Category: music

Review: Bring Me The Horizon create cult-like chaos at House of Vans

Several feet below street level near London’s Waterloo station, ‘S-P-I-R-I-T, Spirit, let’s hear it’ is being chanted by a a few hundred lucky competition winners as they await the arrival of their heroes to the stage.

Tonight is a celebration, and the underground eeriness of the venue only adds to the excitement in the air. As a friend commented to me, ‘it’s like a cult down here’.


In a short, hour-long set they blast through singles Happy Song, Throne and True Friends  – already instant classics – and the big hits from Sempiternal before ending on an emotional rendition of Drown.

This was the same set as Reading and Leeds two weeks ago – but now that the game-changing album That’s The Spirit is finally out, there’s an increased sense of urgency and relevance to their performance. 

It’s no exaggeration to say it is the most significant rock/metal release in years and now everybody in this room has heard it – we are all in complete agreement that Bring Me The Horizon are the future of heavy music in the UK. 

Next stop – arenas!

Bring Me The Horizon tour the UK this November, with support from Neck Deep and PVRIS, get tickets now at

Bring Me The Horizon, House of Vans, London, 11/09/15

Interview: Frank Turner talks touring, songwriting and album six

Frank Turner


‘You can’t just sit around wondering if you’ve made your Nevermind – because that was three albums ago’, Frank Turner.

‘God damn it’s great to be alive’, Frank Turner roars on Demons, a standout track on his sixth album, Positive Songs for Negative People.

When I ask him how on earth he’s managed to make six albums, he admits he doesn’t really know. “It’s quite rare for a band to get round to a sixth album at all,” he says, “and it’s particularly odd to get to a sixth album, and at least to some people, still be on the up side of the graph.”

This continued rise in stock is largely down to almost constant touring, documented in his recent book The Road Beneath My Feet, spending weeks on trains and beer-soaked sofas and picking up thousands of devoted fans along the way.

Frank Turner shows no sign of slowing down any time soon, having just announced a mammoth UK tour in November. Fittingly, it ends at London’s historic Alexandra Palace, the only large venue in London he has yet to play – having already filled Wembley and The 02.

He’s particularly excited about this, not least because he can walk home to his Holloway home afterwards. It’s almost impossible to imagine any other arena sized artist entertaining the idea of walking home from a gig and his down-to-earth demeanour is yet another reason why Frank is so well loved.

After a brief love letter to North London, The Angel Islington, Positive Songs For Negative People launches headfirst into the powerful, Springsteen-esque Get Better, a defiant anthem of positivity. ‘Rejoice, rebuild, the storm has passed!’ exclaims Frank on current single The Next Storm. Love Forty Down is an anthem of perseverance when the cards are stacked against you and Out of Breath is comfortably Frank’s fastest and punkiest anthem to date.

That said, the album is not completely upbeat, and album closer Song For Josh is a heartbreaking tribute to Josh Burdette, of Washington DC’s 930 Club, who committed suicide in 2013. It does, however, ram home the message of the album – life is short.


Whilst Frank is reluctant to agree with my statement that PSFNP could well be the definitive Frank Turner album – his ‘Nevermind’ if you will – he does admit that ‘it somehow feels like it might be the conclusion of a certain phase of my songwriting and album-making career’. It was recorded live in nine days and this comes across in the production.  This is the sound of Frank’s gigs: once communal sing-alongs in pubs, now arena-sized events with tens of thousands of die-hard fans screaming every word.

Album aside, before his upcoming tour, there’s the small matter of his Reading and Leeds sets. Frank headlines the Festival Republic stage 10 years after his first performance there. This looks set to be incredibly special, and the tiny tent will no doubt be packed to the rafters with fans he’s picked up during his previous nine performances at the festival. 

“God damn it’s great to be alive.”

Positive Songs for Negative People is out on Friday 7 August. Catch Frank Turner at Reading and Leeds Festival in August and on his UK headline tour in November

Are Bring Me The Horizon the next Download Festival headliners?


