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Gig Reviews...Bloodstock (August 13-August 15)


Catton Hall,Derbyshire, 13-15 August 2010

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Review, interviews and photos by Sonia Waterfield

Photo by Sonia Waterman

Bloodstock climaxed in grand style with green spurts from GWAR and the densest metal from Cannibal Corpse whilst GRTR!'s Sonia Waterfield avoided a soaking... 

Sunday August 15

Trawling back on to the festival site feeling rather rocked out already, I was happy to see the appearance of blue skies and rays of sun hitting the shining canvas of the tents. The mild heat hitting my skin soon perked me up and by the time I was stood before the Main stage I was ready to rock the day through.

Suffocation, photo by Sonia Waterman

Suffocation were about to come on, a band I truthfully had not heard of. The weather had already brought out a swarm who were amassing at the barriers with more piling in. As the band bounded on with blistering riffs, I noticed the vocalist either had a severe twitch or had just been let out of the loony bin.

Jutting his tongue violently out of his mouth, crazed eyes scouring the crowd and a fixed manic grin emanating in between the guttural roar of his 'singing', I was half tempted to run over the the Emergency Services Tent. The set went down well, time for a coffee to recover...

The next two bands certainly got the libido rising in the attending males: Holy Moses and Doro. Both bands fronted by pint sized German female vocalists who could certainly keep up with the lads. But that's where the similarity ends.

Holy Moses, photo by Sonia Waterman

Sabina led her gang blazing onto the stage with force. I imagined presumptuously that with a name like Holy Moses this would be a good ol' German Power Metal band, how wrong I was. Pure thrash riffs were delivered with scouring screams emanating from the pit of the lead woman's larynx.

I don't know how such a petite thing can create such a monstrous noise, not that its a bad thing in this case. It would be pretty poor if she sang like a dainty thing fronting a raucous band, all in the name of that which is thrash of course. Her energy certainly wasn't drained by the effort of what I would politely say is singing as she was bouncing all over the large stage and banging her head like there was no tomorrow.

Doro, photo by Sonia Waterman

Next up was the acclaimed 'Metal Queen' Doro Pesche and her posse. The crowd now filled the arena and chants of 'Doro' filled the air. With anticipation growing whilst the backdrop was raised, along with thousands of arms each proudly displaying 'their horns' the intro started and on they blasted.

Bounding around full of beans, the troupe rampaged around, jumping and rocking. A roar from the onlookers filled the air nearly enough to drown out the sound of the speakers. With tracks from their latest release 'Fear No Evil' they were already onto a winner.

Following with classics such as 'Burning The Witches', 'All We Are' and more from the Warlock days, pounding the crowd with vocals that were top notch and the pure musicianship pouring from the platform, you can really see why Doro has earned her title and why the band are still going strong after 25 years at the helm.



During a busy period in the press tent, I managed to grab the pocket sized Metal Queen for a very quick catch up on her latest release 'Fear No Evil', current touring plans, her move to Nuclear Blast and any other exciting plans that she may have been hatching.

The recent release of 'Fear No Evil' was an interest to me as I wanted to know how fans and the media had reacted.

DP: Pretty good, pretty good, I think it has been one of the most successful records I have had out and in Germany it hit the charts at number 11, it was great and in Spain the single went to number 3 where you find only the chart stuff so that was good and it has been received very well by the fans. we are always asked to play 'Night of the Warlock', 'celebrate' or 'Herzblut'. Today we only had 40 minutes soIi kept it to two songs. I think we were really happy and satisfied.

As Doro and her troupe had been touring non stop recently, I wanted to know if there was anything exciting in their future plans.

DP: Yeah, yeah, it went really well. Actually now, we are going to the States for a couple of shows there then we are going to Japan for the first time.

I have never been there before so it's all new and exciting and all the other bands have said 'You have got to go over there, its great', but it never worked out up until now. and after that we release the DVD's.

