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The Year In Review 2021

The Year In Review 2021

Full Pelt Music looks back on 2021 for our Year In Review

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2020 was a year that we all wish we could forget. Could 2021 be any better? Well, it started off just as the previous year ended; with the live music industry on its knees. Lockdown restrictions still ruled out any live in person shows, with even socially distanced shows initially outlawed.

Come late spring, things began to look up and a number of “test” events were planned. We were lucky enough to attend the Pilot Download Festival and the euphoria of being amongst fellow music fans in a field can’t truly be put into words. Things were looking up!

Live music would eventually make a full return but sadly as we write this The Year In Review 2021 feature, the sector is once again holding its breath waiting for the Government to take action. Alas, true normality may still be a long way off, but for a few months this year we got to feel alive again.

That alone elevates 2021 above 2020, but there is plenty more to unpack. We recently undertook our now annual countdown of our top albums of the year over on our social media. 2021 was a truly exceptional year in terms of album quality. Those musicians kept in lockdown last year certainly found their creativity and compiling a list of the top 50 albums of the year was highly competitive.

Read our Album of the Year 2021 feature

In our The Year In Review 2021 article, we will be revealing our end of year award winners. As with last year we will announce our Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Artist of the Year, Gig of the Year and Festival of the Year.

This year however we have an additional award to hand out. 2021 was a big year for Full Pelt Music, our first full year in existence. We’ve grown and we’ve enhanced our focus on new music. We launched initially our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify through which we highlight the best up and coming artists.

We also launched not one but two Podcasts this year, including the accompanying ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast where we truly shine the spotlight on your new favourite acts. As such, this year we will also be awarding the ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award!

Before we get to those awards though, let’s run you through a few of our highlights this year. First of all, as mentioned we also launched The Full Pelt Music Podcast this year. Fittingly our inaugural guest was Frank Turner, the winner of both our Gig of the Year and Artist of the Year awards in our 2020 Year In Review.

Across the Podcasts this year we’ve had the pleasure to talk with Press To Meco, Beans On Toast, Miss Vincent, Planet Fatale, Mercutio, Light By The Sea, Freddie and the Fabs, The Damned Few, Project Renegade, Icarus and Smoke! Be sure to check out these conversations, and also to Subscribe on Youtube or wherever you listen to your Podcasts. After all, we will have plenty more for you to enjoy in 2022.

The Music Industry has seized on the opportunity to entertain this year both live and on record. We’ve reviewed 66 albums, 2 festivals and 27 gigs in 2021 as fans have been treated to incredible releases and some truly stunning live shows. Again, perhaps the enforced break has allowed creativity to breed innovation.

So with that in mind, let’s work through those award catagories!

Album of the Year

As we’ve already referenced, the pure quality of releases this year made compiling our Top 50 Album of the Year List very tricky. It was hard work but we did it, and you can read the full list here.

The quality is demonstrated best by last year’s winners IDLES only reaching a still respectable number 7. The winner however had to be ‘Blue Weekend’ from the incredible Wolf Alice who continue to go from strength to strength. After three stunning albums, there is no ceiling for this band and we can’t wait to catch songs from the album live in 2022.

Winner:

‘Blue Weekend’ by Wolf Alice

The Contenders:

‘Written & Directed’ by Black Honey, ‘Typhoons’ by Royal Blood, ‘Seize the Power’ by Yonaka and ‘Transmute’ by Press To MECO

Previous Winners:

2020 – ‘Ultra Mono’ by IDLES

Single of the Year

We move on now to our award for the Single or Song of the Year. This year has again seen us locked down for considerable amounts of time and many will have sought solace in Playlists such as our Spotify Hot List.

In selecting our track of the year we considered which songs we’ve come back to time and time again, which songs remain as fresh now as they did on first listen and what songs simply just resonate on a different level.

Our winner is an incredible track from the fantastic album ‘Transmute’ from Press To MECO. ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ ticks all of the criteria and also sounds absolutely massive live.

Press To MECO – ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’
Winner:

‘A Test Of Our Resolve’ by Press To MECO

The Contenders:

‘My Town’ by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, ‘Afterlife’ by Holding Absence, ‘Midnight’ by Creeper and ‘Haven’t Been Doing So Well’ by Frank Turner

Previous Winners:

2020 – ‘Obey’ by Bring Me The Horizon feat. Yungblud

Artist of the Year

Artist of the Year now and for this award we look for somebody who has had a huge, perhaps even career-defining year. Last year we gave the award to Frank Turner for his incredible work for the #SaveOurVenues campaign through his Independent Venue Love series.

This year our winners are a band that also dabbled with livestreams during that first lockdown. This year however has been a hugely important year for Biffy Clyro. A new album, ‘A Myth of the Happily Ever After’ came hot on the heels of last year’s ‘A Celebration of Endings’. It’s another quality album from a band that continue to deliver consistently great music.

The band also had a huge impact on the live music scene this year. Firstly, the band rode to the rescue by stepping in as late replacements for Queens of the Stone Age to once again headline Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Secondly, the band played huge outdoor shows in Cardiff, Glasgow and Margate to help signal the return of live music after around 16 months of lockdown. Highlights of both their Reading and Glasgow performances aired on the BBC.

Lastly, the band played a completely sold out and very intimate ‘Fingers Crossed’ Tour across the UK. Their shows this year giving fans an opportunity to witness songs from not one but two albums live for the first time.

Biffy Clyro – ‘A Hunger In Your Haunt / Unknown Male 01’
Winner:

Biffy Clyro

The Contenders:

Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Creeper and Wolf Alice

Previous Winners:

2020 – Frank Turner

Festival of the Year

Festivals made a belated return from lockdown restrictions in late summer, although the majority of the usual seasons events were still cancelled. For our Festival of the Year however we can’t look anywhere other than the special event that laid the groundwork for all events to return, the Download Pilot Festival!

Back in June the Government test event was the first opportunity for music fans to camp in a field and rock out for three days. The camaraderie and atmosphere this situation created, combined with the uniquely intimate Download layout and line-up made for a once in a lifetime experience.

British bands took centre stage and delivered an incredible weekend of music; with bands and fans both desperate to experience live music again. Thanks to all involved we can hopefully experience a full fat Download Festival again this summer.

Read our review of the Download Pilot Festival!

Winner:

Download Pilot Festival

The Contenders:

Reading Festival and Lost Evenings

Previous Winners:

2020 – Wild Fields Festival

Gig of the Year

Last year’s winner of Gig of the Year was a socially distancing outdoor affair, this year however true live music returned! Picking a winner this year is difficult because the pent up frustration of lockdown on both musicians and fans vented fully across some amazing gigs.

