SOS FESTIVAL takes place this coming weekend at Radcliffe Civic Hall in North Manchester. An exciting line-up is headed up on day one, Saturday, by the founder-member and original singer of the absolute legends AC/DC – Mr DAVE EVANS. Dave was predecessor to Bon Scott and following his time with AC/DC went on to star in his own bands and solo work, touring Australia, Europe and the United States. In April 2009 his incredible “Judgement Day” album had its’ UK release on Rocksector Records and both that year and in 2011, Dave toured with his UK Badasses [read our review of that album here].
On the more recent of those tours, the UK Badasses comprised members of Manchester’s own Absolva, who again will be hitting the stage with Dave at SOS Festival. Expect an explosive and charismatic performance including Dave’s original material but also a handsome collection of AC/DC songs from Dave’s era with the band and also that of Bon Scott.
Headlining on Sunday, we welcome back the incendiary BABYLON FIRE. After a hiatus enforced by the departure of lead guitarist Will Reece, Babylon Fire have come back on the UK metal scene with an inspired vengeance, along with a debut full length album called “Dark Horizons” which was released on Rocksector Records in November 2012. That album has received genuine critical acclaim and prompts valid comparisons with colossal metal artists such as Stone Sour, Machine Head and Five Finger Death Punch.
Babylon Fire played SOS in the festival’s early years and now return as genuine headliners, armed with a modern metal album locked and loaded like an exocet missile. Now a 4-piece band, Rishi Mehta, Ryk Swillo, Mark Dunford and Mark Cooper are armed and extremely ready.
As in previous years the festival serves both as a showcase for the music of bands signed to the Rocksector Records label, together with a wider pool of talent from the UK and abroad involving both established and newer artists, whilst always preserving a place for some of the best local Manchester bands from the areas adjacent to where the festival is located. Previous headliners at SOS include GUN, Blaze Bayley, Tygers of Pan Tang, Fury UK, Black Spiders and Beholder.
From when the festival expanded to two days rather than just one, there has always tended to be a rock influence on one day and a metal influence on the other. This year is no different and Saturday is for rock, whilst Sunday will keep the metalheads happy.
The main stage at SOS Festival is now known as the Dean Hocking Stage. For those that don’t know, Dean Hocking was the bassist of Nightvision, from the Rocksector family of artists, who was tragically killed in a road traffic accident in the early hours of 27th December 2012, aged just 23. Dean was an extremely talented and respected musician, not-to-mention an infectious and loveable character, who is already greatly missed by his family, friends, fans and peers. We are grateful to Dean’s family for allowing us the honour of re-naming our main stage like this – it’s a stage that Dean had graced more than once in life, just as he does now in memory going forward.
In keeping with the tradition of the past two years as well as the main stage there will be an acoustic stage and performances will alternate between the two. Some bands playing main stage on one day will also get the chance to perform acoustically on the other.
Tickets are only £10 for single days and £15 for 2 days and available without booking fee or postage charges: