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I had the opportunity over the xmas period to go to the fireball fuelling the fire tour at the o2 academy Birmingham having received a promotional ticket, this wasn’t the first time I’ve been to the o2 having seen live shows and gone to their subculture nighclub like events in the past.

The fuelling the fire tour consisted of 4 bands touring the country for a variety of events and opening with a local band to the area selected from a competition for the chance to perform on stage. Being an event with several bands playing at the start there were only a handful of people scattered around the room with most people only turning up for the headliners later, and this had some factors over the performance and shaping my impression of some of the bands which played. Please note that in my video I reference the bands with the incorrect names as the band order I used for reference was incorrect, however the order stated in this article are correct along with the cards associated on each band in the video.

Wood and Nails

Wood and nails are a local band that were selected to play on stage through winning a competition and being selected as the best band to play, queueing outside in the press and guests line I was speaking to one of the band members girlfriends who told me how they’d won the chance to perform and they were very good, and as opening bands went they did come out strong, and I know it’s a little controversial for some people but I would describe them as an emo punk band, and having gone to nights out including new years where many people were getting up and dancing to the old emo classics I think the days are gone where hating on emo music is the done thing. They played strong with some very good tunes that all had their own things going on and didn’t sound the same and did a good job at lifting up the room into the spirit for the event and the audience seemed to be appreciating their style of music too. I couldn’t help but think how the lead singer of the band had similarities with looking like a content creator called uberhaxornova and I wonder if the singer knows how close his image looks.

You can find out more about wood and nails at https://woodandnails.bandcamp.com/

Lost In Stereo

~The second band on stage were lost in stereo and they were introduced as being the highlight of the hosts tour and as them being the band selected as the upcoming band and were granted some recognition for being a really good band, however at this stage the room was still pretty empty and people were coming in, they did look familiar and I think I may have seen them on smaller stages at some events I’ve worked at in the past perhaps at a festival, the big guy up front and the drummer with their smiles and faces they made seemed very familiar. They did however have a little offputting stance on demanding that the audience join in on the songs which perhaps they don’t know especially at such an early spot and did lose the audience a bit making these demands even when people were already joining in, they kept asking and threatened to stop performing if people didn’t join in which was a little bad. Perhaps it’s a punkish attitude and being a punk show it’s supposed to pull in the audience but I found that it was putting people back a bit from the upbeat mood they’d gained from the first band, and perhaps with a later spot with more people in the room they wouldn’t've had such issues however early on with very few people in the room it was a little much to be making such demands and felt a little awkward when the audience got quieter and quieter the more demands he made. Their music was fine though and they played well, they just needed to read the room a little better.

You can find out more about lost in stereo at https://www.facebook.com/lostinstereouk

Face To Face

The third band on stage were face to face they came on with some traditional pop punk music with some pretty strong guitar riffs and decent tunes all very danceable and enjoyable. At this point the audience was starting to fill up and there were a lot more people in the room, they did ask the audience to join in on one song with something very easy to join along with, which was a better way of doing it than demanding repeatedly through your performance and getting in a huff when not everyone joins in which had poisoned the audience and these guys did a good job at bringing everyone back into a good mood and bringing the show back together, this was the first time I’d heard of them and I was surprised they weren’t a lot more popular because they did have songs that would compete with many pop punk bands of the past which have reached number one or topped the charts and I feel these guys could do very well themselves, perhaps they just weren’t as well known this side of the pond and perhaps have had great success in America, either way I expect them to be able to reach big heights.

You can find out more about face to face at www.facetofacemusic.com

The Bronx

The penultimate band on stage were the Bronx, they were on the heavier side of punk and with a multi band show it’s good to have a breakup in the tempo and getting a little heavier and harder was a good way to progress the night, at this point the audience was getting pretty full and pretty rowdy and having a front spot at the stage I was getting bodyslammed into the metal railings pretty hard repeatedly with people at the front either not caring or deliberately ramming as hard as they could into people along the front, as the bands performance progressed the lead singer decided to go into the audience and perform in a ring of death around him, essentially performing while everyone around him moshed in a circle and he passed through the entire audience essentially vacuuming all the people up who were into the rowdiness and then deposited them on the other side of the room which made the night enjoyable again without getting slammed into a barrier, I could have gone further back to enjoy the show without the risk of that but it was worth putting up with at the time so I didn’t mind. They once again had a good variety in the tunes in a heavier format so maintained a good set variety.

You can find out more about the Bronx at https://twitter.com/the_bronx

Flogging Molly

The final performance were flogging molly the headline act, a 7 piece irish American band playing a variety of different instroments with an irish punk twist. They had recently suffered a loss though I’m not sure if it was a band member or a family member however I noticed that throughout their performance people were being told they’re not allowed to take pictures so I assume it was a band member and I can understand them not wanting pictures taken to honour the lost band member and they had acknowledged through the night and dedicated things to his honour. The tunes they played were very upbeat fast tempo’d punk rock style and the additional instruments like violin’s and harpsicord (or whatever the wearable wind powered keyboard is called) definitely added to the celtic vibe and feel of the performance. The lead singer had a very vibrant and outgoing attitude and definitely showed off his star qualities elevating the performance beyond simply being music played on stage to turning it into a true stage show and his charismatic attitude definitely made the performance a step beyond anything else in the night showing why they were the headliners and as popular as they were.

You can find out more about flogging molly at https://www.floggingmolly.com

Overall Impressions

The event on the whole was pretty good and they varied up the styles of punk music available throughout the night so it was a good blend and an interesting mix of the variety available in punk music, from emo through traditional along to hard rock styles and folk celtic punk styles. The night was of course sponsored by fireball whiskey so they provided samples around through the night with 1/3rd shots and of course it’s a tasty whiskey and it’s a good way to get the audience mellowed out a little. For your entry ticket you got to see 5 band and they all played good music and you also had the opportunity to stay for free entry to the subculture night which stayed open afterwards so all in all it’s a pretty decent bargain for the going ticket price, and if future years offer the same variety in punk styles and as good a night out I would definitely recommend going yourself.

