Hereford’s Live Music Promoter Andy Willerton Bringing Metal Music to Hereford From Across the Varied Spectrum.
Friday 23rd June 2017 The Booth Hall
Review by Gavin Brown
For the fourth installment of the Hereford Heavy events, there was a split on the bill geography wise, with two of the bands hailing from right here in Hereford, and two from further afield.
Heading up the hometown bands were powerful metallersThe Seventh Circle and Djent metal band Enmerkar, joined by South Wales metalcore mob Conflicts UK and Gloucester death metallersAscaris heading to The Booth Hall to complete a heady bill that encompasses all different styles of the metal spectrum. Something that all the bands had in common was that they are all heavy, perfect for tonight’s proceedings.
We arrive at the venue to find that Enmerkar had already started their set wasting no time in pummeling the crowd with their technical metal, and it was great to see it was going down a storm.
Hereford City Centric sent our local music wordsmith, Gavin Brown, to check out the Black Sabbath tribute act, taking place at The Booth Hall and supported by Herefordshire Punks on the up, The Youth Within. I am going to assume he really enjoyed it by the enthusiasm in his review.
The Booth Hall have launched a series of tribute-themed nights that have included Chili Peppers and Blink 182 tribute acts in the past. Finding myself in a crowd of super pumped Blink 182 fans a couple weekends ago on the night Blink tribute act One Eighty Two played was a pleasant change for me. The truth is, I have always found bands that do covers the most boring of the lot; especially those “pub” bands. Stale beer fragrance comes to mind. There is a difference between cover bands and tribute acts, although I love it when local bands do the occasional cover.
Tribute acts have something to live up to. They study the musicians/performers they are emulating and really have to put in the effort. There is always something distracting about them though, they never ARE the actual band, and I would hate to be a tribute performer knowing everyone is staring at every detail about me in search of the resemblance to the original person they are mimicking; guess that makes them pretty gutsy and confident too.
The Easter weekend is traditionally a time for a lot of things. For some, it’s the chance to catch up with family, for some it’s time off work, for others it’s the actual meaning of this time of year, for many it’s chocolate and alcohol, but for the lucky people of Hereford this year, it was this double-header of live music (along with plenty of chocolate and alcohol too!) that made this an Easter to remember.
With a variety of bands and an eclectic mix of styles over the weekend brought to you by the wonderful people of HeyLittleMonster and The Underground Revolution, there was something for just about everyone to enjoy and every band played their hearts out.
RAPTOR, NEW REVIVAL AND AS MAMAS
“It’s a thankless task to be both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page at the same time, but Fletcher did an awesome job of trying while the band’s talented rhythm section did their best to be the best Bonham and Jones they could!”
The Underground Revolution Presents Doghouse, Reality Attack
and Wolf Cryer
Music Review by Gavin Brown
Following hot on the heels of the immense Steve Ignorant gig earlier in the month, it was with great pleasure to be able to witness the formidable music machine that is Doghouse, an outfit with the very same ideals and outlook as the great Mr Ignorant. Add to this a great supporting lineup courtesy of the down and dirty punk of Reality Attack and the grungy hard rock of Wolfcryer, and you’ve got a recipe for a great night. And a great night it was with a healthy turnout from an enthusiastic audience showing once again how vibrant the musical climate is in Hereford nowadays.
Kicking off the night wereWolf Cryerand the local lot got the night off to a brilliant start with their grunge-inspired rock, which was a definite highlight. The band’s extended heavy jams were completely mesmerising as was the powerful groove that they laid down and the vocals of singerClaire Perkins were undeniably impressive and topped the bands sound off perfectly. Wolf Cryer have that grunge influence with heavier bands like Babes In Toyland, or even Gruntruck with their more metal sound and even a hint of the Melvins in there too. These bands seem like an influence on their sound, but Wolf Cryer do their own thing with it and this is definitely a band that need checking out again. Having not heard the band before, I was blown away and won’t hesitate to catch them when they next play live, which will hopefully be soon!
Reality Attackwere up next and their raw punk didn’t disappoint at all, with their defiant and in your face noise a joy to watch. The speakers were tested to their limits as the band thrashed through their set as if it were the last one they’d ever play! Their crust/anarcho punk sound went over so well with the dancing audience, and they debuted some new material that will be forthcoming on their new EP. It is just as pissed off as their older material with the brilliant You’re A Cunt a highlight of the bands set.
Reality Attack rallied against the system throughout with a heartfelt tribute to the young Russian punk stabbed to death for standing up to fascists a few days earlier only adding to the band’s anger – and the band certainly told it like it is. They finished their set with their bassist up on vocals singing his heart out and ended things on a high. Reality Attack are definitely the real deal and proved this tonight beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Between each of the acts, BDS of Last Tree Squadwas spinning tunes and this added to the eclectic nature of the night as well with bass, heavy dub, reggae, dancehall, hip hop and grime cuts testing the Booth Halls speakers to the max! Heating songs like Murder She Wrote, Raggamuffin, Welcome to Jamrock and 99 Problems really loud definitely added to the atmosphere.
