Bloodstock 2021 Review – A Paying Person’s Perspective (Sat/Sun)

While we’ll be doing our best to get the Editor’s view of Bloodstock, the chance to see bands is always nibbled away at with time spent doing interviews and so on. Thankfully, many of the Moshville Times team were out and about as one of you lot – paying punters, happy to lay down their cash for four and a half days of quality metal! Here’s part two of the view of Moshville Radio crew member Dave Cyderbaby… (part one yesterday)

Saturday

Video Nasties (c) Sean Larkin

Saturday morning arrived with weary eyes and a minor hangover. During the night, some sort of cult consisting of hundreds, nay thousands of people, marched past the tent with some geezer on a megaphone shouting “All hail the king”. Seriously, nothing surprises me anymore!

Saturday was always a difficult day for me. Apart from the top bands, I didn’t really know any of them so… a day of enlightenment. I wandered around and saw parts of sets by Video Nasties who were great, Black Atlas and Kinzoku. You’ll definitely hear more from these bands in the future.

Wargasm hit the main stage. The drummer climbed up on the riser with crutches, fair play to the guy as a gig for a drummer with a foot injury is hard work but he aced it. The main guitarist stayed well back in the shadows which is a shame as he can flipping well play! Angry songs for sad people is their motto. If these guys were sad, it didn’t show in the slightest! The two at the front, Sam and Milkie, were on fire! Sam had a grin so large that his face was in danger of splitting whilst Milkie was at her sassy confident best. When a band are this pleased to be playing for you, it can’t help but be good. The whole set just dripped quality and it was a pleasure to witness. Song after song set the crowd alight. A definite highlight in my humble view.

Wargasm (c) Katie Frost

From there it was a dash to catch Iron Tooth. The power that came through those amps on that stage was just mind blowing! The same can be said for Bailer and XL Life. When travelling between the stages, I got to stop and watch a little While She Sleeps. These guys wilI be or actually are, huge! I regret not staying to watch it all but you live and learn. I did catch Cottonmouth in the middle of this though, erring on the hard rock side of metal, I wanted to see what the Notts contingent could offer. A great set from start to finish with a mental note to myself to play more of their stuff on the radio.

Paradise Lost. Never seen them before and had I missed anything? Honestly, I’m not sure. Musically they were on form although the mix was up and down. I think this affected the band as much as the crowd. There was amicable chat between band and their fans yet the audience still seemed not to bite like they should have. Overall, a little disappointing for the Halifax contingent as the effort was there but the sound came across too flat.

Paradise Lost (c) Sean Larkin

Cradle Of Filth, that Marmite band. I’ve dismissed them before but I wanted to stick it out today. Let’s just say I’m a convert. Danni’s vocals seemed tame compared to some bands I’d witnessed this weekend so it was easier for an old guy like me to take the set in. Visually stunning, especially his Jack Frost painted face. Video background and a large stage set, all leant to the overall grandiose design of the music. I enjoyed it! No one is more surprised than me!

Kreator. The overlords of thrash that may well have created it all. Their presence was justified as a headline act by the blistering performance they put on. A more traditional look to the stage with material backdrops, ramps to the back, plenty of fire at various stages along with the correct amount of audience participation. The power in the tuneage was incredible and I lapped up every second of the set. Never a thrash fan, I have now been truly converted. They didn’t try to outdo Devin, they came to be and play who they are. To compare them and ask who was the better headline act is a foolish move, they conquered the Saturday in style.

Kreator (c) Sean Larkin

A quick dash to Sophie found us all watching Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. I’ve seen them before, I wasn’t expecting much to be honest as I was not impressed. However, the firing of the vocalist and bring Andrew in from Buffalo Summer was inspired! What an amazing difference one member can make to a band. I loved every second of it, everyone was singing along to the Motorhead classics and having a great time. Make Andrew a full time member already!

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Sunday

The day to take things a little easier. I awoke to the sound of faint sobbing, only to realise it was my liver! Oh well… I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Internal Conflict opened up the Sophie stage, a mass of brutal riffs and eloquent facial expressions. Loved every second of it! They were followed by Grave Lines who are now firmly on my radar. Love the slow riffs and the doom content. The guitarist is just phenomenal and is matched by every other member of the band. Bringing on a female friend to help sing one track was inspired! The set was way too short.

Gloryhammer (c) Katie Frost

Next was the trickiest part of the entire weekend, how to see all of Diamond Head and see all of Liberty Lies? Diamond Head were just great, better by far now than ever. Ras is a superb front man and brings all the old songs back to life with the new ones working so well alongside. I legged it after the intro to “Am I Evil?” To see Liberty Lies. As some of the times had been changed around, I only caught their cover of “Highway To Hell” and their excellent old single, “Can You Hear Me?” Gutted I missed out, these guys got me into NWOCR when I saw them support Soil years ago.

Who loves Orange Goblin? Everyone, that’s who. A superb set with tracks taken from every era. This was the first time I caught Harry on bass, he can actually play! The crowd loved every second of the set and rightly so, OG have worked their knuckles to the bone every inch of the way and really have made it to the top. See them, love them, never forget them.

Orange Goblin (c) Katie Frost

Therapy? I missed the 90s and their rise to glory but I certainly didn’t miss this! Every note from start to finish was on point with each and every punter in the field singing along. Their set flew by and I was so disappointed that it had to end. On tour soon, don’t find an excuse to miss it.

Gloryhammer, these guys have risen slowly through the ranks to become an actual force to be reckoned with. Better than their counterparts Alestorm now in my view and this set proved it. Over the top with cheese laden on by the bucket load, but technically it was faultless and just packed with fun. If you didn’t have a smile on your face for this the I despair of you! Just how many unicorns does it take to invade Dundee? Loads judging by the amount here.

Gordon’s Alive! Yep, Brian Blessed came to the stage to introduce Saxon. Apparently he came from the same place. Everyone loved him and he is a true legend. He practically had to be dragged off set to allow Saxon to play.

Brian Blessed (c) Katie Frost

Saxon walk on to a mighty cheer and a little dampness from the heavens. This did not dampen the crowd whatsoever, this band mark a point in history for all of us and you can tell how well they are loved by the fact that it was packed solid at the front. Humans always surprise us but I am never surprised at the sheer generosity of the Bloodstock crowd. “Wheels Of Steel” came on and a disabled lady in a wheelchair crowd surfed from back, right to the front. Flipping awesome! There was an ulterior motive as the guys carrying her got to be at the front themselves. Biff is just an amazing front man having the crowd in his hands from start to finish, the classics just kept coming and the set was over far too soon.

I wasn’t moving from my spot as Judas Priest were due next. Black Spiders were on Sophie, but I had to relinquish this in favour of Priest. Standing there, I got to see the set being built and the huge light rig unveiled. Priest have put a lot of effort into this, something that didn’t go unappreciated by us fans. Massive light displays, video backdrops and props everywhere matched and blown away by the sheer mightiness of the machine that is Judas Priest. As Rob said, f#%$ Download!

Judas Priest (c) Sean Larkin

Who needs a festival who can’t proclaim Priest as a headliner? I know we have two young guitarist now but Rob is still the metal god. Banging out tracks for two hours with every one more memorable than the last. A couple of old tracks had an airing for the very first time which was a decent nod to their collective history. The band had the love of every single human being in that arena because we were all captivated by the golden glow of music erupting from the stage. Glen Tipton made it! I had wondered if he would, playing the last 3 tracks of the set with everyone cheering him on. Yes you could see how Parkinsons was affecting him, my grandfather had it so I know what it’s like, yet I watched every guitar note. The guy definitely played and was pitch perfect throughout.

I have to say, where the hell did the bull come from? And why? It seemed to have a fight with Faulkner at the end but, its rock and roll, man.

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To end the festival, Evil Scarecrow were on the Sophie stage. A band that just keep getting better and have grown into a very un-serious force to be reckoned with. If you didn’t scuttle to the left then you’re dead inside!

This bought everything to an end, those festival blues hit me very hard indeed. After Covid, it was always going to be a special event yet there was something about Bloodstock this year that made it legendary. Will it be as good again? Have you seen the bands announced for next year’s event? Yes. Bloodstock has become the premier metal festival in the UK.

Header image by Sean Larkin Photography

The galleries below feature photos from Sean Larkin, Katie Frost and also Drew Scott who kindly covered a couple of the bands we couldn’t make (mainly the ones late on after we’d had to head off and sleep!)

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