Thursday, 30 April 2009

oh my HAMMERFEST!!! - day 1


April 24-25th 2009

I woke up in the bunk that one of Mutant had so kindly deposited me in when i passed out at the foot of their tour bus steps and realised it was daylight. I didn't really know where i was or what time it was. All i could think about was Some like it Hot. Where was the bass playing Lucy? (she doesn't actually play bass, and it would be the inverse of Some like it Hot, but seeing as its one of my favourite movies and the bunks were just like those on the train, and we'd just got totally drunk, it made sense to me)

So thanks to Sam, who put me in (i believe his own) bunk after making Mike and Ben give me a piggy back round some service station at 3am...

Anyway, wakey wakey rise and shine... the sun is up (although it wasn't shining in Wales) and Lucy and i were probably late for work. But where was she? The whole bus was deathly quiet. I jumped down from the bunk and wandered down the aisle only to find her scrunched up on the front seat asleep. I woke her up, we got our things and snuck out leaving Evile, Trigger the Bloodshed and Mutant to sleep. We must have looked like the creatures from the Black lagoon wandering aimlessly in a Pontins carpark.

US =

And Pontins =

Pontins = a huge amount of brightly coloured canteen flavoured council estate planned holiday camp.
I suppose its portrayed that getting into metal is like taking a journey to the dark side, and that its so grim and necro and heavy. Well, the mix of that idea with the happy joy of Pontins is a heady cocktail enough to blow anyone's mind. I love it.
Lucy and i, like everyone else were staying in a council estate flat like chalet. I didn't really know what to call it. I had been warned they were gross, but actually i thought they were pretty rad. I was feeling suprisingly upbeat for the amount of vodka i'd drunk, and pre-9am this is a really bad sign. It means i'm still drunk.
So i phoned Dan-the-man our Earache label manager to see how far away he was, he'd be half hour, so enough time for the swimming bath-like shower and to get my game head on.
By the time we started setting up the Earache stall with the dudes, and for the fact that we couldn't find a cuppa tea anywhere, the hangover started to set in. And oh lord what a doozy. I remember when i wasn't drinking (or not much) last year, and i used to think i didn't get hangovers and couldn't remember the last hangover i'd had... now i don't want to think about it.
It hit Noon and we went to the cateen. The food looked gross. I ordered fish and chips (i really wasn't thinking straight) and ate 5 chips and a bit off fish then stared into space. Lucy and i said we'd take the shift until 2pm so the guys could get some lunch.
I started to get the shakes. This was not good. I felt so sick. Ugh. I was the least inviting person you'd ever want to buy anything from. We must have looked like the walking dead. Sitting and shaking dead more like.
However, i'm never one to be defeated. It was clearly time to raise the game. After shaking and almost puking for 2 hours during our shift we went back to our pad to catch some Zzzz's and try and get it together. That was only round one, i wasn't about to stumble at the first party hurdle of the year.
So i put on Dolly Parton and fell asleep. There's nothing a subconcious Dolly-P can't cure.
Why d'you come in here looking like that? (Like you haven't had any sleep and you'd drunk a litre of vodka between you, pull it together Talita you have to party/work soon) Why d'you come in here looking like that?!
So suffice to say 5pm Friday, Lucy and i are back on our feet. I've back-combed Lucy's hair to epic proportions, she has her hotpants on, we've met up with Alice and the girls and we're ready for round 2.
Evile are awake and on point and i can't wait to see them play again. I'm keen to see Mutant too, and Blood Island Raiders.
We do another couple of hours on the stall - i actually had to miss Evile so that Dan and the others could see them (i'd seen them in London anyway). I saw Blood Island Raiders, by this point i was feeling good... so Lucy, me and the ladies were back on the wagon - after we'd packed the stall up it was time to dance. I love to dance. I don't care what you think. I love it. That dancefloor has my name on it. Yeh ok, i move like a geriatric. You want to judge my dancing? Fine, but you're not dancing and i am. So whatever!
Slayer always gets me going, you can't play Raining Blood and not expect a reaction. And that was it, us ladies were (in the words of Lucy) "throwing shapes" all over the place. So much so that Derek from Sepultura (Lucy's new friend) wanted to take photos of us. "You dirty perv!!" Lucy shouted at him apparently, before he explained that he meant of us dancing. Clothes on.
We were way too busy dancing anyway.
Sweet Savage - a NWOBHM original - added late to the Hammerfest line up. Came on about 1am. Even in a drunken sweaty state we all knew that they were all over the place.
Andreas (Tornado) of Wolf had come to hang out with us. Axeman of Wolf had been promising me that he was gonna get so crunk at Hammerfest with us - promising for the past 2 years - but he was in bed by 11pm! Shame!
It was at this point during Sweet Savage that some drunk guy threw a drink at us, which pissed me off as he'd soaked my White Wizzard tshirt, and i pushed him out the way, as he was bumping into us continuously in a "I'm pretending i'm bumping into you, but actually i'm feeling you up" way - which makes me mad. Anyway, he was wasted.
But at that point another drunk dude behinds me falls over and as i turn round to see what happened TIMMMBERRRR! Lucy slips up on the pool of drink on the floor curteousy of the first drunk dude, and takes a slam into the floor landing hard on her (gorgeous) bottom. Lucy has a long way to fall, she's very tall. And this bum injury gave her pain - indeed is still giving her pain!
So after Sweet Savage, us girls were roaming the venue looking for a party, when we bumped into James (Sikth) and Khaled (Raise the Dead ) who told us they knew where the party was at.
The venue was closing up, and we had to go on a bit of a wild goose chase maze race through the building trying to find it - it was meant to be in the media centre. But when we got up there it was deserted.
Khaled gets a text saying "The party is through the yellow hole."
What on earth does that mean?
Then Khaled got it and we all ran back upstairs to the media centre (which was infact the kids playground) and in the wall there was a yellow tube leading through to the ballpark - and we all crawled through to find The Architects and i don't know who else in there. Party!
Oh, then we got chucked out by security 3 minutes later
"I'm calling response"
End of Hammerfest day 1.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009


EVILE: a triumphant return to the London Underworld. Only 20 tickets short of sold out. That's an achievement and i'm proud of them.

