Pick Your Rock and Metal

Monday, October 31, 2005

Inflammable material at the Empire

For all the old(er) punks out there, Stiff Little Fingers are playing the Empire on December 14th...and fo those of you who may think they shouldn't be on a metal blog, remember they used to be called Highway Star and play Purple and Skynrd covers...

DIO Posts

You can read some of the posts about the DIO gig at http://www.ronniejamesdio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1527 where a few souls have bared their souls etc, etc

Exodus and The Damned

According to http://www.metalireland.com/ Exodus are playing in Dublin and Cork 11th and 12th Nove respectively - how weird their map left off Belfast. But least all the old punks can check out The Damned at the Empire on 19th November, according to the same site...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Dio pix

Some pix from the Dio gig at the Spring and Airbrake on the 26th October taken on my trusy moby (hence the poor quality, and also because everyone was jumping at the same time!). Doug pic especially for Sylvia and Maggie!

If you have any pix from the gig you want posted here email me at the usual address

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Aprés Dio

As an aprés Dio treat I took the kids to the a play (well they're too young to have gotten in to Dio). But rest easy, it was about Skateboarding, murder and corrupt politicians...

Wee Man, huge voice, tiny venue - DIO

HOW many metal fans can you cram into a telephone box?

Well, if last night's show was anything to go by it would be a doddle to cram in several hundred, given the packed to capacity Spring and Airbrake for "An Evening with Dio". Swinging from the rafters would have been the only way to get more in!

Roared hoarse? Heaven and Hell. Bounced til ya dropped? Rainbow in the Dark? Jeans stuck to you with sweat? You were down the front then!

The diminutive Rock God for once was on a stage proportionate to his size (apologies for height-related discrimination) but he dominated the entire venue.

By the second song - Sign of the Southern Cross - the front rows were rapt, caught by his gaze and presence. I would love to be able to tell you the whole venue was that way, but I couldn't turn my head to see, such was the crush! Not that any of us were complaining.

Of course, what most were there to see was the Holy Diver set. And there could be few complaints; except that is for the solo slots.

Yep, Doug Aldridge laid down an impressive guitar solo (how many noticed the wee bit of Little Wing?) with all the requisite twiddly bits. "That guy is fast," remarked Steve afterwards.

Then came the drum solo, followed by a keyboard solo. Now I have no doubt that everyone in the band is a virtuoso metal musician (they wouldn't be there otherwise) but c'mon did you not notice we were all shouting "Dio, Dio", not "solo, solo". We were here for wee man with the huge voice. Next time, trim the solos a bit add in a song instead - Neon Knights?.

But that is a very, very minor gripe. The playing was exquisite, the main man's singing was as good as Antrim '84 and Donington '87, the only other times I have see him live.

Heaven and Hell was superb, Gates of Babylon and We Rock were, to coin an understatement, fucking excellent!

Big shout out to everyone that was there; especially Baal (thanks for the lift), Sylvia, Steve, Michael B. Stevie B (long time no see, etc, etc), Maggie, Sylv and many, many more.

Now, what's next!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Manchester review

Hi all - as the tension mounts in advance of Dio read the review of his Manchester gig at http://www.musicomh.com/gigs2/dio_1005.htm

And with so many still seeking tickets to Mr Dio's Belfast gig email me at press@nigag.org of you know of someone mad enough to have tickets and not be going and I can put you in touch with people who will gladly relieve you of the burden....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

One more night til Dio!

Just one more night til Dio - the anticipation is fucking killing me! And to think that the last time I saw the dwarf with the voice of a giant was in 84, when he played in a leisure centre, had Vivian Campbell on guitar, and Queensryche were in support...and there was also a fortune of beer drunk, the mysterious case of the 100 paracodal as well as the victorious battle with the drinks machine just before the wee man took the stage...but that as they say is another story

Monday, October 24, 2005

Just how weird can the world get?

