Bloodstock Open Air 2016 : Thursday Review

Woo, here we go. Time for the UK’s biggest and best Heavy Metal party…

Team CB arrived from the north and the east at the hallowed ground of Catton Hall. After the usual get parked and collect our passes malakry we were well and truly psyched up for what can only be described as the gathering. Going through the entrance and entering the Serpents Lair for the first time sent a jolt of excitement through us.. This was going to be a great weekend.

First order of business was the usual wander about seeing what’s changed and catching up with some of the Bloodstock faithful. You always see the same old faces at Bloodstock, and although many of them you only see once a year there’s still the great feeling of family about the place. There’s a special atmosphere about this place, the craic is always first class with the shuttle bus drivers, security guards, stall holders and, well, everyone. Wandering about the arena one of our first encounters was with the fabulous Jimmy from Pteroglph. It was a meeting of minds as Team CB and Jimmy discussed the finer things in life such as their upcoming slot on the New Blood stage, Jimmy’s wild red hair… and the fine art of tie dieing.

Long story…

2016-08-12 15.34.27The first port of call for TeamCB was the newly christened Lemmy’s Bar, renamed in honour of.. oh.. you worked it out. The honour of getting the first round in went to Motorhead Axeman Phil Campbell, but he only got himself one…

The whole place chanted the late, great Motorhead frontman’s name. Apparently if Lemmy were here he’d be telling us all to shut the fuck up.

Nope, we shan’t. Metal is all about volume, especially Motorhead’s which has to be played loud, or it sounds crap, well according to Phil anyway.

Of course we then stuck around in Lemmy’s enjoying the only marginally overpriced beer and got in the mood for the weekend ahead. Thursday is a mere aperitif to the main three courses of BOA, but by god it’s always a blast..

Even if it always makes Friday mornings a bit delicate.

1 Thursday BOAThe honour of opening 2016’s Bloodstock Festival fell to Norway’s Sublime Eyes. As there is only one stage running everyone is packed into the Sophie tent which is jumping and already getting a bit sweaty. This was our first experience of the band and they certainly impressed us, not a bad way to get things off and running

Wonder how the small wall of death they asked for looked from down the front.

From a band we knew nothing much about, to a band we know and love. We first came across Karybdis at Bloodstock in 2013 and since then they’ve been having a busy old time of it, building a decent following with  string of high octane gig and festival appearances.

2 Thursday BOA

They came, they saw, they grooved and they blew us away with Minotaur.

Right, quick trip to the bar then we’d best get back down the front, it’s Sumer time.

3 Thursday BOASumer announced their arrival on the Sophie stage by unleashing a compelling, unignorable wall of riffs which came surging out of the stacks and led people into the tent by their ears.

We’d caught a bit of the band’s set on the New Blood stage at a previous Bloodstock, but my god how they’ve grown.

The brightness of the fierce crescendo they unleashed gave way to darker, more introspect moments where the band seemed to have a definite connection with the crowd, never more so than ,during their signature piece The Animal You Are.

4 Thursday BOARight, enough being serious.. MOSH PIT TIME !!

After their triumph on the New Blood stage a couple of years back Psykosis were a well deserved addition to the Sophie Stage lineup. It’s hard to describe them without using the phraze “old school, classic thrash metal”, so we wont even try.

They were brilliant, and that’s even without the “Psykopiss” free beer.

Ooh, free beer! Despite it’s very DIY packaging and the knowledge that it was brewed in a bathtub somewhere in Dublin, it doesn’t taste all that bad. We wouldn’t fancy all weekend on it though…

Thursday BOA

At some point in the past few days the “All Starr Band” have become “The Bastard Sons”, but in this altar to heavy metal it doesn’t matter what Phil Campbell calls his band, people are going to come in the full expectation of generally losing their shit to some classic tunes.

Before that we got a taste of some PC&TBS original stuff in the form of Big Mouth, before the first of the classic covers of the evening, Deaf Forever. Frontman Neil Starr does a great job fronting the band, channeling Ozzy one minute and Lemmy the next, although I’m not convinced trying to get down far enough to do Orgasmatron justice does him any favours

5 Thursday BOAOf course the ghost of Mr. Kilminster was ever-present throughout the set, but never more so that the obligatory “wow, did that just happen” moment during Phil’s set. Pepper Keenan and some old bloke called Dee Snider (More about him later) arrived on stage and, as you’d expect, the entire tent went absolutely mental. Born To Raise Hell has never packed quite this punch as Snider acted as MC to the biggest drunken sing-along of the weekend.

I think Lemmy would have approved.

The sensible thing to do after the live music finished would have been to head back to camp and get some sleep before the festival proper kicked off.

But who said we were sensible ??!! The Serpent’s Lair is the place to be on the Thursday night and all of Team CB had a fine old time as we excitedly discussed our expectations for the weekend. We danced (well one of us did), We sampled some of the fine array of booze from the bar and at one point someone “borrowed” a German military helmet from somewhere which they wore pretty much all night.

Like you do.