Halloween is probably my favourite holiday of the year. All-dayers are a lot of fun – I like to celebrate music and support the local scene, so when I heard of the Halloween all-dayer held at Manchester Rebellion in aid of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, I jumped at the chance to go. It had my name all over it. Metal, costumes, Halloweeny debauchery. Yes, yes and yes. There was only one noticeable casualty of the 11hr day – with poor ‘Chunk’ slipping on fake blood consequently breaking his wrist. Unfortunately, it must be said now that I missed Soden, R.B.H – Masters of Wank Metal (great name, by the way) and Gorehead, but did manage to catch and photograph the remaining 10 bands. It was a brilliant day (very busy, mind) which was expertly put together by the PIST lads and the Manchester Metal Collective.
Turned up in time for Mastiff – playing to a crowd of around five people at one o’clock in the afternoon is never easy, but they held their own and had a good sound. I was very thankful I remembered my earplugs, however – the sound was very loud and twice as heavy for 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Ten more hours of this would destroy me. Dark venues and red lights are the bane of any photographer’s existence, so I had my work cut out ahead of the other bands.
Back for After the Abduction…now I’m one of those girls who never knows how to feel about vocals I don’t entirely understand – but the band did sound tight, and I was impressed with their breakdowns. The band had a lot of onstage energy (perhaps due to the leftover pornography magazines littering the stage from R.B.H’s set before them) and definitely revved up the ever-growing audience.
Mower greatly amused me – the first band that I saw of the day wearing fancy dress. The vocalist – I don’t even know what he was wearing – used the stage well, and the band drew every single one of the stragglers in from the smoking area with their groove-based sound. I was thoroughly impressed by the sheer attack that a three-piece was able to produce, proving that you do not always need a bassist for a good sound (wasn’t meant to offend any bassists reading here, just recognising the full-bodied sound that they were able to produce).
Perpetual Chaos were another (kind of) fancy dress-wearing troupe. The two guitarists somehow managed to shred with horses heads, whilst making it look effortless. With one coming off mid-windmill, they made for a good show. They were one of the hardest bands to shoot, mainly due to the masses of red light that bleached all details – but it gave me a good amount of time for a breather to sit back and listen to the talent playing.
Blind Haze were one of my highlights of the day. Fusing the old-school sounds of Mötörhead with James Hetfield-esque vocals, this powerhouse trio were definitely the band to watch out for up to this point. Catch them supporting Orange Goblin in Leeds this December! They had an absolutely mammoth stage-presence and packed out the venue before the end of their set.
Redeye Revival were another headbang-inducing three piece (what is it with killer 3-pieces today?). Having seen them at No Fun Intended, I was definitely catching them. A beautifully thrashy trio that encompasses the best thrash of the 80’s with a modern, angrier vocal. The relatively unknown band definitely had the best mosh pit of the day, sparking everyone’s hatred of the world in one delightful mess.
Nomad were next up on my list of bands to catch, hearing good things from a couple of people in the crowd, I was told that I needed to see them. A headbang-inducing groove quickly swept over the crowd during their set, with clowns and zombies and pirates all weirdly grinding all over each-other like some kind of horror film nobody wants to see.
Bongcauldron were another highlight of the day. Being new to the doom/stoner/sludge genre, this little thrasher didn’t know what to expect from a band that were much talked about on my local scene in Leeds – but boy, was it with good reason. These guys absolutely ripped up the stage, with a chuggy, mellow groove that absolutely blew me away. Looking about the crowd, there was a uniform of bobbing heads and smiles amongst the Halloween face-paint. With a technical difficulty quickly saved by John of PIST, the band were soon killing it, with a brilliant stage invasion to end their set.
I like when a group of people coordinates their costumes for their Halloween night out – I’m sure everyone likes to see a wee squad of pals out for the night in their matching outfits – and Foetal Juice did not disappoint. Dressed as KISS, they absolutely SLAYED. With powerhouse riffs offset by impressive vocals, it was obvious to see why they were billed so high on the night. They made anarchy look fun, with stage divers and mosh pits and general silliness keeping people awake after what was already a long day of live music.
PIST were the final band of the day before the clubnight afterwards. With a frontman dressed as Macklemore throughout the day, they were sure to be a fun band to end the night with. I have to put my hand on my heart and say that they killed it on the last performance of their tour. They have a new album out, by the way – go check it out – it’s called Rhythm and Booze. I do love a good play on words.
More photos to follow on bands’ individual Facebook pages