The 1865, Southampton – March 14th 2015

This was my first visit to Southampton’s newest venue, The 1865. Secluded on a back street and on the fringes of Southampton’s dock area I was really looking forward to this one!

First on were local metal boys Dendera bringing their traditional British metal sound. Their set was filled with machine gun drumming, Maiden esq harmonies and solos aplenty. Always good to have a local band warm up the crowd in a venue was at this point was freezing!

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Next on tonight was Malrun, a Danish metal band fronted by the spikey haired Nicklas Sun. Malrun’s style is very European in the same style as Volbeat and In Flames with clean to growl vocals with big choruses.

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Main support, The Dirty Youth from South Wales really caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting the performance and catchy pop metal songs that we got. Lead singer Danni Monroe was lively with her stage presence and in the first song flashing green glasses. Her voice was very easy on the ear, pitched perfectly with each song played with precision with super melodic parts and equally really heavy guitar riffs. Couldn’t help but enjoy them and the ever filling room certainly shared that thought.

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FOZZY! FOZZY! FOZZY! Chants rang out pretty much as soon and Danni and The Dirty Youth boys left the stage. For years I grew up watching Chris Jericho in the squared circle in front of tens of thousands of people, it was quite nerve racking and exciting all at the same time being able to photograph them. Sometimes with bands you fear that they may not be into it for whatever reason that night (crowds, get out of bed the wrong side etc) but from the moment Fozzy took the stage, you could tell how much fun they have doing this.

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Fozzy feature members of Stuck Mojo as well as Y2J know how to party with their American hard rock / heavy metal. The band take the stage minus Jericho then from the side he walks out into a dark room, stands in the middle of the stage pulling a classic pose from one of many Wreslemania’s through the years with a jacket that lights up in red, white and blue sparkles.

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Jericho knows how to work the crowd, of course he does, its been his job for years and at the end of each song the Fozzy chants come back and the band stand there and suck them in with ear to ear grins. This was a classic American metal party, Jericho’s voice is on point with the grooved rifferage and heavy big choruses, they even made ABBA go metal with their rendition of ‘SOS’, it wasn’t bad, I’ve heard a lot worse covers over the years!

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Whether its in front of 400 people of 80,000 it doesn’t matter to Chris Jericho, he puts everything into it every night.

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Photographed a future WWE Hall of Famer… check! And I loved it!

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