Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A few bands from Hevy.


While She Sleeps have rapidly grown in popularity since exploding onto the metal scene with their ferocious debut The North Stands For Nothing and seeing them live is an absolute must for any fans.

As soon as they came out on stage they dropped the song that their debut is named after The North Stands For nothing which is a mix of shockingly raw vocals and some of the most groove-ridden riffs I’ve heard in metal today. The song slows down in parts just enough for the crowd to shout along for one of the choruses to give that excellent crowd chant ever present I today’s metal and hardcore scene.

With just the one album available the set was essentially the whole album minus two tracks played straight through. This is in no way a bad thing though as the band themselves are one of the most energetic I’ve ever seen. Lead singer Lawrence Taylor didn’t spend a single moment of the set stationary getting right into the crowd for the chants in My Conscience My Freedom while guitarists Mat Welsh and Sean Long spent time drop kicking during breakdowns getting as close to the crowd as was physically possible with their equipment.

One of the highlights of the gigs was after lead singer Lawrence Taylor asked the crowd to “tear this fucking tent apart” at the start of the song Crows fans started scaling two large poles holding the tent up in the middle and proceeded to jump from them into the waiting arms of the pit. Although this was intensely dangerous and no doubt gave the security team borderline hernias it looked amazing and just goes to show how reckless some of this bands live shows can get.

The bands stage presence accurately reflects their music it’s aggressive, energetic and powerful. They layer their music with hefty and lighter riffs teamed with deafening bass drops to create some truly melodic hardcore. Taylors vocals sound like they are coming right from the middle of his throat and are almost painful to listen to at some points but this only adds to the passion of the music live.


Brighton based metallers Architects brought their noise to Hevy Festival in front of hundreds of die-hard fans which, in my opinion, was one of the best shows I’ve seen them play.

Part of me was really intrigued to see what Architects brought to Hevy after seeing them perform with Bring Me The Horizon earlier in the year because during that set they shied away from the heavier tracks from Ruin and Hollow crown and played nothing from their debut Nightmares in favour of songs from their newest album The Here and Now which caused divisions between fans when it dropped.

Luckily for me, a fan of the older Architects, they took a slightly heavier approach to their set dropping When Numbers Count For Nothing sending the crowd into an orgy of aggression and fury which is what I remember the band being best at.

The band then played favorites from their newest album such as Learn To Live and Day In Day Out that had the crowd smashing each other up one moment and singing along with arms wrapped round each other the next. This made for an excellent festival set because for a band I don’t think there is any bigger ego boost than having hundreds of fans singing your songs with you.

Speaking of sing-alongs one of the quietest but in no way the worst Architects song is Hollow Crown a heartfelt song about missing people you care about while on tour. So when this dropped everyone immediately grabbed the closest person to them ready to bellow the words to the song as lead singer Sam Carter turned to the side of the stage and dedicated the tune to his girlfriend which, although a questionable move at a hardcore festival, was actually pretty sweet.

However having enough of the sentimental bullshit Architects ended on the impossibly heavy Early Grave which sent the pits opening up to such a ridiculous size I had no choice but to get involved myself. So after throwing my fists around and joining in with the chants the final sentence “The choices I’ve made, will lead me to an early fucking grave dropped and that was it. I’m pretty sure I blacked out in the intensity of that last ferocious song but fuck, wasn’t it worth it.

A strong and heavy set from one of Britain’s best bands and a return to form for fans of the older Architects.


Emotions ran high last weekend when arguably one of the best punk hardcore bands of today played their last ever show. Brighton punks The Ghost of a Thousand chose Kents very own Hevy festival as their last gig, and what a send off it was. The band played pretty much all of their best hits such as Knees Toes Teeth, Bored of math, and Left for dead in front of a keen as fuck 800 strong crowd in glorious sunshine.

This was probably one of the tightest sets of the weekend with every member of the band playing their instruments to perfection and clearly enjoying every second of their last gig. With the sun beaming down on them TGOAT stirred the crowd up into a frenzy of crowd surfers, circle and mosh pits. However in one touching sentiment the band demanded the crowd to split in half but not for a wall of death as some of you might imagine but for a wall of high fives with lead singer Tom Lacey to declare just before the drop: “we don’t always play hardcore shows so I want to see some high fives, none of that punching and kicking bullshit” which is testament to the bands good time attitude and the importance they place on their fans safety.

Lacey looked as if he was really enjoying this final performance being every bit the front man he has refined over seven years in the band. As well as thrashing about the stage during such high octance tracks such as Black Art Number One he was also busted some comedy demanding everyone get on their “twinkle toes” instead of the usual “OPEN THIS FUCKING PIT UP!”.

The band then played a perfect cover of ‘Back in Black’ by ACDC which was both hilarious and amazingly well performed. After playing hits such as Running On Empty and Up To You the band came together at the front of the stage and took one last bow as The Ghost Of A Thousand before leaving the stage for good. Punk and hardcore just wont be the same.

