Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 16th August 2009

Event: Bloodstock Open Air 2009
Written by: Baz Anderson
Published: 18.08.2009

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Bloodstock Open Air - Catton Hall, England, 14th-16th August 2009 by Baz Anderson (284)
A good night weather-wise and a warm morning. The last day of Bloodstock was already upon us.



Beholder kicked off the proceedings on the main stage to probably a hungover and half asleep audience. Their heavy metal had a kick behind it, but being so early on in the day; not a great deal of response came from the audience.



Over on the unsigned stage, Eibon La Furies were having the problem of playing songs with a dark atmosphere in the bright day time. This did not detract from the enthusiasm of the three-piece band though as they treated the smallish audience to their version of extreme gothic metal with a few other bits and bobs thrown in. The band played well and also looked the part, which lead to the audience witnessing a very good, entertaining set.



What were they thinking when they put Sabaton on so early in the morning. The band themselves said they weren't particularly happy with the slot, but more importantly the Bloodstock audience has probably never shouted and chanted a band's name as much as right here and now for Sabaton. They are so popular in this country right now it is hard to fathom how they did it, but the audience had never wanted more of a band than at the end of this set. The set itself was comprised mostly of brand new songs with "Ghost Division" being played at an even faster tempo being a particular favourite, and "Cliffs Of Gallipoli" being sang almost in its entirety by the audience. Hugely impressive, this set had the most combined energy from band and audience through the entire festival.



The excitement had calmed down and Girlschool took the stage to do their thing. The set had no surprises looking at the band's past setlists this year and last year, apart from perhaps a few technical difficulties. The girls were however glad to be back playing in Britain, but the audience lacked in numbers as people felt it was time to recharge the batteries and sit down for a while. Not phased by anything the band played on until their version of "Race With The Devil" caught the ears of the masses and made them stand up. The set closed with a reminder to not get too sunburnt as the sun was again beaming down onto the festival arena.



Equilibrium grew as a band this afternoon with Bloodstock Open Air being their very first show where they have had to fly to the destination, and also the very first show in the U.K., a milestone in any band's life. Not as well known as some other folk metal bands, undeterred Equilibrium plodded through a set of songs from their two albums to an enthusiastic audience. Equilibrium are one of the best bands that cross folk and extreme metal these days, and this set showed just that. The folk instruments in the band's music had to be played pre-recorded through the sound system and thus didn't sound quite so prominent as on the albums. This gave their music a harder, more extreme edge to an already extreme show. Really, one of the best sets of the festival.



Martin from Sabbat announced Anathema onto the stage, and it could be said that that was also the most exciting part of the set. They were introduced as something different, and okay they were a bit different but they still sounded like a metal band. The audience was actually quite a good size and they seemed to enjoy the band's slightly different input to the festival. The set included a couple of covers, including Iron Maiden's "Phantom Of The Opera", all played with Uncle Fester, also known as Nick Barker on drums.



One of the most widely anticipated bands of the festival, Turisas are another band that are hugely popular in this country. Through the whole day people were painting themselves and each other red in preparation for this moment. The audience went crazy, and one of the funniest sights ever to be witnessed took place as a popped up tent crowdsurfed its way to the front possibly with someone in it. On stage however, Turisas trundled through a set of songs from their two albums to great applause from the enthusiastic fans, but outside of these most dedicated people, the set seriously lacked the kick that bands like this need, the kind of kick that Equilibrium did bring. The set was enjoyable but only to one extent; it was neither particularly energetic nor massively epic. This was the last show for Turisas before recording a new album, hopefully they'll come back with something better next time.



Portuguese gothic metalliers Moonspell found themselves on the main stage in front of a greatly reduced crowd as most people took this opportunity to grab some food and drink in preparation for the last bands of the festival. Moonspell were a a little more up-beat than expected, but still didn't provide anything enjoyable as far as people who do not know the band are concerned.



Amon Amarth get everywhere these days. The band did exactly the same as they did in every other festival this summer, which is bad news for the people that went to those other festivals, but not for the sole-Bloodstock goers. Amon Amarth seem to have taken quite a different image on of themselves this year, almost as some kind of Spinal Tap of death metal as Johan makes amusing remarks to the audience in an extremely "metal" way. The set included a lot of songs from the new album with just the essentials from the past albums, which pleased the audience at large. Apparently at the signing tent earlier a girl gave Johan a letter asking if they could say happy birthday to a friend on stage. Instead he got the whole audience to shout a happy birthday out. Heart-warming stuff, eh? Enjoyable set for the people who haven't seen it a million times before.



