metal talk
metal talk
  BLOODSTOCK 2011
Tina Saul: Pictures by Judith Fisher

17th August 2011

tina saul



bloodstock 2011

As the hangovers slowly fade, it's time to look back on the seventh Bloodstock Open Air festival and round up some of the events that I had the pleasure of witnessing.

I couldn't get out of London until late afternoon and that, coupled with a nasty car crash on the M1, meant I pretty much missed most of the action on Friday. As I was pitching my tent I could hear DEVIN TOWNSEND, who I'd really been looking forward to seeing, playing in the distance. It did sound like a great show and I've heard good things from people that managed to catch it.

Article continues below...



I did make it to the main stage in time for the first headliner of the weekend, W.A.S.P. and what a great way to get the set kicked off than opening with 'On Your Knees' followed by 'I Don't Need No Doctor'. But there was something missing in the traditional flamboyance of their shows. I can remember walking away from their London LA2 gig in 1999 covered in white powder and feathers, but that all seems to be gone now Blackie has returned to his religious roots.

And there wasn't a glimmer of hope that they'd play 'Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)', due to him renouncing it recently. It was still a solid show, and Blackie looked and sounded great, as did the rest of the band, but not one that particularly excited me. The beer with ginger in it that I was handed afterwards did, however.

Up bright and not-so-breezy for Saturday at about 7.00am, largely due to the fact that it's impossible to sleep in a festival campsite, but also helped from drinking too much of the free Monster Energy Drink on offer the night before.

First band for me were GRAVEDIGGER. I've never been a huge fan before, but they well and truly won me over and I loved how they were piped on to stage by the Skeletor-looking character, AKA Hans Peter Katzenburg, that then went on to play keyboards. Shame about the sound issues though, and this seems to be a recurring theme at festivals this year.

Vocalist Chris Boltendahl kept seeking help from the Stage Manager and it looked like it was his monitors that were failing from what I could gather and he really didn't look happy for the first few songs. Once all issues were resolved they pulled off a great set, which really has got me interested in checking out more about them. 'Rebellion' and 'Hammer Of The Scots' were my particular favourites.

A quick check in at the Press to round up the troops to head to the Sophie Lancaster stage and see DRIPBACK, a five-piece from London, who describe themselves as Hardcore/Death/Grind Fury. They drew a fair size crowd and gave everyone a smack in the face as they hit the stage with their unique style. If that doesn't wake you up early in the day, nothing will. The crowd continued to grow throughout their set and mosh pits appeared, making for a great atmosphere. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Interviews were next to take priority but I did manage to have a wander round site and check out a few bands. Made it to the New Blood stage just in time to see PURE NEGATIVE and find out if their drummer Hellhog could pull off two shows so close together, after bashing the drums earlier with Dripback. And he did and this might just be another band to keep a look out for.

Wandering back through the site, I stumbled upon THERION. It was the Swede's only UK show of 2011 and I'm guessing one a few people were looking forward to. I'm not a fan of female Metal operatics and it all seemed very choreographed, which is not what you want at a Metal Fest. Actually it felt like I was watching a poor imitation of a West End show along the lines of Les Miserables.

But all faith in Metal was restored by the time ANGEL WITCH took to the stage. This band look they're going for the world record in number of personnel changes and with only Kevin Heybourne still in the band from the original line-up, they don't always get the best press. And of course a lot of people can only comment on one track of theirs. They didn't disappoint me and it was a set worth sticking around to sing along to 'Angel Witch' at the end.

angel witch
Kevin Heybourne, Angel Witch

Then next up was something that really did provide some light entertainment: METAL KARAOKE. Some of the 'acts' were really lame, but provided entertainment nonetheless. However, there was one young kid that could definitely get a new career as a Jack Black impersonator. His cover of Tenacious D's 'Tribute' was fantastic and he got as good a cheer as some of the other bands who played over the weekend. That got everyone in the party mood and so it was inevitable that it wouldn't stop there.

And hence why waking up early for HELL on Sunday morning was made nigh on impossible. Armed with a few litres of water to hydrate my aching body and get me through the seven-track set, I was pleasantly surprised. It is a little odd to watch a vocalist with hands free mic for this style of music, but this band really helped kick the cobwebs from my alcohol-addled brain, and the rest of the crowd too by the looks of things. A great start to the day, personal highlight being 'The Quest'.

exodus
Exodus

I didn't manage to catch any of PRIMORDIAL due to clashes, but I did hear about front man Alan Nemtheanga losing his voice part way through their set. There has been an official statement now released from him about this:

"Firstly I have to thank everyone for their support and dedication during a very difficult show at Bloodstock on Sunday, we were all deeply humbled by everyone's response and hearing your voices loud and clear singing our own songs back to us was moving.

