Categories
Live Reviews

Philip Seth Campbell

Portland Arms, Cambridge

Monday 16th October 2023

Follow us on Social Media

PHILIP SETH CAMPBELL – CAMBRIDGE – LIVE REVIEW

When journeyman musician Phil Campbell left his role as frontman for The Temperance Movement in 2020, it was obvious to fans that his musical journey would continue in some shape or form. Campbell after all is a man that wears his heart on his sleeve and his heart and soul is rooted in song.

Following the release of an album with The Byson Family, that journey came full circle and now finds Campbell releasing his music under the eponymous full moniker of Philip Seth Campbell. Now with recently unleashed album, ‘City Lights’ to showcase, Campbell is back out where he belongs – on stage.

ALICE FAYE

That stage tonight is found in the fantastic Portland Arms in Cambridge and opening the evening is Alice Faye. The solo musician bases herself at a piano in front of what appears to be a predominately rock orientated audience and proceeds to serenade them with a selection of delicate tunes.

You may think this could go down like a certain ill-designed balloon, but that’s not the case! Faye’s obvious talent and the receptive nature of Campbell’s fanbase means that the crowd hangs off of every note.

PHILIP SETH CAMPBELL

It isn’t long thereafter that Campbell arrives onstage with a three-piece set-up bringing songs from his career to life. The focus of course is on ‘City Lights’ and the exceptional ‘Magical West’ gets us started in the best way.

Over the course of the next hour or so each song tells its own story and it is evidently clear again that Campbell is one of the most eminently gifted singers of his generation. Campbell’s career has been a journey indeed and probably fairly described as an arduous one. It’s one however that has rewarded Campbell with incredible experiences and his fans with an embarrassment of musical riches to enjoy.

The influences on ‘City Lights’ may be more eclectic than found through the likes of The Temperance Movement, but the results all bear the spirit and essence of the man himself. The new music is resplendent tonight and old favourites like ‘Chinese Lanterns’ and finale ‘Lovers & Fighters’ still sound glorious.

It’s great to see Philip Seth Campbell back on a stage doing what he loves, and fans tonight will be glad they made the effort to support a great local venue and an incredibly talented artist commencing the latest leg of his remarkable journey.

Share this review on Social Media

Watch Episode 35 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Philip Seth Campbell

The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 35 – Philip Seth Campbell

Read our review of ‘City Lights’ from Philip Seth Campbell in the Full Pelt Magazine

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Categories
Live Reviews

Skindred

Epic Studios, Norwich

Saturday 14th October 2023

Follow us on Social Media

SKINDRED – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

All 📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

At this point it’s certainly not a secret that Skindred are an incredible live act. The bands recent chart success and trending ability however seems to have reinvigorated audiences for one of the hardest working bands on the planet. Every single date on this full UK Tour is sold out and the queue to get into the venue tonight stretches as far as the eye can see.

LAKE MALICE

That venue is the fantastic Epic Studios in Norwich which is always a great host for gigs. As the queue files into the large space from the autumnal evening, opening act Lake Malice warm them up with a blistering set of modern metal bangers.

The band have been winning over audiences with festival and support slots since their inception in 2021 and will soon release their debut EP ‘Post-Genesis’. It seems that with every performance and every release they pick up swathes of new fans due to the passion and energy of their music. Tonight just further evidences that fact and does make you wonder just how big the band will become!

BLACKGOLD

Another sign of Skindred’s live ability is the fact that they aren’t intimidated by quality support acts. Lucky attendees on this tour will get two of those with BLACKGOLD along for the ride as the main support act. The masked group have also been making waves with big festival appearances and a supporting position with Limp Bizkit recently.

Tonight they have a full venue to play with and the audience buys in almost immediately. Frontman Spookz makes crowd engagement appear easy and musically the band go down a treat with their reimagined nu-metal style. Echoing the sentiments of Lake Malice, you again feel that the future is very bright for BLACKGOLD.

SKINDRED

Skindred on the other hand feel as though they are at the peak of their powers right now. New album, ‘Smile’, hit number two in the charts and they have a headline date booked in for Wembley Arena next year. Tonight they receive a hero’s welcome as they arrive on stage, bust out new favourite ‘Set Fazers’ and instantly get the crowd moving.

Benjie Webbe has always had an ability to conduct a crowd like a rock n’ roll ringmaster and it is truly awe inspiring to witness him work his magic tonight. The whole band really are mesmeric as they mix fan favourites both old and new.

