4   +   5   =  

It’s (very) easy, (increasingly) popular and (shamefully) predictable to poke fun at the Black Veil Brides. They lack originality, experience, class and guile but there’s something very special about Hollywood’s glam metal boy band.

For starters frontman Andy Biersack appears to be on a mission to rile and be reviled and baring his backside to Download’s main stage throng was either the action of an utter buffoon or a stroke of publicity stunt genius. 

Love him or hate him – and the haters were out in force on Castle Donington’s hallowed turf – this most polarising of individuals demands attention and delivers headlines.

Dodging bottles and fending off persistent volleys of verbal abuse, every Kerrang!-reading teenage girl’s pin-up of choice kept picking himself up and powering on. Refusing to hide behind his streaky black paint and feathery accessories, Biersack defied his critics with a mixture of feisty ripostes and supremely confident deliveries.

Both inspiring high-pitched screams of delight and vociferous growls of indignation, the focal point of the brazen Brides clearly failed to impress Saxon’s middle-aged denim and leather brigade as much as he incensed Trivium’s would-be shredders. Sandwiched in between two true metal titans, BVB could have wilted and waned: in reality they took the fight to the disbelieving masses and their own die-hard devotees.

Rock n roll has never been a genre comfortable with convention and Biersack is the epitome of dangerous defiance. A voice for a new generation his bravado will, one day, cede to common sense. Until that happens Black Veil Brides offer a compelling spectacle on any stage.

Simon Rushworth