CB’s Sonisphere 2011 Preview

Ahh, the time is almost upon us once more to return to the green and pleasant land surrounding one of Britain’s historic stately homes. The festival going fraternity gears up for three days of alcohol fueled excess as the traveling circus of the Sonisphere Festival pulls into town for another installment.

Ever since the first announcements for this year were made the anticipation has been building, the guys at Kilimanjaro have put together a strong contender for the best UK festival lineup ever and the old cliche about there being something for everyone rings true.

Even the usually conspicuous whiney-bastards have been strangely quiet on this one. A flurry of indignation when Biffy Clyro were announced as the Saturday headliners but apart from that the reception to the lineup has been very positive, which is unusual to say the least.

With so much to see, so who do team CB think you’d be mental to miss ??

Mat’s Picks

Picking just three bands for a festival ought to be a doddle. Not when it’s this year’s Sonisphere line up it isnt. Actually, it’s a brain-trawling, knuckle-gnawing arse-ache of a task if I’m honest. Not only does Sonisphere have one of the strongest line ups of any festival this year (let alone those of a rock/metal incarnation) it has one of the best schedulings I’ve seen, both in terms of diversity and quality. Something for everyone? Ladies, gentlemen and maggots, step this way.

Metallica – Apollo Stage, 20:30 Friday

So, top three for the festival? Look, I know they can be a bit sloppy live, their new stuff has a decidedly uneasy feel about it (when, exactly, did Lou Reed last make a decent record) and their drummer is, well, a bit of a berk, but let’s be honest:Ā Metallica are still in another league. This is the band that your mum has heard of, the one that broke the mould, re-wrote the rulebook and, well, changed everything. If you haven’t seen ’em, go. If you have, go again. If they do Leper Messiah I will be happier than Mr Happy at the Smiley Happy People Convention.

Weezer – Apollo Stage, 18:30 Saturday

There’s been plenty of interweb jabber about whether Biffy Clyro can be a headline act and there will probably be a lot of folks heading off to the barking mad brilliant black metal of Watain as a result but festivals ought to be happy places and who better to cheer the place than the poptastic Weezer. If the sun is out (or even if it isn’t) their set -likely to be absolutely chock full of tunes- is guaranteed to put a warm glow across the open plains of Knebworth Park. Let’s be fair, if you don’t like Buddy Holly, then there is something wrong with you.

Kylesa – Bohemia, 13:20 Saturday

Everyone is reporting that Slipknot are on fire at the moment and their set promises to be both blisteringly loud and emotionally draining but if you can manage an early enough start on the Sunday you wont go far wrong with a butchers at the Southern psychedelic rock genius that is Kylesa and, if they rumble through the brilliance of Tired Climb, it will brush away the cobwebs and, whilst it might not get rid of the hangover, it will certainly make it a damn sight more bearable.

So, there you go: three days, three bands, three tunes. Have an incredible time. See you at the bar.

Iain’s Picks

Bad ReligionApollo Stage, 15:45 Saturday

This was the first festival announcement of the summer that really got me going “oh fuck yeah”, I have been a fan of the band since I first heard “The Gray Race”, an album which immediately lodged itself in my top 10 and has never left since. In fact for all their top notch output if they come on, play that from start to finish then leave, that’ll be job done. Wannabe “pop-punk” bands watch out, the masters are here šŸ™‚ It’s a tough call, which track I’d like to hear most. Like I said anything off Gray Race, but if I had to chose one I’d settle for A Walk please.

Sisters Of Mercy – Bohemia, 23:15 Saturday

Amongst all the festival Usual Suspects, the other big surprise for me was the announcement that Andrew Eldritch and his Sisters Of Mercy were going to make a rare live appearance. As a (much) younger man The Sisters (along with Fields Of The Nephilim and The Mission) played a massive part in my life and I can’t quite believe that they’re going to be there.Again whatever they play will do me just fine, This Corrosion, Lucretia, all the hits but I’ve got my fingers crossed for the awesome More

If you’re not in the Tent watching this show, I don’t think we can be friends….

Bill Bailey – Saturn Stage, 19:55 Sunday

Yeah, Yeah, I know there are a shed load of bands that you think should be on this list, but if I’m honest I’m looking forward to sitting, drunk, in the late afternoon sunshine listening to the incomparable Bill Bailey more than any of those. I have seen Bill live a couple of times in the past few years, and there’s just no one quite like him, man’s a genius.

Oh, and on top of that, he’s probably a better musician than 90% of the other artists on the, erm, bill.