noise. SOAD abruptly ended their set without reason. We later found out this was apparently due to some scaffolding collapsing.

Tool, whilst technically brilliant, gave an odd stationary performance on individual podiums then Zack Wydle and Robert Trujillo returned for a second performance to close with Ozzy, finalised with a massive fireworks display.

1 Day Ticket: £37.50 | Bands Seen: 12/26

download festival
My geeky collection of tickets from the previous years.

2003 - enter Download Festival, two days and two stages! I actually went to the festival on my own as no friends were going. I only had an arena pass and planned to just crash somewhere overnight. This proved to be very cold with no sleeping bag!

Because of this and having a good spot on the front row at the main stage I ended up only staying at this stage the entire weekend, missing Metallica's infamous secret set but getting my mug on the back cover of The Darkness' 'Permission To Land' (not that you can see my face properly though).

Marilyn Manson had an OK gig and Iron Maiden headlined the Saturday which I watched up the hill with a cup of tea.

Sunday, Less Than Jake, infamous for their crowd pitting antics, created the first horse shoe pit around the sound stage, due to the central crowd barrier preventing a full doughnut pit and as fun as it sounds, it proved quite messy when the crowds from each side met in the middle at full speed!

Evanescence performed their first UK gig whilst Disturbed kicked off playing an entire song with no vocals being projected. Whilst Slipknot themselves did not play, both Joey and Corey performed with Murderdolls and Stone Sour respectively.

The weather was great all weekend until Zwan came and brought the rain with them. I managed to tuck under the tarp walkway which had been ripped up, almost like a field long snake in the middle of the crowd, but that didnt really help. I dried off to Audioslave, who moved up to headline on the Sunday after Limp Bizkit pulled out, but unfortunately surfed as the tide went out and fell in a puddle of mud!

Tickets: £87.50 (2 Day Arena: £70, Camping £12.50, Parking £5) | Bands Seen: 25/57

download festival
Back page of The Darkness 'Permission To Land'. I'm there to the left of the cameraman on the front row - honest! 2003.

In 2004 Download festival brought us a third stage and I brought my flag! looking back at footage of Maiden and GnR you see loads of flags and it looked cool, but there were NONE last year, so I though OK, I'll take one! This proved to be a good umbrella, or target - depending on how I felt about the people around me, as the bottle fights returned!

If you were camping you wouldn't have been allowed into the arena until after The Dillinger Escape Plan had finished playing. Iggy invited the crowd onstage, Arch Enemy thundered the tent before Steve-O did what Steve-O does and also gave eggs to the crowd to throw at Electric Six, who took it very well, and this year's secret set came courtesy of FFAF.

On the Sunday Slayer swapped with Damageplan, due to airport problems, over filling the second stage tent which was a very enjoyable set enhanced by the fact I watched from the side with Nikki Sixx. He even poked a girl up the ass for blocking our view with my flag pole!

Slipknot performed for the first time and Metallica stole the headlines again keeping the crowd waiting over an hour until they finally announced they had no drummer. I'd already fucked off to see some music and caught a great set of HIM, in typical drunken lyric forgetting form. After which catching Metallica and wondering why the fuck drummers are changing. Maybe the big wait was worth it for not having to hear any 'St Anger' material!

Slipknot played for the first time. It's worth noting that Download held a second festival the same week in Scotland and if you watch any coverage from this year and you see a flag in the crowd, it's me!

Tickets: £100 (2 Day Arena: £80, Camping £15, Parking £5) | Bands Seen: 22/74

download festival
My flag captured in 2004.

In 2005 Download brought us three days. That's right, Live Nation teamed up with Ozzfest to give us an extra day, totally THREE FUCKING DAYS! I think this was the first sell out year too, if not it was the next year with about 90,000 in attendance and was fucking full!

It sure helped I was young at this point but man I was knackered after it but this year still remains my favourite year. In all I saw 39 bands, which I think worked out at just £2.40 per band. It really is worth just walking around and seeing someone else, or in my case - running!

The bottle fights got pretty aggressive this year with full bottles with lids on being thrown down the hill into the crowd. In fact I got a black eye from some twat throwing a full sealed bottle at head hight from about five metres away. It actually almost knocked me out.

