It might just be my impression but I’ve recently been noticing an upswing in popularity within the UK for Metal bands with a predisposition to party. This appeal seems to transcend the traditional Metal crowd, drawing young fans of both sexes. A recent gig by Korpiklaani, Tyr and One Machine only reinforced this view.
The gig was part of a tour which featured Sabaton with the Finns and Faroese but the former was here replaced by One Machine. As the venue’s small balcony was not opened, the main area seemed jam-packed right from the start. Indeed the crowd was quite vocal and high-spirited...and not just in area close to the pit.
One Machine (www.feedtheonemachine.com)
One Machine were the bill’s ‘odd one out’ with a more traditional approach to Metal. And yet the band got a strong crowd reaction and doubtlessly roped in some new fans tonight.
The line-up featured members and ex-members of bands such as Testament, Vicious Rumors, Coma and Biomechanical and in one way or another all of this was echoed in One Machine. In all honesty I sometimes missed the blunt force of a more 1980s style of riffing. And I’m not sure whether this had to do with the sound or style of playing. Meanwhile the performance was a cogent reflection of the band members’ ability as musicians and performers.
Chris Hawkins once again proved to be an excellent frontman combining a dynamic stage presence with an unfaltering voice. Regular bass player Thomas O’Keefe was unavailable and was replaced for this gig by Savage Messiah’s Stefano Selvatico...who did an admirable job.
From their brief set, ‘One Machine’ was one number that was particularly well executed. On the other hand in the set closer ‘Freedom And Pain’ the guitar trade-offs didn’t sound quite right. Other than that this was a stirring performance from a band with a profile that’s widening and improving at an alarming rate. And the audience response was a testament to this.
Kill The Hope Inside
The Distortion Of Lies And The Overdriven Truth
Freedom And Pain
One Machine - roping in new fans
When the audience is vociferously cheering the band before the members even set foot on stage, you do get an inkling that it’s going to be a great show. Which in fact it was.
Tyr were entertaining without the need for any excessive gimmicks or props. Lead vocalist/guitarist Heri Joensen introduced each song – perhaps a reflection on the importance given to their themes. Heri himself had a very good night. Even his guitar solos generally sounded better than those of Terji Skibenćs, Tyr’s main guitarist.
The set-list was carefully chosen and the audience was chanting the choruses to all the band’s songs. Tyr even included one number inspired by Scottish folk and another linked to Irish folklore. Judging from the audience’s reaction, the “By The Light Of The Northern Star” album of 2009 seemed to be a particular favourite. Some songs sounded a bit different from the studio recordings...usually heavier, particularly with regards to the riffs.
An enthralling show. I’m impressed.
Týr: Impressive show!
Although this was the first time I saw Korpiklaani ‘live’, I did have the impression that the band’s live shows were a blast. Tonight’s show doubtlessly reinforced that impression. What I had not really bargained for was that they were also great musicians. For example Matti ‘Matson’ Johansson struck me for his solid drumming and Jarkko Aaltonen proved to be a skilled (not to mention barefoot) bass player. Also worth mentioning is Jonne Järvelä for being an excellent frontman although, oddly, he sometimes seemed to be forgetting the songs’ lyrics.
Most of Korpiklaani’s set was in their native Finnish tongue and yet there was a good band/crowd rapport, even if the audience was perhaps a tad tired out after Tyr’s set. Whatever the language, it’s easy to sing the choruses of songs such as ‘Vodka’ or ‘Tequila’ – which reminds me how much Korpiklaani’s songs are written with their live delivery in mind. The band had such a dynamic stage presence that I had a hard time pinning them down with my camera for some decent photos. That’s always a good sign of course. Despite all this, Korpiklaani were as unerringly tight as a small leather glove in a raised fist punching through the air.
I don’t have the set-list available but the cream of their back-catalogue was there, a merging of aggressive and bombast with violin and accordion in an atmosphere of serious fun. For me the climax came at the final encore when Korpiklaani played ‘Happy Little Boozer’, as a result of which the band almost literally brought the house down.
An excellent live band indeed.
Korpiklaani - Finnish, not finish...
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Attending: Chris Galea