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Intensity in Tent City – Leyendas del Rock 2013


Last week, my partner Miki and I decided to sample some metal on ‘the other side of the curtain’, by attending the Leyendas del Rock festival in Villena, Spain, as concert-goers rather than as an appearing artist. Some Metal colleagues from Holland, the band PICTURE, were going to be on, ( we are appearing at the Very ‘Eavy Festival in Holland with them in 2014) – and that also gave us a chance to meet up with a mutual friend, Mark Oosterwijk, who had travelled from Holland with the band.

Chatting with Mark before Picture take the stage

Chatting with Mark before Picture take the stage

We arrived ahead of the crowd on the Wednesday night, in The Boomobile , our live-in music & art studio on wheels, and parked up in the middle of the campsite. By the morning, the gathering of metalheads had begun, and we were quickly surrounded by tents, vans, campers, and amazingly creative structures made from tarpaulines!  It was hot and dry, and when the wind was up, I was reminded of Joe Bonamassa’s “Dust Bowl”!

The organization of the whole festival, right down to the logistics of parking, stewarding, amenities and policing was superb. This is an event in it’s eighth year, and it seems to be one welcomed by the town of Villena with good grace, and runs very smoothly.

I managed to catch a few of the Spanish metal bands, some of whom were very good. LEO JIMENEZ were good, and DARKSUN in particular stood out, – I would have missed them if NASHVILLE PUSSY had arrived on time, as Darksun’s spot was brought forward and onto the main stage! DORO came out all guns blazing and seems to be cultivating an amazing young fanbase, there were some real young kids down the front giving it the ‘horns up’!


I was particularly looking forward to TESTAMENT and VENOM, who were headlining the Friday night, and they didn’t disappoint. Testament really gave the crowd a good pounding, and Cronos and his band have aged well, the years adding a gravitas and an ability the early Venom lacked.

cronosCronos of VENOM

PICTURE took the stage early on the Saturday evening, delivering songs from their latest album Warhorse and songs stretching back over their 30 year career, including songs from Eternal Dark, which I particularly liked. It was good to see Mark headbanging to his favourite Dutch countrymen!

Picture of...PICTURE!

Picture of…PICTURE!

The band of the festival for me were ACCEPT. They were simply in a different league to everybody else, in stagecraft, sound and musicianship. “New guy” (relatively speaking) Mark Tornillo looked entirely at home in Udo’s shoes fronting the German metallists, and has something of Brian Johnson about him. The material drawn from their last two albums is very strong indeed. Songs like Teutonic Terror (my personal favourite) Pandemic, Hung, Drawn and Quartered and Stalingrad just grabbed you by the throat, and old favourite Balls to the Wall can’t fail! It seems their resurgence continues apace, there is fire in their bellies and the fun they’re having on stage is clearly apparent, and infectious.


The whole vibe of Leyendas del Rock was cool, it was fun to hang in Villena for these few days and get some Metal in! Let’s hope the festival runs for at least another eight years!

Kev Moore

August 17, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Tale of Two Festivals – Part One: Sun Valley Metalfest, Gallio, Italy


Apologies for the delay in my travelogue…I meant to write about this ages ago, but…..I’ve been, uh, travelling! A few weeks back WITCH CROSS converged on the picturesque area of Altopiano in Northern Italy to headline the Friday night at the Sun Valley Metalfest. We came from all directions, two from Denmark, one from Sweden, and one from London. As for me, I flew from Spain on the Thursday morning and consequently enjoyed a wonderful day exploring the beautiful old town of Bergamo.


The Old City looms over the New…

The Funicular: Although the track was steep, the fare wasn't...

The Funicular: Although the track was steep, the fare wasn’t…

The Citta Vecchia  sits perched atop a hill overlooking the newer part of town, and can be accessed by a vertiginous funicular railway, which is fun. Once you emerge into the old stone streets and passageways, you are transported into another world, albeit peppered with fabulous cafes and pizza restaurants. Needless to say, I indulged in these culinary delights..well, “when in Rome..” or in this case, “when in Bergamo!”.