Quite a few idiots also climbed the rigging of the second stage. One jumped and landed foot first into my other eye, another broke his leg. I ran around in a red kilt this year but due to the amount of dust it went home grey!

Friday was billed as an indie and alternative day which to be fair only Garbage and the headliners, Feeder, stood out as non-heavy. But credit due, they did a great job.

Trivium opened the main stage on Saturday morning and the second stage hosted a proper Metal bill that to this day is hard to top with American Head Charge, Every Time I Die, Uenearth, Meshuggah, BFMV, Lamb Of God, Chimaria and In Flames headlining.

Whilst In Flames were awesome in their two hour slot it was also quite fun playing football outside the tent with a giant ball about ten feet high brought over from Black Sabbath.

On Sunday Henry Rollins gave the morning's sermon, Society 1 swung their singer for the entire set suspended from hooks in his back, yuk! The rest of the Roadrage Tour performed, and more great acts such as Mudvayne, Caliban with a tent wide wall of death, Shadows Fall, Mastodon, Killswitch Engage, Slayer back on the main stage with a circle pit before they even strike a note: yes, that is me and my flag running in the circle pit.

Slipknot get the crowd to sit the fuck down again and although weather had been great all weekend, SOAD play a cold night! A lot of flags this year but all bought on site due to Leicester's street market flag man being at all the festivals in the UK that year, but you can still tell mine apart due to my customisation, awesomely exploited by Trivium on their third UK tour poster and by Roadrunner UK online. I also bumped into Pritchard and Dainton who told me to burn the flag!

Tickets: £132.50 (3 Day Arena £105, Camping £22.50, Parking £5) | Bands Seen: 39/68

download festival
My flag captured in 2005 and used on Trivium's tour poster.

In 2006 Download gave us an extra early day camping and two new venues; the Snickers Bowl and the Aftershock Tent. The former being an extreme sports arena and showcasing smaller bands, whilst the latter - well I have a rule; what happens in the Aftershock tent stays in the Aftershock tent.

All I will say is there was lots of Aftershock in my eyes, plenty of gore from the Circus of Horrors and from some Suicide Girls (please refer to rule no.1 on the SS's!).

This was also the year of the riots. I can't really tell you what happened as I missed it all, only emerging from the Aftershock tent at 4.00am to a very odd atmosphere; no security, no one walking about and a huge fuck off bonfire in the middle of the campsite with which anything near by was being thrown into - including some people's tents and possessions, very uncool.

But also a massive kind of tribal experience was happening with trash bins and tubs being used as drums and people dancing naked around the fire - I even saw Jesus! I left at 6.00am but it continued for a few more hours.

Band wise, I always remember this as the year of the S's; Strapping Young Lad, Soulfly, SikTh and Skindred. Corey returned with Stone Sour and guested a great skat with Korn who were a singer down and had last minute step ins, most needing an auto cue with the exception of Skindred's Benji, who without a doubt stole the set.

Avenged Sevenfold kicked ass much better than their tour earlier on in the year and Metallica had a playback of 'Master Of Puppets' for its 20th anniversary. That's playback - not performance!

In Flames returned with a midday slot on the main stage which meant they had to play a small slot of just twenty minutes whilst Guns N' Roses closed the festival with complaints to bottle throwers. Whilst The Prodigy went down really well and packed out the second stage tent, it also brought a lot of undesirables to the festival, specifically dodgy characters selling drugs and stealing. Our group got robbed twice but we actually managed to capture one of them and send him off in a van!

Tickets: £140 (3 Day Arena £115, Camping £20, Parking £5) | Bands Seen: 31/76

download festival
Previous year's posters.

2007 didn't have anything special to stand out though Lamb Of God's performance was put onto DVD and the controversial positioning of MCR closing the main stage and KoRn closing the second stage. Some knobends were planning riots in response to this but thankfully the Metal world condemned them and nothing came of it. This year the t-shirt printers I was working at happened to be commissioned to do the official merch, so I managed to get a top and laminate before the fest.

So Friday night, MCR did, however, finish and the arena emptied before KoRn even finished their set, which featured Joey Jordison on drums. Machine Head and Slayer ripped up the main stage on Saturday whilst Motley Crue gave a fantastic closing to the second stage with extended thank you's and dishing out of Jager.

Sunday was my big day but during a circle pit I started during Chimaira, my knee got dislocated and I was out for the day which I was gutted about, but thankfully no matter what I can still enjoy DevilDriver's massive football pitch sized circle pit, Mastodon and Lamb Of God whether I'm stood still or in the pit.

In a bizarre twist Reel Big Fish closing the third stage actually stole the festival for me - especially when some kid trying to see into the tent fell inside the biffa bin he was stood on (though I hope he recovered as he got stretchered away!).

Unfortunately the Aftershock tent didn't return but due to the success of an after hours site providing music the Duracell tent was introduced. Also the stalls were oddly positioned on the track outside of the main arena this year, probably in an effort to stop all those flags!

This was the last year I took mine into the arena - I do agree that they get in the way and I would only wave mine about in-between bands/songs or in circle pits. I actually got a good shot of me in the official coverage stood on the hill holding my flag up.

Tickets: £151 (3 Day Arena £125, Camping £20, Parking £6) | Bands Seen: 18/100

download festival
In the Duracell Tent, 2006.

2008 saw Download festival evicted from the track! Yes that's right, and apparently Live Nation also had little warning of this. GP bikers complained of grease on the track, which was also being upgraded to accommodate the F1, which in the end bankrupted the holding company and the Grand Prix stayed at Silverstone and also lost the GP to Silverstone too.

So the solution was locate the festival on the park's market site with the main stage being situated at the bottom of a hill creating a kind of amphitheatre and the second stage being upgraded to a full size outdoor stage on the tarmac. This was the first year that the LONG walk from campsite to arena came about.

Download Radio took a turn for the better. Where previously K! or the Beeb had been broadcasting, TotalRock took the reigns and DL radio to a new level with the 'tin can' studios located in the arena. Due to the long distance between sites the market area was duplicated at both the camping area and the arena.

The Duracell tent returned but due to some prat climbing the rigging, falling, and breaking his leg during a live DJ set on DL and TotalRock radios, the Thursday night was cut short. For some reason I decided to wear a pink leopard print dress and bunny rabbit ears. I went a bit mad on Jaeger and thus was dubbed Jaeger Bunny. I also got severely burnt before I'd even set up the tent on Wednesday.

Corey Taylor was due to guest with Apocalyptica but this turned out to be unrealistic due to his touring schedule and this became the first year he has not performed at the festival. Kid Rocks pulls out last minute due to his dislike of the festival giving Disturbed and Judas Priest longer sets - every one cheers.

The Dillinger Escpae Plan tear up the third stage whilst KISS headline the main stage and attempt to break the world record of largest crowd of KISS face painted fans whilst Ace Frehley plays the next day on the second stage.

Saturday, Throwdown create the biggest ever wall of death and Bleeding Through create the biggest ever doughnut pit whilst Airbourne Singer, Joel O'Keefe climbs the stage and HIM headline the second stage again, playing for the fourth time.

A pretty laid back Sunday with a classic set from The Wildhearts and Max Cavalera playing Donington in another band; Cavalera Conspiracy, for the first time reunited with his brother Igor, 15 years since they last both played together in Donington. The CC pitts killed the Jaeger Bunny and Jonothan Davies goes solo performing on a throne due to a bad back.

Tickets: £160 (3 Day Arena £130, Camping £20, Parking £10) | Bands Seen: 31/100

download festival
Bunnied up in 2008.

2009 saw Download festival relocated once again, this time to the car park! Another sell out with around 100,000 in attendance and the successful classic rock theme for the Sunday. A forth stage was introduced as the Red Bull Bedroom Jam stage for unsigned bands, although horribly located up the hill on the boundary of the arena. Support for the unknown bands was really strong. DL radio is hosted by Hard Rock Radio.

Due to last year's antics the Duracell tent is replaced by the Monster Arena, featuring God awful DJs from K! playing the same 15 songs on a scratched CD, constantly shouting down a distorted microphone thinking they're Fred Durst and telling people what to do; jump, scream, jump, lemme hear you, hands in the air SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! Twats.

