Bloodstock Festival 2019 Review – Thursday

Heavy Metal festival Bloodstock Open Air kicked off on Thursday for it’s 14th year in Catton Park, Derbyshire. It was a spectacular start to the festival with plenty of sun, beer and…unicorns?

Bloodstock Festival 2019 Review – Thursday

Opening up Bloockstock Festival was Barbarian Hermit, setting the tone of the day from the get go. From the second that they opened their set on Thursday I felt ready to stomp my steel toe boots and bang my head. Throughout their set you could tell that their songs were really made to show off every instrument and the skill of the man behind it. The members looked like they were having a great time and did an amazing job of getting everyone into the spirit, which I can imagine is easier said than done on a Thursday afternoon.

Barbarian Hermit live at Bloodstock 2019
Barbarian Hermit photographed by Jade Greenbrooke.

Blind River came out strong, getting the crowd hyped with a “Bloodstock 2019 motherf***ers!” and they only raised the bar from where Barbarian Hermit had left it. Harry Armstrong (Vocals) had such amazing charisma that the crowd felt like a part of the experience right from the beginning. If I was to put Airbourne and Guns N’ Roses in a blender and poured it out, I’d get Blind River, throughout each of their songs they were able to keep the tempo upbeat without sacrificing any old school solo’s which they clearly have a passion for. Here at Bloodstock 2019 they played one of their new songs: “Made of dirt” and in my opinion it was the true highlight of their set, a perfect blend of old and the new, relentlessly bringing their own brand of rock to the table.

Blind River live at Bloodstock 2019
Blind River photographed by Jade Greenbrooke.

Footprints In The Custard are a band that has to be experienced firsthand. No description can quite do the performance justice. The band initially came onstage in a variety of purple and neon green clothes, the front man sporting a very flattering glittery tutu, accompanied by the Thomas the tank engine theme. From here we launch into a wild ride of crazy songs with themes ranging from “Don’t let the terrorists steal the moon!“, to a song that’s literally called “Don’t be a c**t“. Just when it seemed like it couldn’t get any weirder however, some sensual beats begun to take over our ears and on the stage the guitarist had stripped right down to a mankini that was showing more than enough skin. It turns out that it wasn’t just the guitarist, but from what I could see, several crowd surfers had also come prepared with mankini’s of their own, apparently knowing what to expect. Footprints In The Custard truly are an experience that has to be seen to be believed.

Footprints in the Custard live at Bloodstock
Footprints In The Custard photographed by Jade Greenbrooke.

A radical departure from the band that came before, Ten Ton Slug, a sludge metal band from Ireland opened straight into heavy riffs and fast beats. The use of catchy riffs throughout the instrumental sections kept the audience engaged enough to keep wanting more. After a while however I found that a few of Ten Ton Slug’s songs began to sounds very familiar with one another, which if you like riff-driven heavy sludge metal isn’t a bad thing. It’s perfect music for headbanging and the band knew it.

Ten Ton Slug live at Bloodstock 2019
Ten Ton Slug photographed by Jade Greenbrooke.
Finally, headlining the first night of Bloodstock were Rotting Christ, the mighty black metal band hailing from Athens, Greece. The turnout was incredible, especially for a Thursday night. You could feel the tension in the air, I’d seen multiple people dressed like Jesus, and maybe this is why. The ritualistic like set begins with chilling vocal, choir like, track. Each song performed felt like it was built to serve a singular purpose, and that was to display the mastery over the instruments that the band had attained. Each drum beat lead the crowd in a vicious chant, paired with a slow yet intense vocal performance, bringing a brutal back-and-forth of growls and chants to the table. The drums continuously lead the way with a heavy and fast double bass beat, and the guitars using powerful melodies to keep the headbangers in check. Rotting Christ’s new track “Fire, blood, and fear” was performed too, this time seemingly lead by the guitars, the new song flowed perfectly from verses through to their choruses, changing up the beat patterns seamlessly. The energy in the room didn’t drop once. Each crescendo only paved the way for better crescendos to take their place, each being bigger and more satisfying than the last. One can see the theme of both death and resurrection not only in the name, but in the structure of the setlist, but one thing the show was not – was rotting.
Rotting Christ live at Bloodstock 2019
Rotting Christ live at Bloodstock 2019 by Jade Greenbrooke


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