Review BY Brian Mear
General Jack a local band to Nuneaton first took to the stage.
There was a lot of nerves from everyone, there had been a delay with the drumkit and everything was a little tense
How was everything going to look and sound?
Well, the lights were dimmed announcements were made and we were off.
The band sounded Amazing, we had a decent-sized crowd, everyone was excited and happy and the band fed from that.
Darren Joyce was the main vocalist and wow suddenly we had a real frontman !!
The band were brave and pushed forward with original numbers all through the set.
Along with the four tracks from their EP, the songs flowed seamlessly.
I didn’t know what to expect and to be honest the band was there because I’ve always liked to have a local band open our shows if possible.
This was a revelation to me a power-driven classic hard rock band with really strong catchy songs
You can hear different influences and a strong bluesy sound like early Whitesnake
A revelation! A triumph, General Jack led the attack and not only swayed the battle but ultimately won the war !!!
Fantastic show lads let’s do it again real soon!
The Second band of the night ( or afternoon I should say ) were local Heavy Metal Legends Chemikill
Formed back in 88 in Tamworth this band is as heavy as sin and sounds almost Doom-like.
Dark, Atmospheric and as Sabbath as Geezer Butler leather trousers.
They have played for Mearfest before, back in 2019 and my goodness they made quite an impression then.
They hit the giant stage hard and thundered headlong into their brilliant set.
Over the years I’ve liked to have some different sounds and textures to our Gigs and Chemikill bought in the doom-laden bass-driven sound like no other.
I know certainly back in the mid to late Eighties there was a whole spate of bands that sought to go faster and faster in an attempt to be heavier than the rest of the competition.
For me though when a band sounds like this with soaring vocals, majestic guitar, gut Bursting Bass and The thunderous drums of Rob Chivers then we are reaching the very depths of Heavy.
I wanted to host this first ” FLAME ” show here in the fantastic Queens Hall
The sound was incredible and the lighting, smoke machine and our Flame Dragons eye Backdrop flanked by our Memorial banners to Gordon Alexander Carmichael the whole thing was fuc#ing Awesome.
So Chemikill came plugged in and bought the noise. They bought energy and immense power.
They bought friendship and faith. They bought Belief and wrapped it all in the strongest cords of pure love.
We couldn’t have asked for more.
Thank you all so much.
And in the darkness and in the light our stillborn child smiled.
Third on Mearfests FLAME Festival was Norfolk-based Prog Tech Metal Antagonists HEDRA.
I’ve grown to love their music, their ethos, the band’s unique identity, imagery, concept incredible force, energy and talent.
They were the day wild card, far removed from the Traditional Rock and Metal we predominantly host they hit the stage hard and fast.
I took a risk hosting the band but have often had bands playing different strands of Metal.
I needn’t have worried because they absolutely owned the huge stage at the Queens Hall
Playing to and for the crowd Jim prowled the stage using every inch of available space
Here was a true frontman in every sense of the word
Engaging with everyone in the Hall he demanded attention and my God he got it
Daniel was amazing on Bass leaving the stage at points and disappearing into the swaying crowd with just the peak of his cap Ebbing and flowing in a sea of denim.
James was an incredibly technical drummer displaying an intricate and immensely powerful technique.
Kamil was on fire moving and twisting to the force of the music.
HEDRA were made for venues like this the sound was rich and lush and they crashed against us all In waves of colour and force.
The lighting and backdrops shone whilst the dynamics took place.
Regardless of the style of music you play it’s all about performance and entertainment.
Hedra knew this and over the next 40 minutes, I and many more were transfixed by this majestic and all-encompassing band.
For hours later I had even the most dye in the wool Trad Metal fans coming up to me and saying how much they loved this band.
Their music is unique, beautiful and highly complex.
But live this is where the magic really took place
I was totally blown away by this and ten minutes of tears Poured down my face
A mixture of exhaustion, relief, amazement and grief Poured from me.
HEDRA were an inspiration
I bow down to them in homage