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Soil @ 1865, Southampton, England

SOIL / American Head Charge / Hed (PE) / Wolfbourne
in Sunday, 19 October 2014 at 1865
by Charlotte Wittingham, Photos by: Heather Ghanouni

1865, based near Southampton’s coastal line, is relatively new to the area and appears to have been a huge success when it comes to showcasing the best bands in the music industry. It was my second visit to this venue when I witnessed it play host to Heavy Rock legends SOIL who practically conquered this venue. After grabbing my usual drink I went to secure my place upstairs on the balcony with a friend of mine so we could secure the ideal spot to witness the bands on stage and how the crowd reacted to each act.

This evening of Hard Rock and Nu Metal commenced in a true Metal fashion via the appearance of Vancouver bred Hard Rock outfit WOLFBOURNE. This was my first glimpse of these guys in action and I have got to say I was highly impressed; in terms of their music they were brilliant especially where the vocals are concerned. The part of their set that stood out for me was when the song “Jellyfish” filled the ambience of the venue. When it started playing my friend and I exchanged glances as we thought the title seemed a bit strange for a Metal song, however the melody was absolutely amazing. In terms of the crowd reaction the song “Sex Sells” got the best response and they seemed like they were taken with them. So overall a great set from WOLFBOURNE and I hope they venture back to the UK soon.

Californian Punk Reggae Rock quartet (HED) PE were up next to ensure this evening of carnage carried on. The first appearance of vocalist Jahred reminded me of a TV British character known as the Fonejacker with the scarf around his mouth and his eyes covered; this mysterious stage presence went down a treat with this metal crowd, so much so the mosh pits started. This pleased Jahred so much that he stopped half way through a song to say how delighted he was that the mosh pits started this early when in France the night before it was a different story. As well as vocals it appeared Jahred had another talent up his sleeve, which was an instrument that resembled a small keyboard but you blow into it to make noise. He carried this very well as their set took a turn Reggae style that provided a chilled vibe to the evening but not chilled enough if Metal is concerned. They were a great way to get the crowd warmed up for fellow American Metal piece AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE.

With two bands down and two to go it was the half-way point of the evening; this was the opportunity to grab a drink, check out the merchandise upstairs and for those who wanted to secure the perfect spot to watch next act AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE. Amongst the atmosphere when everyone seemed content the ironic opening track “Hound Dog” provided by Mr ELVIS PRESLEY. This was first time watching AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE and I was excited to see what their show was all about as they are often spoken about in my hometown and the venue was completely packed for them. After watching their live show it was easy to see why; their music provided the whole venue with fist pumpingly infectious energy that got the crowds ready for headliners SOIL. My fellow journalist and I both agree that their sound was similar to SYSTEM OF A DOWN particularly in the clean vocals provided by Cameron Heacock, others might disagree with this opinion. Ending the set with a positive note they were the perfect main support for SOIL.

In the year 2011 original vocalist Ryan McCombs reunited with Chicago Heavy Rock outfit in October 2011 after several line-up changes in time for their tenth anniversary. Three years later they show they are stronger than ever with the second half of their UK tour promoting their latest release “Whole”, which was released last year. Sunday night’s show just reinforced their strong reunion and I will go on to explain why.

Anticipation filled the venue with the imminent arrival of the Chicago legends that are SOIL; that only grew when the house lights went down and QUEEN’s anthemic hit “We Will Rock You” was heard on the system, this I think worked in getting the crowds ready and pumped for the arrival of SOIL. Opening with “Loaded Gun” SOIL pretty much had Southampton eating out of the palms of their hands from the word go; as the set progressed the crowds got wilder particularly with songs such “The Hate Song”, “Redefine” and “Unreal”. The energy and passion was so evident throughout the show that they even had their fans rocking out and head banging at the back by the bar. For me that is a crucial element for any live show. Closing with “Halo” and “Shine On” the anthems that ensured their fame went down an absolute treat with fans of SOIL and Heavy Rock alike, for me being a new listener to SOIL this live show definitely converted me. If this great show didn’t, I have no idea what would have.

So overall it was an amazing night of Heavy Rock and Nu Metal; the venue seemed to be the perfect size not just in terms of fans having enough room to mosh out but for the bands too as the stage seemed to be the perfect size. It is nights like this to show us that Rock and Metal is still alive and kicking thanks to its loyal community of dedicated fans.

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Edited 30 January 2023

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