They even had a ticket tout outside asking people if they wanted to buy an Evil ticket. Then you know you've made it.... kind of:

Look at Mike loving it! What a dude! He's totally embracing who and what Evile are now and enjoying every minute of it! Love you Mike! Awesome!

I love these guys. Not only are they straight up, sweet guys with a great work ethic, but i think their brand of metal is sorely needed in the UK and really welcome to a landscape of music that has been way too preoccupied with Metalcore, Emo and Deathcore in recent times.

Matt Drake seemed overwhelmed by the crowd - numbers and response, and peppered the set with astonishment and thanks. Get used to it Matt! Evile are awesome!!

Lucy and i jumped on the tour bus after the show to get to Prestatyn for Hammerfest

As we'd finished work for the week (until Hammerfest the next morning) we decided to drink. Vodka.
Which let to an impromptu performance of our rap group, hitherto only witnessed by Cauldron in a rehersal studio in Soho.

And of course, the neccessary Wotsit competition. Which i won. Of course.
Everyone knows i've got a big gob.

More about Hammerfest later.
As you can see Lucy and I were total winners.

Sunday, 19 April 2009



Here's Olivia with the pair of tickets Malcolm gave us to see AC/DC at the O2. The excitement was palpable. Neither of us had seen AC/DC before. (Thanks Malcolm!)

You can't tell from this photo, but two rows in front of us were the guys from Top Gear. Not Jeremy curly hair Clarkson, the other two. The one who was in that accident.

Everyone standing spotted him at one point (before AC/DC came on) and started singing the Top Gear theme tune. Very surreal. What great seats!

The Rock n roll train came onstage with this animated little story, that had more than a few visual ephemisums which made me look at the Dad infront of us with his son to see if he was getting embarrassed. It was awesome.

I still don't really have words to describe what a great show it was. People kept asking me what i thought afterwards and i still dont know what to say. They were so good its almost unreal. Hells Bells!

What did suprise me was how sexy the music they play is when its live. I mean, i've always thought AC/DC as a great good time party band. But the way they play, honestly, could put the biggest prude in the mood. Its like Barry White for drunk white people. Here's the big blow up Whole lotta Rosie riding the Rock n roll train. She was moving back and forth like she was really enjoying it. Hahahaha.

I also feel that i've come to understand Jerry Ewing better, by watching AC/DC.

Here's the part where Angus Young took his trousers down and showed us all his AC/DC boxer shorts. He's old and small. But still everyone wanted to see his boxers. That's rock n roll right?

Olivia and I were dancing the whole time. I don't understand how people couldn't. I realise for some people weren't used to going to shows. Get loose though, no one is going to judge you. Go for it, have a good time. Its AC/DC!!!

We wound up afterwards getting drunk at the Metal Hammer aftershow party. We continued to dance until the early hours.

I can't help but realise how lucky i am. Firstly to have seen the mind blowing AC/DC, and secondly to have friends like Malcolm, who made it possible, and people like Olivia and Johanna who would dance the night away too. I'm living the Rock n roll dream i guess.

Dave Witte - i'm sorry you weren't there.


Here's some photos of PESTILENCE when they played at London Camden Underworld last Sunday 12th March. It was the first time they'd been back in the UK for something like 15 years. I'd never seen them live before and was stoked to see some old school death metal. I've liked Consuming Impulse for a while although admittedly, not since 1989 when it was released. I hadn't even heard of Death metal when i was 9 years old.

You'd be forgiven for thinking Pestilence are American. They're actually Dutch, just like Earache's own Severe Torture. I asked Malcolm (Dome) where they'd been all this time and he said "Not doing a lot, i don't really know". So they split up or where on "hiatus! and now they're back with a new album "Ressurection Macabre" released on Mascot.

Patrick Mameli (frontman) apparently - according to Wikipedia said "It's not a reunion, because I will not be playing with any of the old lineup guys, except Tony Choy, of course so... I always stated there WILL NEVER BE a reunion, and there won't be, since I never look back at the past and I refuse now to play with people that are not on the same musical level as I am. I sang on Testimony and Spheres (two albums later from Consuming Impulse!!), so no need for Martin. This because of the above statement I just made. Furthermore, Martin is doing other things. Good for him. So now you have two members that were in Pestilence before and one new guy. The reason why I bring Pestilence back to life is that people/fans keep asking me for this. The time is right now and Mascot is giving me the opportunity to do so. As you know, I have always been the driving force behind Pestilence, writing all the music and so forth, so that I can state: I will bring back Pestilence to life. More tech and way more brutal than ever before.[1]"

The highlight of Pestilence was Tony Choy. He is one of the most awesome bass players i've ever seen. He has a really funky way of playing death metal. And he's totally hot. Which always helps.

I went backstage to meet the dudes after the show with Olivia, and had a really weird conversation with Patrick about Dio. Where he asked me about his height. And then i got called away. I think Patrick may, just may, have been drunk.

Anyway, i think they were fucking awesome.