Rock & Metal Circus Festival, Stoke Prior Club, Bromsgrove – Day 2, Saturday 21st September 2013

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Review & photos by Tony Gaskin

So after a night of re-charging both myself and my batteries, we got back to the festival with about a third of the bands already having played. First act on today took to stage at 10.35am and probably the biggest criticism I heard from people during the weekend was the early starts on the Sat/Sun and too many bands? I think I have to agree with that, I couldn’t get there before 2 on the Saturday and although we camped overnight that day so we could catch the early start on the Sunday, it was such a long day that by the time we’d seen Skreamer we we’re dead on our feet and with work beckoning on the Monday we had to depart early, so maybe something for the RoarRock team to think about? I appreciate that they want to showcase as many bands as possible, but when sets are getting cut short and fans just can’t physically watch every band then quality over quantity is probably a better ethos.

So who did we catch on the Saturday then? Well first up for us was the hard rocking Pig Iron, stripped back raw rock ‘n’ roll with a southern feel to it, the room was just starting to get a few people in by this time and the party was well under way.

Knock Out Kaine

Glamming it up next were Knock Out Kaine, with their take no prisoners, balls out rock. Straight from the LA School of Rock, they added a bit of sparkle to the days proceedings, front man Dean Foxx being one of the days more flamboyant characters.

Slam CartelThe rest of the day, on paper, looked like being one of the strongest line-ups of British Rock/Metal this year, but for me Slam Cartel were disappointing. It was rock by numbers, almost as if they didn’t really want to be there, then Jettblack, who looked tired and jaded. I’ve seen these guys play with such energy and intensity in the past, but today was a bit flat, not bad, just not to their usually high standards.

Fortunately, last minute additions Sold For Evil, soon picked the cudgel up again and beat us into oblivion with a storming set of technical death metal mashed up with hip hop style vocals, strange bed fellows but it worked well and kept my attention throughout their set. Similarly for Seven Deadly , one of our more promising metal/rock acts, heavy riffs combining with huge vocals and great melodies make this band accessible to a wide range of fans and justifying the great reviews they’ve been getting.

I’ve seen Mordecai on quite a few occasions now and they never disappoint, in fact tonight is probably the best I’ve seen them. Finally getting the album out seems to have given them new impetus, the energy on stage today was infectious and the new tunes have taken their live set to a whole new level. Best band of the day so far!

More solid performances followed from The More I See, Stormbringer and Huron, with Northampton’s Stormbringer being the standout band from that little trio before we came to the final couple of bands for this long, long second day!

A Thousand Enemies

Having seen A Thousand Enemies just the week before with their new line-up, I was hoping for a set full of renewed vigour, and I wasn’t disappointed. Bane on vocals was as powerful as ever, with his wingman, Andy Goulter pounding out those heavy bass riffs. New duo of  Dave Ward and Liam Johnson on guitars have given the band that injection of youthful energy that will carry them through as they get ready to release their debut album. A great favourite in the live set is their first single “And Nothing Remains” and blew the roof off . Just pipped Mordecai for set of the day, but we still had the headliners to come.

Breed 77Nearly two decades and six albums under their belt have ensured Breed 77 have a huge underground following, but with the recent shock announcement that singer Paul Isola was quitting, people were questioning whether the bands unique style and sound would suffer, and with it their popularity.

New frontman Rui Lopez has some very big shoes to fill then, Isola had an incredible vocal talent and it was going to be a tough job to bring his own style to the band but retaining that overall Breed 77 sound.

Well to be fair, the young guy nailed it. His voice is much rougher and edgier than Paul’s, but the overall tone and style still retains that Latin cadence and flow. Older tracks like La Última Hora sound much heavier, whilst more recent songs have been edging towards a heavier sound anyway, so right up Rui’s street.

The rest of the band seemed to feed off the new guy’s enthusiasm, the trio of Danny, Stuart and Pedro were having a ball up there. I hate to say this, but Paul we loved you but  this is the best I’ve seen from the band for a long time. I was with two die hard extreme metal fans this weekend who have never seen Breed 77 and they were well impressed.

Can Day 3 top this?

See Tony’s review of Day 1 here

See more of Tony’s photos here;

 

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