With Upsurge Festival and Beermageddon this bank holiday weekend, tonight’s gig is a warm up for all four bands as well as something to satisfy the withdrawal symptoms of Bloodstock Festival for all those involved in the local metal scene.

Off the back of having featured heavily in this year’s Hitchin Metal to the Masses and recently opened for Doyle at the venue, JACKAL’S BACKBONE are very familiar with Club 85 and, judging from the number of people in attendance tonight, especially those wearing their t-shirts, the venue is clearly familiar with them! Playing a blend of blackened death metal, the band are all smiles as they take to the stage just to juxtapose the unapologetically heavy music on offer.


With songs such as ‘As You Rot Away’ and the titular song from latest EP ‘Tear My Eyes Out’ there is plenty of miserable blasting, shredding and growling on-stage. Beccatron’s vocals are incredible, both the lows and highs are completely on point and it all comes across as fairly effortless whilst upholding all of her bass duties at the same time. Drummer Jake can’t help but shout various crowd interactions from behind the kit with Greg and Sam letting their guitars do the talking. That is until the end of the set where they close on new song ‘Red Mist Descending’ which features a chorus sung by guitarist Greg. A suitably death-heavy way to start the evening…


Jackal’s Backbone are:

Beccatron Sweeney – Lead vocals / Bass

Greg Neath – Guitar

Jake Eaton – Drums

Sam Farrington – Guitar


You can find them at:

By the time GREVES take to the stage the venue has emptied out quite a bit and the familiarity ladened with Jackals Backbone’s set suddenly seems very distant. After a quick Facebook stalk and after hearing their first interaction with the crowd it quickly becomes clear that these guys aren’t local. In fact, they’ve flown all the way over from Rayleigh, North Carolina and tonight’s gig serves as the start of a mini UK tour with Outright Resistance. It’s a shame that part of the audience hasn’t stuck around for these guys as the three-piece bring a really high level of their own brand of melodic black metal which is capped off nicely with a Kreator cover towards the end. What they lack in width by virtue of being a three-piece they definitely make up for in technical ability.


Greves are:


David Sanchez – Guitars / Vocals

Ricky Seltzer – Drums

Tim Packet – Bass


You can find them at:

It’s never easy changing band members, whatever the circumstances surrounding the change may be, but this is particularly true when it’s the vocalist. However, OUTRIGHT RESISTANCE haven’t let it hold them back since new vocalist James Jest picked up the mantle back in January this year and they’ve played a string of various dates across the UK. Unfortunately, it seems like everything else just doesn’t quite seem to click tonight. The set just feels like the guys are going through the motions and nothing particularly stands out about the set tonight. Having said that, they definitely haven’t lost their touch, it just doesn’t seem like it’s their night or one reason or another.


Outright Resistance are:

James Jest – Vocals

Michael Worsley – Guitar

Joe Jacobs – Guitar

Chris Everett – Bass

Michael O’Neill - Drums


You can find them at:

Sharing the stage with some huge names this weekend at Upsurge festival, it’s a shame that by the time DEATH REMAINS take to the stage this evening the crowd seems to have continued to thin out. Luckily, whilst vocalist Barry O’Connor is completely understanding of the fact that this is a Thursday night - he’s having absolutely none of it! His calls for a circle pit may fall on deaf ears but he does manage to conjure up a wall of death which can’t have involved more than 8 people. Regardless of the fact that this won’t have been the biggest audience the band have played to, they’ve certainly won over everyone in attendance tonight and it’s easy to understand why. They play a blend of melodic metal that seems to have been long since forgotten in the mainstream of heavy music but Christ on a bike do they do a good job of it. They’re beyond tight and their enthusiasm is infectious. Both Barry’s screams and clean vocals are really strong and the two guitarists weave themselves seamlessly into each-others lead lines and rhythm riffs. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this band before and can’t wait for them to come back to town.


Death Remains are:







You can find them at:

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