Sunday, 30 January 2011

Early Preview - Wacken 2011

The post before the last one, I posted a Wacken banner. This was meant as an indicator that I had taken the plunge and booked a Wacken ticket. This makes me very happy as the lineup is looking really very strong. What I am going to do here will be very brief, but I will go through each of the bands that I plan at this stage to see and say why basically. It is quite handy this time around to have Spotify at my disposal so investigating bands is an awful lot easier than it was in 2008. Well, there was MySpace music, but really who wants to admit they had anything to do with that website? This does mean that the bands that aren’t on there do get left behind, but that is their own fault for not embracing technology. Anyway, I also discussed the possibility of going alone. This is still a possibility but things are looking as though they might change. We shall see what occurs there but it will be nice to have someone to come with me. One thing which will be very different about this jaunt to Wacken is there will be no night in Hamburg first. I’m not sure if this is wise but hey, live and learn and all that. I think that decision was made because I didn’t feel like spending the first day in Hamburg alone.

Accuser – Seeing these because I had a quick listen on Spotify and they are awesome.

Airbourne – I shall never tire of seeing these live.

Apocalyptica – I had to miss seeing these guys live at Sonisphere so I could see someone else. Granted if they clash with anyone this time around, then I will likely miss them again. But they are a strong name on the lineup and should the chance arise, then I will see them.

As I Lay Dying – These played in 2008, but I don’t remember seeing them. According to the review I have on Facebook though, I did and I gave them an 8. So, that’ll be why I’m seeing them again!

Avantasia – This band is awesome, and I was dead during their set last time. I want to see them and be awake this time!

Blaas of Glory – What is there not to like about a heavy metal marching band?!

Blind Guardian – These guys haven’t visited these fair lands that often, but they are one that while I don’t know a great deal about them, I’ve wanted to see. They’ve played a handful of London dates which have been inconvenient for me and they co-headlined Bloodstock with Cradle of Filth not so long ago. To see them at a festival I'm going to is almost perfect really.

Blowsight – They sound rifftastic (I know that’s not a word!) – cheers Spotify! (I hope they don’t play their Lady Gaga cover live, that might be quite upsetting)

Children of Bodom – Seen them twice before, once at Wacken 08. Will have seen them 3 times when Wacken 11 rolls around. Genius live band.

Cradle of Filth – They played Download 06 and I didn’t see them because I went off to douche (I actually don’t remember why I didn’t see them). I shall endear to see them this time.

Devildriver – Awesome live band who I’ve somehow managed to avoid seeing live since 2007. Saw them 5 times in about 18months and then not since. They should be good, and they’ll have released 2 albums since I saw them last.

Exodus – Saw them at Wacken 2008 and they were genius (just seen they released a live album of that set so will endeavour to check that out). I also saw them in London early 2009 and truth be told they were a touch boring. I actually now cant remember if it was the fact they were boring or they had poor sound, ah well. So, I want to see them again just to see what occurs basically.

Hayseed Dixie – This seems somewhat a strange announcement for Wacken but I’m very ok with it on the grounds that I love Hayseed Dixie! Seen them live 4 times and they’ve been brilliant each time. Since I last saw them they released a great album with a bluegrass version of Prodigy – Omen on. How can that not be a winner?

Heaven Shall Burn – They are one of those bands that I listened to sporadically and always liked when I listened to them but never got round to seeing them live. Well, they are at Wacken and I have every intention of being there also, so I think I’ll watch them!

Hellsaw – Another Spotify recommendation really. They have their album which is pretty good. Truthfully, if a better band clash with them then I won’t be too sad to miss them, but hey! If I’ve got nothing else to do, then it would be foolish to miss a good band!

Iced Earth – I have somehow managed to avoid seeing Iced Earth live. They opened for Heaven and Hell when I went to that and I arrived late (cheers southern rail) and missed them. I’ve always enjoyed whatever music of theirs I’ve heard and since that missed opportunity to see them, they have their original vocalist back – so it should be a good set.

In Solitude – Spotify and MySpace helped me with this band. They seem like a decent rock band that is well worth checking out. BTW – when did MySpace become so fucking awful? Either that or the powers that be (Tom?) at MySpace didn’t want me to listen to In Solitude without glitches.