As we said at the start, it shouldn’t be news to anybody reading this that Skindred are a top tier live act, after all they’ve proven that time and time again. Something does feel different though. The set feels fresher. The riffs go harder. The beats run deeper. The atmosphere feels more electric. Everything it seems has been turned up to eleven!

The obligatory Newport Helicopter accompanies set closer ‘Warning’ and the impressive stage show merges with flying t-shirts and sweat. It’s a mightily impressive sight and signals the crowd to head back into the chilly night raving about the awesome show that they’ve just witnessed.

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of ‘Smile’ from Skindred

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Categories
Live Reviews

The Xcerts

Waterfront Studio, Norwich

Saturday 7th October 2023

Follow us on Social Media

THE XCERTS – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

As singer Murray Macleod jokes onstage tonight, it is easy to forget just how long The Xcerts have been around. The origins of the band date back over two decades already, although their debut album arrived back in 2009. It’s in recent years though that the band have truly threatened to breakthrough.

The trio do have a cult following in place as is evidenced by the fact that their queue for the venue tonight is much larger than that of The Sherlocks who are playing in the larger room at the same time.

snake eyes

Fans filing in early to the Waterfront Studio in Norwich tonight are first treated to a fantastic opening set from Brighton’s snake eyes. Another trio, the band echo the grittier side of The Xcerts sound and are able to win over the audience with relative ease.

The band put out latest EP, ‘health’, earlier this year and the likes of ‘crybaby’ and ‘medicine’ from the release sound great tonight as does latest single, ‘lean’. The group have certainly shown growth on record and this evening they are able to showcase themselves well live also. They most definitely are on that proverbial ‘ones to watch’ list!

THE XCERTS

The Xcerts have probably been on that list for all of their career at this point and the untapped potential is still clear for all to see. 2018’s ‘Hold On to Your Heart’ was a magnificent album which demonstrated the sheer brilliance of the bands songwriting. If there was any justice in the world, then that album would have jettisoned The Xcerts into the mainstream.

Five years on and the band have followed that album up with a sonically expansive collection entitled ‘Learning How to Live and Let Go’. The graceful ferocity of the album is put at the forefront tonight as the band open their set with ‘GIMME’.

Naturally new music is front and centre in the setlist tonight, but with five albums out in the world, there is a nice selection on offer from across the bands releases. It’s a good sign though that the audience seem to sing new tracks like ‘Ache’, ‘Jealousy’ and ‘Lovesick’ with equal levels of passion as favourites such as ‘Aberdeen 1987’ and ‘Slackerpop’.

The back catalogue of the band is mightily impressive at this point, but you also sense that there is plenty to come. The Xcerts uniquely find themselves with considerable experience whilst still being young enough to have their best years ahead of them.

On the evidence of tonight they certainly have the live side of things perfected and they have a divine talent for creating a real connection with their audience. You therefore leave the venue into the unseasonal October warmth acknowledging how phenomenal a band The Xcerts are whilst pondering just how great they can still be!

Share this review on Social Media

Watch Episode 33 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests The Xcerts

The Full Pelt Music Podcast – Episode 33 – The Xcerts

Read our review of ‘Learning How to Live and Let Go’ from The Xcerts

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Categories
Live Reviews

Foolhardy Folk Festival

Nottingham Arboretum

Sunday 27th August 2023

Follow us on Social Media

Foolhardy Folk Festival – Nottingham – Live review

Towards the end of the original lockdown, the ever creative music industry sought ways to bring people back together to experience the unparalleled joy of live music. The Arboretum in Nottingham hosted a number of events including a couple of shows from folk favourite Frank Turner.

That is where the story of the Foolhardy Folk Festival begins as the man behind the festival, fellow folk icon Beans On Toast played in support of Turner. From there on Beans has affectionately taken over and curated his own festival which this year is a complete sell out.

A large part of this is the stunning line-up put on but another is the fantastic sense of community that exists in this portion of the folk scene and the lovely audience that has taken this back to basics event to heart.

Opening his own event Beans On Toast highlights the great music, great food and great beer theme. On the music front Beans serenades the already full venue with the likes of ‘Major Oak’, ‘The War on War’ and ‘Humans’ as the festival gets into full swing.

WATCH ‘HUMANS’ ON YOUTUBE
Beans On Toast – ‘Humans’

Watch Episode 3 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Beans On Toast

The festival is family friendly and this is punctuated by the vibe created by attendees in that we are all family. Beans own daughter lays on kids activites, there is live art and lots of merch offer as well but with short changeovers the attention is mainly on the one stage where both Vona Vella and Tensheds play delightful early sets.

Soon enough it’s time for our special guest to take to the stage and this year that means Frank Turner himself as he returns the favour three years on from that socially distanced affair.

As you’d expect Turner gets a hero’s welcome as he begins his set with ‘Be More Kind’ and ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’. The crowd’s singing voices are in fine fettle which is a good thing considering the sing-a-longs continue through to final song ‘I Still Believe’.

WATCH ‘I STILL BELIEVE’ ON YOUTUBE
Frank Turner – ‘I Still Believe’

Watch Episode 1 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guest Frank Turner

Another beautiful thing about this community is the lack of ego on show, Turner as always appearing eternally grateful for the opportunity to play. The same can be said for your next three acts Truckstop Honeymoon, Ferris & Sylvester and Jeffery Lewis & The Voltage. All three acts are given equally as passionate reactions from the audience who can clearly appreciate beautiful music.

Considering we’ve brought our two little monsters with us another great thing about Foolhardy Folk Festival is that the music is wrapped up by 9pm! But before then we still have two highly anticipated performances.

First up are the always joyous Skinny Lister who bring their traditional party atmosphere to the festival. Perhaps more so than any other set today, the Lister crew get the fans up and dancing to the likes of ‘Cathy’, ‘This Is War’ and ‘Trouble on Oxford Street’. The band are surely now established as one of the best live acts in the UK and with a new album and tour on the horizon, there will thankfully be lots of opportunities to catch them again in the near future!

WATCH ‘CATHY’ ON YOUTUBE
Skinny Lister – ‘Cathy’

Watch Episode 6 of The Full Pelt Music Podcast with guests Skinny Lister

Finally the event ends just as it began… with our gracious host Beans On Toast! With backing band in tow this time around the show feels different and special as our headline performance. Kicking off with ‘Life’ and ‘Not Everybody Thinks We’re Doomed’ the set is an uplifting celebration of our existence and is the perfect way to end a wonderful day.

The cutest cameo from Beans daughter, new material and old favourites ensure that despite having to follow some sensational artists, Beans On Toast is able to send the crowd into the night reminiscing about a beautiful day, many including our kids still singing the chorus of ‘On & On’!

With another edition already announced for next August, the Foolhardy Folk Festival has quickly established itself as a must attend date on the folk calendar. This is of course a credit to Beans On Toast, but also to everyone involved behind the scenes and of course the fan community that makes the event so special.

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Beans On Toast live in Norwich

Categories
Live Reviews

All Points East

Victoria Park, London

Friday 25th August 2023

Follow us on Social Media

ALL POINTS EAST – THE STROKES – LIVE REVIEW

All Points East has now firmly established its place in the UK festival calendar having already brought some huge names to Victoria Park in London in recent years.

Those names included The Strokes in 2019 when their headline set was struck by sound issues. That perhaps is the reason for their relatively quick return this year, but fans also have the prospect of hearing material from 2020 release ‘The New Abnormal’.

But before we get there we have a lot more to get through, that is after we get through traffic issues outside of London which sadly means with miss both HotWax and FEET.

When we do arrive in the arena, we head straight to the East Stage (one of two huge outdoor main stages) for the reformed Be Your Own Pet. The band only reunited last year but they own the stage today as if they’ve never been away. With their fantastic performance, Jemina Pearl starts a theme of woman stealing the show today.

A brisk walk is then required to get over to the West Stage for another reunion! The Walkmen have recently returned and draw a good early crowd to the stage. The band return the favour with a career-spanning crowd pleaser of a set.

Soon though, it’s time for the woman to take centre stage again with Amyl and the Sniffers quickly making the West Stage their own. Frontwoman Amy Taylor already has the audience in the palm of her hand when an almighty downpour commences. For most acts this would kill their momentum, but the band are able to hold the crowd and ramp up the intensity, creating a moment that will last long in the memory.

WATCH ‘MAPS’ ON YOUTUBE
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Maps’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Another short wait on the West Stage is all it takes for another incredible female artist to steal the show. The iconic Karen O leads Yeah Yeah Yeahs through a headline worthy performance which is absolutely enthralling.

By the time the band closes out their set with ‘Maps’, ‘Heads Will Roll’ and ‘Date With The Night’, they’ve proven themselves to be one of the best live bands on the planet. Captivating, dazzling and glorious, you start your walk back to the East Stage wondering how on earth our headline act can match that performance.

Sadly for The Strokes the fateful enemy has a say once again with sound issues somehow a problem once more. Many in the crowd complain that the volume is too low, something perhaps not helped by the meandering pace of the setlist.

That said, when the band do dig out the hits the crowd comes to life. The setlist features many of the same staples as 2019 but we do get ‘Ode to the Mets’ and ‘The Adults Are Talking’ from their latest studio effort.

Through their ninety minute set the band are able to evidence why they are one of the most acclaimed acts of the past two decades and it is far from a bad performance.

You just leave with the same disappointment as last time due to sound problems dampening the show. Perhaps that means the band will be back again in a couple of years, but either way All Points East continues to go from strength to strength and this year is another resounding success!

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Gorillaz at All Points East

Categories
Live Reviews

Trivium

UEA LCR, Norwich

Thursday 24th August 2023

Follow us on Social Media

TRIVIUM – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW

All 📸 (C) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music

As Trivium themselves proclaim tonight, it always feels like a homecoming when the Floridian metallers come to the UK. The band grew up on our island and their success has become intrinsically linked to the response of the UK to each release.

Tonight will see the band at the UEA in Norwich playing a tailored set to include a celebration of ‘Shogun’. Their fourth studio album, the record arrived at a crucial time for the band as they navigated a lukewarm response to ‘The Crusade’ – an album which was supposed to take the band to the pinnacle of the industry.

When that didn’t happen, ‘Shogun’ was the reset moment needed for the band to almost start again. Over the course of the subsequent fifteen years the band have matured into one of the most loved and respected metal bands on the planet with a consistent flow of high quality albums which looking back is quite astonishing.

ORBIT CULTURE

Also astonishing is the bands aptitude for selecting support acts and on this run of shows, they have both Orbit Culture and Bleed From Within along for the ride! Swedes Orbit Culture are a decade into their own career and that comes across with an experienced and assured performance to get the crowd engaged early.

BLEED FROM WITHIN

Having formed back in 2005, Bleed From Within certainly can’t be classed as a new band either, but the current momentum behind them is relatively new. Emerging from the pandemic with not one, but two acclaimed albums the band have made of the most of their recent studio time.

They’ve also made the very most of any stage time given to them and again tonight if you didn’t arrive as a fan of the band, you’ll most definitely be leaving as one. The group are able to create an instant connection with the audience and the synergy between them is mightily impressive.

TRIVIUM

With both bands having already turned the venue into a sweatbox, it’s soon enough time for Trivium to arrive on stage and close out the evening with ninety minutes of pure majestic brutality.

‘In The Court of the Dragon’ and ‘Down From The Sky’ quickly ensure that the audience is fully onside as the band flex their muscles early. It isn’t long before the likes of ‘Strife’ and ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr’ absolutely annihilate venue security with a seemingly endless barrage of crowd surfers.

The love between band and audience is clear for all to see and as the band begin to explore ‘Shogun’ with rarities likes ‘The Calamity’ and ‘Insurrection’, an appreciation of the depths of the bands discography is overwhelming.

Newer material like ‘Catastrophist’ and ‘The Heart From Your Hate’ receive just as euphoric responses tonight as classics like ‘A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation’ and staple set closer ‘In Waves’. This is just further evidence both of the bands connection with the UK audience but most pertinently the intense quality of all their releases.

Ten albums and nearly twenty-five years in the band tease a short break is coming after this tour. Whilst this is very much hard earned, on the form the band find themselves in both on record and onstage as evidenced tonight, you are left praying that the gap isn’t that long!

Share this review on Social Media

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Read our review of Download Festival

Categories
Live Reviews

Limp Bizkit

Gunnersbury Park, London

Sunday 13th August 2023

Follow us on Social Media

LIMP BIZKIT – GUNNERSBURY PARK – LIVE REVIEW

Festival season is quickly drawing towards a close, but there are still a handful of opportunities left for music fans to head outdoors for some music. Whilst the weather may not have been kind this year, today in Gunnersbury Park, London is pretty much perfect festival weather – it’s warm without being too hot, it’s cloudy but no rain in sight!

