Riff Fest 2016 @ The Alma Inn, Bolton

By |August 27th, 2016|0 Comments




Knowing the Alma is one of the few surviving rock pubs still going reasonably strong in the face of all austere times, how they manage of the logistics of this FREE all-dayer, now in its third year, is still remarkable.  Doom, stoner, sludge and death bands from all over the country, including signed acts, all congregating in sunny Bolton, I think I will join the party.   It’s not a massive place anyway so early attendance had been advised and soon enough it was packed. As were the lovely pasties on sale, top scran!

Yorkshire Riffer Festival @ Eiger Studios, Leeds

By |April 26th, 2014|3 Comments

scordatura leeds

The exponential rise of the UK DIY festival continues at such a pace that we now have quality warm-up all-dayers linked to the already immense main events of the subsequent weekend.  With my own lunatic road tripping plans already sorted that include the Sunday of this years ‘Kin Hell Fest the prospect of this prelude was almost a peaceful party in comparison.  Yet, with realism, a 12 hour drinking session in the face of a trusted selection of prime local and UK underground extremity and a special US import headliner in Eagle Twin was inevitably going to lead to a messy fun time and do the perfect job in reducing/enhancing the stamina for self-destruction in the rest of the summer’s madness.

FOAD Festival, Manchester, 1-2/3/14

By |March 2nd, 2014|0 Comments

FOAD Festival

Sound Control, Manchester

winterfylleth foad

We usually come out of winter hibernation for the silly season of self-abuse that is the festivals when Hammerfest tempts us in mid-March. This year there was a new kid on the city block in the form of FOAD (make up your own acronym interpretation) to put a spring in our step now spring is kind of here.   Set up by a few of the promoters who deal with the more extreme musical end of things in the city, and homed in the decent and underused Sound Control venue, there is an excellent line up of the cream of the underground acts plus some special treats from abroad that demands attendance, especially with it relative proximity.

REVIEW – Desecration, Basement Torture Killings, Zombified, Foetal Juice, Magpyes @ The Retro Bar, Manchester

By |April 3rd, 2013|0 Comments

(review n pix by mwj)

Returning from the internal and external battering of Hammerfest via recuperative radiation fortnight by the pool and beach in Tenerife, it was really diving back in at the deep and dingy end for tonight. Though thankfully the basement Retro Bar didn’t stink quite so much of stale sweat and beer as it had on my arrival a few years previously for Palehorse here. It was that I was recalling as me and Gwyn made a late entry to the venue, having missed the grind mentalists of Magpyes unfortunately, or not as their vocalist reckoned it hadn’t been one of their better beating shows. Still the party soon picked up, with Foetal Juice on their home turf and maybe glad of a rest being half way or so through a UK and Ireland tour with the rest of this lineup to come tonight. Not flagging though, they got into the superswift rhythms of their old school death metal soon enough and even the presentation of a commemorative pair of crusty tour boxers to the crowd didn’t dampen the positive response, especially to the humour in their banter and song titles. Ireland’s Zombified took things to another serious level of harsh and precise brutality next, more of a tech death approach with guttural vocals and an impressive drummer driving things along. These, Foetal, and BTK next are all sharing a 5-way split release “A split worse than death” (among 50 other titles!) and glad to pick it up as a fine example of some of the strength in the underground extreme scene. London’s BTK (pic above) were up next, seemingly the touring partner of choice for the headliners and like the last time I’d seen them in Liverpool they were frenetically agitated in delivering their hyper-aggression death. With the added bonus of their theatrics I am also amused to hear their samples about the Los Cristianos decapitation. I had an alibi, honest.

Finally, the truculent shambles that is Newport’s Desecration (pic above). The fact that they are old hands at the morgue music game comes across well whether they are in front of thousands at Bloodstock or less than a hundred here. The three-piece overcome a steady catalogue of hiccups and disasters with some great naturally comedic banter (“thank god we’re not Slipknot, we’d be here all night”) to blast through their stripped down and relentless death with an effortless confidence, including airing the title track of their forthcoming album “Cemetery Sickness” which is also available there as a split 7” picture disc. A fine finish to a great set of bands, certainly kept me glowing into the bitter night.