Metallica have recorded an episode of the Simpsons; they are to support the Rolling Stones (guess they won't be playing So What at those gigs!) and Kirk Hamster is guesting on the new Santana album. Guys, stop with the weird shit, get a new album recorded and get on the road again (Dublin date, Belfast date, Donington date, don't care, I'll be there!)

Two days till RJD

Just two days till Dio play in Belfast! Just two days til Holy Dover. Rumours are abounding - well two or three texts are - that he'll not be playing all of Holy Diver. Would be a shame, but at least we'll get to see the wee man. Maybe that's why he picked the Spring and Airbrake; the ceiling won't seem so far away!

Anyway, first things first. Drinking plans should be forwarded to the usual txct number. Also, there are a lot of punters out there still desparate for a ticket, so if you know someone with a ticket and not going, please send a text to me, or post details.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Trivium come back to the Belfast!

The lads from Trivium are coming back to Belfast on March 5th to play at the Ulster Hall! Excellent news for all fans of this act, but also a walk down memory lane for all us older members of the metal fraternity; after all it was in the hallowed sanctum that Metallica and Anthrax played in those few brief moments before 'Tallica took over the world. Could the same Ulster Hall atmosphere rub off on Trivium? After all if Matt's claim to be the next Metallica is to come true he has to play the Hall. Rules is rules man :)

And the less said about the off-stage antics the night 'Tallica played the Ulster Hall the better (unless you can remember them, I'm getting on a wee bit and the memories other than the songs are hazy - let us know by posting a line or two)

La La land at the Rosetta

I stepped into la, la land on Friday night. One of the biggest and most lauded acts in the LA big hair cock rock scene of the 80s LA Guns played the Rosetta Bar in Belfast.

Now for those of us with long memories and too old to know better, the Rosetta was the scene of long Friday nights of debauchery and drunkeness at the end of the 80s. Usually to the singalong tunes of the likes of Ashanti and Heatsbane, where cover versions came thick and fast.

On Friday night it was surreal to see LA Guns play in this venue. Credit to the promoter for getting LA Guns to Belfast, but what a weird feeling to see them playing in the Rosie to a couple of hundred people.

The night was kicked off by a workmanlike performance from Twisted Rose - a local act seemingly intent on reviving the 80s, with a dash of Wildhearts-style aplomb. As they left the stage it was worth noting that they played as if they were in front of a couple of thousand people.

But when LA Guns hit the stage you were sure that this was one act content to know that the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Gardens or the Rosie, they still rocked out.

Phil Lewis' junkie-chic look and arrogant stares held a brilliant stage presence, and held the gradually filling floor rapt. Of course, there was a hint of disappointment from the band that they were at a smallish venue, but nevertheless they gave their all.

While most were there for the old standards, it took a lot of courage for the band to play new material - and quite a lot of it! From the sounds of these that comeback CD may be worth shelling out a few pennies.

No Tracii Guns with LA Guns now but Stacey Blades filled in on lead guitar with some impressive work.

Of course Ballad of Jane and Rip and Tear were par excellence sleaze, and full marks to the band for staying to sign autographs, but hell, it's still weird thinking the LA Guns played the Rosetta. Is it how the mighty have fallen or is it getting back to roots? Either way, good night and big shout outs to Steve, Margaret (long time no see!)and Michael - all good clean fun had by all I'm sure :)

Roadrunner rocking the world? With Nickleback?

Mmm, these are strange times indeed. First Roadrunner Records celebrate their 25th birthday by bringing together reprobates and assorted ugly fucks to record a weird mixed up compilation/collaboration. By all accounts this should be crap. Instead it's very, very good, especially for those into the heavier end of the spectrum.

Then it's announced (albeit queitly) that Nickleback - those cock rock stadium chancers - signed to Roadrunner for their next album. Kerrang noted "Nickleback in half decent album shocker". Strange but true; while the usual radio friendly ballads are there the Canadians have laid down an impressive and heavily muscled riff-laden album. Yep, not half bad - and halfway recommended! But Chad that hairstyle - it's just wrong!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Help young people now! Send your message to the miniter

Just heard about a young metal fan unfortunately incarcerated in a County Down mental health facility - and he's been stuck there until Christmas at least.

