First of all I would like to apologise for the lack of updates this last week but it’s hard to update a website when you’re drunk in a field listening to three days worth of incredible metal.
The following is a tale of drunkenness, drinking horns, wheelchairs and circle pits. But first we’ll start with the relatively peaceful day knowing as Thursday and the slightly less peaceful Friday.
After a bus ride that lasted just short of forever we arrived in the town of Lichfield to stock up on alcohol and fry ups for breakfast. This is a seemingly unimportant bit of information but I just wanted to point out both how nice the town of Lichfield is and how friendly the people are who live there.
We arrived before the gates opened allowing us to join the already long queue in drinking under the burning morning sun. The doors soon opened and the hunt was on for the best camping space, we opted for a spot in the stunningly named Valhalla. This is one of the best parts about Bloodstock, it’s so damn small compared to the likes of Bloodstock, I reached the arena gate from my tent within about three minutes of walking and could easily quest back to my tent for between band beers.
Thursday itself hosted entertainment in the Sophie tent (named after Sophie Lancaster) but we missed most of that, opting to investigate the range of merchandise available. This is another feather in the cap of Bloodstock. While many of the major festivals specialise in selling a crap ton of Maiden, DC and Metallica merch, Bloodstock has tents selling merchandise from the most obscure of the weird and wonderful metal bands out there making it a collectors wet dream.
Friday was the first official day of the festival and after an early morning horn of ale in Valhalla (that never got old), we ventured forth to see Death Angel lay some amount of waste to the hung-over masses assembled that early. The cobwebs were well and truly shook off by their Bay Area thrash burst which paved the way for the brutality of Ex Deo to shake the ground for a while.
Sadly, Firewinds set was plagued with sound problems. While the band themselves played a blinder of a set with solos and mighty choruses everywhere, the PA kept making huge popping noises causing people to both shit themselves and lose track of the song. It killed the atmosphere a bit but they powered on.
Municipal Waste followed, and when they say they’re gonna fuck you up they really mean it. They entered to chants of it and a circle pit was on the go before the first note had played. Needless to say when the first note was played the crowd went balls out mental, three songs in I was ready for a rest but soon enough was sent straight back into the madness. The setlist couldn’t be argued with and with Municipal Waste songs being pretty short they managed to pack a lot of them in.
Next up was Voivod on mainstage who were apparently pretty great. I opted to take a trip back to the late eighties for some British thrash with Xentrix in the Sophie tent. Soon enough Accept took to the Ronnie James Dio stage (main stage) for some more classic metal. The set was another strong one with many new songs grabbing the attention of those who were just there for the obvious. It doesn’t need to be said though that when Balls To The Wall and especially Fast as a Shark came on, they got the biggest singalong. On a side note, the clouds took a weird turn during the set while probably caused many of the stoned people to either drop a load of shit in their pants or fall in the love the sky.
A quick trip back to the tent for a drink before heading back in for the headliner brought us to the mighty King Diamond. In a word where people are used to stage gimmicks, King Diamond still manages to be pretty creepy. Entering the stage that was complete with a metal fence along the front and a mansion staircase in the back he treated us to an hour and a half of ball bursting falsetto. The setlist itself was brilliant featuring tracks spanning his career through King Diamond and Mercyful Fate. Abigail sadly didn’t make an appearance but Welcome Home made up for that allowing the rest of the weekend to be spent hearing “GRANDMAAAAAAAAAAAAA” from the mouths of drunken festival goers. For a man who recently underwent a serious medical procedure, King Diamond was on top form, his voice still powerful and glass shatteringly high.