With the sun beating down on hard on this years Bloodstock, it takes a moment to adjust to the bottom of the ocean, melodic doom, that emanates from the Sophie Lancaster stage, as Alunah (4/5) begin their set. The Birmingham outfit quickly fill the tent with their hypnotic, layered groove and attract dazed punters like moths to a burning light. Vocalist Soph Day’s vocals ring out across the Sunday afternoon crowd and it makes for a perfect soundtrack to what has already been an epic day of music.
Great interview with Dan and Mike James Rock Show. Please excuse the incorrect spelling and wrong name on the intro, the MJRS folks have been informed.
Alunah (13/13) with their intoxicating and creative mixture of doom and blues are making their debut at Bloodstock on the Sophie stage, and immediately demonstrate how well suited their powerful musicality and sound is to a bigger stage. It sounds fantastic from out in the audience, and guitarist Dave Day's first solo is full of the most incredible melody and atmospheric sustain. Bricket Wood Coven is another highlight with its great jazz like drum fills and the beautifully executed bass coda to the song, that is greeted with spontaneous cheers from the audience, and closes with another jaw dropping melodic guitar solo from Dave. Highlight of this great set is undoubtedly Sophie Day's mesmerising vocals on Scourge and the Kiss,, where during a gentle section in the song, with her head tilted slightly towards the microphone, she is communicating every word with pure and very moving emotion. When we interviewed Sophie prior to their set, she disarmingly said ‘I hope we get a crowd after all of this… I’m hoping it rains so everyone comes to shelter …’. It is no surprise to Room Thirteen that Bloodstock took Alunah to their hearts, and the audience loved their stunning set. A triumphant debut!
Taking shelter from the scorchio sunshine at Bloodstock Open Air 2015, we find ourselves in the Sophie tent for some doom on a grand scale from Alunah. To be honest we were expecting them to be good but not quite this good. The doomey bass lines and sheer weight were there but the icing on the leaden cake was undoubtedly Soph Day’s vocals which give Alunah an extra dimension over most of their contemporaries in the crowded UK Doom scene.
We really liked the last Alunah album, and if you’re looking for a Sophie Stage highlight for the entire weekend, then the sublime live version of Bricket Wood Coven will take some beating.
Whilst the gods of stoner rock might have just rocked the foundations of the main stage, the tree folk of Alunah were just beginning their own take on the genre on the Sophie Lancaster Stage. Having released their latest album Awaken The Forest the band performed various different cuts from the album along with the more classic material, each receiving just as uproarious approval than the last. With front woman, Soph Day having an enormous personality to match that of the crushing riffs bestowed upon the unsuspecting Bloodstock crowd today. An excellent foreshadowing of things to come from the band, particularly with their tour later this year.
Before their set at the festival, I was able to catch up with a friend of mine whom I’ve now interviewed three times in the past 8 months! We chatted about the upcoming album, Dave’s (guitarist) gear issues and any bands he was looking forward to watching.
Thanks to Andy at Napalm for organising and as ever, Dan for his time. Was a pleasure to interview you again.
MT: You’re playing the Sophie Lancaster stage later on today, are you excited for it?
Dan: Very excited and a little nervous. I think we were just discussing before that this interview is taking my mind of it a little bit. But no, we’re very excited to be playing.
MT: Last time we spoke, you mentioned that you were working on the new album. How’s it going?
Dan: It’s going really well. We’ve got about 2 songs that are structured but aren’t finished, as they’ll probably change. We’re really relaxed when we’re doing it and coming with some good ideas.
MT: Is the production going to be any different to the previous album?
Dan: Possibly. We’ve got some different ideas of how we want to record it and we’re coming up with loads of ideas and concepts as to how we want to do it. That’s a bit different to the last and we’re thinking of ways we can tie the songs together.
MT: I think we spoke about this yesterday but Dave’s been breaking amps again from what I’ve heard.
Dan: Oh yeah, we’ve had a bit of a nightmare on amps and poor Dave’s been cursed. He’s gone through a couple of amps and he’s now back with his original one, which is sounding really good. We’re hoping he’s got rid of the curse now.
MT: Has your gear changed since we last spoke?
Dan: Nope still using the same gear. I am looking to upgrade a bit however. As we’re writing, we start thinking about what sort of sound we want and that has an effect on our set list as well. Our equipment’s changed a lot since I’ve been in the band. I’ve been in for 2 years and we’re always looking at different amps and gear.
MT: After you’ve played, are there any bands you’re looking forward to watching?
Dan: We want to see Black Label society and we want to watch Rob Zombie as well. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. *Looks at band list* Oh and maybe Cannibal corpse as well. Unfortunately we can’t go and see Orange Goblin as they are on just before us.
MT: Thank you for your time!
Formed in 2006 and based in the West Midlands, Alunah merge elements of doom, psych and classic heavy rock with earthy hypnotic vocal melodies to create their sound. Currently signed to Napalm Records, the band have released 3 full length albums. They found out they would be performing on the Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock a few months back, chose a set list and practiced it loads. They were unfortunately plagued with lots of trouble with amps and pedals, so "lots of trips to amp techs and music shops to get things sorted" was involved in getting the band ready for their performance.
"We had a great time, and we had such an amazing response from the crowd. Unfortunately a couple of those equipment problems I mentioned earlier reared their ugly heads, but things like that are part of being in a band and you just have to get on with it. It was the first time for me and I'll definitely be returning. Everyone said there was a good family atmosphere and they were right, lots of our family and friends were there too so that added to it. The organisers and crew do such an incredible job."
"Not as many bands as I wanted to, but first and foremost we were there to play so that's to be expected. Orange Goblin were on right before us, so we missed them. I wanted to catch my friends band By Any Means, but only caught a bit of them. I also wanted to see Blind Haze and totally forgot the time. However, I did get to see one of my favourite bands Opeth and they were just incredible. Napalm Death and Rob Zombie were great too."
Currently the band are writing for the 4th album and they have lots of gigs coming up in October and November in England. They also have two more festivals coming up; Crimson Lakeland in the Lake District in September, and the Malta Doom Metal Festival in October.
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Upcoming Alunah Gigs >>
Friday 31st March
The Chameleon, Nottingham
Thursday 6th April
The Flapper, Birmingham
Friday 7th April
Saturday 8th April
Sunday 9th April
The Lounge, London
Saturday 6th May
MFC, Coevorden (NL)
Monday 8th May
Music City, Antwerp (BE)
Thursday 11th May
Coq d'Or, Olten (CH)
Friday 12th May
Bloom, Mezzago (IT)
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