NEWS: Deva Victrix: Is The Live Rooms headed for Northern powerhouse status?

Aside from the odd trip to the capital and a few lavish trips around Europe, the last ten plus years that Iíve been going to heavy metal shows has generally led me to one of two places - Liverpool or Manchester - often the latter if I wanted anything above krieg Black Metal in a function room. As one of those people that you hear about that has a driverís license but doesnít own a car, Iíve always relied on others and they havenít always shared my tastes of eclectic cheese, leading me to miss out on more than one occasion. Iíve thought for years the heritage city of Chester would make a perfect edition to the Northern circuit of tour dates, not least because I live there. There are great rail and bus links in and out of the city, a bustling student population, and a wealth of culture and history in its literal walls for a great venue.

Now there are of course various pubs that have been putting on gigs for years - The Compass and Telfords to name two - but this has always been more of an open mic night style thing to bring in more punters than booking proper shows. Then in October 2013 The Live Rooms came along, operated by the proprietors of The Compass and Central Station in Wrexham I believe. Initially it didnít really spark my interest due to the genres they were booking, but at the same time the calibre of the acts, how they were being promoted and the general success of the venue did keep me watching. Over the last 12 months things have been moving up several notches, and the bookings have been branching out into more underground scenes, booking both the bigger names and the obscure cult bands that both ensure a packed house night after night. The venue itself is great. Situated right by the train station, a wonderfully intimate atmosphere can be found inside and on the two occasions that Iíve been to gigs there myself Iíve found both the sound and lighting capabilities to be spot on.

So why am I banging on about this so much? This is Denim and Leather, and we talk Heavy Metal! Well, because in my inbox a few weeks ago arrived the news that Swedish Speed Metal stalwarts Enforcer are headed to The Live Rooms this October. Enforcer are one of my favourite bands that Iíve only had the pleasure of seeing live once, a performance which blew me away. Translating the adrenaline fuelled journey of their albums to the stage is no easy feat, but the Swedes pull it off effortlessly and are huge fun to watch. Now imagine my face last night when I find out that none other than NWOBHM legends Raven are headed here in the same month. With no less than seven classic albums during the 80s alone, itís safe to say that I would Walk Through Fire to see them live. Both Raven and Enforcer are also relatively underground bands in the grand scheme of things, so the fact that theyíve been booked to play The Live Rooms gives me hope that this is just the start of a string of brilliant bookings that will see great Heavy Metal come to Chester - and more importantly my front door - in the years to come.

Tickets are available for Enforcer and Raven now, so get yours and get down to The Live Rooms to support Heavy Metal in your city! Iíll see you there in October \m/

Twitter: @BandsPlayedOn


Artist - Jesters of Destiny
Title - The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown
Label - Ektro

Thirty years after Jesters of Destiny arrived, dropped Fun at the Funeral and disappeared back into the night, theyíre finally back with a second full length release courtesy of Ektro Records, and whilst it could never live up to first album, the eccentricity of the band shines through once more and itís a crazy ride from start to finish. Pick it up on April 4th!



Artist - Hammerfest IX
Date - 23rd- 26th March
Venue - Pwllheli, Wales †

One of our main highlights of the year, this month weíre off to Wales for Hammerfest, HRHís Heavy Metal flagship. With the return of two Power Metal titans alongside a host of others, this year looks to be one of their best ever. Weíll be covering the whole festival and conducting interviews as well so lookout for the cameras!