We wake up at Hammerfest to a bit of a blustery morning, to say the least. Perfect for blowing off the cobwebs actually, and after a stroll along the beach, a full “Welsh” breakfast and a gallon of Red Bull we’re ready for action. Just about…
Starting off, pretty much where we called it a day last night; Vice are bringing the thrash to a bleary-eyed Hammerfest. A much fresher faced brand of thrash than we had yesterday, but just as hard-hitting, all the same. The Manchester lads get the early-risers in attendance to get their fists pumping and hair swirling.
Things get a whole lot busier for Footprints In The Custard as they pull in a gargantuan crowd. And with songs about willies, sex on bouncy castles, strangle-wanking, and Coronation Street inspired cannibal metal (Gail Platters) it’s no surprise really. These guys are genuinely great fun whilst still bringing the metal in good and heavy fashion.
There are plenty of inflatable dicks of all colours and sizes to greet the band; and a kangeroo too. We’re treated to the band stripping off to unveil all sorts of outfits, including a mankini with the inevitable ‘Inbetweeners’ style testicle popping out.
“Just the sight you never wanted to see…” yep, we’ll agree with that. We’ll steer clear of the meatball pizza today.
Footprints In The Custard have certainly put a smile on everyone’s face.
Opening up the main stage are Bearfist, who are a straight ahead modern metal crew. They make all the right noises and movements but they don’t set the world on fire. Maybe we are still coming down from that Footprints… show.
Cypecore come out in complete darkness to show off their fancy light up suits or maybe just to disguise the yawns from their frontman in between songs. Either way, they are a sight to behold up there in their space suits and their brand of futuristic cyber-thrash seems to resonate with the crowd pretty well.
We’re undecided 😉
It’s been a while since we last caught up with Dead Label. We’re sure they weren’t this heavy before? Anyway, maybe our memory is crap or this is a particularly brutal show from Dead Label, but either way they belt out one hell of a neck-breaking set.
Riffs, riffs, riffs! They clatter along in raucous style and the guitar tone breaks out into an Andreas Kisser style at some parts. Can’t argue with that.
Sumo Cyco know how to get the place moving. The band are an irresistible ball of energy from start to finish and instantly receive the prize for most energetic band of the weekend. Frontwoman Sever certainly makes us feel unfit, we need Red Bull just to shuffle backwards and forwards between photo pits. Just watching this band bounce around the stage is making us need a lie down.
So add Benji Webbe to that mix and things will, obviously, go bananas. ‘Moving Mountains’ sees the big man come on stage to perform with the band, and the Sumo Cyco and the crowd all look pretty stoked with that.
Sumo Cyco put forward a strong case for band of the day and it hasn’t even gone dark yet.
Well not quite, it has started to snow a bit though. We’ve been watching the nice security bloke on the gate all day. His finely groomed beard and moustache started out a mousy brown colour this morning but they are slowly turning white with the icy wind and snow. His beanie is getting lower and his scarf is getting higher. We’re pretty sure that by the end of the day he’s going to resemble the invisible man. Not a job we envy, at all.
Standing in front of Lenny’s set-up is a bit like standing in a gale-force wind (we know a lot about that today). He’s got some power coming out of those amps, and a blood-thirsty guitar tone too. It’s a beautiful sound, but one we’ll be still hearing in the morning no doubt.
The band unleash a crunching battering ram of metal upon the crowd. That frontman/bass player looks familiar too, can’t think who he reminds us of though..
Speaking of look-a-likes, this dude has the Dimebag look down to a T. It’s a shame that Blood Red Throne don’t play ‘Domination’ for us. It looks like Norwegian death metal is more their flavour, which is a strange band for a Dimebag tribute to be playing in. Still, they do blast out a splendid noise for us.
Next up, it’s time for some CB favourites. Conan hit the stage with typical lack of fanfair and get underway shrouded in their trademark dimly stage.
It isn’t the darkest Conan show we’ve ever photographed (Sheffield Corp II wins that one) but it is hardly the glorious burst of light ww saw at Uprising either. A quick snap to capture the mood and we head off into the crowd then…
Hoodie watch: One present. One absent.
As the sets get longer in the evening, we end up with less rushing around to do. So its time for a well-earned pint of Guinness and a chance to experience the full Conan set. Time to soak up some riffs!
All very relaxing until that frontman from Limb comes rubbing up against us doing some sort of slow sexy doom dancing (if there is such a thing). Maybe he was trying to secure a good review?
Anyway, Conan are (always) brilliant. We are treated to some new music for which we didn’t catch any titles but sounds suitably great and we’re itching to get hold of that new album more than ever now.
Jon reminds us to keep hydrated half way through, so its back to the bar for another Guinness.
We often joke about the Hammerfest faithful and their resilience to the elements while making use of the outside bar. Today is a new level of devotion to drinking and smoking however. It is literally blizzard conditions outside and yet there are still people propping up the bar.
Hats off to the bar staff and in particularly that Cloven Hoof Rum bloke who is well and truly exposed to the elements.
Oh dear, we may have the wrong half of Team CB reviewing Saturday’s Hammerfest, at least where Gloryhammer are concerned. Granted they look like they are one hell of a fun band with their ridiculous stage antics and various costumes and if you are into sci-fi come space themed power metal, then you should be loving this lot.
From chasing little green goblins around the stage with inflatable hammers to… well, whatever they did after that. We’re off to see Warpath next door.
So Hammerfest has made it to double figures, a big 10th birthday party is well underway but not complete until we’ve seen Skindred. This band have played some legendary sets at Hammerfest in the past, so it seems very fitting that they should be headlining tonight.
We thought some people may have bailed early with the threat of snow looming over the weekend; looking around the room tonight there isn’t a lot of space spare if they have. Not only packed, but the place is bouncing.
Benji takes time to point out that this year’s festival has been headlined by two black men. It hadn’t really occurred to us, but that’s’ pretty cool innit? No complaints from the Hammerfest lot, we’re lapping it up!
It’s a tough slot to fill, but someone has to do it. Playing the second stage when the main headliners are in full flow over on the main stage is probably the bogey slot of the day. Repulsive Vision don’t let that upset them though and we make sure we go and check them out for some of their set too…
But that’s about all we can take. Hammerfest has broken us yet again… Sumo Cyco take the prestigious band of the day award, closely followed by Conan and those Footprints’ dudes.
Epic fun and games as always from Hammerfest. We’re already looking forward to some Overkill next year.