Category: Gig Reviews

Decapitated/Dyscarnate/Baest/Bloodshot Dawn – Belfast, Voodoo – 14 February 2019

It’s just as well we don’t really celebrate Hallmark Day here at ÜRHQ – well, not in the sense of going out for an over-priced dinner that would cost you half the amount any other night of the week, only to have waiters hovering over the table forcing your to virtually gulp your grub down yer gob at heartburn-inducing speed ‘cos there’s a queue a mile long waiting for a table you can usually spend all night hogging… sure, wouldn’t we be much better served crammed into on of our favourite clubs along with an assorted bunch of fellow metallians for an evening of ear-shattering DM?

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Stone Broken/Those Damn Crows/Baleful Creed – Belfast, Voodoo – 10 February 2019

Stone Broken are, without a doubt, one of the hardest working bands in the Über Rockin’ firmament. They seem to be constantly on the road, and it is a wonder how, given the volume of gigs they perform in any given year, they find time to write and record new material, never mind pause for a valuable sip of Vimto (a reference which will become clear during the interview at the end of this piece). It is this hard-working ethos which seems them currently ploughing the highways and by-ways of the Über Kingdom on yet another headline tour spanning 16 dates, including some out of the way places which many other bands would never even consider visiting. And it was this work ethic, and trek, which saw them return to ÜR’s home city of Belfast to build on the success of their first appearance here, a little less than a year ago, when they blew Buckcherry off the stage (but, then, that’s not hard to do!).

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Kris Barras/Buffalo Summer – Cardiff, The Globe – 6 February 2019

With a backstory that reads like a Hollywood script (childhood player, disillusionment, bankruptcy, cage fighting and sadly the death of his father aged 54) David O’Neill went along to the first night of Kris Barras’ current UK tour wondering how good a guitarist could an ex-Mixed Martial Arts fighter be: he knew one thing – he wasn’t going to risk saying he wasn’t! There was no need for our man to worry about being put in a headlock; anyone who has played guitar from the age of six was likely to be pretty good…

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Brian Downey’s Alive & Dangerous – Isernhagen, Blues Garage – 3 February 2019

For those of you that do not recognise the name, Brian Downey is one of the world’s most underrated rock drummers. Along with Phil Lynott on bass, they provided the bedrock that supported the now famous twin guitar sound of Thin Lizzy. Why Brian isn’t in the Rolling Stone’s top 100 drummer’s list is beyond belief, and hard to swallow, especially for any diehard Thin Lizzy fanatic like me. Thin Lizzy was the band I grew up listening too, so this review may be a bit biased.

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Obscura/Fallujah/Allegaeon/First Fragment – Manchester, Rebellion – 7 February 2019

Ahh, technical death metal, the widdliest and guitar wankery-est of all non-prog genres. When a TDM heavyweight such as Obscura are touring fairly nearby, it would be rather rude not to accept an invitation from Tapestry Promotions to attend, especially when Allegaeon, First Fragment and Fallujah are their tour mates. So, off to Manchester again for our resident gigaholic for an evening of brutality…

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Parkway Drive/Killswitch Engage/Thy Art Is Murder – Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena – 1 February 2019

For months the rumours had been circulating – and dividing the metal community right down the middle… Australian metalcore giants Parkway Drive were the as-yet-unannounced third headliner for the mighty Bloodstock festival this coming summer… the various online forums had been going positively ballistic in the lead up to this round of dates in the Über Kingdom, with confirmation coming just as the lights went up on the final show of the run; but, first, there was the small matter of their debut Welsh arena show…

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King King/Sari Schorr – Cardiff, Tramsheds – 2 February 2019

After a triumphant performance at Steelhouse festival in 2018, Glasgow blues rock outfit King King returned to Cardiff on a feelgood day in the capital after the start of the Six Nations tournament which saw Wales beat a rather lacklustre French team and Scotland destroy Italy in Edinburgh despite a late comeback. So, all the Celts were looking forward to a feelgood gig in one of the best medium sized venues in South Wales.

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Drug Church/Single Mothers/Super Lemon Days – Birmingham, The Sunflower Lounge – 31 January 2019

If there’s a better way of fighting off the winter chill than cramming into a small venue to watch some of the finest punk around, we’ve not found it. That’s exactly the situation Rich H found himself in at the tail-end of January, Birmingham’s The Sunflower Lounge playing host to the North American invasionary force of Drug Church and Single Mothers for a sold out show in the bar’s basement venue.

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