2016 would certainly be quite apt for the Sheffield five-piece to headline Donington as it marks 10 years since their first album, Count Your Blessings, which sounded a bit like this…

…although where this particular track would fit amongst the likes of radio-friendly Drown and Throne remains to be seen.

With festival organiser Andy Copping already ruling out a 2016 headline slot for the British quintet, this may not be an immediately pressing issue for the band. But could they headline in 2017? Quite possibly.

Their biggest festival set to date (by then) will be main support to Metallica at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival. Whilst they probably won’t blow the legends off the stage, there’s something tangibly more exciting about seeing a band rising up the ranks of the rock scene and taking it for themselves; than a band who have described themselves as ‘practically the house band’ of Reading and Leeds. (No disrespect to Metallica incidentally, if you haven’t seen them before you absolutely must!)

However, the aforementioned two tracks, alongside the heavy-but-catchy Happy Song indicate that their upcoming fifth album, That’s the Spirit, will be a landmark release for both the band, and UK rock in general. Having already destroyed Wembley, the next logical step would be an arena tour to support this record. If that sells well, festivals surely beckon, and there’s one headline slot that is just screaming out at the Sheffield five-piece.

We can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Five Korn moments we can’t wait to experience live this month

It’s not an overstatement to claim that back in 1994, Korn completely reinvented American metal.

Dirty, downtuned guitars, hip-hop inspired drum beats, heavy basslines, and vocalist Jonathan Davis’ emotive and haunting lyrics spawned an entire genre now known as nu-metal, of which this self-titled album is undoubtedly the Daddy.

In just a couple of weeks time, Korn return to play this, their masterpiece, in its entirety, in London and Manchester. Here are just five moments we can’t wait to experience live…

1. Blind
A simple riff and three words (the infamous, ‘ARE YOU READY?!’) set the tone of what is to come. A generation of imitators are listening closely.

2. Daddy
Quite simply one of the most intense and emotional songs ever recorded, this track is about a child whose complaints about sexual abuse are not believed. The band didn’t perform this song live for nearly 20 years because it was too emotional. They will, however, be performing it this time round.

3. Faget
A huge middle finger to anybody who’s ever been bullied or looked down on for being different. The breakdown at 3:19 packs an almighty punch.

4. Shoots And Ladders
The band call out nursery rhymes for their dark undertones. Also notable for being the first Korn song to feature bagpipes.

5. Clown
This, track four on the record, is written after somebody tried to punch Jonathan at gig in Bakersfield, who in turn got punched by Korn’s manager. Possibly the deepest guitars found on any nu-metal song.


Def Leppard and Whitesnake: Let’s Get Rocked in the Still of the Night tour

Two legendary rock bands, Def Leppard and Whitesnake, will join forces for a nine-date co-headline tour this December, with support from Black Star Riders. Metal Blogmaster, Dan Hudson, rounds up the top 5 tracks he’s really hoping to hear…

Def Leppard – When Love and Hate Collide
A criminally underrated ballad from 1995’s Vault that introduced them to a whole new generation, myself included. They haven’t played it live since 2013, but will they bring it back this December?

Def Leppard – Animal
The song that broke Def Leppard in Europe and sent them stratospheric. Yep, it’s still just as catchy nearly 30 years later.

Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
If you’ve ever graced the dance floor of a power ballad club night, you’ll know just how excitable rock fans can get when they hear this song. Live, it’s even better.

Black Star Riders – Whiskey in the Jar (Thin Lizzy cover)
Metallica’s cover introduced this track to a whole new generation, but they rarely play it live, and let’s face it, in 2015 this may be the closest you’ll get to seeing Thin Lizzy performing it.

Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me
In the past, Def Leppard fans have been known to bring packets of sugar with them to shows to, er, try and pour on the band. Will they have more success this December?

Catch Def Leppard and Whitesnake on the Let’s Get Rocked in the Still of the Night II tour this December, tickets on sale now at

Five reasons to be there when Cancer Bats and While She Sleeps tour

Here’s five reasons why you should not wait a minute longer before getting your ticket to While She Sleeps and Cancer Bats’ co-headline tour next month.

