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4th July 2014: Hyde Park, London
The British Summer Time Festival

Liz Medhurst: Video by Colin Irwin: Photos by Solange Moreira-Yeoell

liz medhurst

black sabbath

The pop-dominated British Summer Time series of gigs was today given over to the good stuff and the park was filled with 55,000 rock and Metal fans to witness a gathering of the greats.

The running order for the main stage was Soulfly, followed by Motörhead, Faith No More and Soundgarden before the mighty Sabbath, so not too shabby by anyone's standards.

The event lived up the billing as hardly a foot was put wrong by any of the bands on stage, the weather was glorious and even the reduced decibel level of Hyde Park didn't annoy too much.

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Having Motörhead and Black Sabbath on the same bill may not have happened since the mid 90s, the days long before everyone had a mobile phone, but in one aspect the nostalgia-fest was taken a bit too far. In those olden days, if you wanted to find your mates at a big gig you chose a landmark and a time, and if you got split up you just watched the show from wherever and hoped to meet up afterwards, running the risk of being spit up permanently.

That was pretty much what a lot of people had to put up with today as mysteriously, from having full 4G coverage right outside the compound, once through the barrier there was hardly any basic phone network service, with texts taking over an hour to get through, and not even GPRS, never mind 3G. The cynical types may think that this was a ploy to get punters to pay £3 a day for the venue's Wifi.

black sabbath

Motörhead took the stage and all eyes were on Lemmy to see what shape he was in.

Well, it was apparent that he has slowed down and needs to take it easy in relative terms but his essence was not diminished at all and his mighty presence easily filled the arena, right from the start with 'Damage Case'.

Midway through the half-hour set, during 'Doctor Rock', Mikkey Dee launched into a long drum solo. Now I am always banging on about how I think drum solos are just unnecessary, but in this case it is the exception that proves the rule as it provided a mid set rest.

black sabbath

Whitfield Crane came on to share vocals on 'Killed By Death', although the mix was off and you could hardly hear him. Still, overall this was a solid set and as Lemmy said the immortal words: "We are Motörhead and we play rock and roll", the collective roar of the crowd had to agree. Yes they do. It certainly ain't over yet.

black sabbath

Faith No More arrived on stage adorned in dog collars and surrounded by flowers. They made a strong start with 'Zombie Eaters' and 'Epic' making an appearance early in the set. New track 'Leader Of Men' went down well with their flock and fans were left happy with this set.

faith no more

Soundgarden played the album 'Superunknown' in its entirety. It was no surprise that '4th Of July' made the cut, considering today's date, but the entire album was unexpected. The band pulled it off though with an engaging set and this was one occasion when the typically soft sound of Hyde Park worked well with the trancy undercurrent and spacey grunge riffs.

black sabbath

Soundgarden also introduced a guest appearance as Chris Cornell welcomed Pearl Jam's Mike McCready onstage to play guitar on the title track.

As the sun set it was time for the main event, and air raid sirens ran out around the park and the stunning video backdrop heralded the intro to 'War Pigs'.

The set list didn't bring any surprises, as there has been little deviation since the reunion and the '13' tour started, but it was still magnificent.

black sabbath

Ozzy Osbourne was never the greatest vocalist at the best of times, but now, as then, gets through on sheer force of personality. Geezer Butler was directing the low end like a boss and Tommy Clufetos provides real power and quality on the drums.

It is Tony Iommi though, commanding the stage looking like the King of Fucking Everything, who is spellbinding. This is a masterclass in stagecraft, riffing and being cool.

black sabbath

What was fitting was that after the glorious sunshine all day, as the first strains of 'Black Sabbath' rang out the sky darkened, the clouds drew in and the rain started to fall. Such is the power of Black Sabbath that they can command the weather to add to the atmosphere.

The on-stage relationships between the band members are all good, and Ozzy can still make Tony laugh and shake his head with his antics after all these years.

black sabbath

The band are on form, in their stride and there is no way they can call it a day here.

As fireworks exploded from the top of the Great Oak Stage following 'Paranoid', it truly was a celebration of Black Sabbath Time.

This video of Sabbath's Hyde Park triumph was shot and produced by our very good friend Colin Irwin.

Black Sabbath Set List:
1. War Pigs
2. Into The Void
3. Snowblind
4. Age Of Reason
5. Black Sabbath
6. Behind The Wall Of Sleep
7. N.I.B.
8. Fairies Wear Boots
9. Rat Salad
10. Iron Man
11. God Is Dead?
12. Children Of The Grave
13. Paranoid (with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath intro)

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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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