Somehow we were actually camped in the same enclosure as the market so that was pretty convenient but annoying from those DJ tards. This year I ran around in a wolf hood and soon took on the name of Jaeger Wolf and bagged a photo in a festival guide on the Download page and a massive campaign on Myspace.

Limp Bizkit finally made an appearance with an odd persona from Durst but impeccable performance from the band. Another line-up change for KoRn but an amazing set followed by the newly reunited Faith No More.

A stella start to Saturday with FFDP, DevilDriver, Hatebreed and Down and some more dance-esque bands with Static-X who were invaded by bee's - apparently attracted to the bass (I think it was my ice cream), Pendulum and The Prodigy. Would have made sense to have them all on the same stage!

Marilyn Manson gave a truly shit performance, even spitting on newly returned bassist Twiggy Ramirez, and not realising his set was over and trying to do an encore. But without a doubt Slipknot highlighted the weekend. Although nothing new, getting the entire arena of probably 80,000 to sit down and jump up at the same time is an amazing site to be seen, which you can on their '(sic)nesses' DVD.

Today's rock really stood strong with the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Karma To Burn, Volbeat, Shinedown, Clutch and Steel Panther overfilling the third stage. Another stage mess up - they should have been on the second stage before Buckcherry instead of clashing.

ZZ Top, Papa Roach, Whitesnake and Def Leppard - what a night!

Tickets: £170 (3 Day Arena £135, Camping £25, Parking £10) | Bands Seen: 30/88

download festival
Wolfed up in 2009 on MySpace.

2010 and my tenth year at Donington. Download finally bagged AC/DC, a reunited Rage Against The Machine and for the first time in the UK in twelve years, Aerosmith!

For most, AC/DC stole the show with their own private stage, but for me it was seeing my idols Aerosmith for the first time. This was the 30th year of festivals (though not continually) at Donington and also the 30th anniversary of Saxon's 'Wheels Of Steel' album which they performed on the Sunday. They also performed at the first Monsters Of Rock.

The Jaegermeister Acoustic Truck is introduced as the fifth stage and I could potentially have played the fourth stage if I hadn't temporary turned down an audition with Imcus due to other commitments. This year, to help cover the cost of AC/DC, DL had introduced an extra charge if you want to camp before Friday and this system has remained.

Godsized filled the third stage tent and another first for me, seeing Dave Grohl drum with Them Crooked Vultures whilst his Foo Fighter buddy Taylor Hawkins plays the fourth stage. BFMV play for a fifth time.

Killswitch thought it unique to be invited a second year running but did appear last minute and performed well with, of course, their Dio cover in honour of the late legend. HIM play for a fifth time on the second stage on Saturday and another great set from Volbeat.

Reckless Love fill the third stage tent and RATM was just a dream come true. Saxon and Slash play brilliant sets on the Sunday Sun whilst Steel Panther and Stone Temple Pilots get given a rain along with Airbourne, whose front man Joel O'Keefe scaled the stage rigging regardless and solo's up high.

The sky clears for Corey Taylor with Stone Sour but for Aerosmith half the crowd had left to drive home. Very disheartening for the band but I loved every minute of their blinding set which spanned their entire history. Couldn't have asked for anything more but to have been on the front row, as the people there hardly looked like they were moving!

The night's entertainment in the village dwindled to a little van in a corner - gone were the fun days of the after hours disco.

Tickets: £190 (3 Day Arena £140, 3 Day Camping £40, Parking £10) | Bands Seen: 27/135

download festival
Suffering again from a bad case of heyfever, 2010.

2011 I went to Download working for my good friend's Starseed, so I got to see the other side of the festival - behind the scenes! As I had a pass I also bagged some interviews with friends playing this weekend.

There are many people who just like to hang out in VIP so they can look cool, and it goes on at every festival, but it pisses me off as there are many people who would love the chance to get a pass and actually watch the bands, such as myself. Gutted to miss cKy and a pretty chilled day for me. But good enjoyment with OAF, The Darkness rocked and KoRn got an odd second stage penultimate closer slot.

Saturday saw Skindred perform Donington for the fifth time with the main arena giving the Newport helicopter a go. Skunk Anansie and Avenged Sevenfold played awesome sets and SOAD finally give the UK a quality performance on par with their music.

