Browsing Tag

Bloodstock Open Air


Return of the blogging – 2014 Festival Season in Pictures

August 25, 2014

As you have probably noticed, we’ve been very quiet – no – none existent the past 3 weeks. That is due to our yearly pilgrimage to the holy Wacken lands and returning to civility with our obligatory attendance at one of the best UK heavy metal festivals – Bloodstock. After a week or two to recover, catch up on thousands of e-mails, catch up on work, nurture our bank balances and finish washing all our favorite t-shirts we are now back to normality and thought we’d share a few images of the past few weeks!


When it comes to festival season, organisation is key. Especially when you are going to live in a field for the best part of a week. Because of this, Gem and I generally go a little quiet the week before we set off to Wacken Open Air which is in Germany. We make several lists and then frown at each other when we discover all of the unnecessary items we have packed. With four of us squeezing into my (generously sized may I add) estate, we really had to tone down on the excessive ridiculous nonsense items we usually take with us. ( Oh the luxury of camping by your car). Once of the magical things I discovered this year was placing my duvet and pillows into a black back and sucking the air out with a vacuum. Instead of taking up the entire boot, it fit nice and snug behind the driver seat and is now a well honed skill I also used to squeeze my duvet into the suitcase for Bloodstock.

After saying goodbye to CJ, who was less than impressed at us upping and leaving her, we left the house in the early hours of Sunday morning, heading to Harwich to catch a 6 hour boat to the Hook of Holland. During this time we tried to take a few “all in” selfies which were all marginally disappointing and always seemed to cut half of us out and bought a pack of cards to amuse ourselves with a few (or 100) games of “bullshit” or “cheat” to those of you into language less foul. Once we arrived in Holland, Roode’s mum was kind enough to put us up for the night before we traveled to the Holy Wacken lands the next morning.


After a fairly swift 5-6 hour drive across Europe, we finally arrived at Wacken and set our massive tent up. The only way to festival, is to festival in comfort! Thus we don’t leave home without our airbeds, pillows, sheet and duvet’s. It makes camping a dream. A few Gem and Pants selfies by our England flag and our drummer sunbathing on his car roof with a good book and a pint of bitter and we were well on our way to having a great week. We also bought some giant inflatable skittles that we later made into a drinking game.


The food of the week (even though we brought a car load of food with us too) was from the Vegan Gyros stand. So obviously a picture of me stuffing my face had to be included. (*Awaits comments from our resident blog troller who regularly likes to tell Gem and I how “overweight we are”). Honestly though, best festival food ever – Vegan meat style pieces, Sauerkraut, salad, shredded cabbage, Vegan cheese, garlic and chilli sauce all tucked into a toasted panini. It was so delicious. Gem and I also bought pretty headbands so we could be Princess’ and they were definitely our most random purchase of the week. ( A few more intoxicated selfies)


Being in Europe, there was a distinct lack of menthol filters for the smokers of the group, so drums decided to try and make his own, with a pack of mint imperials and some regular filters, unfortunately this didn’t go down too well but served well as entertainment for the onlookers. The last few memorable and exciting things of note was the diabetic cocktail, which was made from Fernandes (a very sugary dutch pineapple soft drink), every flavour or cherry sours and a fair dash of wine, which went down a treat, the making of Matthew Jones our guitarist, who sadly couldn’t be at Wacken, instead we made him from beer cans and chose some apt phrases of his. Lastly, on our way back home before boarding the ferry, Brains picked out some “Lange Nekken” for me. Although they may look just like ordinary biscuits covered in chocolate, they had a Giraffe on the front which instantly made them the best thing ever.

We had an absolutely amazing time at Wacken this year, we had great neighbors in our campsite which really made the week, the weather stayed dry and we watched some amazing bands an discovered a few new ones too! So as sad as we were to return home, it wasn’t time for the post festival blues to sink in as we busies ourselves washing everything and repacking for Bloodstock which resides here in England.



There was no early start for Bloodstock, since it’s only 40 minutes away in the car, so after feeling rather smug about how little I had packed, I had time to take a cheeky excited for Bloodstock pic to amuse myself whilst waiting for Gem and Roode to get ready. A little queuing and some tent assembly to get on with and we were ready for our camping chairs and first beer of the day. A few cuddles with Matty J (this time in the flesh and not made out of beer cans) were in order whilst we drank the night away and waited for drums to finish working. (He spent the festival drum teching for the Sophie Lancaster stage). After the first night, my air bed decided it didn’t enjoy being inflated any more, which I understood, since it had been going for three years (that’s a lot of festivals!), but luckily Adam had a secret stash of ready blown up air beds in his mini camp back stage so all was right in the world.



The few times we venture outside our camp, we always bump into people we know since Bloodstock is generally the social event of the year for half the metal community. This year we spotted little (who is not quite so little) Mikey, the son of one of our fav reviewers “Uncle” Chop. We get very excited when we see children of the metal community experiencing their first metal festival! Some hours later and we visited drums in festival prison – well Okay, he was back stage working whilst we complained that we missed him.

Despite spending a long time in a field, Gem and I still enjoy playing with hoards of makeup, except she was lucky enough to have hers done by Roode, who thrives off applying her blusher. This was a strict pre-drink activity though.

Before we knew it, the weekend was over and it was Monday morning. Reluctantly we packed away our things and arrived home. There was nothing more depressing than coming back to normality and doing the weekly shop in the miserable rain – made only marginally better with a sighting of a double rainbow. So now festival season is completely over which can only mean one thing … Christmas is coming! Having almost caught up on day to day life, I am excited to be back in the blogging seat and will blot out the post festival sadness by playing with makeup.

Hopefully you didn’t miss us too much whilst we were gone!

Totally hellbent for return of the blogging

– Pants


I listened to Carcass’ new album, and I liked it – how elitism should work

October 3, 2013


In my eyes, there are two types of elitists when it comes to metal.

First up there’s the ones who, no matter how much jazz they listen to, will always f*****g love metal. They would -die- for metal, and are the truest of the true. They understand the concept of wearing a different band hoodie to the t-shirt they’re wearing and would never wear the t-shirt of the band they are going to see. They are open to new bands of similar genres, but are also reserved in terms of their taste. Most of the time, if they love a band, it’s because they have been listening to them for years and not just because their boyfriend likes them, or they read it’s the new “cool” thing to like in Kerrang!.

The second, is the type who ruins elitism for the elitists. The type of people who are stuck in the dark ages and believes that their favourite band who they have been following since they were 15 are now sell outs because they are playing to more than that ten people. The sort of person who will only like bands that no on has heard of – just so they can be “elite” and instantly decides that they hate Children of Bodom and Cradle of Filth (even though they own all their earlier albums) because small children now like them.

There’s a fine line when it comes to elitism. I believe it’s about liking what you want to like and sticking by that.

A few examples here, my path into the metal genre, when I was a wee child of 12/13 years old came  through Carcass and Children of Bodom. When I was younger, these were the best bands in the world! Unfortunately, the latter Bodom albums were less to be desired and I really did not like them. Part of me felt as though some of these tracks were written, solely to “fit in” to the current scene. On the other hand, Carcass experimented with Swansong and Heartwork. I don’t believe they did this for the purpose of becoming “sell outs” and that perhaps they were genuinely trying something new out. It was a vast leap from their early grindcore era, but they were obviously enjoying themselves, which is what counts. I am not afraid to say that I very much enjoyed the Heartwork and Swansong era and following on from that, I love their new album.

Another example is Behemoth. Now I have followed them from their earlier black metal stuff to their newer stuff – I love each and every album they have produced. The first 4-5 times I saw them live, it was to a small room of people, no more than 15. It was truly epic and such an intimate experience. One of my earlier memories was watching that at the old Edwards No 8 in Birmingham and the stage was no more than a “step”, I was headbanging and hit my head off Nergal’s guitar. Moving on from this, I saw them at Hellfest and Bloodstock Open Air with a beautiful set up and stage show. Although it saddened me that gone were the days I could see them in intimate venues, I was proud that they had got to where they are today. After all, making music should be a love and what better way to earn a living, than to do something you love!

Although as a band Dakesis aren’t in it for “the money” it would certainly be nice to be able to live a comfortable life and get something back for all the hard work we put in. My appreciation for other bands has certainly grown since living the life myself. All my annual leave would be taken up on tours and gigs, we would have to find petrol money to take us up and down the country, the wear and tear on our vehicles. Money to pay our accommodation when out of town not to mention the hours we put in when writing, recording and rehearsing. On top of that, we have all the costs involved with releasing an album and merchandise.

So next time you see your favourite band play to 100,000 people, don’t be a dick. Take a moment to appreciate all the hard work they put in, not only for their love of music, but for their love and respect of you – their fan.

Above all – keep it true.

Totally hellbent for elitism without being an arsehole


Festivals, Metal, Music

Gemma’s Top 5 Heavy Metal Treasures

August 27, 2013

Reading Amie’s recent post on her beloved metal shinies reminded me I put together a list of my own favourite bits and pieces but never got around to posting it – so here it is!

Amie and I, like most heavy metal fans, will hoard and stash almost anything related to the genre, be it a limited edition signed CD or a scrap of paper a band member drew a penis on.

Being in a band means we also have a huge collection of memorabilia from our own tours and shows, and from other bands we have met along the way!

We all have those treasured things that rise above the rest though and I thought I would share a few of mine with you.

 Iron Maiden Vans

Maiden Vans

Have you ever had a pair of shoes you loved to the point you let them get in this state?

Amie bought me these as a birthday present some years ago and I literally wore  them every day till they reached the point they are in now. If I thought I could get away with wearing them as they are without looking like a complete hobo I probably would.

Even now I cannot bring myself to throw them away…I even still have the box they came in (full of gig tickets and other memorabilia in the loft!) and I imagine I wont ever throw that away either!


Edguy AAA Pass

Edguy badge - metal treasure

You know that one song you listen to, that no matter how dire the situation it -always- cheers you up? For me and my band-mates that song is “Superheroes” by Edguy.

When we were offered the chance to support them at the HMV Institute in Birmingham we were all more than a little excited (as you can tell by look of Amie and Adam’s fridge!)

Edguy were all very lovely and we hung out in the dressing rooms backstage after the gig which was just the perfect end to a great day.


Bloodstock Artist Wristband

BOA band


For the uninitiated, Bloodstock Open Air (BOA) is a annual heavy metal festival in Derby, UK. I’ve attended every year since 2007 and don’t plan on missing one any-time soon!

I don’t think there is a single metal band in the UK who doesn’t dream of playing BOA  from their very inception, it was certainly at the top of our dream-gig-wishlist!

Last summer we finally got the email we’d been wishing for, and my artist wristband is a lovely memento of our first major festival slot.


Original “Sign of the Hammer” Manowar vinyl.

Sign of the hammer

 This was a birthday gift from a student at my music school and her family earlier this year. I squealed so loud when I opened it I think I burst a few eardrums!

This is in immaculate condition, having been part of her father’s personal collection since it’s release in 1984.

I love it so much I keep it out on display at all times in my room with the rest of my Manowar treasures (of which there are a great many!)


Handwritten Thunderstone setlist and stage photo.

Photo © John Moore

Photo © John Moore

In September 2010 we supported Thunderstone at The Roadhouse in Birmingham. Having been huge fans of the band for years, when they finally came to England for a one-off gig in London we jumped at the chance to talk them into letting us support them at a later date.

Jump to a few months later and we’re in the green room with the heroes that inspired my own band to form. It was an absolutely magical night for us, culminating in being invited on stage to sing “Until We Touch The Burning Sun” on-stage with Thunderstone.

I also managed to snag the handwritten set-list which has been pinned to my “Wall of inspiration” ever since!


So there you are, my very favourite treasures! Do you have any items of significance, maybe even some Dakesis trinkets hidden away somewhere!

Totally hellbent for priceless pieces of scrap paper

– Gem


Festivals, Metal, Music

Festival Season Fun!

August 12, 2013

Well we are finally back to normal life after over two weeks of drunken shenanigans at Wacken Open Air and Bloodstock Open Air, crossing many international borders along the way! We have Sunkfest (The first Dakesis show with that silly blue haired girl on lead vocals) next weekend to go and then we can put the tent away for another year.

Festival season ’13 has been absolutely brilliant, and though I’m sad it is drawing to an end, I’m already excited for next year (EMPEROR, EMPEROR, EMPEROR!!!)




Needless to say we road tested plenty of festival essentials, saw numerous amazing bands (and wonderful festival sights!) and came back with more than a few new pretty things which we will share with you over the coming days.




For now however it is time to shower and then play with the many boxes of make-up and assorted products that arrived whilst we were adventuring!

Totally hellbent for a night in my own bed

– Gem