Skip to main content

Gig Report: Chasing Dragons @ Satans Hollow, Manchester.

What a great night! To be honest, I can't think of a better way to spend a Friday night than coming to Manchester and watching a great night of music. Though not my favourite venue, Satans Hollow really does stand out for a gig. The stage being in the centre of the room creates an interesting dynamic between the bands and the crowd. Although sometimes, it feels that there's more room for the band than there is for the crowd. Still, it's a good venue and I'm glad it's here to host gigs like this. Each of the bands on this line up was ready and raring to go and I was ready for some good rock n roll on a Friday night.

Well, that was interesting... The last time I saw Fear Me December, I gave them one of my harshest reviews. Tonight, they really shocked me. The difference of their performance today, compared to last year, was night and day! Focusing the setlist on their new material, they managed to put on a fairly enjoyable set that got the crowd warmed up. The vocals were good, yes there was still some vocal flubs and missed notes, but overall and much more solid performance. The screamed vocals were a nice addition too. They've also recruited a new guitarist and the sound is so much better with two guitars. There's way more atmosphere to the show and the songs pack that bit more of a punch. It's nice to watch a band improve, and I hope they continue to get better. There's still plenty of room for them to improve as well. They could be a little tighter and again, the vocals still need work. Yet, they have proven they can change and adapt for the better and I wish them all the best. I hope the next time I see them, they're an even stronger band.

Now, this was special. Soul Desire came and conquered. Their set was a superbly impressive one. Right from the first note, they were on their game. The live production was superb and every member sounded so good. Only having one EP to their name, their setlist was obviously centred around that and it sounded even better live. They were tight and the sound was so crisp. Becky on vocals just excelled throughout the set and the crowd were hanging on her every word. They also managed to get some good banter in with the crowd. They were just so comfortable on the stage and you could tell that they were loving every moment. Considering that this was their first gig as Soul Desire, it was really impressive. The on-stage chemistry between them is excellent and their passion for music and performing comes through strong. The set was short but sweet, they got in and did their job. Ending on their cover of 'The End Of Heartache' by Killswitch Engage, the crowd gave them a massive ovation. This was super impressive and I highly recommend seeing them live at your earliest convenience.

In the words of Monty Python, "And now for something completely different". Coming onto the stage like a Silent Hill fever dream, Ward XVI certainly put on a show. The band played their unique blend of shock and goth rock. It truly made for a great show. I love it when bands put in that little extra effort into their stage show. Giving the crowd something interesting to watch, as well as good music to listen to. They had a dummy laid upon a table, fake blood and weapons, it was a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. I have to say I was taken by the hand and lead through the twisted world of Ward XVI, in such a limited amount of time they kept me engaged and compelled to listen to more. The riffs were great, the solos were fantastic and the eerie atmosphere of the synth tones made their sound so much more three dimensional. Hard rocking and heart pounding set from them. They really got the crowd moving and screaming, it was gothic, creepy, cryptic fun. 

I will say that Chasing Dragons have really impressed me this year. Their new album Faction has been one of my favourite records of the year. Their pure and true heavy metal stylings have won me over in a big way, so I was really looking forward to this set. Holy cow... this was one hell of a set. They started like a bat out of hell and kept that intensity and energy throughout. The live production was so well mixed and the music sounded as good as it could have been. The great thing about Satan's Hollow is that bands have a pretty large stage for such a small venue. It gives bands like Chasing Dragons to chance to move and dominate the venue. Which they did! The setlist was well paced and kept the audience invested right until the end. I was having a really good time, shouting the words to every song and headbanging away and I couldn't care less if I looked like a dick. I wasn't really there as a reviewer, I was there as a fan. Vocalist, Tank was stomping around the stage and her voice sounded so damn good and worked so well with the hard rock sounds going on. The band's connection with the audience was amazing too. They're a really down-to-earth band and chatted with the crowd, rather than talked down to them. Like some headliners tend to do. 

Without this spilling into a review of the album, Faction. The songs are so damn good. Filled with great riffs, punchy choruses and well-executed solos. When the choruses came in the music swelled and there was just this primal release from songs like "Devil In Her Eyes", "Bareknuckle Lover" and "Whitehorse". Like I said, this album has been one of my favourites this year and I was just having fun singing and headbanging along to these tunes. Chasing Dragons, made for an exciting, fun and intense live experience. They hold themselves with poise and confidence, whilst at the same time, they're loose and aren't opposed to having fun with their audience. They are a solid band and clearly love what they do. This was an exceptional set.

What a night of rock n roll. All four bands really showed me something new and interesting. The vast improvement and willingness to evolve from Fear Me December. The pure talent and artistry from Soul Desire. The crazy stage antics and fun music from Ward XVI. Finally, to the bold and conquering sound and dominant presence of Chasing Dragons. This was a solid gig and an enjoyable night of music. There was something here for every fan of hard rock, Satans Hollow got a real treat from each of these bands.

Photo credit: Phil Goddard, WeShootMusic


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Gig Report: HRH C.R.O.W.S. - Saturday

This was such a special weekend for me. When I was a kid I was born and bred on country and rock music. I've always had that love for the southern rock tone. The twang of the guitar and drawl of the vocals, it just always sounded so nice to me. For me this is one style of music you can't fake. There has to be sincerity and soul to the music, otherwise you come off as a poser and it just doesn't work. So, when I heard that Hard Rock Hell were putting on a weekend dedicated to outlaw country and southern rock, I immediately knew I was going to be there. I will say, this has to be one of the strongest HRH weekends I've ever been to in terms of performances, there wasn't a weak or boring band all weekend. Every band and artist had their own style and brought their A-game to the show. The crowd was lively and up for a great weekend of music. Unfortunately I couldn't get around to seeing every band, so I apologise if I miss the odd band here and there but I am only o…

Album Review: Tantric - Mercury Retrograde

I can not tell you how incredibly excited I am to finally talk about this album. Tantric has been my favourite band since I was a little kid. They were the first band that I ever really connected with on an emotional level. So, after four years of waiting, they have finally put out their new album, Mercury Retrograde. As soon as I saw that this album was coming out I knew that I had to have it and yes, I have pre-ordered it. So imagine the glee in my soul when I was provided with a pre-release review copy of the album. (Big thanks to the band, label and their management for that!) Now they're back with a new album, they have a new line-up with frontman, Hugo Ferreira as the sole original member. The new musicians brought in for this record are Troy Patrick Farrell on drums, Jaron Gulino on bass and Sebastian Labar on guitar. I think they gel rather well together as a unit. This album has more of a straightforward rock feel to it. It sounds like the lyrical ideas from the second al…

Gig Report: Bigfoot @ Manchester Rebellion

Another weekend and another night of rock music. To people who say that rock is dying, I'll say that you aren't looking for it. Bigfoot has been building up a decent fan base and if this Manchester show was anything to go by. A packed out Rebellion Bar was ready for some no-nonsense rock 'n' roll and rearing to go. I usually like Rebellion, it's a good place with a great sound system and bands usually sound their best on the stage, from my experience anyway. I've not had a chance to see Bigfoot live in a while. The last time I saw them was at Bloodstock in 2015 and ever since they kind of fallen off of my radar. However, I usually hear how good they are on stage and I finally had the chance to check them out. So, why the hell not? Also, there were two supports, so lots of opportunities to rock out.

Opening things up were rockers, Takeaway Thieves and I wasn't into them at all. Their guitar tone was all over the place and ruined a lot of the good melodies the…