The only hint of black metal the main stage at Bloodstock had this year was from Satyricon, and even then they only really played one black metal song. We all know Satyricon have changed from corpsepaint wearing underground metallers to highly popular and actually highly credible blackened heavy metallers, as it were, in the recent years. Well the whole set was comprised from songs off the last three albums apart from the closing "Mother North". The sun had gone down and the darkness provided an excellent atmosphere for this evil and dark set. These new songs may not be black metal, but they certainly still have the spirit of black metal inside of them, and so Satyricon seemingly brought hell itself to England for this hour. The CD may not do these new songs justice, or even a daylight live performance falls short. The real way to appreciate Satyricon is to wait for the night and wait for hell to take over. This was Satyricon at their best, one of the very best sets of the festival.



The last years people cried out for a sing-along band to close Bloodstock, and so this year we got the one and only Europe to do the honours. Armed with the longest main stage set of any band at the festival, they took the stage extremely tentatively and had quite a slow start, presumably as they didn't know what reaction they would receive from the Bloodstock audience. A few songs in however and the band lightened up as the crowd shouted their praise louder and louder. Even a good number of the new Europe songs from after the reformation sound brilliant, and so you can imagine how good the old classics sounded. "Rock The Night" especially is a great song that no one can resist singing the chorus along with. Europe were a huge band, but due to the split and reformation have had to start "from the dark" as the album says. This doesn't take anything away from how good Europe were however. They are just as solid and enjoyable as ever before today. Of course everyone was waiting for that one song, you know the one, and when the introduction started the festival site turned into a hive of insane activity. Europe probably even broke the crowdsurfing record Municipal Waste tried to break a couple of days ago with this one song. Crazy stuff. Crazy end to the festival. There was only one tune people had in their heads whilst going home or sleeping in their tents with this night.



Bloodstock Open Air once again over, it was time to reflect on another year of the festival. Bigger and better than ever before, the crew and staff worked extra hard to keep the ship running smoothly throughout. The festival arena was bigger, the main stage also bigger, making it even easier to find a good spot to watch a band if one so desired. Plenty of entertainment and shops on site as well as camping only a short distance away ensured for a comfortable voyage through the three days. It is hard to believe there is a festival that combines both a line-up of the highest metal quality and also the feel of being treated as a human being as apposed to certain other festivals who draw in the largest audience by any means necessary, with seemingly no regard for anything but money.



On a personal note, Bloodstock Open Air 2009 was my 11th 3-day open air festival. I have been to festivals both insanely massive and also small in comparison to this edition of Bloodstock, including journeys to countries other than my own for a dose of metal. This edition of Bloodstock however was, out of all the festivals I have visited, the most enjoyable festival I have had the pleasure of covering. The festival is run by people who care, who bring the bands that people actually request. It isn't a large festival in comparison to some others, but it has a way of attracting some of the best bands in the world to play on our doorstep. In many ways the Bloodstock Open Air is the perfect metal festival, and it is our little secret.



Many thanks to Adam Sagir for the accreditation, the photo-pit pass, and also helping arrange the interviews.
Written, and photos by Barry Anderson



 



Written on 18.08.2009 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More articles by Baz Anderson ››




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DayFly - 19.08.2009 at 00:41  
I felt kind of embarrassed on behalf of those douchebags that drove CoF off the stage.

Nice read though, thanks for sharing.
necrovamp - 19.08.2009 at 01:47  
Was a fun festival, was there for the whole 3 days, though spent most of the friday in the hospital, due to my girlfriend drinking the water and becoming really ill, it wasn't untill we had reported this that the festival put up signs on the tap saying 'not drinking water, the only band I saw that day was alternative carpark.

also we were bieng watched by a security marshall while putting up our tents, after we had done and got everything sorted he told us we were in a fire lane, he pointed to a line of iron poles stuck into the ground. there was not tape nor any signs telling us it was a fire lane and he had watched us put up our tents, he promptly told us to decamp and move our tents out of the fire lane,wanker I nearly threw a beer can at him but decided drinking it was a better idea.


The best band had to Satyricon, ive been getting into them quite recently and after the storming set they played im now a huge fan.

I ahve to say though the theives on the thursday night were a let down. Someone stole my trousers and my mate had £80 stolen from his tent while he was sleeping. I dunno what it was like in the other campsites but the one near the road was cleaned out, with about 10 people getting robbed of monies, cards etc.

I agree wwith your review about turisas, it was uninspired and they spent half the set talking about their new album and how they were getting rid of 'this crap (all their warpaint and stuff, i bet it made so many people feel stupid, all the idiots that wear that red paint) when they could have played so many better songs, battle metals boring now guys.

Good review Bas, i only really disagree with blind guardian, but it may be 'cus i compare them with helloween last year, who are more of a showy band.

