Festival: SOS Festival 2010
Artists: Blaze Bayley, Fury UK, Babylon Fire, Nightvision, The More I See, Moth Circus, Spires, Extreme O.D., Collibus, Skull Branded Pirates, Fantasist, Afterdown
Date: 10th July 2010
up were a band that I must say gave us 30 minutes of sheer joy and
merriment, shiver me timbers and cast me a mid ships it’s the Skull Branded Pirates.
The tales of sea fairing folk
continued as the band paid tribute to Edward Teach otherwise know as Black
Beard with the romping ‘Blackbeards Last Stand’. There were
special effects ahoy which is always good to see as other than the mighty
KISS, not a lot of bands seem to make that much of an effort these days.
The set romped on with ‘The
Stormed and Cursed Seas’ before finishing with a modern sea shanty
‘Inside The Inn’, which rounded of a great set from the Leeds based
pirates. Whether pirate metal is your thing or not, I highly
recommend you check out these guys. They rock big style and will
leave you with a giant smile on your face and a Yo-Ho-Ho in your heart.
It was all change once more as
Funk Metallers Fantasist from
Manchester who brought a whole new brand of metal to the day, mixing the
heady bass of the likes of The Chili Peppers and the same Meshuggah style
vibe to their style of metal.
The diverse nature of the metal
day was apparent with next two bands Extreme
O.D and Spires, who were
both extreme and immensely heavy, for that reason we decided to take a
break and put on the old nose bag and have something to eat. We didn’t
have to travel far because unlike most festivals SOS had to foresight to
pick a venue that not only had a kitchen, but also had an area laid aside
to sit down and enjoy your meal.
It may have only been chips and
burgers but when you haven’t had anything to eat since breakfast it was a
It was now time for another international act, this
time it was Norway’s Moth Circus a
band I was really looking forward to after hearing their debut album
was a storming set which really left its mark on me, so much show that when
I saw the band were playing in Newcastle the following Friday we made it a
point to check them out again, but that a review for another day. Again
another storming band that I highly recommend to anyone who loves gritty
Networking has always been a must at these festivals
and events and it was good to see a number of old faces here like us for the
first time and like us who were really impressed with not just the line-up, but
the overall organization of the entire two days. It was due to this that we
only caught the tail end of Nightvision’s
set but what I heard was impressive the Lincolnshire boy sure can rock.
A band that have been a permanent fixture at SOS are
Greater Manchester’s Babylon Fire.
band have been on the bill since the very first event and have seen
themselves rise both on the bill and in popularity, and so today they deserved their third top billing.
The band showed their metal from the off after the Omen
intro it was down to business big style with ‘Freight Train’, a stunning
slice of pure bred metal with frontman Mark D leading the pack. This metal
express carried on with some monster tracks like ‘The Day The Angels
Died’, the excellent ‘Strength’ and the closer ‘Rise From Babylon’.
The band have certainly made their mark since their
inception in 2007 and no doubt they have a bright future just on the
evidence of today.
Now to a band that needed no introduction to the SOS
crowd, Fury UK, a band that we
have followed since we first saw them when the band supported Diamond Head
in Newcastle back in 2007. That night they not only blew Diamond Head off the
stage but they also blew us away as well. The band have evolved over the years into one of the tightest Metal trios
around, with brothers Chris and Luke Appleton on guitar and bass respectively
and powerhouse drummer Martin McNee.
The band really set out to impress from the start
with ‘ I See Red’, a track from their forthcoming album ‘A Way Of
Life’, which was a real barnstormer of a start to the set. From here on in the band
had the crowd hooked with Chris firing on all six as usual, although it was Luke
that really showed how much he has grown since he first came into the band
replacing Marc Dawson. He reminds me of a young Marco Mendoza with his stage
presence and what can I say about McNee, since his insertion into the band
in late 2007 he has brought a massive drum sound to the band and together this
band have become a real force to be reckoned with.
They continued to showcase the new album with the
tracks ‘Nemesis’ and ‘Savior’ before a couple of massive metal
tracks from the bands debut release ‘VR’ with the stunning
‘Brotherhood’, which Chris dedicated to all at the festival over the two
days, before rampaging through ‘Call To Arms’.
The guys really brought the house down with the
superb ‘Death By Lightening’ one of the best songs the band do. A real
ball buster of a metal track that remains one of my favourite tracks from
the band and an excellent closer to what was another great set.
But it wasn’t ended there, the guys remained on
stage as SOS paid tribute to Ronnie James Dio on this his birthday.
Joining the guys on stage Fifo from 4 Bitten, guitarist
Rishi Mehta from Babylon Fire and headliner Mr. Blaze Bayley as the ripped
through a storming version of the Black Sabbath classic Heaven And Hell, the
crowd also paid homage as the chanted "DIO! DIO! DIO!" as the song closed, which
was a fitting tribute to one of Heavy Metals legendary vocalists.
Now for the headliner, a guy who has been through a lot
over recent years but a guy who has come back bigger and stronger and with a
new album ‘Promise And Terror’, the one and only Blaze Bayley.
Joining Blaze tonight on stage were Luke and Chris
Appleton who filled in for regulars Nico and Dave who couldn’t make it
today due to visa problems, but this was only a minor set back as the band
ripped through a real monster metal set. Opening up with ‘Madness &
Sorrow’ instantly the man had the crowd eating out of his hand. With a
guy like Blaze he feeds off the audience's energy, if they are pumped up then he feeds
off that and really gives one hell of a show and tonight was another great
example of this.
The tremendous set continued with the excellent ‘The
City Of Bones’ and the superb
‘Blood & Belief’, this was old school metal at its finest.
As I said to begin with this was my first taste of SOS
Festival and it certainly won't be my last. I would like thank Mark and Lynne
for putting on a great weekend of Rock and Metal which was extremely well organized
and well put together. The inclusion of an acoustic stage late on Day 2 was
great. It was a great way to spend time in between the main stage
changeovers with Emma Fox from Collibus and Fofi from 4 Bitten all putting on
great acoustic sets.
I came away from this festival with no doubts about
coming back next year, the two day format was just inspirational, having two
different days dedicated to different genres of Rock and Metal worked well.
There was also a number of bands that could have played either day, which was
good. I couldn’t fault the venue, the beer prices were reasonable and
weren’t hiked up because of the festival. The food was good, cheap and
filled the gap. The inclusion of a proper press room was a great idea and was well
utilized across both days. As well as merch stalls inside the main
hall for each of the bands performing, there was also a small metal market.
To be honest I couldn’t fault the weekend at all. There are a lot of festivals around these days many on the same scale as SOS
but this was by far the best I’ve been too, and many of the others could take
a few lessons from Rocksector Records SOS Festival, this is how it should be
SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!
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