Well here we go. It’s Bloodstock Official, Day one. The sun is still out, more so even than yesterday and lobsters are strolling round like Watain decided on a seafood explosion rather than a perfectly acceptable bloodbath.
Clearly no-one packed sunscreen. We might be metal, but we ain’t actually made of the stuff, Sunburn is not metal, kids.
Thankfully, the excitement of being at Bloodstock a day early for once had meant I had talked too much to drink the bar dry the night before, hence no hangover. But, in this scorching heat, first order of the day was to skip gaily to press to grab water, past the semi naked men, women, and pirates before heading off to see the first band of the day on the Ronnie James Dio Stage, MALEFICE . A good strong crowd had risen early and were ready and waiting to be entertained front and centre, and by golly they got what they were waiting for. It’s quite an honour to open the festival, and the pressure must have been on big time. But the lads proved they were more than worthy of a main stage slot and a pit opened up with no demand. Dale proclaimed nervousness, but it wasn’t apparent from the energetic and balls out performance. With arms wide open (No, Creed were not there) and a friendly dig at forum trolls staying away, Malefice won some metal hearts and minds today and completely connected with the fans, core haters clearly didn’t hate when they had no 14 year old trout pouter on Facebook to impress, eh.
German Power metallers FREEDOM CALL  followed. Power metal isn’t really my thing, but wandering away slowly from Malefice back to press I could not help but notice some still semi sober black metallers horn throwing and grinning at each other whilst looking very happy indeed. Quite a sight to behold, black metal fist pumpers is. Especially with Behemoth and Watain t-shirts on. Proof in the pudding that metal of any genre and sunshine and beer mix very well. Freedom Call did what they said on the tin, and provided a singalong set with spotless execution that the variety genre crowd were more than up for joining in with. A little bit o’ fromage metal can clear away the jager addled brain cobwebs it seems.
Time for a look around the site before my interview with Andreas Kisser of SEPULTURA (which can be seen below) It wouldn’t be Bloodstock without nutters now would it, as luck would have it. I discovered a group of them all at once. It was like my own personal Metal Pervert Summer party.
Stormborn as it turns out, were asked by Bedlam of The Vicious Breed for their album. Unfortunately, the band hadn’t written their tracklist down. Obviously bumming ensued. Must be their way of concentrating as a unit, rather like a Metal Borg Hive Porn scenario.
Much the same as last year, BOA site layout was nice and simple. We poodled off to merch. Every year I buy merch. You should too. Not only because it helps the bands, but because you shouldn’t be a tightwad, get your fucking wallet out. £20 later, and sporting a spangly new BOA vest top (that fits tall people!)
I was watching happily as fully grown men wrestled each other wearing gold lame shorts and pink stetsons. The sharpies had been out in force the previous night, with willies, exclamations of love and phone numbers emblazoned across bare, glistening sweaty chests (where was my fucking brain to not take down those numbers, and camera!) Granted those poor buggers will now have a lovely white reminder of that sharpie attack if they left it there all day. The diversity of BOA attendees never fails to amaze me, as does the drunken shenanigans.
Strolling slowly across the main arena, fans laid in their thousands upon the grass. Bursts of random laughter, groups clinking silent plastic beer cups as the alternating rumbles of bass and sound checks from different stages permeated the haze whilst the odd kiddie with massive ear protectors played happily with their parents.
Today was busy, interviews took up a lot of my time so I grabbed what chance I had and ran with my water (*cough*) to DERISION  to catch literally one of the northern thrashers tracks. What I heard was pure “deep breath in, hold that breath, and let that breath out when the melody breaks and exercise that fucking thrash metal neck muscle now!” melodic chaos. Not seen Derision? You need to.
Get it now? Good. Don’t miss them again. Yet another band to keep a real close eye on. Thrash is for life, not just for Bloodstock.
I did some speaking to bands next. Have a peek below at a couple. The heat shakes were very apparent, fear of passing out and faceplanting metal gods meant I gurned my way through them, and had to sit down whilst ‘doing’ Andreas.
Back to the bands, after filling my gullet with hog roast (nom), the delicate sounds of hundreds of skulls being crushed began to emanate from the main arena. SEPULTURA  were now on stage. I give not one microscopic fuck that Derek Green is not Max Cavalera. Good, because Derek Green does a perfectly good job of being a stonkingly good vocalist and frontman called Derek Green.
I give even less of a fuck when I become transfixed with Andreas’ hair and then lose sight of everything when my head starts to flip forward in unison with thousands of others. The passion for their craft that Sepultura ooze is crowd infectious, Green is one scary motherfucker, and you get the feeling that he could give Thor himself a run for his money at hammer throwing.
Kisser is still my main focus of course, and his “I dare you not to fucking like this shit” stance teamed with his gritted teeth snarl with head thrown back is almost too much for my poor brain.
It appears the arena agrees, for however many times I have seen Sep inside venues, it’s their open air performances that really hit home and recreate the link in your psyche, making you remember just how much you love them. I’d have happily seen their set time doubled. Especially if Andreas was forced to play naked. A pleasing surprise was when Tim Ripper Owens makes a guest appearance to warm up those vocal chords which the crowd wholeheartedly embraced. Nice touch!
My final word on Sep as I wipe the beads of sweat from my..er..well, everywhere visible, is this: Green’s been the frontman since 1998, and my eyes rolled when I hear one little sunburned shit proclaim after backslapping his pal and tying his hair back that, “Green is not Cavalera, bring back Cavalera, it’s not Sepultura without Cavalera, the set would have been better with Max” The little turd was probably 4 when Max left and still learning to use a knife and fork. The little turd had also headbanged all the way through the set and sung most of the words. Enjoy the fucking band and stop whining about a line up over a decade ago.
Beer time. Really. I’m sick of being the teetotaller. Up next, one of the bands that I have been most looking forward to seeing grace The Ronnie James Dio stage, for more than one reason. DIO DISCIPLES. [9.5]
If there were ever a more fitting band to tread those boards it is this band.
Formed as a personal tribute to the man himself, DIO DISCIPLES is a supergroup in the true sense. Long time friends and former band members came together to keep the music of Dio alive.
They do it for love, and this shows in their performance. Leading in with Stand Up And Shout. The audience do just that, I’ve never seen so many hands in the air throwing the horns in honour of Dio’s memory. Vocally, Toby Jepson (Little Angels) and legendary Tim Ripper Owens (Judas Priest), are ideal, belting out with crystal clarity the high pitched vibrato filled lines with what appears to be absolute ease. It’s also very apparent that the band are really fucking happy to be there. A classic set ensued, with my absolute favourite “Rainbow in the Dark” dare I say it, raising a lightly moistened eye. Musically, well, what would expect from these guys? Tight as a Steel Panther Underpant design, that’s what.
Emotional and powerful, as the set came to a close with loud and passionate chants of “Dio! Dio! Dio! Dio!”, I half expected to turn round, look up, and see a Rainbow stretching over the cloudless blue sky.
Dio is alive and well in DIO DISCPLES. Long Live Ronnie James Dio.
I only caught a few tracks of Behemoth. Yes I am annoyed at this, but Niall saw the lot, you can read about that HERE.
COMING SOON: Bloodstock Festival 2012 According To Fox: Part Three – Saturday