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Bloodstock Open Air: Live Review (In real time, to be updated regularly)

By Victoria Anderson

August 13th-15th 2010, Canton Hall, Derbyshire, England

Day 1

Day one of the Bloodstock festival. Getting in was a muddy mess. But I'm well sorted with hiking boots, jeans, and a waterproof jacket. Had just enough time to get in, set up, and hit the pit for the first band.


This is the perfect way to start the morning. On a gloomy Friday the 13th, over cast, cloudy, wet - Snake Bite hit the stage at 1030. . . stupid o'clock! They blistered thru their set making sure the crowd was wide awake. If they weren't, they soon would be! In twenty minutes they got the blood flowing thru the veins of the erstwhile heavy metal fans that forsook sleep to begin the carnage of the coming weekend.


Black Spiders have become my new favourite band. Loud. Crude. In Yer Face. It's good old fashioned rock and roll at it's best. It's hard and heavy and has a bite! The lead singer is totally into crowd participation. At one point asking for everyone to give the middle finger, which the crowd definite obliged. "Just Like a Woman" was said to be a summer song! I guess dedicated to the ladies in the audience. LOL Black Spiders have a wicked groove; sometimes funky, sometimes blistering, all the time true metal. Do yourself a favour and pick up their latest release No Goats in the Omen. If you haven't caught them yet, no worries. They are opening for VOLBEAT in the UK in November and December.


Viking Metal. When a bunch of blokes come on stage in kilts, shirtless, you know you are in for a treat! Ensiferum makes your blood boil. You are transported to a time of Viking lore; ready to rape and pillage. This is fun bombastic music. It's gothic and mystical. In between songs you raise your grog and salute Petri for his growling, ferocious, beast of a voice. Sami Hinkka lays down some dragon defying bass riffs whilst Janne Parviainen calls forth demons from behind his kit. Emmi, the sole female of the band looks bored out of her tits behind the keyboards. I guess she prefers to let the menfolk do the plundering of the eardrums. Markus Toivonen, complete with war painted face, shreds like any black/death/goth/norse metaler can. 45 minutes was enough to get your ear spank on and the crowd, many dressed in their finest Viking lore loved every blistering minute of it.


Labouring under the bad lighting of the "New Blood Stage", I had the pleasure of catching the band SHRAPNEL. They were awesome, raw, and full of energy. Good old fashioned heavy metal or thrash (what ever you'd like to call it). Not a lot of talking between songs. They didn't need to. They let the music do the talking. Shrapnel has quite a following as the tent was crowded, but not unpleasant. There was plenty of room for the circle pit, which broke out at random intervals.


A good friend of mine told me to check out COLLAPSE. She even sent me a picture of the lead singer so I'd know who I was looking for. They launched into their metal massacre on the Sophie Lancaster Stage at 1700 hours. Playing a blistering 40 minute set, the lead singer, Duncan, prowled from left to right and back again like a caged animal. More good old fashioned heavy metal. No cookie monster growling. No make up. No pretentiousness. Just straight ahead rock.


Promoting their EP Ignite the Fury, England's Echoes Fall hit the stage full of fury. They are young, aggressive, and totally pit worthy. The band was happy to play for the crowd and the crowd was happy to have them. Echoes Fall played the New Blood Stage to a respectable 100-200 people. They have serious groove riffage and are as tight as the queen's twat. "Fear is My Crown" is very fast. This is cookie monster vocals at its best. The singer, Jamie, has great control of his voice. Whilst the guitars and bass churn out the chunky bits, followed by pristine harmonies that careen into galloping that leave Iron Maiden eating their dust. The closed with the track "Killing Lucy". If you like circle pits, copious amounts of head banging and driving very fast, Echoes Fall is for you.

Day 2


Here's hoping you caught EVILE when they were in the states in March and April... What? No? You missed them? For shame! For they are a truly kick ass band! I caught them at Bloodstock on Saturday the 14th. This was the 3rd time they've played Bloodstock and have made the move up to the main stage. It was well warranted. An amazing set from start to finish! Some serious shredding happens. Luckily, you can catch them in the states this fall when they return. Most notably December 12 and 13 in Anaheim and Las Vegas respectively.


Devin Townsend is ready to "kick some fucking twat". So says he! Unfortunately technical difficulties delayed the twat kicking for almost ten minutes. Unfortunately song had to be cut. And the band had no gear, instead borrowing it. Devin took the stage anyway and launched into a crowd pleasing display of verbal repartee and burping. At the end he says: "...thus ending my dubious comedy routine." The frustration mounted from the sound crew and could be heard bellowing above the audience. There was some yelling about "getting samples". Some groovy dancing by our erstwhile Mr. Townsend proved yet again why he is the most amazing showman on the planet that no one knows about. He went on to make a HUGE production about the drum clicks. Once the show did get underway he altered between cookie monster vocals, pure rock vocals, and even flexed his operatic chops. His range is a thing of beauty (wipes away tear). Fuck it, it's great!" So sayeth the Devin (in reference to his technical difficulties, but could very well be in about the performance in general). After an eight minute ball busting, bone crushing, ear spank - the band end the set on a soft note. LOL Something melodic. "Life" came across pretty. It had a few women dancing in the audience. NO lie. Very hippy drippy! Devin signed autographs for a very willing fan base. The lines were mega long and the men and women were herded thru like cattle to the slaughter! The slaughter of metal - pure metal, served up with his consummate smile.

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