These London day events often struggle to bring in the fans, but the bill today has been enough to bring a healthy crowd to West London. The crowd are soon penned into what is now a standard minimalistic arena framed by overpriced food and drink.

There really isn’t a lot to do other than eat, drink and be merry, so the exuberant fifty minute change-overs are a tad extreme! Thankfully though, the early acts Deijuvhs, Joey Valence & Brae and KennyHoopla are all more than capable of getting the crowd hyped up.

Eventually we arrive at our special guests Pendulum who take to the stage at 18:40, which really feels a little early for a Pendulum set! The daylight in particular limits the effectiveness of their usual visual show.

Luckily the band themselves are more than capable to engaging the audience and building up the atmosphere. In a set that is perhaps more reliant on the music than normal, the likes of ‘Propane Nightmares’, ‘Granite’, ‘Witchcraft’, ‘Tarantula’ and ‘Watercolour’, all have the crowd singing and moving along.

WATCH ‘HALO’ ON YOUTUBE
Pendulum – ‘Halo’ feat Bullet For My Valentine

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube

A highlight comes with Bullet For My Valentine’s Matt Tuck joining the band for new single, ‘Halo’, which goes down very well. Along with ‘Self vs Self’, the heavier tracks fare well with an audience full of metalheads, and Pendulum leave the stage having once again proved their dexterity.

Comparatively on the other hand, headliners Limp Bizkit could be called a one trick pony, thankfully for them that trick is to get the audience riled up to then smash out an energetic and riotous set.

WATCH ‘BREAK STUFF’ on YOUTUBE
Limp Bizkit – ‘Break Stuff’

From the moment Fred Durst stalks across the stage, the atmosphere ratchets up a dozen notches, and he is able to control the crowd with absolute aplomb. The band are clearly on top form and the audience reciprocates this energy which creates a very special performance.

Early material predominantly makes up the set list and that works well with a crowd which by show of hands is mainly catching the band live for the first time. ‘Dad Vibes’ and ‘Gold Cobra’ do make appearances though and change up the pace for a short while.

The show comes to an end almost as soon as it starts due to the early curfew, and fans are left wanting more, but then this is always a good thing. It would appear that somehow in 2023 Limp Bizkit may be enjoying a second coming!

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of ‘Smile’ from Skindred

Categories
Live Reviews

2000trees

Upcote Farm, Cheltenham

5th to 8th July 2023

Follow us on Social Media

2000trees festival review

Festival season is in full swing and rock fans once again descend on Upcote Farm in Cheltenham for 2000trees! A true music fans festival, this year there is an absolute smorgasbord of the best new and established acts to savour across three full days of relentless entertainment.

However, before the event proper begins though those with early entry have an additional evening of music on tap in the beautiful forest area. The ‘Forest Stage’ has always been a unique and special feature of this festival which is now on its fifteenth iteration.

Wednesday

The privilege of opening the festivities this year goes to Snayx who, despite playing whilst many are still pitching their tents, still attract an eager and excited crowd. The band are able to seize upon this excitement to whip the crowd up even further with their brand of punk rock. A benchmark is set for the weekend early here and thankfully the organisers have a bill curated to ensure that the quality never drops!

The other stage in operation today is the small ‘The Word’ stage which over the weekend will host various activities such as further bands, live podcasts, comedians and more. Over the next few hours we are able to catch delighted spots from B-Sydes, Masca, Polyanna and Gaz Brookfield.

Over on the ‘Forest Stage’ though, the handful of selected bands combine to deliver a highly memorable evening. Delaire the Liar are up next and are able to continue to build their growing reputation with another assured performance.

A real special moment follows as one of the most talented yet underappreciated bands of the last decade Press To MECO play their final show. Such a moment really deserved a bigger stage and longer setlist but those present are able to bathe in those glorious riffs one more time with an emotional ‘A Test of Our Resolve’ a highlight of the whole festival.

Next are a band just getting started. Saint Agnes are tipped as the future of rock music by some, and again on the evidence of their set tonight those people are very much correct! Debut album ‘Bloodsuckers’ can’t arrive soon enough; thankfully we only need to wait on July 21st!

The latest Tigercub album is already out and next up the band bring ‘The Perfume of Decay’ to life with a solid showing as the forest area begins to fill up in anticipation of the nights two headline acts.

