one year ago Bobby Liebling realised a long held ambition of performing in
London….exactly 4 decades after the band’s inception. With malevolent timing an
Icelandic volcano had erupted, obfuscating the airspace around the UK and North
West Europe. The band had to travel overland from central Europe but eventually
made it in time to London.
nature must have a thing for Pentagram – there was no volcanic eruption this
time but a hurricane of unprecedented intensity swept the band’s homestate of
Virginia just a few days before Pentagram’s first UK tour was to kick off and
there was even talk of the band not being able to leave the States. Yet again
persistence prevailed and the Doom legends were back.
support was to come from Gentlemans Pistols and just before entering it
transpired that a second support was also slotted. Ah well, the more the
merrier. I had just enough time to drool over some Pentagram vinyl rarities over
the merchandise stall before the recorded music stopped…meaning the first band
was about to come on.
from Swansea (Wales) called Hark got the night going and straight away I was
impressed. The music was groovy with basslines heavier than an obese elephant.
Guitarist/vocalist Jimbob Isaac produced some unusual sounds from his guitar,
which might not be so surprising considering the ample floorspace occupied by
his effects pedals.
brand of music is an abrasive Sludge Doom – a sort of an amalgam of Pantera,
Orange Goblin and Electric Wizard. Individually the band members gave an intense
performance while retaining a collective tightness.
Sins On Sleeves
Black Hole Southwest
Clear Light Of Death
last seen Gentlemans Pistols when they opened Cathedral’s farewell gig exactly a
year ago. Then, like now, they gave their hearts out. At the very least no-one
can accuse them of inconsistency.
benefit of readers unfamiliar with the band, Gentlemans Pistols play a sort of
Stonier version of Led Zeppelin and Blackmore-era Deep Purple. So the music is
very Bluesy with every riff and solo squeezed for all its worth. Despite an
excellent performance, however, I found it hard to fully immerse myself into
their music - maybe because nostalgia trips make me uncomfortable. I’m not
really sure, to be perfectly honest.
addition to the band’s line-up was Bill Steer, erstwhile guitarist of Carcass.
Of course Bill also used to play with Napalm Death when Lee Dorian (incidentally
the owner of Rise Above Records, label of Gentleman’s Pistols) was fronting the
band. This was Steer’s second foray into Classic Rock, the first being Firebird,
which split up earlier this year. So he already knew what strings to pull with
this music genre.
Without a doubt the gig was another feather in the
cap of Gentlemans Pistols.
Living In Sin Again
Some Girls Don't Know What's Good For Them
Personal Fantasy Wonderland
I Wouldn't Let You
Lying And Fooling
consummate grandmasters of Doom…nay, of Metal…that they are, Pentagram
gave an outstanding performance for an audience that was relentlessly vocal and
physical in its appreciation. This is not to say that there weren’t any
‘gremlins’ (technical cock-ups in a live gig)…drummer Sean Saley busting a snare
skin, guitarist Victor Griffin’s guitar tunings going haywire…but both band and
audience took such minor incidents in their stride.
suggested the band truly slayed from the very first notes of ‘Death Row’ and the
expressions in everyone eyes seemed to say: “THIS is why I love Metal.” If a
year ago, in this same venue, the event was a more emotional affair then this
time around Pentagram’s performance was more of a celebration. Indeed I felt
they played better than last time around.
spot-on set-list, ‘Forever My Queen’ and ‘Sign Of The Wolf’ were obviously
included but numbers such as ‘The Deist’ and ’20 Buck Spin’ were lethally
effective in getting the crowd going. But it was during the encore that the
audience really went bananas – I kid you not, when Pentagram played ‘Relentless’
it was like the world was coming to an end. Vocalist Bobby Liebling’s on-stage
antics didn’t help matters…thankfully enough.
Pentagram managed to escape from a devastating
hurricane but the audience at the ‘Garage’ weren’t so lucky.
All Your Sins
Sign Of The Wolf
Forever My Queen
You’re Lost, I’m Free
Run My Course
Treat Me Right
20 Buck Spin
Dying World (Encore)
Nothing Left (Encore)