Thursday night at Bloodstock serves as a bit of a warm up for the full festival and to be honest doesn’t always look that grand on paper. However, you have a site that is already bulging with a rampant pack of metalheads who will only be satisfied by one thing: Metal!
So, although it may just look as though there are a few bands on the Sophie stage to provide a bit of background noise; the bands on display have the potential to be seen by everyone. There are no other stages running and everyone should be still pretty fresh and hungry for some live Heavy Metal.
With Camp CackBlabbath set up, we get into the arena to let Bull Riff Stampede pop the Bloodstock 2013 cherry.
If you’ve been to a decent festival this year the chances are that Bull Riff Stampede have been playing it. It’s well deserved too as they’re a great band who are putting the work in, week in – week out, on the road. During a weekend that isn’t exactly short on the odd thrash band, Bull Riff do well to get in their early and smash the audience with their own brand of heavy, speedy and no doubt throat-ripping thrash. Opening with their epic intro and some familiar tracks such as ‘Bled to the Arena’ and ‘Central Embodiment of Evil’, Bull Riff don’t mess about. They depart the Sophie Stage beaming that they are “Proud to be British” and in the knowledge that they’ve left the crowd in no doubt who the most rampant and heavy band of the night will be.
Now for something completely different. The mighty Oaf are in attendance to tick off another of the UK rock festival circuit highlights. With a little less banter than usual and just as little fuss, the south coast duo lure in the devoted and the curious with their shouty punk rock tunes. Dom does take time to display his joy at playing “The best heavy metal festival in the world” in between unleashing plenty of cuts from the brand new album. ‘Marker Pen Cocks’, ‘We Know Why You’re Rubbish at Darts’ and the crowd pleasing ‘Fuck off Seagull’ all get an airing. Oaf end up with a full tent and a fantastic reception by the end of their short half hour set. There were even mosh pits!
Not many bands with tweed bunting onstage get mosh pits too…
After a tremendous pairing of Bull Riff Stampede and Oaf, next to grace the stage are Ravenage. The northern Vikings appear fully kitted out with wolf skin, war paint and well…wind milling hair. They’re Viking stomp holds the crowd’s attention well and if they’re going to go down well anywhere, it’s at Bloodstock. Maybe we were spoiled earlier in the evening but Ravenage don’t quite hit the heights of the previous bands of the night.
So, now over to the headliners. The full attention of the UK’s biggest and best heavy metal festival crowd goes to…a Bee Gee’s tribute act. Tragedy strut out onto the stage, suitably camp and glittery, complete with a band gimp and lots of New York humour. Mixing it up with some full track disco-metal covers with some medleys and even some not very Bee Gees material. To be fair to them, they fill the tent and have people boogying for the full set but it’s also fair to say that they aren’t everyone’s cuppa.
Team CB walk away from the first nights action fully entertained but wondering if someone got the line-up back-to-front somewhere along the way. It may just be party pooping however as there’s 3 full days of metal mayhem still to go yet!