Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – Thrash Metal For Shelter

Over the past four years, one dedicated Thrash Metal fan has devoted far too much of his time to raise money for Shelter, the homeless charity. After four compilation CDs featuring the cream of the UK Thrash scene and raising over £10,000, Neil Brannagan decided to do something a little different, and The Moshing The Roof On Festival was born.

Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024

The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024

Words And Photography: Paul Hutchings

The head of the UK Thrashers site and promoter of several of the bands who featured on Vol 1- 4 of Moshing The Roof On, Neil Brannagan, issued a call to arms and pulled together 12 bands to participate in a one-day festival at Derby’s Hairy Dog.

MetalTalk’s Paul Hutchings joined the battle jackets and high-tops for a day of ear-crunching Thrash.

Imperium

With the festival running behind, time is of the essence as we get to the final band of the day. When original headliners Elimination were unable to fulfil their slot, it was a no-brainer to bump Imperium to the top slot.

Imperium - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Imperium – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

The Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses alumni have been like a giant steam train in the past 18 months, increasing momentum and now looking unstoppable. In the middle of their UK tour to promote their When Kings Meet EP, the band are slick, professional, and Metal tour de force.

By all accounts, they gave veterans Acid Reign a real run for their money recently, and it’s easy to see why. Imperium have the songs, the heft, and the attitude to go a long way. Their music straddles the Thrash genre without sitting in it, giving their sound a more accessible feel, without losing an iota of the heaviness which drives them forward.

Imperium - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Imperium – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Tonight, they power through a solid set containing firm favourites like Iron Thunder, Capable Of Murder, The Passing, and the audience participation of Here Comes The Night.

Bathed in pinks and reds, Imperium level the venue with a performance that proves Brannagan’s decision to bump them to top slot 100% correct.

Imperium - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Imperium – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

By the time we finish with a blistering When Kings Meet, the crowd is in ecstasy. A spectacular performance to end a stunning day of music.

Hellfekted

There have been a few hiccups during the day, but it’s as if Lady Luck has deserted local heroes Hellfekted. With the running time having slipped by a good 30 minutes, the quartet were always up against it. Halfway through their second song, Liam Stubbs’s guitar lead flies out, and there’s a problem.

Hellfekted - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Hellfekted – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

With Blacklist’s Tyler Larkin diving in to help with the technical issues, bassist Chris Brownrigg takes to the microphone to gee up the crowd. Stubbs returns, firstly just on the microphone and then with a new guitar, but the gremlins aren’t satisfied and continue to niggle through the shortened set.

Hellfekted - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Hellfekted – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Hellfekted still have one of the best songs of the day in their anthemic Death Of Iron, but despite their best efforts, this isn’t their day. They will be back, and it will be faster, angrier, and better than ever.

King Abyss

If nothing else, King Abyss are the only band wearing dungarees as singer Dom Bould stomps around the stage, roaring out his aggression to the band’s heavy onslaught.

King Abyss - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
King Abyss – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Their blend of Death and Thrash Metal is relentless, but it goes down well, with Bould demanding people move forward out of the shadows and into the mosh pit. His delivery is intense, to say the least, and not to all tastes.

King Abyss - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
King Abyss – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

With their debut album Snake Oil having received decent reviews on its release in 2023, the band look intent on capitalising. Their pulverising approach may not win over everyone, but they have an energy which will help them immensely.

Thrasherwolf

If there was an award for the most improved band, it’s likely I would have given it to Londoners Thrasherwolf. Frontman Dan Lucas had described the band earlier as a decisive Thrash Metal, which provided some sniggers, but he’s got a point.

Thrasherwolf - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Thrasherwolf – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

They pile through a fine set, filled with a mix of classic Thrash style and variations that give them that ‘stand apart’ quality. They draw from 2021’s debut, We Are Revolution, and thank everyone, especially Brannagan, who has run everything with very little drama and inevitably lose their shirts.

Thrasherwolf - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Thrasherwolf – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Well, Lucas and bassist Raimonds Dobelis do, before causing mayhem with the closing track, 1000 Eyes. Always a fun watch Thrasherwolf have stepped up three levels since I last saw them and are a tighter, more cohesive unit. A new album is promised by the end of the year.

