You'd be surprised at how few women get to headline rock and metal festivals.
Since it was revealed that a mere handful of female artists were scattered across the Reading & Leeds Festival line-up and the fast majority were male musicians, feminist music lovers have been expressing their annoyance that festival organisers still can't manage a gender-balanced line-up in 2020 - a time when gender equality issues are at their most prominent.
The Distillers at Reading Festival 2004 / Photo Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images
With acts such as Stormzy, Rage Against the Machine, Migos and Run the Jewels, Reading & Leeds Festival 2020 looks set to be a great event, and we'd be thrilled about it if it wasn't for one big issue: just 20 out of the 92 acts announced are female, and only three of them are booked for the main stage.
Continue reading: Why Women Are Campaigning For More Female Headliners At Rock Festivals
This year's Download Festival turned out to be a very wet weekend with constant downpours and thunderstorms throughout the three days, but what would 'Drownload' festival be without a little bit of rain? Thick with mud and soggy from the rain, the crowds all gathered looking for a fantastic time and with phenomenal headliners Rammstein, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden the weekend was never going to disappoint. Aside from the wrestling and the creative Zippo lighters that you could engrave in the Zippo Encore booth, as well as get hold of the limited edition Download Zippo lighter, the music line up for this year's festival was phenomenal - and we can't wait for the next Download festival already.
There were multiple highlights throughout the weekend, and as we stocked up on burgers, we headed down to the Lemmy stage to catch one of the more out-there acts of the weekend - Babymetal. Babymetal were mesmerising as they always are, with hit songs Gimme Chocolate and Road To Resistance taking the crowd by storm. A giant circle pit opened as the Japanese J-pop/metal band took to the stage and gave a fantastically choreographed performance as always.
Killswitch Engage managed to slay the stage as they always do, even in the torrential downpour that overtook their set, as the band plunged into hit songs My Curse, Strength Of The Mind and My Last Serenade, there was nothing that they can do to disappoint. A huge crowd turned out to watch the band, even in the mudpit that the Lemmy stage gave way to.
Continue reading: Download Festival - 2016 Review
Talking about ethnomusicology at Contact Towers one afternoon as we do, we remembered the famous words of Meyer when he spoke about the common, cross cultural threads in different styles of composition: "...different musical languages may also have certain sounds in common... in almost all cultures, for example, the octave and the fifth... are treated as stable." Well put, we thought. But Babymetal? Well, they're just a bit bonkers.
Music binds us all together as a passion around the planet and part of the cross border appeal may even be replicated in different songs, tunes and genres, but we promise you that there are few past experiences that can prepare you for this album. An amalgam of J-Pop (The catch all umbrella term of the hyper-extended country's indigenous commercial sounds) and various strains of modern extreme guitar music, the band - centered around the cherubic teenage trio of Suzuka Nakamoto (or known in character as "Su-metal"), Yui Mizuno ("Yuimetal)", and Moa Kikuchi ("Moametal") - the group deliver a sensory overload of jumbled noises, associations and styles, the resulting smorgasbord being self described as "Kawaii", or "Cute" metal.
Given the context has only a passing grip on the world we Europhiles know, we found that it's best just to dive in. Probably the most easily accessible point is on 'Gimme Chocolate', a wide-eyed piece of thrash on which the girls shout frantic counterpoints to some bippy synths and nasty riffs before singing a chorus much like The Supremes would deliver if they'd been raised on Slipknot. If this sounds bizarre, it's because to our Western ears, it is. An environment where odd juxtapositions are just what happens, the following 'line!' is reassuringly odd, being massive adolescent pop with an r&b interlude, followed immediately by a tidal wave of death grunts, followed then by a frantic EDM sequence. A little crazed? Of course, but presumably somebody did all this stuff deliberately and the underlying idea is an interesting one: if the human psyche is used to listening to the body of a song which at least has similar roots in tempo, meter and key, what about we just chuck all that stuff in the mixer and see what happens? In return we can guarantee you'll be either baffled or thrilled: in the Baby Metal world, there are no half way houses.
Continue reading: Babymetal - Babymetal Album Review
Winners included Royal Blood, Alice Cooper and Marmozets.
As the zombie apocalypse took over the Relentless Kerrang! Awards last Thursday, many acts stumbled away with an award or two in tow.
In true rock fashion, the black carpet was laid awaiting the arrival of the bands at the Troxy in London as we eagerly awaited the results of awards such as Kerrang! Legend, Best Single, Best Album, Best British Newcomer and more.
Continue reading: The Zombie Apocalypse Hits London During 2015 Relentless Kerrang! Awards
Meet the Japanese trio who are joining Lady Gaga’s ArtRave Tour
Babymetal is a group which could only have hailed from Japan, could only have found success thanks to Youtube and could only have been chosen by Lady GaGa as a support act on her 'ArtRave' tour. Three teenaged girls in matching outfits singing and dancing onstage to ‘heavy metal’ music, Babymetal needs to be seen and heard to be believed. Yet after seeing it we’re still not sure if we didn't just imagine the whole thing.
Meet Babymetal, the Japanese viral sensations
The origins of Babymetal are found in girl group Sakura Gakuin, a pop act manufacture by a Japanese talent agency, which employs an ever changing line-up. Basically when a member gets too old (ie around 16) they get kicked out (or graduate) from the group. One day the group’s manager had an idea for an interesting musical experiment. “Why don’t we try and fuse metal music with cutesy pop,” we assume he said, and thus Babymetal was created using Sakura Gakuin members Suzuka Nakamoto, Moa Kikuchi and Yui Mizuno.
Continue reading: Who Are Babymetal? Lady Gaga’s ArtRave Support Band