The Annual Mayors Charity Rock Festival 2018

DSC01258-Edit-8Rockers through the ages presented the Annual Mayoral Charity Rock Festival. All money raised  was donated to the Mayors Charities, Samaritans of Wolverhampton, The MS Therapy Centre, Wolverhampton Help for Heroes.

Kicking off this celebration were Seize The Void and Spreading The Disease. Unfortunately we didn’t arrive in time to see these guys perform hence no footage or pictures.

First band we saw were Hightale. A 4 piece band from Wolverhampton. I’ve seen them a few times now, and find there’s always a barrel of laughs to be had with vocalist, Scott Griffiths, however, joking aside, I like the sound they produce, and the fact they have a sense of humour with it just makes the experience more enjoyable.

 

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This photo, captured by Dave Briggs, captures a more serious side to Hightale

 

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Next up were the fantabulous (I know this is not a word, but it should be!) Naked Sunday. I’ve been following this band’s progress for some time now, and always enjoy their set. Never a dull moment when Martin Stanyer is on set, and the band continues to go from strength to strength. Drummer Craig Stanley was on form, and even managed a bit of banter with Martin during the performance. The lovely Laura Stanyer brought a bit of glamour to the stage with her sexy diamante hosiery teamed with her unique style of bass playing.

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Next up were Daylight Robbery, a heavy melodic rock band from Birmingham. Another awesome performance with lots of animated stage presence from frontman Tony Nicholl. A fabulous set from these guys.

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The much loved Shyyne were next in the line up, with frontman Toni Gale absolutely in fine form.  This band are true entertainers.

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Next up were Devilfire, rock and heavy metal band from Birmingham. The band delivered an energetic performance all round which was enjoyed by many.

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Last up were Voodoo Sioux, a four piece hard rock band from The West Midlands. This is the first time I have seen a performance from them, but it most definitely won’t be the last. I was hooked as soon as bass player Mario Ermoyenous kicked off the first track with his wicked style of playing, and massive stage presence. The whole band had something about them that drew the crowd in, and once captured by them, there was no escape. A perfect end to this awesome night.

If you haven’t seen this band before, don’t delay in getting down to one of their upcoming gigs, you will not be disappointed!

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Overall, a fantastic night, with proceeds going to charity. Well done to Doddy White, Brett Hall and all who had a hand in organising this event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rockers Through The Ages Xmas Party

This gig was kindly hosted by Wendy Shone, owner of The Giffard Arms Wolverhampton. Organised and promoted by Brett Hall and Doddy White, who certainly came up trumps with this line up, which was a sure fire way to fill The Giffard. The Rockers Through The Ages Xmas Party was designed to raise money for a great cause,  Compton Hospice.

Kicking off the performances were Hollowstar, a 4 piece hard-hitting dirty rock band originating from Cambridgeshire. Never seen them before, but after watching their assault of in your face rock music that certainly got the pulse racing, I will be looking out for these guys in the future, and hope to get up close and personal with a cheeky interview if at all possible.

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These guys certainly put on a brilliant performance despite some technical issues as you will see on one of the videos. They took it all in their stride and their set was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The stage was well and truly warmed up in preparation for the next band on this awesome line up.

If Hollowstar tickle your fancy, why not visit/like their facebook page, or click here for twitter

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Naked Sunday

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DSC06518.jpgAfter a quick change over, it was time for Naked Sunday to take the stage. I’ve been following this band for some time now, and was keen to see them, as they are always guaranteed to spice things up with their unique, dirty rock n roll performances.

Tonight, they promised some surprises, and delivered the biggest surprise which was in the form of an additional guitarist, Alex Williams on stage for two of their songs, Diamonds and Pearls and A Dozen Red Roses.

From start to finish it was clearly one of the best live performances from Naked Sunday that I have ever witnessed, and having an extra guitar on stage gave a little extra something to the performance.

It was also very clear that they themselves were having a ball up there, and that came across to the audience very well.

The below video is my favourite tune at the moment from this band, called Reaper. Martin Stanyer put everything into his performance of this, even mentioning a few of the people in the audience by name part way through.

 

If Naked Sunday float your boat, why not head over to their facebook or twitter pages to give them a like/follow.

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Next up were Electus, a 4 piece hard rock band from Wolverhampton. Again a confident and crowd pleasing performance was unleashed on the audience. A couple of issues with equipment, but this didn’t spoil the performances at all.

