Bloodstock Festival 2017

Bloodstock 2017: Saturday 12th August

Day two in the Derbyshire field. A long rest was undertaken after an evening of frolics and frivolities involving lots of beer and sing-alongs.

So the Saturday of Bloodstock dawned and therefore I was ready to face another good day of Metal.

But this time things got off to a little bit of a slow start, for I trooped over to the Hobgoblin stage to catch a new band whom the festival website described as ‘something unique.’ But I sadly couldn’t see much uniqueness about Ward XVI.

I can commend them for their Beetlejuice inspired outfits and felt the psycho ward themed cabaret performance they performed between tracks was all that really felt like a show. Music wise, this wasn’t right for the day.

Eventually turning away from the Hobgblin tent, I was greeted with some much better and energising tunes from a decent Progressive Death Metal outfit all the way from San Francisco.

Fallujah – A band who took their earliest Deathcore and Blackened roots and made them more and more intelligent and subversive to give a new take on the most Extreme of Metal genres.

The blasts were ferocious and the strings like a buzzsaw, even when the tempos changed every now and again.

Fallujah were the band who were hyped up and ready to blow a new hole in the festival and it was excellent to see a band that energised this side of the morning. Good job guys.

So some nice violent ferocity had ensued, now it was time for something a little more soothing but just as evil.

Winterfylleth. Our country’s premier English Heritage Black Metal band came forth. Ten years on the road and five very good albums of deep, meaningful and thought provoking Black Metal tunes to play.

And those were some damn good tunes. Winterfylleth are in no way an atmospheric black metal group, but they fall into that area where the music is full on black metal but it borders on the melodies and atmosphere that early Burzum or Satyricon pioneered over 20 years ago.

Songs about the past, Pagan England and major battles that saw the changes in how the country formed echoed forth, ending perfectly on the anthemic: Defending the Realm.

I’ve yet to see Winterfylleth put on a bad show, and I’ll now commend them for having pulled off a great open air performance for a Black Metal band who would sound just as good indoors.

The Wayfarer Pt. 1 – The Solitary One Waits for Grace/The Swart Raven/Whisper of the Elements/A Valley Thick with Oaks/Defending The Realm

Next up on the main stage are Havok, playing some no nonsense, good old thrash metal. And they do it with some panache, it has to be said.

Blistering speed and the precision that is always present in the best thrash raises Havok head and shoulders above many in this genre of metal. Big riffs and ultra tight playing.

They rage through a short set that is well received and gets the crowd banging away! Top marks!

Definitely keen on catching them when they next visit London, and definitely a highlight of the day!

Speaking of indoor performances, it was time to go over to the Sophie Lancaster stage for the first time that day to hear some decent home grown Doom Metal.

Kroh, all the way from Birmingham had a black mass ritual going strong in the tent, with the crowd entranced like acolytes in a shamanistic ceremony of worship.

I got a very good blast of some eerie and fluid tunes that spoke of evil magic and the madness the unknown can wreak upon the common mind.

Here we had a good occult band who have made a name for themselves in a short space of time. I would liken them a lot to Coven, especially with frontwoman Oliwia Sobieszek looking and sounding a lot like Jinx Dawson – the mother of all Satanic Metal music. A magical performance that carried itself beautifully across the tent and out into the arena.

Satanism, English History and Tim Burton references had come my way now. But up next the themes of the day took a completely surreal and belly-laughing turn.

Back on the main stage, King 810 were playing. There were rumours around the site that they would not play because the guitarist had been arrested just a little while before the festival.

However, the three remaining members soldiered on, playing with a guitar backing track. King 810 are a bit like marmite, they divide opinion and are certainly not universally liked.

Personally, I do actually like their rather raw performances, vocalist David Gunn has no end of passion and for me, that makes them definitely worthy of a listen, although I think they are better suited to a more intimate club environment than the large Dio stage at BOA.

In a break from the music, I visited the Bloodstock Art Gallery, this was also present last year and hosts a number of the BOA original artworks promoting the festival over the years.

Plus this year some photos and paintings from other artists. Some exceptional work on display, I’m always impressed by the work of Paul Gregory.

It’s fascinating to see how the festival has grown from its’ humble beginnings to what is now a massive annual event that goes from strength to strength.

It was time to return to the Hobgoblin stage for the band I and most of the crowd had been itching to see for quite some time – based entirely off their debut EP ‘The Great British Grind Off’.

Raised by Owls – so surreal and so typically British. That band who would take the zeitgeist of Britain today and turn it into a very funny and ear-splitting tirade of fresh, putrid Grindcore.

To begin with, the band played tunes ranging from topics like David Cameron’s exploit with a pig, the Chuckle Brothers on drugs, Cliff Richard getting up to no good and a vampire themed joke about Boris Johnson.

It all came to a climax with a delightful tribute to the one and only Ainsley Harriott. A chef who might be of a bygone era in culinary TV, but we will always remember as the messianic advisor on how to give our meat a ‘good ol’ rub’.

‘Nice and hot’, would be an understatement for the show Raised by Owls put on. They even had a wall of death going based on how people from up and down the country pronounced ‘scone’. In the aftermath of this I did wonder if the group had plans for a civil war in mind….

But anyways, here was – what I feel privilged to describe as – the band Matt Lucas’s baby character George Dawes would have formed once he’d grown up and gone to university. Grindcore about the curses of student loans and internet memes is really what a student nowadays needs to help ease the anxieties life can give.

My god was that one heck of a show. Keep on rubbing lads!

Satanists on t’ Yorkshire Moors/ Practising Black Magic With Bruce Forsyth/The Almighty Sunday Roast/David Cameron’s Favourite Band Is Pig Destroyer/Harry Potter and the Curse of the Student Loan/Scary Spice Has a Gangrenous Arm/An American Werewolf in Bognor Regis/Intermission (Chuckle Vision Theme) Chuckle Vision Is Just Drug Slang/Rot Stewart/You’ve Been Mary Buried/Ross Kemp on Gang Bangs/Cliff Richard Drinks From the Skulls of His Enemies/Ainsley Harriott Advises You to Give Your Meat a Good Ol’ Rub/Off to the Pub

A very fine entry to the afternoon’s entertainment – now it was time for a classic.

Annihilator, among the pioneers of Thrash Metal and one of the biggest Metal bands to come out of the vastness of Canada. Here we had a bunch of guys who’d been there right from the start when Thrash was known as Speed Metal.

Overall, it was a fun set of fast gallops and fun double bass drums and nicely shouted tracks about anxieties, social problems, serial killers and crime.

Frontman Jeff Waters made the odd anecdote about how much he liked to play the UK and the crowd was full of many keen Annihilator fans who’d most likely followed the band across their 30 years in the business, so a nice classic to start the serious entertainment of the day.

King of the Kill/No Way Out/Set the World on Fire/W.T.Y.D./Twisted Lobotomy/Alison Hell/Phantasmagoria/Human Insecticide

It was something of a Thrash Saturday by what happened next on the Dio stage. Municipal Waste –  a bunch of Speed Metal Punks from Virginia who’ve made a name for themselves personifying partying and getting wasted through power chords tore a new hole for the fest.

This band I’ve seen about 3 times in this Derbyshire field, and each time they’ve always attempted the same thing: a new record of crowd surfing. I sadly didn’t find out the exact number of surfers, but I heard through the grapevine it was a new record so well done.

Speed, aggression, drunken shrieks about parties and general mischief and even zombies, aliens and horror stories were bombarded onto the crowd so well done Municipal Waste for a very enjoyable show, and an excellent laugh at Donald Trump with their latest t shirt design.

Mind Eraser/You’re Cut Off/Unleash the Bastards/Beer Pressure/Thrashing’s My Business… And Business Is Good/Terror Shark/I Want to Kill the President/Sadistic Magician/Breathe Grease/The Art of Partying/Slime & Punishment/The Thrashin’ of the Christ/Headbanger Face Rip/Born to Party

No Municipal Waste photos I’m afraid! Security were a bit worried about the number of surfers and crowding in the pit!! They were probably right!

By then it was time for some rest and relaxation for a few hours and by the time I came back, it was the turn of yet another Thrash Metal veteran band who’d just released their 14th studio album.

Kreator, godfathers of Teutonic Thrash had had the stage modified to look like a cemetery in celebration of new album ‘Gods of Violence’.

This is another band I’ve yet to see give a bad show, and frankly I felt the same way now as I did six years ago in this very field where I’d seen the Thrash gods perform for the first time.

Blown away with all the might modern day Germany can muster is how I felt after the group had unleashed a nicely paced tirade of audible violence into my head mixing old classics in with the new.

I haven’t listened to their latest album yet, but judging by what I heard coming out of the amps, I don’t think Kreator have lost their sting and Mille Petrozza still has all the energy to deliver aggressive rhymes about the pain and suffering of humanity.

Keep up the good work Kreator!

Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite)/Phobia/Satan Is Real/Gods of Violence/People of the Lie/Total Death/Mars Mantra/Phantom Antichrist/Fallen Brother/Army of Storms/Enemy of God/Civilization Collapse/Encore: Violent Revolution/Pleasure to Kill 

Headlining the Saturday slot of Bloodstock 2017 was the band a lot of the crowd were itching to see.

Ghost, a group who took traditional metal vibes and made them into fun memorable tunes about Satanism and all things evil.

And quite a show was conducted with limitless usage of pyrotechnics and each faceless band member using the pedestals erected on the stage for good measure.

Not to mention a bunch of nuns – offering out freebies to keep the show alive so Ghost are commendable for having a lot going on at one time.

And finally, to bring the show full circle, we had a children’s choir doing backing vocals which did give off a nice feeling that Ghost were appealing to kids so nobody was left behind in their performance.

In all, this was every traditional Metal cliché thrown together in a fun pastiche and was enjoyed thoroughly by how big the crowd swelled as the show went on.

Good show Ghost!

Square Hammer/From the Pinnacle to the Pit/Con Clavi Con Dio/Per Aspera ad Inferi/Body and Blood/Devil Church/Cirice/Year Zero/Spöksonat/He Is/Absolution/Mummy Dust/Ghuleh/Zombie Queen/Ritual

So this had been one very fine day of Metal and fun and eventually my friends and I were crashing down into our tents boozed up and jolly for the last day of the fest.

Onward to Day 4!



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