The simple fact is from one line to the next my voice completely disappeared. From feeling perfectly normal within seconds I could not even whisper. This has never happened to me before in my twenty years of singing. Slowly my voice came back and if we had another hour left I would have been able to sing again. It seems to have either been an allergic reaction to something I ate or drank that morning mixed with a complete dehydration of the vocal chords."

Next up was my favourite of the whole festival EVIL SCARECROW. I caught a little bit of their set at Hard Rock Hell IV and thought they were entertaining, which is why I was so keen to go and check them out properly. Well come on, any band that starts their Myspace bio with "Introducing the scariest thing to come out of Nottingham since Torvill and Dean..." has got to be worth going to see.

evil scarecrow
Evil Scarecrow

As soon as their set started the tent started to fill and what ensued next was forty minutes of the craziest Parody Metal I've ever seen, certainly giving Steel Panther a run for their money. They have found a real niche in what they're doing and where their music is firmly stuck in the comedy genre there is no denying that these are a talented bunch.

A cover of Thunder Cats theme tune made the entire tent grin and then who could not be caught up with the synchronised robot dancing during 'Robototron'. They finished the set with a very alternative version of 'The Final Countdown' where their guitarist even ran to the back of the tent and jumped on the bar to play the solo. There's some footage here for you to check out for yourself below and see just how much fun everyone had and if you ever have the opportunity to see these guys live, do it. I doubt you'll be disappointed.



As we reached the closing few hours of Bloodstock, the next band was one I'd been looking forward to, and I don't know if it was the sheer joy of watching Evil Scarecrow, or the late night/early morning combo, but I just couldn't get into HAMMERFALL.

hammerfall
Hammerfall

So onto probably the biggest of the thrash bands outside of the Big Four. Bay Area thrashers EXODUS were as blistering and brutal as ever. They powered through classics including 'A Lesson In Violence', 'Blacklist' and 'Bonded By Blood', as the crowd moshed and pummelled each other with relish. Finishing with the epic 'Toxic Waltz', they proved beyond all doubt that they are still a massive force to be reckoned with.

So this is probably why POWER QUEST didn't go down too well afterwards. I enjoyed the set, but the atmosphere was extremely flat in the tent, with hordes of people streaming out while they played. There were die-hard fans at the front that stayed with them, but the lack of crowd really put a dampener on their show for me.

powerquest
Powerquest

And so after realising that my body can't live on a liquid diet, it was time to grab some food and check out the festival stalls. The shops themselves were replicas of the ones found at all the other festivals, so there was nothing new to find. Shame really, as that's one of the things that takes the sense of individuality out of the smaller festivals.

And as the day began to draw to a close, it was time to see the final band of the weekend. MOTORHEAD opened up with 'Iron Fist' and launched into a fourteen track set with vigour. But that was sadly lost in the process of their performance and song by song Lemmy seemed to mutter between tracks and lose the crowd. A complete contrast to Sonisphere where they started off low, due to the announcement of the death of Würzel, and build up to a cracking show.

There were of course high expectations for the encore and 'Ace Of Spades' was a good way to kick it off. But that was it! The set was cut short ten minutes prematurely and the crowd were left there wondering where 'Overkill' had gone.

It seemed such a shame that Bloodstock ended with a level of disappointment but as a whole it was a great success. The festival has grown year on year and it seems that there may be plans in place to up the size for next year. I'm not sure this is a good thing, considering we already have Download and Sonisphere to tick the box of the bigger boys.

I personally preferred Bloodstock three years ago, when it was far more relaxed and less focused on the commercial elements, but I understand that they need to think about the future and of course make ends meet. I hope they don't grow this too big and instead focus on what makes it one of the most fun weekends of the year: a family run festival, with a family run atmosphere. This is what makes it so special and the reason why people flock back to it year after year.