Both Holding Absence and Bob Vylan will play two sets over the weekend but before gracing the main stage, they both thrill those packed into the woods! Holding Absence are first and they captivate the crowd with a cleverly selected mix of rarities and fan favourites. This band continues to grow and evolve and it’s scary how good they could be.

Bob Vylan also continue to elevate the game with their headline set tonight they bring carnage to the forest! A spectacular off the cuff collection of on point punk rock more than whets the appetite for their main stage appearance, even showing that they aren’t too far away from being able to headline the biggest stage next time they play the festival.

THURSDAY

Each night the now infamous silent disco takes over the site as the party continues into the early hours, but come Thursday morning the arrival of the rest of the attendees ensure even the first act of the day, Blush Puppy on the ‘Forest Stage’ get a good turnout. The duo perform a delightful run-through of adapted favourites which starts the first full day off perfectly.

With the outdoor stage, three tented stages and the ‘Forest Stage’ all rotating throughout each day an avid music fan can fill their boots with live music and literally catch non-stop music for nigh on sixteen hours a day if they wanted to. We don’t quite have that stamina but we give it a good go and are rewarded by great sets from Kite Thief, Beach Riot and Gaffa Tape Sandy.

Following that run we then head to first catch recent ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast guests CARSICK over on the ‘NEU Stage’. The group proceed to smash through their set to the delight of those present with the likes of ‘Anaconda Frank’ showing real bite.

Another act to impress early in the weekend are Lake Malice in ‘The Cave’. The group have been winning over all who see them this summer and their future appears to be very bright indeed.

Lambrini Girls, Graphic Nature and the official debut of new group Unpeople who have formed from the ashes of Press To MECO all follow and continue to hot run of great sets. Unpeople in particular are able to really tease what is to come and make a fantastic first impression.

The main stage soon literally takes centre stage as first Kid Kapichi and then Bob Vylan deliver two of the sets of the weekend. Kid Kapichi are effortless in their delivery of impassioned punk rock which sees an endless sea of crowd surfers on an inflatable burger! Bob Vylan then reinforce the message that their headline set sent last night, that the duo are as advertised – the most important band in the world!

We then head back to the two larger tented stages, firstly for Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun who preview their upcoming new album ‘Colour’. The record will arrive on July 28th and the band really do a good job of convincing those in attendance that despite the decade plus wait for a new album, the wait will be worth it. All the new material this evening sounds absolutely massive. Then in ‘The Axiom’, The Joy Formidable deliver a delightful little set that evidences the eclectic mix of rock music presented at 2000trees.

Soon enough it’s time for the final run of bands that will close out day one. Skindred are well established as a great live act and tonight they have the crowd at their whim. The Newport Helicopter needs no introduction either as the crowd make the most of the groups big finale.

Back in the big tent next for Eagles of Death Metal who give a festival friendly, crowd pleasing set including the likes of ‘I Only Want You’, ‘Complexity’, ‘Cherry Cola’ and ‘I Want You So Hard (Boy’s Bad News)’.

Finally it’s over to the returning Soft Play (the artists formerly known as Slaves) to close out the day. The duo pick up where they left off and play as if they’ve never been away. It’s great to have the band back and fans revel in the likes of ‘Cheer Up London’, ‘Feed the Mantaray’ and ‘The Hunter’.

FRIDAY

Friday begins with an early run of Beauty School, RXPTRS, The St. Pierre Snake Invasion, BLACKGOLD and New Pagans all of whom play their rules well and make the most of their short sets.

After an overcast first couple of days, today is a scorcher and the heat is intense as LostAlone arrive on the stage. The band don’t let that phase them though as they pull out all the stops to get the crowd engaged. It’s mission accomplished by the time they deliver the double header of ‘The Final Call For Forever’ and ‘The Last Drop Of Forever’.

2000trees do very well to bring together the best new music from home and abroad and the next run of Militarie Gun, Zulu, Microwave and Kublai Khan TX shows the keen eye for upcoming talent that the organisers have.

It’s this mix of new with the established acts that perfectly balances out the line-up and Hell Is For Heroes are a great nostalgic party next on the main stage. The quality overall is again on show when you can then head immediately to the ‘NEU Stage’ for an excellently run set from As Everything Unfolds, before returning to the main stage for a very enjoyable Dinosaur Pile-Up show and then jumping straight to the always intense Cancer Bats in ‘The Cave’!

