All the action from the first day of Sonisphere 2014 as it happens, featuring The Prodigy, Limp Bizkit, HIM, Anthrax, Comeback Kid, Yashin + more!
Sonisphere 2014 Stage times: Friday | Saturday | Sunday
0000: Before we sign off for the night, Digital Ed Andy Ritchie has some words on The Prodigy...
"The question that's been hanging over Sonisphere's first day back after a three year absence is this: can The Prodigy really close the day out in one of rock's most hallowed fields. The answer... is kind of. They might have been doing this for over 20 years now, but on the face of it, the dance megatitans still have the energy of their youth (and an arsenal of hits that have come since) to wow almost any festival crowd. And, bringing out the big guns of 'Breathe', 'Voodoo People', 'Omen' and 'The Poison' in the first half hour is a pretty fierce opening salvo. But despite the strong early showing and a pretty full-on lights show, there's a lack of spark tonight. It feels routine in places and Maxim and Keith's repeated calls of 'Where my Prodigy people at?' lure a fairly tepid response. Because the truth is we're all right here - everyone's a bit of a Prodigy person inside really, aren't they? - it just doesn't feel as exciting a thing to be as it used to."
2120: Rob Sayce reports back from a half-empty Carnifex:
"Going up against Limp Bizkit and Anthrax would be a tough deal for anyone, and Carnifex lose out today. But while their crowd isn't the biggest to say the least, they go for broke regardless. Theirs is a performance of incredible venom, impressive technicality and brute force going hand in hand. They're very much alive and kicking, even if this isn't their finest hour. Luck of the draw, eh?"
2100: The man David McLaughlin has just returned from Limp Bizkit, and is on the fence with this one...
"There's a certain sadness in Fred Durst's eyes. Or at least a blankness - when he's playing the Limp Bizkit hits, anyway. Let him rip on Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name', though, and he looks like he's having a blast. So everyone watching is loving the killer opening one two of 'Rollin' and George Michael's 'Faith', but Fred looks like a man whose mind may be elsewhere. Snippets of Slayer and other bands seem to get him through the set, but there's a nagging feeling he's playing the caricature 'Freddie D' rather than feeling it. It's telling that there's barely a peep when they play the newer 'Gold Cobra' and yet 'Break Stuff' makes the masses go mental. There's a fine line between novelty and nostalgia. Soon, if not now, Limp Bizkit may need to assess which path they're treading. Then again, bassist Sam Rivers has socks that say 'BACON' on the sides so none of what you've read in the previous sentences matters anyway."
1955: Brutality Will Prevail high-kicked their way onto the Jägermeister Stage earlier. Andy Biddulph ran over from HIM to catch a little of their set. There's a full gallery of photos up now, too.
"Walking into a tent while Brutality Will Prevail are playing is like stumbling across some sort of weird, apocalyptic scene, where everyone has neck tattz and is throwing the fuck down. Frontman Louis Gauthier is a blur of kinetic energy - all air kicks and huge jumps - before monumental closer 'Trapped Doors Moving Walls' wins more than a few of those in 'Maiden shirts over, before Gauthier crowdsurfs all the way to the back of the tent. Sonisphere: Dominated."
1925: HIM hit the Apollo Stage a little while ago. Here's what Andy Biddulph made of it all.
"It's clear from the off that HIM's set on the Apollo Stage is a nostalgia trip for many in front of the baking Apollo Stage this afternoon, and in truth the band seem to cruise home at 60 per cent. A particularly zesty run through 'Wings Of A Butterfly' gets a few of the crowd hot under the colllar, but aside from that Ville Valo - a man so silky smooth he could play this show in slippers - ambles around the stage. His bandmates barely manage that, instead sticking to their stations and knocking out the likes of the doom-tastic 'The Funeral Of Hearts' like it's a lazy Sunday afternoon. Well it's Friday, but you get the picture."
1842: Our man Rob Sayce is back from Devil You Know and the photos have just gone live, too. Here's what Rob had to say:
"While Gary Numan casts some gloom on the main stage, things are hotting up in Bohemia. It's packed to bursting for the return of Howard Jones, who's now fronting Devil You Know. They're a more abrasive prospect than latter day Killswitch, but Jones' voice is unmistakable, and this crowd's firmly onside from the get-go; threatening to drown out the frontman at times. We'll have to wait and see whether they can sustain this early momentum - they could use a few more truly memorable songs, which album two should hopefully provide. Either way, it's an auspicious start."
1810: If you need your phone charged this weekend, look out for Lostalone's Steven Battelle.
1800: How many galleries have we just put up, Andrew? Yep, two galleries of Comeback Kid and The Defiled have just gone online. Check them out on our Photos page.
1725: Brutality Will Prevail pretended to be Slipknot earlier. They're not Slipknot, they're Brutality Will Prevail.
1720: David McLaughlin has just strolled back from T-R-C. T-R-C were great, apparently. One more time: T-R-C!
"T-R-C! T-R-C!" goes the chant from the nicely packed Jäger Stage tent. The crowd are clearly pretty pleased with what the hardcore-cum-metal-cum-whatever mob serve up today. Some elitists may still snigger or smirk, but those who actually give them a chance are met with a pretty slick operation these days. Take '#TeamUK' too seriously and yeah you'll miss the point. Listen up and get a feel for what they're about, though, and you might actually realise - much like the couple thousand here do - that TRC are a fibrous force of nature with their hearts in the right place."
1715: RS scribe Rob Sayce has been watching Anti-Flag jump around. Here's what he made of it all:
"Anti-Flag do urgent, easy-on-the-ears punk far better than most, and they're on solid form today. Songs like 'This Is The End' receive an incredible response, even if it's odd to hear the four-piece still sticking it to Bush in 2014. Their set is frantic and entertaining - though a tad predictable - and thankfully there are no signs of them mellowing with age. Well played."
Click here for more shots of Anti-Flag having a good ol' jump around
1700: Photos of Yashin from earlier, anyone?
1640: Andy Biddulph just caught the back end of Comeback Kid's set. It sounded like good, punishing fun.
"After being in the business so long it's difficult for these stalwarts to avoid sounding just a little clinical, but Comeback Kid put in a fine flurry in the second half of their set of breakneck hardcore. Pits heave, vocals soar and one particularly enthusiastic punter strips down to his Y-fronts and proceeds to wrestle all comers in a contender for the most bizarre sight of the weekend. A final rip through 'Wake The Dead' is more than enough to blow any lingering cobwebs away from the Bohemia tent."
1625: Black Dogs' Gollo gives us 15 seconds at Sonisphere...
1555: Our man Rob Sayce reports back from The Defiled:
"The Defiled rarely fail to make an impact, and so it proves with their Apollo Stage debut. Featuring guest appearances from a (slightly worse for wear) Jesus and a couple eerie, masked strippers, their set is a flat-out OTT spectacle. The smashed guitars and circles pits make up for a few wobbly moments and while the band's songs sometimes get lost in translation, nobody's complaining today. Good, not at all wholesome fun."
1535: Deputy Editor David McLaughlin has just popped back with his verdict on Yashin, and he wasn't too impressed.
"It's easy to forget how long Scottish six-piece Yashin have been doing their thing (since 2006, FYI). Easy to forget, that is, until you see them live again, because their thing sounds remarkably out of date in 2014. They flick fringes, sing, scream and mix melodies and metal with perfunctory precision, but it all amounts to a big pile of 'so what?' without the songs to back everything up. A snippet of Coolio's 'Gangsta's Paradise' is probably the most notable point or their set, and admittedly a segment of partisan supporters go buck wild. For the rest of us, Yashin at Sonisphere will be easy to forget."
1503: We just hopped on the Gibson bus so Devil You Know's Howard Jones could do this...
Want more photos of Straight Lines' opening set? Oooooof course you do.
1410: Reviews Editor Andy Biddulph just ducked back in from a plucky Straight Lines set:
"It's another early festival slot for Straight Lines this weekend, but they don't seem too disheartened by their place on the bill. A fair helping of more riff-heavy recent EP 'Reflect' sounds a little odd with the sun beating down outside but as ever, their poppier stuff is right on the money. Old classics like 'Ring The Bells' and 'Half Gone' are as crisp and bouncy as ever, and make for an impressive performance from one of Britains most unappreciated bands. Now frontman Tom Jenkins is off to, in his own words: "Get steaming, curl up in a ball in a field and piss my pants." Lovely."
1206: Hello! We're on site at Sonisphere and good lord it's warm today. We've got an hour or so until the bands start kicking off, so why don't you have a peek around the site in the meantime?
Here are some toilets. Look, they're clean!
This is what the Apollo stage looked like taking shape a few days ago. The Prodigy will be turning this into rave central later this evening. Stoked.
The Bohemia tent, pre-destruction....
...and a look under the roof....
And the line-up if for some reason you haven't got a clue who's playing....
We good to go? Right! Let's do a festival!