Monday, 31 March 2014

Further Festival Thoughts

I tend to use this blog these days as a way to talk about music and gigs/festivals I’m going to or would like to go to. I said to myself last year that I wasn’t going to do a festival in 2014 or if I was, it would be a day ticket job. As I type, I’m going to 2 weekend festivals, and planning to spend the day at 5 others. Clearly, I don’t know how to say no to these sorts of things. This blog will be talking about any updates to these festivals.

It makes sense to start with the last one in the calendar and that is Wacken 2014. Why does it make sense to start with Wacken? Well, it makes sense because there really isn’t much to say. Since December 24th, Wacken has confirmed 1 band – a Metal Battle finalist called Earth Divide. This band seems alright and if they are playing on the Wednesday after I have arrived I will try to see them. However, 1 band in 3 months and no official word from the organisers about the lack of announcements frankly is poor. The current line up is really quite good but the main headliner of the festival is still to be announced. I know the festival has sold out but the longer the wait goes on, the more annoyed I’m getting. As it stands, the only band I can see headlining this festival is AC/DC which is why it hasn’t been announced yet. To be honest, the very idea of that is ridiculous. I just don’t see AC/DC headlining and the organisers themselves said they probably wouldn’t book them as people would rock up, see them and leave. Now, as the festival has sold out already that isn’t such a problem but still...I just don’t see it happening. Prove me wrong Wacken (and maybe announce a few more bands before it becomes 4 months without an announcement that isn’t a Metal Battle band).

Now that is taken care of, it is nothing but positivity from here on out. The first festival I will be at this year is a one day festival that takes place in about 20 venues in Camden called Camden Rocks. This festival cost £20 and for that money, it is immense value. The bigger acts include The Subways, Reverend and the Makers, The Blackout, Ginger Wildheart, Hacktivist, Orange Goblin, The Virginmarys, Sonic Boom Six, Turbowolf, Blitz Kids, Gnarwolves, The Graveltones and Nine Black Alps. The strength of this line up is not just in the bigger acts though, it is in the undercard and there are some right gems in that undercard, with more still to be announced. Personal highlights for me include Eureka Machines, Baby Godzilla, Black Dogs, Mia Klose, Sondura, Exit_International, Cytota, The Hype Theory, My Little Empire, Colt 45, Hounds, Hang The Bastard and so many more. I fear I will need to be in about 10 places at once during this festival but it is going to be fun that is for sure. So far, two must sees for me are Ginger Wildheart doing his first solo acoustic show and Eureka Machines, as they were just immense live recently and are playing the Electric Ballroom for this festival. The crazy thing is there are still more bands to be announced. This is shaping up to be something special and it cost me £20. This I’m sure will be a great day.

At the end of my last blog, I posted the words “roll on Download (hopefully!)” – I can now remove the word hopefully from that as I will be there and spending the weekend at Donington again. And just like this year, I will be staying in a hotel. Just not in Burton (which after the Thursday before the festival last year, is probably for the best). Since that blog, there has been one 18 band announcement (see Wacken, it can be done!) The main band in that announcement for me is one of my favourite bands – The Wildhearts! I’m dead chuffed they have been announced. Other highlights from that announcement for me are Against Me!, Monster Magnet, Orange Goblin, Chevelle, The Dirty Youth, Marmozets, Lawnmower Deth, Kid Karate and Arthemis. I fear I’m going to have some tough choices to make when the stage times are released. Download is looking like an ace weekend again though and I am really looking forward to it. One of the Download Festival headliners is also headlining another festival in the UK. Previously known as Hard Rock Calling, the now rebranded Calling festival is at Clapham Common and is being headlined by Aerosmith, supported by Thunder, Joe Bonamassa and Walking Papers. I snapped up a ticket for that citing that I’ll never see Aerosmith again and now I can see them twice in one month.

The week after Aerosmith play London, I will be back in the Big Smoke for one day of the British Summer Time festival, renamed for this day Black Sabbath Time. Appropriately, Black Sabbath are headlining (it would be a stupid name if they weren’t, let’s be honest). To be honest, I never thought I would see them again but the support bill is just too good to miss. Main supports are Soundgarden (who I’m not crazy about but whatever) and Faith No More, who are just excellent. The undercard includes Motorhead, Soulfly, Wolfmother and a whole heap of other bands playing smaller stages. This day looks excellent and cracking value for £69 when you consider that’s about how much it was to see Black Sabbath on their own tour in 2013 (I think). Two days after that, I will be heading to Knebworth to spend a day at Sonisphere. I opted to go for the Metallica day when I saw the stage splits. I’ve seen most of the bands that are playing those two days but they have Metallica, Alice In Chains, Airbourne, Devin Townsend, Gojira, Dream Theater, Dropkick Murphys and Reel Big Fish on the main stages. That to me is worth the money. Anti-Nowhere League, The Bronx and Gallows are also playing that day and they are all ace so that is good news. I can’t imagine the bookers of Sonisphere are that impressed that BST with Black Sabbath is on the first day of their festival but competition is allowed in this market. I’m sure if they could have got Black Sabbath, Soundgarden and Faith No More for their Friday, they would have done.

The final festival I’m going to talk about doesn’t require much in the way of travelling (thankfully!) as it is in Portsmouth. Victorious Festival has gone from a free festival in the Historic Dockyard to a full blown festival on Castle Field. For me there are several acts playing who I’d go and watch for the price including Seasick Steve, Scouting For Girls, Razorlight, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Shed Seven, Pigeon Detectives and others who I can’t remember right now. It is a decent little line up and as it is in my home town over a bank holiday weekend, it would almost be rude not to go.

Right, all I need is AC/DC and Kiss to announce headline shows in the UK (and not at Wacken) and I will be starting bankruptcy proceedings. I’m sure it’ll be a fun summer though!

No comments: