VIDEO: All Points East Festival (BMTH) | Queue & A

We head to All Points East festival in East London to give festival goers a “Queue & A” about their favourite performances, the best food on offer and the festival’s atmosphere in our biggest episode yet. We also learn about the new “Festival mode” feature from Tinder, Attitude is Everything helping the disabled enjoy festivals, get into random conversation about the planet and drink plenty of beer in the sun while talking to a record number of guests including our competition winners!

FREEDELIVERYrnlogo

-RN AROUND THE WEB-

RN on Facebook
RN on Instagram
RN on Twitter
RN Shop

Please Subscribe, Rate, Comment and Share this video and don’t forget to check out more from Rebellious Noise on all of our Social outlets.

REVIEW: Becky Black – I’m No Art

Having heard some of Becky’s songs live, I was delighted to hear that she was releasing her first album, as I had always admired her voice, and loved the songs I’d heard from her in the past. The album was started in Late 2016, when the first three tracks were recorded, and was originally meant to be an EP of five tracks. But it changed after Becky lost her father in February 2017. I was fortunate enough to be given a sneak peak early copy of ‘I’m No Art’, an album which is a tribute to her late father Martino (The album title being an anagram of his name.)

Throughout the album, you can hear Becky going through a range of different emotions. Nothing hits you harder on this album than ‘Warrior‘ the track which is essentially a letter from Becky, written direct to her father as he was dying, written mere days before he passed, you can still hear in the lyrics how hopeful she was that he would pull through. It’s one of the most poignant songs on the album, and a total emotional rollercoaster. This song is so beautifully written, and the raw emotion and sadness in Becky’s voice just bursts straight through. I would advise not listening to this song in a public place, if you don’t want to burst into tears. It was a song which reminded me of my late Grandfather. It leads beautifully into the track Strong, which is the song written to her father after he passed, promising him that she would stay strong. In fact, her last words to her Dad were that she would stay strong if he left her and she would keep working on her dream no matter what. I’m sure he is looking down at her with a huge, proud smile on his face at how much she has accomplished, since moving to London in April 2016 from Apulia in Italy.

The writing of the album is actually fantastic, it spans a number of genres and musical influences. There is a rock vibe to it, with hints of Paramore and Evanescence shining through, as well as pop influences too. You can hear in opening track ‘I’m No Art’ that there are some Paramore/Pink influences. It’s a very catchy song, which wouldn’t be out of place on any radio station. The opening of ‘Gone’ reminds me of the famous ‘Stairway To Heaven’, this brings out the raw brilliance in Becky’s voice, very Amy Lee like.

The more you get through the album the better it gets, and by the time you get to I Don’t Give A Damn you realise that you want so much more of the music, and can’t wait for the second album to come out. The final song of Dreamless (Sleepless Night) is a fabulous finish to a great album.
Overall, I think this is a fantastic first album, and one that Becky can be extremely proud of. In her native tongue this album is… Brilliante, Emotivo e Stupefacente.

You can check Becky Black out on:

Official WebsiteFacebook,  TwitterInstagramYouTube

I’m No Art is available on Amazon from 3/3/18

I'm Not Art - Becky Black - Rebellious Noise Review

REVIEW: Mike Shinoda – “Post Traumatic” EP

Since the untimely passing of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington back in July 2017 it has been unknown what would be next for the band mates he left behind and their musical careers  from not only an emotional point of view but also a logistical one after losing not only a close friend but a vital member of such an iconic band. Some members of Linkin Park have had a go of music outside of their main band but none more successfully than vocalist Mike Shinoda who fronted the Hip Hop group Fort Minor. Most would expect that if anyone would go on to make music again outside of LP then it would be Shinoda and that has come to fruition as the vocalist has dropped a surprise EP that is in tribute to his late band mate.

Post Traumatic is a 3 track EP that solely focuses on the aftermath of losing Chester Bennington with each song giving an intimate insight to the mind of Shinoda dealing with the loss of his friend and band mate as well as the events that followed such as the memorial show ‘Linkin Park and Friends: Celebrate Life in Honour of Chester Bennington’ that was put on in Los Angeles in late October 2017.

Each track has been written and produced by Mike Shinoda and are accompanied by a music video, the first track aptly named ‘Place to Start is the shortest of the three and serves as an intro to this mini story. The song opens with a soothing singing sequence before speeding up into Shinoda’s rap flow that then carefully moves between the two styles for a blend that feels extremely smooth and is laced with sentimental lyrics such as “I’m tired of feeling like every next step’s hopeless, I’m tired of being scared that what I build might break apart” as the music begins to calmly build before an abrupt cut to voicemail recordings of friends offering their support and checking up on him. The video version shows a simple shot of Mike calmly singing along as the sunshine behind breaks through the room before cutting to shots of a child’s bedroom whilst the voicemails play over the top.

The second song ‘Over Again‘ highlights the wide range of emotions felt when dealing with the aftermath of a loss as the lyrics give an insight to the days leading up to the bands memorial concert for Chester You can tell that Mike is giving listeners a genuine look into the raw emotions surrounding that gig as he mentions rehearsing for a month and not worrying about the set but instead the fear of an unexpected wave of emotion with the line “I get tackled by the grief at times that I would least expect” and later again in the second verse when he reflects on this with “I almost lost it in the middle of a couple songs“. The second verse has a much more angry tone to it and once again adds to the rawness of the EP with lyrics talking about simply not knowing how he feels and the most candid lyrics on the song highlighting frustration surrounding the questions and expectations for his career “And everybody that I talk to is like, ‘wow Must be really hard to figure what to do now’ Well thank you genius / you think it’ll be a challenge Only my life’s work hanging in the fucking balance”. It’s a really powerful line delivered with such strong emotion that you can feel it’s impact and know that this loss has so many implications to those left behind from losing a loved one and not being able to see them anymore to the intricate things surrounding the bands career moving forward with everything from musical expression, finances, logistics, fanbases, branding and legal decisions all bubbling up behind the scenes. This line feels deeply telling and like a huge moment of opening up for Shinoda but it also serves as a tiny window into a much bigger jungle of emotions that can not fully be expressed. The song mainly focuses on struggling with closure whilst being in the public eye and it’s a really interesting track that ends with “Over and over and over again” repeating as the video spirals into chaos with inverted colours and shakey camera work.

(..continued below EP playlist)

The last track ‘Watching As I Fall‘ feels the least specific as far as direct references to Shindoa’s struggle go and for that reason it feels the most like a single as it’s lyrics are more generalised and therefore may be more relatable to a general music listener. This would usually be something that I would prefer as relating to lyrics is in my opinion one of the strongest forms of relationship with music and is a driving force in genres such as Rock and Metal, but I found myself enjoying the first two more. Even though I couldn’t relate to that specific situation as much as I could a generalised one, things still felt so raw in the first two tracks and so unique that it draws you in even if you’re someone like me who wouldn’t usually look for emotional songs that aren’t generalised enough that I could relate it to my own personal experiences yet still feel it’s specific to me. Whilst I have been through loss myself and in many ways some have been similar to the loss that Mike has suffered, in many ways they have been far removed also and I think it would be the same for most people as we all go through loss but hardly any of us will deal with organising a tribute concert in front of thousands of people for example.

This song does feel like the most polished and so is the video which is a good ending for the EP. There is a lot of animation featured in the video and a lot more locations and stylistic shots used and this blends well with the range of styles used in the song especially when accompanying the chorus which I could definitely see being played live whilst a packed crowd sing back to Mike at the top of their lungs, it’s one of those choruses that just itches you to singalong.

The outro is fantastic and has a lot going on and reminds me of the Reanimation era of Linkin Park’s music just as the solo EP comes to an abrupt end which leads into a vlog style video from Mike Shinoda on the music video version of the song. The vocalist is laying down and speaking to the audience about general things such as going to the doctors and frustrations at stories of racism in the news and mentions that it is December and that the loss of Chester had been four months previous and how he is trying to deal with it yet still be grateful for what he has with the upcoming holiday season. The sombre video is a good addition to the visual experience of the EP as it shows a tired and calm side of Shinoda during such a hectic period in his life and really does cap off the experience that I feel this EP brings of capturing what the immediate aftermath of losing Chester Bennington has been like for Mike Shinoda.

All in all I enjoyed the EP, it’s a strange one as it is so raw and specific and really short but I feel the length is actually something that helps it.

Check out our special Linkin Park episode of the Queue & A interviewing LP fans outside of their 2015 o2 Arena gig in London.

REVIEW: Leeds Festival – Braham Park, Leeds (24-26 08/17)

August bank holiday means only one thing – Leeds Festival AKA my favourite weekend of the entire year.

Although I wasn’t as enthusiastic about this year’s line-up, it didn’t stop me heading down to Braham Park early on Thursday morning to set up camp all ready for a messy weekend ahead.
When I arrived, I headed straight to Green camp (which has turned into its own tradition), and by 2pm the tent was erected, the airbed was up and the drinking had started – what was now going to be my home for the next 4 days was finally starting to feel bearable.

We sat drinking and playing card games with our new tent neighbours until the early evening before going to explore around the various DJ sets dotted around the campsites. These first few hours had already set the bar high for the rest of the weekend – and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Leeds Festival 2017 - Rebellious Noise Review

Friday morning was a relaxing one, I started my day off with a cider and lazed around until 5pm. Eventually I made the trek the to the arena where I sat on the bank and watched Blossoms whilst eating some surprisingly tasty chicken noodles. After a short while Liam Gallagher performed. He swanned onto the main stage wearing a zipped-up parka jacket and took complete control of the crowd. I’m not overly familiar with Liam’s own music but he ended with Oasis’Wonderwall’ – judging by the crowd’s reaction, I imagine that this was the highlight for many people.

Leeds Festival 2017 - Rebellious Noise Review

Muse were headlining on Friday night but I made the unpopular decision to go and see Halsey and Marshmello instead. I had wanted to see Halsey for a while now and she exceeded my expectations in the NME Tent – her performance was electric and she really knows how to put on a show. I had only recently started listening to Marshmello so it was a last-minute decision to watch his set. I felt like the bass in the Radio One Dance Tent wasn’t as good as it could’ve been and that had affected the overall performance but I still enjoyed it. We had left 15 minutes early to catch the end of Neck Deep’s set at the Lock Up Tent, luckily for us we managed to catch ‘A Part Of Me’, ‘Can’t Kick Up the Roots’ and ‘Where Do We Go When We Go’. It wasn’t my first time seeing Neck Deep and they have remained one of my all-time favourite bands.

Leeds Festival 2017 - Rebellious Noise Review

Saturday morning started very like Friday morning, kicking off the day with a cider and a game of cards. I made my way to the arena at about 2pmwhere I sat and watched Rat Boy and Circa Waves. Some of my favourite times at Leeds are sat on the grass having a drink and watching all types of people getting on with the day in their own ways. At 5pm I made my way to the NME Tent to watch Anne Marie, Lethal Bizzle and Subfocus consecutively. The energy at this stage is constantly at a high – which is why it is one of my favourite tents. By the end of Subfocus I was shattered, but the evening was still young and there was a lot of fun to be had. We made our way to get food before catching half of Bastille’s set at the main stage, followed by Kasabian. We made our way closer to the front to watch Kasabian and the atmosphere was one to remember. One thing is for certain – no one should underestimate their performance. After Kasabian ended, I grabbed myself some chilli nachos and a beer before I started to head back to the tent, it didn’t take long for me to get distracted by the DJ sets and I ended up dancing into the early morning.Leeds Festival 2017 - Rebellious Noise Review

We kicked off the final day with our new-found tradition of cider and a card game before we started to make way to the arena, the weather had stayed fair all weekend but Sunday was especially hot. We got to the area at 1pm and we were just in time to watch Moose Blood. I have watched Moose Blood perform all around the country but it’s a band that I never get bored of watching. Although they were on stage early in the day, they still had a decent crowd.
After Moose Blood we watched The Pretty Reckless whilst sat on the grass again. After The Pretty Reckless finished playing, we went over to the Dance Tent to watch Lany. I have been listening to Lany’s debut album on repeat since it was released in June 2017 and their set was really laid back and chilled.

Leeds Festival 2017 - Rebellious Noise Review
It was time for the final two performances of Leeds Festival 2017Major Lazer and Eminem. Major Lazer hit the stage at 7.30pm and didn’t stop putting on a show until they were over – A mix of new and old remixes kept the energy within the crowd high and the atmosphere was lively. It was a great set up for Eminem who was coming to the stage at 9.30pm.
As it got closer to Eminem’s set, the crowd was getting noticeably crammed in – thousands upon thousands of people flooded around the Main Stage ready to see the King of Hip Hop perform. Half way through the set we decided to move further back, but this was a challenge, Eminem was by far the most popular set all festival. There was people who couldn’t even see the stage because they were so far away that were still standing and singing along. Although Sunday evening is always a bit sad as it means that the festival is coming to its end, it was certainly a great finale.

Overall, Leeds 2017 exceeded my expectations and my personal highlights were Halsey, Neck Deep, Major Lazer and Eminem. Leeds 2018 can’t come quick enough.

bandmerchad

Fan of Festivals? Check out this playlist of Queue & A episodes filmed at some of the biggest Festivals in the UK


REVIEW: Blink-182 – The o2 Arena, London (20/07/17)

As we arrived at The o2 there was a great optimistic atmosphere in the air with thousands of people there for the rock show. Even before the concert had begun there was a lot of intrigue with Mark Hoppus only recently having an upper respiratory viral infection just days earlier and had to cancel the band’s show in Bournemouth under doctors orders.

The band were back at it in London the next day though and it seemed like things had cleared up for Mark’s voice enough to let that happen. Now we are onto night 2 of the London dates and for many (including myself) this was going to be the first time watching Blink-182 without Tom Delonge. The introduction of Matt Skiba on the band’s latest release “California” was a good indication of the band’s new direction and YouTube videos can give you some insight when it comes to Matt singing Tom’s old parts but seeing a “new” band member live is really where it makes a difference for most fans.

blink182o2arena5

As the fans were pouring into the arena, shocking news broke in the rock music world. Chester Bennington’s death had just been announced and those that were still outside the venue pre-drinking with the party atmosphere in full swing started to get the news. There was this strange feeling of “I wonder if those people know” and whether or not the band would know and if so, would they be cancelling the show? If Mark’s voice still had issues and news of a friend of the band (one of which they were about to go on tour with) passing away in shocking circumstances came out then it could have been quite the deck stacked against the show going ahead.

After reporting on the Linkin Park singer’s untimely death and taking in the shocked messages throughout social media, we funnelled into the arena to watch the Blink-182 concert we were there to see. The show was going ahead as planned and there was no mention of the big news during the show, we assumed the band had not been told with it breaking so close to their stage time. The band would send their love to Chester after the show on Twitter and cancel their “Blinkin Park” Tour.

blink182o2arena3

One thing I love at concerts is the hype before the artists come on stage and a great part of that is when an artist has entrance music. The Blink-182 boys came on stage to roars from the crowd layered over the amazing Stranger Things theme song which built suspense like no other. Travis Barker took us straight into the performance with the amazing drum intro to ‘Feeling This. Those who eagerly awaited to see what Matt would sound like live with Blink-182 would get their answers fast as Skiba would shout out his lead vocals as fireworks went off and the infamous flaming “F.U.C.K” sign showed up behind the band on the big screens. Blink-182 then swiftly moved into ‘The Rock Show‘ as the graphics changed to promotional artwork for Blink-182 shows highlighting the theme of the song, a trend that continued for the rest of the night and was perfectly executed.

blink182o2arena10

Next up was the first Matt Skiba era song with ‘Cynical’ starting with an infectious singalong with the crowd before Travis went into his fast tempo paced intro for the song. It’s no doubt that this band are still capable of writing songs that capture their original flavour really well.

The band then hit hard with classic hits from their back catalogue with ‘The Rock Show‘, ‘What’s My Age Again?‘ and ‘First Date‘. Something that really stood out from this point was how great the three piece sound together, with Matt coming into the band it wasn’t just vocal duties he was taking on but also lead guitar. It has to be said that the band sounded a lot tighter musically than in previous years. When I saw Blink-182 at Brixton Academy in 2014 it was during a time where they had been getting some negative press for playing quite sloppy. As a longtime fan of the band I had seen plenty of funny videos of them in their younger days mixing songs up, playing them way faster or Tom jokingly having to “think really hard and concentrate” when playing the more complex intro to ‘What’s My Age Again?‘. But those things seemed added to the mix of being under a microscope as the latest band to reunite, having grown up a lot since their first wave and Delonge’s vocal style changing. The newly reunited band seemed to get a hard time for it, especially at Reading & Leeds Festival, which seemed unfair. But with that in mind it does seem like since Matt Skiba joined the band there has been an effort to tighten up, even if it was just a matter of a new member coming in and having more pressure to nail the songs.

blink182o2arena11

The band followed up it’s hit train with the lead single from their most recent album ‘Bored to Death‘. The song is probably the most well known song from “California” and it shows, with the crowd getting strongly behind this one even with it’s slower pace taking things down a notch from the previous three faster paced classics. The great “Ohh, Ohh” singalong throughout is an easy one to feel unison with.

Matt Skiba’s guitar then rang out the chords for ‘Down‘ from the band’s self titled album, a song that has always got the crowd in a sentimental mood as it’s one of those songs that you hear and are just glad you’re at a concert or with friends. This version did feel that little bit more sombre though without Tom’s signature whine that gave the song a slightly more upbeat feeling, however the lyrics do match the style Skiba brings.

blink182o2arena2

Mark then asked for a different Bass and thanked the support bands before saying “This one’s for the ladies” as Travis built up the intro of ‘I Miss You‘, which was followed by soft tones from Mark that really let the audiences voices have space for the emotional singalong. The infamous “Where are you?Delonge whine was due next and with Skiba doing his part the crowd were sure to add their extra whines over the top anyway. The song got a great response as always and after bringing the audience down once more they brought them up with some humour with Mark practicing his English accent. He explained that all you had to do was “Put a ‘U’ in there, somewhere it doesn’t need to be” and you would get the accent. The crowd seemed to have already forgot about the girlfriends they had broke up with when they were 15 and it was time for the band to head straight into ‘Dumpweed‘.

blink182o2arena12

It was at this point that it really hit just how good Matt Skiba could carry some of these older Blink-182 songs, it’s one thing to nail a hit single that even karaoke artists have a good crack at but Matt’s performance for the Enema of the State track really shone for me. It was great to see Blink-182 play so many of their older songs, even with a “new album” and even with a “new band member” in the mix. Mark seemed really in his element during this song, getting to pace around the stage, jumping, singing to himself and just enjoying the gig. He followed up with a “F**k yeah, Matt!”, which got a roar from the crowd as he then encouraged Matt to sing another. Skiba then asked the London crowd to sing with him as he lead them into the singalong intro of ‘Reckless Abandon‘ and the band followed.

blink182o2arena9

Matt praised the audience claiming it was the “best singalong crowd of the whole tour“. Mark said that it was because it was the home of Oasis, which got a boo as they’re from Manchester. He then followed up saying that he was joking and he knew it was actually the home of The Beatles, which got a laugh as they’re from Liverpool. But, it was Matt who struck gold when he named London based The Damned to receive a cheer from the crowd.

The next two songs were both from “California“, firstly ‘She’s Out of Her Mind‘, which got a good reaction. It would have been good for the band to play some of the music video on the screens behind as I think it was a video that really helped bridge the gap between the two era’s of Blink-182 with a tribute to their ‘What’s My Age Again‘ video. Mark then introduced ‘Kings of the Weekend‘ explaining that it was a song about how he hates to get high, which got a laugh and a cheer.

blink182o2arena7Hoppus then explained that there was a small technical difficulty going on but as he was a professional… he knew what to do. He then followed it up with the cliche Rock n’ Roll “Are you guys having a good time tonight?!” to kill some time and then encouraged Matt to play the intro to ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine‘, but he said he couldn’t but he did know how to play it on Bass. Thankfully this did kill some time for Travis to get ready again after the technical issue and his band mates cheered him on as he lead into a great drum solo surrounded by lights and smoke machines. Then it was built up with some guitar playing, flames shooting up and into eased into the classic ‘Violence‘. A song which kept up the high energy and ended the way it started with a display of Travis Barker’s drum skills, smoke and flames. Mark then appeared wiping his face with a towel and saying that it was very hot from the flames as we could all feel the heat in the arena now.

Up next came some more great visuals on screen to go seamlessly alongside the band’s performance of ‘Sober‘, the screen was full of interesting animated characters and of course, “four leaf clovers”. I really enjoyed this song live and I think it’s one that I am going to listen to a lot more now as a result.

blink182o2arena

Mark then told the crowd “London night two gets a special song“, as he continued to hype the change in set list he told the eager gig goers “you’re gonna tell your grandkids about it” and that they would say “No f**king way” to which people who were there would reply “Shut your stupid mouth you dumb grandkid, we wish you were never born“. The cluster of unscripted humour was the perfect reminder of one of the reasons Blink-182 became so popular. The naturally funny band members and chemistry between them had not been lost over the years as they lead into ‘Happy Holidays, You Bastard’ with all the lights off surrounded by mobile phone torches as if it were a serious and slow ballad.

blink182o2arena6

Up next was another classic from “Enema of the State” as the band went straight into ‘Dysentery Gary‘, once again with awesome visuals behind them on the screens the crowd were treated to a great animated lyric video accompanying the performance which lead into some fantastic shots of Los Angeles to accompany the song ‘Los Angeles‘ from the band’s latest album.

The band left the stage abruptly as everything went dark and the crowd chanted for 5 minutes to get more until the noise of a guitar being picked up and the hi-hat counting in ‘All The Small Things‘ for the start of the band’s encore. The party mood was certainly back as the crowd sang with all breath in their lungs to the 1999 hit. The screens behind the band then showed the crowd themselves, which was a great touch and a “Kiss Cam” showed up briefly. I am not sure if there was a problem with it because it wasn’t up for long but it seemed like a great idea for this portion of the concert but there wasn’t much focus on it after the initial cheer of the graphic. Either way, the crowd shots of people on shoulders and hands flying everywhere was enough to mirror the excitement.

 

The last song of the night was the band’s first hit single ‘Dammit‘ and it was performed to perfection with more flames and pyro than the night had seen so far. Mark sang out “Thank you, o2, night two” as the confetti fell and the instruments rang out. To close the night Travis’ son Landon Barker got behind the drums to play for a little while with Matt on guitar and Mark on Bass wearing a Donkey Kong mask, the look of a proud dad waiting beside the stage was a nice visual.

blink182o2arena8

The gig ended and the crowd were in high spirits, after a night that started with confusion and mixed emotions at the end of it the crowd were going home from the rock show quite happily.

 

bandmerchad


REVIEW: Slam Dunk Festival – South, Hatfield (29/05/17)

During the build up to this years Slam Dunk Festival the main things we were looking forward to here at Rebellious Noise was the incredibly stacked line up and in particular the Fireball Stage. This stacked stage alone felt like an early 2000s Pop Punk kids dream and had so much to offer, but that was only one stage and as mentioned in our Slam Dunk episode of the Queue & A each stage had it’s own line up poster, which really made each stage feel like an individual festival line up and when you realise they’re all actually one huge event it definitely gave off a “big time” feel to the festival.

As we arrived in Hatfield the atmosphere was already booming, the train journey down there was packed with people wearing band shirts with pure excitement in their faces. We decided to stop off at The Great Northern Pub before heading to the Hatfield Campus of the University of Hertfordshire and subsequently on the way back too, if you’re ever in Hatfield for Slam Dunk and are waiting for that train back or just fancy some pre drinks then be sure to hit up this lovely pub with a nice atmosphere and friendly staff.

As we arrived along college lane and saw the floods of people coming into the campus it really started to get exciting as the warm weather combined with stacked line up made for an exciting atmosphere. The first piece of business was to check out Fenix TX open the Fireball Stage, with a great sound and a kick full of energy the Texas Pop Punk boys got the crowd going.

We spent some time roaming the festival site to check out the food on offer, get our bearings with the other stages and take in the atmosphere whilst filming an episode of the Queue & A. The layout for the stages was actually really well done, with not much of a walk between each of them which was even more impressive when you realised that no sound was leaking in from nearby stages, therefore each area did feel like it’s own concert without an awkward background sound of another stage to hinder the band that you were watching.

mask1

One big thing that you would have noticed within the first minute of walking around the festival site was the ever increasing site of Don Broco frontman Rob Damiani’s face as it was on the heads of many festival goers to re-create scenes form their latest music video ‘Pretty’ in which there is some gruesome face swapping going on. The entire festival was flooded with these masks, which was a clever tool to direct people to the bands music video and also make people feel part of something…something gruesome, but still…something. Don Broco and Enter Shikari were some of the most anticipated acts at this years Slam Dunk Festival, all day we were hearing about both bands and how much people could not wait to see them, especially local boys Enter Shikari who hail from St Albans which is just a 20 minute car ride away.

mainstage1

The general vibe was a party one, no band embodied this more than Reel Big Fish who it has to be said were probably the highlight of the entire day. Never afraid to poke fun at themselves the band made their set feel special with their own brand of comedy that made them stand out. Reel Big Fish didn’t just speed into the next song each time, but instead spent time talking to the crowd and even playing some covers such as ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘, ‘My Own Worst Enemy‘ and ‘The Impression That I Get‘ and at first insisting that they were their own huge hit songs from the 90s and then when owning up and admitting that they were by other bands but still insisting that they were by Pearl Jam, Bowling for Soup and Less Than Jake. Shortly after the band went into their actual huge hit of the 90s ‘Sell Out‘, which went down very well. The crowd really had a boost of energy when the band were on stage and all around us were groups of friends dancing and having the time of their lives.

goldfingerjump1

Another highlight from the Fireball Stage was the performance from Goldfinger, who started their set with a great performance of “Spokesman“. The band had high energy which was so intense it couldn’t be contained to just the stage when John Feldmann decided to get in the crowd himself. The band has gone through significant line up changes in recent years and that can sometimes take away from an experience but this touring version of Goldfinger featured a “Supergroup” type line up with Mike Herrera of MxPx on Bass, Philip Sneed of Story of the Year on Guitar and Cyrus Bolooki of New Found Glory on Drums. Feldmann dedicated the song “Superman” to video game lovers in reference to the song featuring on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.

Zebrahead’s vocalist Ali Tabatabee rocked a Manchester United Away shirt with “Manchester” on the back throughout their performance which was a nice touch as a homage to those effected by the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester. With the attack still fresh in people’s heads it was reassuring to see the great presence of police and security on site to keep everyone at bay. The festival goers were in high spirits and didn’t seem bothered by armed police, it felt like a modern day “Blitz Spirit”.

Boat1

Back to the Zebrahead performance though, the band put on an amazing show throughout and were constantly engaging the crowd. The band even created a sea of a constant flow of crowd surfers and then during ‘Hello Tomorrow‘ sent an inflatable boat with a man inside to go across the crowd to the sound desk and back (both of which were incredible visuals and featured in our Queue & A video). Zebrahead also brought out Reel Big Fish’s brass section to help them out on their song ‘Anthem‘ which got a huge response including a pretty large circle pit. There was also a period where at least 25 footballs were flying through the air during their set, which also happened during the Goldfinger set, I have no idea where they appeared from though!

cuteishwhatweaimfor1

A band that I was interested to see were Cute Is What We Aim For, a band that had experienced so much hype and coverage between 2006-2008 but seemingly disappeared shortly after. Despite that, they were a band that I never really paid much attention to even though plenty of friends had. I really did enjoy their performance on the Monster Energy Stage and it was a refreshing down to earth one that really made me connect with the band, lead singer Shaant Hacikyan explained his gratitude to the fans for not forgetting them having seemingly gone through a difficult period after the bands early success and the turmoil it created. You could tell that this tour really felt like a homecoming for them and their fans, with quite a few special moments in for good measure.

Over on the Jagermeister Stage we saw Japanese Metal heavyweights Crossfaith put on an amazing show as well. There’s a great clip in our feature of the crowd jumping and a girl passing by who starts jumping herself that really demonstrates the infectious energy Crossfaith were bringing to Slam Dunk. The band brought a welcomed harder edge and so many people were bouncing and moshing in the pit throughout their entire set. Plenty of people that we spoke to had said that Crossfaith were a highlight of their time at the festival and it’s really no surprise as the band just leave you with such a lasting impression from their performance.

pizzascott1

Some of the food at Slam Dunk really deserves a shout out too, the pricing was generally decent for festival food and the quality was up there too. I got a tasty pepperoni pizza from the Pizza Bus for just £6.50 and could not stop telling people about it (as the Queue & A special shows)
I also had an “Italian hot dog” which was covered in a rich tomato based sauce and cheese as well as “Italian fries” covered in herbs and cheese in the guest area. I’m not sure if they were available in the main area too but either way, they deserve a shout out!

chips1

Another great thing was the easy access to a cloakroom as too often cloakrooms are far away, poorly staffed or don’t even exist at events. It may be a minor thing for some people but it was really refreshing to have somewhere so easily accessible to drop off our stuff especially as the weather was quite warm and pretty humid. The hot and sticky weather meant that even when it did begin to rain it was fine to wear a T-shirt but when it got too much it was not hard to grab your jacket. Plus, there was a bar right near the cloakroom so it made for a perfect pit stop before heading back to your preferred stage.

mask2

There were plenty of good bands on show in Hatfield but these are just some of our highlights. We would highly recommend going next year if you are a fan of day festivals, it’s a great opportunity to see tons of awesome bands on every stage and with an environment and atmosphere like this one it really is worth putting a day into.

bandmerchad

REVIEW: Doyle + Generation Graveyard + The Dead XIII – The Underworld, London (06/02/17)

This was a show I had been looking forward to since it was announced. Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein finally touring the UK. I always wanted to see Misfits live but due to them breaking up before I was old enough, missed out. Worth the wait.

First up were openers The Dead XIII. Coming onstage with full make up on each member, I thought I was about to witness a black metal band but when they started playing opener “Frost Bite”, I found myself happily nodding along to a great mixture of electro/metal. Energetic onstage, they got the growing crowd going and shouting along (whether we knew the words or not). Personal favourite was the track “XIII”. Definitely worth checking out again. Their album “Catacombs” is available now.

Next, Generation Graveyard. Briefly battling technical issues, they came out strong. Their politically charged death punk is like a swift punch to the face compared to a lot of music out there. Really getting the crowd moving and singing along they put on a fantastic, energetic set. The intensity and energy they brought to the stage was eagerly reciprocated by an ever-growing crowd as they blasted through each song from the set, never slowing the aural assault. Fantastic set from a great bunch of guys. Their EP “Lonewolves” is available now.

20170206_212914 (2)Finally, the band we’d all been waiting for. From the opening howl of “Abominator” to the close of “Hope Hell Is Warm”, this band was on fire. A full hour set filled with tracks from their current album, interlaced with classic Misfits tracks. Doyle looked monstrous, stomping the stage in full beast mode and beating the hell of his signature guitar, not missing a beat. Match that with the extremely energetic and impressive vocals of AlexWolfman Story, you have an impressive combination.

A set that just couldn’t disappoint, they tore through each song with force and a quick intro in the form of the words “This is a love song, you can dance to it if you’re so inclined” from the Wolfman.

I was completely blown away by the performance and can’t wait till they come back. Personal favourites were “Valley Of Shadows” and “Drawing Down The Moon”. The Album “Abominator” is out now.


 

bandmerchad

RETROspect: Fall Out Boy – “Infinity on High” (10 Years On)

It’s time to squeeze into your skinny jeans, sweep the fringe forward and smear on the guyliner (you know you did it guys) because it’s time to step back to 2007 and look at Infinity on High, Fall Out Boy’s third studio album which celebrates it’s 10 year anniversary on February 6th this year.

Upon release Infinity on High became a major success for the band worldwide becoming their first number one album in the US and debuting at number three here in the UK.  Having sold over 2 million copies, going platinum just over a month after it’s release and receiving positive reviews from critics it’s clear Infinity on High is the album that would launch Fall Out Boy onto the next level of their careers-until a poorly received fourth album, Folie a Deux, (although I would advise anyone to listen back to this album as I think it’s actually quite underrated) leading to a multi year hiatus would derail the group until their musical rebirth in 2013 with their 5th album, Save Rock and Roll followed by American Beauty/American Psycho in 2015.

What is as clear today as a decade ago is that the album is a clear step away from the group’s previous albums, the fact that Jay-Z is the first voice you hear on the album really sets this off and from there the remaining songs showcase more experimentation, either with use of instruments not heard on previous efforts or a switch from the standard ‘pop punk’ sound fans would’ve been used to hearing from the band at that point.

