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  RAISMES FESTIVAL 2013, FRANCE
September 14th 2013


Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske

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raismes

I must confess to this festival being one that had gone unnoticed by my radar, even though it has been going for over 10 years and played host to Girlschool, Pretty Maids, Uriah Heep, Y&T, Napalm Death, Krokus, Saxon, MSG and many others.

So this year it only seemed right to hop over the channel and drive the 80 miles from Dunkerque to Raismes to see what it was all about. Philippe Delory, the organiser, had been more than helpful in the build up to the event supplying AAA passes instead of the normal press versions and generally answering anything and everything.

The event itself takes place in the glorious surroundings of the Castle of Princess d'Arenberg (the building is used as the backstage area, complete with its own huge kitchen), a stone's throw from the town and 5km from Valenciennes and everything is on site that you could want. There is camping at the site and as I discovered, you can almost pitch your tent anywhere, so it makes a nice change to have a 30 metre walk to the stage area rather than the normal Himalayan trek.

Article continues below...

   


Passes collected (again very efficient organisation of the entry side), tent nailed to the grass (which costs a grand total of 3 Euros per person), it was time to see what the venue had to offer. Bar, various eateries, rock clothing, CDs and just about everything else for sale, so that was all pretty much covered.

So to the important part, the music. There are two stages, the main one and 2nd stage, facing each other and naturally enough the running order alternates between the two and I kid you not, there is almost no break whatsoever between the band on one stage finishing and the band on the other stage starting up and there is always the added entertainment of the security personnel hotfooting it from one stage to the next.

raismes Emerald Plays Thin Lizzy

It's all very well having a couple of stages, but things go even better if you get a mix of inspiring acts to strutt their stuff on them. And on this front the organisers always seem to come up trumps. The majority of the early bands are of course French (this is a French festival you know), but after that there is a mix and this year was no exception with Y&T from the States, Pendragon from the UK, Norway's Audrey Horne and Italy's Elvenking among those giving the event an international flavour.

The whole shooting match kicked off at 11.30am with French act Emerald plays Thin Lizzy first on the main stage. I hope I don't need to tell you what their set consisted of and if you are not sure, I would suggest a fairly immediate lobotomy is in order. As an opening act they were never going to set the event on fire and as it turned out the local fire brigade had no need to be in attendance.

The song choices were the routine fayre - 'The Boys Are Back In Town', 'Jailbreak', 'Whiskey In The Jar'... need I go on? As a band they were what you would expect in your local watering hole, not wholly bad and they had fun which is always a plus point. Just one thing though – if you are no technical wizz on the six string device, then I would suggest a Gary Moore solo is about the last thing you should be attempting.

raismes
Noise Emission Control

Noise Emission Control came up next on the 2nd stage and I have to say I was mightily impressed with them. For a band appearing so early in the day, the mix and originality on offer from this 4-piece was impressive to say the least. Thrash, punk, elements of the likes of Plastic Bertrand and the Beastie Boys included, the band were also very technical and melodic. Take away the suspicious dance moves and this is definitely a band to watch. And you have to love their humour with a full size fake dog on stage with blood covered hand in its mouth.

Les loques a terre were on the face of it not the sort of band I should me mentioning, a covers band from Paris. However the female vocalist had an astonishingly strong voice although not altogether suited to some of the material – Faith No More's 'From Out Of Nowhere' springs to mind. When she was dealing with the more souldful side, it was a different story. Give her something along the lines of Melissa Etheridge and she would be in her element.

So to a band who whilst quite low on the bill, have a lot of experience touring throughout the world and multiple album releases, Elvenking from Italy. It was the first time I had actually seen them live and to my mind there was only one band that eclipsed them throughout the day – more of them later. If you feel the need to pigeon hole, then folk metal is about as good a description as you can get.

As for their influences, they obviously come from such varied sources from classical to punk and about everything in between. What also marks them apart from the crowd is their use of their very talented violinist. It fits perfectly into the band and their songs, and adds an edge that is missing in so many.

raismes
One Down

With a glorious and inspiring intro there is always the fear that is going to be the highlight of the show but in the case of Elvenking, things just got better and better. Violin at the root of all the stunning melodies, filling the space perfectly between guitar and vocals, as with all good bands the songwriting is key and these guys certainly know how to do that.