We filmed the big Anniversary show, it was like two years ago, it's finally coming out with all the highlights of this year and last year and Wacken and hopefully there will be some of Bloodstock on there.

I have to deliver it next week, it's pretty much all done and that will be the first release on Nuclear Blast which I have signed a new deal to them four/five weeks ago. Things are going well and Metal is alive and well and its so great to see all the festivals this year, so fantastic to perform from Bulgaria, England, Germany, its awesome.

As Doro had brought up the subject of her recent migration to Nuclear Blast, I had to ask the reason behind this.

DP: The deal was up with AFM and Nuclear Blast offered us a good deal long term. I was very happy with AFM, we had a great supporter here Mike Exley. For a musician or a band you are always on the look out that you are taken care of and it's very hard to sell records and DVD's so we thought 'OK, lets try with Nuclear Blast'. I have a good feeling on this. So I thought let's try something new.

After her rugged and ruthless touring schedule over the past year, I was interested to see if the next year was going to be the same.

DP: For next year? Yeah, next year we will record a new album and we are concentrating on the DVD now. it will be like a double DVD, with the live DVD, so it will be a big package. I just saw the artwork which is very good, I like it. Next year a new record, I have no idea how it will sound, we want to take our time to make it nice.

For the past three years, I know that Doro has held exclusive Christmas shows, so was intrigued to know if she was going to follow suit this year.

DP: Yeah the whole of December I think we might do a big tour, I probably shouldn't say it because its not in writing yet but it might be the Motorhead tour, it might be, and I'm hoping that it will work out. I'm hoping we will come back to the UK.

Korpiklaani, photo by Sonia Waterman

For a total genre change, Finnish folk metaller's Korpiklaani graced the stage. The lead vocalist and guitarist Jonne Järvelä adorned in a leather apron akin to a Blacksmiths robe, and violinist wearing a white shirt, black trousers, hat and black waistcoat stood out against the rest of the members wearing typical Rock outfits.

Chants of 'Vodka' arose from the masses to which the band obliged with smiles. Manic uproars ensued along with plenty of moshing and fiddley-dee music mashed with metal. There was even a moment where water squirting was hilariously involved by the band members adding to their ever present smiles.

The stage was covered, well, everyone and everything in the vicinity of the area was covered in plastic of some sort (sounds like a weird orgy doesn't it?), not for any kinky purposes but just purely for protection ...

Gwar, photo by Sonia Waterman

GWAR. The name strikes wonderment and maybe a little fear into the hearts of many (not least the photographers, ed). Inhabiting the pantheon of blood guts and gore for over a quarter of a century, they were sure out to prove that they still ruled the Metal galaxy.

Adorned with costumes enough to scare any self respecting teenagers and more than likely a few of the adult attendees, their mission to destroy the human scum started with a decapitation and plenty of red Gwar gore ... a nice little introduction I would say.

With their mix of punk/metal, they annihilated the crowd by an onslaught of more decapitations, a more than brash politically incorrect green faced Hitler with his manhood in full jerking attack, with a little persuasion from its owner ending up with fluorescent green Jizz showering the audience, who were gasping to take it ...

I'm sure Stanley Kubrick or Tim Burton would have had a field day with the antics. Me? I was stood with jaw open, no, not to taste the fluid offerings, just in pure amazement and not sure whether to run or what... ever get the feeling you're a rabbit in headlights? This was certainly one of those times.

With near unpronounceable names and having enough trouble with my English as it is, hailing from the Welsh valleys, I will try my best: Oderus Urungus, Beefcake the Mighty, Flattus Maximus, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Jizmak Da Gusha, Sleazy P. Martini.

What I will say is that for any of you that fancy a bit of shock dramatics from guys that can definitely deliver and a good ol rocking ... then check them out; you will either be left a GWARrior or just totally bemused at what had hit you.  (Not least the jizz, ed)


GWAR (David Brockie)

GWAR is known for their fantastical image and quirky characteristics, so I really wanted to get to know the story behind it all?

