2005 is Bullet For My Valentine’s year, no doubt whatsoever. My last Bullet review from February closed with the words ‘This was undoubtedly the single most amazing gig I have ever attended, and the guys surpassed my every hope and expectation of them’. Well since February I have been fortunate enough to attend a number of the best gigs and this year so far has been totally amazing, but Bullet have just gone from strength to strength. Not only are they supporting Funeral For A Friend on their fantastic UK tour, they are also simultaneously headlining their own tour, fitting in dates between the Funeral dates. There is just no stopping these four Welshmen! They are certainly up to the punishment and grueling hard work is no feat for Bullet For My Valentine.
My first round of Bullet was on June 30th supporting FFAF, where they kicked up a storm and created such a wild frenzy in the pit that you would be forgiven for thinking that they could be the main act if we didn’t all know better. This was round two, a night at the Leeds Cockpit slotted in before going back to support FFAF in Manchester the next night (which also kicked big time ass…I proudly even instigated a nice rough circle myself at that one!). Supports for the Bullet tour were New Legends and Beyond All Reason, both deliciously heavy ‘proper’ rock bands. The crowd was really receptive to both support acts, and the pit was in full swing during both sets. My favorite moment during Beyond All Reason was when one of the many crowd surfers landed on stage and managed to kick the microphone into the frontman’s teeth! He took it well, joking about nearly getting his teeth smashed out and playing on though it must have hurt like hell. So much so that he soon had to move to the back of the stage to vomit, but the show went on and he came right back to rock through the remainder of the excellent set.
No sooner had they left the stage than the hardcore including my group moved straight in to the front lines and the atmosphere was brilliant between the crowd, people getting complete strangers up onto their backs and shoulders, chanting for Bullet and singing their songs triumphantly…and all this before Matt and Co even threatened to walk onstage! As soon as Bullet’s intro music started, the crowd moved around and created circle space, all holding each other back until that very first beat of Hand Of Blood, when the room immediately transformed into one almighty pit. Bear in mind that the Cockpit is a pretty small venue, this was off the scale and I have never ever seen anything quite like it! Rough, but with everyone in such high spirits everyone was looking out for each other, boys and girls being hauled up from the floor every couple of seconds and hoisting each other up for the surf. It was incredible and Matt proudly commented on how fucked up it was! Bullet stormed through a set including a couple of brand new and consistently heavy tracks from the forthcoming album (due for release in September). Bullet are undoubtedly technically superb and are masters of their art. In full command of their instruments and of their fans they ruled the evening. Cries In Vain was played to a growling audience who pumped their fists and rock fingers in the desperately hot and sweaty air as they sang along with every single word. Just Another Star followed to the absolute joy of everyone present. As Matt announced that they had time for just one more song people turned to one another deliriously yelling ‘No Control!” And we were right. The circle reached it’s peak at this point as this track, favored by most for its genius riffs, seriously thumping beat and throaty roars obliterated the audience and every last drop of energy was thrown into this last tune. What an amazing night, Bullet just get better, and the happy exhaustion on the faces and bodies of all who emerged from the Cockpit was enough to signify an awesome, awesome night. I really can’t wait for the next time.