There are so many elements to their sound that fans of just about every form of rock will have something to sink their teeth into.

Exactly why they are not better known is somewhat of a mystery, although they hardly come from a hotbed of rock music which makes life a little more difficult. As vocalist Damna told me after the gig, there is almost a sense of disbelief that there can be a classy rock band coming from Italy. They should hopefully be on these shores early next year and I would suggest you get down and see them.

Bukowski, Komah and the UK's Evile carried on proceedings with all the gusto required, the damp weather (seems it was my gift to the organisers as it followed me like a guided missile for almost 300 miles) not causing any adverse effects to equipment or spirits. Talking of equipment, the sound was almost impeccable throughout and the sound guys did an absolutely bang up job especially when you consider the lack of time they had between acts.

I mentioned there was one band who eclipsed Elvenking on the day and that band came on at just after 7.00pm – Norwegian rockers Audrey Horne. Off the back of their acclaimed album 'Youngblood' released in February this year, their reputation has been fast growing and since they toured the UK in late April they have been on the road playing numerous festivals, including the likes of Hellfest and Sweden Rock.

Having seen them on their last UK date a few months back, I was pretty sure what to expect but the setlist had altered drastically even in that relatively short time. If only more bands would develop that approach and keep things fresh but I suspect a lot of that is down to the standard of musicianship. And when it comes to that, the boys from Bergen are right up there with the best of them.

Most of the set of course was taken from 'Youngblood', with 'Straight Into Your Grave', 'There Goes A Lady', 'Cards With The Devil', 'Pretty Little Sunshine', the quite brilliant 'This Ends Here' all being given an outing. Vocalist Toschie also had time to bring out his mischievous humour while introducing 'The King Is Dead' another one from 'Youngblood'. The French so he said have a history of that kind of thing so he guessed they would like it.

Aside from the newer tracks, there was time for a couple of stormers from their 2010 album. 'Blaze of Ashes' featuring outstanding drummer Kjetil Greve ramping things up about as high as they can go and 'Bridges And Anchors' with Toschie making customary use of the local megafone.

Another classic in the making, 'Threshold' from the 2007 album 'Le Fol', gave bassist Espen Lien his time in the spotlight. As for the twin guitars of Arve Isdal (Ice Dale) and Thomas Tofthagen, they just compliment each other so well it is almost unreal, both of them making shapes all over the fretboard and Arve especially the perfect foil for Toschie, patrolling the front of the stage.

The vocalist himself was on fine form, and to his credit he couldnt have done more to interact with as many of the audience as possible. He is an accomplished frontman as well as well as vocalist.

These guys are just so full of energy it is impossible not to feel it; damn fine musicians and songwriters.

If there is any justice in this world you will hear a lot more about Audrey Horne and the chances are if they were from the UK or States they would already have achieved a lot more. Coming from Norway, things are just a little bit tougher, both financially and logistically but if there is one band who deserves success, then this is it.

It may well be known for Black Metal but with this bunch, Norway can now lay claim to producing one of the best classic rock bands for a very long time.

They were going to be a very hard act to follow and the band that had to do just that was Pendragon, coincidentally hailing originally from the same, small and mostly irrelevant town that I call home. I didn't actually see a great deal of them as I was backstage for most of their set interviewing Audrey Horne and generally putting the world to rights with the fellows from my semi homeland – it's a Viking thing.

Pendragon's approach is of course entirely different, more prog than rock and more for the purists than a pumped up festival crowd. That is often the problem with this kind of band at a festival encompassing the wide range of music that this one does. Musically, they are a very talented bunch of guys and good songwriters but being sandwiched between Audrey Horne and Y&T is never going to make it easy to get all the crowd on your side.

So to the headliners, the legendary Y&T. I first saw them way back in 1982 at the Reading Festival. They blew me away then and have done just about every other time I have seen them since. Raismes was en route to the UK for them where they were starting their annual autumn tour three days after their appearence here.

Having interviewed mainman Dave Meniketti 10 days before the festival, it was clear then that the man has as much enthusiasm for the business now as he always had and bear in mind the band is about to enter its 40th year – yes you did read that right.

It is almost pointless to tell you how good musically he and his band are, they are rarely if ever anything else. Consummate professionals to a man and in Meniketti they have a true talent in every sense of the word. There is of course a lot said and written about his guitar playing and because of that it is sometimes easy to forget what a superb singer he is as well. His voice is still pretty much intact after all the years of touring and he still has that expressive tone that isnt always there with some others.

The set list contained a large dose of perenniel favourites - 'Black Tiger' kicking things off and then 'Open Fire', a very interesting version of 'Midnight In Tokyo', 'Winds Of Change', 'Lipstick And Leather', 'I'm Coming Home' from the last studio album 'Facemelter', 'I Believe In You' from 'Earthshaker' and of course the classic amongst classics 'Forever'.

The gig seemed though a little flat, just that spark missing that has been there every other time I have seen them live. There were technical issues going on throughout and what seemed like more guitar changes than hypocrites in the government and that didn't help.

Hell, not even the best can be perfect every time and maybe that explains some of the flat feeling – they were good, very good, just not as good as I have witnessed on other occasions.

So there we have it. To my mind, and more importantly eyes and ears, Audrey Horne and Elvenking were the two stars of the show but the festival is a winner in so many ways and it really is time it was put on the map as a must attend event.

Absolutely everyone from the organisational side went out of their way to be as helpful as possible – the gate staff, camping area staff, security, backstage and catering staff were all just plain good and efficient at what they do and that is how it should be.

Holding it all together of course is the main organiser Philippe and hats off to him and his team for doing what they do, and not doing it for the money. This could quite easily be used as a template for smaller festivals.

I will definitely be back next year.

http://www.raismesfest.fr/


26.9.13





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"Metalheads! Grand Magus are back. We are proud to unleash this iron-clad anthem, we give you... VARANGIAN!"

tyler bryant TYLER BRYANT AND THE SHAKEDOWN SPECIAL UK HEADLINE WARM-UP DATE FOR AC/DC EUROPEAN TOUR CONFIRMED
Unleashing their high-proof blend of melody, muscle and psychedelic mystique to well in excess of 600,000 riff-hungry fans across 12 different countries...

klogr MUSE, TOOL, STONE SOUR, RUSH PRODUCER FOR KLOGR'S NEXT ALBUM PLUS NEW MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERE
Italian progressive metal band unveil the final music video from 'Make Your Stand'...

rage RAGE REVEAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR NEW TRACK 'SPIRITS OF THE NIGHT' PLUS NEW ALBUM TRAILERS
Iconic German metal trio Rage are set to release their new studio album 'The Devil Strikes Again' on June 10th...

bon scott LIFE-SIZED STATUE OF AC/DC LEGEND BON SCOTT UNVEILED IN KIRRIEMUIR
The bronze statue is the result of a two-year crowdfunding campaign which was supported by AC/DC and the band's former bass player Mark Evans officially unveiled it...

mikkey dee BREAKING NEWS: SAXON WITH PHIL CAMPBELL AND MIKKEY DEE TO PAY TRIBUTE TO LEMMY AT GOLDEN GODS, HAMMERSMITH ODEON
Ticket price is a very reasonable £6.66 with all proceeds going to Nordoff Robbins, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Childline...

mikkey dee BREAKING NEWS: MOTÖRHEAD'S MIKKEY DEE ANNOUNCED AS SCORPIONS DRUMMER
"We would like to continue our Return to Forever tour with James, but we have to realize that his health is priority..."

alex dickson gun BREAKING NEWS: ALEX DICKSON REJOINS GUN
As exclusively predicted by MetalTalk last week, guitarist Alex Dickson has re-joined Scottish rockers Gun...

cockney rejects WEST HAM UNITED TRIBUTE 'GOODBYE UPTON PARK' TO BE RELEASED BY COCKNEY REJECTS
"We were all born within a mile or so from the hallowed Boleyn ground and have all stood on the terraces through snow, rain and sunshine from a very early age."

ac/dc AC/DC RELEASE TICKET REFUND DETAILS FOR MOST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
If you don't want a refund, then we'll see you at The Olympic Stadium in London as we think we're about to witness a major piece of rock history...

deep purple IAN PAICE AND DON AIREY SCHEDULE SOLO EUROPEAN DATES AS 2016 DEEP PURPLE TOUR APPROACHES
Deep Purple are kicking off their 2016 tour next month in Japan, before heading to Israel, Russia and Europe in June and July.

