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Stockholm residents Dead Lord are returning to the UK to show you how they rock with no regrets as they play Desertfest 2017.

The band have been stirring up interest since their formation four years ago, and have found themselves opening up for some sizeable names including Danko Jones, Kvelertak, The Vintage Caravan and Noctum across Europe. They’ve had two album releases, the first, Goodbye Repentance, released in 2013 followed by 2015’s Heads Held High which charted in Germany as well as being on the bill at some mighty festivals including Krach am Bach and Stoned From The Underground. Since then they’ve gained notoriety for their high energy performances of classic hard rock bangers.

If you’ve not had chance to catch them yet, don’t let history repeat itself.

Words: Jess Shaw

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West Chester, Pennsylvania - put on the map by being home to the CKY crew and many of the Jackass merry pranksters - have new heroes in good old rock n’ roll badasses Backwoods Payback.

Formed in 2003 by guitarist and singer Mike Cummings as a way to channel his combined loves of Black Flag-style hardcore, Black Sabbath-inspired doom, and Neil Young’s grungier moments, Backwoods Payback play unadulterated melodic rock n’ roll - the kind that challenges you to NOT bang your head to the power of the riff. Fans of Kyuss, Elder and Down will find it impossible to resist.

A four-piece for most of their 13 year journey, the band are currently a power trio
, displaying the exquisite simplicity and raw power of a guitar, bass and Eirk Larson of Alabama Thunderpussy's drums (as well as those mighty vocals) on fourth album Fire Not Reason, released in 2016 on Small Stone Recordings.

We’re delighted their European tour will bring their rock n’ roll riffnado through Desertfest 2017.

Words: Tom McKibbin

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Your inevitable Desertfest hangover is going to get worse before it gets better because Liverpool-by-way-of-Lousiana dirge chiefs Iron Witch are coming to bring the misery at Desertfest 2017.

Formed in 2010, the nucleus of Iron Witch’s sound has always been an intoxicating triumvirate of Black Sabbath, Black Flag, and Eyehategod. What’s not to like about that? A series of demos, EPs and a split with The Atrocity Exhibit were compiled and presented as the excellently titled First Four Beers (Witch Hunter Records) in 2015 in anticipation for this year’s debut full length A Harrowed Dawn (Secret Law Record). Displaying a more mature and varied sound, the album has been widely praised, being described as the hangover after the party, a sentiment that we’d agree with whole-heartedly.

Having gone from strength to strength and with a reputation as one of the best live bands in the Underground right now, we’re delighted to be bringing them back to Desertfest for the first time since 2012.

Words: Tom McKibbin

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Let’s be honest here, when THAT name first came up, who rolled their eyes? I know I did. But then came the riffs. Then came that DOOM. And THEN came that voice. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, whose name roughly translates as “Gandalf’s Giant Illegitimate Marijuana”, have been knocking the walls of many a UK pub and club into rubble since 2014. Their hybrid concoction of Paul Michael Davies and Wez Leon’s goliath, plodding, yet mysteriously hypnotic riffage coupled with Jessica Ball’s eerie, intergalactic siren has transcended the underground metal scene and beyond across two well received slabs of wax.

The first album ‘Noeth Ac Anoeth’, which roughly translates as “Brain-Caving Space Trauma”, trawled gutters that Ufomammut and Toner Low have yet to discover, whilst James “Carrat” Carrington‘s drums hit your skull harder than a George Foreman grill straight to the cranium. But it was Wall’s wail, an interstellar echo rebounding around the solar system, which stood the Welsh foursome out from the crowd. Like balsamic on olive oil, her tone sits astride the chaos; innocent and vulnerable yet dark and deadly all at once.

The second ‘Y Proffwyd Dwyll’, which roughly translates as “Dumpertruck-Heavy Cosmic Carnage” is literally littered with enough chunky, claw-summoning riffs to knock the planet off its axis. Literally. Building more mature, yet increasingly menacing structures, coupled with those floaty, swirling atmospherics and Ball’s delicately phantom-like songcraft, MWWB’s sound has refined itself into a match made in Desertfest heaven. A heaven, which is in itself basically a desert filled with doom bands, beer, black t-shirts and more beer.

Like heavy riffs? Like pure doom? Like grunge? Like an industrial metal crunch and a psychedelic sprinkling with your morning Flat White on the tube? I thought so. So quit rolling those eyes at their name and get down to head-bang yourself into sweet oblivion with Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard.

Words: Pete Green

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Back in 2013, Canadian stoner rockers Chron Goblin found their way on the Desertfest bill via competition. They impressed us so much that this time, they're here on our personal invitation to play Desertfest's official after party.

Drizzled in fuzz, Chron Goblin's signature stomp has elements of punk running through which bring an unfiltered energy to the band. Already a force to be reckoned with by the time of their first appearance at Desertfest, that was prior to 2015s Backwater; clearly the band's finest album to date, the diversity and breadth of style and tone on offer in their third release sees the band going from blistering riffs to subdued psych at the drop of a hat.

