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  SURFACE FESTIVAL - REGIONAL SEMI-FINALS
Stairway, Glasgow
Sunday 29th July 2012

Johnny Main: Pictures by Carlan Braid

johnny main


estrella
Estrella

The Surface Festival is held throughout Europe, helping to discover and promote new talent with its regional and International showcases. Throughout 2012, events have been held in cities throughout the UK and Europe, and for bands that reach the final stages of the competition, they can be awarded with some incredible opportunities to showcase their talents in front of Industry figures.

I was dispatched to the semi-final heat held in Glasgow's Stairway nightclub to see how some of the bands performed live and to see if any future rock superstars were waiting to be discovered.



Motherwell based All She Knows were first up, although with any lack of introduction from the band, it did take a while to work out who they actually were. Having said that, Seb Lim Seet makes a good effort with his tuneful vocals whilst Adam MacEachran pounds away solidly on the drums at the back.

The second song performed in their set tonight, 'Be That Way', is one of their better efforts and affords bass player Ross McAndrew the time to pull some Metal poses while still making sure he's musically right on track. Guitarist George Cowie shows his worth in 'Sold My Soul' which features a great guitar solo before the band launch into 'Titanium' which features a very Marillion sounding keyboard solo. All in all, a good performance and one the band can be very proud of.

all she knows
All She Knows

Estrella who are up next had their debut album, 'Come Out To Play', recently released, and have also been nominated for two Scottish New Music Awards. Their star is certainly on the rise, and this is one good time party band with a guitar case full of top notch tunes to back them up.

They kick off with 'Shout', as vocalist Paul Gunn grasps the crowds' attention straight away with his stage presence and powerful vocals, whilst his brother Nathan on bass and drummer Leo McPherson keep the Estrella engine room running on full power.

estrella
Estrella

'She's Got It' has a bluesy feel to it, which turns into a great track with final Gunn brother, Luke's guitar solo a tour-de-force taking him (quite rightly) centre stage. Their debut album's titular track bursts into life with McPherson really punishing his drum kit as the audience are beckoned to get involved.

The highlight of the band's short set tonight is 'Whatever It Is' - the chorus just screams for a bit of audience participation before Luke takes an impromptu wander into the assembled crowd to perform a truly blistering guitar solo much to the audience's delight and bringing the curtain down on a highly polished display from the quartet.

all she knows
All She Knows

Dunfermline based The Defenistrators are a good entertaining band that surely gave a bright future ahead of them. Tonight's set begins with 'Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind', which is a fast and furious introduction to the band's talents. Neale Mathieson on vocals and guitar shouts his way through the song that is very much in the vein of Green Day.

Next up is 'Duct Tape' which is a good solid number whilst their song 'Detox To Retox' starts a mini mosh pit down the front, but before you know it this song is over – very short but very heavy and very good it should be said.

estrella
Estrella

'Pussy Whipped And Paper Clipped' has drummer Mathew Meiklejohn working away solidly at the back whilst Mathieson produces a good guitar solo as well as encouraging the crowd to join in. Their final number, 'Inside Her' has a solid bass line from Doug Barr and some good guitar work which turns this into a quality rock song. All in all, it was a good solid set from a band who can more than hold their own in the live arena.

Glasgow based band Black Velvet start solidly with 'Tainted Wings', in which vocalist Scott Taylor sounds not too far away from a Myles Kennedy/Chris Cornell sound, as bass player Adam Ronald headbangs his way through this song like his life depended on it. Following up with 'Scream', which features a good guitar solo from James Bird, it's followed by 'Out Of Reach', which is an archetypal slow, extended number with Taylor showing exceptional vocal skills in between the power chords from Bird, which eventually turn into a great guitar solo.

estrella
Estrella

The band bow out with 'I Am Alive' which brings things back up to speed with this mid-paced number which completes this competent, though short set.

Although they didn't get through to the next round of the competition, special mention must be made to Troon based Our Time Now. Lead singer Grant McCaw wasn't able to fully perform vocal duties due to a bout of laryngitis, so his place was taken by Megan McFadzean, who not only had to learn the lyrics the night before but also had to travel three hours overnight to get to the gig.

estrella
Estrella

Bass player Connor Hudspith has good stagecraft as does lead guitarist Ben Farrant – certainly two names to keep an eye on in the future. The band should be very proud of getting this far in the competition, and who knows, they may even do better next year.


our time now
Our Time Now

Bands:
All She Knows
Estrella
The Defenistrators
Black Velvet
Our Time Now

our time now
Our Time Now

Online:
Main Festival website: www.surfacefestival.com
Tonights featured bands:
All She Knows – facebook.com/allsheknowsmusic
Estrella – estrellarocks.com/
The Defenistrators – www.thedefenestrators.com
Black Velvet – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Velvet/214531565275375?sk=app_178091127385
Our Time Now – http://facebook.com/ourtimenow


7.8.12

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WACKEN WINTER NIGHTS IS HEAVY METAL WONDERLAND

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.

wacken

Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.



Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.

wacken

MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.

wacken

Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.

WACKEN 2018 TRAVEL PACKAGE ENQUIRY

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