First of all apologies for the delay in getting this review up, lots been going on but mainly wanted to hold it back because a very important person has been out of the country and I didn’t want her to miss the review going up. So Carmen I blame you!!
Seriously though, this all day event was to support the charity Rock Against Child Pornography and Abuse (yes it’s officially a charity now, no thanks to Charity Commission red tape and bureaucracy) and since Carmen, who is one of the founders of the organisation, was on a well deserved sabbatical in Oz, I thought she’d appreciate us holding it back until she had returned. Well Carmen this is for you, Beth and the rest of the hard working team at R.A.C.P.A and New Disorder.
Early attendees were blugoned out of their senses by opening act, Malandra. Hardcore metal certainly made sure the event kicked off with a bang and I just got there to witness their last couple of tracks and to be fair there was a good number of fans already in and appreciative to the openers who played as if they were headlining.
A complete contrast next as the focus was directed to the acoustic stage in the adjoining room where Steel Threads front man Neil Wardleworth was playing a solo set with tracks taken from the recent album plus a couple of covers, finishing off with a crowd pleasing Ace of Spades. Dash back to the main room then to see some classic heavy metal from Line of Fire, who have amongst their number legendary Lawnmower Deth member Paddy O’Malley who are getting some well deserved exposure. It’s not technical, it’s not “modern”, it’s simple, classic British Heavy Metal that can be enjoyed without having to over analyze it, it simple terms, it’s fun and enjoyable to watch and listen to.
New to me were Motherload, the next band on the bill. Definitely looking the part, these Rockers blast out their classic rock tunes with aplomb. Heavy but melodic, hints of Zep mixed with G’n’R, again something a little different to what we’ve had so far and a credit to the organisers for getting not only a good mix of bands but getting the balance just right, even extreme metal fans had something to smile about with the arrival of local Death Metal band Kataleptic. Of course the more extreme genres are not to everyone’s taste but has the barmaid of the venue, Julie, so eloquently put it “I don’t necessary like the music but i know when it’s played well” and Kataleptic do play well, coming off the back off a great 2012 when they won the regional Metal 2 The Masses competition and got to play at Bloodstock. they blend their brutal sounds with a lot of light hearted banter and on stage antics, something which helps them pull in fans that wouldn’t normally hang around to listen to an extreme metal band.
Interval time then and chance to catch our breath and chat with friends before relaxing to the chilled out sound of Disguise the Limit, an acoustic act who entertained us with some wonderful renditions of rock classics such as Romeo & Juliet, Sloe Gin, Driftin’ Away and a brilliant cover of Gimme Shelter.
If you were to put together a gig with some of the best underground acts around then you might end up with something similar to what we had for the second part of today’s fundraiser. Where else could you get Captain Horizon, Mordecai, A Thousand Enemies, Dakesis and Evil Scarecrow together on one bill!
Always a pleasure to watch, Captain Horizon waste no time in getting the second half under way and the crowd back up to temperature Front man Whitty was born to be on the stage and he plays the crowd relentlessly. The set is full of tunes from their debut album which came out at the end of last year and blends so many styles and influences that I can only describe it has Alt Prog Rock, from the heavy bass laden tones of “Lightyears” to the spine-tingling sobriety of “Patch”, this band simply oozes class and talent.
Once again we have a subtle switch in style has Mordecai take over. Their rock has a more American feel to it, heavy and melodic. If you like Alter Bridge or Shinedown then check these guys out, the same goes for A Thousand Enemies. Born out of the ashes of the highly regarded Isolysis, this East Mids band have quickly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, again, heavy and melodic but more British rock influences in their sounds. Bane Holland is a powerful vocalist and can belt out the songs whether they be heavy or more soulful, expect big things from these guys this year.
If you’re putting on an all day festival for charity then one band that usually pops up is Dakesis. Great supporters of many charitable causes they always add a fun atmosphere to any gig, but don’t let this fool you into thinking they are a “fun” band. The musicianship is incredible and the technicality of their songs is mind blowing at times. They strive to push themselves to beyond their limits it seems with every new song they pull out of the bag, but unlike many bands who come under the Power Metal banner, they can do it with humour and gravitas in equal measures. Tonight sees them back home in Birmingham for the first time in months and they play their hearts out to a packed room, culminating in the now almost obligatory encore of the Bonnie Tyler classic “Holding Out For An Hero”.
Well if anyone can follow the previous four outstanding sets then Evil Scarecrow can. If you’ve not seen them before then I urge you to track down the many YouTube clips of them. Evil Scarecrow are to Black/Death Metal, what Steel Panther are to Rock. Essentially a parody of all things extreme, they are incredibly funny and highly entertaining. With songs like “Vampyre Trousers”, “Blacken The Everything” and the huge phenomenon that is “Robototron” you know that whatever has gone before you will at least walk away with a big grin. New to the set is the latest audience participation song, “Crabulon” – raise those crab claws and scuttle to the left then to the right!
A triumphant day then raising loads of cash for the charity, over £700 I’m told and many people having a great day of Rock and Metal. The next NDMF is scheduled to be held at the MFN in Shipley near Nottingham in September, we’ll keep you posted on that. In the mean time our good friends over at Noize Level Critical are holding a two day event at The Maze in Nottingham again to raise money for R.A.C.P.A, see you there! Event details here
You can check out more of Tony’s photos from the day here or the slideshow below