CB’s High Voltage Festival 2011 Preview

The festival season is now well and truly underway, and the next big event on the calendar is High Voltage. Now last year this was one of my favourite festivals of the year. There’s no camping for a start so you get to sleep in a proper bed šŸ™‚ Tickets are also reasonably priced at Ā£99 but, as with last year when they managed to piss a lot of people off by dropping prices the week before, you can get them from Groupon at the moment for Ā£44. Not good news for the early birds but an absolute bargain for people who are undecided…..

So what’s stopping you ?

Once again the organisers have assembled a stunning lineup over the two days, so who should you go see ? Well here are my recommendations….

Judas Priest

Oh come on, do you really need me to tell you to go and see the Metal Gods themselves ? This could be your last chance. Priest have announced that they are hanging up their leathers after this tour, which is a bit of a pity as they are back on top form with new boy guitarist Richie Faulkner stepping in for the recently departed K.K. Downing.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter who is on the other stages, unless you’re mental there is no way that you will want to miss this. ‘istoric innit.

Photo from Lick LibraryMichael Schenker

Ok, people who know me expect my guitar god must see to be Michale Schenker but, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t be able to recommend you spend too much time on him if this was the “classic” MSG lineup who have been going through the motions of late. Luckily this is a much more appealing proposition with Pete Way and Herman Rarebell joining Michael with, according to the HV site, Michael Voss is handling the vocal duties.

Wannabe guitar heroes could learn a thing or two from this guy, he’s got his life in order and I have to admit I’m really looking forward to this one. Are you ready to rock ?


One of the hottest unsigned bands in the country, Brighton’s Furyon have been creating quite a name for themselves. If you like melodic, guitar driven rock then make sure you get in nice and early to catch the band on the Metal Hammer stage as they continue their journey to the next level.

At their recent home town gig the band were hailed as being in the best form of their career, so they come into High Voltage on a high and their set should be something special.

There are loads of other great bands on over the weekend, my pick of the bunch from the rest is….

Rival Sons – Proving that there is still life in the 70s inspired rock scene, Rival Sons are another must see. If their Sonisphere show is anything to go by this could be a contender for gig of the weekend.

Black Spiders – Come on, it’s the Black Spiders. Go, watch, be entertained and chant “fuck you Black Spiders”. Sounds like a winner to me, miss this one at your peril.

Graveyard – If Rival Sons aren’t enough brilliant Led Zep inspired classic rock for one weekend, then check out Graveyard. They were stunningly good at their Borderline gig earlier this year and you NEED to have their debut album Hisingen Blues in your record collection.

Slash – Well, the awesome Myles Kennedy is handling the vocal duties and as well as some of his solo and Velvet Revolver stuff you’ll get some G’n’R classics. What’s not to like ?

Thunder – This could be their last ever gig. Yep, that’s right, another Thunder farewell gig. Apart from the others they’re sure to announce. And the live album. And the ‘we’re back to say goodbye’ tour (possibly). Still they’ll play Love Walked In and all will be well… Going to be brilliant.

The great thing about HV is that the comparatively small site means that you do get a chance to see much more than you do at many other festivals, and that’s good as it increasing the chances of finding your next favourite band as you wander from stage to stage.

See you there šŸ™‚