Bullet For My Valentine are the act who close out the night with a huge headline performance. Attracting one of, if not the biggest crowd of the weekend, the band are in confident mood as they showcase their headlining credentials. Older tracks such as ‘Scream Aim Fire’ and ‘Hearts Burst Into Flames’ naturally receive big reactions, but it’s telling newer tracks also are well received.

A surprise AxeWound reunion with Liam Cormier is another festival highlight before ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ and ‘Waking the Demon’ ensure that come the next morning everyone is talking about how great Bullet were tonight!

The festival has been a whirlwind as per usual for 2000trees and it’s a testament to the quality of line-up that to this point there hasn’t been a bad performance. Of course some ultimately standout more than others such as that headline set last night or Bob Vylan destroying the forest but the chilled out atmosphere amongst attendees is reflected by the respect the bands pay the crowd. The reciprocal ambience creates a synergy that elevates every aspect of this event.

SATURDAY

Come Saturday the crowd may be sapped from the previous days heat but over on the ‘Forest Stage’ Xtra Mile Recordings acts (and previous ‘Discover’ New Music Podcast guests) Hannah Rose Platt and Guise are serenading the early crowd with their beautiful music. They are both well received despite the heat being supplemented today by a lot of the wet stuff!

Xtra Mile Recordings has a great relationship and past with 2000trees and new Xtra Mile favourites (and double Full Pelt Podcast guests!) PET NEEDS attract a big crowd to ‘The Axiom’ next. This is no doubt due to some guerrilla advertising from their fans, but everyone that ventures into the tent leave hailing the band as one of the bands of the weekend.

One of the elements that makes the ‘Forest Stage’ so special are the sets from acts playing on the biggest stages which are often acoustic and unique. Next, Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine does a great job of distracting the audience from the deteriorating weather with a highly fun acoustic set.

After catching Dead Poet Society and Enola Gay strutting their stuff we are then able to catch Electric Six themselves who attract another big crowd to the main stage. The crowd lap up the likes of ‘Gay Bar’ and ‘Danger! High Voltage’ as you’d expect, and the band do their job with aplomb.

One Step Closer then cement their hype in ‘The Cave’ before Black Honey demonstrate why they are one of the best newer live acts in the country. Tracks from new album, ‘A Fistful of Peaches’ sound massive as the band achieve another of those more memorable sets of the weekend.

The reshuffled Dream State then show that they still have a big future ahead of them in ‘The Cave’ before Deaf Havana battle through a torrential downpour which decimates their crowd at the main stage. We brave the rain until the end before heading into the forest for a short but very fun set from Lynks.

Talking to people across the site, the opinion is unanimous that this has been a spectacular weekend. You feel as the weekend comes to a close that it can’t get any better, but then Hundred Reasons deliver perhaps the best set of the weekend. The band get the audience onboard from opening number ‘I’ll Find You’ and never lose them despite more heavy rain. One of the moments of the weekend comes when Enter Shikari man Rou Reynolds joins the band for a superb ‘Silver’.

Jamie Lenman then plays his latest masterpiece ‘The Atheist’ in full over in the forest before Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes come out of hibernation to finish the festival with a welcome career-spanning set.

Whilst the band may lack a certain volatility of their early days they don’t lack in swagger or controlled ferocity when required. The final run of ‘My Town’, ‘Devil Inside Me’, ‘Juggernaut’, ‘Lullaby’ and ‘I Hate You’ is the perfect way to bring an incredible weekend of music to a close.

2000trees has established itself at the heart of the summer as a trusted and respected event. From their humble beginnings to now fifteen events later, the festival lays on the infrastructure but the audience makes the event the special weekend that it is!

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of Download Festival 2023

Categories
Live Reviews

Iron Maiden

Utilita Arena, Birmingham

Tuesday 4th July 2023

Follow us on Social Media

IRON MAIDEN – BIRMINGHAM – LIVE REVIEW

The metalheads have taken over Birmingham with battlejackets visable on every street corner. Yes, the mighty Iron Maiden are in town and a sold out Utilita Arena is braced for a theatrical evening of fun with a band currently firing on all cylinders.

The legendary group are here as part of their aptly titled ‘The Future Past’ Tour which sees them focus on material from their latest studio release, ‘Senjutsu’ and their 1986 sixth album ‘Somewhere In Time’.

