||KRUSHER'S HAMMERFEST II REVIEW
Thursday 11th March to Monday 15th March
Awake from my vodka induced coma shortly after eight in the morning and can hear Viv scurrying around in the kitchen below. I rise slowly and make my way down, join him for a cup of coffee and notice that it’s a beautiful sunny day.
As Viv has a meeting at nine I have to move my car so he can unleash the Storm Machine that he drives. I have to use my eye patch to stop double vision, then I wave him a fond farewell and head on back into the house and finish off the dregs in the vodka bottle and settle down on the couch and read an unauthorised book on Ozzy, which to be totally honest is a fooookin’ big pile of shite but doesn’t stop me reading and laughing at it until Viv’s return.
I slowly organise myself, have a shower, get dressed and Viv and Storm make sure that I have a hearty meal before I hit the road to Prestatyn just after two in the afternoon.
I arrive at Pontins at three, park up and go and sort out my chalet at reception.
Keys and passes acquired I head off to 366, the number of the chalet! Haaaaaaaarrrrgh. I settle in then go for a wander around the site. Then I take a seat at one of the tables outside the reception area and work on my sun tan whilst waiting for Mr G and Sam Hill to arrive.
It’s truly awe inspiring and brings a tear to my one good eye seeing the metal-heads arriving in various states of inebriation with cases of strong liquor strapped to their backs and bottles of spirits stuffed down their tights and of course wearing some truly whacky costumes. I say a few hellos and recognise some of the faces from Hard Rock Hell III and wonder how they’re going to survive the next three daze, but then I remember that the bastards have youth on their side. Haaaaaaaaarrrgh!!!
Eventually Mr G arrives having cadged a lift off photographer extraordinaire Neil Buckley and all round good man Mark Taylor, who’s kept them entertained for the six hour drive with his idea of comedy.
We gather together waiting for organiser Sam Hill to arrive to actually sort out our chalets but as I’ve already got keys and Sam reckons he’s still a good hour away I tell Mr G and Charlotte to grab their bags and make camp in 366, the number of the chalet! Haaaaaarrrrgh! Which they do.
As I’m doing a DJ set at 12.30 in the morning on Stage Two, I’m under strict instructions to stay sober after my fall from grace at the Tivoli the previous month, so I do.
Sam arrives and everything is sorted including food vouchers for one meal and I prepare myself for at least another seven hours of sobriety, that is until I hit the death-decks, but once I’m spinning those magic silver discs I’m allowed to start chugging Satan’s Urine... in moderation! Haaaaaaarrrrrrrgh!!!!
During my wanders I go behind the curtains hiding the main stage and bump into an old friend, and this is where I admit shamefully that I can’t remember his name, but over many years and many festivals, including the US Ozzfest, I have time after time spent a few minutes in fooookin’ good conversation with this man/viking. He’s now tour manager for Five Finger Death Punch and points out the stage set which includes sand bags, very large guns and a drumkit that has live 55mm shells decorating the rim of the bass drum. Very fooooookin’ impressive, however as this man never stops working and after introducing him to Mr G and Charlotte hoping he will say his name, which sadly he doesn’t, he walks away on a mission of rock.
I remember that Beholder have asked me to introduce them and as they have a new intro tape that I haven’t heard I hunt them down so I can listen to it and prepare my address to the nation.
Hook up with vocalist Simon Hall and bass player Si Fuller. Si takes me to the very impressive Bloodstock van that they drive around in and plays me the intro twice. It’s grandiose yet very fooookin’ disturbing. I hear a voice in my head telling me the words to say, shake hands with Si and tell him I’ll see them backstage just before they go on.
Continue with my wanders, looking at everyone swigging away, rockin’ out and generally being fooooookin’ fine examples of how society should behave and I’m gagging for a drink.
I wipe my furrowed brow, take a deep breath and continue walking.
As Collapse finish their set I go and find Beholder, ready to do my piece for Rock ‘N’ Metal history!!!
Standing by the side of the stage, everything set up, sound check over, the intro tape begins and I stride out, shoulders back and deliver the first sermon of the festival.
“Droogies, boozers, strumpets, losers and chalet abusers - glorious greetings to Hammerfest II. Where on this Tursday the 11th of March in the year of the Arsechicken, we have gathered here today to get through this thing called life... by drinking beer, smoking pot, eating pussy till our gawdamn jaws break, ROCK HARD! ROCK HEAVY!!! and ROCK ANIMAAAAAAAAAL!!! And to do that we need live music. It is my great pleasure and honour to introduce the bastions and flag bearers of British Metal! BEHOLD! BEHOLDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!!!!!!!!!”
Unbelievably titanic performance of metal in all its glory, in fact so inspiring that when Sam asked me if I fancied a shandy, I broke and demanded a pint of Fosters, I mean for starters that’s not even a proper lager, haaaaaaarrrrrrgggh!!!!
After Beholder I’m on work duties again, this time introducing Arthemis, an absolutely excellent band hailing from Italy, who I actually feel sorry for as they have to carry on where Beholder left off. If they’re going to make any impression, and all in all from what I see they do a damned fine job but on this night they still stand in the shadow of Beholder. Would have been a much better idea to put them on before Beholder.