 

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vader WAS BREAKING NEWS: VADER ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER LONDON GIG
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dokken DOKKEN CLASSIC LINE-UP ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
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slayer WAS BREAKING NEWS: SLAYER FUTURE "VERY UNCLEAR" SAYS KERRY KING
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black sabbath WAS BREAKING NEWS: OZZY OSBOURNE REVEALS SEX ADDICTION
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clutch CLUTCH RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'A QUICK DEATH IN TEXAS'
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simon townshend THE WHO TOURING GUITARIST SIMON TOWNSHEND'S RE-MASTERED ALBUMS FEATURING EDDIE VEDDER ON THE WAY
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evyltyde EVYLTYDE TO HEADLINE LEICESTER'S FIREBUG: VEIL OF DELUSIONS TO MAKE THEIR UK DEBUT
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devilment DEVILMENT, FEATURING DANI FILTH, TO TOUR THE UK IN DECEMBER
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a7x AVENGED SEVENFOLD, DISTURBED AND IN FLAMES TO TOUR UK IN JANUARY
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hellyeah HELLYEAH HONOUR DIMEBAG IN NEW "MUST SEE" VIDEO OF PHIL COLLINS SONG
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opeth OPETH UNVEIL FIRST TRACK FROM FORTHCOMING NEW ALBUM: LISTEN HERE
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led zeppelin RANDY CALIFORNIA'S ESTATE APPEAL LED ZEPPELIN 'STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN' VERDICT
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armored saint ARMORED SAINT TO HEADLINE OZZFEST MEETS KNOTFEST KICK-OFF PARTY
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british lion STEVE HARRIS' BRITISH LION TO HEADLINE PLANET ROCKSTOCK
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second relation SECOND RELATION PREMIERE TITLE TRACK OF FORTHCOMING THIRD ALBUM 'ENO'
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amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOUNCE SECOND LONDON SHOW ON CO-HEADLINE TOUR
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thunder THUNDER PLAN TO GIVE THE GAME AWAY WITH A NEW BOOK
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rudolf schenker SCHENKERS AT WAR: RUDOLF BREAKS HIS SILENCE ON MICHAEL'S ACCUSATIONS
"He's a trick master, and he's a wannabe. And that's it. He can do whatever he wants..."

jon oliva SAVATAGE MAINMAN JON OLIVA RECOVERING FROM STROKE
"I lived the rock n' roll lifestyle since I was 18. It's all I knew and I enjoyed the ride very much..."

ramblin man RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR 2017 DATES ANNOUNCED PLUS WHO WE THINK COULD HEADLINE NEXT YEAR
After what was probably the best rockin' weekend of the year so far, we didn't have to wait long before we could start planning for the 2017 rematch...

airbourne AIRBOURNE ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER HEADLINE UK TOUR
The band will play ten UK date beginning in Portsmouth and Norwich on November 17th and finish off with two nights at The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London...

black stone cherry BLACK STONE CHERRY ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
"We have never done anything like this before and we knew the UK was the only place to do it. That's all we're gonna say about it!"

gary rossington LYNYRD SKYNYRD UPDATE WITH MORE CANCELLATIONS DUE TO GARY ROSSINGTON ILLNESS
"Currently the band hopes to resume touring on Thursday 4th August at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands..."

extreme EXTREME CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'PORNOGRAFFITI' ALBUM WITH 'PORNOGRAFFITI LIVE 25/METAL MELTDOWN'
"Some of these songs were never played live before so we had to go back and relearn them for the tour."

ozzy osbourne OZZY OSBOURNE: "I'M NOT HAPPY BEING SOBER"
"It scares me. I hear all the time people say that they have another drink in them but they may not have another sobriety in them..."

paul rodgers IT'S NOT ALL RIGHT NOW! PAUL RODGERS SUES DONALD TRUMP
"We will make America great again. God bless you and good night, I love you."

heavy metal HEAVY METAL HELPS PEOPLE DEAL WITH MORTALITY ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL STUDY
"Metal music can be seen as cultural good for fans and thereby can form part of their social identity."

