A Brief History Of The Kerrang! Tour

With the Kerrang! Tour just around the corner, we take a look back at some highlights from past years...

Bullet For My Valentine headlined the inaugural Kerrang! Tour in 2006 and were joined by Ohio emo merchants Hawthorne Heights, Michigan metalcore quintet Still Remains and Seattle goth punks Aiden. The tour kicked off in Cardiff on January 15 and ended two weeks later at Brixton Academy. Blood Youth frontman Kaya Tarsus recently told Kerrang! that the Leeds University date was his first big gig.
“The entire show was rammed and I don’t think I had ever seen a proper moshpit in person before, but I was in the thick of it, going mental,” he recalls. “I have this memory of being in the circle pit and not knowing how to get out of it.”
Luckily for his future Blood Youth bandmates, he did manage to emerge from the whirling arm vortex. Most likely when the show ended, we’re guessing.
Two dates in to the second Kerrang! Tour, The Bronx frontman Matt Caughthran popped his knee diving into the Dublin crowd and valiantly completed the remaining dates on crutches. That didn’t stop him from going into the pit every night to deliver his punk rock gospel. Headliners Biffy Clyro - who were six months away from releasing their breakthrough album Puzzle - blew minds each and every night. Fun fact: in a bid to stop would-be thieves from taking a CD-R copy of Puzzle from their tour bus, the band simply wrote the name of another band on the disc. And do you know what? It worked. We won’t say who, though. That would be cruel. In other news, tour openers I Am Ghost reunited last year.
The third Kerrang! Tour brought a touch of prog as we handed the headline slot to New York quartet Coheed And Cambria, who’d just released their word count-sapping album Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow. Or GAIBSIVVT:NWFT for 'short'. They were joined by the irrepressible Chicago alt-rockers Madina Lake, Brit rock quartet Fightstar and Philadelphia five-piece Circa Survive. The 13-date tour launched on January 23 at Belfast’s Mandela Hall and climaxed at London’s Brixton Academy on February 8.
Five bands. One eclectic bill. The fourth Kerrang! Tour was topped by New York electro-punks Mindless Self Indulgence. Joining the headliners were Osaka's Dir En Grey, fledgling Sheffield metalcore quintet Bring Me The Horizon, Florida metallers Black Tide and Portadown alt-rock trio In Case Of Fire on 12 dates across the UK. On January 30, the Gods deemed that our fourth tour was going a little too well for their liking. A power failure in the Brixton area meant that the final show couldn't go ahead – save for an a cappella version of Mindless Self Indulgence’s Shut Me Up, performed by all of the bands. Credit to then-Kerrang! Editor Paul Brannigan, who bravely broke the news to the capacity crowd, promptly being on the receiving end of a shoe thrown his way as a gesture of thanks.
While the previous tour was a matter of all things heavy – and chaotic, if you consider Mindless Self Indulgence’s nightly sets – the fifth Kerrang! outing was led by Maryland pop-punks All Time Low, touring in support of their third studio album Nothing Personal. The four-band bill also featured those Merthyr city devils The Blackout, London alt-rock quintet Young Guns and Hitchin electro-rockers My Passion, while High Wycombe was represented by Jettblack appeared at the two dates in London’s Roundhouse. Kerrang! there, giving you more bang for your buck, if we dealt with such currency in the British Isles.
The sixth annual event brought a hefty dose of pop-punk to the table, which featured headliners Good Charlotte, Four Year Strong, Framing Hanley and The Wonder Years. The tour took in 11 dates, beginning at Dublin Ambassador on February 4 and steamrollering its way across the UK before slamming into the capital for a climactic set at the Roundhouse in London on February 18. A medal must go to The Wonder Years’ frontman Dan ‘Soupy’ Campbell, who took our daily questions about his favourite soup with the patience and grace of a bearded saint. He did however reveal that he’d met the Good Charlotte brothers when he was 14 after a show supporting MxPx. “I was so excited to meet them and they just hung out,” he remembers. “To this day, I remember that was one of the coolest things any band has ever done for me.” See? It wasn’t all soup-based nonsense.
