When Screaming Trees visited the UK on the ‘Dust’ tour in 1996, it was very much a cause for celebration. Having already pulled out of that year’s Reading Festival line up and now having another hugely successful album under their collective belt, it was no wonder that fans absolutely joyous at their long-overdue return. In addition, ‘Dust’ was arguably their finest work to date. With its heavy elements counterbalanced by huge swathes of dark psychedelia and prominent use of mellotron, it was almost as if their retro sound had come full circle and harked back to the 60s inspired parts of albums like ‘Invisible Lantern’, but it also had the benefit of much stronger song writing.
In terms of rock stars, Meat Loaf was unique. A larger than life character whose best music took in elements of hard rock, light opera, pop and prog to create a musical theatre that became the soundtrack for a generation of fans in the late 70s and beyond. So much of Meat’s greatness was enhanced by his collaborators, of course, and when working with Jim Steinman, members of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and Roy Bittan of Springsteen’s E Street Band on the world dominating ‘Bat Out of Hell’ album, he was a genuine force of nature.
For years, the ‘Recital of The Script’ VHS was only available document of Marillion’s earliest live shows. Recorded at Hammersmith Odeon in 1983, the gig was drummer Mick Pointer’s last public appearance with the band. Although visually brilliant, the performance is rather slow in retrospect, not always doing full justice to some great material.
Following the departure of frontman Max Cavalera in 1997, Sepultura found themselves in the unenviable position of being the true underdogs of thrash/groove metal. Replacing a much-loved frontman is never easy, but in Derrick Green they secured a powerhouse performer; a man capable of bringing a new energy to the band’s old songs, and also maintaining a commanding stage presence.
In the summer of 2019, massive gigs were commonplace, to the point of almost being taken for granted. Aside from the scientists who’d warned that a global pandemic might be a possibility in the near future – a warning that fell on governments’ deaf ears – people weren’t concerned about any health related disasters.
Metallica had reached the British Isles on the European leg of their ‘Hardwired’ tour and were delivering their typically lengthy set. Various shows were filmed for posterity, but their stopover in Ireland is potentially the most interesting, with the band surrounded by the historic grounds of Slane Castle.