Review and photos by Rich Ward
With local rising stars Sister Shotgun having secured the opening slot for Kobra & The Lotus’ Birmingham date on their UK tour, there was the promise of a great evening of Rock and Metal at the O2 Academy to round off the weekend.
This is the third time I have seen the band and I’m impressed with how they have progressed, playing with such conviction and confidence. The space on the Academy 3 stage is restrictive. It’s small enough with one bands equipment, and with Adam Yeardley’s drums set up in the back corner of the stage, it doesn’t leave a great deal of room for manoeuvre. However, they do make use of what little stage space they have. Chloe and bassist Michael Wood are constantly on the move, working the crowd and leaning right into the action with foot on the monitor poses, flanked by Martyn and Niall’s guitars.
Their setlist is well balanced, starting with a couple of heavy hitter in ‘No Hope’ and ‘Redemption’. The slower and slowly brooding ‘For The Love Of Hate’ sits well towards the end of the set. They put in a lot of effort and passion into the show which clearly pay off. They leave the stage to considerable applause, and deservedly so. The chap next to me tells his mate “that was great, I could go home now and be happy”, which kind of sums it up well; If Sister Shotgun continue putting on shows of this quality they’ll continue winning over new fans, and long may their upward journey continue.
After a short break, the stage is set for Kobra & The Lotus, the lights go down, the backing tape rolls and the band take to the stage with Kobra Paige dressed in a cloak. They immediately launch into ‘High Priestess’ which is pure in your face metal. The double bass drums kick at a relentless pace and with Brad Kennedy’s basslines provide the thunder for twin guitars of Jasio Kulakowski & Jake Dreyer. Essentially, the tour is to promote their new album, also titled High Priestess. It’s a work of which they are evidently proud, playing no less than 9 of the album’s 10 tracks during the evening.
There are the older tracks spread out with ‘Nayana’ given an early airing and ‘Welcome To My Funeral’, being a highlight. The pace rarely dips below breakneck speed until ‘Lost In The Shadows’, which is dedicated to Sister Shotgun who have stuck around and are down the front to enjoy the show with the rest of us. ‘I Am I Am’ is another highlight with a great riff and showing off Kobra’s full vocal range. Having pummelled our senses, the main set ends with ‘Heartbeat’, but it doesn’t take much encouragement for the band to back out and hit is with the tour de force that is ’50 Shades Of Evil’; a song that they will probably be ending their set with for years to come.
And then it was all over, and far too soon. At barely an hour long set, it feels more like a support set rather than a headline show, which makes a somewhat disappointing end to an otherwise superb night. Still at 10.00pm it at least gives everyone an early night.
1. High Priestess
3. Battle Of Wrath
4. Hold On
7. Welcome To My Funeral
8. Forever One
10. Lost In The Shadows
11. I Am I Am
13. 50 Shades Of Evil