For reasons unbeknown to me I miss SSS, but I do bump into Dez Fafara and the DevilDriver posse, fresh in from LA and actually looking a little worse for wear. They ask me which chalet I’m in and proudly I reply “366, the number of the chalet!” Haaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgh!!!
I do catch Gentleman's Pistols and raise my non existent glass into the air and hail their noise as it is truly inspiring!
When they finish their set I’m on.
Krushers Metal Box - how the fuck did that happen? Everyone knows its Krusher's Rock Animal - however the allotted time arrives and straight in with AC/DC ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)’, followed by ‘Communication Breakdown’, ‘Paranoid’ and ‘Ace Of Spades’ and this is before my first pint arrives!!
Thank you each and every one of you who did buy me a drink and who shook your pants on the dance floor, you did me proud!!!!!
Finish with ‘Freebird’ and ‘Highway To Hell’ and know in my heart of hearts that I’m now free to party as I HAVE NO OTHER WORK UNTIL 12.45PM, SATURDAY, 13TH OF MARCH IN THE YEAR OF THE ARSECHICKEN!!!!!!!!!
I remember little, but my thanks go out to Dan and Mark from Earache, Beholder, Attica Rage, for keeping me up until six in the fooooooooooookin morning!!!!!!
Friday, I awake at eleven and decide that it’s time to get up.
As I open the door to the living room... cough..., Mr G emerges from the other bedroom stark bollock naked. I gag, shut the door again and fall to my bed crying “My eyes! My eyes!!!”
I attempt to leave the bedroom a second time and this time Mr G has put on his toga. Let’s be thankful for small mercies... and I see that there seems to be a bottle of Jack Daniels which actually has about a quarter of its contents left.
I pour myself a three finger shuffle and down it, then espy the bag of weed that’s mysteriously appeared along with rolling papers and tobacco. I take in my full Boy Scout/SAS/Ozzy Camp training and roll a monster, light it, sit down and pour another one.
Eventually we get out of the chalet and if you expect me to remember anything, you’re having a laaaaaarff!!!
What I do remember was having a weed and beer breakfast with Dez, Phranknstein and Geoff before they had to head off for sound check.
I remember walking past a room full of maidens with Mr G and next thing I know I’m being introduced to Jenny, Jessica, Kat and Beckha. I remember I’m no longer a bachelor and say my farewells and head off to the chalet for a dishonourable discharge!!! Haaaaaaaaarrrghhh!!!
Sometime later Mr G slaps me back to consciousness and tells me that my DJ set went down so well last night, that tonight I get to DJ between the bands on the Main Stage.
I have to work and I can’t even put one leg in front of the other, unless I’m walking across the ceiling!!!
“I’ll fooooookin’ dooooooooo it!!!" I slur and go into immediate training to get my faculties back to their highest abilities and have a large drink!!!!
I’m not required to do anything until 6.45 in the evening and as it’s only 6.30 now I have plenty of time to prepare.
At the end of Solsikks set I stick on Dark Side Of The Moon’… haaaaaaaaarrrrrgggh!!!!
Of course I fooookin’ didn’t and between Epica, Katatonia, DevilDriver, Five Finger Death Punch and Napalm Death I play the entire soundtrack to ‘Holiday On The Buses’, haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrggghh!!!!
Of course I foookin’ didn’t - I played rock ‘n’ metal and I was particularly pleased with my choice of Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ just before DevilDriver came on. It was the perfect soundtrack to the visions in my head as I watched the band warming up, preparing, getting in the zone, whatever you want to call it.
Awesomely brutal set!!!!
Five Finger Death Punch are equally impressive. My first time seeing them and foooook me they hit every button!!!!!!!
As I watch their performance from my pulpit I see my old Kerrang! Assistant Editor Dante Bonutto standing by the side of the stage and I’m like a greyhound out a trap, bothering him to please send me a Five Finger Death Punch CD (he’s their European A&R guy) as people who have dared to make a request whilst I’m DJ’ing, and I’ve gone “NO! FUCK OFF! But what d’ya want?” and they say “Five Finger Death Punch”, I have to hang my head in shame and tell them “I haven’t got any.” And they walk away thinking what an Arsechicken of Arsecickens!!!
Earlier in the day I’d met up with Shane from Napalm and told him that I wanted to introduce the band, but could I be carried on stage on a stretcher and say “This is what happened to me last time I saw Napalm DEEEEEEEEEEEATH!!!!!” Leap off go into Riverdance and the band come on... it didn’t happen.
After Napalm finish an excellent set I head to the VIP Bar for a free drink but it’s run out. I have to spend £3 for a plastic bottle of Fosters and realise that it’s time to go to bed and... I don’t.
Mr G, Charlotte and a reprobate of extraordinary proportions, who for reasons of security we will call Richard, appear before me in double vision and inform me that we’re going to go to Richard’s chalet for a Jaeger Bomb. Fair do’s, I’m game.
