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Dig Lazarus – The Mind Rocks Festival – The Free Trade Inn, Sileby – Saturday 4th August 2018

The day was an absolute scorcher and so what better way to spend it than to go and see a band that delivers on its promise to “Rock in the Sun”, Dig Lazarus.  Fresh from supporting Tequila Mockingbyrd’s these guys know how to put on a set that melts your face along with help from the sun.

Iron Maiden Live SSE Arena Belfast 2nd August 2018

It is a very special evening in Belfast and at the SSE Arena, as a capacity crowd await the sign of the doors opening so they may all troop into the Arena floor and take up their places in the seated areas.

Supersonic Blues Machine O2 Shepherds Bush Empire 4th July 2018

Supersonic Blues Machine are Lance Lopez, Fabrizio Grossi and Kenny Aronoff. This time around they have recruited one of the UK's most exciting Blues talents, the one and only Kris Barras.

They kicked off their latest tour on the back of two fantastic albums which feature some of the great and good of music, and this tour is no different as they are joined by their special guest Billy F Gibbons.


Sons of Apollo Live Limelight 1Belfast 3rd July 2018

Another glorious evening saw the sun shine down upon old Belfast Town and made for a warm and pleasant wait for the crowds outside the Limelight until the doors inevitably opened. And in poured a lot of eager punters.

Tonight was going to be an interesting night of rock.


Myles Kennedy Live Limelight 1 Belfast 4th July 2018

Myles Kennedy brings acoustic rock to a packed Limelight

Arriving in Belfast just two days after his erstwhile bandmate Mark Tremonti, Myles’ gig was going to be slightly different as it was a bit more unplugged than Mark’s. Yup, that’s right, Myles Kennedy was going to do this gig the old fashioned way(ish) and play an acoustic set. A bold move by Mr Kennedy.

Tremonti Live Limelight 1 Belfast 2nd July 2018

Tremonti dominate the Limelight in Belfast

A very warm evening once more, one would almost think the island of Ireland had moved to just of the coast of Portugal to see what the craic was. Inside the Limelight it was wonderfully cool, though it didn’t stay that way for very long.

The crowds began to trickle in for the support act, The Fallen State, as the fate of many support bands are wont to be. Those cramming themselves right up the front were those who knew of The Fallen State. Others nonchalantly lingered at the back cradling their ice cold beers. But that soon changed as the band exploded in a frenzy of rock that made a few mouths drop open.

Ramblin Man Fair Maidstone Kent 30th June -1st July 2018 

Set in the glorious surroundings of Maidstone’s Mote Park with its rolling Kent green land and huge oaks, this festival is set against a beautiful backdrop with 2 days of lovely sunshine without a raindrop forecast, what could be better!!

GUN were the first band on the list to check out and this enduring band from Glasgow, although still releasing consistent albums, knew that it was the classics that the people wanted to hear, so with an allocated time slot of 45 minutes they pushed on with ‘Don’t Say its all Over’, ‘Better days’, ‘Word up’ and a thunderous version of ‘Steal your fire’. The band certainly have earnt the right over the years to grace the main stage at any festival.

Stone Free Festival London 17th June 2018 Day 2

This was my first time at Stone Free Festival and for those who have not been it is a well thought out 2 day festival. Day 2 was billed as Prog and Blues but there was enough variety to keep everyone entertained. The whole of the 02 venue is used, from the Orange Amp stage which is outside but undercover, near the entrance to Indigo at the 02, a smaller venue inside but with a great stage plus plenty of room to move around. The main arena is also used later in the day.

Stonewire Live Stone Free Festival London 17th June 2018

Stonewire roll out the hard rock blues with a passion filled southern swagger

Any festival is a great place to start discovering new music, meeting new friends and generally relaxing and enjoying yourself.

This is especially so when you go to some of the smaller stages. And that is where you can really find yourself standing with your mouth open at the amount of talent out there.

Buckcherry Live Limelight 2 Belfast 12th June 2018

On a chilled out but wonderfully warm Tuesday night in Belfast, rockers and rollers from all over gathered for one hell of a show in the Limelight. You know its going to be good when The Distortion Project run by the legendary James Loveday (Thanks for the coffee, by the way!) organises a gig. And once more this gig organiser excelled in pulling in a superb lineup for rock fans from 18 years and up.

Stone Free Festival London 16th June 2018 Day 1

Stone Free festival serve up a meaty metal smorgasbord with their Saturday three course headline menu

The Orange Amps stage and the Indigo at the O2 had exhausted their last servings for the Saturday festivities. Many metallers had gotten a great taste for new and upcoming bands form a very full menu of musical hors-d'oeuvre. But now came the three course main evening menu with Buckcherry, Megadeth and Scorpions.

When you find a band you weren’t looking for, then you know there is something very special about them. Just so with Vambo when they appeared on the Orange Amp Stage at the Stone Free Festival in the O2 Arena in London.

When you see Vambo on stage for the very first time you will be immediately struck by both sight and sound. They visually look like a younger Jonny Depp has gone back in time picked up most of a younger version of Aerosmith and Deep Purple and formed their own band. And their sound!?! It sounds exactly how they look

Blackstone Cherry Live Belfast Telegraph Building 7th June 2018

Belfast found itself in the grip of a Southern Invasion on Wednesday night, in the form of Kentucky, USA rockers Black Stone Cherry; even their support act were from the south - of Ireland, that is. The rather gorgeously balmy evening saw thousands of fans choose to spend a few hours in the dark confines of the Telegraph building to catch their heroes put on a proper rock and roll show.

Avenged Sevenfold Live SSE Arena Belfast 6th June 2018

In the world of rock and metal, there are two types of shows. The first are the ones where a bunch of dudes slouch onstage, play their tunes, maybe chat to the audience briefly then leave. The second though: ah, the second type of show is where there are lights, lasers, ever-changing backdrops.

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© Darren McVeigh