Local Rock Night
+ Predatür + School For The Gifted + Exit 10
Rivermead, Reading - 20
the 20th of February 2004 is a date that people need to record in their
calendars, draw on their walls, and etch into their eyelids. It
was the day that metal in its natural state returned to Reading.
As a part of an Evening Post promoted charity evening, benefiting the
Battle Hospital Cardiac Fund and Cancer Research, four metal bands
descended on Reading's Rivermead complex, and boy, were they ready to
night started early to allow young kids to come and still be home for
bedtime, and kicked off with a new breed of metal, courtesy of Exit
Ten. The band put on an excellent show, really taking well to
the large stage and even larger crowd! Playing a great mix of old
and new style metal, they really got the growing crowd moving.
Musically, the band are superb, with excellent vocals, well thought out
songs, and the kind of confidence that can help carry a crowd along.
My only downside would be that they need to watch out for some of the
excessively "Busted"-style synchronised guitar moves!
Great singer, great guitarists (I loved the clean tapped intro to one of
the songs - showed that tapping can be a force for good) and overall
were a fab way to start the night.
up were School For The Gifted, who I've seen once before at the
Rising Sun pub in Reading where I enjoyed them, but thought there was
some kind of vital X-factor missing. And there was - a f*cking
huge stage! Those boys were extraordinary on such a huge stage,
and dammit, their new drummer can bang some pans! As ever Farhan
Khan on lead guitar showed himself to be a cracking guitarist, but to be
honest, I preferred the playing of the Kerry King-look-a-like rhythm
player who really drove all the songs forward in conjunction with The
Path's meaty as hell bass. And the singer's vocals really shone
out - he's got a wonderful voice with an immense range that really lifts
SFTG to the level that makes them an extremely special act to see!
They provided the perfect segway between new and old school metal, which
was completed with the arrival of the next band, who coincided with the
Rivermead filling to bursting point.
And that band were Predatür
... Well, what can I say... Just awesome. Old school metal the
way it's meant to be - mildly overdriven guitars, total clarity in
the playing, outstanding vocals and a great performance.
Utterly brilliant stuff for anyone who's ever owned a Maiden or
Priest album, and a shock to the system of anyone who thought no-one
played this style of music any more. There were some confused
looking kids in the audience ("this isn't metal - where's the
guy with the decks, and the rapper?") but hopefully they've
learnt that distortion and dropped D tuned guitars isn't the answer
to everything. Oh, and for me, their lead guitarist was star
of the night with some incredible solo stuff - but without just
cranking up the distortion - just simple, fast, melodic
genius. A great performance from a band that were formed in
the heady old days of 1976, and showed that maybe Pete Townshend was
wrong to wish to die before he got old.
the gig were the newly reformed Ironheart, who had previously
played at the Rivermead (with Predatür!) in October 1988! A lot
of the crowd were probably just twinkles in their parent's eye at that
time, but it didn't stop them realising that they were witnessing
something special. Playing old school metal, Ironheart were also
cracking, but after Predatür, some of the surprise at hearing such
great music had gone, so while they received a great reception, the
night probably belonged to Predatür. It was another wonderful
performance, particularly from their scary looking singer who stalked
the stage like Death himself, and encouraged me to have a mosh, fall
over, then just stand and watch true masters of their trade at work.
And masters they were.
Other than the bands, a special mention must go to the guys who put on
the lightshow, Martin's Lights, who put everything into the gig and
easily outshone the lights I saw at the Astoria when I went to a gig
there the following night. The perfect lightshow for a perfect
Overall, this is the kind of night that Reading needs more of - hundreds
of people crowding out the Rivermead from all walks of life - kids,
young adults, 20-40's, middle aged, OAPs, rugby teams, townies, losers,
skinheads, beardy weirdies, and not a single spot of trouble, just
everyone enjoying great music from some great acts.
Review by Paul
Photos by Keith
23 February 2004
Articles courtesy Reading Evening
(click for larger images - approx. 200K)