Review by Maria Glover for MPM
Day 3 – Sunday 15th May 2022
• Loyds Trip
• Yesterday’s Gone
• The Dark
• Liberty Lies
• The Dukes of Bordello
• Ashen Reach
• South of Salem
• King Creature
• Black Spiders
• Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons
Unfortunately Caesar Did It & Austin Gold were unable to perform due to testing positive for Covid.
Local band Loyds Trip got a chance to open the stage on day 3 after a couple of bands had to pull out. The hard rock and heavy blues Sheffield 4-piece did a short but impressive set full of chunky riffs and face-melting guitar solos. I
’ve checked out their socials since then as I loved their style.
Decaf Blues’ from the self-titled EP is purely addictive with gang chants and a fuzzy, retro feel that I simply love.
There was a song about pigeons if I’m not mistaken. I’ve already found their bandcamp page and am buying what I can!
I’m sure I coined this description… “Southern Fried Blues Rock” band Yesterday’s Gone are another local band and one I’m very familiar with already. I know frontman Rob Walker from previous bands, and he is now also stepping in with Sons of Liberty for some dates they have scheduled til they find a new singer.
Rob’s voice is amazingly gravelly and soulful in equal measure, and far bigger than you would expect on meeting him. He can belt out tune with amazing power and control, with an authentic southern lilt and swagger.
End Up Like Me’ has a steady and contagious ‘Black Velvet’ Alannah Miles beat which is irresistible to the hips. They play a new song ‘Into The Sun’ and close their set with ‘False Smiles’.
I love this band. They are the best thing to come out of Chesterfield in forever, with a great stage presence and abundant energy.
Today I was given a lesson in never judging anything or anyone by appearances. The Dark stalked onto the stage looking like Marilyn Manson’s offspring and are actually the friendliest, happiest goths I’ve ever seen.
I was worried I wouldn’t like their sound but they actually went down a storm and were really enjoyable.
With lots of pvc and tiny black lace tutus, all dressed head to toe in black and most with intriguing black make up, I wasn’t expecting them to be quite so entertaining but they knew just how to work a crowd and get us involved.
They did 7 songs including stand outs ‘Hollywood Grindhouse’ which is addictive, and the ghoulish and menacing ‘Mr Macabre’.
The lead singer can purr like a kitten and roar like a lion. The genre I’m told is industrial goth metal but whatever it is I like it!
The Black Country has a lot to answer for… thank god. Another stonking band to emerge from the midlands, Liberty Lies put on a imposing performance, the band in general having an amazing presence and the singer with a powerful and sensual voice.
Liberty Lies are a four-piece made up of frontman Shaun Richards, Josh Pritchett on guitar, Adam Stevens on Drums and Miles Bagshaw on Bass and Keys. Around for almost 14 years, the band formed after the core members met at school.
The last time I saw them Shaun (vocals) had long hair so I’m a bit thrown when he walks on stage with a close shave but you can recognise that voice anywhere.
Undivided’, ‘Mouth Breather’ and ‘A Thousand People’ warm up the crowd and its genuinely a pleasure to watch as they take over the stage. Check them out.
The Dukes of Bordello
Self-professed “trashcan troubadors” punk-rock-americana, in fact all-round eclectic, 3-piece The Dukes of Bordello take no prisoners and tell no lies in their own brand of no-nonsense rock and roll.
Never seen without his hat, Andy Barrot on vocals and guitar has a dry wit and humour and their sound is driven by melodies that creep inside your head.
The huge double bass on stage is fabulous and Chip Waite throws it around like it’s a mini violin, while Craz on drums sets the backdrop.
These guys put on a show to watch not just listen to, animated and funny, whilst kicking out some killer tunes. ‘Alternative Jesus’ is packed with hooks and stays in your mind for days!
Despite the early slot, there are more than a few Ashen Reach fans identifiable by the tshirts and clamour to get a better view.
They received rave reviews of their ‘Homecoming’ debut album and I haven’t seen this band before so I’m eager to see what the fuss is all about.
The punishing riff for ‘Fighting For My Life’ is overlaid with the dulcet tones of singer Kyle. What a crackin voice. I like what I hear!
The short set shows me that this is indeed a band to watch as they showcase some of the tracks from the album. A few blistering guitar solos and some seriously adorable vocals, ‘Epiphany’ is delicious.
Heir to the Throne’ is bass heavy and I love that sound and the feel of the bass. This is my first but will not be my last visit to the basilica of Ashen Reach.
South of Salem
It’s my first listen and I fell in love with this next band from the start. Looking and sounding like American rock stars, they have a different style that makes them stand out above most UK rock bands.
There’s a nice chunk of metal and a hint of punk to their sound and yet it’s also quite commercially viable in the vein of Sixx AM and BFMV.
Their performance is extremely polished and their music well-produced, creating a remarkable and exciting set that would not be out of place at Whisky A Go Go.
They are quite dark, their lyrics tending to be sombre, and serious-looking, but with songs conveyed with such passion and fire that it’s compelling. I tell no lies in saying they cost me a fortune in merch and I’ve had their album on repeat since that day!
Pain and grief are transposed into fierce tracks with a formidable and relentless pull – it’s cerebral. And curiously it’s not gloomy or miserable in the slightest, but really fun to watch and humorous in places. Standouts for me if I had to pick and my life depended on it would be ‘Another Nail in My Coffin’ and ‘Demons Are Forever’.
Nails was so much fun (“all I want to do is stop you breathing”) as singer Joey Draper drags his finger across his throat, and Demons heart-wrenching. But I genuinely loved every minute and wanted more.
South of Salem took my breath away and led me straight to their merch desk on autopilot. They have all you will ever need and more and I’m so excited to be here at the start of their ascent. The debut album is phenomenal so go buy it.
I’m not sure how to follow SOS but King Creature do a bang-up job. A band fuelled with dazzling guitar solos and death growls, they create a wall of sound, and the singer-bassist Dave Kellaway is captivating to watch as he marches the stage with menace.
The bass is thunderous throughout and the kick drum jolts it up another notch on the Richter scale.
They do a new song ‘Lost Soul’ in the set alongside tracks from their ‘Set The World On Fire’ album in a solid and entertaining set.
The Sheffield band formed in early 2008 and I was there when the Black Spiders said farewell, adios, and au revoir in 2017 to a packed out Corp.
Then in 2021 they announced their resurrection, with Wyatt Wendells as new drummer and a new self-titled album which reached number 9 on the UK Rock Chart.
They are known for hi-octane performances and heavy duty rock and roll, influences including Motorhead and Sabbath. They give fair warning of face-melting and do not disappoint, the audience thrilled (maybe a little terrified) and screaming “f*ck you, Black Spiders” sporadically.
The “hardest-working, best-looking and youngest band on the stage” start out with ‘Death Comes Creepin‘ and Wyatt is brutal on the drums. ‘Stay Down’, ‘Teenage Knife Gang’ and ‘Just Like A Woman’, they celebrate their time in the business in the setlist, closing out the set with ‘Kiss Tried To Kill Me’ from their first album in 2011.
Black Spiders are raucous, ear-splitting and at times guttural, yet they can also be emotional and sensitive (yes I did say that word) and they always put on a damn good show. Let’s hope their new lease of life continues.
Setlist: Death Comes Creepin; Stick It to the Man; Fly in the Soup; Stay Down; Stabbed in the Back; What Good’s a Rock Without a Roll?; Good Times (The Easybeats cover); Teenage Knife Gang; Wizard Shall Not Kill Wizard; Just Like a Woman; KISS Tried to Kill Me.
Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons (Headliner) – Motorhead set
Phil Campbell was the lead guitarist in Motörhead from 1984 to 2015, the iconic rock and metal band which disbanded after the death of Lemmy in 2015. In 2016 Phil Campbell formed his own band, ‘Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons’, featuring his sons! Hence the title.
A statement went out earlier in the day; “Due to illness within the band we are going to play a full Motörhead set tonight at Heretic festival at the Sheffield Corporation instead of the planned regular PCATBS headline show”.
What a coup to get a Motörhead show at the first ever Heretic Fest! I bet Hannah was ecstatic.
People who were hitherto nowhere to be seen, surge to the barrier to be part of the action. The atmosphere is charged to full voltage.
Starting out with the title track from the fifth album in 1982, ‘Iron Fist’: “Black night, nothing to see. Invisible hand in front of me. Scared to death there’s someone near. Scared to move, but you can’t stay here.” They look and sound cool AF.
The crowd are instructed to sing the chorus of ‘Born To Raise Hell’ and do so willingly, and with some hefty noise behind them. The combined sound of the band and audience threaten to lift the roof into the night sky.
Campbell doesn’t break a sweat as ‘(We Are) The Roadcrew’ screams out, teaching the younger bands here exactly how it’s done, that ever-familiar riff sounding sublime live.
And needing no introduction, ‘Ace Of Spades’ is mammoth and even solicits a smile from Phil (rare as hen’s teeth) and it’s now mental in here.
Dane gives the drums everything he has in ‘Overkill’ and Joel Peters’ vocal switches between brusque and gritty to more temperate as the song courses onwards and closes the evening and the weekend. What a way to close this brand new festival out. This has to be a bucket-list moment for many there.
Setlist: Iron Fist; Damage Case; Rock Out; Orgasmatron; Born to Raise Hell; Stay Clean; Nothing Up My Sleeve; Just ‘Cos You Got the Power; R.A.M.O.N.E.S.; (We Are) The Road Crew; Ace of Spades
Encore: Bomber; Going to Brazil; Silver Machine (Hawkwind cover); Overkill.
PC&TBS are: Phil Campbell – rhythm guitar; Todd Campbell – lead guitar, harmonica; Tyla Campbell – bass; Dane Campbell – drums; Joel Peters – lead vocals (2021-present).
As the first of hopefully many Heretic Fest events, this weekend has been sensational. The collection of bands and genres has meant that most of the rock community are catered for. All have been outstanding and professional, and it’s been a fantastic but exhausting weekend.
Pete K Mally is a great compere and keeps us ticking along nicely. He loves every band a bit more than the previous and “shit the bed” has become my catchphrase now. Seriously though, he’s funny and unpretentious, and adds to the enjoyment.
The vendors failed to show which meant that people went out for food and this will have meant that the smaller, less-well known bands’ numbers will have suffered.
I had to feed Pete to keep him alive and I was craving tea. My only constructive advice would be that vendors onsite will keep people happy and keep them hanging around. Saying that, vendors who let you down can’t be helped.
Well done, Hannah. Such a huge achievement for one so young and definitely helping to make Hannah Heretic a name to be revered.
Photography by – Cecil Paul Studios for MPM