Jan 28 2010
Jan 28 2010
Jan 31 2010
Jan 30 2010
Bluescene @ The Lion
Jan 30 2010
Fox and Duck
Jan 28 2010
Jan 31 2010
Jan 30 2010
Bluescene @ The Lion
Jan 30 2010
Fox and Duck
Sweet and frothy on top – dark and mysterious when you delve deeper – stained and smeared with a light bloom of self-belief and a love-of-life, Hollow Limit is a joyful and optimistic young band – not doom laden and nihilistic like many of their melodic metalcore compatriots.
I was fortunate enough to see their recent performance at The Hob, Staines Sunday 25th October. Sharing the finesse of Avenged Sevenfold together with the egotistical majesty of Iron Maiden, these local lads have grand aspirations and tip-top musical talent to boot.
I loved the clean vocals (not too many metalcore growls) from Dan, the dual guitar symphonies from the twin guitar maestros of Tommy Goodrick and Mike Lidiard, the rattling rapid-fire drum notes (with plenty of radiating blast beats) from Luke Veryard and, not forgetting, the exquisite bass patterns from George Pardoe.
Yes, hardcore Hanworth head-bangers Hollow Limit nail their symphonic intentions firmly to the mast right from the outset.
Their twin lead guitars take turns to tango, the shrieking breaks and rippin’ and searing solos tending to lacerate your eardrums. It soon becomes clear that the cruel intention of this lively and lucid band is to frizzle your brain hair, slap a smile upon your chops and twist your insides inside-out, whilst simultaneously demolishing your ear-drums, in an all-out tactical assault on your mind and body.
I particularly enjoyed the ‘Bon Jovi’ sounding shallow snarling low-points and well positioned breakdowns on ‘The Devils Hour’ but my favourite Hollow Limit number has to be ‘Our Desperate Story’ with its complex metal basslines, carved and exquisitely handcrafted riffs and inventive, adventurous, twisting leads.
Dan Evans is the band’s fresh cheeky-faced ‘cockney looking’ front-man (he looks like a character from those 1970’s ‘Confessions of a Window Cleaner’ type films – you can just imagine Dan shinning down the drainpipe with his shirt-tails flapping between his legs, because the headmistress’s husband – known to us as ‘the colonel’ – has just arrived home unexpectedly … you can then picture him having to hastily make off in the nearest possible vehicle – in this case a milk float – just before the Colonel appears blustering and red-faced at the door, weilding a shotgun.) His charmingly fresh
vocals tend to add clarity and counter-points to the intricate musical compositions whilst his cheeky boyish grin, mop of golden hair, and innocent smile adds to the bizarre sense of ‘Britishness’ that pervades the overall style of this group.
If you like metal and you are looking for an authentic British equivalent to Avenged Sevenfold, with a capacity to produce astonishing, twisting and turning aural landscapes where grungy gravely low chords are cut through by exciting high points, then your are gonna just lurve Hollow Limit.
See ‘em now before they become too old!
Thursday 28th September 2008
Metal / Black Metal / Death Metal
“A band with Swords and Uggs”
WARLORD NYGÅRD – Voc.
JUSSI WICKSTRÖM – Gtr.
TUDE LEHTONEN – Drums
HANNES HORMA – Bass
OLLI VÄNSKÄ – Violin
LISKO – Acc.
“Toor-izz-ass, clap, Toor-izz-ass, clap, Toor-izz-ass, clap”… then onto the stage at Southampton Guildhall exploded several large blonde men (and a laydee) clad in lumps of dead sheep and (mostly) wearing ill-fitting uggs.
And Lo, this was Turisas come unto us.
Turisas is a Finnish viking metal band from Hämeenlinna. They were established in 1997 by Mathias Nygård and Jussi Wickström and designated almost at once as a Viking Metal band – named after an ancient Finnish God of War.
When I saw them last night on their current tour (supporting ‘Dragonforce’) they exclaimed their music was mighty ‘battle metal’. Since they use accordion and violin, I find this a little hard to swallow. Since when do the massed bands of Her Majesty’s Household Division (for instance) lug squeeze-boxes and fiddles onto the battleground? But because of this morris-dance affectation, the band could also be pigeonholed into the folk metal genre ( see also Finntroll, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani and Moonsorrow.)
The supposedly heavy metal guitars in this band are, to be honest, almost extraneous and the rhythm guitar is often employed just for that-chugging out some rhythm- whilst the bass plunks away unobtrusively. The featured instrument in this band is the violin, courtesy of Olli Vanska. According to Turisas this meek little humble instrument is about to re-adjust the cosmic equilibrium that has been altered by those arrogant upstarts- the wicked electric guitars! Haven’t they heard of ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ in Finnish-land?
Any band that has, as a major feature of its repertoire, Boney M’s singalonga-cossack ‘Ra Ra Rasputin’ is OK by me. This song always was plagiarism at its finest, mixing some trad. Turkish anthems with Cozy Powell’s ‘Dance With The Devil’ beat and pretending to be authentic disco. So why shouldn’t a viking-metal band claim it is their anthem?
Even though Turisas has bouzouki and balalejka-themed pretensions, this is ultimately music that Klingon’s would listen to around the campfire whilst droning on about the House of Duras. Lots of anthemic battle-shouting and Oi Oi Oi’s, then plenty of strutting about doing semi-nazi saluting type stuff. The average age of the crowd at Southampton was about 15… so maybe this is something to be a tiny bit concerned about. But, no, this is he-man stuff, it is comic book stuff, it is Blue Peter teenage mutant ninja turtles in a bit of sticky-back plastic stuff. A bit of dressing up (albeit as a Viking goat-ostler) and striding around looking big and sounding scary is just fun and didn’t ever hurt anyone. Did it?. When was the last time Finland invaded anything (other than the Eurovision)? And, to be honest, these leering viking-skulls in their leather nappies are no more fierce, frightening or imposing than your average school music teacher.
Unlike power-metal, there is not much symphonic context within the sound of Turisas, just a lot of growling and some riff-based hokum. There isn’t much light there either, the dirges are battle anthems for the office of the dead. On the whole, the Nordic jeremiad’s are less pessimistic than they ought to be, relishing and celebrating death and honour rather more like football anthems than proper warrior eulogies.
The blackness is not really in there either (unlike Opeth, Trivium, Annihilator, Wintersun etc) mainly because: 1) You can’t take men wearing uggs and sheepskin throws seriously and 2) because any band that plays Boney M disco covers is about as manly and masculine as Julian Clary wearing a pink tutu whilst dancing as the Sugar Plum Fairy in this season’s ‘end of the pier’ performance of Round the Horn. So this is not a band for death metal/black metal heads. It is just a fun ‘show-band’ for the kids.
Southampton is noted for being the home of the RMS Titanic and the Spitfire, both went down well. So did Turisas. That says a lot.
Thursday 11th September 2008
Metal / Progressive / Death Metal
“Progressive metal for the masses!”
Lead Guitars: Stefan
Rhythm Guitars: Mark
I come from the planet Zog myself. But my new friends are from Barrachus (part of the United Colonies Alliance) and are members of a secretive order of spiritual warriors known as The Apex of Extinction. They are also a symphonic power metal band incorporating more growling vocals than one would normally expect from the likes of ‘Dragonforce’ or ‘Angra’. The Power metal guitarists and the bassist play rapid streams of notes and lead guitarist Stefan is an accomplished proponent of this dark art.
Played at immense speed (see ‘Savage Circus’ to get an idea) with
melodic hooks and a symphonic structure to be proud of. AofE also incorporate superb basss tonal imagery and rapid fire percussive effects into their epic soundscapes. The limitations of Apex are quite clear. The vocals are not fully cohesive within the overall structure of the musical elements. Whilst the guttural growls are useful in certain settings the lead vocals in this kind of band really need to be sufficiently flexible to increase range and to support the breathtaking depths of ambition that this genre sets itself. If you listen to the power vocals of a band like ‘Raphsody of Fire’ or even local prog-metallists like’Hollow Limit’ or even ‘Hypercoma’ you will find a greater flexibility and range in the vocals.
All the shred techniques one would expect from a grandiose band like this were present when I saw Apex of Extinction at the Hob, Staines. The sweep-picking, the trills and the speed building were effusive and the compositions were fully developed landscapes of sound. The cluster of images and the thrill of the drama unfolding was one of the most enjoyable aspects of this young group. Perhaps Springfield melodic death metal group ‘All That Remains’ is more similar to the profile of ‘Apex’ than ‘Dragonforce’ or ‘Angra’ and I may be partly guilty of overlooking quite what they are hoping to achieve… That said, even Phil Labonte’s vocals are harmonious when needed and are well suited to the epic nature of the working material.
Apex of Extinction are a ‘work in progress’ with bags of enthusiasm and a fair dose of talent. I have some great expectations. One to watch develop.
Lads, give my regards to the planet Barrachus and keep up the good work.
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See up & coming band Hollow Limit at Ashford
Brooklands College Ashford Campus, July 09 2008 8PM £5
Hollow Limit has been ‘on the way’ for some years now. Months and months of practice, a few line-up changes, recording and lots and lots of gigging… but now now they’re finally ready to rock your world.
Having recently won the Brooklands College battle of the bands (that featured no less than seven almost equally impressive bands in the line-up) the winning band are now going for gold.