Kicking off with Thriller the album then proceeds to leap from one hit single to another with FOB classics such as This Ain’t a Scene,It’s an Arms Race and Thnks fr th Mmrs making their appearance on this album.

Whilst many of the songs on the album are an indication of FOB’s ability to write a catchy tune – you’d have to be quite picky to find a total dud on the album, it is frontman Patrick Stump’s vocal ability that shines through across each track as he became more confident and comfortable in the role beginning to showcase his true range and giving a glimpse of what was to come in the future.

The Fall Out Boy of 2017 has clearly evolved from the group that began way back in 2001 and this is the album, whilst remaining in touch with their trademark sound, where that evolution and transition from being considered ‘just another emo band’ to growing into the mature pop/rock sound FOB produce now began.

Having grown with the band as they matured it is now a blessing to be able to listen without having a fringe to straighten but that’s just me personally…

Infinity on High is the album that showcased just what Fall Out Boy are capable of and it still holds up as an intensely enjoyable, fun listen 10 years on.

REVIEW: Brutai & Wearing Scars – The Underworld, London (22/01/17)

On a freezing cold Sunday in Camden, the big story is the return of Howard Jones with Devil You Know. Sadly I had the misfortune to miss them but they brought some amazing openers with them that were worth the ticket price alone.

First up, with an  early opening set, were the hometown boys in Brutai. A surprisingly decent turnout for a young up and coming band. From the first chords of opening track “Of Ashes”, you could tell that these guys are definitely one to keep your eye on. To say they were tight is an understatement.

All the instruments come together in near perfect synchronicity and the dual vocal assault from singer Felix Lawrie and keyboardist Alex Lorimer add extra layers of melody and brutality to each song. My personal highlight has to have been the penultimate track ” Deep”.

If you know the band then this is most likely the song that stands out. Equal parts melody and crushing heaviness, strong vocals that you couldn’t help but sing along with, they had the crowd enraptured. Definitely a strong up and coming British band to keep your eye on. Their full album “Born” is available through Transcend Music.

Now on to a band that I have had my eye on for a while, Wearing Scars. You cannot fault the pedigree of this band, made up of former members of Sacred Mother Tongue and Mutiny Within.  Taking to the stage to near full crowd, they break into opener “Become Numb”.

It’s obvious from the start that the crowd is in for something special. The guitar work of the legend that is Andy James is wonder to behold. Note perfect for every song with solos that would melt even the stoniest of faces. Couple this with the astounding voice and presence of vocalist Chris Clancy and you get some of the most melodic sing along anthems going. Finish that off with the incomparable rhythm section of bassist Craig Dawes and drummer Lee Newell, you have the total package.

They blazed through a strong set, the crowd singing along with every word. My personal highlights were ” Stand Alone” and the closer “Butterfly”. If you get a chance to see this phenomenal band I suggest you do as I don’t see them playing smaller venues for much longer.

Wearing Scars album “A Thousand Words” is available now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As mentioned previously, Wearing Scars features former members of Sacred Mother Tongue, Check out this archive Rebellious Noise interview from 2013 with the some of the guys in their former band

 

REVIEW: Avenged Sevenfold – The O2 Arena, London, (21/01/17)

BEST GIG EVER! That is the only way I can describe how incredible Avenged Sevenfold  were. Absolutely flawless from the first note of The Stage to the final note of Unholy Confessions. They spanned all 17 years as a band as they played hits from all of their albums, Sounding The Seventh Trumpet, Waking The Fallen, City of Evil, Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare, Hail To The King and The Stage. They took the entire crowd, of 17,000 strong on a visual journey with their new CGI graphics, and in the form of a floating cube above the stage. New drummer Brooks Wackerman was that good, you would have thought The Rev was sitting back behind the kit.

The night started with me being ill in bed, and dragging myself up and out of the house unfortunately we missed InFlames but I hear they were great! We arrived in time to catch the last 30 minutes of Disturbed who were absolutely incredible! David Draiman had the audience in the palm of his hand, and his near perfect vocals sounded absolutely beautiful, Damn, that man can sing! The audience went nuts for Stricken and then for their final hit  Down With The Sickness. I would definitely go back to seeing them again.

Then come the band the entire crowd waited for. Avenged Sevenfold, a band I’ve been lucky enough to see now on three occasions. I think this may have been the best of the lot though. An incredible performance, from an incredible band. They are quickly showing why they are going to be one of those bands who stand the test of time, I, for one, hope this band stick around for a very long time, and don’t think it will be long before they’re playing Stadium shows.

Thank you A7X  for an amazing night, M Shadows, Johnny Christ, Synyster Gates, Zacky Vengeance and Brooks Wackerman you all did Jimmy proud tonight!

Until next time!