Chris Ball


I’m an ageing rocker who has been going to concerts and buying records for over 30 years. I used to write for Metal Hammer, then briefly another magazine that went down to the bottom of the ocean with that fat crook Robert Maxwell.

I gave up for a while. Experimented with listening to dance music, hip hop and indie rock. It broadened my horizons and I had a lot of fun, but when I reached my late 30’s I realised I was living a kind of cultural lie. I love rock music I realised, much of it deeply unfashionable, but fuck it, I’m old enough now not to care. In the meantime I’d become a father, I now have two boys, and accumulated several more tattoos, middle-aged spread and a healthy dislike of modern pop music and the facile celebrity obsessed industry that fuels it.

So I’m an Essex geezer who’s returned to his roots in more ways than one, I live on the coast after having spent 20 years living in East London. Don’t let the tatts and West Ham shirt fool you though. I love Japanese ukiyo-e art and haiku poetry, impressionist art, the works of Alan Moore and Salman Rushdie, botany and bird watching. I still go to gigs as often as my family, liver and bank balance will allow.

My all time favourite bands and artists are Tom Waits, The National, The Drive By Truckers, The Who, Wilco, Randy Newman, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Thin Lizzy, Celtic Frost, Slipknot, Public Enemy, Warren Zevon, Queens of the Stone Age, The Handsome Family, AC/DC, Lykke Li, Laura Veirs, Monster Magnet (obvs) Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath and Black Sabbath.

Recent faves include Bo Ningen, Windhand, Witch Mountain, St Vincent, Lana Del Rey, Public Service Broadcast, Ghost Poet, Triptykon, Matthew E White and Courtney Barnett.

Tell me yours.



Articles by Chris Ball

Seratones – Power

I do hope their new direction can bring them wider success as there can never be too much soul in the world and Seratones have it in excelsis.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Infest the Rats’ Nest

Infest the Rats’ Nest is a surprise contender for metal album of the year. How did that happen? Who cares, just turn it up!

Gojira – O2 Academy, Brixton

Technical glitches aside this was a triumph for Gojira, playing a packed Academy to a rapturous reception.

Nebula – Holy Shit

The atmosphere of the album is so gleefully narcotic and villainous, it’s like a demon on your shoulder, urging you to submit, fuck the straight world, join a cult and smoke crack for Satan.

BIG | BRAVE – A Gaze Among Them

It’s taken me a long time to come to a point where I can review this album as it pushes buttons I’m not used to. A Gaze Among Them requires your full attention. It really is worthy of your time.

Desertfest London, 2019 – Friday

Chris Ball and Andy Little Zig-Zagged their way between Blackwater and spilled beer to capture their thoughts on Desertfest Friday with a Wovenhand…

Mos Generator – Night of the Lords (Review + Exclusive Premiere)

Yes, this album may be aimed at serious Mos Generator fans, but it’s worthy of its place in any rocker’s record collection.

Desertfest London, 2019 – Friday Preview

Desertfest’s first day brings a brain-frazzling, mind-melting selection box of rockers, seers, psychos and musical explorers.

Josefin Ohrn + The Liberators – Sacred Dreams

About half of this album is great, and it is the half of the album that moves away from psychedelic rock and into dancier and poppier songs. It’s time to live up to their names and liberate themselves. If they do I think a sparkling future awaits.

Ritual Howls – Rendered Armor

A sort of Bela Lugosi’s Deadwood…Ritual Howls will scratch a very particular itch.

The Lazys • Fizzy Blood • The Standstills – House of Vans, London

The Lazys are surely deserving of bigger, wilder, drunker audiences and I recommend you make it so at Bloodstock or anywhere else you happen to find them. 


I wouldn’t exactly say it’s instrumental rock for people who don’t like that sort of thing, but there is certainly enough great music here to make them stand out from the crowd

Ty Segall – Fudge Sandwich

This is a fantastically engaging album, with some people are saying it’s Segall’s best.

The Necromancers – Of Blood and Wine

The Necromancers play heavy metal with a freshness and verve as if they just invented it and as a consequence it is a joy to behold. 

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – King of Cowards

A collective noun for a group of pigs is a drift, but that’s not what’s happening here. Sharper, leaner, smarter and keener Pigsx7 have taken their sound to another level and are all the better for it. King of Cowards is a fine album.

Årabrot – Who Do You Love

Årabrot are a very welcome counterbalance to meat and potatoes hard rock acts with nothing to say and the desire to keep saying it blandly.

BlackLab – Under a Strawberry Moon 2.0

The sheer ferocity of the band’s attack, combined with a broad range of influences means BlackLab have real crossover appeal.

Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters – Come & Chutney

Friends of mine frequently mention the good times to be had catching the band in action and no doubt their corpsepaint and tie-dye look makes them hard to forget, once witnessed.

Desertfest 2018, London – Sunday

There was only one place I wanted to be on Sunday of Desertfest, and that was The Roundhouse for the what was festivals biggest venue and suitably starry cast list to date…

Desertfest London 2018 – Friday

Happy punters connecting and discovering great new music: Desertfest your work is done!

High Priestess – High Priestess

An impressive introduction, full of strong performances, promising songs and just enough individuality to mark High Priestess out from the metal hordes.

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