awewound land (5 of 14)

Dirty, loud, Claps and Chants.

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smoking hearts land (5 of 5)
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smoking hearts land (3 of 5)

Smoking Hearts open up and deliver. Everyone wants to be surprised by the supports, you never want a meh band or underprepared sixth form group. Smoking Hearts kick straight in with the clapping and the banter to set the tone for the night.  Singer, Ben Mills, has a cheeky glint in his eye and falls in and out of his London accent as he thinks the gruff songster sounds better when chatting, only problem was no one could understand him then. Having not seen the original incarnation with singer Rodd Lethal I can’t compare the two but the name alone sounds like something to live up to and Ben totally delivers. Bassist, Calvin Roffey, gets my vote for wearing an old school WF shirt and having long hair and knowing what to do with it. With an energy, confidence and some strut they are a band to see live rather than just have on record. They leave you feeling like you’ve had some fun with an impromptu game of pass the shirt amongst the crowd and the best chant of the night for ‘cowbell’.

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awewound land (2 of 14)

The super group that is Axewound means the Bullet fans are out and proud. Personally I’m a Bullet hater but a Cancer Bats liker. Why would I want to see this band you may wonder? It’s simple, they are dirty and it’s fun metal with some thrash, and hardcore moments thrown in. Axewound’s album Vultures is what I hope the new Highlander movie soundtrack will be, it’s some awesome metal cheese delivered with massive aplomb. Lead singer Liam is like an excitable puppy at the merch table signing stuff and having photos as doors open.

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When stage time came they exuded the fun of a newly formed gang, out showing off for the first time, amazed that they turned friendly jamming into an album and tour. Liam exudes chest-beating energy into the crowd who chants their name and raise the horns high. If the front man is having a great time and the bassist is singing his heart out to help then you are all the more likely to as well.

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With Matt Tuck from Bullet For My Valentine feeling under the weather the crowd are more than happy to help sing ‘Cold’ into a rousing chorus. Excorchrist gets the crowd whipped into a frenzy of air guitars and as the set continues the volume is creeping up. Not since Dinosaur Junior and the Wedding Present have my ears begged me to have earplugs to hand. With only a 45minute album of songs you can’t expect an hour and half set and so Exorchrist gets a double helping.

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awewound land (7 of 14)

Axewound are bringing the body slamming back with their album and live performance. They are heavy, dirty and polished to high shine. As a super group of Bullet, Cancer Bats, Rise to Remain and Therapy you have to see them whilst you can before their other bands come a calling.

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awewound land (9 of 14)

Gig Review by Kirsty Hillyer
Gig Photos by Lee Allen

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