Not sure ill be going next year, with the robberys and the crap organisation bloodstock is known for im not sure ill bother, unless they ahve some brillant bands on. Sorry for the long post, theres a load of things i wanted to get off my chest.
The Shape 1973 - 19.08.2009 at 19:01  
Written by necrovamp on 19.08.2009 at 01:47

Was a fun festival, was there for the whole 3 days, though spent most of the friday in the hospital, due to my girlfriend drinking the water and becoming really ill, it wasn't untill we had reported this that the festival put up signs on the tap saying 'not drinking water, the only band I saw that day was alternative carpark.

also we were bieng watched by a security marshall while putting up our tents, after we had done and got everything sorted he told us we were in a fire lane, he pointed to a line of iron poles stuck into the ground. there was not tape nor any signs telling us it was a fire lane and he had watched us put up our tents, he promptly told us to decamp and move our tents out of the fire lane,wanker I nearly threw a beer can at him but decided drinking it was a better idea.


The best band had to Satyricon, ive been getting into them quite recently and after the storming set they played im now a huge fan.

I ahve to say though the theives on the thursday night were a let down. Someone stole my trousers and my mate had £80 stolen from his tent while he was sleeping. I dunno what it was like in the other campsites but the one near the road was cleaned out, with about 10 people getting robbed of monies, cards etc.

I agree wwith your review about turisas, it was uninspired and they spent half the set talking about their new album and how they were getting rid of 'this crap (all their warpaint and stuff, i bet it made so many people feel stupid, all the idiots that wear that red paint) when they could have played so many better songs, battle metals boring now guys.

Good review Bas, i only really disagree with blind guardian, but it may be 'cus i compare them with helloween last year, who are more of a showy band.

Not sure ill be going next year, with the robberys and the crap organisation bloodstock is known for im not sure ill bother, unless they ahve some brillant bands on. Sorry for the long post, theres a load of things i wanted to get off my chest.

All of the festivals I have been to I have had my tent robbed. Even when I was working at the V festival one year and was camping in the staff area that was strictly staff only, bastards. The guy next to us had his car keys taken, if it had not been for the field being flooded and his car stuck in the mud, they would have taken it.
necrovamp - 19.08.2009 at 21:49  
Yeah I know, though boa was quite bad on the thursday, i reckon a group of people from burton of somewhere just dedcided to do the campsite over, we found about 5/6 peoples wallets which had had the money taken back from it, what i wanted to know and forgot was did anyone actully get something done about it? the guy who we reported it to was the most unhelpfull person ever.
CyGuy6587 - 20.08.2009 at 16:17  
Um, Anathema only played one cover, which you already mentioned. I think they played a good set. Though they pulled off Phantom... really well, I don't see why a well-established band like Anathema needs to do a cover. The same with Candlemass and their cover of Kill The King as well
Bad English - 30.08.2009 at 01:20  
Baz what was closseng song for Europe here and HF?
Final Countdown? How I hate it, when I saw Europe at 2005 I ddint stay to hear thet song, didnt like and last bus to the woods , but many say bad about Europe, but reading HF reweiw they was much better how Papa Cocroach anyway
Baz Anderson - 30.08.2009 at 04:59  
Europe are a great band, and both here at Bloodstock and at Hellfest they showed that. Yes, the last song was "The Final Countdown" - people went crazy to it both here in England and in France.
Bad English - 30.08.2009 at 13:05  
Written by Baz Anderson on 30.08.2009 at 04:59

Europe are a great band, and both here at Bloodstock and at Hellfest they showed that. Yes, the last song was "The Final Countdown" - people went crazy to it both here in England and in France.


Same in Swe , that song is .... I even dont wanna hear what Marcel says about it because its so bad song
Marcel Hubregtse - 30.08.2009 at 13:19  
Written by Bad English on 30.08.2009 at 13:05

Written by Baz Anderson on 30.08.2009 at 04:59

Europe are a great band, and both here at Bloodstock and at Hellfest they showed that. Yes, the last song was "The Final Countdown" - people went crazy to it both here in England and in France.


Same in Swe , that song is .... I even dont wanna hear what Marcel says about it because its so bad song


It is a GREAT song. Fun and all, and great memories from back when it was a hit. Plus it is infinitely better than that horrible song by Scorpions called Winds Of Change.
Bad English - 30.08.2009 at 13:25  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 30.08.2009 at 13:19

Written by Bad English on 30.08.2009 at 13:05

Written by Baz Anderson on 30.08.2009 at 04:59

Europe are a great band, and both here at Bloodstock and at Hellfest they showed that. Yes, the last song was "The Final Countdown" - people went crazy to it both here in England and in France.


Same in Swe , that song is .... I even dont wanna hear what Marcel says about it because its so bad song


It is a GREAT song. Fun and all, and great memories from back when it was a hit. Plus it is infinitely better than that horrible song by Scorpions called Winds Of Change.


I thought you hae thet song since its like flower metal
I like idea of thet song but Im only 70's Scorpions fan and Europe best song for me is ''Prisoners In Paradise'' first song from band what I heard when I was hmmm it was in mid 90's and I still like it ,

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