It is approaching that time of year again, in a few months festival season will be upon us, and once again hundreds and thousands of people will be descending on many a field ready for a chaotic camping experience, but where will you be?
Well, thousands of Brits seem to be turning their back on UK festivals in search for nicer weather and heading overseas for their festival of choice. As great as the Download line up looks this year, not many of us fancy another weekend potentially up to our eyes in mud right? Right. So, let us tell what we reckon is the place to be this Summer, Hellfest!
Hellfest is located in Clisson, close to Nantes in France and is increasingly becoming more and more popular with rock and metal fans all over the world. It has been a well established festival for over a decade and continues to grow and grow each year. It relocated in 2012 meaning it could house even more music fans and ore stages and more bands than ever before!
2013 looks set to be one of its greatest line ups yet with hundreds of bands across many genres making an appearance. American giants KISS will headline, alongside Brit-pioneers Def Leppard and the super cool ZZ Top, i mean that in itself is pretty fantastic. Well, they will also be joined by the likes of Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, Korn, NOFX, Saxon, Hardcore Superstar, Down, Danzig, Volbeat….the list is endless, truly something for everyone.
This years event takes place on 21-23 June and promises to be a killer time to be had by all. So what do you think? Will you be making a trip to Hellfest this year? We certainly will be!
Classic Album Review: Def Leppard - Hysteria
August 1987 saw the release of an album that would give Def Leppard worldwide fame, achieving number one in the album chart on both sides of the Atlantic. Drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car accident in 1984, and that, along with other delays resulted in the album taking three years to make, although ultimately it was worth it for a band who still consistently headline festivals and arena tours as a result of this album amongst others.
The album itself was an experimental work, designed to be commercially successful. It features a number or ballads, in the form of ‘Animal’, ‘Love Bites’, ‘Hysteria’ and ‘Love and Affection’; the rest of the tracks either recall the bands hard rock roots or find a middle ground somewhere between the two. ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ falls into the latter category, and is the bands most popular song. It stands out as the masterpiece of the album, although the edited version of ‘Rocket’ that was released as a single comes close. The problem with the album version of the song is also the problem with most of the songs on the album – they just sound too overproduced. ‘Animal’ is a song that stands out during live performances, but on the album the production strips the drums of their power and the guitar of its raw.
That is not to say the album isn’t worth its reputation. The songs on display are all masterfully written, and when performed live by the band take on an almost entirely different persona. It is worth remembering though that the album came out in 1987, and commercial success was what producer Mutt Lange was aiming for. You cannot deny that he achieved it either, twenty-six years later it is still highly regarded, and it stands at number 464 on the Rolling Stone’s ‘500 greatest albums of all time list’.
It’s almost impossible to pick out a bad song on the album, every song is good, the problem is just the production. It is also difficult to pick out three songs to recommend, which goes to show that bad production doesn’t necessarily mean a bad album. Turn your speakers up loud, and transport yourself back to 1987, its one hell of a ride.
Songs To Spotify: ‘Animal’ ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ ‘Hysteria’.
Def Leppard set for Vegas residency
Another band set to take on their on residency in Las Vegas next year is going to be Def Leppard. The Sheffield rockers are set to play their classic album Hysteria during their nine show stint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Following the likes of Guns n Roses and Motley Crue, Leppard begin their run of shows on March 22 2013 and will be playing hits from their 35 year career. “We’re very happy to be part of what I call the first wave of rockers to take Vegas back from the lounge singers.” says frontman Joe Elliott. This will mark the first time the band have played one of their albums from start to finish.
Tickets go on sale this weekend…..maybe time for a holiday??
Well, what can I say, 2011 has been quite the year for music for me. I think I have tackled more gigs this year than ever before. I’ve been up and down the country, been to three festivals, and seen and heard all sorts! So when it comes to picking my favourite of the year it is a tough decision, a very tough decision.
I think though, for my best gig of the year, I am going to have to go with Slash at Victoria Hall in Stoke. A special night for so many reasons. Not only was this Slash’s first time back in the city he was born, but he was playing a gig in a beautiful venue, and it was all being recorded for his first live dvd! It was a fantastic night. I remember the band being on top form, they all looked and sounded amazing and gave a million per cent. I will never forget the look on the crowds faces as Slash played the Godfather theme solo, and hearing everyone afterwards talking about how it was possibly the best show they have ever seen. I know I certainly felt that way. A perfect evening in the company of a guitar god and his wonderful band.
Pulp at Wireless Festival was also a great one. Pulp have been one of my favourite bands since I was a little girl, infact Different Class was the first album I ever bought. I was too young the first time to see them, and they disbanded before I was old enough, but the news this year of their reformation made me ridiculously happy. It was a very very special night. An amazing set, full of timeless classics that I sang every word to. Jarvis Cocker is a true poet, and to hear him sing some of those songs live was honestly a dream come true. The crowd and the atmosphere in Hyde Park was electric and everyone united for mass sing alongs, it was kind of mesmerising.
Other stand out shows for me this year have been the truly fantastic Rival Sons. I managed to catch them play a very very tiny gig at The Cockpit in Leeds earlier in the year and it moved me immensely. They are the kind of band, that when they play you feel every single part of the music and it is so full of emotion, spirit and fire you cannot help but fall in love with them. Also, Michael Monroe and his band headed out on a tour back in April, and seriously, their show is one you need to see. So much energy and rock and roll attitude condensed into 90 mins, it is inspirational to see a band full of great musicians having so much fun playing music they love!
I feel like I have to also mention amazing sets from Rob Zombie, New York Dolls, Def Leppard, Duff McKagans Loaded, really there is just too many to choose from.
Now, onward to another difficult topic, album of the year. How can I pick just one when there have been many?
Rival Sons make it into this for me again. Pressure and Time is an absolute powerhouse of raw, dirty, soulful rock and roll. Nothing more, nothing less, just pure brilliance from beginning to end. Jay Buchanan’s voice is like nothing I have heard before, sure we have had some amazing frontmen in our time but Jay is something else. I first heard them back in January, Young Love was the first song to be precise and I had it on repeat for a good few days, so when Pressure and Time was released, it didn’t leave my stereo for a long time, infact it’s still in there. Honestly, if you are any kind of music fan you must listen to this band, I urge you. I know huge things will happen for them, so be a part of it too.
There have been many other fantastic releases this year, This Might Hurt by The Treatment, Sensory Overdrive by Michael Monroe, as well as offerings from Motorhead, Black Spiders and Graveyard that have kept my ears happy over the last 12 months.
Like I said 2011 has been a solid year for great music, it has been a very difficult task to try and some up just how great it has been for me, and I’m still sure I’ve forgotten some stuff, but you get the picture. Roll on 2012? I think so.