Bloodstock Open Air: PREVIEW – 3 WEEKS TO GO!

The countdown is on, three weeks until Catton Park is overrun by a hoarde of the weird and wonderful, your punks, goths, metalheads, geeks and freaks. Yes, it’s almost time for Bloodstock Open Air – the UK’s premier Metal fest.

Let’s take a look at what BOA 2018 has to offer…


Headlining Friday night at BOA are the mighty Judas Priest, tipped to be bringing some ahem, serious fire-power, alongside material from their new album… ‘Firepower’. It’s going to be a memorable show that’s for sure, but it’s not all about the headliners at Bloodstock – Friday offers up a plethora of bands we rarely get to see at other festivals in the UK, like Emperor and Suicidal Tendencies. We also can’t wait to walk with zombies Wednesday 13 and get our thrash on with Onslaught, we are coming fully prepared to leave this festival with RSI of the neck.

On the Sophie Lancaster stage we’ll be looking out for metal goddess Doro, and we’ll definitely be checking out the New Blood stage to fill our boots with brand new music to add to our playlists.

Gojira are back after a year off, but this time taking the Saturday headline slot to showcase their unique brand of metal and having seen them hit BOA in 2016, it’s pretty clear we’re in for an incredible night. Also on Saturday’s menu, the beautifully weird juxtaposition of Scotland’s own pirate power-band Alestorm, followed by New York death metallers Cannibal Corpse. I’m down for that sort of variation, it keeps things interesting. We’ll also be turning out for Combichrist, and Israeli band Orphaned Land over on the Sophie stage.

Sunday’s finale spot, perhaps somewhat controversially goes to Nightwish, a band who are no stranger to drama throughout their career. Indeed this will be the third time the band have headlined the festival, with yet another different vocalist – Floor Jansen. However Nightwish undeniably deserve the accolade of closing out Bloodstock, having topped the bill twice before and drawing from a massive eight studio albums worth of music, we’re catching them on the ‘Decades’ tour, which is bound to be celebratory. Also on Sunday, SFG are looking forward to At The Gates, Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed fame, and Evergrey but the biggest hype by far is for American rock crooners Mr. Big. We simply cannot wait to karaoke the hell out of ‘To Be With You’ in the cheesiest way possible. Might even slow dance. There’s something fantastic about Mr. Big featuring on the same bill as Watain – over on the Sophie stage, who we will also be sure to catch. If you’re heading there too, take a poncho for the gore and keep your phone in your pocket. Trust us. It’s gonna be a wild one.


If the music isn’t enough to satiate your appetite over the weekend, or there’s a bit of a lull in your lineup, you’ll find plenty of other stuff to see and do at BOA this year. Take a stroll through the BOA RAM Gallery which features the incredible artwork of Paul Raymond Gregory, various photographers’ shots from previous years, and new this year – an entire Judas Priest wall.

Meet your heroes and get your stuff signed! Bloodstock has always had a great band-to-fan signing tent with loads of opportunities to meet and greet, so make sure you take along any special CD sleeves for your favourite band and check the signing times.

Muscles 2 the Masses – BOA’s very own Strongman/Strongwoman competition now has an amateur division for festival-goers (who have competed in qualifying heats already) to be crowned Bloodstock’s Strongest Man, in a series of events which centre on… well, you know, lifting stuff up, mainly. If that doesn’t take your fancy, we’ve heard Battle Reenactment is back on the menu – who doesn’t love armored dudes beating seven shades of hell out of each other?

Late night DJ’s and movie screenings after the bands are finished are also being laid on for the drunks and nosferatu among us, so if all your mates have crashed and burned for the evening, pull up a pew for Spinal Tap and make some new pals.


There’s no slacking on the food front either, for a smaller festival the options are excellent whether you’re a straight up carnivore, a vegan or somewhere in between. Grab yourself a brisket sandwich between bands, pick a veggie paella or an entire Sunday dinner in a Yorkshire pud, but for my money – I’m making room for a crazy hot chili in a bread bowl also known as Bunnychow. Oh and you’ll find your morning hangover cure over at the famous Motley Brew, I particularly love their ‘Sweet Chai o’Mine’ mugs and the fact that you can also get a massage while you convalesce.


BOA’s main arena boasts a massive array of shops in which you are sure to find anything and everything a metal fan needs – you’ve got your patches and pins, your leather chaps, extremely obscure black metal tees, jewellery emblazoned with skulls, studs on absolutely everything and of course, viking drinking horns. If you’re looking for rare vinyl or CD’s – Bloodstock has your back, particularly brilliant if you’re looking for something better than the programme to take into the signing tent (I once found a vinyl of The Final Countdown and got Europe to sign it, they were not thrilled to recall their hairstyles…).

As for official merch, you’ve got your straight up festival tees with the incredible Bloodstock artwork, and a heap of other stylish variations, but this year I’m after some of the new offerings, particularly the leggings, hip flask and leather cuff. It’s great to see BOA venturing into more merchandise variation, and we’ll definitely be getting hold of the branded reusable cups for our beers too.

So what are you waiting for? Tickets are on sale HERE

See you down the front! m/



Truck Festival 2018 Preview

The self acclaimed 'Godfather of the small festival scene' is back!  This annual music festival takes place in Steventon, Oxfordshire and with 2018 being the festival's 21st year it plans to dominate with yet another cracking line up.  For the first time, organisers have introduced an early entry ticket for Thursday the19th July before the main festival weekend begins. Upon purchasing early entry admission, ticketholders will be able to see performances from bands and artists including Peace, Jaws, Kandia and Little Brother Eli to kickstart the weekeend.

As always there will also be a wide variety of food to cater for all and also family friendly activities for those with children.  

This years lineup includes headliners: Friendly Fires on Friday, George Ezra on Saturday and The Courteeners on closing night which will be Sunday 22nd July.  

Also featured, will be performances from Everything Everything, Circa Waves, Jake Bugg and many more. There are several stages on site with a huge selection of all genres of bands and artists. Here are just a handful of acts that are worth checking out

Hellions – A hard core punk band from Sydney,Australia.  Their music can be likened to that of American pop-punk band Good Charlotte. They will be on stage at The Nest on Friday.  

Goldrush – An English 5 piece rock band. Band members Robin and Joe aka The Bennett brothers are also the founders Truck Festival and will be performing in their band for an exclusive one off set.  What better way to pay homage to the people that made this awesome festival a reality.  This special set can be seen at the Veterans and Virgins stage on Friday.  

Anteros – This dream-pop band quartet from London have previously played alongside Two Door Cinema Club, White Lies and Blaenavon (who are also playing at Truck this year) Anteros also played sets at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds.  Their single "Breakfast" is quite a catchy, happy go lucky kind of pop song.  These will be seen on the Main Stage on Saturday.  ]

Lady Bird – The trio can easily be likened to last year's performers Slaves.  Their music style is heavy rock with agressive riffs, their songs also have a literary vibe to them while narrating stories with their straight to the point lyrics. We will be seeing them at The Nest on Saturday.  

Hey Charlie – a three piece all girl pop punk band. Their vibe overflows with girl power while playing their sugary pop songs. They have previously been on tour with All Time Low.  These punktastic ladies will be performing on the Market Stage on Sunday.  

So whether you fancy riding "Shotgun" with George Ezra or want to enjoy "Junk Food Forever" with The Amazons, Truck Festival will no doubt keep you entertained all weekend long! 

Bloodstock preview: BRUTAI

Bloodstock Preview: Brutai



'DEEP' lyrically tells of a period of songwriter's block that the band experienced whilst writing their debut full length. It's a mix of melodic and and progressive metal, with catchy vocal lines, guitar wizardry and groovy intricate drum work. Something for all modern metal followers to enjoy.

The band have recently supported the likes of Butcher Babies, Textures and have toured with The Five Hundred. Now they're showing they're a live force to be reckoned with, and will appear on the Sophie Stage at Bloodstock Festival.

Live Dates
12th August- Bloodstock Festival- Sophie Stage
20th August- Readipop- Reading
21st August- The Monolith All Day- Dingwalls, London w/ Zoax, Press to Meco, No Consequence
24th August- Sticky Mike's Frog Bar- Brighton w/ Voices From The Fuselage
25th August- London- Underworld w/ Soilwork
More dates TBA

"Brutai have matured into a really distinctive, engaging proposition. Expect big things from them, and soon."- The Monolith

"The British band Brutai, whose members hail from London and Reading, might be labeled as hard rock on first listen. But there’s a distinctly metallic, vaguely Swedish style to their riffing that gives the band a harder and more complex edge than what you’re accustomed to hearing from “hard rock” bands. The songwriting is super-tight, also; think “Soilwork Lite” and you’re pretty close. "- Metalsucks

"…few of the genre's current protagonists can match Brutai when it comes to matching that technical prowess with refined songwriting skills.
Precise, ornate and never less than monstrously heavy, the size of their hooks and melodies make them such an enticing proposition."
– Dom Lawson, Metal Hammer

Photo credit:
(Left to right-  Mathieu Bauer, Alex Lorimer, Felix Lawrie, Henry Ryan, Christian Sturgess)

Beacons Festival 2013- Preview

Beacons Festival, nestled in the heart of the Yorkshire moors, is boutique bliss. Having burst onto the already swollen festival scene a mere two years ago, the four night event boasts the crème de la crème in food, arts and culture-and by no means slim pickings when it comes to stellar performers.

It’s tough to know where to start when the offerings span from up-front indie to chillcore trance, edgy noise punk to folky-psych pop (if you hadn’t already guessed, this festival could count as "one for the hip ‘n’ happening students") but Friday headliner Bonobo is a sure place to start. If you weren’t lucky enough to catch the trip hop megastar’s down-tempo London shows showcasing new album ‘The North Borders’ then you have no excuse not to go. Simon Green's bass-guitared brainchild will surely be the premier event of the weekend, with Gold Panda's similarly trippy blend of electronica shortly following.

Not to worry fans of the heavier side of life; Canadian hardcore outfit F*cked Up will no doubt, a la Gallows, prove they're eclectic and interesting enough to break out from the punk scene into all rounder NME poster boysF*cked Up may not be one not to take your kids to, but the festival's famously family themes (the Guerilla Rave Rug is apparently perfect for the child who wants every day to be their birthday) add generational variety beyond what the lineup suggests. 

For more chilled out vibes, check out Channel One Soundsystem and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats; the former being world famous reggae dub DJs (expect tantalising Panda Dub overlays) and the latter grubbing out some classic stoner rock 'n' roll. Nice. 

Others not to miss: Local Natives, Django Django, Eats Everything, Egyptian Hip Hop, Savages, Hookworms, Drenge

Beacons Festival takes place on the Funkirk Estate, Skipton between the 16th-18th August and, at just under £100 a ticket, is set to be the most economically priced-for-what-you-get fest of the summer. 

For full lineup details and information visit: