August Burns Red – Napoleon: Live At Sound Control, Manchester

Making my way into Sound Control ready for opening act Napoleon the first thing I noticed was it was already rammed to the bright red rafters and dripping with sweat before anyone had even started playing. Continue reading

SOS Fest 2017 – Part 2: Prestwich, UK


Sunday at SOSfest was for my money one of the stronger days of the weekend. Starting the day were midlands grunge band Resin. Resin have undergone an almost total line-up change since I last saw them play a couple of years ago. Most interestingly they’ve added a violinist in the form of Emma from one of my all-time favourites Cadence Noir, so I was eager to see how their sound had changed since then. Continue reading

Blaze Bayley – Babylon Fire – Faith in Glory: Sound Control, Manchester

Faith in Glory are a hard rock band from Bolton. They played a decent set and were musically very tight, no doubt helped by the core of the band being brothers Jack and Aiden Collins on Guitar and Bass respectively. By the standards of many an opener they were damn fine, playing with energy and solid groove they were certainly welcomed by the decent crowd.Continue reading

Weedeater – King Parrot – Tombstones: Sound Control, Manchester

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Nothing like a sunny day to visit the bowels of the basement of Sound Control for some grimy sludge and hardcore from a bunch of miscreants. First up today at the ungodly early hour of 4:30 PM are Bury’s own Pist who impress early on with their mixture of Eyehategod swagger and Mancunian grit. Guitarist John Nicholson churns out slabs of metallic blues while David Lee Rowlands shrieks manage to shake up the early goers.

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Unfortunately Siege Mentality completely fail to capitalise on Pist’s momentum. The ex-Iron Witch mob trade in generic hardcore punk with plenty of spit but no polish. The quintet’s interchangeable throwaway compositions all follow the well-worn post Discharge hardcore punk template and are forgotten straight after they are aired.


Thankfully Tombstones get us back on track. Sticking to the tune low and play slow ethos the Norwegians win the audience back with their primordial slabs of noise ‘King Of Daze’ and a storming cover of Melvins classic ‘The Bit’ which have the audience eating out of their hands.

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King Parrot are aptly named because they have plenty of squawk but so little of substance. Their performance ignites a decent size pit but the irritating screeching of vocalist Youngy is greatly off putting, as is his moronic stage banter and insistence on soaking the first couple of rows with water. Their warp speed racket sounds allows some to get their mosh on but the band come across as sexually repressed Neanderthals’ with no memorable songs to speak of.


Weedeater do not fuck around. These deranged Louisiana rednecks slam into their set with a frightening vigour. Dave “Dixie” Collins is a cross-eyed lunatic screeching out his lyrics while drummer Travis Owen slams his kit tossing his sticks around and kicks his high hat all while continuing to play without missing a beat. Numbers like ‘Weed Monkeys’ are impossible to resist such is their reckless delivery and visceral delivery. These trailer park titans came to throw down and impress with a watertight set of potent sonic hits which leaves the audience deliriously happy and hungry for another fix.




Primordial – Winterfylleth – Malthusian: Live at Sound Control

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On an ever-poignant date for Manchester, and in a venue situated within a small area of the city known as ‘Little Ireland’, it seems apt for the morose, blackened death of Eireann quartet Malthusian to be laying waste. Through the bloody annoying strobe effects, impressive frontman Pauric Gallagher stood behind his bass like a colossus, his Lemmy-style stance and ferocious, deep scour complementing the blackened rasp of co-vocalist Andrew Cunningham. Brutally savage yet with added elements of crushing doom, this was a huge assault on the senses and a delicious aperitif.

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Minor issues blighted the early Winterfylleth sound but old favourite ‘Ghosts of Heritage’ had the floor bouncing. Emotive new track ‘Careworn Heart’, from the band’s The Divination of Antiquity (Candlelight) opus, was led in by a beautifully taped acoustic intro; the more subtle yet crashing, almost mournful feel which displayed the new expansion and versatility of the band grasping the room in the palm of its hand. It’s this creative freedom, embodied by much of Dan Capp‘s delicate, post-style leadwork, which has propelled these local boys-next-door to hero status. Crowd favourite ‘Defending the Realm’ was greeted with unfettered joy, yet there was more an awed reverence rather than a pulsating throb for this adored outfit.

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A stirring Irish lament played Primordial to the stage, whence the unmistakable figure of the painted, hooded Nemtheanga roared “Are you with us?”. Generating rapturous, impassioned crowd accompaniment, one of Metal’s truly great frontmen stared wildly and prowled like a possessed madman through the rousing ‘Where Greater Men Have Fallen’, sorely apt given tonight’s close proximity to the site of the 1819 Peterloo massacre. Fiercely expressive, yet allying the bitter anger to a dark humour, the spokesman for The Committed announced the outrageously powerful, emotive ‘Babel’s Tower’ as “my confession”; whilst the ‘skipping bullet’ guitar line of ‘As Rome Burns’ is introduced to ecstatic roars with the tagline “This is the United States of Europe – you have the right to hate who you want”. The constant wall of resonant riffs were part of the defining proof that this is no mere backing band, subtly and skilfully producing a thunderous swell of sound, the rhythm and drums a colossal thunder. Tolling bells blending with brutality, classics ‘The Coffin Ships’ and ‘Empire Falls’ were greeted like old friends and closed not merely a scintillating night, but the most passionate, moving, Herculean live performance I have ever seen.

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In Solitude – Beastmilk – Obnoxious Youth: Live at Sound Control Manchester, UK


A wet and inhospitable Saturday sees occult Swedes In Solitude roll into town bringing with them the scent of incense and apocalyptic Gothic post punk act Beastmilk in tow. Kvost’s deep rich speaking voice gives way to a powerful howl. The “Superstition” wins over the few early arrivals which tear themselves away from the bar.

Before the vespertine delights of Scandinavia are opened to us we get a change of pace in the form of Daniel Bay. Stepping into the breach for punk Obnoxious Youth, Bay delivers heart felt gothic rock which has more appeal than just his Lost Boys chic torn jeans and frizzy hair.



The charismatic Mat McNerney leads the newly expanded Beastmilk, including recent recruit Linnea Olsson (formerly of The Oath) through a masterful performance. The man known to many as ‘Kvohst’ is a leviathan master of ceremonies, introducing each song with a quick witted remark before unleashing his distinctive croon. Olsson oozes charisma with the extra fire power having added a new depth to the band’s sound. The raunchy ‘Void Mother’ and a stunning ‘Nuclear Winter’ inspire manic dancing at the front of the stage with many punters as keen to see the apocalyptic rockers as the headline act.


Lilies adorn the stage and the smell of incense fills the air as In Solitude begin their energetic set. Pelle Ahman possesses the air Nick Cave back in his days in The Birthday Party. Throughout tonight’s ten song set the quartet combine a youthful vigour with impressive stagecraft and dynamite songs. ‘Death Knows Where’ and ‘Lavender’ are soaring paeans to ‘Lucifer’ funelled through classic rock and blues with a visceral punk aesthetic.


Witnessing In Solitude perform, you can instantly recognise the chemistry the members have built from beginning life in their tender years. The maturity and atmosphere in songs like the all-consuming ‘He Comes’ has the audience in rapture. Still only in their early twenties, if the momentum they have built on latest album Sister (Metal Blade) is any indication, they will be a force for many years to come.


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Witch Mountain – Live @ Sound Control, Manchester (May 2, 2013)

Witch Mountain 1Lanky Rae, a slender gangrel, wicked and base with a flagrant disregard for life and law. She’s the eponymous demon child portrayed in tonight’s opening track and her spirit seems entirely inhabited by vocalist Uta Plotkin, who croons with an impudence perfect for the role. A sharp stomp that oozes character and style, ‘The Ballad Of Lanky Rae’ is Witch Mountain at their brazen best.Continue reading