We reviewed 27 of those shows this year and there were some very special moments amongst them. The winner however must go to Bring Me The Horizon who stormed the O2 Arena with You Me At Six and Nova Twins in tow.

The night was a massive middle finger to any remaining doubters and the band solidified themselves not just as arena fillers but as festival headline ready. Fitting therefore that they have recently been revealed as headliners for Reading & Leeds Festivals next year.

Read our review of Bring Me The Horizon live in London

Winner:

Bring Me The Horizon @ O2 Arena

The Contenders:

Creeper @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, Idlewild @ Electric Brixton, The Offspring @ Wembley Arena, Biffy Clyro @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, Vukovi @ Norwich Waterfront Studio and Royal Blood @ Norwich UEA

Previous Winners:

2020 – Frank Turner @ Nottingham Arboretum

‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year

Our final award is a new award for this year where we shift focus on to the future. Having launched our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist and Podcast this year we wanted to honour an act that we have featured and for whom the future is bright.

With their debut album ‘A Funeral For Youth’ cracking our top 20 for the year, Miss Vincent take the inaugural ‘Discover’ New Artist of the Year award!

Miss Vincent – ‘Rosaline’
Winner:

Miss Vincent

The Contenders:

Planet Fatale, Dead Nature and Thumper

So, it hasn’t been a usual year again, in fact at times it has been just as hard as 2020. 2021 has however reminded us of what we were missing. Stunning new music, incredible live shows and a return to some normality (nobody say ‘new’ normal!), make 2021 a year that will live long in the memory for many reasons.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our The Year in Review 2021 feature and we wish you a very Happy New Year. Here’s hoping 2022 is a good one!

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Features

Album of the Year 2021

Album of the Year 2021

We countdown our Top 50 Albums of 2021

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2021 has been another tough year to live through. There have been some signs of normal life, for example the return of live music, but we end it as we started with true normality a distant memory.

This year has however been a stunning year for new music releases. Yes, lockdown musicians and the odds are their creativity will take over. In Full Pelt Music’s first full year of existence we have reviewed 65 albums and the quality of those releases has been exceptional.

Last year we counted down our Top 20 albums of the year, with a special Advent Calendar countdown on our Twitter. This year we have expanded! Our 2021 countdown has taken place across all our social platforms, and has listed our Top 50 albums of the year!

With that social media countdown completed, it’s now time to compile our completed Top 50 in one place. So let’s get started!

Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“there are stunning moments spread throughout the album”

Read our review of ‘Lo! Soul’

Check out:
Roddy Woomble – ‘Architecture in LA’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“there are plenty of songs on this album that rate amongst the best that the band has produced”

Read our review of ‘Waiting For Good Luck’

Check out:
The Treatment – ‘Rat Race’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“Garbage are an incredible musical force”

Read our review of ‘No Gods No Masters’

Check out:
Garbage – ‘No Gods No Masters’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“we have thrashing guitars, thumping drums, bizarre lyrics and plenty of bells and whistles to emphasise his brilliantly quirky musicianship”

Read our review of ‘The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy’

Check out:
Rob Zombie – ‘The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“was anybody craving a new album from The Offspring in 2021? Perhaps not, but actually in this messed up world we live in, maybe, just maybe, we needed it!”

Read our review of ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’

Check out:
The Offspring – ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“this is an artist pouring all of their self into their creation and discovering magic”

Read our review of ‘Watch Me Break Apart’

Check out:
Dead Nature – ‘Watch Me Break Apart’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“this record manages to encapsulate the sound that the band has nurtured over the past few years both on record and in the live setting”

Read our review of ‘How to Ruin Your Life’

Check out:
Paris Youth Foundation – ‘The Back Seat’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“remind you how gloriously heavy yet anthemic the band can get”

Read our review of ‘The Bitter Truth’

Check out:
Evanescence – ‘Use My Voice’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“it won’t take long for people to stop and take notice of this great young band”

Read our review of ‘Fractured Party Music’

Check out:
Pet Needs – ‘Toothpaste’
What we said:

“this is Volbeat at their very best”

Read our review of ‘Servant of the Mind’

Check out:
Volbeat – ‘Shotgun Blues’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“vitality shouldn’t be mistaken for relevance and whilst the band may have peaked commercially, they remain of utmost importance to a generation of music fans”

Check out:
Rise Against – ‘Nowhere Generation’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“anybody that had any doubts about the natural talents of this group of musicians, they should now acknowledge a new force”

Read our review ‘The Battle at Garden’s Gate’

Check out:
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“over the top, outlandish, brash and most of all fun, the album not only lives up to but surpasses all expectations”

Read our review of ‘Van Weezer’

Check out:
Van Weezer – ‘Hero’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“quality continues to run throughout the entire record and there is very little ease on the throttle”

Read our review of ‘Below’

Check out:
Beartooth – ‘Skin’
What we said:

“another very good release from a band overdue commercial success”

Read our review of ‘Into the Blue’

Check out:
The Joy Formidable – ‘Into the Blue’
What we said:

“a middle finger up at the haters”

Read our review of ‘Still Sucks’

Check out:
Limp Bizkit – ‘Dad Vibes’
What we said:

“a delicate masterpiece from a songwriter of the highest level”

Read our review of ‘The Hole Around My Head’

Check out:
Will Varley – ‘Pushing Against Us’
What we said:

“an enjoyable listen and the band clearly still has something to say”

Read our review of ‘The Ultra Vivid Lament’

Check out:
Manic Street Preachers – ‘The Secret He Had Missed’
What we said:

“up there with the best that Beans On Toast has released”

Read our review of ‘Survival of the Friendliest’

Check out:
Beans On Toast – ‘Humans’
What we said:

“it really is time to stop being surprised by the quality in this band”

Read our review of ’21st Century Love Songs’

Check out:
The Wildhearts – ‘Remember These Days’
What we said:

“the extravagance of the band is what makes them great and thankfully their 7th studio album has it in abundance”

Read our review of ‘Motorheart’

Check out:
The Darkness – ‘Jussy’s Girl’
What we said:

“for their tenth album the band has set out to create their masterpiece”

Read our review of ‘Coral Island’

Check out:
The Coral – ‘Change Your Mind’
What we said:

“a strong debut album that lays the foundations of what will likely be a long and successful career”

Read our review of ‘W.L.’