TRC Bright Lights

‘Bright Lights’ is the latest studio album from genre-smashing hardcore lads TRC. The band have been making waves in the UK underground hardcore scene since 2006 with their savage mix of hardcore riffs, throat splitting vocals and UK hip-hop.

Upon first listen it is difficult to take TRC seriously because the Hip-hop over the crushing riffs often sound comedic. However this is a band where the more you listen, the more you enjoy and their latest offering Bright Lights is no different.

The opening track ‘Define Cocky’ sums this band up perfectly especially if you have ever had the chance to see them live. TRC are a band that knows how good they are and they have every reason to. The lyrics “I’m better than you” are howled at you from singer Anthony Carol while impossibly catchy chugging riffs crash about your ears making it difficult to stay still whilst listening through.

The brilliantly titled H.A.T.E.R.S or ‘Having Anger Towards Everyone Reaching Success’ is a damning tribute to everyone that this band has caused controversy for. “You don't have to like me. You're just mad. 'Cos I tell it like it is. And you tell it like it might be.” Is one of the many genius lyrics aimed right at the heart of anyone who has ever smack talked this band for what they do and after all, that is what hardcore is about, making music about the things that mean the most to you. This song is pretty much TRC’s middle finger to everyone who doesn’t like them which I think, is hilarious.

London’s Greatest Love Story is another extremely poignant song on the album all about cheating and getting cheated on “I’m a love struck liar burnt in the past so I keep her in the dark” is one of the heart felt lyrics shouted forth about why some people cheat. If you are going through a break up put this song on and start smashing things up I guarantee it will make you feel much better.

Go Hard Or Go Home is one for the beat fans because the riffs during this track are manic. The song is essentially one massive break down whereas Crash Landing has a more thrash feel to it with powerful melodic riffs and rapid blast beat drumming.

Bright Lights is an excellent hardcore album and one that shows that TRC are still keeping it real and making music that resonates within people, whether it’s writing lyrics about everyday life problems, going to gigs or the people that hate them you would be hard pressed to not find a song on the album that you can relate to. If you hate hip hop but you like hardcore this album may be a difficult listen however if you can get on with this change of style the album is a stand out offering in today’s hardcore scene, pounding riffs, raw vocals and honest rap, what more do you want?

Monday, 20 June 2011

Real life blows

So this weekend for many people university is officially over. My last semester lasted a measly 3 days and I've spent much of the last 2 months saying good bye to Cheltenham in a particularly unhealthy way. Trouble is, when all the fun and goodbyes are over the panic starts to set in and the pressure of becoming a fully functioning, career driven adult, begins to creep over you.

This should be an exciting time for me I have a good degree behind me and some excellent journalistic skills to help build my career but all I feel is panic and apprehension. This may be due to the current job climate, however any graduate worth hiring will use their initiative to find jobs and work placements. I have been doing this and there is work out there, it is just my geographical and financial situations that are holding me back.

To do a standard 3 month internship at a magazine I should ideally live nearby, or close to, said magazine. This costs money which is something I have very little of and if the internship is unpaid I'll need to save money in order to get by while at work there. This will take time and lots of it. I thought about commuting from my home town into London every day but even that would be a financial tragedy and probably leave me a broken, hollow and bitter man after three months of three hour train rides a day.

I think during university in the final academic year you should have 'real life classes' that prepare you for the post uni depression almost everyone I know is suffering from. These classes should be made up of modules like 'how to work a shit job you don't care about in order to get a job your do care about' and 'how to stay in and save money when you are used to going out whenever you want and having the time of your life'.

All jokes aside it is the purpose of university that I miss the most not the drinking (contrary to popular belief). It's the feeling of working towards something you really enjoy that could potentially turn into a career. It's the feeling of getting excited about the work you produce when you think of doing the same sort of work and actually being paid for it. It's the feeling of having a career you love instead of one you need. I always had that safety net of I'm studying to be a journalist and now it is all over I'm asking myself why aren't I a journalist already? I guess this is a good outlook to have as it will keep me motivated I just hope I don't end up like one of those guys who people ask;

"So what did you do at uni?"

"Oh I studied journalism"

"and what do you do now?"

"I work in a job I hate, because the money is ok and I got comfortable".

Fuck that, time to sort my life out.

Friday, 18 March 2011

My first time at a Spiritualist Church

It was my first time and I was pretty sceptical. My girlfriends family are all reasonably spiritual, but not in a weird hippy-like sense, especially my girlfriends sister who can sense and often see spirits. Now I'm pretty open minded but also very logical, I don't discredit these sorts of things straight away I just need proof if I am to be fully won over.

Now If you don't know a medium is a person who can receive and transmit messages from the deceased to the living.

