Imagine strolling into a European vineyard to hear the sound of Velvet Revolver getting into a fistfight with Megadeth and Mastodon swinging a gloved fist or two in?
Well that sounds like the summer plans for anyone with a ticket to Bulgarian music festival Rock In The Wine Valley where the hard rocking Hebridean quintet The Broken Ravens are having their passports stamped for a festival appearance on European soil.
The Ravens have landed a spot on the same bill as rock veterans W.A.S.P, Gotthard and Doro to play at the Bulgarian festival ‘Midalidare - Rock In The Wine Valley’ early next month, something drummer Kevin Clark is looking forward to.
“We put in for a few festivals and they got in touch and really liked the band and wanted to take us over,” spluttered Clark from his sick bed in between coughing fits and a raspy voice. “The band discussed it and that’s it we’re going to Bulgaria in just under two weeks.”
“We don’t know how long our set will be or anything but we are playing the Friday, that much I know,” continued Clark.
“We know very little about the festival but there is a new band stage but I’d imagine we are playing on that. It is in a vineyard it takes place. It should be really cool. We pay our own flights but they cover everything then once we get there and they are being very hospitable.
“You can only fly out there on a Wednesday or a Sunday so we have to go on the Wednesday so we will have a good few days out there which should be good.”
In addition to Rock In the Wine Valley, The Broken Ravens also had their eagle eye trained on another festival slot and one on the UK metal festival Bloodstock where they reached the final of a Battle of the Bands type showcase event, called Metal 2 The Masses, with the top prize being a slot on the Bloodstock Bill.
The boys hitched the Raven wagon to Hootenany’s in Inverness just last weekend for the final hurdle in a bid to play the prestigious festival where buoyed by a large, and vocal travelling flock of fans, they played well but didn’t win a place at Bloodstock.
“It was amazing and what an atmosphere there was between the bands on the night,” insisted Clark.
“We were all there to support one another. I felt we played well but it wasn’t our night. All the bands had 25minute sets so we managed to get six songs into that time. We were really well rehearsed and we finished with a brand new song. At the end none of us knew really what our chances were as we’d never done anything like this before so we didn’t know what to expect.”
He continued: “Electric Mother were named as the winners and won a place on the Jagermeister Stage. We know them really well having played Orkney with them in the past. They are such really nice guys and they are very similar to us in terms of what they play and what they do.
“We are delighted they got picked and the whole thing was a good experience. We had a lot of support and a lot of people from the island came to Inverness to support us on the night. We had CD’s, a mailing list, and even a guy with a Broken Ravens tattoo who came all the way from Germany with nine of his pals.
“We had a good crowd there so I think it was something we might do again in the future if we had the chance.”
Since bursting onto the island rock scene The Ravens have never been a band keen to sit still or afraid to soar into unchartered skies. The fearless five are always spinning a number of musical plates as they bid to spread the word, and songs, from the nest in Stornoway.
But what’s next for the band?
“After Bulgaria we are playing the Second Stage at Belladrum opening it on the Saturday,” beams Clark excitedly.
“That’ll be amazing and to be on that stage is great. We have a bunch of new songs and things in the pipeline. Three of those songs are finished and we just put our EP out on physical CD.
“It’s all go.”