Metal Brew Festival

Classic British metallers convene in North London

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Nothing says summer like a Saturday spent with some sun, a pint and a spot of DIY. Forget the ill-fitting decking, Metal Brew have taken the relaxed, welcoming feel of a village fête and given it a shot of underground metal.

A last-minute venue change means that Seven Sisters play while many are still trying to navigate the back streets of High Barnet. LIFELESS [6] play a tight and competent set of hardcore-tinged thrash. A truly DIY festival needs a truly DIY band, and AMULET [7] fit the bill. The self-sufficient Londoners ooze 1981 from every pore, with a set of songs that could well have been released on obscure singles on long-defunct labels, exhorting you to bang your head for all its worth.

THE ADMIRAL SIR CLOUDESLEY SHOVELL [7] see 1981 as the distant future. Their bare-knuckled brand of yob-rock beams you back to 1971 with a fantastic blend of early Slade and the first Sabbath album. While many retro bands are on the delicate side, The Admiral hit like a stolen Ford Cortina. If you think the 70s rock is all peace, love and flowers then prepare to be rudely disabused of your notions. Peter French’s stints with Cactus and Atomic Rooster mean he can claim to stand alongside the likes of Terry Reid and Paul Rodgers as one the greats of British rock vocals.

Having resurrected LEAF HOUND [8] a decade ago, it’s good to see such classics as Freelance Fiend and Sad Road To The Sea as well as a barnstorming run-through of Cactus’s take on the Willie Dixon classic, Evil. To close the night, Metal Brew have booked a band that, since reforming in 2011, have rebuilt a reputation as one of the best heavy metal bands in the world. On a tiny stage, on the very edge of London, SATAN [10] turn in the sort of set that only the likes of Maiden and Priest could manage. With the poise and confidence of a world-class band and a set stuffed with classics like Blades Of Steel and Oppression, they can’t fail, and Russ Tippins and Graeme English provide a two-pronged attack to rival Tipton/Downing or Murray/Smith. Even a blown generator fails to dent their firepower for long. If you love heavy metal, you should worship Satan.