The answer to pretty much everything in Italy is likely to be Pizza...

The answer to pretty much everything in Italy is likely to be Pizza…

The chocolate bread was particularly delightful. Stunning architecture and brightly coloured shop fronts made for a brilliant afternoon, which I topped with a coffee looking out over the city in the terrace bar above the funicular station.

My guest for afternoon coffee...

My guest for afternoon coffee…

The next day I linked up with the rest of the guys and our Italian driver Alex, who drove them from Milan airport.

The Pizzeria is THIS way! Driver Alex gets directions from a clearly patriotic Italian lady!

The Pizzeria is THIS way! Driver Alex gets directions from a clearly patriotic Italian lady!

Once reunited in Bergamo on the Friday, we set about finding somewhere for lunch, being directed to a great Restaurant and Pizzeria, before the three hour drive that followed, gradually going higher and higher into the mountains, the views spectacular, and snow -covered peaks abounding, heading for Gallio. Omar Pedrotti and all the guys at the festival were great. They love their metal and put this festival on with friendliness and enthusiasm.


How the Danes managed to rape and pillage anything is beyond me....Paul, Lars & Jan giving it their best Three Stooges impression!

How the Danes managed to rape and pillage anything is beyond me….Paul, Lars & Jan giving it their best Three Stooges impression!

As the sun went down, we ate yet more Pizza – Italy does that to you…went back to the hotel in the village to relax a little before the show. We were onstage around 1 am, and the temperature had plummeted! Even though it was mid-June, I don’t think I’ve ever been so cold onstage! for once I was glad I wasn’t having to play bass as well as sing, I have no idea how Jan, Mike and Paul could feel their fingers! Nevertheless, we delivered a powerful set of WITCH CROSS songs old and new and disappeared into the night.



"Can the Can" - Lars overdoes it...

“Can the Can” – Lars overdoes it…

A big thanks to Elisa Catozzi and Sandro Chiozzi for their superb photos of the gig. The next day, the guys dropped me off in Bergamo on their way to Milan where I chilled out for a while before flying back to Spain. I’d only been home for a day when my partner Miki and I headed North from the coast of Almeria to the town of Cazorla for their Blues Festival – enjoying it this time from the audience perspective! More of that in Part Two!

The new Witch Cross album, ‘AXE TO GRIND’ is out now on Hells Headbangers, available as CD, LP in blue or black vinyl,or on iTunes. Click on the image below to visit the shop.

Witch Cross - axe to grind

Kev Moore

July 19, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Witch Cross, Writing | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Here I am on a July Morning…. a Witch Cross at Metal Magic V post

Witch Cross in Amager, Copenhagen July 2012 L-R: Poul, Lars, Mike, Jan, Kev

“Metal Magic – Trying to kill you since 2008..” I think they’re getting the hang of it…

Poul and Mike ready to leave Helsingor for the gig

Battered and bruised by my four flights, four long drives in two days schedule, I arrived back home in Spain in the early hours of this morning after  a great few days with the guys from Witch Cross. We played the Metal Magic V festival in Fredericia, Denmark,  along with the likes of Damien Thorne, Hell, and Crystal Viper, and had a blast!  Want to give a big shout out to Martin, Lisa and all the organisers and technicians for making everything run smoothly for us.

Ole and Lars compare alcoholic beverages. Ole had already ‘compared’ quite a few….

It was especially cool for us, because it was our first ‘return’ gig on Danish soil, and added to that we were joined on stage by Alex Nyborg Madsen, Witch Cross’ original singer – and we did an impromptu metal duet of ‘Are you There’ – the first single!

The Bar.

“…where’s my fucking schnitzel?”

The fans were absolutely awesome, and always make the whole thing worthwhile. Next up, Mike and I will get back to working on new material, and then we get ready to play the Heavy metal maniacs festival in Hoorn, Holland, On October 27th.

Dead Babies. You can’t really do a Metal show without ’em….

More from the festival later!

Kev Moore

July 15, 2012 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Touring, Witch Cross, Writing | , , , | 2 Comments