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LIVE: Stone Free Festival @ The O2, London (18/06/2016)

alicecooper2016

Date: June 18th 2016
Venue: The O2, London
Website: www.stonefreefestival.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stonefreefestival
Twitter: www.twitter.com/stonefreefest

Brand new for 2016, Stone Free Festival raised some eyebrows when announcing Alice Cooper and Rick Wakeman to headline the 20,000 capacity The O2 Arena but the promise of a full day festival extravaganza encompassing the whole site was an exciting prospect. Though the term “extravaganza” may have been pushing the boat out quite a bit, with the stages (some non-music) and rare vinyl sales holding a disconnect, thankfully the line-up was full of gems to keep the day exciting, despite some inconveniences along the way.

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LIVE: Download Festival @ Donington Park (Saturday – 11/06/2016)

downloadfestival_logo

Date: June 11th, 2016
Venue: Donington Park, Donington
Website: www.downloadfestival.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/downloadfest
Twitter: www.twitter.com/downloadfest

It would come as no surprise if the 2016 run of Download Festival would be known forever going forward as the year of Drownload. Easily the wettest Download Festival to have happened, with storms and torrential downpours happening throughout almost the whole weekend, it’d be impossible to be mud free, even if you were only catching one band. Thankfully, we had wellies and warm waterproof clothing well equipped. Download, let’s be ‘aving ya!

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LIVE: Download Festival @ Donington Park (Friday – 10/06/2016)

downloadfestival_logo

Date: June 10th, 2016
Venue: Donington Park, Donington
Website: www.downloadfestival.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/downloadfest
Twitter: www.twitter.com/downloadfest

It would come as no surprise if the 2016 run of Download Festival would be known forever going forward as the year of Drownload. Easily the wettest Download Festival to have happened, with storms and torrential downpours happening throughout almost the whole weekend, it’d be impossible to be mud free, even if you were only catching one band. Thankfully, we had wellies and warm waterproof clothing well equipped. Download, let’s be ‘aving ya!

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LIVE: Slam Dunk Festival @ NEC, Birmingham (29/05/2016)

slamdunkfestival2016

Date: May 29th, 2015
Venue: NEC, Birmingham
Website: www.slamdunkmusic.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/slamdunkltd
Twitter: www.twitter.com/slamdunkmusic

Gallery: Click here

It’s happened, Slam Dunk Festival has officially turned 10 years old. Back when it started out in 2006, it was composed of seven bands on one stage, headlined by Fall Out Boy. Yet, here we are today, with a festival that is hosted at three separate locations across the UK, including a new home in Birmingham – the biggest site of them all – with eight stages hosting at least seven bands each. It’s truly exploded into one of the biggest alternative festivals the country has to offer, and with Panic! At The Disco picked to headline their biggest milestone yet, it seems this is still early days in the grand scheme of it all.

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LIVE: Hands Like Houses @ Academy 3, Manchester (25/05/2016)

handslikehouses2015

Date: May 25th 2016
Venue: Academy 3, Manchester
Support: I The Mighty / Dead! / The Gospel Youth
Website: www.bhandslikehouses.net
Facebook: www.facebook.com/handslikehouses
Twitter: www.twitter.com/handslikehouses

Rating:

A typically rainy Manchester evening welcomes back Australian rock outfit Hands Like Houses on the first show of their headline UK tour in support of their new full-length release, ‘Dissonants’. The show itself was moved from Sound Control to Academy 3, but nobody seems discouraged with the room quickly filling up with eager fans having already waited on the delayed launch of this new record.

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LIVE: Beans On Toast @ MK11, Milton Keynes (11/05/2016)

beansontoast2015

Date: May 11th 2016
Venue: MK11, Milton Keynes
Support: Bobby Nomad / Hope In High Water
Website: www.beansontoastmusic.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/beansontoastmusic
Twitter: www.twitter.com/beanstoast

Rating:

Ever since he flew into the UK folk scene in 2005, Jay McAllister (or, Beans On Toast to you and me) has won the hearts of thousands with his eccentric and quirky portrayal of his poetic and witty tales. After recent tours with good friend Frank Turner and Flogging Molly, Beans is embarking on the ‘Small Town Celebrations’ tour where he’s boycotting large cities and enjoying the individuality of less well known towns in the country, collecting historic stories along the way to inspire his annual December record.

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LIVE: Impericon Festival @ Academy 2, Manchester (02/05/2016)

hatebreed2016

Date: May 2nd 2016
Venue: Academy 2, Manchester
Website: www.impericon.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/impericonfestivaluk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/impericon_uk

Rating:

It was only three years ago that Impericon Festival decided to extend its touring across Europe into the UK, making itself a cosy home in Manchester. Now, in 2016, it’s reached out for a second UK date in London too. Sadly, Manchester saw a downgrade of venue size from Academy to Academy 2, which holds less than half the capacity intended, but the ferocity and mosh madness remains absolutely untainted.

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LIVE: Patent Pending @ The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes (18/04/2016)

patentpending2015

Date: April 18th 2016
Venue: The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Support: Boy Jumps Ship / Robert And The Wamble Bambles
Website: www.patentpendingmusic.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/patentpendingmusic
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ptpgofficial

Rating:

In a world of generic new-wave pop-punk, it’s refreshing to have a band like Patent Pending around to lighten the mood with their eccentric and childish behaviour. The New York band have continued an era of Bowling For Soup and Blink 182 when we live in one with baggy t-shirts and pizza snapbacks, and they’re finally looking at some prolonged success after latest LP ‘Riots Heart Rebellion’ dropped last year. This latest run of dates in bigger venues shows the draw that Patent Pending are starting to command.

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LIVE: Funeral For A Friend @ O2 Ritz, Manchester (09/04/2016)

funeralforafriend2015

Date: April 9th 2016
Venue: O2 Ritz, Manchester
Support: Zoax / Shai Hulud
Website: www.funeralforafriend.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/funeralforafriend
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ffaf

Rating:

When it comes to British post-hardcore, or the country’s modern rock scene in general, very few bands have been as prolific, iconic, or as inspirational as Funeral For A Friend. Despite one or two admittedly more miss than hit albums towards the latter end of the 2000s, the Bridgend troupe have been loved and respected by fans and peers alike. This will be Manchester’s last chance to dance, and what more fitting way to detach and bid farewell than experiencing the album that started it all back in 2003, ‘Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation’.

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LIVE: Crossfaith @ Academy 2, Manchester (26/03/2016)

crossfaith2015

Date: March 26th 2016
Venue: Academy 2, Manchester
Support: The One Hundred / The Qemists
Website: www.crossfaith.jp
Facebook: www.facebook.com/crossfaithofficial
Twitter: www.twitter.com/crossfaithjapan

Rating:

Music is arguably the only universal language in the world. A genre, or even just one song, especially in today’s digital age, can transcend its origin and reach and resonate within the depths of a fan on the completely opposite side of the Earth, even if they have no idea what’s being said within the lyrics (if any). Though admittedly they stick to English, Japanese mosh monsters Crossfaith have really built a huge plataeu for themselves over here in the UK, literally the other side of the world from their home, especially with last year’s LP, ‘Xeno’.

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