After a quiet period for gigs over Christmas and New Year, it’s good blow those cobwebs away and to to start the 2013 gig season off with something loud, epic and nonsense-free. And tonight, Wolverhampton gets not one, but two bands who rise to the occasionally perfectly.
Tonight’s main support, Lonely Kamel, are playing their first ever UK gig and the Norwegians do themselves proud with some chunky, stoner rock riffage and a sound which fills the small room and quickly wins over fans of the headliners. Vocalist, Tomas Brenna, has an easy-going, cheeky banter going with the crowd and, as their set develops, the reaction from the audience gets louder and more enthusiastic.
There’s nothing much new about Lonely Kamel’s sound, but what they do they do sublimely well and, as they close with the mighty Spacerider, their job here is done. I’m sure a good chunk of tonight’s crowd will be downloading their back catalogue as soon as they get home.
After a decade of music, Texas metallers, The Sword, have a dedicated fanbase, which includes the members of Metallica, and they’ve got themselves a fairly packed out venue tonight, all eager to witness them lay down the huge riffs and Sabbath-esque vocals which have become their trademark.
Tonight’s set runs for almost 80 minutes and has all the hallmarks of a classic Sword gig, with John D. Cronise’s voice sounding back on top form and the playing from each member sounding as tight and mighty as ever.
Kicking things off as they mean to go on with Apocryphon and Freya, the foursome let the riffs do the talking, with minimal conversation between songs. But The Sword have never been about showmanship. They play solid, dirty rock n roll which is as heavy as any band out there and they do it better than most.
Admittedly, I find my mind wandering after a while, as the music does lack a certain amount of variation, and some of the slower tracks do seem to be dragged out somewhat, but these are minor complaints.
They end on a rousing version of the epic Winters Wolves and bid us farewell. As a start to the year, this gig befit the occasion very well indeed.
Apocryphon, Freya, Hammer Of Heaven, Tres Brujas, How Heavy This Axe, Cloak Of Feathers, The Hidden Masters, Dying Earth, Maiden, Mother & Crone, To Take The Black, Seven Sisters, Arrows In The Dark, The Horned Goddess, Veil Of Isis, Winters Wolves.
Review & photos – Steve Gerrard