It’s a special occasion in Nottingham as the halloweekend is greeted by three giants of America’s alternative music scene. Soil, American Head Charge and (Hed) PE each have a point to prove to their expectant fanbases on the final night of their tour together.

Wolfborne 1

Canadian openers Wolfborne manage to earn themselves a welcome place in my memory, as they provide a surprisingly captivating display to welcome the gradually filling main hall of Rock City. Chris Witosk’s soaring clean vocals offer a highly melodic alternative to the grittier sounds of their dirty riffs and pounding rhythm, as the likes of “Let It Rain” and “Sex Sells” possess the edge and quality to one day earn them the right to be headlining venues of this size. They may not boast the level of excitement to warrant anything more than a respectable nod of the head from spectators, but their huge choruses certainly impress more the majority of the venue. Given time, I highly expect that this band will reign supreme in their genre, as material from their debut album, “In The Beginning…” hints at greater things.

Hed PE
Hed PE 123456789

Next up are the pioneers of rap metal; the undisputed and unmistakable (Hed) PE. This band have been redefining their genre year after year to prove that their undeniable quality is still intact. Material taken from an array of albums in their discography thrills the expectant audience, as the likes of “Bartender”, “Blackout” and the anthemic “Renegade” are delivered with impeccable finesse and mouth watering power to prove that this band are well and truly still a spectacle on stage. Front man, Jared Gomes rules the stage and although they have limited time to show what they’re made of, a surprise cover of “Ghost Town” by The Specials sees the entire venue grinning ear to ear. Even though their front man states that he never thought the band would return to the UK due to the struggles of cracking the music industry nowadays, it seems that there will always be a place for the distinguished class of (Hed) PE. Let’s pray they return to this country again for a headline tour in the near future.

American Head Charge
American Head Charge 123

As Rock City begins to fill to the brim, yet another explosive outfit take to the stage with an eruption of screams of delight to see American Head Charge return to Nottingham. It seems that their following here is stronger than ever, as the band perform a set boasting vigorous presence and virtually flawless delivery to their passionate army of supporters. Fuelled by a huge wall of sound and hard hitting instrumentals, the band execute their fist pumping anthems with the utmost precision, and although their relentless onslaught can occasionally be slightly numbing, their technical ability is undeniable. Front man, Cameron Heacock’s stunning vocal display shines as a highlight throughout their performance, but it can’t hide the fact that their brilliance relies on the fury they create instrumentally, as the dynamics of their sound rarely vary. Regardless, it’s a powerful performance that will have well and truly inspired the entirety of the room.

Soil 12

Soil have truly earned their headline slot tonight carrying the momentum from latest album “Whole” following an impressive stint touring with Skindred near the end of last year. They are rewarded with a brimming venue for the finale of their tour and deliver a performance which starts as it intends to carry on. Powerful and totally in control, the band have never sounded quite so glorious, as they passionately deliver every ounce of conviction they can muster. Admittedly, there’s only so much that can be achieved by a band who dwell in such a blindingly one dimensional tangent of their genre, as a neutral would struggle to pick out specific songs amongst others. However, it goes without saying that Soil are masters of their sound and have revitalised their importance in music, as every person in the room holds nothing but total respect for the humble characters who make up this band. After a night of resilient brilliance, the chaotic climax of “Halo” sees front man, Ryan McCombs mobbed by his mass of supporters to suitably draw an outstanding night of top class entertainment to a close. This is without a doubt a new peak in Soil’s history…so, what’s to come next? Let’s wait and see.


Words by George Fullerton
Photos by Ed Smith Photography

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