If you were a fly on the wall in the Kerrang! offices in the days leading up to our seventh tour, you’d have seen much wailing and gnashing of teeth. It transpired Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley had suffered a back injury and his band had to pull out of the tour at the eleventh hour. Luckily for us – and you, more importantly – K! Tour veterans The Blackout stepped in like bloody heroes, joining New Found Glory, letlive. and While She Sleeps. “We know what a total laugh the tour is and we’re delighted to step in,” said co-vocalist Sean Smith. “But hopefully Sum 41 fans won’t try to murder us!” Guess what? They didn’t. Not one attempt.
This tour – we’re on number eight now, if you’re counting – featured headliners Black Veil Brides, Chiodos, Tonight Alive, Fearless Vampire Killers and William Control, who joined the 11-day trek as a DJ.  This was a memorable year, particularly if your name is Thomas Erak. The Chiodos guitarist had his eye glued(!) back together after his instrument tried to invade his skull during their Manchester performance. “It bled everywhere,” he told us and in response we proceeded to dry heave into the nearest bin. Other tour revelations included Tonight Alive’s run-in with the police for having excess weight in their van, which left them £350 lighter. Oh, and Black Veil Brides’ frontman Andy Biersack was too tall to walk upright in their plush tour bus. He’s 6’2 and wasn’t that bothered, if memory serves.
Limp Bizkit headlined this tour, which featured Japanese metalcore quintet Crossfaith, 
Californian melodic death metallers Nekrogoblikon – joined by an, er, actual goblin called John Goblikon – and Nottingham hardcore four-piece Baby Godzilla (who were later forced to change their name to Heck, following a lawsuit from an angry sea monster or something). While this tour presented many highlights, there’s only one worth mentioning here: K! Contributing Editor Jennyfer J. Walker stunned her workmates as she bounded onto the Brixton Academy stage and belted out Ready To Go alongside Fred Durst. Shocked? We almost bought a round of drinks!
Those who bought tickets to the tenth Kerrang! Tour got an added bonus in the shape of Young Guns, who were added to the bill as a ‘secret’ act. They joined headliners Don Broco, We Are The In Crowd, Bury Tomorrow and Beartooth on the 12-date tour which kicked off in Norwich and left a trail of, well, tidy dressing rooms across the UK and Ireland. Notable moments of time-killing included Don Broco tour manager Adam Bantz (his real surname) getting a tattoo of Rob Damiani’s face on his leg during a day off in Glasgow, while Bury Tomorrow and Young Guns went head-to-head in a haircut competition. Bury Tomorrow vocalist Dani Winter-Bates stunned onlookers with a surprising tonsorial flair.
Last year’s line-up saw the triumphant return of Sum 41, with frontman Deryck Whibley cutting a healthy figure on stage after almost succumbing to liver and kidney failure two years prior. The supporting bill brought an extra bite of the pop-punk cherry in the shape of Eastbourne’s ROAM, seething punk from Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes and some unabashed retro riffing from Atlanta quartet Biters. The best thing about the tour? “Seeing that the kids are still kids and we’re not just playing to crusty old people like us,” remembers Sum 41 guitarist Dave Baksh. “It’s really cool to see.” Dave Baksh is 37 years old...

The Kerrang! Tour has played host to some legendary shows over the years. And if you're as excited as we are about it all, you'll be counting down the days until the 2017 tour kicks off. To get you in the mood, here, K! writer Simon Young has compiled some standout moments from tours gone by. It includes tour tatts, gouged eyeballs, guest rap spots and all sorts of shenanigans.

What will this year's lot have in store? You'll have to pop along to one of the below dates to find out, won't you?


5: Birmingham, Institute
6: Leeds, University Stylus
7: Glasgow, ABC
8: Manchester, Ritz
9: Newcastle, University
11: Dublin, Academy
12: Cardiff, University Y Plas
13: London, Kentish Town Forum

Ticket are still available from gigsandtours.com and ticketmaster.co.uk/ticketmaster.ie. They're priced at £17.50 (or €19.10 for the Dublin show).

Look at that sweet tour poster.

And if for some reason you still need convincing, here's a taster of the bands playing this year. It's gonna be a big one.





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