Bloodstock Open Air // M2TM // Heat 3 // Northern Ireland

Bloodstock Open Air // M2TM // Heat 3 // Northern Ireland


I’m starting to get serious deja vu being back here at Voodoo Belfast, well it’s either deja vu or underlying trauma, I’m sure I’ll figure it out someday.

We are at Heat 3 already, in the blink of an eye we are at the midway point of the competition (Heat Wise)

Tonight as far as my battered brain can remember I have only seen PxBx before out of the four bands taking part this evening so again, I am looking forward to some new blood in the competition. Up first Asylum Road from Derry who hit the stage as usual at 8:45 pm. The crowd is light at first when I enter the room but thankfully as Asylum Road strike the first notes of their opening song a rush ensues and bodies turn up from out of nowhere!

Regardless of what’s going on down below Asylum Road gets stuck right in, gnarly riffage with real purpose, the kinda riffs that make you pay attention, when there’s a dynamic shift in the songs you get it, not just shaking things up for the sake of seeing complicated, but thick driven riffs that hit you right in the chest. A solid and tight performance, there is quality up north so it is appreciated that they made the journey south to take part in the big smoke, I know a few local bands have made the journey up to the walled city, so it is good to see a few down here, considering we have bands coming from south of the border to participate, a few more from the nether regions would be appreciated.

Mr Pink are up next, another band new to me, but a name I’ve seen around the Belfast scene, so the mind boggles as to what a Mr Pink may sound like, I can’t wait to find out!

So as it turns out, not what I was expecting! When the drums kicked in for the opening track I thought they were gonna play a cover of Mr Big’s “Wind Me Up” but alas it was not, instead we were treated to an all-out rocker of a track and a band that likes to shake off that mortal coil at the weekends. Mr Pink just got stuck right in, they have quite a unique sound, like nothing we have heard in the competition to date, a fresh take and sound that is always going to turn heads in Voodoo, usually we are overwhelmed by death, doom, and thrash but tonight was a foot-stomping, backs to the wall performance that captured the imagination of the Belfast crowd. As one passerby said, it was the difference between laying your tunes and performing them! By the end of the set, I was a little shell-shocked and wanted someone to hold me, I am assuming that’s a good thing, right? RIGHT!!!!

Okay, and now for something completely different, So Expedition had to go on an Expedition to find their guitar amp, a 10:15 pm start and a wall of silence told us something was wrong, and after an investigation, it turns out the lads landed at the Venue sans amp! This was a serious life lesson for Expedition, a little green behind the ears, they clearly didn’t quite understand the memo,  and after an embarrassing introduction to Norn-Iron-M2TM, the lads get stuck in with the remainder of their time, young, full of energy and a talented bunch no doubt, but sadly the night went kinda fubar! #Cluster #fuck

So last but not least PxBx our old friends from previous M2TM, these guys are just fuckin nuts, an ethereal experience that I have not tasted in a while so let’s see if they’re still resonate in 2024.

Pete’s out ta fuck and Stevo’s back in the band, for tonight! …. 11pm and something akin to a jam session is kicking off on stage, these guys like a slow build up, Johnny pacing the floor like a lunatic, Stevo laying down the foundation of what might be a song or he could be taking a stroke, Im not sure yet, Andy about unleash unholy hell on the drums. One track blurs into the next, the guys are on stage, off stage, the crowd for the first time tonight are working their way up to a complete rager down below, this is what its all about, absolute chaos, the music driving people insane with rage or a build of gas from too much beer, it’s hard to tell, Johnny’s spitting out lyric’s like bullets, Stevo’s thick thrashing riffs get heavier and fatter as the set progresses (Nice Guitar Strap By The Way It Suits Your Eyes) and each song gets more insane after the last, as always the set is succinct, Elvis has left the fucking building while Stevo is making sweet, sweet love to the guitar on stage and Andy looks on wanting to claw his eyes out of his head to unsee what is unfolding in front of him. Just another night in Voodoo.

Tonight was an experience, cray,cray from start to finish, but sure what else would you be doing on a Friday night in Belfast.

I’ve been Mark, you’ve been wonderful, till next time.

Congratulations to Mr Pink and Asylum Road on qualifying for the semi-finals from last night’s Bloodstock Festival Metal 2 the Masses NI Heat 3. Another great turnout – thanks so much to allwho attended! Heat 4 is on Friday 8th March.

Join us in a fortnight for Metal 2 the Masses NI Heat four as the following 4 bands duke it out for a place in the semi-finals.
Friday 8th March 2024
Doors 8.00pm
Running order drawn at random. First band 8.45pm