Gig Reviews
Napalm Death/Warpath/War Iron/Black Skies Burn – Belfast, Limelight 2 – 19 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mel B   
Saturday, 25 March 2017 05:00

Napalm Death Belfast posterIt was the first night of a week which would see no fewer than five of the heaviest heavy metal gigs bring together a collection of the heaviest heavy metal bands in an attempt to level Belfast’s most historic club venue.  First into the fray were grind pioneers Napalm Death, making a welcome return to the Northern Ireland capital.  Down the front headbanging like crazy on Über Rock’s behalf were Mel B and Darren McVeigh of MetalPlanet, who have kindly shared their tale of the evening's ferocious aural assault with us:

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ARW – Hammersmith, Eventim Apollo – 19 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rowland   
Saturday, 25 March 2017 04:00

ARW-Artwork-170217Although the current tour featuring a re-united Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman was officially billed as ‘ARW’, in common with hundreds of other fans Jim Rowland turned up for the second of two shows at his beloved Hammersmith Odeon (as once was) to find the band billed as ‘Yes Featuring Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman’. Mm, interesting he thought… Was what actually went down on stage just as interesting? Click the link to find out:

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The Mighty Wraith/The Face Of Ruin/Remnant – Birmingham, Hammer And Anvil – 10 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Rich Hobson   
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 04:30

Mighty Wraith 2From Black Sabbath to Judas Priest, Napalm Death to Cathedral, Birmingham has spawned some of the most iconic metal bands on the planet. And yet, as the decades have waned on in the 47 years since the release of Black Sabbath’s monumental eponymous debut, the number of metal bands making it big from the region has steadily declined. But, while the scene no longer produces stadium-filling metal gods, that doesn’t mean it can’t still dream. Rich Hobson enjoyed a throwback to the heavy metal glory days when he took up the invitation to do just that with The Mighy Wraith:

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Monster Truck/The Picturebooks – Belfast, Limelight 2 – 13 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby   
Saturday, 18 March 2017 04:30

Monster Truck tour posterHaving just returned from the wilds of north Wales, where they had spent the weekend in the company of thousands of like-minded individuals at the HRH AOR festival, Über Rock’s Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen jumped straight back in at the deep end of the rock ‘n’ roll rollercoaster ‘round at their local pub, as Canucks Monster Truck made a super speedy return to the Northern Ireland capital.  However, as they found, it was a gig which did not come without its issues, not least in the audio-visual department:

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HRH AOR – Pwllheli, Hafan y Môr Holiday Park – 11 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen   
Thursday, 16 March 2017 15:20

LA GunsSo, despite everything thrown at them over the first two days, Über Rock’s intrepid husband and wife duo made it to the final leg of the first standalone HRH AOR melodic fest… what did it have in store for them and, more importantly, would they survive what it yet had to throw at them? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s the do thing with the link:

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HRH AOR – Pwllheli, Hafan y Môr Holiday Park – 9 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen   
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:35

Spike 2For the first time this year, UR’s husband-and-wife team of Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen ventured across the Irish Sea to join thousands of like-minded rock ‘n’ roll fans for the second in this year’s series of themed Hard Rock Hell weekenders. It was a trip which, over the course of its duration, was not without its hiccups, as our unfolding coverage over the next few days will demonstrate. To start with, however, it’s Day One… well, where else would they begin?

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The Pat McManus Band – Belfast, The Longfellow – 4 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen   
Saturday, 11 March 2017 04:00

33291535185 b4bee3006d oThree of the hardest working musicians in the Überverse, guitar genius Pat ‘The Professor’ McManus, Marty McDermott and Paul Falloon are currently out on the road for the umpteenth time, this time on their ‘Live Along The Highways’ European tour. Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen ventured into the depths of east Belfast to catch the trio for another lesson in just how good blues-rock music can be when a master of the craft straps a guitar around his shoulders and opens up:

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Scott Sorry/The Role Models - York, The Fulford Arms - 19 February 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Ben Hughes   
Saturday, 04 March 2017 05:30

Scott Sorry MainWhen Ben Hughes wandered down his local for a bit of low-slung guitar action, he thought for one moment he was going to get more than he bargained for, with a veritable who’s who of rock ‘n’ roll rapscallions hanging around the bar… sadly for our man with a plan, it was not to be! But, what he did get was a night of hot rawkin’ action from two of the finest proponents of the art:

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Four Year Strong/ Versive/The Winter Passing/ Stairwells – Belfast, Oh Yeah Centre – 19 February 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Jonni D   
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 05:00

FYS Belfast 5Massachusetts’ pop-punkers Four Year Strong are currently celebrating the tenth anniversary of their breakthrough second album, ‘Rise or Die Trying’, by touring their asses off. Jonni D headed down into Belfast’s historic Cathedral Quarter to check out what went down when the band pulled into the city’s intimate Oh Yeah Centre on the last night of their most recent European trek:

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HRH Metal – Birmingham, O2 Academy – 12 February 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Rich Hobson   
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 17:30

HellCrowd 1 HRHMetalHaving survived his own particular brand of “ear-splitting mayhem” on the first day of the inaugural HRH Metal, Rich Hobson once again found himself down the front and in the pit for the second day. To read his report from the front line of the Über Kingdom’s newest metalfest, click ye olde link with your fist of steel:

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Skindred/Raging Speedhorn/RSJ - York, Fibbers - 8 February 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Ben Hughes   
Saturday, 18 February 2017 05:00

Skindred York 3It had been five long years since Skindred played York – but that was then and this is now, and the ragga rockas made up for their extended absence when they pulled back into town again earlier this month. Our man Ben Hughes was front and centre to bring you this first-hand account of what went down:

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Armored Saint/Sinocence – Belfast, Limelight 2 – 21 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 05:00

Armored Saint - John Bush 1Just shy of 11 years after their previous, and so far only, appearance in this part of the Überverse, LA metal diehards Armored Saint returned to Belfast for the second night of a short run of dates built around their appearance at this weekend’s Hammerfest… Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen ventured ‘round to the historic Limelight to see if the band would win hands down in laying down their particular brand of heavy metal law:

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The Urban Voodoo Machine/Slaughterhouse Cats - Leeds, Brudenell Social Club - 11 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Ben Hughes   
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 04:00

Photo 11-03-2017 23 37 20"We are The Urban Voodoo Machine and we play bourbon soaked gypsy blues bop 'n' stroll music and we will be doing it for a very long time!" So proclaimed Paul-Ronney Angel from the stage at the climax to the band's triumphant return to the best venue in the north -The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. Our man Ben Hughes was front and centre to find the men in red and black in resurgent form:

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Stiff Little Fingers/Theatre Of Hate – Kentish Town, The Forum – 10 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rowland   
Friday, 17 March 2017 04:00

slf-uk-tour-artwork-2017It’s hard to believe that Belfast punk pioneers SLF are marking their 40th anniversary this year… certainly, they show no signs of slowing town, with another run of tour dates currently under way and proving, as our man Jim Rowland found out when he wandered down Kentish Town direction, that, like your favourite website, they are still very firmly raising their rigid digits to musical mediocrity:

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HRH AOR – Pwllheli, Hafan y Môr Holiday Park – 10 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen   
Thursday, 16 March 2017 03:30

Lita 3Having successfully negotiated their way from Belfast to north Wales via the Midlands, and survived the first night (and morning) or rock ‘n’ roll partying, Über Rock’s husband and wife team were ready for more of the latter on the second day of HRH AOR. However, things didn’t quite go to plan for our intrepid travellers. Click the link to find out went down at Camp HRH:

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Black Star Riders/Gun/The Amorettes – Belfast, Limelight 1 – 5 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen   
Saturday, 11 March 2017 04:30

Black Star Riders 4Hometown gigs are always special, especially for any artist who lives thousands of miles from the city where he was born, and so there can be no doubt that the one date Ricky Warwick looks forward to the most on tour schedules – be they those for BSR or his multiple other solo/side projects is his native Belfast… Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen were front and centre for a full day of rock ‘n’ roll action when the ‘Heavy Fire’ tour pulled into town:

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The Answer/Our Propaganda/Elixir – Southampton, The Engine Rooms - 2 March 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Phil Cooper   
Thursday, 09 March 2017 05:00

The Answer Belfast 1Phil Cooper took himself into the middle of an industrial estate to check out the vibe at a venue which has been a regular stop off for an increasing number of bands: on this occasion, hard-working Northern Irish rock ‘n’ rollers The Answer were 'In This Town’ (sic) on the latest leg of their tour of the (almost) same name. Click the link to find out what our man made of every aspect of the gig:

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King King – Belfast, Empire Music Hall – 25 February 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen   
Saturday, 04 March 2017 04:30

King King - Belfast 2It was one of those nightmare scenarios: two bands with an arguably similar target audience playing a few hundred yards apart from each other. Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen, however, decided to pass on their annual appointment with The Answer and to take up one with Glasgow guitar maestro Alan Nimmo and his band instead:

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Eureka Machines/Baby Chaos/The Chris Catalyst Group/Fierce Ideas - Leeds, Brudenell Social Club - 11 February 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Ben Hughes   
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 18:00

Eureka Machines4Guitarist and all around workaholic Chris Catalyst recently celebrated his birthday by throwing a gig in his spiritual home, leaving our man Ben Hughes no choice but to don his most dapper gear and head down the club for a celebratory drink and a touch of raucous rock ‘n’f’n’ roll:

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HRH Metal – Birmingham, O2 Academy – 11 February 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Rich Hobson   
Monday, 20 February 2017 19:53

Skindred 1 HRHMetal-2No strangers to the boutique music festival, the folks at Hard Rock Hell (HRH) have spent the past decade amassing an impressive portfolio of events throughout the calendar year to challenge the idea that festivals are just for the summer months. The latest addition to their roster of genre specific events is HRH Metal, staged in the “home” of heavy metal – Birmingham. The city also is home to our man Rich Hobson, so he popped along to see what goodies they had in store:

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The Godfathers – Islington, Academy – 11 February 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Martin Haslam   
Saturday, 18 February 2017 04:30

Godfathers 2017 2If ever there was a band that refused to die, it’s The Godfathers. Having recently reviewed their magnificent new album, ‘A Big, Bad, Beautiful Noise’, it was obvious that Martin Haslam just had to witness the soundtrack to his personal revolution live and in the flesh:

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