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Witch Cross in Scandinavia – Part Two: At Muskelrock, Sweden

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 22.10.56Photo: Sofia Jonsson/Festivalphoto.net

MR1Photo: Niklas Gustavsson

Straight after the show in Hillerød, Denmark, we raced to catch the ferry that would take us across the water to Helsingborg in Sweden, where we would sleep at Paul’s house before driving to Muskelrock the following day. We awoke to summer sunshine, much to my joy and amazement, and began cataloging and organizing our merch for the show. Merch plays a massive role in a band such as ours.

Lars proudly holding the new album!

Lars proudly holding the new album!

Paul 'models' our limited edition giant WITCH CROSS patch!

Paul ‘models’ our limited edition giant WITCH CROSS patch!

It’s a vital source of immediate income, necessary to keep the band on the road. With albums being pirated so freely on the net now, it’s even more important to bands as their recorded earnings dwindle.Speaking of albums, we’d received our first shipment of the new CD ‘Axe to Grind’ from our record company Hells Headbangers the day before, so we were stoked to be able to have it available to the fans a full month before its official release!

CIMG2767

The journey to the festival site took just under three hours, and during that time the weather changed from good to bad, and back again…

As we pulled off the main road into Tyrolen, threading our way between the tent town that had sprung up around it, the grey clouds threatened. Tyrolen, used to be some random Tyrolean-themed Entertainment park, situated near the Swedish village of Alvesta, west of the town of Vaxjo,and the guys that run Muskelrock bought the land, everything in it, and turned it into a successful and fun festival, now in its fifth year. The slightly shabby buildings and faded murals of its former glory provide the perfect backdrop to a Metal Festival.

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 22.09.23Photo: Sofia Jonsson/Festivalphoto.net

The rain teased….depositing a light shower every now and then, but never making good on its threat of a full-on downpour, much to the delight of the festival-goers!  There was a superb array of bands on over the weekend. Two in particular stood out to me, but for entirely different reasons! Firstly, Barbarion, who seemed to hail from Australia, though I couldn’t be sure….they took to the stage like a herd of medieval superheroes…not the most svelte of bands, it bothered them not one bit, as we were treated to a magnificent stagewear display of studded leather braces, codpieces, togas, loin cloths, Centurion Helmets, Sporrans and Kilts. By the time they had the crowd singing “chop, chop, chop” and lamenting the demise of “Mildred, my favourite wife” I was pretty sure they weren’t taking themselves too seriously. Suffice to say, my jaw was on the floor for most of their set.

Barbarion: Better wrap up warm, lads!

Barbarion: Better wrap up warm, lads!

Secondly, there was Death Hawks. Hailing from Finland, these guys really surprised me. Guitarist Mike Koch and I had retired to the indoor venue for a drink and a bite to eat as these guys took the stage. What followed was some truly original music…superb grooves, almost ambient metal infused with the blues, just an absolute pleasure to let wash over you. I enjoyed these guys very much indeed.

Screen shot 2013-06-07 at 22.10.39Photo: Sofia Jonsson/Festivalphoto.net

Jan, myself and Paul relaxing post-gig

Jan, myself and Paul relaxing post-gig

Photo: Jonas Eklind

When we took the stage early on the Saturday Evening, the welcome from the crowd was overwhelming. I often write about how metal fans are the best in the world, but it bears repeating. I personally felt such a vibe off the crowd that night. They sang every word on the sings they knew, and cheered the ones they didn’t…”Demon in the Mirror” as a result of the promo video finding more and more favour with them as they become familiar with it. I was pretty spent after our exertions in Hillerød the night before, but fans like these lift you up. There is no alternative. Half-measures is not an option. You give them everything because they inspire you to, and they deserve nothing less.  Muskelrock, quite simply, Rocked!

Those amazing metal fans...

Those amazing metal fans…

Photo: Niklas Gustavsson

Kev Moore

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June 10, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Witch Cross, Writing | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Witch Cross captured LIVE!

As we undertook our concerts across Denmark, Sweden and Holland last week, our every move onstage was captured by a plethora of fabulous photographers, and I wanted to feature some of their shots here.They’ve a got one thing in common: the ability to capture just how much fun we were having onstage! The tour was a blast, and we can’t wait to get out there in 2013, bringing Witch Cross songs old and new to you!

FROM HUGUES TIMMERMANS:

Jan, Paul & Mike: Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival, Hoorn, Holland

Kev & Jan: Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival, Hoorn, Holland

Mike & Kev: Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival, Hoorn, Holland

FROM HELENA LARSSON:

Mike & Kev: Supporting Gotthard @ Tivoli, Helsingborg, Sweden

Lars, Mike, Kev, Jan & Paul: Supporting Gotthard @Tivoli, Helsingborg, Sweden

Supporting Gotthard @ Tivoli, Helsingborg, Sweden

BY TESSA KORNUIJT:

Kev, Paul, Mike & Jan @ Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival, Hoorn, Holland

Mike @ Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival, Hoorn, Holland

Mike, Kev , Jan & Paul @ Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival, Hoorn Holland

There were so many more, from all the shows, and our thanks go out to all the photographers,  out there who took the time to document our tour and and indeed festival and venue organizers, and the guys in Gotthard who made it even more memorable!  See you on the road in 2013!

Kev Moore

November 1, 2012 Posted by | Metal, Music, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home again…what a trip!

Well, as Midnight struck on Sunday night, I finally arrived home in Turre, after a drive from Alicante and a flight from Amsterdam. The Rocktober tour was a great success, and we made many new friends and fans along the way, as we played in Copenhagen (Denmark), and Helsingborg (Sweden) with Swiss rockers GOTTHARD – Fredericia, (Denmark) in the rock pub Kahytten, and The Heavy Metal Maniacs Festival in Hoorn, just North of Amsterdam, Holland.

Bass player Jan relaxes between soundchecks…

The HMM festival was a great way to finish the trip on a high, and the songs both old and new were well-received by the fantastic crowd. We’ve put quite a lot of promo in place during the hours we weren’t gigging and travelling, which will become apparent as we go into the New Year and ready ourselves for finishing and releasing the new album.  We’ll also be getting out and gigging to promote it too!

Soundchecking in Sweden

Gotthard very graciously let us use their new electronic matrix backdrop screen – that’s Gotthard soundchecking right there!

A road trip like this also helps bring the band closer together, personally as well as musically, and we had a lot of laughs on the tour, a lot of it provided by crazy signs!

Don’t think I’ll be eating here, thanks…..

If you were a bloke, would you buy your clothes here? ….didn’t think so!

I got up early on the last morning so I could have breakfast with the guys. Lars, Jan and Poul were setting off in the ‘Witchmobile’ back to Denmark and Sweden, Mike had a midday flight out of Schipol to London, and as my flight to Spain wasn’t until 17.55, I took the train into Amsterdam and hung out, wandering the streets and checking out the Hard Rock and the shops and the sights.

Quintessential Amsterdam….

Witch Cross are back!

Many many thanks to the huge number of people who are helping us realize the dream all over again, including videographer Peter Hansen

Kev Moore

October 29, 2012 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Video, Witch Cross, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment