NI Bands Set To Head Off To UK Extreme Festival

NORTHERN Ireland bands are set to storm one of the world’s most prestigious heavy metal festivals with a simple message – we’re coming to get you!

Bassist of Rabid Bitch Of The North, Joe McDonnell

Bassist of Rabid Bitch Of The North, Joe McDonnell | Pic Darren McVeigh

In less than a week The Crawling, Rabid Bitch of the North and Zlatanera will be playing at Bloodstock in the heart of England, sharing the bill with rock legends such as Twisted Sister, Slayer and Anthrax.

With mere days until the metal festivities get underway at Bloodstock, the three Northern Ireland bands are busy rehearsing and planning their metal assault.

For Rabid Bitch Of The North they are returning to what has proved to be happy metal hunting grounds and recently got ready to rock with a mini-tour of the UK a few weeks ago.

“Bloodstock Round Two is what I’m calling it in my head, our second chance to impress and even larger audience than two years ago.” singer and bassist Joe McDonnell said.

“I think I only got really excited when Bloodstock officially announced us and I read all the really positive and encouraging feedback on loads of different forums online.”

Joe said: “People who had seen us there in 2014 and those that had heard of us – any new audience and stage away from home is exciting to play, but the New Blood Hobgoblin Stage at Bloodstock will be immense this year.

Andy Clarke of The Crawling

Andy Clarke of The Crawling | Pic Darren McVeigh

“It’s exciting to be on the same bill as Twisted Sister (last ever UK show), Venom, Anthrax, Slayer, Diamond Head, Phil Campbells Band, Acid Reign, and the list goes on. The line-up is what I’d call actual Heavy Metal this year and we fit right in.”

Bloodstock runs regional competitions to secure a slot at the festival and the Northern Ireland winners The Crawling are already running a competition via Facebook.

When asked about their appearance at the festival they said: “Every now and again, when you are in a band, something cool happens. And then there’s playing Bloodstock. It’s just brilliant to be part of such an iconic UK festival – we can’t wait!”

Zlatanera are also all set to play. Bassist Anthony McKee summed up the band’s thoughts ahead of their appearance: “We feel privileged to be a part of Bloodstock 2016,” he said. “This will be our first gig outside of Ireland and what better way to make our mainland UK debut, than at one of the most prestigious and diverse metal festivals.

Singer Andy Campbell of Zlatanera

Singer Andy Campbell of Zlatanera | Pic Darren McVeigh

“We look forward to treating Bloodstock to our familiar blend of riffs, immersive rock and songs about the devil and hope to see an unquantifiable amount of horns being thrown and heads being banged. This is going to be good/evil!”

Three bands from the Republic of Ireland will also be playing the festival: Psykosis, Two Tales of Woe and Ten Ton Slug.

It’s an Irish metal invasion!

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About the Author

Jonathan Traynor
Northern Ireland journalist. Rock & metal enthusiast and owner of