After the “main” part of Sonisphere 2011 drew to a close with Slipknot’s tribute to Paul Gray on the main stage, there was a general exodus in the direction of the car park by people keen to get away from the mud and rain. Rather than sit in muddy gridlock for an hour I decided it was much more sensible to stay in the Bohemia tent where a band called Bat Sabbath were on next.
Now being an idiot I had no idea who this was, some crappy Sabbath tribute band maybe ???
The penny finally dropped (it had been a long weekend) when the ample form of Cancer Bats guitarist Scott Middleton appeared through the dry ice, joined on stage by fellow Batsmen, bassist Jaye Schwarzer and drummer Mike Peters. As the opening chords of Iron Man rang out the caped figure of frontman Liam Cormier bounced into view, displaying unnatural amounts of energy for this time on a Sunday night.
Iron Man was a great way to kick off the set, and the classics kept on coming. You could probably predict that Supernaut would be in there somewhere but the inclusion of Sweet Leaf was a welcome surprise, not a song I was familiar with.
This was turning out to be more fun than anyone expected, Cormier running about like a (caped) madman and the band doing a sterling job. Another huge cheer greeted N.I.B., which also saw some circle pits opening up in the tent.
Mental, just mental.
This was a brilliant selection of Sabbath classics, but there was one song that the whole place was waiting for, and we all went everso slightly mental when guitarist Scott Middleton launched into one of the most iconic riffs in the history of, well, history, Paranoid. This is what festivals are all about, and the band were obviously having as much fun as we were with their straight up, faithful Black Sabbath worship.
All too soon Cormier was announcing “This is our last song, but it’s OK, it’s a long one” 🙂 If there’s a better way to end a festival weekend than listening to the Bats playing War Pigs then…. no…. there is no better way.
This was just the perfect sign off for Sonisphere 2011 and as I headed back to the car and on to a hotel with a bath and a proper bed I was already making plans for next year.
See you there.