An all day doom, drone and noise festival will be pounding Tyneside’s bedrock into rubble this month, boasting the kind of line up rarely seen in the North East.

Richard Holmes found out more…



If you believe the Mayans, 2012 may well be the year our time runs out.

So it’s perhaps fitting that the doom scene is seeing something of a resurgence. Saint Vitus have a new record out, Sleep are playing shows again, Sabbath are headlining Download and there’s been a slew of great albums from the likes of Pilgrim and Pallbearer.

Hell, even Pentagram have announced their first ever UK tour (it’s only taken them 40 years!).

But the UK’s underground scene is in rude health too, and some of its leading lights will be on stage on May 27 when mini-fest Doomsday hits the Trillians venue in Newcastle.

Topping the diverse bill will be Tyneside-based astral doom/drone lords Bong. The band released their latest opus, Mana-Yood-Sushai  this month, following the success of 2011’s critically-acclaimed masterpiece Beyond Ancient Space, and their psychedelic live performances have twice graced The Netherlands’ mighty Roadburn Festival.

Supporting Bong on Doomsday will be Liverpool’s Conan. The band unleashed their monstrously heavy second opus, Monnos, on Burning World Records this year, and also graced Roadburn’s stage in April. A crushing live act, expect bowel loosening aural Armageddon from the scouse trio.

Other highlights include North East stoner/doom groove unit Druganaut, who recently supported Orange Goblin on Tyneside and Newcastle’s Waheela, who’ve been making waves in the city’s scene with their intense improvised noise metal performances.

Also on the bill are Newcastle experimentalists Transylvanian Sex Pest, North East minimalist doomsters Khunnt, Liverpool ‘pastoral doom’ outfit Black Magician and Midlands sludgecore five piece Parole.

Organiser Craig Relf, of Unknown Promotions, who also fronts Druganaut, said: “It’s going to be a head-exploding show! You find with this scene that the fans are open minded, they’re into a broad spectrum of music, and although they’re all of a similar ilk, every band playing Doomsday is different in their own way.

“Doom and stoner had increased in popularity over the last six to eight months, it seems to be pretty cool now, and people seem to be into that massive, downtuned sound. It’s actually pretty easy music to get into. If you give it a chance you’ll be banging your head and wondering why you haven’t been listening to it for years!”

Waheela vocalist Adam Potts added: “For a relatively small place, something very exciting is happening in Newcastle. I’m not sure what’s in the water but there is a surge of bands and solo artists emerging with a relentless urge to explore sound and deliver intense music. Doomsday is showcasing some of the best bands in the area doing this!

“It’s just exciting to be part of an event with such a mix of extreme sounds, from noise collectives like Transylvanian Sex Pest, stoner groove like Druganaut and then doom sounds with Conan and Bong, as well as so many other exciting acts, it’s going to be an intense day of music.”

Doomsday, sponsored by Downcast Studios, is at Trillians, Princess Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8ER. Doors are at 1pm and advanced tickets are priced £7, available from the venue. For more info search for DOOMSDAY + CONAN AND BONG on Facebook.

Image: Waheela live, courtesy of