DB: There are two different stories; one of them is that GWAR is a band of intergalactic monster horrible demon undead creatures from outer space who somehow found their way to planet earth had sex with apes to create the human race and then were reborn as a heavy metal band in the 20th century.

The other people say that GWAR are just a bunch of fucked up musicians and artists from a shitty little town called Richmond Virginia, that made 25 years of rock n roll history by fucking throwing down the craziest show ever.

There are the other people, and I'm one of those people, that says GWAR is a fucking metal band and that Bloodstock was the best ever fucking show that we have played in our lives.

Now I had found out the basics, I was intrigued to find out the real inspiration from for the characters and story?

DB: I guess everything around us you know, a world gone mad. WW2, WW1, those were big influences. The fact that mankind wants to punish itself and would never learn anything from it. It's more important to make money from selling bombs than curing the diseases of children.

This made us (GWAR) want to destroy the human race and start something else. Gwar is nothing less than an apocalypse. It's not just some stupid band. I think there is a deeper message to GWAR, and I think it takes everything that is amazing from punk rock and metal and theatre and wrestling and throwing a brick at a fucking cop car.  I don't even hate cops, I hate the system that made cops have to be around and the sooner we can get on to anarchy the better.

GWAR is that force. We combine entertainment and revolution in a way that's never happened I think.

It seemed that there was a deep rooted sociology theme blazing through so I had to know if he was either in the military or a victim of the system?

DB: Never a victim. They always try.

I've never let them get their claws into me that bad.

I think I was a child of the times. My parents were both embroiled in military conflict that destroyed their lives.

As I grew up, i felt that weight. even though i had a suburban existence, the fucking pain that my ancestors had gone through weighed on my spirit. That's what punk rock was all about.

I think the angst of a generation created punk rock. We didn't want to be hippies anymore. we were sick of it. We were like 'Fuck you and your wars' and we wanted to fight back and that's what punk rock was.

Metal had been around the whole time, we kind of had been doing that already, and once we drove off the bullshit showbiz track kind of metal - great bands but maybe not too rebellious or revolutionary.  I think GWAR took metal and punk rock and put it together in a way that had never been done before and then added the theatre as well.

I think we inspire other artists to do what they want to do, follow their dreams. If we can make something as crazy as this happen for 25 years on an international basis, then you can fucking go out and play your music, blow your horn and dance your dance and paint your painting and you can find great success out of it.

Interested to know how they had coped during the past 25 years, I asked how he thought music, the scene and their attitude had changed?

DB: We have gone on a whole musical journey. We started out as a thrash punk band but back then we didn't think GWAR, we didn't understand what we were working with.

As GWAR kinda grew up, we had a lot of conflict in the band because I still don't think even through our second phase we knew how powerful our idea was.

We had to fight to figure out what kinda band we wanted to be. Then finally in the third stage, which is where we are right now, we came back to our metal and just played good Metal.

We had been around for 15 years at that point and Punk Rock had come and gone, Punk Rock had become a fashion, Metal stayed strong through everything. I think we kinda came back with that strength and re-birthed ourselves as the metal band that we knew we could be. That's where we are at right now. Metal is the best musical brick that you can throw.

Knowing the Nineties was a particularly bad time for Metal, I was interested to know how it affected the GWAR camp.

DB: We declined a lot in the nineties, not just in Europe but in America as well.

It was just the hardcore fans that kept GWAR going. during that whole thing when Clinton was President and everyone was happy in America, and metal was going through all the Grunge thing, they had taken the legs out of Metal, like everyone was wearing flannel shirts. We were still playing metal but the albums were getting more experimental and all over the place and I think that was a reflection of the times we were going through.

Steering away from Politics and back into the musical theme, I wanted to know about their forthcoming album.

DB: Yeah, the "Bloody Pit of Horror". I know it's a weird Italian horror movie from the 60's. It was such a great title I had to steal it. I figured that anybody who worked on that movie is probably dead by now, so they are not going to fuck with me.