Judas Priest – Oh my shit! I bought a ticket for Wacken based on a number of bands that had been announced and somehow overlooked Judas Priest. So imagine my happiness when I saw them on the lineup. Apparently this is the first leg of their last ever world tour so it’s good that I managed to catch them on it. Don’t think I’ll get the chance to when they come to London the week before Wacken. Ah well.

Khold – Cheers Spotify! They seem quite good and worth checking out should the stage times allow

Knorkator – I’ll be honest, I was drawn to this band because of their ridiculous name. It might not even be that ridiculous, but it is certainly fun to say. Anyway, the music seems alright and much like some of the other bands should the stage times allow for it, I will check them out!

Kreator – Oh my days! This is one of the main bands for me. They’re so good live and I can’t wait to see them again. Especially as since I last saw them (which was Wacken 2008) they’ve released Hordes of Chaos and Endorama. HoC is a solid album and from what I’ve heard of Endorama, it seems good. Very different vocal style, but I like it!

Mayhem – At first I wasn’t going to include this band. But what the hell, they’ve grown on me. I can see myself getting bored watching them just like Morbid Angel but studio wise, they seem alright

Morbid Angel – I saw these get announced for a number of festivals and thought I’d check them out. They seem alright – pretty sludgy death metal. I think their set could get a touch dull but that opinion is based on their studio stuff, I’ve no idea what they are like live.

Motorhead – This is an awesome announcement as far as I am concerned. Saw Motorhead at the tail end of last year and they were awesome. I imagine at Wacken we will get the same set that we will have got at Sonisphere (though I imagine their set will be longer at Wacken). Some might find that annoying, but it’s Motorhead! As long as they turn up and play the rock and roll, I’m sure I’ll be happy!

Onslaught – The latest band to be announced that has made me very happy. Onslaught is a genius British thrash band. I saw them in a tiny room in Oxford supporting Testament. They were fantastic live then. I hear that their Live Damnation album is superb. I haven’t heard it yet, but if it’s even a patch on the Oxford set, then it’ll be great.

Ozzy Osbourne – Well, Ozzy isn’t a massive draw for me on his own but when he is headlining such an awesome bill, how can you not be excited! His latest solo album is genius from what I’ve heard, and it’ll be a treat to hear a selection from the Black Sabbath collection that I haven’t heard played live yet. He will be great to see (I hope).

Primal Fear – A band who I originally confused with Primal Scream. Both good bands though and I’m looking forward to seeing them.

Russkaja – They seem like a fun band. Spotify, my regards once more

Saltatio Mortis – This band give off very different vibes between songs. While typing this blurb, I can hear influences of folk metal mixed with Rammstein-like industrial. However some of their other stuff is more like folk metal mixed with Sonata Arctica. It’s quite a mix, but I’m interested in seeing them. They played very early in the morning (00.45 if memory serves) in 2008 when I was dying of the tireds

Sepultura – This one is very interesting to me. I’ve seen Soulfly live and heard music from Cavalera Conspiracy. When seeing Soulfly, they cover some of the Sepultura material which is very good. However Max hasn’t been their front man for some time now and until buying a ticket for Wacken, I never listened to any of their post-Max material. It seems they are still really good and I am looking forward to seeing them.

Sirenia – Thanks Spotify! They strike me as very similar to Lacuna Coil if the male vocalist was heavier. Genius band though and hoping I get the chance to see them

Skalmold – Spotify, once again! These guys seem similar in ways to Amon Amarth. I quite like what I’ve heard and am looking forward to seeing them

Ski-King – Well, this was unexpected. It appears this guy pays tribute to Johnny Cash, but also to other artists in the style of Johnny Cash. If there is the chance to see him then I will.

Sodom – Haven’t heard much but they seem like a genius thrash band. A weird part of me is hoping they cover Surfin’ Bird live. But at the same time, I hope they don’t. Anyway, should be good

Subway To Sally – Really like what I hear when I listen to this band. I’ve seen them regularly announced for Wacken but they didn’t play 2008. I’m looking forward to seeing this band.