Sunday sees the return of the rain, BFMV play for sixth time, Starseed play a full tent followed by Pub Landlord Al Murray's T-34. Gwar gore out with the Queen and Rob Zombie fills the second stage to a clear sky to close the festival. Corey misses the festival for a second time.

Tickets: £190 (3 Day Arena £145, Camping £35, Parking £10) | Bands Seen: 21/143

download festival
Getting long in 2010.

2012 Top Tips! Friday: Cancer Bats really rock and Fear Factory finally come to Download, Terrorvision should be wicked and if you like something a bit technical then check out The Safety Fire and get a good rockin' acoustic set with Million Dollar Reload.

But act of the day goes to the awesomely mighty legend Devin Townsend. The songs mix between loud, ambient, symphonic and bubblegum Metal filled with a geniously genuinely nice funny guy.

Saturday: Corey plays solo, Turbonegro, Ginger and Skindred are gonna have a good time on the second stage and yeah, Metallica are back playing 'The Black Album' (actually it's a self titled album but everyone just calls it black). Saxon and Steel Panther will be great but the legends are finally here, Tenacious fucking D!!!

Sunday: Some good female rocking at the Jaeger stage with Sanguine and Saint Jude, whilst Metal Hammer pinup Brittany Paige opens the second stage with Kobra And The Lotus. Later on reunited Refused and Irish jiggy Drop Kick Murphys are gonna really get things going, with more tech headlining the third stage with Periphery - love that shit.

Main stage sees DevilDriver and Kyuss Lives! (now down to two original members), Black Label Society and Soundgarden should hopefully be good as should Sabbath but Lamb Of God will steal the day for me!

Tickets: £205 (3 Day Arena £155, Camping £35, Parking £15) | Bands Announced: 149

2013? Well Download festival always strives to get the biggest bands that haven't played and reform others... and the list is shortening!

Punk is probably due to come back in soon so perhaps Green Day or Blink 182, DL is slowly catching on with progressive and tech so perhaps dutch legends Textures, newly reunited SikTh or UK rising stars TesseracT and Chimp Spanner? I'd love to see Dweezil Zappa, The Agonist, Protest The Hero and Queens Of The Stone Age at Donington and how about Rolling Stones - now that's something legendary!

Rammstein still haven't played DL and Queen have never been to Donington! Time will tell, until then have a good tenth birthday and remember the sun screen!

30.5.12


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gammaray GAMMARAY RELEASE 'THE BEST OF' AND OTHER CATALOGUE RE-RELEASES
A chance to own a superb collection from one of the most solid flagships in classic and power Heavy Metal...

finsterforst FINSTERFORST RELEASE BRAND NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR TITLE TRACK
'Mach Dich Frei', the new epic album, is released on February 2nd, followed by a European tour...

eric martin mr big ERIC MARTIN FORCED TO POSTPONE UK SOLO TOUR
"It has not been made clear to SD Entertainment nor Eric and his management of what specifically is required more so than usual..."

behemoth BEHEMOTH REVEAL FIRST EVER OFFICIAL LIVE VIDEO
Watch the striking video for 'Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer' here. The band head out on a UK tour next week...

aquostic STATUS QUO ANNOUNCE 'AQUOSTIC' UK TOUR
The 'Aquostic' album takes twenty five songs from Status Quo's back catalogue and makes them shine in a stripped down format with a fully acoustic reworking...

napalm death NAPALM DEATH UNVEIL THE ALBUM ARTWORK AND TRACKLISTING FOR 'APEX PREDATOR - EASY MEAT'
"There are many meanings that you could grab from the new album artwork, but one is the representation of how our natural and most basic needs for happiness and communication are being stripped away by materialism and pre-packaged garbage..."

grand magus GRAND MAGUS REVEAL VIDEO FOR 'STEEL VERSUS STEEL' AHEAD OF UK TOUR DATES
Catch the Swedish riff lords supporting Behemoth in December...

neal morse THE NEAL MORSE BAND ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'THE GRAND EXPERIMENT' TO BE RELEASED IN FEBRUARY 2015
The band have also confirmed European tour dates with Beardfish...

nickelback NICKELBACK ANNOUNCE SHOW AT THE SSE ARENA, WEMBLEY FOR NOVEMBER 24TH 2015
Nickelback's tenth world tour will end on a high with a spectacular show in London...

korpiklaani KORPIKLAANI PLAY THE O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON, LONDON THIS THURSDAY 4th DECEMBER
Both bands are currently supporting Sabaton on their UK tour this month, which coincides with this special show date...

atreyu ATREYU ANNOUNCE HEADLINE SHOW AT CAMDEN UNDERWORLD, LONDON
The intimate headline show takes place on April 29th. A new album, their first since 2009, is also due in 2015...

robin trower ROBIN TROWER CONFIRMS NEW ALBUM AND SPECIAL GUEST JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR ON UK TOUR
'Somethings About To Change' is the stunning new release from the distinguished guitarist...

hornet HORNET RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'CRY WOLF'
The track is taken from Hornet's new EP which will be released in 2015...

fm FM ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM AND TOUR
Following the epic 30 year anniversary celebrations, FM launch 'Heroes And Villains' for 2015...

blind guardian BLIND GUARDIAN POST FIRST ALBUM TRAILER FOR 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR' ON YOUTUBE
Take a glimpse into the spell binding new opus from Metal's most epic storytellers...

dave mustaine MEGADETH'S DAVE MUSTAINE'S MOTHER-IN-LAW FOUND DEAD
In a tragic week for the Megadeth frontman, the body of Sally Estabrook, Mustaine's mother-in-law is found after a six week search...

soto SOTO TO RELEASE 'INSIDE THE VERTIGO' ON 2ND FEB 2015
Jeff Scott Soto returns to his heavy roots. "The past 5 or more years have propelled me a plethora of anger and frustration, I'm actually quite pissed off about a lot of things, Soto is my outlet to release some of this pent up emotion..."

one way mirror FRENCH ROCKERS ONE WAY MIRROR RELEASE TRAILER FOR UPCOMING ALBUM 'CAPTURE'
The album will be released in January 2015 and live dates will be announced shortly...

papa roach PAPA ROACH ANNOUNCE HEADLINE TOUR FOR MARCH 2015
"We are super stoked to get back to do a headlining show for the fans in the UK and we've got tricks up our sleeve for this tour so be ready, it's gonna be off the chain!"...

venom VENOM TO PERFORM ENTIRE NEW ALBUM ON BOARD 70000 TONS OF METAL
Catch the world premiere of the band's 14th studio album on the world's biggest and best Heavy Metal cruise...

attica rage ATTICA RAGE TO SUPPORT GRAHAM BONNET IN GLASGOW
Get a special discounted ticket price for the gig on December 4th when you buy direct from the band...

fish FISH EMBARKS ON DECEMBER UK TOUR
The Moveable Feast tour contains the dates originally scheduled for May 2014 in support of the album 'A Feast Of Consequences'...

lord impaler LORD IMPALER CELEBRATE 16-YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW EP
The Melodic Black Metallers from Greece revive their demo era in advance of new studio album...

megadeth BREAKING NEWS: MEGADETH FALL APART AS BRODERICK AND DROVER QUIT THE BAND
There has been no comment from Megadeth at all and the split leaves Dave Mustaine and co-founding bassist David Ellefson as the only current members of the band...

michael schenker METALLICA TO PLAY READING AND LEEDS FESTIVALS 2015
It will be Metallica's fourth appearance at Reading having first played there in 1997 and again in 2003 and 2008...

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER ANNOUNCES SPECIAL GUESTS ON UK DECEMBER TOUR
Michael Schenker embarks on a nationwide UK tour at Newcastle O2 Academy on Wednesday 10th December...

sick of it all SICK OF IT ALL ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE TOUR
Catch the acclaimed band touring in support of the 'Last Act Of Defiance' album...

german panzer THE GERMAN PANZER GIVE FANS A SNEAK PEEK AT NEW VIDEO FOR 'DEATH KNELL'
Not long to wait now until the debut album 'Send Them All to Hell'. Check out the preview and first track here...

the skull THE SKULL ANNOUNCE DECEMBER U.S. TOUR DATES
There will be nine dates to promote the debut album 'For Those Which Are Asleep'...

foreigner FOREIGNER RELEASE INSTANT DOWNLOAD OF 'NIGHT LIFE' FROM 'THE BEST OF 4 & MORE'
The full homage to Foreigner's most successful album ever will be released on December 8th in the UK ...

patrick kistler PATRICK KISTLER ISSUES STATEMENT ON DEPARTING ELUVEITIE
"In the end the majority but not all of the band decided to expel me from the Eluveitie hood by a democratic vote, we're still very Swiss..."

sanctuary SANCTUARY ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR
The tour starts next March with a very special show in London before they join the mighty Overkill for a run of mainland shows...

metal all stars METAL ALL STARS POSTPONE EUROPEAN DATES
All November and December dates, including Brixton Academy, will now be rescheduled to Spring 2015...

ac/dc AC/DC: 'ROCK OR BUST' STREAMING NOW ON iTUNES
AC/DC may be going through it, but it sounds like it's all worth the wait. 'Rock Or Bust' is streaming now for free on iTunes...

absolva CHRIS APPLETON OF ABSOLVA RELEASES FREE SONG FROM FORTHCOMING SOLO ACOUSTIC ALBUM - LISTEN HERE
Absolva frontman Chris Appleton is to release a solo acoustic album, 'Restless', on 2nd February 2015...

arthur brown ARTHUR BROWN ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 2015
The Showman Of The Year will be telling his story in his own unique style and also performing shows with The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown...

system of a down SYSTEM OF A DOWN ANNOUNCE A ONE-OFF SHOW AT THE SSE ARENA WEMBLEY
April 10th 2015 sees System Of A Down play their first UK indoor show in ten years...

krushfest KRUSHFEST TO TAKE PLACE IN OCTOBER 2015
Classic Rock Tours honour the icon and legend Krusher Joule with his own festival...

eluveitie ELUVEITIE PARTS WAYS WITH PATRICK KISTLER
"After six years and four albums, he leaves big shoes to fill..."

heat H.E.A.T ANNOUNCE 'LIVE IN LONDON' ALBUM
The powerful performance of the Swedish rock sensations is captured here, from their date at The Garage in May 2014...

revolution saints REVOLUTION SAINTS TO RELEASE EPONYMOUS DEBUT ALBUM
Put three rock titans together - Deen Castronovo, Jack Blades and Doug Aldrich - and you have the new exciting supergroup of melodic rock...

ufo UFO ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM DETAILS AND 2015 TOUR DATES
"A Conspiracy Of Stars is another successful combination of those typical UFO elements with fresh, contemporary ideas..."

battle beast BATTLE BEAST RELEASE NEW TRACK 'TOUCH IN THE NIGHT' - LISTEN HERE
"'Touch In The Night' is probably the farthest away from typical Battle Beast sound we've ever gone..."

sebastien SEBASTIEN RELEASE NEW LIVE VIDEO FROM MASTERS OF ROCK FESTIVAL
The track is a version of Black Sabbath's 'Headless Cross', recorded earlier this year...

napalm death NAPALM DEATH DEBUT FIRST SONG FROM 'APEX PREDATOR - EASY MEAT' ALBUM
A first online teaser from the new album is now available. Napalm Death are currently on tour in Europe...

audrey horne AUDREY HORNE ARE NOW ON TOUR
'Pure Heavy' comes to Europe with an extensive run of dates..."

peckham cowboys THE PECKHAM COWBOYS UNWRAP VIDEO FOR 'BROMLEY GIRLS'
The song is a tale of "a young aristocratic lady of high breeding, led astray by a terrible man. Only the names have been changed, because we forgot them..."

abgott ABGOTT PLAY ONLY UK SHOW OF 2014 IN DECEMBER
The Black Metal heroes will play the Boston Music Rooms on December 5th...

fear factory FEAR FACTORY CANCEL EUROPEAN TOUR
Fear Factory will be concentrating on finishing their new studio album and will return in the Summer of 2015...

download KISS AND MUSE ANNOUNCED AS DOWNLOAD 2015 HEADLINERS
British rock trio Muse will headline the Saturday night of next year's event, which runs between June 12th and 14th...

magnum MAGNUM RELEASE NEW SINGLE 'ON CHRISTMAS DAY' ON DECEMBER 1ST
The poignant song is based on a true life incident in the WW1 trenches...

sonata arctica SONATA ARCTICA DANCE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA IN HILARIOUS NEW VIDEO FOR GENESIS COVER 'I CAN'T DANCE'
"The experience ranged from no one even paid too much attention to us to people looking a little scared..."