The fireball fuelling the fire tour is sponsored by fireball whisky https://fireballwhisky.com/

Having started a new job where I had been working 58 hours a week in the building it was good to get some time off and the opportunity arose to get on the guest list for the stone sour gig at the birmingham arena which I jumped at to get some R&R as well as do something with my time off.

The opening act were the pretty reckless who I had not had the opportunity to hear before, so I was pleasantly suprised by the act coming out strong with some good tunes, the act did start with what can only be described as the lead singer’s sex noises climbing to climax before they came on, and the sexualisation continued in the music and the singers actions on the stage but this lead to a heated performance which the audience loved.

The music continued to be varied and keep up the pace which many of the warm up acts I’ve experienced before in the years of gig’s I’ve worked at often fail to maintain especially when coming out strong but these guys managed to do it and warm up the audience immediately.

When stone sour themselves came on stage they came out just as strong keeping the audience entertained without too long of a wait between setup. They played newer songs followed by some of the old favourites all of the crowd new encouraging people to join in singing along.

The usual crowd shennanigans were going on from the crush at the front to people trying to start up moshpits, albeit right next to the front which of course failed because it’s impossible to start a pit in the middle of the crush. I pointed out to those attempting to do so they’d have better luck doing so further back so they headed back and of course were successful in making one causing a wave of people to wash past. In the past I have allowed myself to be carried by the crowd however after an incident at download festival I now hold myself steady and unmoving when these waves pass and attempt to stop it entirely. The incident I speak of is when I was at the front crush maybe 3 rows from the front and a large fast wave hit suddenly knocking everyone sideways so much so that people were struggling to stay upright and this lead to me and another girl ending up on the floor under the crowd, where I was being pulled up by a guy on my left but I held out my hand to the girl on the floor as she said “don’t let go” after we were both stuck under the crush of the crowd unable to stand up. I could have allowed myself to be picked up but I wasn’t going to leave her on the floor, however as I was refusing to get up without pulling her upright the crowd lifted me vertically and crowd surfed me over the front barrier and I couldn’t hold on to her hand during all of that and I don’t know if she ever got back up, I do know she was never lifted out the front as she didn’t come over the barrier and the medics couldn’t see if she got lifted out. I did also hear after the festival that year that someone died trampled under the crowd so it does stick with me that perhaps I could have done more especially if I hadn’t let the crowd push me and as a result knock me and her down under everyone so I vowed never to let that happen again, so when someone says I ruin all the fun not allowing myself and others to get knocked down by the wave of crowd then they need to look at their idea of fun, because running people down with a motor vehicle might be just as fun to them but surely going to result in injury or death and not exactly enjoyable to those getting plowed down.

The show continued with an encore resulting in wild wacky wavy arm inflatables being deployed, perhaps upstaging the band when they were fighting for attention and slapping them in the face every time they tied to get up front and center, but it made part of the show just the same.

All in all they put on a good show and it is definitely recommended if you get the chance on the upcoming tour to go see either pretty reckless or stone sour while they are on tour.



Working at the Isle of Wight festival a lot of things went wrong for me personally, this video details what happened. Theres not a lot about the actual event as such more calamaties that happened to me, but since when was my life ever easy or anything ever go right. Another weeks already passed and I’ve done nothing, feels like Im waiting forever to hear from a friend who might not even message. Sometimes it would be easier not to care and not to feel but I dont have that luxury, unfortunately it matters to me nd if I’ve got close to them I dont want to lose them from my life, especially not over silly reasons

So I was working on the bars at the big chill as part of my tour of different festivals on the bars, I had a unique experience compared to most of the other staff as I was transferred to different bars all the time when others got busier so I got to see what different bars were like (if Id slacked off more I probably wouldve only been on the one but hey I was happy to be moved around made the days go quicker)

In my opinion main stage was the worst as most of the day there were bands nobody knew who they were playing and by the time the headliners got on they cranked the music so loud that all you could here was the thumping bass and could not here the tune or singing behind it, and we werent exactly far from the stage being directly opposite it too.  Amstel bar was good with party tunes all day long and a relatively busy environment.  Castle bar opposite castle stage was mellow and chilled with very unusual chilled versions of songs on mellow instroments if that makes any sense, was fun to play guess the song with the other bar staff there until I got moved back to main bar. 

For me the last day was the best bar in club 10(possibly meant to be club tent and I misheard it) the open air stage with comedy in the morning, then some really good dance music, the end of the night sucked a bit with dub step, so repetitive and boring I tell you. But a nice and chilled bar and we had far too many staff so could have a bit of fun and relax on the last day.

The worst part was when you werent working you have to sit in the workers campsite and do nothing all day, we were all commenting on how its like a prison campsite, there is absolutely nothing to do and if you start at 6:30pm you bake in the sun with about 10 of you left on the campsite waiting to start a shift and you cant even sleep as its so hot.

I guess it is really more of a festival to be enjoyed walking around and chilling out as opposed to actually going there and frantically rushing the stages to see bands, hence being called the big chill, and really the place was huge covering quite a lot of land, so it would be more of an event to enjoy with your mates and meet new people.  I would like to see it from a visitors perspective, I can see where the appeal would be and as a chilled out event for gathering people together to have fun I see the appeal, but as an event for the music there were a few issues with the levels for the actual enjoyment.  Maybe next year they will sort out the sound levels and things will be better.  I can tell you now, the music was louder at the big chill main stage than any of the other festivals I worked at and that includes bloodstock the heavy metal festival.