Check out:
The Snuts – ‘Glasgow’
What we said:

“this is a stunning pop rock album”

Check out:
Pale Waves – ‘Fall to Pieces’
What we said:

“the album is laced with quality and shows the ease with which AFI are able to produce catchy songs”

Read our review of ‘Bodies’

Check out:
AFI – ‘Dulceria’
What we said:

“Iron Maiden doing exactly what you’d expect Iron Maiden to do”

Read our review of ‘Senjutsu’

Check out:
Iron Maiden – ‘Senjutsu’
What we said:

“this is very much Numan at the top of his game

Read our review of ‘Intruder’

Check Out:
Gary Numan – ‘Intruder’
What we said:

“the signature of a band comfortable in their skin”

Read our review of ‘Pressure Machine’

Check out:
The Killers – ‘Quiet Town’
What we said:

“the very thing that identifies their sound is their lack of boundaries, their quirkiness and willingness to experiment”

Read our review of ‘The Myth of the Happily Ever After’

Check out:
Biffy Clyro – ‘A Hunger In Your Haunt’
What we said:

“well crafted and superbly delivered album that is well worth your time and attention”

Read our review of ‘A Matter of Life & Love’

Check out:
Skinny Lister – ‘Damn The Amsterdam’

The quality of this year’s releases has been truly phenomenal as our opening 30 albums attests. The competition is extremely tight for the coveted top spot and that is clear throughout the prestigious Top 20 that follows.

What we said:

“a sublime collection of upbeat, heartfelt and powerful songs that is bound to be stuck on repeat for the foreseeable future”

Read our review of ‘A Funeral For Youth’

Check out:
Miss Vincent – ‘Rosalie’
What we said:

“The Pretty Reckless have solidified themselves in the upper echelons of Hard Rock”

Read our review of ‘Death by Rock and Roll’

Check out:
The Pretty Reckless – ‘Only Love Can Save Me’
What we said:

“you are fully absorbed by the mix of heavy hooks and catchy sing-a-long pop vocals”

Read our review of ‘Dark & Beautiful Secrets’

Check out:
Normandie – ‘Hostage’
What we said:

“Trash Boat have delivered their best work yet and they appear ready to lead the charge for British rock”

Read our review of ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’

Check out:
Trash Boat – ‘He’s So Good’
What we said:

“there are moments of grandeur that harness the bands expansive sound spread throughout”

Read our review of ‘The Greatest Mistake of My Life’

Check out:
Holding Absence – ‘Afterlife’
What we said:

“the album attacks your senses and gets your feet stomping and your head banging”

Read our review of ‘When Life Was Hard And Fast’

Check out:
Ricky Warwick – ‘When Life Was Hard & Fast’
What we said:

“Trivium have well and truly earned their place at the top table of metal”

Read our review of ‘In the Court of the Dragon’

Check out:
Trivium – ‘Feast of Fire’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“a stunning release from a band assumedly at the peak of their powers”

Read our review of ‘American Noir’

Check out:
Creeper – ‘Midnight’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“there is a real good mix of sounds on this album which together encompass Kennedy’s various alter egos”

Read our review of ‘The Ides of March’

Check out:
Myles Kennedy – ‘In Stride’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“the power of this album doesn’t just lie with Bennett of course and the rest of the band have summoned even more power and majesty then before”

Read our review of ‘The Hope List’

Check out:
Lonely The Brave – ‘Bound’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“the album really feels like a love letter to both the bands own history and the music of those that influenced the members”

Read our review of ‘Medicine at Midnight’

Check out:
Foo Fighters – ‘Love Dies Young’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“an album packed with rock club dancefloor fillers, designed to get you moving”

Read our review of ‘Sticky’

Check out:
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – ‘My Town’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“there are grandiose ambitions spread throughout the album with the band obviously striving for more”

Read our review of ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’

Check out:
Architects – ‘Animals’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“IDLES continue to be one of the most exciting and vital bands around”

Read our review of ‘CRAWLER’

Check out:
IDLES – ‘Car Crash’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“an album of pure, unadulterated, adrenaline-filled pop rock pleasure”

Read our review of ‘Amazing Things’

Check out:
Don Broco – ‘Bruce Willis’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“Press To MECO have always had a knack for creating ferocious yet catchy songs and this album is packed full of tasty rifftastic bangers”

Read our review of ‘Transmute’

Check out:
Press to MECO – ‘A Test Of Our Resolve’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“the band are still able to mix catchy pop melodies with hard hitting beats to create a sound equally at home in front of mosh pits and dancefloors”

Read our review of ‘Seize the Power’

Check out:
Yonaka – ‘Call Me A Saint’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“the duo however manage to amplify these electronic elements without losing their rock attitude and resonance”

Read our review of ‘Typhoons’

Check out:
Royal Blood – ‘Boilermaker’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“a rare talent that have now reinforced their passion and ability to create great music for anybody who wants to listen but without concession on their vision”

Read our review of ‘Written & Directed’

Check out:
Black Honey – ‘Believer’
Album of the Year 2021
What we said:

“this record feels like it comes from a band at the peak of their powers, but knowing this group, they will still have plenty more to come”

Read our review of ‘Blue Weekend’

Check out:
Wolf Alice – ‘Smile’

Well there you have it! What a truly magnificent year for new music 2021 has been. What will 2022 have in store? Remember to discover the best new acts by following our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist’!

Stay tuned for our 2021 Year in Review coming very soon.

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Read our review of Creeper live in London

Categories
Live Reviews

Creeper

O2 Kentish Town Forum, London

Wednesday 15th December 2021

Creeper

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CREEPER – O2 KENTISH TOWN FORUM – LIVE REVIEW

Since leaving their Callous Heart jackets on the KOKO stage back in November 2018 the normally well thought out plans of Creeper have hit road block after road block.

With their second record arriving during lockdown, this tumultuous period appeared to be ending with their arrival of their previously postponed headline tour. Alas, the show tonight at the O2 Kentish Town Forum in London takes place amid more uncertainty as the pandemic rages on.

Support act Wargasm are unable to play due to COVID and many of the sold out crowd clearly are also missing. The night should be a celebration, but the atmosphere is cautious, there is an impending sense of doom.

Music though is the great equaliser and can take away all of life’s worries, even if only for a while. Opening act Static Dress do a fantastic job of raising spirits and blowing away doubts. The crowd are instantly sucked in and the band capitalise on their short time on stage superbly. Crowd definitely warmed up!

With no Wargasm, it’s straight onto main support for this tour, Holding Absence. Having released one of the albums of the year in ‘The Greatest Mistake of My Life’, anticipation is high for their set. Over the next 30 minutes the band lives up to all of the hype that comes their way.  