Suicidal Tendencies – Heard of this band for a number of reasons. 1) I used to use their song lyrics as msn names when I was much younger and I felt like shit. 2) Rob Trujillo, current bassist for Metallica, used to be the bassist for them and 3) Guitar Hero – Institutionalised was a cunt! Anyway, they seem quite cool and I’ll check them out given the chance.

The Haunted – Oh motherfucker yes! I loved this band when they played Wacken 2008 and I haven’t had the chance to see them live since (well, I could have gone to see them support Slayer...but anyway!) Can’t wait!

Tokyo Blade – Spotify, you know the score. Anyway, Tokyo Blade seems like a fairly inoffensive rock band that is quite catchy. I like them!

Trivium – Aside from a blip at the Black Crusade, Trivium have never failed to impress me live. I can’t claim to like Shogun, but they were awfully good the last time I saw them, which would have been on the Shogun tour – so I’m looking forward to seeing them on a huge stage again.

Tsjuder – Black Metal which doesn’t rape my ears. That seems to be the way with Black Metal, I either like it or it rapes my ears and I dislike its presence. Anyhoo, they’re good.

Victims of Madness – Again, fairly inoffensive metal band. Will catch if the chance arises

Visions of Atlantis – Very similar to Nightwish in many respects, which is a very good thing. This band is good so I hope to catch them. Cheers Spotify!

Vried – Death/Black Metal. Anyways, they don’t rape my ears either so I like them for that.

Well, that so far are all the bands at Wacken that range from “Wouldn’t mind seeing” to “Oh my fuck I have to see these!” If anymore get added, note that I will discuss them. The thing about this list is the size of it. If I manage to see all of these bands then that’ll be a new record for the amount of bands I’ve seen at a festival. I fear with liking this many bands that there are going to be clashes and plenty of them. Tough decisions ahead, but good tough decisions.

I'll also do an early preview of Sonisphere 2011 (when they announce more bands) and Foo Fighters at MK. Speaking of which, I'm going to see Foo Fighters next month with Cee Lo Green, Band of Horses and someone else. Should be good!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Falling into fountains

It’s a Sunday night and I have nothing to do so I will write for the nice people that read this shit. There is not a great deal of current affairs stuff going on but I’ll talk about some of it anyhow. I did want to move into the region of talking about sillier stories like me and Dave did on the RRP because that’s always fun.

There appears to be some trouble politically in Ireland at the moment. By this, I mean the country is screwed anyway. We all saw the public collapse of its economy and the subsequent bail-out. Just as a side point, it was quite entertaining but frustrating to see the response to that and the fact that the UK would be helping them out. Generally speaking it was “how can we afford to bail out another country when we are making cuts at home?” which is a good point to a certain degree. However one element which clearly had been forgotten about is that if the UK stood by and watched Ireland and its economy crumble then the economy here would have suffered as a result. I’d imagine that there are a few economic partnerships between the UK and Ireland which would have been too valuable to lose, so spending the money to bail them out in the short term would have made the money back in the long term. Anyway, the Irish coalition government has received a bucket-load of shit hurled at them over the state of the economy and in the last week, the PM there has won a vote of confidence and then resigned. That was a bit strange, especially as he hasn’t resigned as PM but he has resigned as the leader of his party, which FYI is called “Fianna Fail” (well if you are going to be pessimistic from the off...). I don’t understand how a politician can resign as the governing party’s leader but remain Prime Minister in a republic country. Now, if he had said he intends to resign as both straight away then fair enough – but he didn’t and that is a bit strange. Also, if you are going to resign, why hold on to power until an election where the result will be you losing power, even if Fianna Fail wins. I don’t understand it myself.

