O2 Academy Sheffield, October 1, 2017
HRH Mag’s Richard Holmes was up bright and early(ish) to take in day two of HRH Doom Vs Stoner’s second installment. And so were plenty of other devotees, who helped to make Sunday a truly special day in the steel city. As usual HRH Mag Festivals Photographer Simon Dunkerley captured the best of the action.
In the end, it’s only rock and roll
Doom metal and stoner rock: downbeat, downtuned and downtempo right? Wrong. As this weekend showed, there’s plenty of fun to be had in this scene. From Truckfighters’ high-energy, sweat-drenched set (which saw Niklas Källgren get up and personal with an ecstatic crowd) to Gurt’s tongue and cheek, ballsy sludge (Dudes With Beards With Cats anyone?) and the sight of Ten Foot Wizard’s garish lycra leggings, there were grins-aplenty at the O2 Academy. Though not from the fashion police…
Heavy bloody heavy
Of course, you can’t have a doom and stoner festival without some seriously weighty riffery. And Slabdragger brought it by the lorry-load. Off-stage, the Londoners are lovely guys, sharing drinks with fans and obviously enjoying their peers’ performances. On stage, they create one of the most intense, terrifying rackets you’ll ever hear and Sunday even saw the trio turn Zappa’s Muffin Man into a pummeling sludge-out.
Bast, meanwhile, built their set from layers of dense, blackened doom and redefined ‘heavy’ in the process. At this rate, they’ll not be an underground band for too much longer.
Style, charisma and class musicianship – Black Moth showed why they’re getting further and further up the festival ladder with their Sunday set. Combing singer Harriet Hyde’s mesmeric delivery with the fiery fretwork of Jim Swainston and Federica Gialanze, they were irresistible….and must have surely gained a swathe of new acolytes this weekend.
A late addition to the bill, The Picturebooks drove day and night from Switzerland to hit the stage on Sunday. And we’re glad they did. Fynn Claus Grabke seemed genuinely humbled by the crowd’s adoration – and honoured to play on this bill – and he delivered one of the weekend’s most passionate performances, weaving raw blues magic over Philipp Mirtschink’s stripped back, unrelenting rhythms. Doom or stoner? Neither really, but the dynamic duo gave it their all, and gave us something really different.
Moved to the headliner’s slot due to My Dying Bride’s late cancellation, German trio Kadavar proved up to the task… and then some. The band’s new album, Rough Times, only hit stores on Friday but its warm, vintage vibe – flowing through stacks of Orange amps – made an instant connection with the Sheffield crowd. The sensational, Hawkwind-inspired Tribulation Nation, shook the O2 Academy to its core and Into The Wormhole, one of the act’s heaviest songs to date, seemed to tear the space-time continuum apart.
A bridge to 70s rock and 60s psych, Kadavar were the perfect band to bring the curtain down on HRH Doom Vs Stoner 2017.
Additional reporting by Mike Potts.