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metal talk
30th January 2012

the men who will not be blamed for nothing
Andrew O'Neill, Occult Comedian

If Steampunk aesthetics are increasingly recognisable across alternative culture and beyond, the definition of a steamy sound can still be debated. Cog 'n' copper-clad Goth, industrial, prog and world music acts have all adopted the tag, and in a subculture fond of transplanting technology and historical figures from their own era to another, all interpretations are valid.

None are quite so literal though as that offered by The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, a band formed to "put the 'punk' into steampunk", after finding the existing scene missing, literally, the most obvious trick. Armed with the DIY sounds and spirit of 1977, The Men went back to a future imagined in the fiction of 1877 to come up with their 2010 debut, triumphantly titled 'Now That's What I Call Steampunk! Vol 1'.

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The clue this wouldn't be the end of their assault on commonly accepted chronology is right there, and a second volume of anachronistic history lessons is now set for release on March 12th. 'This May Be The Reason Why The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Cannot Be Killed By Conventional Weapons', comes with an even more tongue-twisting title than its predecessor, and even more musical and historical scope.

Within its 36 minute runtime, 19th century politics meet the protest song ('Doing It For The Whigs'), a family meet Cthulu while on a trip to beach, in a death Metal/Cockney music hall mash-up ('Margate Fhtagn') and Prince Albert returns to meet his wife after death ('Victoria's Secret'). The Men... like to brand it a blend of "Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Watson, doctored history and Doctor Who", but seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy is just as correct when, in the spoken introduction he provides to the album, he proclaims what follows to be "all of history, one song at a time".

The extraordinary gents with whom McCoy finds himself in league on 'This May Be The Reason...' are Andrew O'Neill (vocals/guitar), Andy Heintz (vocals/musical saw), Marc Burrows (bass) and Jez Miller (drums). While Heintz paid his musical dues fronting Creaming Jesus and Giant Paw, and Miller his bringing up the rear in Lords Of The New Church and Showgirls, Burrows and O'Neill's credentials come from the comedy circuit. Having often had himself and the other Men That... open on his stand-up tours as the 'occult comedian', O'Neill is neither short on work ethic nor other bookings, and has been hired to provide the humour at alternative events such as Download, Sonisphere, Metal Hammer Golden Gods and Torture Garden.

If two comedians doth a comedy band make, The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing are not your average. Solid tunesmithery - of the sort you saw in days when things were still built to last, underpin the jokes - the sort that have been around since the 1800s and have still to wear thin. On 'The Great Stink', there's sufficient attention to historical detail for history buffs listening to feel smug is balanced with the great leveller amongst laughter-triggers that is toilet humour, as the band go on a sludgy grind (or wade) through London's streets in times before Bazelgette's sewer system.

'The People's Common Sense Medical Advisor (by RV Pierce MD)' is essentially a song about wanking, and revives some advice from the tome of its title, which we might do well to remember in the age of modern maladies like internet porn addiction before this whole country goes to the asylum.

The immediate hooks and humour are beginning to bring The Men significant interest far beyond the Steampunk subculture, and as well as playing Detroit's World Steam Expo they've now been seen on stages at Edinburgh Fringe and Whitby Goth Festival, and in on the pages of publications ranging from NME to The Chap. More quirky coverage has appeared at the BBC Technology website, whose team took it upon themselves to build an archaic phonograph, required to play a single released exclusively on limited edition wax cylinder.

Supplied to the buyer with instructions to make their own machine with which to play their purchase, the cylinder release may not sound an viable venture even to those who predicted vinyl's rebirth, but demand proved enough for the band to release a second in the format last Autumn. For fans who were unable to get their hands on one of the limited run of 'Free Spirit' produced then (or who simply found their engineering skills not up to scratch when it came down to it), a live version of the track appears on the new album.

The band launch 'This May Be The Reason...' with live show at New Oxford Street's intimate Bowery on February 17th, and also mark the release partying at a 'Steampunk Special' being hosted by London's largest alt/fetish night, Club AntiChrist, on March 9th.

Jez Miller and Andy Heintz will take charge of DJ'ing duties in one of the club's 10 themed zone, while Marc Burrows comperes the 'Theatre Of Sins' stage, giving albums and one grand prize bundle over the course of the evening.

Full dates for February and March shape up as follows;

Fri 17th February - LONDON The Bowery, press showcase
Fri 24th February - LONDON New Cross Inn
Fri 9th March - LONDON Club AntiChrist's Steampunk Special, at Colosseum Club, (album launch event, band not performing live)



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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