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT TO RELEASE 'THE TOTAL EXPERIENCE LIVE IN LIVERPOOL', HIS ACOLYTE TO 'WOLFLIGHT' WITH GENESIS REVISITED TOUR
"Besides, it's not as if Liverpool is known for having any good music – there's never been a good band from there. Ha!"

lacuna coil LACUNA COIL LAUNCH NEW ALBUM TITLE TRACK 'DELIRIUM'
Lacuna Coil will be making their much-anticipated return to North America as part of the 'Delirium Worldwide' tour starting in San Francisco on May 7th

bibeau YOUNG, PROGRESSIVE BAND BIBEAU OFFER THEIR FIRST SINGLE/VIDEO, 'MARK THIS'
"We were also hoping to convey the look, feel and flow of some of the classic, timeless rock and metal videos from the height of MTV's popularity..."

virginmarys THE VIRGINMARYS ANNOUNCE HEADLINE UK TOUR FOR JUNE 2016
"It's going to be so great to get back in front of our home fans again, and really important to us to play some of the towns we've been wanting to come back to..."

weapon uk WEAPON UK TO HEADLINE THE RETRIBUTION ALIVE ROAD TRIP IN MAY
"They toured with Motörhead in the 80s, including four sold out shows at the Hammersmith Odean and I have to say, we're pretty excited about this!"

headbangers ball ICED EARTH AND ENSIFERUM TO HEADLINE MTV HEADBANGERS BALL TOUR 2016: FULL DATES HERE
"So brace yourselves for the ultimate Metal experience of a lifetime! See you in front row!"

bloodstock BLOODSTOCK ADDS MORE BANDS, DETAILS METAL 2 THE MASSES FINALS AND ANNOUNCES FIRST NEW BLOOD STAGE WINNERS
Bloodstock HQ is readying to send Team M2TM out on the road for the finals, but in the meantime, there's a few more band additions to the August bill

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN DATES FOR JULY/AUGUST IN SUPPORT OF NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'MAKE SOME NOISE'
The Dead Daisies, the biggest new name in Rock, have just recently announced the addition of Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) as their new lead guitar player

wolf hoffmann WOLF HOFFMANN TO RELEASE SOLO ALBUM 'HEADBANGERS SYMPHONY' ON JULY 1st
"I have always incorporated classical music in my song writing with Accept, especially with 'Metal Heart', but I constantly felt there was so much more that I could do..."

jaegermeister JÄGERMEISTER RELEASE FULL DOCUMENTARY OF WORLD'S FIRST MUSIC GIG ON AIR, SEA AND LAND
"We go bigger every year and because of the nature of this world first this gig was not only a test of friendship but one of supporting each other too..."

john otway JOHN OTWAY PLANNING ON BEING FIRST ARTIST SINCE THE ROLLING STONES TO RECORD IN MONTSERRAT
"Although the old Air Studios are now derelict the studio in the basement of Sir George Martin's house is sound – it just needs rebuilding..."

fates warning FATES WARNING - NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'THEORIES OF FLIGHT' ANNOUNCED, ARTWORK UNVEILED
"There's a loose theme running through a lot of the lyrics, and this developed organically and separately..."

amon amarth RAISE YOUR HORNS AND BE IN AMON AMARTH'S NEW MUSIC VIDEO
Swedish Heavy Metal goliaths Amon Amarth are inviting their fans around the globe to be a part of their forthcoming video...