Formed out of the ashes of cult Cardiff techno punk band Sicknote, tonight’s headliner’s Doghouse play a much-anticipated set and are another band who don’t disappoint either with their defiant and cutting lyrics really hitting home over energetic and hard techno beats that got an enthusiastic response on the dancefloor throughout their whole set. Their spirited performance has much in common with Steve Ignorant as they spew bile about the current state of the nation and like the former Crass man, they do it with an element of humour and cleverness, never coming across as preachy with the techno elements adding to the warm and energetic atmosphere. Doghouse has a massive performance art and cabaret (that they have dubbed Cabarave, a description that fits perfectly) element to them that works so well, from costume changes to some inspired dancing, you couldn’t take your eyes off the duo all night.
Delivering songs, mainly culled from their debut album Idiot Savant, their passionate delivery on topics ranging from council tax to unemployment and thinking for yourself was very inspiring too. The band were as informative as they were entertaining all night. A great performance from two true musical mavericks that deserve to be heard by all.
Overall, this was a brilliant night that saw so much variation in musical terms, but this certainly united everyone in attendance as the atmosphere was amazing and that can only be a good thing.
Feature Image: Nick Vidal-Hall for Booth Hall Photography
Hide Your Eyescelebrated the launch of their latest album 40 Miles Of Static with a hometown gig at The Booth Hall in front of a healthy and energetic crowd eager to help honour this occasion in style. Unfortunately, we just missed opening act (and Hide Your Eyes man) Lewis Armiger do his acoustic set but have it on good authority that he got the night off to a rousing start (and he definitely did his thing later with the headliners, more of which later), so it was down to South Wales singer/songwriter Jack Ellisto kick things off for us and he certainly did that.
Ellis took to the stage flanked by his band and proceeded to deliver a short but sweet set of acoustic songs with the sound bolstered by the band with the likes of The Storm and new track Felony grabbing the audiences attention throughout with a style that had shades of Jeff Buckley and Jose Gonzalez and a definite warm attitude to his delivery. As the set came to a stirring conclusion, it was evident that he had made some new fans tonight with his passionate singing and playing, and this set the night up nicely with the crowd declaring themselves thoroughly warmed up.
THE LOVED AND LOST
After a short break and a couple of minor technical difficulties involving a laptop and some samples, Worcester’s The Loved And Losthit the stage and it was immediately apparent that the delay in setting up was vital as the sampled orchestral symphony blasted from the speakers and enhanced the bands metal sound. With their powerful female vocals, the band have a Lacuna Coil and Nightwish vibe about them, especially when the samples were in full effect, although they did occasionally get drowned out by the bands heavy rhythms – but overall the band played an enthusiastic and vibrant set that had the crowd clapping along with them. The band’s bassist and guitarist ended the set playing in the crowd with their drummer lurched over his kit battering a primal rhythm to the final song’s conclusion and The Loved And Lost left the stage to glowing applause from the crowd.
HIDE YOUR EYES
After the laid back passion of Jack Ellis and the heavy nature of The Loved And Lost showcased a melding of different styles and sounds showing off the diversity of the bill, it was time for the headliners and their brand of similarly eclectic noise, and Hide Your Eyes didn’t disappoint anyone in attendance with a triumphant set.
The band work tirelessly as they rip through the 40 Miles Of Static album with highlights coming in thick and fast, especially in the form of album tracks Hopeless and My Last Regret which received rapturously applause from the crowd.
With this being a hometown gig, there was a buoyant atmosphere in the venue with the band unable to take the smiles off their faces. Singers Stephen (who ended up singing in the crowd more than once) and Lewis (who we did finally got to see perform!) were belting out the lyrics with enthusiasm while the rest of the band had just as much of an energetic stomp, and the energy given out by the band was matched in kind by the crowd from start to finish with an enthusiastic mosh pit (complete with someone dressed as a unicorn) breaking out and adding to the atmosphere.
As the band ended their set with a cover of Drown by Bring Me The Horizon done in Hide Your Eyes style, the night came to a close and showed just how talented the band are with everyone who was here left satisfied. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we see the band live again as this was a fantastic performance to end a great night of live music. Go out and buy their album and don’t miss them next time they play!
Reopened in late 2015 by pocket rocket team Arran and Willow Vidal-Hall, The Booth Hall on East Street has become the go-to place in Hereford revered for its friendly welcoming atmosphere, live music and alternative entertainment.
Over the last twelve months it has played host to punk-rock legends TV Smith, Subhumans and Steve Ignorant, supported up and coming artists of all genres from all over the world and has become the home for sell out charitable festivals and fundraisers.
The term “Feminist Punks” might possibly seem like a contradiction to those unaware of what PUNK actually is all about. The average lost soul often generalises punk as debauchery without a cause…please say it isn’t so! With this movement in its 40th year, it is finally receiving the respect it deserves.
The term “Feminist Punks” might possibly seem like a contradiction to those unaware of what PUNK actually is all about. The average lost soul often generalises punk as debauchery without a cause. Please say it isn’t so! With this movement in its 40th year, it is finally receiving the respect it deserves.
Granted at the time of Punk’s origins, the world was in quite a state, and the only way to make a point and break up an establishment that had us saying “yes sir and no sir” and living life under their candy coated values, was to stand up for yourself and fight back. Not so simple.
If you think about it, you really had to be an intelligent, brave individual to stand up to authority, and even more so to stand up for women in a society that is very condescending to them for shits and giggles and to stroke the male ego. Things have progressed somewhat in that respect, but society is in chaos again and The Delinquents are just not having it.