Review by Matt Bradley and photos by Rob Stanley
Ask somebody – anybody – to think of a place they associate with metal and chances are they’ll reply with Donington, the Bay Area or the home of arguably the first metal band ever, Black Sabbath, Birmingham. Until this past weekend, the sleepy village of Somercotes (with a population of only 6000) would not have even been mentioned. But that was before The Black Horse played host to the newest metal festival on British soil… or should that be mud?
The inaugural Beermageddon was considerate enough to not schedule the first band until 6.30pm, giving most people (especially those in the local area) enough time to get home from work before attending, which meant that opening act Haerken played to a packed house. The sound was slightly muddy but that didn’t bother the Birmingham quartet one bit as they bludgeoned ears with their mythological death metal. Throughout their 30 minutes, Haerken’s songs told stories of British legends which the crowd ate up, as many held inflatable medieval weapons aloft for the entire set.
A Fable For The Curious followed with a slightly less visual but equally as well-played half hour of metal-tinged hard rock. Showcasing songs from their ‘Ruled’ album, the Teesside four-piece were solid and tight until a power cut halted proceedings. A well-played drum solo later and the electrics were back, allowing AFFTC to conclude their set.
Welsh quintet Fell On Black Days were up next and were by far the most technically proficient band of the night. Crunching riffs, interesting drums, driving bass and intense screams blended brilliantly to bless the Beermageddon congregation with a superbly performed slice of modern metal.
The beautiful Kitty Liquor graced the stage and left all jaws hanging with her seductive burlesque routine, before headlining act Evil Scarecrow began loading their equipment onstage. Set up is not normally anything to shout about, but the band that describe themselves as ‘Blue Peter metal’ are not a normal either, and even made sound checking entertaining for the mass of bodies that waited patiently for the Nottingham jokers’ hilariously over-the-top performance. Who writes an impromptu song about wanting more vocals in the monitor mix? Evil Scarecrow, that’s who. Opening with fast-paced 6:66 into Blacken The Everything (during which vocalist/guitarist Dr Rabid Hell implores the crowd to sob at him) ES don’t miss a single rib-tickling beat. Lead guitarist and high five expert Brother Dimitri Pain isn’t as mobile as usual tonight due to the stage not being huge, but he still performs with zeal and is a real joy to watch. As Princess Luxury sways and acts out sections of the lyrics behind her keyboard looking like a seductive corpse, the man-mountain that is Kraven Morrdeth smashes away at his bass and produces the kind of deep, powerful roars that one could easily mistake for earthquakes. Ringmaster Monty Blitzfist has possibly the most animated face in the history of drumming and as he pounds at his kit (whilst standing almost as much as sitting), it’s clear to see why this band commanded such a impressive crowd both tonight and at bigger festivals previously. The mass party-popper explosion during War, the drunken metal can-can throughout a cover of Europe’s The Final Countdown and, of course, the infamous Robototron dance meant that this was not only a show for the audience, but an experience to get involved in. A top quality set from start to finish.
And you can see more shots from the show here: