Bloodstock Open Air : Nikki’s Ones To Watch

With so many festivals on offer to fill your summer weekends and satisfy even the most enthusiastic heavy metal fan, one name resounds above all the others. August isn’t far away and it’ll soon be time for the beast that is Bloodstock to live up to it’s reputation and my expectations. Bloodstock has become the best major festival in the UK and 2015’s edition will only increase that reputation with lashings of new blood to discover and a rather impressive line-up on the Ronnie James Dio and Sophie Lancaster stages.

Taking place from the 6th to the 9th August, B.O.A hasa massive following as it looks to maintains its place, peak season, as the must see (or hear) events on the festival calendar. The excitement is mounting, the Metal To The Masses competition is working its way round the country and here at CBHQ in the Scottish hills we’re counting down the days already.

I’ve been asked to pick my 5 bands to watch at Bloodstock, but how do I choose 5 from a lineup like this. t took some thought, and in the end I had to miss out Rob Zombie, and Reign Of Fury and even Opeth.

Well after lots of thought, here’s the top 5 bands I think you should see.

Sabaton Live in Glasgow 25When I was asked to chose the bands I was most looking forward to at Bloodstock one name stood out. Flying the flag for Swedish power metal you can catch the mighty Sabaton, where Joakem Broden and his metal crue take you back in time to the battlefields of the past. These guys don’t mess about and they are as passionate about their fansas they are their music and, with the tank that they use for their stage set, are also a sight to see. The first time I saw Sabaton was unforgettable, and the best ever gig I ever saw. I have fond memories of that night at the QMU in Glasgow, where alas the venue was too small for their tank… enough said \m/

Down the front at the Dio stage is the place you’ll find me … Sabaton……Best served LOUD and up close!

I’m sure we’ll be able to convert our Rob into a power metal fan.

Next up on my personal list, Orange Goblin (who are usually on every CB list for festivals). Damnation festival was my first encounter and Hammerfest my second and both times the lads delivered their trademark rather eclectic set, mixing some stoner/doom influences and good old fashioned heavy metal. You needn’t worry about racing down to the barrier as frontman Ben is a BIG lad who you can see from the back with a voice that can carry and roar like thunder. Once again, the Ronnie James Dio stage is THE place to be.

Black Label Society 2Being a HUGE Black Label Society fan, but then again is’t everybody?!, there’s a certain blonde Viking I’m crazy-excited to finally see in the flesh. Given the fact he has hair a wookiee would kill for and some of the coolest guitars on the planet, in my humble opinion, I shall be posted M.I.A to the rest of the world when theses guys play. Doom Crew, let’s do this \m/

Away from the main stage and it’s Knock Out Kaine that have grabbed my attention as i go through the obligatory pre-festival research on YouTube. I haven’t yet seen them live, but have two opportunities this summer as thy play Scotland’s Wildfire Festival beofre their Bloodstock set.

If, like me, you love long hair and love a bit of sleaze you will appreciate their classic sound. Jagermeister Stage anyone..shall we say the Saturday?

Last but not least, you’ll find me over at the Sophie Lancaster Stage for I Am I. This is going to take me back… Headbangers Balls, 2013, Classic Grand, Weegieland…. I remember the hangover….. I remember the night bus… AND I remember a cover version of John Farnham’s “You’re the voice”

What a night, what a superb set! I’m hoping for lot’s more of the same at B.O.A.

No doubt there will be loads of new discoveries for me at Bloodstock, but that’s one of the great things about the festival. Having heard the other members of TeamCB going on about how great Bloodstock is, I can’t wait for August so I can find out for myself.