Europe does it right. In Europe bands like Shining (not to be confused with the really rubbish Swedish band of the same name) play massive stages at festivals and are able to do some really unique things and expose it to a large, and receptive, audience.

In Scotland, they’re playing a tiny venue that isn’t even full because they don’t have the right hair cuts and don’t write songs about pizza.But that’s cool as well. You gain more internet points for going to incredible shows that everyone isn’t at.

Sectioned are something of an acquired taste I guess. If you like the taste of your own blood in your mouth because your body is been forced to spontaneously bleed by how heavy and unrelentingly aggressive their music is then they’re probably  to your tastes.

Presumably then Sectioned will reach their commercial peak once they’re exposed to those of a gothic persuasion who like indulge vampiric tendencies. That being the case, the band should probably in invested in some branded baggy trousers with dangly bits on them.

It isn’t essential to look cool on stage if you’re in a band. But it certainly helps. Unfortunately a LOT of people in bands…not so blessed with a natural talent for looking cool.

Some of them are even less well designed for that than photographers.

Transcension // photograph by Calum McMillan
Transcension // photograph by Calum McMillan

Luckily enough, there are bands like Transcension, who have studied their book of rock star poses and are able to bring you a master class in rock poses 1-24. Though there are at least 54, 24 is more than enough to be getting on with.

The band took the time to practice the aforementioned poses last night in Ivory Blacks for the second round of The Bloodstock Metal to the Masses competition. Though there’s no harm in entering a competition with such a potentially huge payoff, I’m still pretty sceptical of Battle of the Bands competitions. I’ve a suspicion they’re ultimately pretty corrupt and not judged on “musical merit” but instead a weird combination of social media likes, ticket sales and who knows who. I hope they aren’t. Regardless there’s no harm in playing a show, especially when it offers the opportunities to make some new contacts and a few new fans. Nothing ventured and all that.

I still maintain these battle of the bands things would better if bands just had to fight. Gladiator style. Let them keep their instruments as weapons though. I’m not a monster.

Transcension // photograph by Calum McMillan
Transcension // photograph by Calum McMillan

Transcension continue to prove themselves to be a top class live act. They’re incredible tight and their stage shows are becoming remarkably aggressive and further enhanced by their ability to throw shapes. The songs are still pretty lengthy, but there’s enough ferocity in their performances to stop the tracks outstaying their welcome.

It’d be nice to see some of the band’s material start to bleed its way into the set, the first songs written collaboratively with this incarnation are a huge step forward, but there’s denying the passion and accuracy with which they bring to life the tracks from their “Metallurgy” debut which you can get in a the form of a super old school CD as well as all those up to date digital things like iTunes and Spotify. For youngsters among you, the CD is a thing you can own and listen to music on without advertisements. It’s pretty cool but it lacks the street cred of vinyl.

To sum up, a stellar performance will cover for all sins. And the key to a stellar performance? Rock poses 1-24. See below for key examples.

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