Posts Tagged ‘High Voltage Festival’

High Voltage is now only 25 days away and while headline acts such as Dream Theater, Judas Priest and Queensryche hold zero interest for me (though I will make exceptions for guitar gods Slash and Joe Bonamassa). I am, however, looking forward to investigating the acts on smaller stages.  I’ve already pinpointed Neurosis, Rival Sons, Amplifier and Electric Wizard as ‘must see’ bands and going by the video above from Belgian trio TriggerFinger, a cover of a Bob Dylan song no less, which captures them in their full live glory, I’ll be making a beeline for their slot too.  These snappily dressed bad seeds from Antwerp make gritty, blues explosions and are already a household name in their own country.  They’ve just released new album ‘ All This Dancing Around Again’, the CD and (Blue) Vinyl package can be obtained from their website for 20 euros. Expect to see more of these guys on these pages.


Rival Sons are set to open the main stage at this years High Voltage Festival in London and on the basis of the video above I’ll be there bright an early.  New album ‘Pressure and Time’ is due a week today and the band will also perform at Sonisphere.  The band was also recently quoted in Classic Rock Magazine that they don’t want to be directly compared to Led Zeppelin, but on this evidence above it’s undeniable, as frontman Jay Buchanan explains below:

“To go on about us and Zeppelin is just lazy. I love the band, and it is an honour to be mentioned with them. I understand where it comes from, but we have a lot more going for us than sounding like them. Why not mention Foghat as well?  I know my vocal style owes something to Robert Plant, but it’s also got similarities to Steve Marriott and Johnny Ray.  I was into the likes of Robert Johnson, Howling Wolf, Leadbelly, Willie Dixon and John Lee Hooker. I didn’t actually hear Zeppelin until I was 13, although I loved the band as soon as they came into my life. I thought, ‘O yes, this is rock ’n’ roll!’.”

A huge Zeppelin-sized shape may cast its considerable shadow over Southern Californian outfit Rival Sons, but much like The Virginmarys this quartet’s brand of dynamic Hard-Rock is more of a celebration of rock ‘n’ roll’s glory days than a mere copy — it’s ‘rhythm and blues played with danger‘ as one band member so aptly puts it.  ‘Pressure and Time’ is lifted from their forthcoming 12-track album (check the trailer out) of the same name which is set to issued by Earache Records on June 20th.  It’s a bluesy, groove-laden number full of dynamic riffs, muscular percussion and rock swagger.

Frontman and Jim Morrison lookalike Jay Buchanan possesses a confident grit-infused classic rock pitch and the band play with real desire, as if their lives depends on it.  There’s nothing better when a band can effortlessly hit their stride like this, distilling all that we love in a rock ‘n’ roll group, as in the case of ‘Pressure and Time’.  Pink Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgersen provides the artwork for the LP, while the band are booked for both the Sonisphere and High Voltage festivals which I’ll be attending and very much looking forward to on the basis of this video.

Amplifier’s ‘The Octopus’ is easily one of the more daring records released in 2011 and was rightly hailed by Classic Prog Magazine “The grand benchmark against which all British prog rock albums will be judged this year”.  ‘The Octopus‘, issued on the bands own label,  is a sprawling double concept  album, spanning two hours worth of music over sixteen tracks channeling influences from the likes of Tool, Hawkwind (at the very least in the video above) latter-day King Crimson and other more contemporary acts such as The Pineapple Thief.

It took over 3 and half years to make and there’s a whole host of strange propaganda  (The Octopus is not a thing…apparently) related to the record at their website as well.  There’s even a book, which can be read here.   Not since the heady days when Prog Rock ruled the roost has a band issued an LP as grandiose as this nor with such widescreen concepts.

They’re due to play High Voltage’s Prog stage this year, I show I’ll be attending and very much looking forward to and have recruited Oceansize guitarist Steve Durose to enhance their live sound.  One of the many epic moments on ‘The Octopus’ includes the mind-boggling 10+ minute ‘Interstellar’, a glorious peaen to ‘travelling faster than light”, which can be downloaded for free below.

Buy The Octopus

Full Album Stream