An assured and uplifting performance from a band on a massive spike in upwards trajectory. ‘Afterlife’ and ‘Wilt’ close out a short but very sweet set which captures the hearts of those in attendance. It shouldn’t be long before Holding Absence are headlining venues of this size.

Listen to ‘Afterlife’ from Holding Absence on our Spotify Hot List!

Our headliners tonight however are Creeper. The band have battled adversity to arrive at their biggest headline show. Their cult following are out in force, even if the attendance drop reported by the Music Venue Trust is in evidence. The night has a special feel, and if any band can meet the high expectations then it’s Creeper.

Musically stunning and theatrically spectacular, Creeper take their audience on a journey of delight. From the time they arrive on stage to the moment they leave, Creeper exude confidence. This show builds on everything the band has presented since their inception and makes a statement. This is a band at the peak of their powers. This is the celebration that it needed to be.

A mixture of material features from across their career from their debut EP to recent release ‘American Noir’. The evolution of the band is clear for all to see, and so is the effort put into the show.

Read our review of ‘American Noir’ from Creeper

It may have taken slightly longer than expected to arrive at this level of venue, but on this showing Creeper are still on course to progress into even bigger buildings. This tour is a master class from the purveyors of grandiose rock and roll theatrics. Let’s hope that Creeper now get a clear run towards their destiny.

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Categories
Live Reviews

Salem

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Tuesday 19th October 2021

Salem

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SALEM – NORWICH WATERFRONT – LIVE REVIEW

It’s almost a year since Salem released their debut EP. An EP that was never intended to be released but a pandemic and a lockdown or three saw Will Gould and Matt Reynolds pull the trigger.

Of course, Gould is normally associated with being the charismatic frontman for Creeper. That original EP was born out of the creative process for the latest Creeper album ‘Sex, Death & the Infinite Void’; with Gould looking for a different outlet for some of his punkier output.

Following the positive reception to that first EP it was almost inevitable that another should follow and soon enough ‘Salem II’ arrived. At that point Salem became somewhat more than a creative outlet and more of a full blown side-project from Gould’s perspective. The collaboration between Gould and Reynolds appears to have given them both a new lease of life.

Read our review of ‘Salem II’ from Salem

With two EP’s it was again an inevitability that live shows would follow. So with a band in place Salem revealed a lengthy trek around the UK and tonight they arrive in Norwich at the Waterfront Studio.

Opening on the tour are Welsh rockers James and the Cold Gun. Creeper have always carefully curated their support acts and it’s clear Salem will follow suit. James and the Cold Gun are an ideal opener that deliver a blistering opening set that gets the audience ready for the main event.

The likes of ‘Plug Me In’, ‘Cheating on the Sun’ and ‘Long Way Home’ showcase the quality that the band possess. With great material, confident stage presence and plenty of energy, the future should be bright for the band.

Clearly the future is also looking bright for Salem. Yes, the weight of Gould’s name does some heavy lifting, but there are not many bands who could play a 19 date UK Tour within a year of their debut EP! The fact is again it’s the quality of the material which helps convince people to leave their homes and check out this new prospect.

Listen to ‘DRACULADS’ from Salem on our Spotify Hot List!

With just the two EP’s and a bonus cover of The Damned classic ‘New Rose’ making up the set list, tonight is short but very sweet. Gould is on top form clearly enjoying the change of pace, and the band as a whole are well knit.

By the end of encore track ‘Destroy Me’ it is well and truly a case of mission achieved for Salem. The crowd go home thoroughly entertained and Salem continue to build their own legacy.

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Read our review of ‘American Noir’ from Creeper

Categories
News Report

News Report

We roundup the best music news from the past week!

Full Pelt Music's Weekly News Report

Every week we roundup the best music news from the past week in our News Report. To stay up to date with the biggest news be sure to follow us on our social channels:

Download Festival 2022 gets bigger

Download Festival News Report

Welcome to another edition of the Full Pelt Music weekly News Report. We start this week with a clutch of festival news including the latest line-up announcement from the monster Download Festival for 2022.

New additions to the line-up include A Day To Remember, Volbeat, Shinedown, Black Veil Brides, Myles Kennedy, Creeper and Normandie.

They join the already announced line-up including headliners Kiss, Iron Maiden and Biffy Clyro! Plus Korn, The Pretty Reckless, Rise Against, Theory, Wayward Sons, Monster Truck, Those Damn Crows and Wargasm all playing the main stage.

The second stage will feature The Distillers, Airbourne, Lacuna Coil, Bush, The Darkness, Skillet, Tremonti, Massive Wagons and The Last Internationale amongst others.

The third stage is set to host the likes of Sleep Token, Funeral For A Friend, Holding Absence, Salem, Boston Manor, Trash Boat, Jamie Lenman and Static Dress. Whilst the fourth stage includes Blues Pills, British Lion, Higher Power and many more.

Tickets and information can be found here.

Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering 2022 line-up revealed

Bearded Theory News Report

Another festival revealing their 2022 line-up this week was Bearded Theory’s Spring Gathering which takes place 26-29 May at Catton Hall, Derbyshire.

The event will be headlined by Placebo, The Flaming Lips and Patti Smith. Also playing will be The Mission, Shame, Wilko Johnson, Ferocious Dog, Lauran Hibberd, Nova Twins, The Ninth Wave, October Drift and many more.

Tickets and information can be found here.

Listen to ‘How Am I Still Alive’ from Lauran Hibberd on our Spotify Hot List!

Just Push Play reveal 2022 headline act

Just Push Play News Report

Our final piece of festival news comes from Bury St. Edmunds charity festival Just Push Play. The event has just announced that 2022 headliners will be Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons!

Joining them on July 30th next year will be Empyre, These Wicked Rivers and Samarkind will more to come.

Tickets are available here.

Read our review of ‘We’re the Bastards’ from Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Alkaline Trio & Taking Back Sunday set for UK Tour in 2022

Alkaline Trio Taking Back Sunday News Report

Tour news now as our News Report progresses. First up we have news from across the pond as Alkaline Trio and Taking Back Sunday reveal a short run of UK shows for next March.

The two bands will play Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham before finishing the run at Brixton Academy.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of ‘Senjutsu’ from Iron Maiden

The Feeling reveal 2022 UK Tour

Also touring in 2022 is The Feeling who are hitting the road later in the year in October. The tour will support their upcoming new album ‘Loss Hope Love’ that will arrive May 6th.

For tickets and pre-order information head over here.

Check out our ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast!

Supergrass set for Brixton

Supergrass this week announced a huge London show at Brixton Academy. The single date will include special guests Ash.

Tickets here.

