SOS Festival’s 11th year was absolute clinic of British Heavy Metal in 2018, with belter after belter from start to finish. I can’t recommend this festival enough, whether you’re a family of Metal heads or thinking of attending on your own. The +12 hour days flew by in a heartbeat and that’s testament to how thoroughly enjoyable and exciting all of the bands were.
The one thing that stood out beyond anything else for me was the incredibly friendly atmosphere, with everyone being approachable and sociable; it was great to see that this crowd haven’t lost the art of conversation unlike other festivals that can be guilty of housing a “too cool for school” ethos.
Discovering new bands that I’d not had a chance to hear before was the name of the game for me this weekend, one gem that shone in particular was Midnight Prophecy, who played what can only be described as the best Iron Maiden concert in 20 years. With evident 80’s Metal influences, these Liverpudlians totally won me over their bounding guitars and powerful vocals; exactly what the doctor ordered.
I watched KIDS (stylised in the icon KISS font) perhaps out of politeness, assuming that they’d be somewhat of a novelty act to pass the time, but by end of the first song I was headbanging my brains out and jumping around like a lunatic to their excellent covers of all the Metal classics we know and love. Oh yeah and I did I forget to mention that they’re a trio of 10 year old girls?! It’s really heart-warming to see the next generation of Heavy Metal being encouraged and nurtured like this!
King Witch ticked all the boxes with their faultless 70’s Metal style, but with hints of Candlemass throughout. Their set really stood out for me if not just because of Laura Donnelly’s out-of-this world vocal range! Falling Red delivered a healthy dose of Sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll, but these guys are so much more than a modern day Glam band, they play gritty Rock ‘n’ Roll with style!
Top Five Bands:
Voodoo Blood – Previously described as being “blues on steroids”,Voodoo Blood command an impeccable 70’s blues sounding guitar style, whilst vocalist Kim has one of the most invoking and captivating stage presences I’ve seen in a very long time. Kim’s impressive broad spectrum of vocals, coupled with her roaming around the venue during songs made this set something totally unforgettable. One second she was climbing on tables, the next she was in the audience or on top of the sound desk! Voodoo Blood were so intense, they literally “rocked the shit out of me” (people who were there will know what I mean!) This band clearly have a lot of influences but they sound like nothing else I’ve ever heard, for that they were my number one band of the weekend!
Absolva – This four-piece from Manchester are disgracefully talented and oozed professionalism throughout their set. There’s an extremely bright future ahead of this band and I’m genuinely excited at the prospect of catching them live again next. Made up of former members of Blaze Bailey’s backing band and Iced Earth, this band is the epitome of what old school Metal and Classic Rock should sound like in the 21st The Appleton brothers are definitely ones to be watching on the UK Metal scene; the entire band as unit are the total package, with uber catchy choruses; face melting guitar solos and Chris Appleton being everything you could want in a Metal frontman.
Dendera – This was an enjoyable set of addictive melodies accompanied with epic riffs. Dendera are Classic Metal but with an in-your-face heavy kick to the bollocks! Their heavy set flew by; I definitely recommend checking these guys out!
Red Spektor – Plenty of Black Sabbath undertones throughout, with Psychedelic Stoner Metal and Grass Red Spektor are not a throw-back or novelty act, these are deadly serious with their brand of Classic Metal. I went to see them under a recommendation and what fantastic advice it was! I’ve made up that I’ve discovered this band!
Massive Wagons – A roller coaster of high octane, old school 70’s Rock! This extremely fun band is one that never disappoints with front man Baz being a buzzing ball of energy akin to the likes of Airbourne! Massive Wagons are so much fun and the best band to end the best weekend.