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metal talk
Bannermans, Edinburgh
3rd August 2015

Ian Sutherland: Photos by Allan Twiname

ian sutherland


It's great when a three band tour package has three Scottish dates on the schedule but after successful shows in Glasgow and Aberdeen punters are a bit thin on the ground on a muggy Monday night in Edinburgh when Kickfist take the stage.

This Brighton five piece have been making a lot of noise up and down the country with their 'No Bullshit, No Compromise' philosophy and rip-roaring intensity and the noise draws in some punters from the bar area to see what they are all about. Singer Zakk Zander jumps around the tiny area of stage available to him and guitarist Ylannis Panou throws himself so hard into his performance he pulls the lead out of his guitar!

The band's Metal/industrial/hardcore mix is as absolutely full on as advertised and there is no doubting the authenticity of the work ethic and attitude on show. To be fair to the guys I have to say that their raw shouty intensity thing isn't really something I enjoy and they didn't move me from that point of view tonight. The crowd never really warmed to them either despite their valiant efforts to get them involved and a metalled up version of The Prodigy's 'Firestarter' as a closer.

I just think this was a night which wasn't one where they got to show themselves at their best. I am however 100% certain that they will carry on in exactly the same vein until they either die of exhaustion or the world gives them a proper hearing. Best of luck guys.

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Portsmouth's Seething Akira are another high energy outfit getting noticed in Metal circles but they go down the electronic route adding in some electrobeats and rapping style vocals to their Metal edge. The room has filled up a bit now and vocalists Kit Cuntrad and Charlie Bowes waste no time in getting off the stage and out among the crowd. Their approach is just fearless and the energy of the band infectious so in no time at all the room has gained some atmosphere and everyone is smiling and enjoying the mad grooves of guitar licks plus pounding drums entwined with programmed sounds.

Their set climaxes with the double whammy of new single 'Airstrike' and previous release 'Paralysed' and everyone in the room had a big smile on their faces by the end of the set. Personally I really enjoyed their live show, it was kind of like a Heavy Metal Beastie Boys on speed and really enjoyable but I can't honestly say I felt like I heard any really great tunes in the middle of all that energy. If they do come up with a few then the sky is the limit for this likeable and somewhat crazy band.


The general rule of thumb seems to be that any rock or Metal band who have had any kind of success in their past will reform at some point and San Francisco Metal cross-over pioneers Mordred are no different. Thier most celebrated period was in the late eighties and early nineties and the line up from those days reformed in 2013 so here they are, back in Edinburgh twenty four years after the last time I saw them play in the city.

The opening couple of songs are interrupted by some technical issues on stage but while some of the band are a bit tetchy about it singer Scott Holderby is just totally relaxed and takes it all in his stride. His confidence transfers to the crowd in the now much busier hall and there are no impatient signs as the issues are fixed and the band really get into their stride.


Despite the relaxed vibe the band are amazingly tight and their potent high energy mix of thrash Metal, funk rock and hip hop is undiluted by the passage of time. I had forgotten how funky they could be at times and everything that happens on stage is fuelled by a need to make the music groove. I found myself thinking at times that bits of slapping bass and chopping guitar licks sounded like something the Chilli Peppers would do then they would go full on thrash Metal with Metallica style riffs but of course those bands were contemporaries in California when these guys started out.

It's a good sign for any "heritage" type band when their audience is happy for them to slip a few new songs into the set and tonight we get five songs from their yet to be recorded new album. All go down well and the whole room is just enjoying the energy and total groove of the band.


Of course the hits have to be aired too and the likes of 'Every Day's A Holiday' and 'Falling Away' have the place rocking including a group of members of Kickfist and Seething Akira who are as determined as the rest of the audience to enjoy the groovtastic sounds on offer. Nice to see such mutual support and respect between the bands.

Mordred's best stuff includes some great original tunes but I have to make special mention of their traditional cover of Thin Lizzy's 'Johnny The Fox' which was just brilliant. You can't imagine Lizzy material being really funked up like this, but boy it really works.

The evening ended with a three song encore which only really stopped due to the band running out of songs to play. It was that kind of night. Mordred with their scratching DJ, rap, funk, hip-hop and Metal mash up are as relevant sounding now as when they were breaking new ground twenty plus years ago. I think that the new album should really be worth checking out. Until then catch them live if you can.


Line up:
Scott Holderby - vocals
James Sanguinetti - guitars
Danny White - guitars
Art Liboon - bass
Aaron (Pause) Vaughn - keyboards, vocals, turntables
Jeff Gomes - drums




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