Bloodstock 2023 // The Sophie Lancaster Stage // Friday August 11th // Part 1

After a great warmup last night, it’s time for us to get started for a full day of some of the best metal bands around. Up first on the Sophie stage is Bloodyard whose entrance to the stage is preceded by what can only be described as a softly sung sailors’ song. The band however play the complete opposite of this with their heavy bass and guttural vocals, combined with deep grooved riffs. The strong growls of Donna Heard are a stark contrast to her more feminine talking voice and as she bounds about the stage with an incredible amount of energy for the first thing, her presence lifts the crowd’s mood with her. It’s always a strange environment when at a festival that the bands are on so early but Heard manages to remember the time of day as she encourages the crowd to head to the bar to help recover from last night. While also playing a storm, both Nick Adamson on guitar and Matty Lee on drums are supporting the pink for Sophie Lancaster Day today and it’s wonderful to see so many people get involved in this great cause. The powerful death metal that these guys perform is a great start to the day and a hell of a wake-up call!


Up Next are Wolfbastard, Featuring members of Foetal Juice and Burial, Wolfbastard were originally formed in 2012 and plays a blend of D-Beat Punk and old-school Black Metal. These guys have a gnarly sound, cutting a gripping they take you by the balls and won’t let go until they say so,  they get stuck right in with a hefty, biting style of music that just demands your attention, going down well with the Sophie Lancaster faithful in the early Friday morning slots these dedicated metallers know how to party. Getting their Friday buzz going with a savage set from the Maestros of Anarchy.

Black Coast takes to the stage next,

Forged deep within the lost pottery kilns of Stoke-on-Trent comes a new breed of band who are welcoming you to the “Outworld”. The band aim to re-evaluate your senses and turn the music world on its head. Their musical blade’s been tempered all over the world, from the neon-clad streets of Japan to the backstreet bars of Glasgow. Nowhere is safe from witnessing the “Outworld”. When hearing them live, expect a raw orchestra of emotion and aggression with a harmony of pitch-shifting guitar, hard-hitting drums and haunting vocals. These guys have a hardcore, post-hardcore vibe about them with a gritty sound that makes you want to dig in when listening to them. Sonically challenging the audience to buy into their individual sound and collectively lose their shit! Which always happens in the Sophie tent. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, the crowd is always there wanting more!
The Enigma Division take to the stage next and in a diversion from this mornings mayhem represent more of a progressive rock vibe, soaring clean vocals and blistering guitar solos we have moved slightly more mainstream with a melodic sound that still carries plenty of heft and weight sonically. A musical masterclass with highly impressive performances across the band it is a nice breather from the abusive sounds of the morning and a more welcoming easier-on-the-ear style of rock and metal that allows you to sit back and take it all in. Having previously worked with William Alex Young (Defences), Derek Sherinian (Sons Of Apollo/Planet X/Dream Theater), and Sam Bell (Mask of Judas/Solo), these guys are no strangers to pushing themselves and their artistry to the absolute limit and it was a real pleasure capturing them today on the Sophie Stage.
Photography @ Mark Ellis + @ Flash Art Mark