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My favourite video from the set is the one below. Lead guitarist Gareth Daker was awesome and I would have loved to capture more of his performance on video but unfortunately I was at the wrong side of the stage to get any decent footage of him. These guys are definitely worth a watch, and they did a fantastic job of preparing the audience for the main attraction of the night.

If you want to know more about Electus, why not follow them on facebook or twitter?

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A few minutes were taken by Brett Hall and Doddy White to raise money for their cause with a raffle and an auction.

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And next, the moment we had all been waiting for……. Tom, Dale and Karl of The Bad Flowers from Cannock walked calmly onto the stage and started to prepare themselves. The audience knew what was about to come, and the room was packed out. The energy in the room rose to another level in excitement and anticipation of what was about to come.

This band are well known for their thunderous rock n roll which leaves audiences astounded, and this gig was no exception, they performed their hearts out as always. The relentless attack of elaborate drumming from the talented ‘animal’, Karl Selickis, the heavy bass delivered with tonnes of attitude by Dale Tonks and the pure, powerful vocals and exceptional guitar work from Tom Leighton delivered an earth shattering experience to their fans which finished the night off perfectly.

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The Bad Flowers really do capture the hearts of the audience, always performing at full throttle and with a genuine raw talent that you cannot buy. I’m in no doubt that this appearance will be one of the last ‘smaller venues’ these guys perform, as they have some fantastic shows lined up for 2018, including Steelhouse Festival.

I’m just happy that I had the privilege of seeing these guys perform at such a personal level, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for them in the coming year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gig Review – Buzzard Album Launch

To celebrate the release of their album Valium Gorillas, Buzzard kicked it off with The Grunge Tour, starting on Sunday 29th October 2017 at The Lamp Tavern, Dudley.

I was really looking forward to this gig, as there were a number of support bands lined up, some of which I’ve been interested to see for some time, but never quite got round to it. And here they were all performing at the same venue. So, £5 to get in and a pint of Bud on draft, this was gonna be a great night.

The line up for the support acts was, GG and the FlashHearts, Zero Wasters, This Elegant Chaos, Weak13 and Naked Sunday.

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First things first, I must apologise to GG and the Flashhearts, as I missed their set due to having problems finding the venue. They’re a 3 piece Power Pop/Punk band hailing from Stourbridge. Hopefully, our paths will cross in the near future.

 

 

 

Next up were a band called Zero Wasters, a Birmingham based rock trio combining elements of blues, indie and punk to create an eclectic sound which has intrigued audiences throughout the country.

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An enjoyable performance from Zero Wasters. The bass player certainly kept us entertained throughout, but this aside, I enjoyed seeing a vocalist/drummer, this must be very difficult to pull off.  Credit to Niall, Ethan and Lee for a gutsy performance. Hope to see you again soon.

Next up were This Elegant Chaos, a band which I’ve followed on facebook for some time, but never actually seen a live performance from them. This band are dark, but at the same time quirky and full of life, and I really enjoyed the performance from vocalist Stephanie Taylor. Greg Boden kept us all on our toes with his signature, full on, in your face performance on bass, I’ve never seen anything like this in a bass player. Whatever you’re on Greg, keep taking it! These guys demonstrated that they have something a little different going on, and this is what draws you in and leaves you wanting to see more from them. I’m hopeful to feature This Elegant Chaos on The Rock Asylum in the near future.

 

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Naked Sunday are fantastic to watch live, so I was in my element watching their set. I look forward to seeing Martin, Laura and Craig very soon, when I feature them on The Rock Asylum. They performed a few of my favourites, Diamonds and Pearls, Sunflowers In The Rain and A Dozen Red Roses And A Bottle of Jack. I also look forward to seeing them at their next headline show, wherever that may be. Oh and by the way guys, thanks for my album! It was a pleasure to review Signs of Insanity!

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Weak13 is another band I’ve had on my ‘to do list’ but even when we’ve been in the same building as them, I never got to see or hear them. Weak13 use a variety of strange low-guitar tunings, unorthodox riffs and dark sounds for every song.  Although these guys are not my first choice in sound, I totally appreciate that they’ve set out to be different, to send out clear messages in their work and to emphasize parts of their music that other bands would try to cover over in order to be as free sounding as possible. They were well supported on the night and I wish them all the best with the tour.

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So now to the headline act Buzzard, who I’ve only seen once before, a few months ago at The Giffard Arms. Buzzard are a three piece Grunge Rock power trio with Punk undertones to their sound. Formed in 2011, they produce and perform mostly original material and are based in Stourbridge, UK.

The performance was energetic and driven which showed the band’s hunger to progress in the music industry. Favourite tracks were Kamikaze, which is the second single to be taken from their album Valium Gorillas, and Step It Up which was the first. These guys certainly threw everything they had into their performance which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

I would like to take the opportunity to wish this band every success with their Grunge Tour and the new album which is out now.

Here are some clips for you to enjoy:

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Gig Rating: 4/5

Many thanks to Dave Briggs – Gig Photography for the photos on this review. He will be uploading more of the gig to his Facebook page over the next few days.

 

 

 

Gig Review – Papa Shango, Anonymous and Dead Happy

On Saturday 28th October I was at The Giffard Arms Wolverhampton to see Papa Shango and supporting bands, Dead Happy and Anonymous. 

I’ve heard that The Giffard is the place to be on Halloween, and for a mere £2 to get in, this was promising to be a great night, especially knowing that Anonymous were in the line up.

A Halloween themed band called Dead Happy certainly kicked the evening off in style, demonstrating a completely abstract performance of rock/alternative music.

It was then time for one of my top 5 upcoming bands to rock the house. Anonymous put on an electrical performance as always, these guys have all the ingredients needed to become a successful rock band, looks, talent, charisma and determination.

 

Even though the frontman/vocalist Rob Baynes had been unwell, he put on a great show for the crowd. These guys have come a long way since I first saw them on a Facebook live feed, playing a pub in Burton-on-Trent.

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They will be supporting Ryder’s Creed at the 02 Academy 3 Birmingham on 9th December 2017 which I’m sure will be a great night, and I have no doubt that  Anonymous will help to kick the night off appropriately. Hayden Kirk (guitar), Steven (Herbie) Herbert (drums), Luke Lawley (bass) and Rob Baynes (vocals/guitar) certainly get the job done when it comes to putting on a show.

So, having rocked out with Anonymous, it was time for the widely talked about Papa Shango to make an appearance. To be perfectly honest, I had mixed feelings about this ‘act’, but kept an open mind as I’d never seen them before. They describe themselves as a circus rock act with mayhem and madness guaranteed to leave jaws dropped.

 

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Unfortunately, the only video footage I took of these guys will not upload, so apologies to anyone who wanted to see them. Well I can only describe the Papa Shango experience as unusual. I thought for a moment I’d had my drink spiked when I saw girls in sequinned hotpants humping hobby horses to the rhythm of the music. It was all a bit tongue in cheek, and I watched them perform a couple more of their tracks before leaving to the sound of ‘pissing on your wife’ being belted out. The room was full of people in full Halloween costume though, and I’m sure the night went well. Not sure if they came into watch Papa Shango, or whether it was just because the disco downstairs was packed out, but either way, a great night celebrated with major weirdness and rock music, you couldn’t ask for more. (Especially not for £2 entry)

For those of you who are now more curious than ever, here’s a link

 

Gig Rating: 4/5

 

 

 

 

Coming this week

This week I will be publishing the review of bands I’ve seen during the Halloween weekender. Anonymous, Naked Sunday and Buzzard to name just a few of them. There will be some awesome photos and videos to go with the feature of course, courtesy of Dave Briggs.

Also I’m currently reviewing a self titled album by a very talented guy called Jon Hartz Wild, which will be up over the next couple of days.

Later in the week I’ll be publishing my review of the newly released Buzzard album ‘Valium Gorillas’.

I’m still looking for bands to engage with and feature on The Rock Asylum, so if anything you see on my blog tickles your fancy, get in touch with me by filling out the contact page and I’ll be in touch.

Many thanks for supporting The Rock Asylum!

Gig Review – The Giffard Arms 26th August 2017 (photography by Dave Briggs)

So I turned up at The Giffard Arms a tad late and could hear the first band King Corpse playing as I approached. These guys were energetic and it was clear they were working very hard to put on a good show. I’m not a fan of doom metal myself, but there were a lot of people in the room who were enjoying their sound.

It’s always a difficult task to open a show, and I think all things considered, these guys did a fairly good job of it. One has to acknowledge that these guys are just setting out on their journey compared to other more established bands, and whilst their performance wasn’t perfect, the potential is certainly there.

Well done to Jack Cradock, James Pearson and Toby Sambidge for a cracking opening to the show.

Their set list was; Black Goat, Bleed for me, Sleepless, Godzilla, The Count and Swamp Thing.

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My favourite track from King Corpse was Godzilla.

I’m sure that the guys from King Corpse won’t mind, but below is an up tempo version of Godzilla, you never know, next time I see them they might be playing it this speed! Now that I would love to see!

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Next up were Unhinged. These guys recently had their upcoming album Life Can Wait reviewed by The Rock Asylum, so I was intrigued to see how a live performance would compare, and they most certainly did not disappoint. Highlights of their set were Cigarette, The Bitter Blues and Life Can Wait.

Michael Hodges once again played a blinder with his egotistic performance, during which he took every opportunity that arose to get involved with the audience and delivered tons of swagger as he strutted his stuff on stage.

Having seen a live performance from Unhinged a while back, in comparison their performance was more polished, more fun, both for the audience and for the guys on stage. It was very clear that every member of the band was enjoying being there.

Dan Hipkiss once again delivered his trademark animated performance, but this time with far more confidence than before, enticing the audience into anticipation. He also stepped up his limitations by ripping off his vest at the end.

Ben Armstrong came into the forefront of the performance too, also having an in your face style, and showing off his guitar playing and singing skills he certainly proved that he’s a strong member of this band. Both guitar players complimented each other, however, if I was being picky, I would have liked to see more interaction between the two during their performance.

Dave Kitely, a very talented drummer, who if I’m brutally honest I haven’t paid much attention to in the past, did a fantastic job, and I personally think he could add more flavour to the set by doing a bit of a drum solo, I’m sure he would find something ‘Unhinged’ style to do. All of these guys have humungous personalities and skill, and it would be such a shame not to get him as equally involved in the set. I feel that something such as that would take them to the next level as far as performance goes.

Their set list for the evening was; Stay OK, Steal your lover, Single, Bitter Blues, Band Wagon, Breakout, FU, Cigarette, and Life can wait.

Unhinged are right up there in my top 5 local bands, and to anyone who doesn’t think its for them, I say don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! Their album release kicks off with celebrations at the Clap Trap Venue, Stourbridge on 29th September 2017, doors open at 8pm. Click here to find out more.

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Following Unhinged were the very lovely guys (and girl) from Naked Sunday.  The husband and wife team on guitars were definitely on the same wavelength during the whole performance. I absolutely loved Martin’s voice when he sang the more gritty songs, he came into his own. This band have a fantastic mixture of sweetness, darkness and pure gritty rock n roll, I cant compare them to another band on what I’ve seen of them during this gig.

Drummer Craig seemed happy to be in the background, however as with other bands, I would pay to see this guy being given the limelight even if only a few minutes doing his own thing, I’m sure that there is more to him than first impressions lead you to believe. He is a talented drummer, and me being a fan of drummers who ‘show off’ I think he could definitely pull this off…. So come on Craig, show us what you’re made of!

All in all a solid performance by Naked Sunday, Diamonds and Pearls being my favourite track, closely followed by Reaper.

Look out for these guys appearing on The Rock Asylum again in the near future……. I have  a couple of things in the pipeline with them!

The set list for Naked Sunday was; Sunflowers in the rain, Sobering Kiss, What kind of love are you on, Closure, Diamonds and Pearls, Unbreakable, and Reaper.

Naked Sunday will be performing at The Station, Cannock on 23rd September, prior to the launch of their second album.

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Next up were the headliners, Buzzard. Jimmy Croutear on lead guitar / lead vocals,
Andy Vernon on bass / vocals, Justin James on drums / vocals.

The Giffard soon filled with their supporters as the set began. These guys put on a full on heavy rock performance with quite a hefty dose of punk undertones.  Their heart and souls went into the performance tonight, which was most definitely appreciated by all.

The relationship between band members was tight and this came through with their banter during the set. Welcoming other people to get up and join in with Born to be Wild was rather brave of them as most people had downed their fair share by then, but it was all in good fun and made for a pleasant night’s entertainment.

They also showed their versatility by swapping roles at one point, something I haven’t seen before!

I particularly enjoyed their covers, my favourite being Pretty Vacant, which was performed as an encore. I also enjoyed their performance of Step it Up.

Set list for the performance; Kamikaze, Frustration, Step it up, Breed, Another Chain, Saturday Night TV, Hair of the Dog, Rat Race, Ace of Spades, The Line, Shoe String Band, Covered by the Blood.

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