Bloodstock Indoor Festival 2006 - Derby, England, 29th September 2006
|Event:||Bloodstock Indoor Festival 2006|
|Written by:||Baz Anderson|
Bloodstock Indoor Festival 2006 - Derby, England, 29th September 2006 by Baz Anderson (4)
It's mid-day on the day of the sixth year of Bloodstock and as I arrive at the Derby Assembly Rooms I see there are already a few other devoted metal fans waiting in the vicinity wearing a range of heavy metal shirts from Blind Guardian and Helloween through Hammerfall, to Manowar. This was the first thing that took me back - never have I seen such a collective amount of people all with the interest of real heavy metal!
By 14:00 the doors were opened to the Assembly Rooms and we shot up the stairs to find the metal market that is set up every year. Albums, clothes, guitars - anything heavy metal was for sale here.
The atmosphere was fantastic, everyone was there for one reason and that reason was for heavy metal!
The Bloodstock in-door festival goes over onto two days, but the common thought around the people was the same as myself, and that was the only day worth paying for was the first day.
There wasn't any band I particularly was interested seeing the second day, and so like a vast majority of people there I only paid for the first day, which on the main stage were all traditional heavy metal (or "power metal" if you like) bands.
At 16:00 the doors to the main stage were opened and so myself and the people I was with made sure we had a front row position in the middle and clung on there for what turned out to be for the rest of the evening and night.
Heavy metal veterans Marshall Law graced the stage first in their first festival appearance after re-forming (apparently permanently this time) and without doing anything it was plainly clear the crowd was 100% behind their decision to re-form with numerous chants through their half hour set of "Marshall, Marshall, Marshall fucking Law!!"
Old favourites such as "Under The Hammer" and "Marshall Law" were very warmly received indeed. They also made it clear that they were the only English band on the stage that day (as the other four all hail from Germany). Vast numbers of people singing along to their old favourites made it pretty clear to the band that they had done the right thing in re-forming, and were clearly very taken back almost seemingly to a state of shock by the amount of support they had in the crowd.
At the end of the set they warmly thanked us and told us it would defiantly not be the last we saw of them.
After a bit of a wait the second band appeared. Heavy metal band Majesty from Germany bounded onto the stage and after the introduction made a start with their title track to their new album "Hellforces" which clearly got the crowd very worked up indeed.
The set included numbers from all over the scope of their albums - but whatever they played the audience couldn't have given Majesty a better reception and a fantastic first impression to playing in England, as it was their first time playing here. Chants of "Hail, Hail, Majesty!!" between almost every song clearly had the band surprised as to how much support they had as well.
Frontman Tarek "Metal Son" Maghary playing his character striking many poses in true heavy metal fashion clearly had the crowd in his hands like I've never seen anyone else have. In-between songs he told us "back in Germany they told me there was no metal scene in England, what are you going there for?" and then proceeded to have the audience roar back as he announced "heavy metal is still alive here, heavy metal was born here and will always stay here!"
This is what a frontman is supposed to do, never have I seen anyone work the crowd like he did. Fittingly they ended on "Metal Law" and had us all screaming out the chorus "We are the metal law!" before their time was up.
Clearly very taken back by the support in England Tarek promised us they would be back here and thanked us profusely before leaving the stage.
The wait after Majesty seemed long, but I was still very very hyped up for seeing the next band - Savage Circus after owning their album a while and enjoying it very much.
Eventually Savage Circus all made it onto the stage but something seemed wrong streight away. I already knew Thomen Stauch would not be there as he is currently suffering from depression, but this as well as other things sent out the impression that they were not too interested to be there. There was no life in them it seemed.
Iron Savior bassist and drummer joining Iron Savior singer/guitarist on stage with the two Persuader guys seemed more like we were watching a different band.
During the set, Piet kept having a little laugh with the other members of the band seemingly excluding all of us in the audience. Jens, the Hansi from Blind Guardian sound a like did not attempt to connect with the crowd and seemed more timid, and seemed like he was looking forward to getting off the stage.
The worst part about the set has not been mentioned yet, but I will now.
Savage Circus' album seems to be more guitar driven with the bass drums backing everything up - but the set-up for the sound live was totally wrong and put the biggest dampener on their set. The bass guitar easily overpowered everything! We could not hear the all-important guitars and we could not hear the bass drums at all, also Jens' singing was barely recognisable, as we could not hear it.
Even though there was no connection with the crowd, I stood there and because I knew the album very well, I could follow the songs - but like quite a percentage of the people there that had not heard the album left thinking that Savage Circus were a really bad band which upset me because I know the album is good.
It was clearly an off day for Savage Circus but although the set was still enjoyable, it wasn't comparable to Majesty's roaring performance before.
A long wait later and one of my all time favourite bands graced the stage with their huge presence and energy.
Axel Rudi Pell was the band. It was surprisingly their first time in England after their eighteen years together, but clearly made up for it with their hour long set here.
Energetic singer Johnny Gioeli exploded onto the stage followed by the rest of the band, and started the set with the opening song to their latest album "Fly To The Moon" which sounded as perfect as it probably could have.
Second song "Strong As A Rock" was the perfect opportunity to get the crowd going shouting "Rock!" in the chorus, which clearly had the crowd buzzing.
For the people who aren't familiar with Axel Rudi Pell's music style, he writes more ballads then anything else and with his fantastic guitar playing he really makes the songs an emotional experience and come alive.
Now seeing this performed live was an experience I have never felt before. If you like Axel Rudi Pell's music, you know that heavy metal does not have to be fast to be good.
I was stood there and as Johnny started singing "Masquerade Ball" in that powerful and immaculate way he can, I was just taken out of everything. I didn't feel like I was stood with hundreds more people, it just felt like them and me.
Mike Terrana made his presence known by performing one of his impressive drum solos with all of his fancy stick-work, which was accompanied by some pre-recorded keyboards. This lead into an instrumental with Axel and Ferdy playing guitar and keyboards in the form of the track "Haunted Castle Serenade"
Before the show I had read and been told that Axel Rudi Pell does not do much on stage, that he just stands there and plays. This surprised me as Axel was rather animated clapping to get the crowd following him, etc. and was clearly rather pleased to be playing in England after so long.
After a cover of the Rainbow song "Temple Of The King" and a few more songs, they had to finish a little early with the energetic "Call Her Princess" as their time was up.
An even longer wait later and headliners Primal Fear were clearly very happy to be back and playing at Bloodstock again.
The band bounded on the stage and started with the opener of their latest album as well - "Demons And Angels" and followed that with the second song on the new album "Rollercoaster" - both of which sounded a lot lot heavier live.
Ralf had come out in a tight long-sleeved black top (which made him look a lot like Richard O'Brien for anyone who knows him) but went behind the curtain and returned with a tight black sleeveless top showing us his second, brand new Primal Fear tattoo on his other arm.
The band marched along with favourites such as "Chainbreaker" "Nuclear Fire" and "Final Embrace" sounding heavier and better then ever.
Ralf seemed like maybe he was enjoying himself a bit too much drinking from a bottle of white wine in-between songs. He told us in his slightly drunken state "we got here last night and drank a lot and I'm feeling it today, so the only thing to do is drink some more" but then warned us "but make sure you don't drink and drive"
They performed songs from every one of their albums except from "Black Sun" for some reason. They also made sure that they included "Metal Is Forever" which is also the title of the new compilation album.
Before we realised, they were playing "Suicide And Mania" and then it was the end of their hour and a half set and made their way off the stage.
At the end of the set I thought it was a very good set, but it didn't feel like they finished properly for some reason. Maybe because I just didn't expect them to finish with that song but I don't know.
After leaving the main hall and the Assembly Rooms, I was very happy indeed. A full day of heavy metal and a fantastic atmosphere really made the day one of the best days I can remember having.
One thing was made perfectly clear by this day, and that is heavy metal is very much alive in England!
Written by Barry Anderson
||Written on 13.10.2006 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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