Up first however are openers Lord of the Lost, fresh from the indignity of finishing last at this year’s Eurovision. Given the reputation of Maiden fans to be rather harsh on their support acts, and the German groups recent past, we were concerned that Lord of the Lost would go down like a certain variety of balloon!

That thankfully isn’t the case though as they deliver a polished yet honest performance which is well received by the waiting masses. The band are able to show that they possess quality with substance and some great songs, which is probably why Eurovision fans weren’t interested! If that experience was a disappointment, this one is a big success for the band.

Soon enough those familiar strains of UFO’s ‘Doctor Doctor’ start to fill the arena and the atmosphere kicks up a few dozen notches. With an updated stage show complementing a setlist full of rarer heard fan favourites it doesn’t take long for the band to suck you right in.

WATCH ‘Stranger in a Strange land’ ON YOUTUBE
Iron Maiden – ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

Within moments Iron Maiden have the audience in the palm of their collective hand as they lead them back and forth from new tracks like ‘The Writing on the Wall’ to deep cuts like ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ and classics such as ‘Can I Play With Madness’!

With multiple appearances from Eddie plus all the usual trimmings this show is Maiden at their very best. The carefully curated setlist makes this a unique opportunity for the diehards but also a fine example of what the band do for any newcomers. This is perhaps best summed up by the final main set run of ‘Heaven Can Wait’, ‘Alexander the Great’, ‘Fear of the Dark’ and ‘Iron Maiden’.

By the time ‘The Trooper’ and ‘Wasted Years’ close out the evening, Maiden have one again shown themselves the masters of their craft. Those metalheads then head back out into the Birmingham night filled with glorious, dramatic metal!

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of ‘Senjutsu’ from Iron Maiden

Categories
Live Reviews

Muse

National Bowl, Milton Keynes

Sunday 25th June 2023

Follow us on Social Media

Muse – Milton Keynes – Live Review

Long established as one of the greatest live bands to ever plug in a guitar, it’s no surprise that fans have once again been flocking to catch Muse live this summer!

With large-scale UK shows already completed in Plymouth, Huddersfield and Glasgow, this sunny Sunday sees the trio take over the recently neglected National Bowl in Milton Keynes.

Once those lovely roundabouts have been successfully navigated, fans are greeted with a fantastic amphitheatre to enjoy the glory that will be the headline set. But, before then there are two great opening performances on offer.

Up first are Mexican trio The Warning who recently impressed with their slot at Download Festival. Today the group are again able to deliver a powerful set which will undoubtedly have won over a legion of new fans. From start to finish they make the very most of their short time on stage and you can’t help but think it won’t be their last time playing stages this size.

One band no stranger to large stages are the special guests tonight, Royal Blood. The duo are fresh from the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury and are able to command this stage with relative ease.

The crowd are very much on side tonight which appears to reassure the band after their recent issues with Mike Kerr clearly very grateful for the opportunity to play. The fans are equally joyed to have such an accomplished act delivering a calculated and polished set.

WATCH ‘KILL OR BE KILLED’ FROM MUSE
Muse – ‘Kill or Be Killed’

Find Full Pelt Music on YouTube!

The scene is then set for the timeless Muse to once again showcase just why they are so revered. Never afraid to highlight their latest release, new album ‘Will of the People’ naturally takes centre stage tonight and that starts with the title-track which instantly whips the crowd into a frenzy.

Following that opening with a run of ‘Hysteria’, ‘Psycho’ and ‘Bliss’ just shows the embarrassment of riches that Muse can pull from. What’s nice tonight though is the addition of some rarer gems such as ‘Resistance’ and ‘Undisclosed Desires’.

Of course there are hits galore and the audience lap up the likes of ‘Time Is Running Out’, ‘Supermassive Black Hole’, ‘Plug In Baby’, ‘Uprising’ and ‘Starlight’. Equally impressive though are the receptions given to new tracks like ‘Won’t Back Down’, ‘Compliance’ and ‘You Make Me Feel Like It’s Halloween’.

The delivery of songs either old or new is exquisite as you’d expect and the stage show is as flamboyant as ever. Muse really are masters of their art and it feels almost impossible for them to give a bad performance.

The encore of ‘Kill or Be Killed’ and traditional closer ‘Knights of Cydonia’ is in itself testament to the whole new and old sentiments above. No matter what they are playing, Muse play it better than anyone!

Share this review on Social Media

Read our review of ‘Will of the People’ from Muse