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE GERMAN DATES FOR 2016 WORLD TOUR
The German dates are just the first of many live appearances, with plenty more to be announced. "And for 2016, we will have more surprises and an even bigger production..."

ensiferum ENSIFERUM ANNOUNCE ALBUM TITLE AND RELEASE DATE FOR 2015
"Kippo kicked our asses to make us do the very best, and you can hear that in this album. It's a killer album with killer sound. I'm very proud to a part of this masterpiece..."

hellfest BREAKING NEWS: HELLFEST ANNOUNCE MOTORHEAD, SCORPIONS, ALESTORM, SLASH, ZZ TOP, VENOM AND MANY, MANY MORE FOR 2015
Hellfest have announced a stellar line-up for the 2015 edition of the festival which will take place at on June 19th to 21st 2015...

download BREAKING NEWS: JUDAS PRIEST, SLIPKNOT AND MORE ANNOUNCED FOR DOWNLOAD 2015
Slipknot will play the main stage at Donington on Friday June 12th, following Judas Priest...

chris appleton CHRIS APPLETON ANNOUNCES ACOUSTIC ALBUM & TOUR
In the downtime between Absolva projects, Chris Appleton applies his skills to solo album 'Restless'...

out and loud NAPALM RECORDS ANNOUNCE LABEL NIGHT AT OUT & LOUD FESTIVAL 2015
The German festival gets off to a quality start with the warm up night on July 3rd featuring a fine cross-section of the label repertoire...

jeff loomis ARCH ENEMY WELCOME JEFF LOOMIS AS NEW GUITARIST
The ex-Nevermore guitarist will debut for Arch Enemy on the European tour starting November 26th as Nick Cordle's replacement...

wildfire WILDFIRE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2014 CHRISTMAS SHOWCASE
The two day showcase promises to give Glasgow a Rock and Metal party to remember...

periphery PERIPHERY ANNOUNCE DUAL ALBUMS FOR 2015
There will also be plenty of touring in next year, including a stint on the road with Devin Townsend Project...

anathema ANATHEMA ANNOUNCE 'RESONANCE' SHOW AT SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE IN APRIL 2015
This special show will be a celebration of the entire history of Anathema music...

cradle of filth CRADLE OF FILTH SIGN WORLDWIDE DEAL WITH NUCLEAR BLAST
"For the full frontal assault we have planned for the awesome new album, Nuclear Blast are the perfect war stallion to carry us screaming into the heart of the next chapter of COF's dark, enigmatic history..."

yardbirds THE YARDBIRDS RETURN TO LONDON WITH SPECIAL GUESTS SOME VELVET MORNING
The Yardbirds will play Bush Hall on November 21st, fifty years after the release of the seminal 'Five Live Yardbirds'...

marilyn manson NEW MARILYN MANSON ALBUM 'THE PALE EMPEROR' COMING JANUARY 19th
The album is available for pre-orders now...

udo UDO, ONE OF GERMAN CLASSIC ROCK'S GREATEST, ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
'Decadent' is mastered and due for release in January 2015...

fozzy FOZZY LAUNCH VIDEO CLIP FOR 'DO YOU WANNA START A WAR'
"Fog, slow motion camera shots, and chicks in military uniforms. Touchdown!..."

phil rudd 'PROCURE TO KILL' CHARGE AGAINST AC/DC DRUMMER PHIL RUDD DROPPED BUT OTHER CHARGES REMAIN
Rudd is on bail and is scheduled to reappear in court on November 27th and still faces one charge of threatening to kill...

blind guardian BLIND GUARDIAN TO RELEASE 'BEYOND THE RED MIRROR' IN FEBRUARY 2015
"A story between science fiction and fantasy. While there used to be several passages between the worlds, there is only one gate left now: The Red Mirror. It has to be found at any cost..."

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