Less than 2 weeks after Bloodstock, it was time to repack the car with festival necessities and start out on the drive up to the midlands once more, for a couple of days of great bands with some wonderful friends.
Of course, a drive along the A30 and M5 on the August bank holiday weekend wouldn't be the best start to a festival, but after I had negotiated the debris left on the roads by bits of surfboard and caravan, I was on my way to Beermageddon. Expectations were high after such a brilliant weekend the year before, at the previous year’s debut, which had been a sell out and received nominations for awards. This year looked odds on too live up to the expectations, as a new venue with a larger capacity had been secured and once again, Beermageddon had sold all of the available tickets.
After I had eventually made my way to the Stoke Prior Sports and Country Club, I unfortunately learned that I had missed Haerken. However, having been lucky enough to see them many times before, I was not surprised to hear that they had once again put on an amazing show. As I arrived I was treated to the rather amusing sight that was Jaldaboath or at least 2 members onstage entertaining the crowd with an amusing set. I have heard many Jaldaboath tracks and having glimpsed the live show, I think it is a band that I need to get booked at a festival so that I can see a full set.
After what had seemed like far too long recovering from the drive, then trying to put up a tent in the rain, the bar was calling and it was time to drink a few and catch up with some friends who I only get chance to at the summer festivals. At this point, it was very apparent that the festival’s organiser – and P Club MC - DJ Beerman, had selected a great venue for the expanding Beermageddon. The show put on was enhanced superbly by the sound engineers getting things perfect for the size and shape of the room, accompanied by great lighting, to give a fantastic atmosphere.
After some brilliant sets from Incassum and Flayed Disciple, it was time for the Friday headliners, Fallen Fate. Coinciding with the tour for their second albu, this is a band who consistanly puts on a fantastic show and, as always, they played with the professionalism that we come to expect from these guys. As tight as any other headliner band on the bill, and with guest vocals from Sy Keeler of Onslaught, they certainly set the bar high for the remaining bands over the weekend. After the bands had finished it was up to DJ Hybrid to play us into the small hours while we caught up and had a few more drinks.
As Saturday morning came around, we were once again reminded of the relaxed pace in which the days start at Beermageddon. There is plenty of time to slowly rise from the previous night’s festivities, before taking time to get a nice bit of greasy fried goodness inside some bread to get you set up for the day.
At a very reasonable 2pm, it was time for a bit more music and the line-up was looking great all the way through to that evening’s headliner, Beholder. When the day starts with the thrash assault that is Kremated, including an amusing interlude of Jim Beerman singing his now infamous Beermageddon song, you know it's going to be a great day.
Following on, was another incredible set from Bull-Riff Stampede, who seem to get better each time I see them. The rest of the afternoon was full of bands that I hadn't seen before and had only heard briefly on the Top Rock Radio website.
Gravil really had a tough act to follow, but did an excellent job at keeping the momentum as did Old Corpse Road who for me were the band of the festival; their sound, in places, reminded me of the first Cradle of Filth album. The Black Metal theme continued with Sacrilegious Throne before Skreamer took to the stage and then Eternal Fear, who had travelled over from Sweden.
The evening was capped off in style with Beholder who had played an amazing but, unfortunately, too short a set at Bloodstock two weeks earlier, but tonight our headliners got to play for double the amount of time and include in the set a few song which hadn't featured in a live performance for quite some time, including one of my favourites "The Heretic".
After the live music was over it was once again time for some music from the DJ turntables as we drank on into the night. We had a few drinks while chatting with the guys from Eternal Fear who had to set off early in the morning for another gig; one of whom was very keen to share a bit of chewing tobacco, only then to warn us that many people get sick the first time they try it due to the nicotine levels. I'm proud to say that I was fine, but at least one reveller was later seen barking at the floor and watering the grass. Again this time of night at a festival, especially one the size of Beermageddon is a great opportunity to have a drink and a chat with the bands. Drinks were drunk, jokes were told and of course, the exact details are a little sketchy for these recollections.
Sunday morning began in the same hungover and bacon sarnie fashion, which was to be the last day of this event and my last festival of the season. The day began with a wedding, officiated by DJ Beerman, with P Club regulars Kerry and Mike Furini tying the knot. Hopefully the fact I was suffering a slight case of the DT's didn't affect my camera work for them.
Divine Chaos kicked things off with spectacular style and then had to get straight on the road for a show that night in Bournemouth. The relentless tide of metal included an aural assault with sets from Vindicator, Kemikil and Morgue Orgy, with all of these sets highlighting the brilliant selection of bands that had been selected for Beermageddon once again. Wretched Soul were up next and put on the type of show that they are getting well known for. Then it was up to Shrapnel, and then Virus to get everyone truly warmed for the final band of the weekend, and what a finale it would be.
Anihilated have been doing this long enough to know how to do it well, and that is exactly what they did in their own particular style and a perfect way to close a festival. Of course, things couldn't end just yet as we were treated to a sneak preview of the Onslaught album before the music played into the night.
Another fantastic weekend thanks to Jim Beerman, and an opportunity to see some great bands whilst catching up with old chums and making new friends over a few drinks.
Beermageddon 2014 is already looking to be bigger and better with a bargain price of £35 for the Early Bird Special.
Bands already booked are:
More bands will be added, with an announcement due on the 11th December via www.toprockradio.com.
For more information and tickets go to www.beermageddon.co.uk
Article written by Pandemonium Tom, December 2013