One issue which appears to be dominating our front pages is relating to a phone hacking scandal. It would appear that a former editor of a Sunday tabloid isn’t always honest and acts in ways which might label him as a scrotum. Actually before I go and get myself sued, he has claimed that he knew nothing of the accusations but a captain must go down with his ship and all. Anyway, he resigned as editor at the time it was first in the press and he has been forced to resign from his position as communications director at Downing Street for the current government as more stuff about this scandal has made it in the papers – some three years later. Now, don’t get me wrong, he could have done nothing legally wrong and I would have still thought he was a scrotum (working for a tabloid in a senior position isn’t in my eyes a good job). However there are two things which I wanted to say about this. The first is that he was accused of something which went down in 2007. Now, he wasn’t actually accused of doing anything other than not stopping the phone hacking going on if memory serves. More importantly than that, he resigned in 2007. He took a bullet for something which he claimed he didn’t do or didn’t know about. Now, ignorance is not a valid argument when it comes to law but he took his punishment by resigning from what I can only assume is a fairly well paid job. Why this has cost him another job I do not know. I’m sure David Cameron was well aware of his past when hiring him so this is very peculiar. The second thing is that Ed Milliband has proven himself over this issue to be both 1) a fantastic leader of the opposition but someone who’d likely be a very poor PM and 2) a scrotum. “Labour leader Ed Milliband said the row raised ‘real questions about David Cameron's judgement that he hung on to Andy Coulson for so long’.” – Oh do fuck off! If any employer hires someone with a criminal record or a firing on their record, they will think harder about that decision than most others when it comes to hiring so to suggest that it smacks of something which lacks judgment is ridiculous. I really am growing to dislike Ed Milliband but then I guess I would, considering his political persuasion and the fact that I don’t know him.

I mentioned earlier that I wanted to talk about a silly story. Now, the way this worked on the show for anyone who didn’t listen to the RRP or has forgotten is that the story was read, and then we would comment on it. Now, this would either be with jokes or with a rant – generally speaking. As this format is a written format then there really is no reason for the story summary as you people all have eyes and therefore you can read the story yourselves. In fact for this in particular story, if you were to say CLICK THIS BIT OF TEXT RIGHT HERE WHERE THE TEXT IS RANDOMLY LARGER, then you might find yourself on the page where the story is. I’ll give you a moment to read and then we’ll carry on.

I presume you wouldn’t have reached this stage without having read the story so let us press on. I accept that as a Brit, I will never understand the suing culture in America fully. It seems to be the way work-shy/stupid Americans get their money. In this case though, I don’t see how on earth she can sue. The security guard in question probably shouldn’t have put the footage online and he suffered for doing so by losing his job. He did something he shouldn’t have done at work and as a result, lost his job. He has been punished, so I don’t see the scope for her to sue. Yes, he did make her look like a tit online but I imagine she did that all by herself - by not looking where she was walking while texting and falling face first INTO A FOUNTAIN! Furthermore, what is the sodding point of suing someone who’s just lost their job and, without wishing to be offensive, probably wasn’t in a wonderfully paying job in the first place?! Is she going to sue the security firm? They’ve done all they can by getting rid of the guy who upset her. This is just ridiculous. I hope she sues and gets into court and the judge turns round to her and says “You get nothing, you lose, good day sir!”

50 Word Review: Whole Lotta Led were good earlier this month. The “best of” set at the beginning could have been better but they could also play for 5 hours. Led Zeppelin 4 was performed awesomely and the encore after was just win. Go see them (assuming you like Led Zeppelin of course!)

Well anyway that’s all I’ve got for this one. As an update to the 2011 blog, I have made moves on changing jobs to start a career by applying for other jobs within Portsmouth University. Well, applying for one but that will become plural by the end of the week. I am excited and hopeful that I will hear news relating to one of these jobs soon. I did notice that the one I’ve applied for has entered the public domain as well. We shall see what happens there. One last thing before calling it quits, I have just downloaded an app called Audio Boo for the iPhone. When the chance arises, I might record an audio boo to accompany the blog. That is something to look forward to...well, maybe. The next post will be an in-depth preview of Wacken, which will likely be the first one of many before actually departing. You stay classy and don’t fall into fountains.

Monday, 17 January 2011


Getting a touch excited already. The lineup is already immense

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Away Day Blues

First post of the New Year, I suppose I should start it off with a customary new year’s greeting. I hope that everyone who celebrated the changing of times had a good one. I myself had a relaxed one but I can’t be doing with going too far from home on NYE. The sheer cost of getting home is enough to put me off but the fact that you need to pay to get into places which are usually free is somewhat of an annoyance. Perhaps it is just me, but it seems somewhat exploitative. Anyway, the eve was spent with friends playing FIFA, a game which made me realise that I do miss having an Xbox. I must confess I am tempted to buy a cheaper older console and buy a football game for it – it is a pretty good way of killing time. I posted in my last blog about plans for this year. Two of the major plans were to quit smoking and to lose weight. The former has been met with some successes. I went 7 days without touching a cigarette. However a tough craving got the better of me after a nights drinking and then an early start on the alcohol the next day while in Brighton. I aim to get back on track with quitting as soon as possible (I still have 2 cigarettes left in the packet that I bought, so when they are gone would be as good as a time as any to restart quitting smoking). As for losing weight, I haven’t actually weighed myself since the last time I did so I can’t really comment. However I can say with some certainty that changes have already been made to my lifestyle which surely has to be beneficial. We shall see. One of the other desires I mentioned for 2011 would be to see System of a Down live. I’m not entirely sure if this will be possible but I am toying with the idea of going to Wacken. The lineup (for me anyway) is pretty awesome and I would feel like I’ve missed an awesome opportunity if I didn’t go. I have reservations about going to Germany for the first time but going to a foreign festival alone is something I’ve discussed frequently, perhaps this is my chance.

I spoke earlier about being in Brighton. This would be fulfilling a desire of mine to watch Portsmouth F.C away from home. This seemed to be a good choice of an away game for a number of reasons. First being that the game, while being away, is geographically close. 50 or so miles down the road isn’t a bad distance to travel for an away game. Second being the team we were playing being a league lower than us in the football league standings. While cup shocks do happen and Pompey haven’t been playing so well recently, I couldn’t help but feel that a result for us would happen. Third and finally, it was £19 for a ticket. I’m not opposed to paying £23 for a ticket but it is always nice when it is cheaper! Their ground, the Withdean Stadium is to put it nicely, a toilet. I accept that it is a converted athletics stadium but it is just in poor shape. I don’t wish to dwell on this for too long but I can’t start talking about this trip without reviewing the purpose of going. The game was painful. I assumed Pompey would dominate the game and win comprehensively. Indeed, it looked like this would happen in the first 5 or so minutes. Then Brighton had a goal disallowed for an offside. Whether the player was offside or not is irrelevant, what matters is that Brighton sliced Pompey open. Following this was the stupid dismissal of Dave Kitson which left Pompey a man down. What followed was put simply, a football lesson...from a team A LEAGUE LOWER THAN US! First away game not such a good one but I hope the next one, which I think will be Leicester, will be better.

One thing that comes with a new year is the possibility of doing a 365 project. I’ve seen rumblings of a 365 project, which honestly I’d never heard of until this year. I’m not entirely sure what that says about me but there we are. For those who like me, were in the dark on this entire matter – a 365 project is basically a photo from every day and as there are 365 days in the not take advantage of that name would be foolish. This seemed like a cool project to do and I like photography so I thought “this could be for me!”...And then I forgot - Day 1 of 2011 I forgot to take a photo. I saw people posting photos the next day and thought that I’d missed the boat. I then thought that to be funny and different, I’d do a 364 project. Well on reflection – thinking that was a funny idea probably says more about me than having never heard of a 365 project. Long story short, I took a photo on day 2 and didn’t take one on day three. I took one which could be day 4 but I’m not sure whether it is suitable for use. It is now day 12 and I haven’t done anything towards it. Perhaps next year

That’s all I’ve got for this one. Next one, amongst other things, will contain a review of Whole Lotta Led from their Wedgewood Rooms gig on Friday. This post was going to contain a passage which would have been inspired by a former co-worker relating to metal band clothing. However, for fear of coming across as having over-thought the issue or coming from a place of something that’s personally hurt by the issue, I decided the best thing to do would just be to delete her from Facebook and not mention it again. Thinking about it, that doesn’t help my argument that I wasn’t offended by it. Ach well, not a great deal that can be done about it now.

Soundtrack of the Blog – The Wildhearts – Earth Vs.