It's our way of kinda paying homage to that. It's our horror album, after 'Lust In Space' we were kinda Science Fiction stage, we wanted to get back to something a little darker and a little more just nasty.

That's what the "Bloody Pit of Horror" is. It's our treatise on horror and what horror is and why we love it. You know, why would we love something so horrible? I think that's a really cool question and that's kinda what the albums about and musically it reflects that, it's darker. it's heavier, it's sicker, it's the "Bloody Pit of Horror".

With GWAR constantly pushing the boundaries, with the theatre, the costumes and musically I was interested to know what more could be done.

DB: That depends on the world, what happens in the world you know. I think there is so much with GWAR that can be done.

There hasn't been a GWAR movie, a really awesome GWAR movie, and it's  unbelievable to me that there hasn't been a GWAR video game.

GWAR is such a big production and band that to get us to Japan is such a big, big thing.

This year though, after 25 fucking years we are finally going to Australia and New Zealand. Finally! So its like the doors are opening. We never compromised what GWAR was about and that means that when GWAR finally does bust those doors down, its going to be better than ever.


Gojira, photo by Sonia Waterman

Swiftly we move on to Gojira (Thank God, ed) a French Heavy Metal band that up until 2001 was known as Godzilla ... With their mix of technical death metal, thrash metal and progressive metal, they are hard to be genre classified, with their influences ranging from metal artists such as Death, Morbid Angel, Meshuggah, Metallica, and Tool. The brothers Duplantier & Co certainly wasted no time in bringing us back down to the grind-core.

Bloodbath, photo by Sonia Waterman

After the theatrics and spurts from GWAR, I naively expected something  similar from Swedish thrashers Bloodbath. However, this was not to be. This was their first ever Bloodstock and only UK appearance, so the expectation must have been quite high.

Give them their dues, they were adorned with very realistic cuts and bleeds on various parts of their anatomy. Their set was brutal, riffs churning and razor-edged vocals blitzing.

This should come as no surprise as the band is made up from a mix of experienced musicians: Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) - Vocals, Anders Nyström (Katatonia) - Guitars, Jonas Renkse (Katatonia) - Bass, Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity) - Drums. The performance was tight with Mikael giving sweet and soft 'Thank You's' in between songs, which was a lovely little touch.

Cannibal Corpse, photo by Sonia Waterman

Well, the next band need no introduction as they have been on the scene and one of the forefathers of Thrash. Cannibal Corpse, large by name, large by nature literally ate us alive with the heaviest and densest thrash set that I have ever heard in my life.

Unfortunately, it was all just too heavy for my ears and I took this time to get refreshments and chill in a quiet corner of the field. Judging by the shouts and roars coming from the throng, I guess it was thoroughly enjoyed.

Twisted Sister, photo by Sonia Waterman

The longest ever introduction of the festival came next. I suppose building up an atmosphere is one thing, and I'm sure the band were rejoicing in the chants and adoration streaming from the barriers. I can't blame them really, as I suppose if you were members of Twisted Sister knowing you had at least three thousand people ready to mould like putty at your fingertips, you would do the same.

Kicking off with 'Come Out & Play', 'The Kids Are Back' and 'Stay Hungry', a twisted riot had begun. The party was by now in full swing. The 80's Glam Rock (which seemed out of place and very tame) rolled away into the night, 'Shoot Em Down', the anthem of 'You Cant Stop Rock N Roll' all swung along, whilst 'We're Not Gonna Take It' really brought out the support with voices rising into the night air.

Twisted Sister, photo by Sonia Waterman

A drum solo preceded two tracks before the encore was taken. On return 'Under The Blade' re-established the atmosphere, and their dedication to the late Ronnie James Dio in their version of 'Long Live Rock N Roll' then ending to a thunderous applause as the last notes of S.M.F rang in our ears.

I must say this was an outstanding ending to one of the most mixed and heavy going festivals that I have attended this year.

Long live the Rock...the thrash... the death metal... etc, etc.

Review, interviews and photos by Sonia Waterfield



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