Review by Cath Holland, Photos by Tony Gaskin
Hopefully by now many of you will have seen or heard of the phenonomen that is Evil Scarecrow, we’ve reviewed them many times here at Midlands Rocks. Apart from being incredible fun to watch they also work tirelessly to help many charitable causes, thus Damaged Stock was born out of their blackened souls to help raise money and awareness for Epilepsy Action.
This event kicked off in the early afternoon with Line of Fire, Dreed, Cruel Humanity, Fury and RSJ. We pick up the action as we head into the evening slots.
A Thousand Enemies are very busy on the live circuit at the moment and the performance here today is as good a set that I’ve caught from them previously, despite the imposing figure of front man Bane Holland being under the weather. With their debut album due for imminent release the hype surrounding this band is justified. Heavy and melodic with catchy riffs, the songs are powerfully delivered. Really looking forward to the album.
Voodoo Johnson have been very quiet of late you may think. Apart from the odd gig here or there they’ve kept things low key for nearly 12 months now as they concentrate on their second full album, which I’m told is 99% done and looking at a summer release. Tonight then is a rare opportunity for fans old and new to see them out and about and they don’t dissapoint. Opening up with a brand new track, those first few chourds send shivers down my back. VJ are well and truly back. Front man Nik Taylor-Stokes belts out a mix of older tracks combined with a few off the forth coming album. New drummer Luke Middleton has slipped seamlessly into the hot seat and if anything gives an even heavier feel to the overall sound. Gone are the “classic rock” sounds of early VJ, this is much darker, heavier stuff, sometimes proggy, sometimes grungy but overall a uniquely distorted sound. Voodoo Johnson may have been laying low, but today announces their readiness for a massive assault on the scene this year.
For those of you that know the Scarecrow crew behind the make-up, then you would have seen them dashing around, lugging amps and guitars, setting up drums etc. Yes this is their event but that dosen’t mean sitting around lording it above all others, no Dr. Hell and his cohorts have organised this day right down to the smallest detail and that means helping out all the other bands, kudos in bucket loads!
Well we’ve reviewed Evil Scarecrow many times, their parody of Black/Death/Thrash Metal is always entertaining. The crowd are a part of the show and the interaction is key and tonight is no different. “Vampyre Trousers”, “Blacken the Everything” go down well as usual, as does the new song and dance moves that go with it – “Crabulon”. Enter stage right the monstrosity that is Crabulon!! The set ends with the obligatory “Robototron”, but wait where is Slagbot? This is two gigs in a row now with no Slagbot present for the Robototron dance, has Crabulon usurped Robototron? Worse still has Crabulon assimillated Slagbot? We will have to wait and see!!
With cheers of approval and shouts for more, the Five Dark Denzines of Metal come back to lead the crowd in a rip roaring cover of the “Final Countdown”, encouraging the crowd to do a mass can-can, a hugely entertaining end to a great day!
See more of Tony’s photos here;