Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2011
Catton Hall, Derbyshire
11th-14th August 2011
Review & Photos by Jo Blackened
Bloodstock is now considered one of the ‘must go to’ Metal festivals here in the UK and this year I decided it was my turn to grab the media pass and photo-pass and get to the photo-pits!
This year we were to see some great performances from the likes of Motorhead, Wasp, Devin Townsend, Rhapsody of Fire, Morbid Angel, Immortal & one of my personal faves 1349! Aswell as some great unsigned bands on the other stages!
So it was no surprise we were all keen to leave early for the long journey to Catton Hallwhere where the festival is be held!
[Thursday] – Well leaving early really didn’t help us to arrive on time, I blame this on the driver and his scenic route detour sat-nav lol, but once we got there we managed to pick up our passes quickly and make our way to the Press/VIP camping site area, constantly on the look out for anyone famous!
As we were just putting up our tents it saddened me to hear Xerath playing on stage, just a stone throw away from the camping site and despite being severely tempted to run to the stage and leave setting up to my friend I decided to stay, especially as were sharing the tent I didn’t think leaving her this early on would be a good idea, so I stayed & kind of helped to set-up.
I had no idea you needed a maths degree to pitch a tent!! But with some help from some guys we were sorted, but by this time it meant we also missed Beholder playing too.
There weren’t too many bands playing today, but I love Xerath so much so was really gutted I missed them!
But the night continued with checking out the great selection of stalls and comedy from Jason Rouse & Steven Hughes which was followed by 3 hours of music by the 4 DJ’s of the Apocalypse!
We eventually managed to get to sleep by 3am!
So enough of our story…lets get to the bands!
With so many great bands booked this year it was difficult to choose who to cover, especially as some were playing at the same time, but for me the day had to start with WOLF!
These guys have been established since 1995 and burst onto stage with such a presence that they’d be worth missing breakfast for, or lunch or even dinner!
Playing on the Main ‘Ronnie James Dio’ stage, these Swedish metal heads are just amazing live!
I’ve been into their music for a few years now but this is the first time I’ve seen these guys play live,
in fact a lot of the bands playing this festival will be the first time I’ve seen live, think I need to get out more!
They played to a full crowd, had fantastic energy with guitar riffs that live up to their description of ‘Pure fuckin’ Metal’ which will get no argument from me!
Niklas Stålvind is an amazing vocalist and guitarist, with all the members including Simon Johansson on guitars and singing backing vocals, Anders Modd, on bass guitar and Richard Holmgren on drums, who I tried desperately to get a photo of!
All members played with great energy and provided such amazing guitar riffs, they could would wake even the most hungover!
From the crowds reaction, its obvious these guys are much loved and I was surprised they were playing so early in the day, but they played a great set and dedicated the track ‘Skull Crusher’ to one of the technician guys who injured himself earlier on that morning!
These guys were a great way to start the day!
Evil Star/The Bite/Skull Crusher/Full Moon Possession/Voodoo/K121 Kursk/Hail Caesar
It was a quick dash to the ‘Sophie Lancaster Stage for our next band MORTAD. I had never heard of these guys before, but I had heard good things about them so felt I had to check them out!
It was only when we reached the stage I realised it was situated in a tent, which meant not good lighting and looking at my lens I realised I should’ve brought my other lens down from the tent, but there was no time to waste as we were only given first 3songs to shoot then we were out, pretty normal for most gig coverage!
I was surprised to see the progressive death metal band based here in London being fronted by the small vocalist Somi Arian! But despite her size & perfectly toned stomach…which would give great inspiration for us all to get to the gym, she belted out a strong and powerful scream!
Forming in Scotland in 2009 but already have a strong following, with Somi Arian putting her anger and strong views into her lyrics by singing about her hatred towards Religion and the Government, which I think is something we can all relate to!
Her voice is so strong as well as brutal and powerful, with growls that sound so evil she had the strong guitar riffs to back up her vocals, and if you can understand the lyrics it’s also thought provoking.
With the band having so much energy they looked great on stage and provided an impressive guitar solo!
With limit time it was hard to shoot Somi as she constantly moved around the stage, jumping, running and bouncing around but it was good to see they had a great crowd cause these guys deserved it, and showed despite only being around for 2 years, they know exactly what they are doing!
It was then a quick five minute dash back to main stage for FORBIDDEN.
For me, these San Francisco’s guys are a fantastic example of true thrash metal!
The crowd seemed to be smaller than before and some looked less than impressed by their set, despite a small group at the front showing their undying love, I thought these guys were awesome!
They had such great energy on stage and there is no doubt Russ Anderson has an impressive, amazing strong voice with other members Craig Locicero and Steve Smyth on Guitar and Matt Camacho on Bass having such a strong unique powerful sound to them!
Despite the rest of the crowd being less than energetic, the members had great crowed interaction, but I have to admit I’ve never heard the word ‘c*nt’ spoken so much by anyone in such a short amount of time lol
But with the rain about to start and the crowd breaking up it was no surprise in-between songs you could hear Russ Anderson screaming in his mic ‘Come on you c*nts!’ which the rest of us found highly amusing!
But, they played professionally and so well, with so much energy even I was surprised with lack of crowd enthusiasm…maybe it was just the weather!
March Into Fire/Step By Step/Forsaken at the Gates/ Omega Wave/Twisted Into Form/Through Eyes Of Glass/Chalice Of Blood.
After all this excitement I thought it was time to check out the ‘NewBlood Stage’ to see what the talent was like for the unsigned bands! To my delight I realised it was THE FURIOUS HORDE who were next to play!
I remember these dark symphonic metal guys back in 2009 when I was shooting them for Unified Sound Band Quest, locally to where I live, so I was so pleased to see them playing at this year’s Bloodstock.
In full gothic black metal outfits and make up, as soon as these guys stepped up onto the stage they immediately got into character grabbing the crowds’ attention!
I love these South-East England guys so much I stayed for their full 30 minute set!
They have such a fantastic stage presence and theatrical image; it’s so much fun just watching them perform.
They played a great song set and had a good crowd turn-up, so it’s obvious I’ve not been the only ones keeping an eye on them and seeing them come such a long way in a short amount of time!
Having recently released their new EP INSTIGATION, which is free to download from the bands site on facebook, I strongly suggest checking these guys out!
After a food break and some resting time at our tent, to give time for our ears to recover it was slowly getting dark and time to hit the main stage again for KREATOR!
It was no surprise arriving to the stage that these guys had got crowds attention and had packed out the open field even before they appeared on stage!
As soon as these German Thrash Metallers began their set, there were metal horns in the air with people screaming, showing their support!
These guys were so great to shoot too, being so close to the stage you can feel the immense energy from these guys, who have such an amazing sound, they play so tight I only shot them for two songs and stood there watching them feeling the crowds energy behind me!
These guys were definitely worth seeing in today’s line-up, I was so happy to finally see them play live, although I did think Miland "Mille" Petrozza microphone looked too high and wondered if he gave himself neck ache after their set?!
These guys know how to play to a large crowd, keeping their energy up throughout their set, with a strong fan base and insane metal circle pit behind me!
Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite)/Warcurse, Endless Pain/Pleasure to Kill/Destroy What Destroys You/oices of the Dead/Enemy of God/Phobia/Reconquering the Throne/iolent Revolution/Betrayer/Flag of Hate/Tormentor
With a 35minute turnaround, which always goes faster than expected it was time for DEVIN TOWNSEND to take to the main stage!
Despite hearing some metallers behind me unimpressed that Devin was one of the headliners tonight, saying he was too ‘Mainstream and commercial’ he still managed to pack out the field and had a strong fan base here tonight!
I personally LOVE Devin! I almost got to see him this year, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to, so seeing him tonight and able to shoot him was a total highlight for me!
As soon as Devin entered onto stage, you could see his cheeky grin and the crowd roared and cheered, which seemed to make him very happy!
He opened his set with some comedy and the song ‘By Your Command’, by this time I too had too much alcohol in my system and I don’t remember too much but I remember loving every moment of his set and singing along to him, just as much as the fans behind me did!
Although Devin did kind of stand out, given the previous bands playing before him he certainly put on a great show, and was funny throughout and in between songs, constantly chatting to the crowd.
I did think he deserved an award for most peculiar facial expressions given in such a short amount of time! To try to put into words how amazing Devin is live is pretty impossible, well it is for me anyway, every minute of his set was just incredible for me.
He is so funny onstage, playing up to the crowd, laughing and giggling its impossible not to love him.
The crowd never stopped going crazy, showing their love and appreciation for him with Devin loving every moment of it and seeming genuinely humble, thanking his fans between every song and thanking BOA for letting him play again twice in a row, which isn’t usual for any band.
Even with his 60 minute set, it didn’t seem long enough and I know the fans would agree with me when I said we wanted more!
Devin Townsend Setlist:
By Your Command/Supercrush! Kingdom/Stand/Juular/Truth/OM/ Bad Devil/ Deep Peace/Vampira
Even after Devin left the stage the energy was still there, with everyone excited leaving a fantastic atmosphere ready for the next main stage act…W.A.S.P!
Despite the slight genre change it was clear A LOT of fans were here to see these guys who have been around for as long as I can remember! They came on stage with such great energy, shouting to the crowd ‘Get on your knees!’, their opening song.
I turned to my mate to say ‘Wow…these guys have still got it’ but she was GONE! Running into the crowd, dancing away and singing every word, I don’t think I saw her for the whole 90minute set!!
With so many years of live gigging performance it is no doubt these guys know how to put on a show and keep the fans entertained, which they did for their entire set!
This is a band that is so powerful they really have to be experienced live and show the younger bands how it’s done!
The crowd really went crazy for these guys, with girls jumping and dancing on the benches in the food area, screaming out every word to their songs with everyone going wild and by the look on their faces it was clear these guys loved being on stage as much as we loved them being there playing for us!
They played a fantastic set and kept the energy up throughout, having one of the longest guitar solo’s I have ever heard, lasting 15 minutes long!
On Your Knees/The Real Me/L.O.V.E. Machine/ Crazy/Live to Die Another Day/ Babylon’s Burning/ Wild Child/ Hellion / I Don’t Need No Doctor / Scream Until You Like It/ The Idol/ I Wanna Be Somebody.
Encore: Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)/ Heaven’s Hung in Black/ Blind In Texas.
I’m so happy I got to see these guys play live and I have to say it was a total pleasure shooting them! This was such a fantastic way to end a fantastic day and for those who weren’t quite ready to go back to the tents for some warm hot chocolate, like I was, there was Metal Karaoke in the Sophie Lancaster Stage followed again by the 4 DJ’s of the Apocalypse playing metal tracks up till 2am!