So after the hymns were over which was pretty awkward for me as I'm not religious (this isn't an attack on religion I'm very accepting of peoples faiths it's just not for me!) the medium took to the stage. At first she pointed out my girlfriend and said to her that the spirits were saying that one day she would be doing the same job and that she has the potential to become a very successful medium. This was freaking me out a bit but my girlfriend was super calm, as if the news that she will be contacted by ghosts was ok. I was pretty stunned but not as stunned as I would become.

"Is this a partner" the medium said turning to me

"Yes he's my boyfriend" Hayley replied.

"Oh dear" I thought.

the medium then went on to say she was getting contacted by my granny who had past away over the last summer apparently my gran said that she knows that I've accomplished more than I thought I could, which is true because I've always lacked faith in my abilities until it became apparent to me that I could graduate this summer with a 2:1. My gran also said she likes my current girlfriend and that we should stay together which is true I guess, we are having a lot of fun at the moment and it's going really well. Then my granny said something that will resonate in my mind forever.

So the medium continued;

"There is one thing she wanted to talk about, and that's the alcohol"

Now just for the record I'm not an alcoholic but I do like to party because I'm at uni in my third year and I'm just making the most of it before I have to leave and be ultra responsible.

She continued:

"Your granny, she was quite confused when she passed wasn't she?"

"Yes she was very old (92) and very forgetful"

"Ok, well every time you wake up with a hangover and don't know what day it is, your gran said that that is what it was like towards the end"

My Granny did always have a wicked sense of humour.

"Right, Ok, I'll watch that then Granny, Thanks?"

"But she also says she very very proud of you and of what you have achieved, just watch the drink."

I've always wondered what my deceased relatives thought of what I was doing in life and I've always wanted them to be proud of me and to finally hear it, whether it was true or not was really quite touching.

Now at first I was like OK the medium could have got lucky with the death of a grandparent and saw I was a young male in my 20's who often likes to drink so made those conclusions for herself. But then I remembered the conversation between me, my girlfriend and her sister in the car on the way there. I said.

"If I do get a message it will probably be from my gran or grandad and I bet they'll warn me about drinking so much". This was meant to be a joke.

And there it was, there was no way that medium could have heard that conversation. she then proceeded to communicate with the spirit of my girlfriends sisters friend who died in a car accident and described him and his mannerisms extremely accurately and gave her a message saying he was sorry for driving too fast and causing the accident. The medium then passed other weirdly accurate messages to other people in the audience.

So yea it didn't have me reaching for a bible and repenting my sins but it has made me think a lot. I came away from the evening quite shocked, it was difficult to take in for me, I'm the sort of person who needs proof to believe these things are seemingly, there it was, right in front of me. Everyone else was really cool with it, as if talking to ghosts was totally normal and I was sat there pretty wide eyed and pale.

My girlfriends family have been a few times and they have seen some bad mediums who are really quite vague and rubbish and they said this lady we had was one of the best, she was blunt, straight to the point with no waffling around to try and get clues. I'll probably go again because this stuff interests me but then again, that's what the spirits said too.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Drugs, domestic abuse and ballet?

So the other day I saw Black Swan. When I first saw the film being advertised I had the exact same reaction any narrow minded male has when confronted with a film seemingly about grace and culture; 'that looks fucking shit'. However the more I learned about the film the more interested I became. 'Stunning, mesmerising, dark and disturbing', these were some of the one word reviews that started to appear and I began to give it more of a chance.

Then came the facebook reviews literally everyone who had seen it before me said it was amazing and everyone needed to see it. So I gave in and took my long suffering girlfriend to watch it and what a twisted surprise it turned out to be.

The film is about ballet dancer Nina Sayers and what happens to her when she lands the dream role in an adaptation of Swan Lake. Pretty dull stuff at first glance but then she begins a quick decent into madness when she takes the role of the black swan a little too literally.

It is a very dark and especially disturbing film with many different overlapping relationships between characters that are never fully explained which adds to the gloomy feeling of the film. Natalie Portman is definitely perfect for the shy unassuming ballet dancer ready to be corrupted, even if she does look like she needs to snaffle a couple of burgers, but she plays the part perfectly and the relationship between her and her ultra weird mother makes for some harrowing scenes.

Black Swan is shot almost like a horror film with jumpy camera shots and intense close ups. I cant really say a lot else about the film itself because I watched it not really knowing a lot about it and in my opinion it's the best way to watch it. I thoroughly recommend this film to everyone and it is one of the best shot and acted films I've seen in a while.

Plus I had no idea professional ballet could be so sleazy and rock and roll, obviously this probably isn't a truthful insight into the world of British ballet but I like to think it might be, especially one scene in the film anyway......