Blacklist

Blacklist is another band who continue to improve show after show. Their sound is evolving towards a hybrid Death / Thrash combination, and this allows the Blackpool band to enhance older tracks from 2021’s Disciples Of Time.

They put in a steady shift without wowing, but this is a solid band driven by main man Tyler Larkin, who promises their new music will be “savage”.

Regicide

Running times have slipped when Regicide hit the stage. It seems they are looking to pull time back, such is the pace at which they play. The Essex four-piece are a firestorm of riffs and battering drumming, and they rip through their set at breakneck speed.

Regicide - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Regicide – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Nial Byrne is the focal point, his snarling vocals combine with the savage riffing of him and guitarist Mike Davies. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but it is certainly music to mosh to. A mix of Groove, Hardcore and Thrash wrapped up in a fiery fist that slams you around the head without mercy.

War Grave

It’s without question that one of the bands of the day is War Grave. Possibly the odd one out in this line-up, the band play more traditional Speed and Heavy Metal, but they don’t care and bulldoze their way through an incredibly enjoyable set that has the crowd moving and singing along.

War Grave - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
War Grave – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

With their debut self-titled EP due out on 26 April, this was an opportunity to sell their music and they take it with both hands. Frontman Roman Kantoch has exactly the right blend of character and quality to pull the crowd in. Not only has he a stunning vocal range that sees him soar high into the roof, but he has the charisma to cajole and encourage the crowd.

War Grave - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
War Grave – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

By the time they hit Witch, which features Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens on the EP, the audience is singing along, punching the air, and banging those heads. War Grave deliver all the goods.

Sidewinder

If it’s a big gent shouting at you over monstrous riffage, then look no further than Sidewinder. They bring their bruising Death and Crossover Thrash with only one intention: to do some damage. They do that with ease.

Sidewinder - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Sidewinder – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Singer Damien Hutchinson prowls the stage with the restlessness of a caged tiger. He snarls, roars, and intimidates. Sidewinder don’t mess around, and by the end of their set, the Leeds band have done their job.

Madicide

Neath’s Madicide are getting the gigs under their belt after a six-year hiatus. Their Thrash Metal remains less polished than some of the bands on the bill, but there is no faulting their energy and commitment.

Madicide - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Madicide – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

From the brash Death March and Carnivore Incarnate through to recent single Tommyknockers, watching Madicide brings a smile every time.

Fracture Point

Fracture Point bring with them one of the most engaging frontmen of the day in Sean McGlinchey. He’s a full-on in your face singer, who you can’t help but warm to as he and the band rip through their set.

Fracture Point - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Fracture Point – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Buoyed by the release of recent EP Act Of Malice, the London quartet waste little time in machining gunning their riffs to an appreciative audience. Their combination of styles brings something a little different to the day and adds to the fine mix on display.

Sawticide

The first of the day’s technical hitches turns into a little bit bigger than welcome as guitarist Chris Cleovoulou runs into trouble early on in Sawticide’s set.

Sawticide - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Sawticide – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

It’s a shame, as the band open well, but this throws them somewhat, and although Chris recovers after some frantic adjustments, they’ve lost momentum. The serious expressions on the band’s faces suggest that the Londoners aren’t having the greatest time, and it permeates to some of the crowd. They will return, and hopefully, with lessons learned.

Thrashead

Opening an event to a room which can hold 400+ is intimidating enough, having it with a mere smattering of early arrivals may at least take some pressure off. Thrashead play it well.

Thrashead - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Thrashead – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Their set includes several covers by Metallica and Megadeth, along with a couple of their own songs. This familiarity allows those early punters to warm to them, and they give all their versions the respect they deserve.

It’s a clever start, and despite the obvious influences of the Thrash godfathers, Thrashead get bonus points for starting off the day well.

War Grave - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
War Grave – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Thrashead - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Thrashead – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Sidewinder - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Sidewinder – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Sidewinder - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Sidewinder – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Sawticide - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Sawticide – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Regicide - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Regicide – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Regicide - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Regicide – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Imperium - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Imperium – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Hellfekted - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Hellfekted – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Fracture Point - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Fracture Point – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Madicide - Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 - The Hairy Dog, Derby - 13 April 2024
Madicide – Moshing The Roof On Festival 2024 – The Hairy Dog, Derby – 13 April 2024. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

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