Festival 2015 (Day Two)
Bands: Blaze Bayley, Avenger, Fireforce, Garagedays, The Amorettes, Captain Horizon, Nick Hellefort, The Raven Age, Lock Up Laura
Venue: Radcliffe Civic Hall, Radcliffe, ManchesterDate: 18 July 2015
Day 1 of S.O.S. really set the standard high, so did Day 2
keep the ball rolling? The answer was quite simply you
better believe it did!
the headline slot celebrating 15 years since the release of
Blaze Bayley’s 'Silicon Messiah' album and with the album
to be played in its entirety, we knew that this would be the
not just the icing on the cake, but also the cherry on top
of what turned out to be another superb day of Rock and
Day 1 closing in the wee small hours of Saturday, it meant a
later start to Day 2, as we arrived just in time to see Lock
up Laura hit the stage, so apologies to opening act Twisted
Lock Up Laura delivered a solid set with frontman Lee
McCusker bringing a touch of the Eddie Vedder’s to the
stage, as the band delivered tracks from their two albums
'Running In The Dark' and their latest release
'Masquerade, with the highlights being 'Crashing Down' from
the debut, the title track 'Masquerade' and their current
single ‘The Jury’s Out’. The latter having a
heavier edge. This is a band with real potential and
one I’d highly recommend you check out if you're into the
new breed of modern hard rock bands with a bit of bite about
to hit the main stage were Londoners The Raven Age, a
band that features Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris’s son on
guitar, but there the similarity to Dad's band ends, as The
Raven Age are a Modern Alternative rock band with a really
powerful sound, as they demonstrated with their short but
impressive set. Favourite songs from their set being
the rocking ’The Death March' and the storming ‘Angel In
Disguise’. With the band hitting the UK stages
throughout July and August with Steve Harris’s British
Lions, they are definitely worth checking out.
had to bow out of the next bands Germany’s Nick
Hellefort to grab such much-needed nourishment before
returning to the main hall to catch one of the highlights of
the weekend Captain Horizon.
Birmingham based Indie Prog Rockers really set out the stall
for the rest of the bands to follow, as frontman Steve
Whittington covered every possible inch of stage in the
first two songs, then decided to join the crowd down the
front to cover even more ground.
is one band that surprise all with their energetic live
shows and today was one of their best, with tracks from the
new album 'Imitation Sun' dominating the set, they really
set the crowd alight, with Whittington even having time to
do The Worm across the stage mid song (!), before venturing
into the crowd once again. A really fun band to watch
live with enough variety in their material to go far.
If you're looking for something a little left field and
different, then look no further than Captain Horizon.
They even managed to have enough energy left to appear on
the acoustic stage later in the day.
This is definitely a band who have found their stride and
are on the way up.
This is definitely a band who have found their stride and are on the way up.
we had to duck of for some fresh air during Germany’s Garagedays
set, so again apologies to the guys. That’s the
thing with festivals, you’re always going to miss a band
or two and this time round it was Garagedays.
band that has been on my must-see list for a while now is
Belgium Combat Metallers Fireforce, because each time
they’ve appeared on a festival line-up I was covering, I
have always been otherwise engaged with interviews.
Even more frustrating is every time I've missed them, our
Editor has caught them in action and raved on about how good
they were. So when they were announced as appearing at
this years S.O.S. Festival, I made sure this time around,
come hell or high water, I was going to be watching them!
band didn’t disappoint as they brought their A-Game and
they opened up with the old school Heavy Metaller ‘Coastal
Battery’ and so it began.
was the bands first UK appearance and they were here to make
their mark, with their twin guitar fuelled Metal at
breakneck speed with the likes of 'Deathbringer', the title
track of their latest album, the anthemic ‘Thunder Will
Roll’ and the excellent '1302 – Battle For Freedom’
from their 'March On' opus.
Their set was rounded off with two absolute corking slabs of old school Metal, first up it was the massive ‘Born To Play Metal’, during which lead singer Fylpe got the crowd to sing along with this thunderous metal anthem, which saw a flurry of horns and fists pumping the air throughout. The band rounded off an impressive first UK set with what else but 'Combat Metal'. Now this is what S.O.S. is all about, mixing not just different genres but bringing in bands from around Europe that you may never normally get to see in the UK. So a big thanks to Flype, Ervwin, T-Warrior, Thunderbass G and Batterick for keeping it real. I may have missed the band on other occasions, but I’m sure glad I got to see them this time around, as they put on one hell of a great metal show.
a fresh air and food was called so we had to duck out for Die
No More, who according to the barfly’s gave a hell of
a show. Again apologies but I’m sure we’ll catch
them on the road next time around.
up where another European outfit as Italy’s Secret Rule
hit the stage with a very different style to the full on
metal of Fireforce.
up where Newcastle ‘s NWOBHM legends Avenger.
band released two albums in the 80's before calling it a
day, but in 2005 the band reformed. Now in 2015 with a
new album under their wings 'The Slaughter Never Stops', out
last year on Rocksector Records, the first of the weekends
NWOBHM bands hit the stage.
up their full on metal assault with ‘Revenge Attack’,
Ian Swift on vocals showed the young guns on the festival
that you're never to old to rock n' roll, along with Sean
Jefferies and Liam Thomson on guitars, Ian Fulton on bass
and Gary Young on drums.
speaking of legends they don’t come much bigger in the
world of British Heavy Metal than Mr Blaze Bayley.
gig was the final show of the 15th Anniversary
tour of the release of the 'Silicon Messiah' album, that was
released under the Blaze banner and tonight would be played
in it's entirety from start to finish, bonus tracks
a backing band of Absolva’s Chris Appleton on guitar,
Martin McNee on drums and on bass Absolva’s new bassist
Karl Schramm, the band set out to deliver one of the finest
Blaze Bayley shows I’ve seen.
the full Silicon Messiah the band warmed up the crowd with
‘Speed of Light’ from the '10th Dimension'
album, then it was over to the title track off 'Blood And Belief',
before a real treat (pun intended), with the Iron Maiden
track ‘Futureal’, which sent the crown into a
frenzy. This was the perfect foundation for the rest of the set
which was the entire 'Silicon Messiah' album.
rest of the set was 'Silicon Messiah' like we heard as fans from
the first time. Each track performed in order as it was on the album
band powered through well into the wee small hours of Sunday,
but the crowd didn’t care what time it was, they were
witnessing one of the tightest set's of the entire weekend
and absolutely loving every second of it.
the full Messiah treatment it was time for something a
little special with set closers 'The Man on the Edge' and the
thundering Wolfsbane 'Touch of Steel', which featured the guitar
and bass duel of all duels between Chris and Karl, with Blaze
jokingly disapproving of the pairs centre stage antics, this
was of course all in good clean fun and an utter delight to
was the perfect way to end what was another great day of
Rock and Metal and with Blaze hitting the road in 2016 with
a new album and a 30 date tour, the man defies all doubters
and shows he still has fire in his belly and can still be
classed as one of the finest frontmen in Metal today.
With Sunday already upon us it was back to the hotel to wind down, catch some Zzzzz’s and prepare for Day 3.
Review by: Barry McMinn
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