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Monday 6th May 2013
Warehouse23 in Wakefield, UK
Reviews & Photography by Nicholas Dishington
Hostile, tonight’s opening act, are exactly as you’d expect a band called Hostile to sound. This is no disrespect to the Brummie lads, more of a compliment - they emanate fury from the moment they set foot on stage. This isn’t what I expected from a Lordi support act; they're fast, incredibly aggressive and deadly serious. Despite the snail’s pace rate of people arriving, those that are here get into the spirit almost immediately. It doesn’t get to mosh pit level but fist pumping and headbanging moments are definitely not amiss. 'Addiction', a slower, Hard Rock-meets-Metal track, penned for the band by ex-Judas Priest guitarist K.K Downing (who also produced their debut album), fits in nicely about halfway through the set, bringing a more contemplative mood to the show, but not for long. The following song, ‘I Don’t Give A Fuck’, is another thing that does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s got that modern Nu-Metal feel, like Bring Me The Horizon’s 'Anti-Vist' with the kind of spunky attitude you'd expect of Five Finger Death Punch. I imagine if/when Hostile play bigger venues this chorus would feel fantastic but, in this half-filled place, it's left a little flat. Throw in a Judas Priest cover (‘Breaking The Law’) and another torrent of aggression dedicated to the “Soldiers of Metal” and the band leave on a high. Hostile aren’t exactly breaking the mould but the way they’ve played and the songs they've got should really take them places.
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If we’re talking about not breaking the mould then Kaledon are without a doubt the biggest offenders tonight. An Italian Power Metal band with an over-arching concept about an epic Tolkien-esque world spanning many of their albums. Sound familiar? Opening with ‘Childhood’ they make a fantastic first impression - vigour in spades and a smile on their faces. It’s a complete contrast to the furious sound they’ve followed but not an unwelcome one. A few songs in and it all gets a little tiring; it almost feels like entire songs comprised only of verses. Songs such as ‘A Dark Prison’ and ‘Surprise Impact’ unfortunately just kind of flit by without making much of an impression. That said, the playing is as excellent as you’d hope from such technical music; they pull it off effortlessly and are clearly having fun as they do. It’s not until towards the end of their set that things get shaken up a bit with ‘The God Beyond The Man’. It’s not even particularly slow or less Power Metal-y but the song offers more distinction and variety than the (almost) wall of noise that preceded it. Another song later and the set’s closer comes in the form of ‘In Search of Kaledon’; not exactly different from the others but it does reach a great climax.
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Lordi at Warehouse23 in Wakefield, UK, 6th May 2013
Photograph copyright © 2013 Nicholas Dishington - www.metal-discovery.com
As a teen, when your mother starts a conversation about an obscure Finnish Metal band, the whole world feels a little topsy-turvy. After worrying I'd slipped into an alternative dimension where parents were unsettlingly cool I discovered that Lordi were entering Eurovision. Personally, Metal entering the mainstream consciousness is never a bad thing - even if it's seen as a novelty to many it's always nice to see a band get their 15 minutes. Fast forward 6 and something years and, sure, Warehouse23 is hardly as huge as Eurovision but it's got their kind of fans. I speak to one member of the crowd who says Lordi have changed his life; a big statement but I understand what he means because they were his gateway band. I don't want to dwell on looks so I'm going to avoid any costume talk... Entering the stage to a predictably creepy/epic style intro, the five monsters (dammit) dive straight into the heavy with 'We're Not Bad For The Kids (We're Worse)'. Its Grindcore style opening definitely gets the attention of the crowd, but thankfully it's brief. The tongue-in-cheek anthems don't stop there, songs such as 'Bringing Back the Balls to Rock' and 'Who's Your Daddy?' light up the room with their catchy sing-along choruses. The stage show is equally uplifting; Mr Lordi singing 'Blood Red Sandman' in a nightcap and throwing confetti into the crowd is perhaps one of the subtler moments of the night. 'This is Heavy Metal' has a much more confusing gimmick as their stage gimp, who makes random appearances throughout the night, shows up in a Cruella De Vil wig and Punch (of '...and Judy') face mask to join in. You'd maybe expect this to be distracting from the music but it only adds to the fun. I'd say the only distracting thing is when a member of the band sticks out their tongue - the non-monster appendage breaks the illusion ever so briefly (dammit again). Momentum fades a little during 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' but OX's bass slapping towards the end picks things up, even if it does go on for a while. The entire internet doesn't have enough capacity for me to list all of the gimmicks used in the latter half so I'll do three: a severed hand in a bucket, a skull billowing out smoke and a buzz saw. The most entertaining of the gimmicks comes during 'I'm The Best', a typically fun, in your face track being performed by Mr Lordi wearing a Miss World style sash, a tiara and holding flowers while being awarded awards and certificates... made all the more surreal by the fact he's already dressed as some kind of zombie devil (couldn't help myself). A couple of songs and an encore later and we're treated to the inevitable Eurovision-winning 'Hard Rock Hallelujah', not quite as epic as you'd expect but incredibly fun nonetheless. The party atmosphere continues with 'Sincerely With Love' from their latest album with the charming chorus "Fuck you asshole, fuck you asshole!" like it's built for a live audience to shout in unison. The band's send-off 'Would you Love a Monsterman?' is just as anthemic and unifies the room perfectly while Mr Lordi fires confetti out of the top of a doll. It's been a surreal night, full of surprises and a lot of fun. If you ever felt something was missing from Lordi's studio efforts then seeing them live fills that gap very well.
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