Twin Atlantic reveal next phase

Twin Atlantic this week revealed the next phase for the band with a line-up change, new album, new single and special tour announcement. The band will hit the road in May 2022 to celebrate the Anniversary of ‘Free’.

The band also debuted new single, ‘One Man Party’, which you can check out below. The track will feature on new album ‘Transparency’ which arrives January 4th.

Tickets and pre-orders are here.

Twin Atlantic – ‘One Man Party’

Read our review of Twin Atlantic live at Norwich Waterfront

Sleep Token unveil November tour

Our final tour announcement comes from Sleep Token, who will be hitting the road in November for the ‘This Place Will Become Your Tomb’ tour. Support comes from A.A. Williams.

Tickets here.

Check out our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Spotify Playlist

Biffy Clyro announce new album

Biffy Clyro – ‘Unknown Male 01’

The latest new releases now for our News Report. Up first, the news that Biffy Clyro will be releasing a brand new album on October 22nd. In announcing ‘The Myth of the Happily Ever After’, the band also debuted new track ‘Unknown Male 01’, which you can check out above.

You can pre-order the new album here.

Read our review of Royal Blood live at Norwich UEA

Don Broco debut ‘Uber’

Don Broco – ‘Uber’

There isn’t long now until Don Broco release their latest album, ‘Amazing Things’ on September 17th. This week saw the band debut the latest track, ‘Uber’, which you can hear above.

Pre-order the album here.

Read our review of ‘Transmute’ from Press To MECO

Hot Milk debut ‘Split Personality’

Hot Milk – ‘Split Personality’

Fresh from the main stage at Reading & Leeds Festivals, Hot Milk this week debuted their latest track, ‘Split Personality’, which you can listen to above. This comes ahead of their September 10th EP ‘I JUST WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I’M DEAD’.

Pre-orders here.

Listen to ‘I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I’M DEAD’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Wayward Sons debut ‘Bloody Typical’

Wayward Sons – ‘Bloody Typical’

Rockers Wayward Sons this week debuted their latest single, ‘Bloody Typical’, which you can hear above. This track is the latest to be taken from their upcoming album, ‘Even Up The Score’ which is out October 22nd.

Pre-orders are here.

Listen to ‘Faith In Fools’ from Wayward Sons on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Playlist

Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun debut ‘Medicine’

Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun – ‘Medicine’

Finally from our News Report this week, news from the reformed Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun. The group debuted their brand new track, ‘Medicine’ this week which you can check out above.

For more from the band, head here.

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Read our review of ’21st Century Love Songs’ from The Wildhearts

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News Report

News Report

We roundup the best music news from the past week!

News Report

Every week we roundup the best music news from the past week in our News Report. To stay up to date with the biggest news be sure to follow us on our social channels:

New additions for Reading & Leeds Festivals

Reading & Leeds News Report

Welcome to another edition of our News Report, where we roundup the best music news from the past week. We start this week with festivals and the behemoth that is Reading & Leeds Festivals. The twin events take place in just two weeks!

This week organisers revealed that Dinosaur Pile-Up, Loathe and Holding Absence will join a bill already including Biffy Clyro, Liam Gallagher, Wolf Alice, Yungblud, Fever 333, Creeper, Wargasm, Bob Vylan, Yonaka, Boston Manor and Demob Happy.

Check here for more details.

Read our review of ‘American Noir’ from Creeper

Bloodstock Festival drop first 2022 names

Bloodstock Festival News Report

Bloodstock Festival this week revealed the first names for their 2022 edition, before the 2021 edition was even over!

Huge names on the bill include Lamb of God, Mercyful Fate, Testament, Bury Tomorrow, Static-X and Butcher Babies.

Tickets are here.

Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

Biffy Clyro head to Margate

Biffy Clyro have a busy summer lined up as they headline Reading & Leeds Festivals alongside shows in Cardiff and Glasgow. A new addition to their schedule is a special show at Dreamland in Margate which was announced this week.

More information on all shows here.

The Dead Daisies set for UK Tour

Rock collective The Dead Daisies are set for a UK Tour later this year. Announcing the tour, it was also revealed support will come from The Quireboys (except Cardiff).

Tickets from here.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes debut ‘Go Get A Tattoo’

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – ‘Go Get A Tattoo’ feat. Lynks

We turn to the latest new releases now in our News Report. The incomparable Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes this week debuted their latest single, ‘Got Get A Tattoo’ which features Lynks.

The track will feature on their upcoming album, ‘Sticky’, which you can pre-order here.

Hear ‘My Town’ from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes on our Spotify Hot List!

Trivium unveil new single ‘Feast of Fire’

Trivium – ‘Feast of Fire’

American metal lords Trivium have this week unveiled their latest single, ‘Feast of Fire’ which you can check out above. The song comes ahead of their new album, ‘In The Court Of The Dragon’ which you can pre-order here.

Listen to ‘Feast of Fire’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Spotify Playlist

Introducing the ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast!

At Full Pelt Music we are eager to put the spotlight on new music. We recently debuted our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify where we feature some of the hottest fresh talent from across the globe.

Now, we are proud to announce the accompanying ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast! Yes, we’ll be talking to some of those bands being spotlighted by our Playlist.

You can find the latest episodes here, or catch the video edition here.

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Read our review of ‘Pressure Machine’ from The Killers

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News Report

News Report

We roundup the best music news from the past week!

Full Pelt Music Weekly News Report Roundup

Every week we roundup the best music news from the past week in our News Report. To stay up to date with the biggest news be sure to follow us on our social channels:

Slam Dunk Festival reshuffles line-up one final time

Slam Dunk Festival News Report

Welcome to another edition of our weekly News Report. We start off on the festival front with some news from Slam Dunk Festival. All events have been hit hard by the pandemic, perhaps none as badly as Slam Dunk however.

One of the first events to postpone due to the very first lockdown, the event has been postponed multiple times since. Each change has also seen changes in line-up. Some bands have been added, then dropped out and then been added again!

Now, with the event just a month away, organisers have finalised the line-up. That has seen the loss of headliners Sum 41, but the additions of the likes of Creeper.

The final line-up now features acts such as Don Broco, We Are The In Crowd, Creeper, Roam, Frank Turner, Alkaline Trio, Funeral For A Friend, Trash Boat, A, Normandie, Vukovi, Wargasm and many more.

Tickets are available here.

Read our review of ‘American Noir’ from Creeper

Reef announce the ‘Shoot Me Your Ace’ Tour

Reef A News Report

We shift the focus of our News Report now onto tour news and first up is the newly announced ‘Shoot Me Your Ace’ Tour from Reef! The band will be embarking on a UK Tour next April starting in Newcastle and finishing up in Norwich.