We at Desertfest Towers think Chron Goblin are an ideal band to see out the end of the festival with. So grab the beers, rustle together your last burst of energy and crash the after-party with Chron Goblin at Desertfest 2017.

Words: Tom Geddes



After conquering Koko, Sleep are back; this time to reign at the Roundhouse. That’s right, not only did we bag seminal doom legends Sleep to headline the sixth Desertfest, we’ll also be descending on the iconic Roundhouse for the whole of the Sunday.

Forming in 1990 on the bones of previous band Asbestosdeth, Sleep carved out an almost mythological name for themselves in their original stint of less than a decade. The first three-piece lineup of Al Cisneros, Matt Pike and Chris Hakius recorded two of doom’s most revered albums in Holy Mountain and Dopesmoker (or Jerusalem for the purists), with the latter not even seeing release until the years in which Sleep slept.

As Cisneros and Pike found other outlets for their heaviness through Om and High on Fire, a resurging stoner and doom scene declared Sleep as a monolithic pillar of the scene, due mostly to their downtuned, distorted riffs but also their uncompromising love for a certain plant. The time was perfect for a Sleep reunion. In 2009, after over a decade in slumber, Sleep awoke for Cisneros, Pike and Hakius to play two final sets together. Whilst Hakius decided to retire from music after the shows, the rest of the band decided Sleep weren’t quite ready to be put to bed. Recruiting Jason Roeder of Neurosis, Sleep continued to sporadically play shows, before teasing us with The Clarity; a fantastic single ten-minute track which proved that Sleep still had it and we wanted more of it.

We Desertfesters got some of it in 2015, when Sleep closed out Desertfest with an unforgettable set at the Koko. The moment the curtain raised with the first few strains of Dopesmoker hitting is a moment etched into the memory of an entire building full of Weedians. A blisteringly loud green cloud of sound, a pure mad wall of riffs and a room full of grinning, sweaty, hairy doom pilgrims. It’s one of the unquestionable highlights of our first five years of Desertfest; so we’ve invited them back.

But if it’s worth doing again, it’s worth doing bigger and better. That’s why this year, Sleep will be headlining the much larger Roundhouse. The famous London venue, just a short walk from Desertfest’s other stages, boasts an increased capacity, meaning nobody should miss their chance to space out to ‘Dragonaut’.

So drop out of life and ride the dragon to Desertfest 2017 when Sleep blow the roof off the Roundhouse.

Words: Tom Geddes



This year Swedish doom metal figureheads Candlemass celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of their classic debut with the release of a new EP, Death Thy Lover. Three decades ago, doom was forever changed by Candlemass’s most iconic offering, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, which has been a lauded influence on all doom metal ever since.

Death Thy Lover is a four-song EP and the band’s first release with their new permanent vocalist Mats Levén, who will be known to fans of Leif Edling’s Krux project. Previous singer Robert Lowe was an integral part of the band’s recent output, but Mats Levén's equal understanding of what makes a great Candlemass song, along with his own unique abilities, brings them into a triumphant new chapter.

Mats complements the band’s traditionally theatrical, operatic style perfectly and guitarist Lars Johansson has commented that he’s the best live singer the band have had for a long time, so Desertfest is extremely proud to honour another classic doom band embarking on a new stage of their career. True doom fans and all metal-heads in attendance are in for something very special next year!

Epicus Wordicus: Rich Sheppard


Sheffield's Black Spiders have got balls. And they'll have them on full display as they play their final London date at Desertfest 2017.

Formed in 2008 by Pete Spilby (The Spider), Andrew Lister (The Owl), Mark Thomas (The Dark Shark), Si Atkinson (The Tiger) and Adam Irwin (The Fox). Encompassing cheeky humour and occasionally provocative lyrics into their classic rock style, these Steel City rockers are sure to bring the party at Desertfest London. Hook-laden belters such as KISS Tried to Kill Me and Just Like a Woman saw them land support slots with the likes of Airbourne, The Wildhearts and Monster Magnet. They received various acclaim including being named "Best Underground Metal Band" in 2010 in the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. The band's second album, This Savage Land, entered the UK Album Chart and hit #59.

The North is heading South, “taking over this country one finger at a time”; Get your chance to shout "F*ck you Black Spiders," one last time as they pass through Desertfest on their last ride.

Words: Jess Shaw

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Indelible noise primitives Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs will be unleashing their raw power to transfix minds and disolve psyches at Desertfest 2017.

Formed in 2012 and comprised of members of Ommadon, Blown Out, and Khünnt (among others), Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs combine motorik rhythms, psychedelic swagger, and doom overtones to entrance audiences before pummelling them with layers of noise, hypnotic riffs, and Matt Baty's discomforting holler. Two sold out releases (a 2013 split with The Cosmic Dead, and Psychopomp, a self-released cassette) and a series of mindblowing festival appearances are testament to the band's chaotic appeal and we're looking forward to hearing them slay at Desertfest 2017 with cuts from their forthcoming album Feed the Rats.