Jaeger Bombed we head back to the maiden's chalet, as apparently they had invited us back to party all night long. To be honest it was a great party. Someone with a five string acoustic, singing songs in Welsh, plenty of alcohol and the potential of a fooooookin good bitch fight as something was occurring between two of the maidens which resulted in doors being slammed and voices being raised, which in turn raises my heart rate to a dangerous 33bpm and I decide that it really is time to go to bed.
Unbelievably Mr G left hours ago and so myself, Charlotte and Richard head back to 366, the number of the chalet! Haaaaaaaaaaarrrrgh! And carry on rockin’ until just before six in the morning when after the drugs and alcohol have run out Richard says his farewells. I raise the dregs of my glass and toast the silhouette of the one lone figure standing drinking on the opposite balcony, let out the battle cry “FUCK ‘EM AAAAAALL!!!! And retire to bed!!
Saturday I wake again shortly before eleven in the foookin’ morning!!!!!
I rise like a mummy from its sarcophagus and make my way into the toilet area to discharge my bowels, wash behind my ears, under me arms, the obligatory wipe of the flannel around the rusty bullet wound, clean my teeth and spray ‘Fuck Me Baby’ eau de cologne over every part of my withering body!!!
Today my duties include DJ’ing between the bands on Stage Two until 5.20 in the afternoon and then hauling my sorry arse over to Stage ONE to DJ between the bands all the way up until 1pm when Sabaton rise and I set.
Get some hideous breakfast that I actually have to pay REAL money for and get my alcohol calculator out and work out that with the aid of two Jaeger Bombs, four pints of Australian piss water, three Jack Daniels and at least one doobie I could handle this situation with ease and that my friends is basically what happened.
Shining, White Wizzard, Panic Cell, GU Medicine all delivered the goods on Stage Two, and then it was time for Attica Rage, Orange Goblin, Skindred, Iced Earth, Suicidal Tendencies and finally Sabaton to keep us in the style of rockin’ that we had become accustomed too on Stage ONE!!!!
Each and everyone of them, even though I was on my last legs, were fooooookin’ awesome!
In the day I remember meeting Benji from Skindred in reception and sharing the love.
I remember Conquest Of Steel vocalist Dan Durrant (forgot to mention that I caught their first number on the Second Stage the day before and it was awe inspiring to see five Rock Warriors in their patch encrusted denims rockin’ like bastards!) who gave me a copy of their ‘Storm Sword – Rise Of The Demon Queen’ CD from which I will be playing a track on this weeks ‘Krusher’s Rock Animal’ broadcast on River Gibbs FM, this Saturday night at 8pm and then repeated at various times during the week. Boom! Boom!
I remember not saying goodbye to Dez and the DevilDriver posse.
I remember being so tired that I went back to the chalet for a little rest during Suicidal's set and fortunately woke up in time to see the last ten minutes when a certain Cavalar vocalist, who for security reasons we’ll call Twitch (who I admire dearly, but let this be a lesson sir) appeared at the side of the stage, started mouthing off into the ear of Suicidal designer Alan Pirie whilst he and his good lady were trying to enjoy the band and then when the track comes to an end he has the nerve to lift his hands in the air, walk towards the audience and steal part of the band's well deserved applause. Not cool.
I sit down behind my pulpit and see Twitch say his farewells and walk towards the stairs that lead from the stage and I pick up a newspaper, realise it’s too dark to read and look at the floor.
When I look up about fifteen seconds later I can see that everybody who should be there is still stood on the stage but seem to be dividing their attention between the band and something going on at the bottom of the stairs. I stand up and look over the edge of my pulpit and see a security guard trying to get Twitch to stand up, but he doesn’t look capable, I think he might have broken something and a little twinge takes hold and I remember all the times that I’ve done that in the past and thank Beelzebub that I now have my drinking in control! Haaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrghhh!!!!!
I remember going to bed during Sabaton and finding the drone of noise coming from the stage and vibrating my bed was actually quite soothing and before you know it I’m in heavy metal dreamland!
I remember waking to the full bellowing cry of “IRON MAIDEN! FAAARKIN’ IRON MAIDEN! IROOOOOOOOON MAIDEN!” and think that Mr G is on his way back from the gig and pull the pillow over my head.
Turns out it was actually Ben from Orange Goblin expressing his right to freedom of speech at the top of his lungs at three in the morning!!! What a beautiful poontang!!!!!
When the morning comes, I clean up, get dressed and go for another luke warm breakfast that again I have to part with Doubloons for.
Return to chalet, get Mr G and Charlotte into shape and after they’ve abluviated, breakfasted and given the chalet keys back to reception we hit the road to Londinium! All fooookin’ 260 miles of it!!!!
On the way back, the scenic route of course, we stop at the Pusedown, for medication, services on the M40 for vitals and return to London around seven in the evening, drop everyone off, head to Terror Tower with a small bottle of whiskey, down it and sleep the sleep of the dead.
Monday I’m up at the crack of eleven, phone my beloved and tell her I’ll be over to pick Mental up around 6.30pm, which, I do.
I’m fed, watered and put out to pasture.
Sweet dreams are made of this!!!
Click here to email your photograph's of Krusher. We will of course give you a full credit on these pages.