Catton Hall,Derbyshire, 13-15 August 2010
Review, interviews and photos by Sonia Waterfield
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...
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
'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
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 ...
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
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.
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 ...
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.
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)
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
With GWAR constantly pushing the boundaries, with the theatre, the
costumes and musically I was interested to know what more could be
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
the Rock...the thrash... the death metal... etc, etc.
and photos by Sonia Waterfield
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