Helping to make this tour a must see extravaganza are the always great A. To join the fun, pick up your tickets over here.

Read our review of A from Download Pilot Festival

The Vaccines set for ‘Back In Love City’ shows

The Vaccines News Report

Vaccines have helped the country head back towards ‘normal’ (whatever that is), and now The Vaccines will be helping music venues come back to life!

The National Lottery’s #ReviveLive Tour with the Music Venue Trust sees fans get a second ticket free for lottery players. There are many great acts playing these shows, and that now includes The Vaccines.

Tickets available here.

Read our review of Seasick Steve as part of #ReviveLive

Wargasm announce debut UK Tour

Wargasm

One of the hottest new bands to emerge over the past year, Wargasm, have now announced their debut tour of the UK. The shows are booked in for November this year and tickets are available here.

Read our review of ‘Wargasm’ from Download Pilot Festival

Zuzu reveals UK Tour dates

Another new act hitting the road later this year is Zuzu who will play 13 shows across the UK in December. Tickets for this tour are available from here.

Guns N’ Roses release new music

Guns N’ Roses – ‘ABSUЯD’

We move onto new music releases now in our News Report and another band moving on is Guns N’ Roses. As the band move onto the next phase of their mega reunion, we arrive at a point whereby we get new music from the legendary act.

This week the band debuted ‘ABSUЯD’ which has now also featured in the bands live shows in the United States. Check out the new single here.

Don Broco debut ‘One True Prince’

Don Broco – ‘One True Prince’

Don Broco continue to build towards the release of their next album, ‘Amazing Things’. This week the band debuted their latest single, ‘One True Prince’, which you can check out above.

You can pre-order your copy of the album here ahead of its release on 17th September.

Listen to ‘Manchester Super Reds No. 1 Fan’ from Don Broco on our Spotify Hot List!

PVRIS unveil ‘Monster’

PVRIS – ‘Monster’

This week also saw the unveiling of the latest single from PVRIS as they band debuted ‘Monster’.

Check out the latest from PVRIS here.

Listen to ‘Monster’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Twin Atlantic ‘Bang On The Gong’

Twin Atlantic – ‘Bang On The Gong’

There is plenty of new music releases this week to sink your teeth into. Next up is Twin Atlantic who have just debuted their latest track, ‘Bang On The Gong’.

You can comply with that request here.

Read our review of Twin Atlantic at Download Pilot Festival

Alien Weaponry debut ‘Buried Underground’

Alien Weaponry – ‘Buried Undergound’

Finally this week for our News Report, one last new release to enjoy. Alien Weaponry have debuted their new track ‘Buried Underground’ ahead of the release of their new album, ‘Tangaroa’, which is out September 17th.

Pre-order your copy here.

Listen to ‘Buried Underground’ on our ‘Hard & Heavy’ Spotify Playlist!

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Read our review of ‘Seize the Power’ from Yonaka

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Album Reviews

Creeper

American Noir

Creeper American Noir cover
Creeper – ‘American Noir’

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CREEPER – AMERICAN NOIR – ALBUM REVIEW

From their early EP’s and through their debut album and subsequent disappearance in 2018, Creeper have always been a theatrical and mysterious band. It’s this nature that has helped to cultivate an aura of excitement that has nurtured a passionate cult of a fanbase.

Following a longer than planned absence after that fateful London show in November 2018 the band were then greeted by a global pandemic. Lesser bands would have folded, but not Creeper. Instead fans were finally treated to the spectacular sophomore album ‘Sex, Death & the Infinite Void’.

With touring not possible fans have been craving an opportunity to witness the glory of these songs live. Not resting on their laurels however, Creeper already have new music to present! Thankfully live music is now returning, because their new EP, ‘American Noir’ simply whets the appetite even further.

Read our review of Creeper at Download Pilot Festival

WATCH ‘DAMNED AND DOOMED’ ON YOUTUBE
Creeper – ‘Damned and Doomed’

The EP bursts into glorious life with lead single ‘Midnight’ which demonstrates the continued evolution of the band into something bigger. ‘American Noir’ follows on perfectly from ‘Sex, Death & the Infinite Void’ both sonically and thematically.

Listen to ‘Midnight’ on our Spotify Hot List!

‘America At Night’ and the incredible ‘Ghosts Over Calvary’ help to elevate this EP towards the best record that Creeper has released to date. ‘One of Us’ and ‘Damned and Doomed’ bring an end to a short but all so sweet collection of songs.

This is a stunning release from a band assumedly at the peak of their powers. But then, you should never assume with Creeper! On this trajectory those early predications of stardom remain on course.

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Read our review of ‘Salem II’ from Salem

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News Report

News Report

We roundup the best music news from the past week!

Full Pelt Music News Report

Every week we roundup the best music news from the past week in our News Report. To stay up to date with the biggest news be sure to follow us on our social channels:

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes unveil the ‘Sticky’ era

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – ‘Sticky’

We start out our News Report this week with the incomparable Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes as they begin their latest era. This week saw the band announce that their latest album, ‘Sticky’, will be released October 15th!

Arriving at the same time was a brand new single of the same name, which you can check out above.

You can pre-order the album here, and those that do so before 15:00 on Tuesday 13th July will receive special pre-sale access to their newly announced UK Tour. The tour includes two dates at Brixton Academy and tickets for all dates will be available here.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes News Report

Listen to ‘My Town’ from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes on our Spotify Hot List!

Music Venue Trust announce Revive Live Shows

Music Venue Trust News Report

As we all hold our breath and hope that the world can return to some sort of normality sooner rather than later, the Music Venue Trust are continuing their fantastic work supporting music venues. The organisation is hoping to help ‘revive live’ and get fans back into venues in desperate need of support.

To this end they have unveiled the ‘Revive Live’ tour featuring some huge music acts gracing smaller venues. There will be shows from the likes of Rag’N’Bone Man, Fontaines D.C., Frank Turner, Bob Vylan, The Futureheads, Twin Atlantic and many more.

More information can be found here.

Royal Blood set for intimate run of shows

Royal Blood News Report

The return of live music feels imminent with a handful of festivals confirming their intentions to proceed. Headlining a couple of these events will be Royal Blood who have announced a small run of warm-up shows. Support comes from Tigercub.

As expected tickets have flown out, but you can check here for any remaining along with tickets to their 2022 Arena Tour.