So yea if you like your culture and arts laced with manic depression, self harm, sexual liberation and drugs get Black Swan in your life.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Me and the X factor

I know this was all over weeks ago but I thought it might be vaguely interesting. So, me and the X Factor, we have a particularly one sided relationship. Basically I hate it with such intent that I don't think I can put down into words what I would do to the people responsible for broadcasting this piece of televisual plague.

I got so angry watching it with my girlfriend that I decided to blog about it but instead of ranting about it for 300 words I thought I would try and uncover WHY I hate it so much and finally give myself closure.

Part of me would actually quite like to enjoy the program even in an ironic sense like most people do. It would be nice to get to Saturday evening and look forward to something on the television instead of transforming into a depressed miser who sits behind his laptop cursing the X Factor and shouting obscenities at Simon Cowell. The only time I can remember getting excited about television was when Walking With Dinosaurs and Band Of Brothers was first aired.

I think I can break down my dislike into a few key areas the first being awkward television, I hate it I find it genuinely difficult to watch television that makes me feel uncomfortable. What is more uncomfortable than watching some poor loser haul themselves up in front of the 'judges' and sing in a voice so terrible it makes your very soul weep. Why would anyone let their friend or family member embarrass themselves so spectacularly in front of the nation, SURELY someone would have said 'I'm sorry but your singing makes me feel like I have wronged you in some way because I don't understand why you would put me through that please don't enter the X Factor'. Maybe people are genuinely that cruel.

The second area is the sort of music it promotes and produces: Pop. Arguably the worst genre in the world in my opinion with only a handful or artists I probably wouldn't kill with fire if given the chance. The whole show is a horrible celebration of bad haircuts, shallow personalities and terrible fashion choices. Unfortunately the show is responsible for some of the worst artists and music in the industry at the moment and yes some may say 'just don't listen to it' but its difficult when their songs are used across many different platforms, television adverts/ shows, shop music, radio play, documentaries but to name a few.

The third aspect is the drama. I've not watched a lot of it but a large proportion of what I have seen is rammed full of weeping individuals having a break down because they've been working really hard for all of 5 weeks and it hasn't quite come out like they expected. I don't want to see people being miserable, it makes me miserable!

The last reason is simon cowell I deliberately neglected to capitalise his name as a sort of 'fuck you' to him, petty and grammatically incorrect, I know. But yea him, in his entirety and everything he has done or will ever be responsible for makes me hate him and I will always hate him.

On the other hand the final is OK because the show then does what it should have always done - celebrate peoples talent and help them to progress. Watching professionals doing their job and singing well is nice, you get a good feeling from it but the best feeling is knowing it is almost over for another year. It was nice to see some round faced chap win and see how happy it made him I mean who doesn't like to see that it's just a shame I've already forgotten his name and he'll only be popular for about 20 minutes.

This show does however make a lot of people very happy and I can see the appeal which is why as much as it pains me to say it, it will be around for a very long time to come maybe I should just jump on the bandwagon, swallow my pride and enjoy it. Or I could just go back to shouting obscenities and wishing a studio light would come crashing down on top of cowells flat top head, yea, I think I'll do that.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Why I hate most people who like music.

So one of my favourite bands, Architects, released a new video recently titled Day in Day out and it was some of the comments left underneath the video that led me to writing this post.

Architects are a metal band, some may say progressive metal which is sort of true but if you want to classify them in a basic genre they are most definitely metal. The band have pretty much gone from strength to strength since forming in 2004 and have acquired a strong fan base through their hugely technical riffs and ferocious vocals. They are also most rad to watch live. I've seen them 3 times, just putting that out there.

The Here and Now is the title of Architects newest album and upon first listening it is different from the last 3 albums that have made them so popular. Day In Day Out is a mix of more melodical riffs with the same venomous vocals but instead they have also included some normal harmony vocals as well. Some would argue that it sounds more 'pop punk' than metal which upsets some narrow minded goons.

This is where, apparently, they have gone 'wrong' according to some so called fans on the page where I found these comments. Because the band have changed their sound slightly they are 'selling out' and becoming mainstream. Now what upsets me is that if you are a true fan you should respect the bands decision to take a new direction, after all, that is how bands progress.

I understand some peoples concern because I do prefer my vocals sounding like they come from satan with a throat infection but I also understand that if you are in a band professionally trying to make money a change in direction sometimes freshens things up and creates new income for them. This in turn allows bands to keep making music for the people that enjoy it and after all isn't that what music is all about anyway?

I for one am welcoming the new album with open, clenched fisted arms and although I've only heard a couple of tracks it still sounds as gloriously brutal as ever. People need to get a grip and realise bands are not around to stay underground to make your Itunes and ego look equally as good they need to make a living too and I would rather see my favourite bands progress and sound a little different than fall apart and quit.

Sorry guys rant over here is where I found the video and some of the douchebag comments that angered me so:


See if you get as annoyed as I did.