Category: Gig Reviews

Dark Sky Burial – Camden, The Underworld – 12 September 2021

One glimmer of hope when the whole world went to shit was the increase in the number of online live streams. While things are a little bit more normal and venues can open their doors once more, there are some bands who opt to run a live stream of their physical gigs which is dead handy when you’re a bit far removed from the venue. And it’s because of this that Jonny B was able to catch the first ever live performance for Dark Sky Burial, the new industrial project from Napalm Death’s Shane Embury, at The Underworld in Camden from the relative comfort of his Northern Fortress of Solitude (patent pending).

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Blood Stained Reputation – Rotherham, The Hive – 11 September 2021

You wouldn’t think of Doncaster as being the home of exciting new bands; though being home to the likes of While She Sleeps and Yungblud, the most exciting band to emerge in recent times are the viral TikTok superstars, Blood Stained Reputation, a young but powerful and diverse group. ÜR NKOTB Lyndon D was fortunate enough to catch this electric, if short, performance in promotion of their forthcoming debut EP release.

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Slam Dunk South – Hatfield – 5 September 2021

The summer hasn’t quite left us yet, Jonny B mused, as he made his way down to Hatfield in glorious sunshine for one of the last events of the summer season, Slam Dunk Festival. Although JB has pretty extensively covered the festival circuit over the years, it was his first time at Slam Dunk so he was pretty excited to get down there and see what the hype was all about. Having meticulously studied the lineup in the run up to the event, he knew he was going to be in trouble as this year was clash central with several of the bands he wanted to see overlapping each other. So he was going to have to face the question of should he stay or should he go at several points throughout the day. But regardless, he set off through those gates with the sun blaring overhead to get his fix of punk, ska and heavy shit…

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Hands Off Gretel/Air Drawn Dagger/FUS – Sheffield, The Leadmill – 7 September 2021

Arriving at Sheffield’s iconic, and sold out, Leadmill, you couldn’t help but notice the wide range of audience members that would be attending the Hands Off Gretel gig that night in the fast growing queue. The old and the young, the misfits and the outcasts, the passionate alternative music lovers and young bands such as Blood-Stained Reputation; all eagerly awaiting the doors as they shared the excitement of seeing the band that brought them together.

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HRH Prog X – Sheffield, O2 Academy – 4 September 2021

With only one stage this year, it’s time for HRH Prog. There are some limitations to the bill, due to bands being unavailable due to Covid. But there are still 14 bands to fill the line-up over the two days. On top of that HRH are putting on another Prog show in London at the same time, the line-ups swapping venues, i.e., the bands playing Sheffield on the Saturday play London on the Sunday: that must be a logistical nightmare. Just as well they only have the one stage to organise in the O2 in Sheffield. Covid restrictions are in place again, a Covid passport or proof of double inoculation is needed to gain entry, though masks are optional. It is a mainly seated venue this time. And so, without further ado, let’s get started on this fine Saturday afternoon with the first band

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Bayside/Senses Fail/Hawthorne Heights/The Bombpops – Sayreville NJ, Starland Ballroom – 4 September 2021

After 18 months which felt like an eternity, it was finally time for Starland Ballroom to open their doors back up for one of the most anticipated tours of the year! Originally planned for 2020 and cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Bayside were finally able to bring their ‘21 Years of Really Bad Luck’ tour to the stage. Promising fans a career-spanning set list, which is quite impressive considering they have eight full-length albums to choose from, there was a lot of buzz about what would be played. With additional support from emo/punk rock heavy hitters Senses Fail, Hawthorne Heights, and The Bombpops, this was certainly a night to remember!

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HRH Sleaze IV – Sheffield, O2 Academy – 28/29 August 2021

After two long years, Hard Rock Hell returns in 2021 with its ultimate rock party weekend, Sleaze. Though many of the bands were admittedly unrehearsed compared to their usual performances pre-covid the energy amongst the bands and the audience was electric. The event was a massive family reunion where you’re actually happy to be there with extended catchups in the smoking area and many drinks to toast with. We could spend time talking about the obviously breath-taking performances of both headline acts, The Quireboys and Tigertailz, but it goes without saying that those shows were classic performances to aspire to. So, let’s talk about some moments that I feel need a mention from the HRH Sleaze weekend.

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Those Damn Crows/Cardinal Black/Scarlet Rebels – Cardiff Castle – 29 August 2021

The opportunity to see this would be David O’Neill’s third castle gig over the past few years, Thunder and Black Stone Cherry at Caerphilly Castle being the others. Supported by one of the hardest touring bands from South Wales and a “new band” this was a bill too good to miss. One of the nicest days of the summer helped, given south-east Wales has been under a veil of cloud for the majority of August.

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