Bob Vylan announces the ‘We Live Here’ Tour

Bob Vylan News Report

One of the hottest new acts around, Bob Vylan, will be hitting the road very soon as part of the Music Venue Trust ‘Revive Live’ run of shows. The ‘We Live Here’ Tour is set to be a special run of shows as fans enjoy live music for the first time in almost 18 months. Support on select dates comes from Witch Fever and Zand!

Tickets here.

Listen to Witch Fever on our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist

We Are Scientists set for huge Tour

We Are Scientists News Report

We Are Scientists this week announced their return to Europe and the UK for a huge run of dates that in the UK will finish up at the O2 Kentish Town Forum. Tickets are available from here.

Read our review of ‘How to Ruin Your Life’ from Paris Youth Foundation

Steelhouse Festival re-jig line-up

One piece of festival news in our News Report this week and it comes from Steelhouse Festival. The event has received confirmation that it can go ahead and with new additions Uriah Heep and Stone Broken onboard attendees are set for a fantastic weekend of rock music.

The rest of the line-up sees The Darkness, Therapy?, The Wildhearts, Those Damn Crows, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons, Wayward Sons and more head for Wales. Final tickets here.

Don Broco debut ‘Gumshield’

Don Broco – ‘Gumshield’

On to our new music section of our News Report and there is plenty to report this week. We start with Bedford’s own Don Broco as they debut the latest single from their upcoming album, ‘Amazing Things’.

You can check out ‘Gumshield’ above and you can pre-order the album here, ahead of its release on September 17th.

Listen to ‘Manchester Super Reds No. 1 Fan’ from Don Broco on our Hot List!

Creeper debut ‘America At Night’

Creeper – ‘America At Night’

Creeper recently stormed their headline set at the Download Pilot Festival and this week they continued their momentum with another stunning single release. Check out ‘America At Night’ above which precedes their upcoming EP ‘American Noir’ on July 30th.

You can pre-order the EP here.

Read our review of Download Pilot Festival

Trash Boat unveil new single ‘Bad Entertainment’

Trash Boat – ‘Bad Entertainment’

Trash Boat have this week unveiled their latest single, ‘Bad Entertainment’ that features Milkie Way of Wargasm. The release comes ahead of their upcoming record, ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?’ on August 13th.

Pre-orders are here.

Listen to ‘Bad Entertainment’ on our Spotify Hot List!

Puppy return with new single ‘Angel’

Puppy – ‘Angel’

Puppy returned this week with a brand new single, ‘Angel’, which you can check out above. The band also announced a special show at the Garage in Highbury. For tickets and more click here.

Read our review of ‘Below’ from Beartooth

Demob Happy debut ‘Sympathy Boy’

Demob Happy – ‘Sympathy Boy’

Another band with new music on show this week is Demob Happy. The group released their fantastic new single ‘Sympathy Boy’, which you can check out above. Tour tickets and more information from the band here.

Listen to ‘Sympathy Boy’ on our Spotify Hot List!

‘Discover’ New Music Playlist adds The Mysterines and more

Finally in our News Report this week we remind you that we recently launched our brand new ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify. Packed with the best new acts head here to discover your new favourite band!

New additions this week include WOOZE, ROSIE and the brand new single from The Mysterines, ‘In My Head’! These join inaugural additions from Miss Vincent, Smoke, Dead Nature, SCALPING, The Islas and more. Remember to follow the playlist as we continue to add more fantastic new music!

Listen to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify

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Read our review of ‘Blue Weekend’ from Wolf Alice

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Live Reviews

Download Pilot Festival 2021

Donington Park

Friday 18th – Sunday 20th June 2021

Download Pilot Festival Poster

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DOWNLOAD PILOT FESTIVAL 2021 – LIVE REVIEW

The live music industry is built on togetherness, built on shared experience and built on the power of emotion. The last 18 months have been highly emotional for all the wrong reasons. Together the world has shared an experience that has terrified and devastated us.

The events of the last 18 months have taken an incomprehensible toll on humanity. The pandemic has destroyed lives and livelihoods. The live music industry was obliterated overnight. The people that make the spectacles that we enjoy happen were forgotten about.

While the world attempts to peek through the curtains at a “new normal”, the live music industry is left waiting. Waiting for support, waiting for proper guidance, waiting for a chance. Well, just four weeks ago that chance arrived.

A Government trial event to test the viability of the return of packed festivals and events you say? Spring into action the incredible people behind the scenes who make the live music industry work! In a short period of time, heaven and earth have been moved and here we are at Download Festival.

A much smaller, makeshift, Pilot version of Download Festival at the hallowed grounds of Donington Park. 10,000 people in a field, no social distancing, no masks, no inhibitions.

Credit goes to all involved for creating an event of that scale on such short notice, and to all the acts playing with no preparation. As the gates open, one thing is for sure, the fans want this, no, the fans needs this.

The reality of the situation is that the organisers could have put an old man playing the spoons on stage and the fans would have lapped it up. The opportunity after all that everybody has been through to witness live music is cathartic.

DOWNLOAD PILOT FESTIVAL – FRIDAY

The fact that this may be the most exciting Download Festival line-up of all time only helps to amplify the anticipation as fans gather in the tented second stage for Death Blooms. Almost every person on site crams in to witness that first taste of live music in far too long.

The band make the most of the atmosphere with a storming set that sees the audience let go of all remaining inhibitions. I doubt the majority of those in the tent knew of the band in advance, but they certainly left with a memory that will last forever.

For this special event there are just two stages. Next to the tent is the outdoor main stage which opens with a raucous set from Hot Milk. Kicking off with their latest single ‘I Just Wanna Know What Happens When I’m Dead’ the band show the crowd just what they’ve been missing.

Listen to ‘I Just Wanna Know What Happens When I’m Dead’ from Hot Milk on our Spotify Hot List!

There is no need to worry about those dreaded clashes at Download Pilot Festival. That’s because the acts on the two stages alternate, allowing the music starved fans the opportunity to watch every single band if they so wish to.

Every band this weekend gets a good sized crowd and a warm reception with it, especially the early bands on Friday. Malevolence are next to grace the second stage and assist the audience in releasing their pent up energy with a heavy hitting set.

A repercussion of the pandemic has been the amazing new albums that have been released without the showcase of the live setting. One such album is ‘Glue’ from Boston Manor. That wrong is righted next however as the band storm the main stage and air the likes of ‘Everything Is Ordinary’.

An early standout performance from the band sees them mix new and old with ‘England’s Dreaming’, ‘Laika’ and ‘Halo’ eliciting some of the first full blown sing-a-long moments of the weekend.

Those sing-a-long moments continue with Holding Absence on the second stage as they get to unleash tracks from their sensational album ‘The Greatest Mistake of My Life’. ‘Afterlife’ in particular is a contender for song of the weekend as the band present their credentials for superstardom!