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD STILL RUNNING DOWN THE HIGHWAY: PHIL, MIKKEY AND EDDIE ALL GEARED UP FOR FORTHCOMING DATES
"Every snare hit I do from now on until the end of my career will be a small tribute to Lemmy..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN'S STEVE HARRIS DROPS THE PRICE OF HIS ESSEX MANSION BY £1MILLION
The eight-bedroom mansion was on the market for £6.75million in 2012 but it's "guide price" is now a mere £3.95million...

hrh aor ALL GUNS BLAZING FOR NEW HRH AOR 5 ANNOUNCEMENT
Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns unite under the L.A. Guns banner once again for next year's HRH AOR 5 being held next March at Camp HRH in North Wales...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE 'LIVE AT THE NEC' DVD ON THE WAY: FAREWELL JON, WELCOME DON
The two share keyboard duties during the night in a very fitting "passing-of-the-torch" moment...

status quo ROCK 'TIL YOU DROP WITH STATUS QUO 1981-1986 VINYL BOX SET
In addition to the studio albums the box set will include an extra disc of b-sides and extended mixes...

zz top ZZ TOP TO RELEASE THEIR VERY FIRST OFFICIAL LIVE ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER
"In an abstract surrealism style, this collection is a definitive chronicle of the band hangin' together for four plus deluxe decades..."

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG "SPECIAL TIME" HAS COME WITH NEW RELEASE
"The new Tygers album is finished, done and dusted and ready to unleash on our 'Tygertastic' audience. You're gonna love this one, it's a MONSTER..."

andy fraser ANDY FRASER OF FREE'S LAST RECORDING WITH SAIICHI SUGIYAMA ONLINE HERE
"'Melting Away' became one of Andy's last recordings. He still had so much to offer and I was really looking forward to continuing to work with him."

ritchie blackmore RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW TO PLAY AGAIN BUT WITH LESS DEEP PURPLE SONGS
"I would do probably ninety-five percent Rainbow songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."

saxon EXCLUSIVE: THIS IS WHAT OUR FAVOURITE ROCKERS THINK OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Comment from Saxon, Slash, Thunder, Iron Maiden, Uli Jon Roth, Hawkwind, Cher, Johnny Rotten, Machine Head And More...

beyond the black UK EXCLUSIVE: BEYOND THE BLACK SINGER JENNIFER HABEN IS LOST IN FOREVER AS FIVE MEMBERS DEPART THE BAND
"I have enjoyed the time together with the guys very much and am grateful for everything we have achieved together in Germany. I am currently looking for new colleagues..."

cats in space CATS IN SPACE SET TO RELEASE SLADE CLASSIC WITH DANNY BOWES OF THUNDER ON GUEST VOCALS
"It's is one of my favourite Slade songs, so when they asked me to sing on their version it took me a good second and a half to say yes..."

guns n roses WAS BREAKING NEWS: GUNS N' ROSES ADD MORE TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
The Gunners' newly announced dates are for South America with ten dates in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia with more to be announced soon...

keith moon YOU WON'T GET FOOLED WITH OFFICIAL KEITH MOON COMMEMORATIVE DRUM HEAD
Manufactured as a special, custom product by Remo, these 14" high-gloss drum heads are a perfect collector's item for true fans of the legendary drummer and The Who...

the answer WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE ANSWER AND THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER UK TOUR
"The fact that we get to debut this new material with our mates The Dead Daisies just adds to the rush we're currently experiencing. You really don't want to miss this one!"

ian gillan IAN GILLAN SAYS: "IT'S A WONDERFUL THING, VINYL..." WITH NEW COLLECTION ABOUT TO BE RELEASED
"You just bought something significant, not easily disposable. And look at the sleeves - aren't they cool..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY: "THE LYRICS ON THE TITLE TRACK ARE SOME OF SPIKE'S BEST EVER!"
"I approached the songwriting from a different angle and it felt good. There's a lot of passion there."

48 hours 48 HOURS TO ROCK THE UK TO A CITY OF ASHES
"We're hitting the road in September for a co-headline tour with our broseph's City Of Ashes! This will be one of the unsigned tours of the year!"

hammerfall WAS BREAKING NEWS: LIVE LIFE LOUD WITH HAMMERFALL ON 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR: NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY
"We can't wait to get back on stage again to have a gigantic Heavy Metal party every night with all our Templar friends!"

joe perry AEROSMITH GUITARIST JOE PERRY REPORTEDLY SUFFERS HEART ATTACK DURING HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES GIG
"Thanks to everyone asking about our brother Joe Perry," Alice Cooper wrote. "He is stable right now, with family and is under the best care."

onslaught ONSLAUGHT, BEHOLDER AND ANIHILATED TOUR PROMISES TO BE A TOUR DE FORCE
"By the time we hit the road in November it will be well over two-and-a-half years since we did the last run and we feel the time is now right..."

arw ARW (JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN) ANNOUNCE BAND FOR UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
"I have played with arguably the three greatest bass players ever and I can't wait to play with one of them again!"

marillion MARILLION UNVEIL 'THE NEW KINGS' FROM FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM 'FEAR'
'The New Kings' can also be heard on Marillion's current tour which starts on Monday 11th July in Barcelona...

michael des barres AN AMERICAN WRITER ASKS WHY IT TAKES A BRITISH EX-PAT TO ASK, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" MICHAEL DES BARRES HAS THE ANSWER
This incendiary cover of Marvin Gaye's classic confronts America's issues in an incredibly timely and head-on manner...

freedom call FREEDOM CALL RELEASE A NEW METAL HYMN 'HAMMER OF THE GODS', AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
The trademark bold vocal harmonies remain. The track is taken from forthcoming opus 'Master Of Light'...

guns n roses STEVEN ADLER JOINS GUNS N' ROSES ON STAGE IN OHIO: FOUR FIFTHS OF 'APPETITE' LINE-UP PLAY TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990
"On the drums, you might know this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Steven Adler..."

ac dc AC/DC BASSIST CLIFF WILLIAMS TO RETIRE AFTER ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR: "IT'S BEEN SURREAL"
"AC/DC has been... you know, just... I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band, and I'm all filled up..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES USE THEIR ILLUSION TO SILENCE THE DOUBTERS WITH US TOUR GOING SO FINE
Axl is clearly in his element on this tour, running across the stage to jump on the monitors mid-song and displaying all the panache of a man completely on top of his game...

stray del bromham STRAY TO ROAM AROUND THE UK ON TOUR INCLUDING A RARE REUNION OF THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP
No need to move a mountain as both Stray and Del Bromham's Blues Devils are on their way to a venue near you...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOY THE NEIGHBOURS WITH RAUCOUS NEW SINGLE
'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops' was co- written by vocalist Gill Montgomery and Black Star Riders front man Ricky Warwick...

eagles of death metal WAS BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WANT YOU SO BAD ON TWO UK DATES IN AUGUST
This is EODM's first visit to the UK since the band were caught up in the terrible events at The Bataclan Theatre in Paris back in November 2015...

soil SOiL 'SHINE ON' THE UK WITH COMPREHENSIVE TOUR
"We are looking forward to seeing some new places and making some new friends this time around..."

acid reign ACID REIGN GET IN FESTIVE MOOD EARLY WITH SPECIAL GIG ANNOUNCEMENT
'Tis the season to Thrash as Acid Reign team up with Shrapnel with far from obnoxious results...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN: LEGACY OF THE BEAST MOBILE RPG GAME IS OUT NOW
"We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game as we think the combination of Eddie and the music is so well suited..."

rick parfitt status quo EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT SEEMS TO BE 'FINE FINE FINE' AS HE IS SPOTTED OUT AND ABOUT
Following the recent health scare a picture has emerged online of him taking a walk in Kingston over the weekend...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE TO PLAY 'THE POISON' IN FULL FOR THE FIRST EVER TIME
"We promised you something special right? See 'The Poison' played in full for the first time in Manchester! Tickets on sale now here..."

alter bridge WAS BREAKING NEWS: ALTER BRIDGE TO HEADLINE ARENAS ACROSS EUROPE THIS WINTER WITH GOJIRA AND VOLBEAT
This will be their biggest headline tour yet with twenty-four dates across fifteen countries, kicking off on November 4th 2016

the mission WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAUHAUS FRONTMAN PETER MURPHY TO GUEST WITH THE MISSION ON THEIR 30th ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
"Peter's appearance will help make these shows the special events that we always wanted and hoped they'd be..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ILLUSTRATOR DESIGNS SHIRT FOR ONE DIRECTION'S ZAYN MALIK, MAIDEN LAUNCH THIRD TROOPER BEER AND HI-ON-MAIDEN TO HEADLINE PICCSTOCK
A full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey"...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON TO TAKE PART IN TOP GEAR STYLE CHARITY ROAD TRIP
"The enthusiasm from the group is amazing which will lend itself to making it an unforgettable trip..."

anvil WAS BREAKING NEWS: ANVIL ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN TOUR FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Anvil will not only be playing dates in Scotland and Wales but also English towns which rarely see major international artists, such as Huddersfield, Doncaster and Grimsby.

status quo IT'S TIME TO GET 'DOWN DOWN' TO BUTLINS AS SECOND STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION IS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will feature live music from ex-Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with long time friend of the band, Jackie Lynton also scheduled to appear...

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