I think the phrase “Well fuck me sideways and call me Bob” pretty much sums up this years Bloodstock Open Air Festival. Some others spring to mind too, but they’re too dirty to print.
Whilst much of the country was glued to the Olympics, a reportedly record number of 11,000 loyal metal fans made their annual pilgrimage to the acres of green fields that stage the biggest and most loved metal event of the UK festival calendar. With 2012 European festivals so far mostly being a sodden, miserable affair, and journeys from stage to tent or toilet and back again needing willpower, prayers and a dinghy, the weather in Derby from Thursday 9th was surely a gift from Dio him-Elf (See what I did there?)
The lush green grass covering the majority of the arena and camping grounds caused, no doubt, a slight breakdown for any stall seller that had ignored the weather reports and stocked up on ghost suits (ponchos), bear hats and wellies.
None of that shit this year thanks, this is fucking Bloodstock 2012!
The Gregory Family had obviously placed an order for 30 degree sunshine and blue skies with the metal gods, and the order was delivered on time and in full. Of which the same can be said about the rest of the festival actually.
It ran almost like a proverbial clockwork metal mouse.
It’s always a worry that shit will go wrong at festies, and bands will be delayed, and showers will bugger up and everyone pretty much expects to be able to moan about something. But I am struggling here. Really, really struggling to offer up something to balance the reviews out so it doesn’t look like I am living up the arse of Bloodstock. Unfortunately, you might have to call me Brown Face Fox after this review, because from what I saw, experienced and gathered from every single other fan, this year was absolutely fucking astonishing.
With a loss of voice on Saturday, apparently from inhaling sand, (WTF!?) I was silenced. Much to the amusement of virtually everybody other than the bands I was supposed to interview (I’ll mail you all, I promise) I was destined to roam the stages like a Raspy Metal pervert looking for talent.
Shut up, not that type of talent. Oh ok, maybe just a little sneaky leering took place, but the main aim was of course musical talent. As it turns out, Bloodstock 2012 was saturated in it. Lot’s of moist undergarments were no doubt wrung out or flung on to peoples tents (mentioning no names, DJ Bedlam).
Notwithstanding the spot on selection of artists for the Ronnie James Dio Stage, you were hard pressed to make choices between the others. Had you attended any of the Metal 2 The Masses events this year you will know exactly what I am saying about the quality available on the New Blood Stage, and if you did not visit it? you need your head looking at.
With a brick. But do feel free to announce you didn’t head there and just sat in your gazebo eating until the daily headliner came on, and I will happily educate you, with another brick. Honestly.
The Sophie Lancaster Stage was equally tasty, and some of the bands I saw for the first time ever are now firmly on my radar to keep an eye on, I only managed to catch one band on the Jagermeister stage, but listening to a metal band play acoustic whilst supping a Jagerbomb in the sunshine went down a treat.
So, who did I watch? Shitloads, and if I could go back in time and clone me so I could watch the other bands at the same time I would. In fact, yes, there’s the gripe about Bloodstock Festival 2012. They don’t have a cloning machine, nor an eye and ear duplicating machine. I could only watch one stage at once. Well I dunno about you, I think that’s a disgrace, what type of festival do they call themselves eh. EH? Providing too many good bands and no cloning machine. They reckon that’s worth £100? Pah.
Thursday was party night, and a non work night.
However, as a metal animal I still headed to the SOPHIE stage with a substantial amount of other fans and happened upon BLOODSHOT DAWN [8.5] As most people know, I love me a bit o’ death metal, but it has to have something special about it for me to like it. The Hampshire lads did not disappoint. With blistering fingerwork and their own distinctive melodies, backed up by some pretty fucking brutal blasts and deep gravel soaked vocals, I left with huge expectations for these guys.
Expect to see more of them. I would have liked to have seen more of them. Make of that what you will. Dirty bastards.
In all honestly, once we left the SOPHIE tent and headed back to VIP, the masses had gathered and The Vicious Breed DJ team (courtesy of new Ents manager, Griz “The Beard” Binstead) in The Serpents Lair had everyone headbanging, which led to mass alcohol consumption, jumping around, general marauding and the rest of the night is a deliriously glorious blur.
Luckily, I didn’t wake up face down in a pile of beer cans behind a hedge wearing a sombrero. That was reserved for the guy I saw face up in a pile of beer cans being jumped on and dry humped by a guy in a sombrero.
COMING NEXT : Bloodstock Festival 2012 According To Fox: Part Two – Friday