1. While She Sleeps CAN’T play Download
Because of the unwritten two-year rule, While She Sleeps won’t be returning to Download for a second year in a row. So if you were hoping they might announce a trip to Donington… they won’t. This might be your only opportunity to see them this side of summer.

Cancer Bats’ cover of the Beastie Boys classic is always a set highlight – but after we saw Korn and Slipknot do THIS back in January, we’re even more pumped to see it again!

3. Brainwashed could quite easily not have happened
WSS vocalist Loz Taylor underwent TWO bouts of vocal surgery which delayed the making of the album for a whole year. The fact it’s here at all is worth a celebration, let alone that it looks set to be one of the best metal albums of 2015.

4. Arsenic in the Year of the Snake.

I’m just going to leave this video here…

5. Because THiS is the kind of thing that happens at While She Sleeps gigs…
Whilst playing a shoe store in Camden, the band decided to finish their set OUTSIDE, in the middle of the street, in front of some confused tourists and commuters. Who’s to say that won’t happen again?!


Five Bands Not To Miss At Download 2015

If you’re already on board it’s highly likely you’ll be trawling through the line-up, putting provisional plans in your head and worrying how you can make it work so that somehow you can see Andrew W.K. and all of Muse. To make that decision slightly easier, here are my top 5 acts that you CANNOT miss at Download 2015.

Slipknot, Main Stage, Friday
Against all odds they are still an absolutely enormous proposition. Their 2009 headline set was one of the best sets I’ve ever seen at any festival, ever and even if this is half as good (it won’t be) you won’t want to miss it.

Enter Shikari, Zippo Encore Stage, Friday
The genre-defying St Albans four-piece are returning to Donington with the intention to ‘upturn the furniture in your mind’. Following numerous five-star reviews of their career-best The Mindsweep, and their current UK tour, there’s every chance that will actually happen.

Body Count, Zippo Encore Stage, Saturday
There really, really is nothing like standing in a tent shouting ‘BC!!’ and ‘Body Count’ at a stage every two seconds. Give it a try this June, trust me.

Mötley Crüe, Main Stage, Sunday
Every time they play, they bring the party. Not only that but this will be your last possible chance to see Mötley Crüe at a UK festival. Seriously, they’ve signed a contract and everything so even if you’re not their biggest fan, you’ll still want to say you were there for this. Plus, if you’re close enough, you may even get a shot of Jager from Nikki Sixx who regularly dishes them out throughout the set!

King 810, third stage, Sunday
This will be the Flint mob’s biggest opportunity yet to justify the hype surrounding them. Go easy on Saturday night’s partying, you’ll need to be up early to see if they do!

Can Royal Blood win Best British Album at the 2015 BRITs?

Royal Blood

Originally published on the Ticketmaster blog

In the heavy rock world, 2014 was undoubtedly the year of Brighton two-piece Royal Blood. Their self-titled album is the fastest selling rock album in three years, they have worldwide sales of over half a million (250,000 in the UK alone) and they’ve broken 35 million streams on Spotify. Not bad for a band who, amazingly, don’t even have a guitarist!

But could Royal Blood actually WIN the BRIT award for Best British Album? It’s fair to say that bands this heavy have never won this crucial – and arguably the most important – category. Then again, bands this heavy don’t normally get nominated for the Mercury Music Prize – which is notorious for ignoring heavy guitars – nor do they turn up in the Live Lounge doing covers of Pharrell tunes. But Royal Blood have done just that.

So while the smart money is probably on Sam Smith, particularly as he’s just walked away with four Grammys – including their equivalent award, Record of the Year – Royal Blood has undoubtedly captured the public’s imagination over the past 12 months and could well be in with a shot. You’ve only got to look at Radio 1 moving the rock show to a primetime slot, Bring Me The Horizon headlining Wembley and the likes of Marmozets, Deaf Havana, and Mallory Knox being all over the radio, to see that the spotlight is certainly back shining on British rock music again. For the first time ever, a genuinely raw, heavy and vital rock album could stand tall at the 2015 Brit Awards. And it won’t be before time.

Shikari or Shakira

Last week I caught up with Rou and Chris from Enter Shikari and played a game of ‘Shikari or Shakira’

Is it a lyric by Enter Shikari or Shakira?

I made this as hard as I possibly could but it turns out the guys do actually know their lyrics pretty well…

On the show this week I also caught up with Loz Taylor from While She Sleeps on the phone. Their co-headline show tour with Cancer Bats this coming May looks set to be an absolute banger and I wanted to check in with the progress of their new album ‘Brainwashed’, which is out March 23rd.

It’s relatively quiet on the gig-front at the minute. I’m pretty much saving myself for the ‘Prepare For Hell’ tour featuring Slipknot, Korn, and King 810 at Wembley Arena next week. I haven’t seen the 18-legged monster since their incredible headline performance at Download 2009 so i literally can’t wait.

My Top 10 albums of 2015!

Against Me1. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues
Without a doubt the most confrontational and controversial ‘punk’ album in years. Laura Jane Grace defies EVERYTHING to deliver a knockout blow to hish-school jocks, homophobia, the close-minded punk community and anyone who wrote them off, myself included, after the underwhelming White Crosses.

Standout track – Black Me Out 

2. Architects – Lost Forever, Lost Together
Whilst watching what Sam Carter described as ‘their best ever set’ at Reading, my mate Rob (who isn’t exactly known for a love of heavy music) declared that it was one of the Top 10 gigs he’d ever been to. For me, that is endorsement enough. This is the sound of a band with years of experience and potential finally coming into their own and leaving ‘metalcore’ firmly at the door.

Standout track – Gravedigger

3. The Hold Steady – Teeth Dreams
After 2008’s somewhat patchy Heaven Is Whenever, this was the epic masterpiece the Brooklyn five-piece knew they had to make. Which is why it took them so long to do it, but it’s a spectacular return to the form for the band who command the most ridiculous fervour from their ‘unified scene’ of hardcore fans.

Standout track – On With The Business

4. Beartooth – Disgusting
I genuinely worry about how obsessed I would be with this album if I was ten years younger. Disgusting is an absolute monster. Stand-out track Beaten In Lips could well the best teen rock anthem since Last Resort. This is the sound of your children revolting indeed.

Standout track – Beaten In Lips

5. Twin Atlantic – Great Divide
Whilst 2011’s Free hinted at the greatness to come, nobody predicted the runaway success of 2014’s The Great Divide. And now they’re only bloody playing Brixton next year. How long until arenas come calling?

Standout track – Brothers And Sisters

6. Manic Street Preachers – Futurology
Plenty of other bands would have used the 20th anniversary of an iconic album to rinse their fans, tread water and trade on past glories. It’s telling that whilst the Manics did announce a tour to play 1994’s The Holy Bible in full, this was within 18 months of the release of two of their career best albums. 2013’s melancholy Rewind The Film, and this, the angular, European-tinged Futurology.

Standout track – Europa Geht Durch Mich

7. Marmozets – The Weird And Wonderful Marmozets
I think it’s fair to stay at the start of 2014 most people had these guys down as being great in the live arena, and not much more. Their debut full-length blew that out of the water as we discovered how much depth there really is to this Yorkshire five-piece. Oh, and there were some amazing live shows aswell.

Standout track – Cry

8. LostAlone – Shapes of Screams
Queen meets musical opera meets Biffy Clyro with the ludicrously talented Steven Battelle at the helm. Now split up, this album is their epitaph.

Standout track – GUILTY

9.The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt
Quite a gear-change for Gaslight, as apparently there’s only so much singing about cars, girls and old movies one band can do. It does take a few listens to get your head around one of your favourite suddenly sounding like Queens Of The Stone Age, but once you do, it’s a triumph. Get Hurt ensured their longevity and showed the world there are plenty of strings to their bow.

Standout track – Get Hurt 

10. Of Mice And Men – Restoring Force
There’s nothing I like more than a band who I’ve written off as being generic and bland make me eat my words with a storming gear change full of deafening riffs, soaring choruses and anthems for the pit whilst leaving their reliance on breakdowns at the door. Remarkable.

Standout track – Public Service Announcement