Like most services for young people, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are not there when they could make a difference and stop young people self-harming or even committing suicide.

Log on the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People's website www.niccy.org and tell the health minister how services for children and young people should be improved. The minister has agreed that all such messages will be read by his team after they are collated by NICCY. Do it now!

Ah the wonderful world of metal

Ah the wonderful world of metal - ask the kids to pick a CD each for the car tonight and you get the whole bloody scope - One picks Aerosmith's Get a Grip, the other Slayer's Live Undead, including the Haunting the Chapel EP - All's right with the world when such delights grace the speakers!

Oh and a special shout out to Aoife - the Beastie Boys are so '80s, even if they did once have Slayer's Kerry King play on a song!

Vanessa's Trivium review

Well the verdict is in on the Trivium Belfast show - Belfastmetalreunited's reviewer on the night Vanessa graced us with a few well-chosen words about the band!

Before praising the Floridian metallers she backed Boston band 'It Dies Today': "They delivered a blistering set, each member projecting a feral energy out to the audience," said Vanessa

However, no such praise for All That Remains’. "It was at times difficult to tell on song from another, and their vocalist was often drowned out over the rest of the band," wrote Vanessa. "ATR would definitely be a band worth checking out on CD before you hear them live."

Now, Vanessa's review of Trivium - "By 11 o’clock Trivium have taken to the stage. As the acoustic opening to ‘The End of Everything’ begins, the crowd turns into a sea of frenzied animals, surging towards the barrier. From start to finish, each word of each song is screamed back to the band onstage. Corey Matt and Paolo stalk the stage, commanding the crowd to jump, pit, and pump their fists in the air whenever they please, as Travis merrily beats the crap out of his drum kit.

"This is a band that really knows how to please a crowd, delivering album favourites ‘Ascendancy’, ‘Drowned and Torn Asunder’ and ‘Suffocating Sight’ like thunder storms.

"The singles tracks went down marvellously as well, causing vocalist/guitarist Matt Heafy to constantly check on the crowds safety, asking those at the front to share out the bottles of water that were handed out “because sharing is caring.”

"Despite all his ranting about keeping safe held up for a while, it didn’t stop the crowd from breaking the barrier in half mid-way through ‘Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr’. The band had to leave the stage for a while.

"On their return, after another brief ‘Safety First’ lesson, our heroes merrily melted our faces with scorching hot covers of not one, but two classics, Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ and Iron Maiden's ‘The Trooper’ before closing the set for the night, leaving Belfast in ruins (or at least, the front half of the venue anyway)."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

10 Years On - Message to the Minister

Bullet for My Valentine's album 'The Poison' contains the emotional heartbreaking story of how a friend committed suicide.

The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People is campaigning to make sure that the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Shaun Woodward, takes account of young people's views when preparing a suicide strategy.

You can tell the minister how he can improve child and adolescent mental health services by logging on to www.niccy.org and completing simple form which will be delivered to the minister's desk - so many rock and metal bands have written about the pain of mental health issues, now make the effort and tell the government how we can make it better for the many young men and women metalheads who have suffered yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Remember www.niccy.org to send a Message to the Minister

Bullet for My Valentine - Another good one!

If HIM got the acclaim of being "Boffo! A Good One!" then equally Bullet for My Valentine deserve "Boffo! A Good One!".
On permanent rotation on the CD player and computer this month now are:
Trivium (Ascendancy)
Mastodon (Leviathan)
Bon Jovi (Have a Nice Day)
Iron Maiden (Killers)
Bullet for My Valentine (The Poison(
Lizzy (Live & Dangerous)
My Chemical Romance
WASP (I kid you not!)

Diverse but good, new and old, MOR and metal; screamo and ballads - rock and metal has so many textures, differences, so much RAWK AN' FUCKIN' ROLLL it hurts!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Boffo! A good One

Sorry M & S, but the new HIM album is actually very good...Now off to buy the Bullet for My Valentine album on Monday...