Steelhouse Saturday / Black Mirrors Mesmerise, Plus More

Steelhouse Festival 2023 – Saturday. A night of rain and wind comes as standard up here, and yes, we had it all. But flashes of blue sky cheered the heart, and the queue of eager fans ready for Steelhouse Day Two confirmed that weather isn’t an issue. There is no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choices, as the saying goes.

Steelhouse Festival 2023 – Saturday

Dead Man’s Whiskey

Dead Man's Whiskey - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Dead Man’s Whiskey – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

As the sun poked its head out to see who was making the noise, it was Dead Man’s Whiskey who had the honour of opening up proceedings. The Walthamstow five-piece bring a gutsy stomp that fires the soul. They’re emotionally charged, with big riffs that were ideal for the time of day.

Dead Man's Whiskey - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Dead Man’s Whiskey – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

They’ve got the songs, and in vocalist Nico Rogers, they have yet another fantastic singer. Make You Proud tugs at the strings, whilst Masquerade is a rip-snorter to get things going.

With a new album dropping soon, they are another band that needs to stay on the ones-to-watch list.

Dead Man's Whiskey - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Dead Man’s Whiskey – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

Austin Gold

Austin Gold - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Austin Gold – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Peterborough is a fair way from Aberbeeg, but Austin Gold is pleased to be at Steelhouse. The crowd seems impressed, too, with the band’s bluesy style with cutting edge going down well.

Austin Gold - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Austin Gold – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Lead singer David James Smith puts in a stellar performance, with some fine lead guitar as well. The band seems to have put a suitably themed set list together, with Mountain, Clouds, and Roadside all particularly apt.

Austin Gold - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Austin Gold – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

The weather holds, the beers are flowing, and day two is going well.

Black Spiders

Black Spiders - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Black Spiders – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

With The Blues Pills sadly pulling out at the last minute due to illness, Black Spiders heroically stepped into the breach, returning to the festival for the second year in a row.

Black Spiders - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Black Spiders – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

It’s pretty standard fare once you’ve seen them a couple of times, with Step Down leading into the inevitable “fuck you, Black Spiders” chant, but their high-octane rock always goes down well at a festival.

Black Spiders - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Black Spiders – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Georgia Brittain/MetalTalk

They do again here. “Pub rock at it’s finest,” I overhear one punter say. Hmm, I’m not sure if they’d like that, but you can see his point.

Black Mirrors

Black Mirrors - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Black Mirrors – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

There’s usually one surprise at each festival, and Belgian quintet Black Mirrors brought a big one to 2023’s event with a mesmerising set. They may not be your standard Steelhouse act, yet their arty brand of rock fitted in perfectly.

Black Mirrors - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Black Mirrors – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

The elegant and captivating moves and vocals of singer Marcella De Troia cast a spell on the audience, who were captivated.

Over 40 magical minutes, the band held the crowd in a trance, and even Marcella’s faux pas when referring to the venue as England was soon forgiven.

Black Mirrors - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Black Mirrors – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk
Black Mirrors - Steelhouse Festival 2023.
Black Mirrors – Steelhouse Festival 2023. Photo: Paul Hutchings/MetalTalk

Steelhouse Festival 2023 was held over the weekend of 28-30 July 2023. MetalTalk’s Paul Hutchings reports from Ebbw Vale.

All Photography: Georgia Brittain and Paul Hutchings

Early Bird tickets are available for next year’s festival, which begins on Friday, 26 July 2024. Tickets are available from here.

All MetalTalk Steelhouse Festival 2023 coverage can be found at https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/steelhouse-festival-2023

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