Squeals: Tom McKibbin

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Get ready to spit out your Muezli; stoner rock pioneers Slo Burn are the second headliners for Desertfest 2017 with a UK exclusive show.

Rising from the ashes of Kyuss, Slo Burn are about as close as you can get to the epicentre of stoner rock's progenesis. Fronted by John Garcia, (the stoner rock scene's ultimate Prizefighter) alongside Chris Hale (guitar), Damon Garrison (bass) and Brady Houghton (drums), Slo Burn continued the groundwork Kyuss laid down. Their four track EP,
Amusing the Amazing, stands out as a classic; brimming with a rough and ready tone, riffs catchier than cactuses and Garcia's signature gravel infused vocals, it's a condensed 15 minutes and 48 seconds of pure joy.

Then, after only a year, Slo Burn disbanded, leaving us with only their EP, a few badass demos, and a video of their set at 1997s Dynamo Festival. We shouldn't have grumbled, given the quality and impact of those releases, but we wanted more. We wanted to see them in the flesh.

Well you're in luck. After a Round Trip via Unida, Hermano, Vista Chino, Brave Black Sea and more, Slo Burn are back, ready to play those legendary tracks and more in the setting they deserve to be seen. Desertfest. Main Stage. Headlining. So get ready and willing to shake those Snake Hips when Slo Burn pilot Desertfest 2017.

Prizewriter: Tom Geddes


What a difference a couple of years a couple years can make.

Back in 2013, everyone’s favorite rock bastards from Chiliomodi, 1000mods hit the Desertfest for the first time, playing the pre-show at The Black Heart with our buds in Enos. They hadn’t yet released their second album, Vultures, which would propel them to wider acclaim across Europe and beyond.

In 2017, 1000mods come back to the Desertfest as conquering heroes of heavy riffs. They’ll be supporting their fantastic third full-length, Repeated Exposure To…, which came out in September and reminds us of everything we’ve ever loved about desert rock. No, really. It’s like that. If you’ve heard the record, you already know. “Loose?” “Groundhog Day?” Hell, “A.W.?” There isn’t a miss in the bunch.Desertfest London 2017 welcomes 1000mods as the foremost representatives of Greece’s fertile underground scene, having organically grown a passionate and loyal fanbase through hard touring and generally kicking ass. As their ascent continues, we can’t wait to hear what they have in store for us this time around.

Words: JJ Koczan



Theirs is the sound of the late 60s to early 70s heyday of rock n’ roll. Theirs is the live experience of a solid, bluesy power trio hard at work. They’re roaring back to Camden, and they’re still unmistakably Stubb.

As the London-based brainchild of Cornish guitarist, vocalist and songwriter extraordinaire Jack Dickinson, Stubb was born of a love for a warm, vintage guitar sound long lost but never truly forgotten. Kicking out their first jams in ’06 and ‘07, rough and early versions of the likes of ‘Flame’ and ‘Galloping Horses’ showed great promise, but the debut Stubb line-up just wasn’t to be.

Reactivating the band around 2010 with two thirds of fellow London hot-rockers Trippy Wicked on board to provide a solid rhythm section, Dickinson and Stubb began to truly flourish; finally releasing their captivating self-titled record to well-deserved acclaim from the heavy underground. But yet again, the band dwindled and went into slumber after the release of the all-too-brief ‘Under a Spell’ 7-inch.

But it truly was third time lucky with Jack Dickinson now joined in the Stubb Mk. III line-up by drummer Tom Fyfe and bass-player Tom Hobson, armed with the blissful, psychedelic panoramas of the ‘Cry of the Ocean’ LP. If you like to boogie and you like to groove, don’t miss out on seeing Stubb light up both your face and the stage once again at Desertfest 2017.

Words: Pete Green




Wucan are simply a prog-head and retro rocker’s dream. Powerfully soulful vocals, flute that can be delicate and funky in equal measure and Hammond organ/guitar battles that reek of well-used bong water permeate the air surrounding this Dresden four piece.

Garnishing this tasty stew is the multi-instrumental talents of front-woman Fran Diabola, confidently leading songs which can deviate between hard rock, folk, space rock, eastern mysticism and anywhere else she cares to take them. Guitar and rhythm section follow faithfully to weave a tapestry of delights that honours the progressive rock heroes of yore while still possessing undeniable character of its own.

Wucan keep good company. Frequently sharing stages with the likes of Blues Pills and Kadavar, they are one of the essential new bands keeping the flame burning for classic rock, sounding like Jethro Tull jamming with King Crimson and Captain Beyond. Don’t miss them at Desertfest 2017!

Words: Rich Sheppard