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alan reed

Next stop on our tour with It Bites is Southampton. The first two gigs were just me and Mark (Spencer - keys/bass/witty conversation), but from now on we're going to be joined by the other two members of what has become known as 'The Sensational Alan Reed Experience'. Callum (McCallum - guitars) and Jen (Clark - bass) have travelled down from Glasgow to join us for the rest of the tour.

Before then we need little run-through to blow out the cobwebs, so I've found a little rehearsal studio a few miles from the gig. And a lovely place it is too. It's primary role seems to be as a dance studio, but it's well-appointed, has a little cafe, and most important of all, it's warm. Considering we haven't played together for almost 9 months it's sounding good. Time for another gig.

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It Bites take it their stride that the support act has suddenly doubled in size and complexity. Southampton venue has a decent-sized stage and we have plenty of time to get both bands sorted and comfortable. Like every venue so far, the dressing room is positively arctic. IB's crew finds an old abandoned heater, but it fuses pretty much as soon as it's plugged up. Nathan (King - IB Bassist) remarks that a week or so ago he was in Cancun with Level 42. Mark and IB's the two Johns (Mitchell and Beck) are starting to suffer from the lurgy. Why does touring always happen at the most miserable time of year.

Gig goes well, and then it's off home in the dark through the freezing fog. It occurs to me that most of the audience will already be tucked up warm in bed while I'm still crawling through a scary whiteout back to Surrey!!

Next day we're off to Wolverhampton. Hotel tonight, so a swift check-in and then off to the gig. Mark has filled his car with fan heaters so we're prepared for anything the venue can throw at us. A third band have been added to the bill at a late stage, and all are worried how we're going to fit everyone on the stage and keep everything to time.

It Bites have a world record-breakingly fast soundcheck and clear the stage for us to get set up. We sort ourselves as quickly as possible to make way for The Reasoning, who've travelled up from Wales to take part. But it's been clear from the outset that there just isn't room onstage for their kit and bass rig. Sadly for them, they have to perform in a cut-down form, which nevertheless sounds rather good.

All too soon our performance is over and we're back to the hotel. It's the first time we've all had time to sit back and chew the fat, so a few beers are consumed late into the night. Onawards to Manchester and beyond!!




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 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.


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 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.



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