Category Archives: Gigs

Glastonbury Highlights – Friday

The easiest way I could think of summarising my time at Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, is to take a day-by-day approach. These are my highlights of the first day of live music on Friday.

Skepta
Leading grime artist Skepta, took the Pyramid stage by storm at just before 2pm yesterday and for probably the “whitest” crowd he’s performed to, I doubt he’s performed to one with more engery. With hits like “That’s Not Me”, “Shutdown”, “Too Many Man” and “Man” being spat back to him by thousands of fans (including me) you couldn’t get a better atmosphere.

Occassionally crew members would run the sides chucking out merch to front row fans and Skepta was regularly joined on stage by members of his crew, like Frisco and Jammer, to keep the hype levels at Maximum and the grime flowing till the end.

Vant
At the small tent stage in William’s Green, Political Punk Indie Rock band Vant rocked out to a few hundred enthusiasts at around 5pm. Being a bit of a hipster fanboy, I pushed through and positioned myself on the rail.

After a few opening tracks to get the crowd ready, things got political with the frontman commenting on the results of the EU referendum – “if you voted to leave, get the F*** out of my tent!”.  Known songs like “Parking Lot”, “Fly-By Alien” and latest release “Karma Seeker” got things back on track.

Bring Me the Horizon
Metal core BMTH kicked off the evening music at 7:20pm over on the other stage. A video intro pre-warned fans that if they weren’t looking to get hurt, that they were at “the wrong show” and should “f***ing leave”. The video ended by comanding the crowd to open the centre creating a pit that was then told to grow wider, wider, and wider.

Starting with”happy song” BMTH followed up with songs like “Follow You”, “Shadow Moses”and “Can You Feel My Heart”, before ending on crowd favourite “Throne”. A truly heavy energetic experience that involved mosh pits, wall of deaths and crowd surfing, seemed out of place in the early evening before indie-pop band Bastille.

Baroness Live at the 02 Institute

Baroness live at the O2 Institute, Birmingham. 29th of February 2016.

Progressive/Sludge Metal band Baroness and Synth-Metal support act No Spill Blood, rocked the O2 Institute in Birmingham last night and my god it was good. Having only heard of Baroness just over a week ago, it was quite a spontaneous event, but well worth it.

No Spill Blood opened the night with a 7 song set (which is shown below). Having not heard of any of their stuff before, I was pleasantly surprised. As hard as it is to play to an audience that have no idea who you are, the Irish Synth-Metal trio (consisting of a bassist + vocalist, drummer and synth player) quite quickly got the crowd interested. By the end of White Out, the crowd were ready for more.

Although I enjoyed their sound, I couldn’t really hear the lyrics. The vocals were distorted which was obviously intended, as it’s also used on their albums and it worked well with their sound, but it masked the words.

No Spill Blood’s setlist.

No Spill Blood Setlist O2 Institute2, Birmingham, England 2016

After a short interval for equipment change over and sound check, Baroness took to the stage. Starting off with Kerosene followed by fan favourite March To the Sea, Baroness started as they meant to go on, and by that I mean a set filled with heavy hitters. Morningstar, Shock Me and Board Up the House carried on the high energy start before Green Theme, which acted as a somewhat intermission for the crowd to catch their breath due to singing their hearts out.

The Iron Bell got the ball rolling again, while Little Things took the crowd to new heights (no joke, the girl next to me started crying of joy when the chorus hit). My personal favourite, If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop The Rain?), soon followed and is probably the reason why I have such a sore throat today, as I (and many others) couldn’t help but sing along. A few songs followed that I didn’t really know (Fugue and Sea Lungs) but still enjoyed, before slow building, but high ending, Chlorine & Wine. The set hit it’s climax when Try to Disappear, Cocainium and Eula closed off the set.

After briefly walking off stage, before being summoned back by the crowd, Baroness played a two song encore. Another slow building but high ending song started the encore. The heavily guitar based Isak, got the crowd pumped and ready for what would be the last song of the night. In the spirit of “keeping the best to last”, Baroness officially closed the set with all time fan favourite Take My Bones Away. A great way to end an amazing night of music.

Baroness’ setlist.

Baroness Setlist O2 Institute2, Birmingham, England 2016

Having only been to one pretty small metal gig before this, by a now not so small band (Sanguine), I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was a great night of music with strong performances from two amazing bands. Thankfully there wasn’t a mosh pit as that’s not really my thing. Besides having a sore-ish neck from head banging, a sore throat from “singing” along and still ringing ears (might need to get them checked…) is enough for me.

Not to self: bring some sort of ear protection next time…


This was the first time I’ve attempted to “review” a gig, so please comment any ways I can improve.