sixx am SIXX:A.M. ANNOUNCE THE "#REASONTORISE" CAMPAIGN, TOUR DATES AND 'VOL.1 PRAYERS FOR THE DAMNED' DETAILS
"It is our duty as citizens of this world to come together, communicate with one another and rise up to demand more of ourselves and our leaders."

armored saint ARMORED SAINT ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN FESTIVAL AND CLUB APPEARANCES
"For our first time in Spain, it's gonna be sick! And as if this wasn't enough - Saint is playing for the first time ever in Japan..."

black country communion BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION TO REFORM IN 2017
"Preparing BCC Rocket Ship Re-launch for 2017 - all systems go."

tarja TARJA PREMIERES OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO OF HER NEW SINGLE 'NO BITTER END'
'No Bitter End', the opening track of the prequel album 'The Brightest Void', is the first glimpse of Tarja's new work – her heaviest to date...

stratovarius STRATOVARIUS RELEASE LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'UNTIL THE END OF DAYS'
"To me it's a testament to the fact that paying attention to song writing and production was expensive, but so worth it..."

brian johnson EXCLUSIVE: PROMINENT AC/DC CREW MEMBER GIVES REMARKABLE INSIGHT INTO AXL ROSE APPOINTMENT
AC/DC are covering themselves in case Axl's poor reputation for unprofessionalism manifests itself...

brian johnson THE DARKEST DAY OF MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE: BRIAN JOHNSON ISSUES PERSONAL STATEMENT ON AC/DC DEPARTURE
"I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that..."

thin lizzy THIN LIZZY ANNOUNCE BASS PLAYER AND NEW DRUMMER FOR 2016/17 ANNIVERSARY SHOWS
Thin Lizzy are undisputed legends and to be a small part of their lineage is a humble honor for me...

ian gillan IAN GILLAN TO PERFORM UNIQUE SOLO SHOW OF DEEP PURPLE CLASSICS IN BULGARIA
There is a possibility that Ian will also play some material from his catalogue outside of Deep Purple...

don airey DEEP PURPLE'S DON AIREY AND FRIENDS ADDED TO CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL PLUS ATOMIC ROOSTER
Expect to hear many classics from Airey's illustrious past which includes time spent with Rainbow, Ozzy Osbourne as well as his current job with Deep Purple...

wildfire festival WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2016 ANNOUNCE SUNDAY NIGHT HEADLINERS AND FIVE MORE ACTS
With June creeping ever closer, Wildfire Festival's impressive main stages line-up is all but finalised...

whitesnake THE END OF WHITESNAKE: DAVID COVERDALE TO RETIRE IN 2017
Whitesnake headline the UK's Ramblin Man Festival in July in what could be their final ever UK appearance...

axl rose AXL ROSE CONFIRMED AS AC/DC SINGER FOR THE REMAINING ROCK OR BUST DATES
The worst kept secret in rock is now official...

aerosmith THE END OF AEROSMITH?: NO FAREWELL TOUR CONFIRMED AT THE MOMENT
"A farewell tour is something we've talked about doing for years, let's say roughly in the last five years..."

hrh united ALESTORM, HAMMERFALL, FINSTERFORST, NAPALM DEATH, ARMORED SAINT, VENOM INC. AND EVIL SCARECROW ANNOUNCED FOR HRH UNITED
HRH United 3 will be an exclusive upgraded Metal Edition taking over the entire site @ Camp HRH, Pwllheli, North Wales...

rolling stones PROUD GALLERIES PLAYING HOST TO FABULOUS ROLLING STONES PHOTO EXHIBITION: TERRY O'NEILL TO ATTEND SIGNING SESSION
It's a wonderful book by photographer Terry O'Neill of Rolling Stones images from 1963 to 1965, an era when the Stones were just "breaking through"...

between the buried and me BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN SUMMER DATES
As well as the European tour dates, BTBAM have launched a live video for 'The Ectopic Stroll' whih you can see here...

jade vine LONDON BASED ALTERNATIVE PROG ROCKERS JADE VINE ANNOUNCE ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW
Jade Vine's music has been influenced by artists such as Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Anathema and Pain Of Salvation...
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