Read our review of ‘The Greatest Mistake of My Life’ from Holding Absence

The Friday action continues with two bands with extremely dedicated fanbases. Neck Deep get the main stage bouncing before Sleep Token captivate the second stage.

It is then down to Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes to bring the first day to a close on the main stage. Always an unstoppable force of nature on stage, the band make the most of the platform to make a statement. That statement says that this band is ready to headline the regular event.

With a setlist spanning their three albums, the band even treat fans to a selection of new tracks including the catchy ‘My Town’. There are guest appearances from Joe Talbot, Cassyette and Lynks, there is a giant circle pit around the sound tower and there is even a cover of ‘Ace of Spades’.

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes saw an opportunity to headline a festival, to headline the first festival back, and they grabbed it with both hands. This was one of those sets that will be talked about forevermore!

Listen to ‘My Town’ from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes on our Spotify Hot List!

After hours entertainment comes from a silent disco as the hastily arranged festival shows the skills and creativity of the music industry. You have to stand back and admire the achievement of those involved to create an event on this scale in the time given.

DOWNLOAD PILOT FESTIVAL – SATURDAY

On to Saturday now and the musical delights continue as Lotus Eater, Conjurer, As Everything Unfolds and Bleed From Within blow the cobwebs of the early morning audience.

Next two young bands with big futures introduce themselves to festival audiences. Both The Hara on the second stage and Wargasm on the main stage elicit strong reactions from those watching.

Listen to ‘Your Patron Saints’ from Wargasm on our Spotify Hot List!

After a solid showing from Tigercub, one of the veteran acts of the weekend, A, school the up and coming bands on how to engage an audience. An age appropriate walking circle pit being a nice change of pace in the midst of a hectic weekend. Finishing with ‘Nothing’, A show why they are the perfect festival band.

Two things become apparent as the weekend progresses. When dissecting the hastily put together line-up, the quality of British rock music is put in the spotlight and it more than holds its own. Secondly a good deal of that talent is female. Vukovi and Yonaka both deliver set of the weekend contenders next.

Listen to ‘Seize the Power’ from Yonaka on our Spotify Hot List!

Those Damn Crows, Twin Atlantic and Stone Broken all put in crowd pleasing performances before While She Sleeps attract and entertain a huge crowd on the main stage.

Soon though it’s time for the scorecard for band of the weekend to be thrown out the window. Creeper are able to deliver an out of body experience as they headline the second stage. There are goosebump raising moments galore as the band turn the festival into their own theatre of oral and visual magnificence.

Listen to ‘Midnight’ from Creeper on our Spotify Hot List!

It is then left to Enter Shikari to bring the Saturday night party and they don’t disappoint. If there was ever a band born to get you moving it’s Enter Shikari. They do just that as they also get to showcase newer songs live for the first time.

‘satellites**’, ‘{ The Dreamer’s Hotel }’ and ‘THE GREAT UNKNOWN’ fit in perfectly with classics like ‘Sorry, You’re Not A Winner’, ‘Juggernauts’ and ‘Mothership’. Much like Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Creeper, you can see the special treatment Enter Shikari have given this opportunity and that makes for a stunning spectacle.

DOWNLOAD PILOT FESTIVAL – SUNDAY

Come Sunday you’d imagine fatigue would be setting in. All this action after so many barren months, you could forgive the crowd for tiring and the festival atmosphere sapping. Instead energy is pumped in by bands such as Static Dress, Saint Agnes, Cassyette and Employed To Serve.

The fans reciprocate said energy as they continue to let loose to Chubby and the Gang, Loathe and Higher Power. The passion and pure joy of both fans and musicians to be at a festival is at times overwhelming. This event was destined to be an emotive affair but even through that emotion the quality of the music on offer shines.

Next on the main stage is Lonely The Brave complete with change in singer. A set mixed with fan favourites and new tracks from ‘The Hope List’ shows the band are still an exciting prospect. Can the band now finally take that next step? On their showing here, yes they can!

Read our review of ‘The Hope List’ from Lonely The Brave

For those fans catching every band the pace is relentless and it’s to the second stage next for Jamie Lenman. Lenman powers through a sublime set that gets the crowd moving and features another appearance from Wargasm.

The quirky goodness of Elvana attracts a huge crowd to the main stage as the festival heads towards its climax. The band show just why they are perhaps the perfect Sunday afternoon festival act as they get the crowd singing along to every word.

Massive Wagons are able to take the second stage by storm before a sadly technically challenged The Wildhearts limp off stage. The Wildhearts are a top quality band and the issues with their sound perhaps show the effects of an enforced hiatus for musicians and crew members alike.

It’s on that note that once again praise must be heaped on the organisers, the crew members, the festival staff and yes the bands for making this event such a success. That is only amplified by the incredibly short timescale.

Realistically this has been a once in a lifetime event (we hope). Download Pilot Festival as an event is excellent and would be a great addition to the main Download Festival. It’s the atmosphere and camaraderie however that makes this festival so special.

We are down then to the final four bands, the final acts before reality is set to strike again. Up first on the second stage are Trash Boat who get the tent bouncing, especially with a stunning cover of Linkin Park classic ‘Given Up’.

If there is a perfect festival band it’s Skindred. Put them on any stage in any slot and they will attract a huge crowd. With a sub-headline slot on the main stage, the field is full as Benji Webbe and co put in a seamless lesson in crowd engagement.

The final act on the second stage is also no stranger to the festival scene. Although Frank Turner has played Download Festival in the past, even he acknowledges he may not be the typical Download act. Nobody cares though, as he puts in a typically euphoric performance.

The crowd are not just treated to the set staples but also to new song ‘The Gathering’ and heavier version of ‘Little Changes’. There are sing-a-longs aplenty as Turner does what he does best and that is entertain!

Check out The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Frank Turner!

That just leaves Bullet For My Valentine to close out Download Pilot Festival. A festival which we wish was never needed but are so glad that it happened. Bullet For My Valentine are long time Download favourites and they deliver an apt conclusion to the event.

We are treated to a unique take on ‘Run To The Hills’ from Iron Maiden complete with a perplexing vocal contribution fron Benji Webbe. We get new material in the form of ‘Knives’ and of course we get favourites such as ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and ‘Tears Don’t Fall’.

‘Waking The Demon’ is the final song to ring around Donington Park, and we can only hope and pray that this event can wake the demon that is the festival scene. The fans may have been lab rats, but what a stunning lab it was! Thank you Download Pilot Festival for such a cathartic weekend.

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