A challenge of being a concert photographer is seldom experiencing a full set. Often, I dash between stages, trying to capture each band as if on a Pokémon quest – though “gotta shoot ’em all” has a different ring to it. Nonetheless, the silver lining is I often witness a good portion of every set over the weekend. Here are my top picks and suggestions from Bloodstock’s two smaller stages, showcasing their stellar support for the underground scene and nurturing emerging metal talent in the UK and beyond.Continue reading →
A lot has changed in the twenty years since my first Bloodstock. What began as a relatively small indoor gathering in the middle of Derby city centre now welcomes around fifteen thousand metal fans from around the world annually. From two days, two halls, a signing room, and a “Metal Market” to four days, four stages, a signing tent, art gallery, gaming zone, and curiosities such as Viking battles and even early morning Heavy Metal Aerobics sessions, the changes to Bloodstock have been gradual but necessary.
Saturday, and as will be of no surprise to anyone, it was pretty damn hot today too, people were noticeably moving much slower through the arena, and people were checking their phones for the forecast of tomorrow’s storm with excitement.
After hearing horror stories about the queues I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at the hollow turn of Donington for Download Festival 2023, and was parked up within 10 minutes. Not to dismiss the stories is it close the rather excellent download festival app a tool which I would find invaluable during my visit constantly advising incoming travellers of reach to avoid owing to congestion.Continue reading →
Opening up the night was Bangkok’s Defying Decay, the seven-piece crammed to the very front of the stage at Academy 1 with masses of equipment behind them. Their sound was a heady cocktail of bludgeoning heaviness and melodic cadences, with frontman Jay PoomEuarchukiati poppy cleans and a liberal dose of groove rounding off the potent mix.
Albert Hallis a grandiose venue epitomising Victorian-era design, with a high ceiling and ornate plasterwork, and some rather excellent acoustics. My last trip here to see Wardruna was absolutely magical. Walking in about half an hour before the first act Northlane and the venue was already almost entirely filled with dense fog, showcasing pink purple lights and little else, and a room overflowing with excited chatter. Tonight was to prove a night of contrasts the versatile venue was filled with warm tones and cold air
Dystopian Future Movies – 2022 – Credit: Rich Price Photography
Leeds’s The Wharf Chambers is an interesting little venue, a worker’s co-op pub and music space which at first was a little bit difficult to find. But once you do there’s a feeling of going back in time, not only in feel but also prices, 70p for a pint of diet coke no less. I’m coming back here, definitely.
Walking into The Den in Harrogate I was initially convinced I’d gone to the wrong place. This was a sports bar; the football was on. Double check, no this is the right place. Spotting a few of the bands by a stage in between pool tables, I must be in the same place.
Frank Turner – 2022 – Credit: Rich Price Photography
Entering Academy 1 just after doors and those of us early attendees were in for a surprise treat, added a few days ago on the tour was an extra support act in the form of Mash P. Introduced by Frank Turner himself who told the story of how he first met Mash in 2017 in Freetown, Sierra Leone where he was living on the street, and visiting the way out arts charity to find his art and his voice.
First time at the O2 Apollo, a lovely, antiquated venue, it has a very old-school theatre vibe to it, and as would become apparent for most sets tonight the sound and lighting were top-drawer. Continue reading →