They have recently played at the Birmingham NEC with good friends ‘Trash The Forgotten’ and ‘Loaded Dice’ in front of around a thousand people to a great response and will now be playing Ashford Campus.
Dan – Singing with the angels
Mike – Tickling some strings
Tommy – New String Rocker
George – Plays the four string thing
Luke – Just whacks some skins
Greg – Temporary Rhythm rocker (Spain Tour 2008)
Check them on:
Well done lads!
Enjoy the ‘Specials’ legend – Neville Staple – in concert
Jul 10 2008 8:00P The Hare & Hounds, Sunbury-on-Thames
Best known for his work writing & composing, the lead singer from The Specials, and as one of the founding members of Fun Boy 3, Neville Staple is credited with changing the face of pop music not only once but twice.
Neville’s biography and past projects read like a who’s who of rock. He has worked with such legends as Elvis Costello (The Specials 1979 Chrysalis Records), David Byrne (Fun Boy 3 Waiting 1983 Chrysalis Records), and Ali Campbell (Today’s Specials 1996 Kuff Records/Virgin), to name only a few.
His talents are found on the unique tribute album, Searching For Jimi Hendrix (1999 Capitol Records) a project that Neville is personally quite proud of. In addition to having recorded with some of rock’ most famous, he has also shared the stage with such icons as Ranking Roger (English Beat) forming Special Beat. Although this line-up never actually recorded an album they successfully toured the U.S. with Sting and Steel Pulse, which ultimately lead up to their own headline tour.
Some of Neville’s recent projects and collaborations include hooking up with Roger Lomas, in Coventry, England to record Skinhead Girl and Conquering Ruler for Trojan Records (UK), and co-producing with John Avila (Oingo Boingo) The Best of The Specials & Fun Boy 3 Performed by Neville Staple for Cleopatra Records in Los Angeles, CA. In America Neville was also in the studio with Unwritten Law recording on tracks for their release, ELVA for Interscope Records. Desorden Publico the Venezuelan ska band met up with Neville in Miami the Fall of 2000 (Venezuela). The band has release this song as a video as well in heavy rotation on MTV Espanol. You’ll find some of Neville’s newest solo work on VANS, Off The Wall Volume IV compilation CD. In 2002, released on Cleopatra Records Special Ska Au Go Go. This CD features Neville’s own original tracks with some old skool songs in the mix.
Since 1998 Neville has been on a mission to entertain, successfully touring Japan, South America and extensively touring North America with his own band. Above all he is a performer. It is worth seeing Neville’s live performance, his captivation stage presence and distinct voice are well worth it. Catch his show this week in Sunbury-on-Thames , and you’ll get a mix of old favourites plus loads of his brand new original solo material.
Neville Staple – Vocals
Angry – Guitar
Waz – Trombone
Sledge – Bass
Joey – Keyboards
Drummie – Drums
Get the Dolce Vita feeling- Staines
Italian Open Air Market July 10-11 STAINES HIGH STREET
Enjoy the sights, sounds and Mmmm… the smells of Italy too at the STAINES open air Italian market this weekend. All food and treats are genuinely Italian and range from goodies such as cakes, pastries, sweets, olives and spices to favourite staples such as biscuits, pasta, cheeses and cured meats. A mouth-watering taste of Italy in our own home town market-place. It cannot be missed.
And don’t forget that Italian food is good for you too … so you are given permission to tickle your taste-buds and purchase some tantalising treats from the traders.
Get your holiday reading in – local author
Prank! By local author – Price £8.54 (5% discount) from Amazon
The Hilarious New Book by Hag Hughes
Lots of local landmarks feature in the new book by New Haw author Hag Hughes make this an entertaining read- just right for your summer reading list.
The plot of the story revolves around the World Endurance championship and features fun-loving Weybridge man Paul “Hazy” Hayes who spends most of his booze-fuelled time plotting wind-ups. Then during one of his pranks something goes horribly wrong and someone winds up dead. If you were a mate of Hazy’s would you help him dispose of the body and cover-up the evidence? We follow Hazy as he battles with friends, foes, lovers and his own conscience and attempts to hold his life and sanity together under the crumbling reality of divorce and self-destruction. Oh, and don’t forget the body in the boot of his car…
With references to lanmarks in Shepperton, Addlestone, Brooklands and Weybridge, this is a great book for any local reader.
Availability: In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.co.uk
See pop princess ‘Kylie’ at Ascot
Kylie Tribute July 11th Club 1 Ascot from £7.87 per ticket –
No.1 High Street , Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7JF ( Next to the Racecourse )
Entry Prices : £5 before 10 pm, £7.50 before 11pm, £10 after
Tel: 01344 874500
Tribute to the pop queen Kylie Minogue- enjoy the show in the luxurious and refined setting of Club 1, Ascot.
Get Your Tickets for Beck Theatre, Hayes