(((O))) LIVE

Sofasonic Festival

With the stroke of a Covid-19 pen, Birmingham’s brilliant but lockdowned Supersonic festival became the virtual, Sofasonic. Jared Dix was sitting comfortably and gives us the full DFS. . .

Twin Temple • The Violent Hearts – The Jazz Café, Camden

What they lack in originality, Twin Temple transcend magnificently in pure quality, enthusiasm and an irresistible sense of joyous magnetism, worthy of the Great Horned One herself.

Abbath •1349 • Vltimas – Islington Assembly Hall

The master of disaster has re-entered his kingdom in the mountain of black, and his recent struggles will hopefully feature as nothing more than a blip in a career of unending grimness. Abbath continues to rise as only the true black metal badger-king can. . .

Monster Magnet – O2 Forum, Kentish Town

Celebrating their iconic Power Trip album, Monster Magnet return triumphant!

Petrol Girls – The Oslo, London

Petrol Girls loud ‘n’ clear righteous causes are soundtracked and delivered live by quite possibly the best Post-Hardcore Punk band around at the moment.

HRH PROG VIII – SHEFFIELD, DAY 2

Day 2 of Sheffield’s HRH Prog festival saw great turns from Canterbury legends Soft Machine and Caravan, amongst others.

Boris – Classic Grand, Glasgow

If anything really defines Boris’ appeal tonight it’s the double-whammy of ‘Coma’ and ‘LOVE’, two nebulous, droning titans . . . These are where Wata is given her chance to flex her muscles to the utmost, layering distortion and squealing semi-melodies and then ramping up each of them until the room becomes nothing but a fog of sound and dry ice.

Battle Beast – ULU, London

The success of shows like this are a clear demonstration of why Battle Beast are the rising force that they are in European metal. They put together a set which perfectly balanced spectacle and musicianship, and which they were able to combine for a thoroughly entertaining evening.

Alter Bridge – O2 Arena, London

Alter Bridge’s form of introverted hard rock is joy to behold. . . As they continue to be one of the most consistent acts in the genre, there will be plenty more great shows like this still to come in the next decade too.

Lacuna Coil – O2 Forum, Kentish Town

At a stage where many bands struggle to have any impact on the scene that made them in the first place, Lacuna Coil continue to redefine expectations and use their experience to carry on pushing boundaries as well as entertaining their fans.

Jinjer • The Agonist – Heaven, London

Jinjer to me, and many others, they are Metal’s heirs apparent – Gojira in waiting. It’s theirs for the taking; if they would only step out of the darkness and show themselves in the best possible light. . .

Clutch – The Roundhouse, London

It may be the holidays  and we may have been lulled into a beery bonhomie,  but this bunch of unassuming nice guys can still pack one hell of a punch.

A Forest of Stars • Necronautical • VOID – Nambucca, London

A Forest of Stars – wrapping psychedelia, black metal, folk music, and prog rock up in a kind of skewed Neo-Victorian package – are certainly ambitious and, like VOID, have always aimed for a complex yet coherent aesthetic that unifies the band’s disparate elements, which Stars largely achieve, even if it can be pleasantly muddled at points on record.

Periphery – O2 Forum, Kentish Town

Periphery are on top of their game right now and should feel on top of the world with a performance like that. One of the most exciting and adored progressive outifts of the decade, the future looks even brighter for them, not least because off the back of this show every fan there would go back to see them in a heartbeat.

HRH PROG VIII – SHEFFIELD, DAY 1

We headed to Yorkshire for the weekend to keep abreast of developments at the UK’s biggest prog festival, and heard great sets from both The Vintage Caravan and Gong on Day 1.

Kazu – MOTH Club, London

It’s a remarkable feat, transposing the studio grandness with the bare minimum of tools at her disposal. Strings swirl and electronics ember to produce a warm glowing intimacy that swells and overwhelms when required.

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