Review by Jo Lloyd, photos by Mark Lloyd
On a foggy November evening, Delain kicked off the first night of the first night of the first UK Headline tour in years in a dramatic way…
Having sold out weeks in advance, the show gave up and coming Londoners The Raven Age the perfect opportunity to grab a brand new fan base. Taking most of the crowd unawares with their heavy riffs and vocalist Michael Burroughs’ soaring vocals, they gorged on the crowds reaction. Straight forward metal, with a melodic edge these boys are no strangers to hard work and since forming back in 2009 have recently managed to play the Satellite Stage at Sonisphere. A short set with the melodic intro that gave way to in incredible crescendo on ‘Salem’s Fate’ being a particular favourite.
Next up, Sweden’s Wolf took to the stage and their adoration for British heavy metal is abundantly clear. Belting straight in with ‘Shark Attack’ the crowd are treated to an onslaught of classic metal tinged anthems which unfortunately only received a lukewarm reception. Undeterred, singer Niklas Stålvind prowled the stage with confidence as he belted out ‘Skeleton Woman’ resulting in a slightly warmer reception. They definitely know how to put on a great metal show though and are well worth checking out next time they’re in town if good old British metal is your cup of tea.
There is most definitely an air of anticipation as the final stage preparations were completed for Delain. As the intro music kicked in and the band began taking their places, the crowd went wild and literally welcomed Charlotte to the front with open arms! Opening with clear crowd favourite ‘Go Away’, the fans were singing every word back to the band. With nearly as much fog on stage as there was outside, it was difficult at some times to make out what was happening at the back of the stage, however the energy from the crowd was palpable. Classic tracks merged perfectly with some of the newer material from new album The Human Contradiction with ’Stardust´ being a particular favourite of mine as Charlotte belted out every note perfectly. The clarity from her vocals coupled with the incredible guitar work from Merel and Timo and backed up by the thundering drumming of Reuben made for a top notch live performance.
Special mention goes out to bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck who unfortunately during an incredible performance of ‘The Gathering’ was standing a little too close to one of the streamer canons resulting in him almost rupturing his left testicle and needing 500ml of blood removing! Poor bloke, but the show carried on regardless and he surprisingly powered his way through the second half of the set assumingly on adrenaline alone!
Finishing their set with the aptly named ‘Not Enough’ the crowd begged for more and were treated to an encore of ‘Mother Machine’ and ‘We Are The Others’ which pays tribute to Sophie Lancaster. The setlist was rounded off perfectly and, despite all the odds, Delain put on the best show of theirs I’ve seen to date.