All pics and words by HannTu
(except where noted)
For an introduction to what Bloodstock Open Air is all about, check out my preview of it here. Suffice it to say that BOA is the only proper UK outdoor metal festival that is devoted to true metal of all genres. This would be the first time I was making the trip up to the Midlands to cover this amazing festival.
Reaching there late Thursday night, we set up camp and went off to explore. BOA has one of the most random things I’d expect at a metal festival: a shisha tent! Armed with a 1.5 litre bottle of JD and two bongs of shisha, we spent the night there meeting weird and crazy people (Frida from Sweden, if you’re reading this, get in touch!). After a disgusting fry-up at the All-Day Breakfast bar, I went off to bed to catch some shut-eye before Friday’s bands. Good start to BOA!
Friday started with a hangover and Evile. These four guys from Huddersfield thrash with the best of them, and they’re one of the bands from the UK to keep an eye out for. They’re going places, and I don’t think it’s too far fetched to say that Ol Drake’s trademark red guitar will soon be very well-known indeed. It doesn’t hurt that they’re such personable guys either. Mike Alexander, bassist, was out greeting the front row before their set, while Matt’s insistence on getting us to chant “VAGINA!” (clue: his shirt) was pretty hilarious. Matt said that this was the biggest crowd that they had ever played in front of. Keep it up lads, and you’ll be playing bigger in no time. Parting words of Matt were “Watch Destruction!” No fear!
Bathe in Blood
Man Against Machine
We Who Are About To Die
Enter The Grave
I only caught a little of Praying Mantis, but the 80s NWOBHM band has lost none of its zing. Campy singer Mike Freeland pranced and preened around the stage, unleashing high-pitched screams and clearly enjoying himself. Don’t remember much of their music or what they played, as I was unfamiliar with their stuff. It was quite fun for what it was worth though.
I’ve been a big fan of these guys for ages now ever since I saw them open for Amon Amarth. Seeing them at Paganfest earlier this year made me realise how good they were live, and people who bang on about their lack of showmanship and stage movement are missing the point. However, the Faroe Islanders seemed slightly off the pace at 1.45 in the afternoon. I remember quite clearly ‘Regin Smiður’ was sung out of tune, and even their normally effervescent bassist Gunnar was slightly subdued. Let’s just say that this wasn’t a top performance from a very good band, although ‘Hail to the Hammer’ got a rocking response from the crowd.
Wings of Time
Hail To The Hammer
Ramund Hin Unge
I can’t remember why I missed this band and only caught the last few minutes. Must have lost track of the time or something. The sound was shit as I recall.
Day 1 continues –>