With the light at the end of the tunnel getting ever closer and the prospect of everything opening up, and some form of normality resuming, the future of live music is beginning to look very exciting again.
Shows upon shows are being announced and we have all the ones that had been rescheduled over the last 15 months or so to look forward to as well – the only negative thing I can see at the moment is the amount of clashes that are likely to crop up in 2022 as everyone plays catch up.
I’ve enjoyed many a streamed show during lockdown but there’s nothing that replaces the feeling of being at a show, and as a concert photographer with no concerts to photograph it’s been pretty tough to not go crazy, so I’m more than a little excited to get back to it as soon as possible.
Here are the 5 shows I’m most looking forward to over the coming months – and I’ve got everything crossed for them to happen.
Bloodstock Festival – August
As many were unable to make it to the brilliant Download Pilot festival, the success of which has hopefully paved the way for more events of this kind, Bloodstock should be high on the radar of any self-respecting heavy music lover.
With many of the international acts unable to make the event – something that may have made many other festivals throw the towel in for another year – the team at Bloodstock have been incredibly positive and booked a host of UK based bands to play. With the likes of The Wildhearts, Lawnmower Deth and Therapy? stepping in to join Skindred and Judas Priest among others it makes for an incredible line up.
It’s certain to be a party whoever plays as, not only is everyone absolutely ready for a weekend blow out, but it’s also Bloodstocks slightly delayed 20th birthday party. It will hopefully be one to remember.
Brass Against – October
One postponement that REALLY hurt was very early on in the pandemic last year when Brass Against had to ditch their UK visit. Having seen them on the previous tour it was a guaranteed concert highlight that I was gutted I had to miss.
Playing brass led versions of heavy classics by Tool, RATM, Audioslave and many more this collective of artists create a beautiful cacophony of noise and energy at every show.
They’re also one of the bands that helped get me through the last year with lots of activity on social media and great new music too. Well worth checking them out when they (fingers crossed) reach our shores in October.
James – November/December
James have been a favourite band of mine since 1990’s Gold Mother album. This tour with Happy Mondays mark 33 years since both bands, who were signed to Factory Records, toured together in 1998.
Having been a band for four decades James have just got better and better as they’ve aged. You never really know what you’re going to get as a setlist at a James show which, for me as a fan, is a wonderful thing, but if you’re just looking to hear the Sit Down you may leave disappointed so go with open ears and you’ll have an amazing experience.
This is an absolute belter of a double bill for anyone that loves heavy music. Behemoth are revered in extreme circles and their shows are incredible. Charismatic frontman Nergal is adored by fans and they are one of the most popular bands around at the moment. Their stage show is full of smoke, blastbeats and blasphemy and is a feast for the eyes. Not to be missed. Plus, when you add Arch Enemy to an already incendiary mix, you’re guaranteed a night to remember.
If nothing else the last 15 months has given us all plenty of free time to discover new music, and one of the artists that’s new to me is Wakefield’s Loz Campbell. Driving bluesy guitars and soulful vocals are at the forefront of her sound and it’s one that I’m excited to hear live.
Her Instagram posts make it clear she’s yearning to get back out playing live, so her shows from August to December are likely to be extra captivating once we’ve all been set loose.
So that is just a few of the shows I’m looking forward to seeing and I cannot wait to experience the rush once again. LET’S GO!